American Idol – Top 11

I’m a little late starting tonight’s show because I just finished watching Mississippi State’s Lady Bulldogs advance to the Sweet 16 for the very first time. I’m just as tickled as I can be for them. And I guess technically I’m not nearly as late watching tonight’s show as I was watching last week’s show, seeing as how I didn’t get to last week’s show until Friday. I was way past tardy for the AI party.

Anyway, I love tonight’s theme – Billboard’s #1 hits – and I’m trying to give this week’s mentor, Miley Cyrus, the benefit of the doubt and not get caught up in the fact that the only way I could have mentored somebody when I was 17 is if the other person needed some tips in SMOKIN’ HOT DRAMA SKILLS. Something tells me that my reservations have much more to do with my own personal baggage than they do with Miley Cyrus’ mentoring abilities.

All righty then.

Lee Dewyze – “The Letter” – I thought the big band take on this song was a great departure for him – the whole song had a very funky, jazzy feel, and it suited him. Honestly, do you know what I thought after watching this performance? We need more horns in modern music. Big ole brass sections. They make everything better. And also, did anybody else think that Lee took more control this week? He didn’t just sound the part – he looked the part. Made me happy for him.

Paige Miles – “Against All Odds” – Did anybody else think that was a little bit weird? The super-soft, off-key beginning, and then suddenly she went into power ballad mode. She’s obviously hoarse, and that makes me sad for her – because this was her weakest performance so far. It seemed like she started with one interpretation and then jumped to a completely different one, and it all felt very disjointed and strange.

Tim Urban – “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” – He seems like such a sweet guy. And his version of this song was serviceable, but it wasn’t original. There was no unique perspective, and it was more like something you’d see if he’d been cast as the singer in the background of a prom scene in a Lifetime movie. In other words: not at all memorable.

(Okay. I’m now watching Miley’s mentoring session with Aaron, and I’m so tired of those super-short cut-offs that I REALLY want to go grab a pair of blue jeans, hand them to her, and say, “Just put on some long pants, honey. SOME LONG PANTS. THEY’RE COMFORTABLE! AND ALSO WARM!”)

Aaron Kelly – “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” – Time to haul out the red and white polka dot dresses and gaze into Ben Affleck’s eyes, girls (I may have watched this movie once or thirteen times in the late 90s). I have to say that this is one of those songs that I don’t ever have to hear again, but it was a good choice for him. It highlighted the strengths of his voice, and he did a good job.

Crystal Bowersox – “Me & Bobby McGee” – How much do I love this song? I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH. And the performance was brilliant. Something about watching Crystal sing makes me want to cry – she is so gifted, and it makes me a little weepy that she’s getting to do something that she obviously loves so much. I wouldn’t just buy her CD – I’d buy a ticket to her concert. The end.

Michael Lynche – “When A Man Loves A Woman” – Honestly, I think this song choice is tired. But I really liked this arrangement. So basically I was all prepared to roll my eyes and think that the song had been done to death, but Michael won me over. Good job.

Andrew Garcia – “Heard It Through The Grapevine” – As a child of the 80s, I got a smidge burned out on this song thanks to the California Raisins. Andrew’s version didn’t do much to change my mind. It felt karaoke-ish to me – and the moonwalk didn’t help. It sounded a little bit like he was “talking” his way through the verses, so it came across as very choppy, and by the end I felt like he hadn’t really done that much singing. Weird.

Katie Stevens – “Big Girls Don’t Cry” – For the first time I thought she seemed youthful and current, and it was fun to see her getting more comfortable on stage. As far as the vocals, it seemed really sharp to me – to the point that I closed one eye through parts of the song – but I think she’s on the right track.

Casey James – “The Power of Love” – I probably wouldn’t have picked this song for Casey. I would’ve gone with a song that has more of an edge (not to mention that the background vocals were CHEESE-Y). What about a Maroon 5 song or a Daughtry song – something a little more modern? Something that doesn’t make me think about Marty McFly? HOWEVER, he sounded great, and he seemed to enjoy himself more than he has in recent weeks.

Didi Benami – “You’re No Good” – This was a good song for her – and the arrangement was just the right mix of retro and modern. I don’t think her vocals were as strong as they were last week, and it seemed a little bit like she was going through the choreographed motions. More than anything she just doesn’t seem relaxed on stage, and when she loosens up enough to just be herself, I think she’s going to hit her stride.

Siobhan Magnus – “Superstition” – I love me some Stevie. I’m still trying to figure out Siobhan. She is so talented, but sometimes when she’s singing I just don’t get it. This performance especially felt a little bit like a metronome – and maybe even a little Lambert-esque (please don’t start screaming at us every week, Siobhan – please – I beg you). All that to say: I still appreciate her talent – but I still don’t really enjoy her. For whatever reason.

Best of the night: Crystal. Hands-down.
Worst of the night: Paige. Oh bless her heart.
Should go: Paige or Andrew – neither of them can find their footing.
Will go: Paige or Andrew.

What did y’all think?

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  1. Ok, seriously? Love Crystal and she’s the only reason I’m still watching. Siobhan is a good distraction because she’s at least different every week. Everyone else? I feel like it’s the same thing every week and for all of the talk about what a great group of talent this is, etc… I think it’s the worst top 12 I’ve ever seen on Idol. I didn’t agree with the top 24 though.

  2. I’m grinning because I think I closed one eye during Katie’s performance too!

    And Crystal doesn’t make me cry, but she’s the only one who GIVES ME REAL LIFE GOOSEBUMPS!

    And Miley really didn’t do anything for me. She sounds like she’s been smoking since she was 2. And I can count the brilliant pieces of advice she gave on 1 finger.

    I basically agree with everything you said except that I LOVE Siobhan. I don’t know what it is, but her oddness makes me happy.

  3. I’m really bored with this season and decided tonight not to waste anymore of the precious space on my dvr for future shows. Crystal needs to win. I am unwilling to invest additional time on this season. After all the hype about the talent this season being more amazing than any other season, I feel as duped as when ABC touts this week’s episode of the Bachelor as having the most dramatic rose ceremony EVER! And I agree with you about Miley’s shorts. I updated my FB status early on tonight declaring that she had forgotten to put on her pants. It looked like she mooned the piano player a few times during the first couple of mentoring sessions. Oh my!

  4. O.k.

    We tuned in to AI for the first time this week, and I can honestly say I *loved* the show. Absolutely love, love, loved it!

    See, today has been a capper for the 5 days of more and more intensifying stress for this family, and we all ended up standing around the TV watching AI and laughing our fool heads off.

    Well, except for Lee.

    So, thank you AI for giving us the chance to break down and laugh heartily at something, together, as a family.

    Mucho apprecianado.

    (or whatever)

  5. Funny, I don’t get Siobhan either. And, I have a response to your problem with Miley’s shorts in my post!

  6. I agree with your assessment — In fact, maybe you were channeling thoughts through the program, so many of yours were mine exactly. My hubby and I counted four performances that were “going home” worthy. In fact, I think that those four should all go home this week; it was painful to hear them and I don’t hold out much hope for their improvement. But this isn’t the Bachelor, is it? Or is it? He’s on Dancing with the Stars, so he might pop up on Idol, too. I watch too much tv.

  7. you and I had the EXACT same opinions tonight….and Crystal Bowersox is my favorite HANDS DOWN….

  8. I wrote a post this week and linked it to you…just needed to inject some fun into a week that has felt like no fun at all.

    At this point I’m thinking the judges are wondering about these finalists, with the exception of a couple of course. Most weeks I walk in and out of the room while it’s on…it’s just kinda dull this time around. And last season was so great so a hard one to top but still…it’s just eh.

  9. ha! totally made me think of marty mcfly too. awesome.

  10. You summed up my thoughts exactly- on everything and person. The tunic, boots, bare leg thing on Miley was not working for me either.

    I love, love, love Crystal. Something about her just touches my heart.

  11. I agree with just about everything you said. But Didi…that song was “No good, it’s no good, baby, it’s no good”. I like her, but that performance was not enjoyable.

    I still love Casey and Crystal. I was saying last night that when Crystal sings, you just sit back and enjoy. You don’t worry about if she’ll be flat (or pitchy) or if it’ll be boring. It’s like you’re already at her concert. And didn’t you love it when she just sat down on her rug and invited Ryan to join her? She’s a unique person with a great voice!

  12. You hit the nail on the head!

    “All that to say: I still appreciate her talent – but I still don’t really enjoy her. For whatever reason.”

    Siobhan just isn’t doing it for me.

    And Lee Dewyze is my favorite.

  13. This season is just plain boring………

  14. I’m totally with you on Siobhan. She’s talented. Great singer. But I don’t feel like she’s putting on a concert as an artist, I feel like I’m watching a Broadway performance. I think she’d do fantastic on Broadway. I just wouldn’t want to buy a cd.

  15. Crystal really is in a league of her own and it makes me so happy for her b/c you just take in her story and realize that her life probably hasn’t been sunshine and roses. Love And in my personal AI watching bubble, I’m usually picking a guy winner over a girl winner.

    But you know what modern music DOESN’T need? A brass section. And cheesy back-up singers who wear black hula skirts. And most of the performances from last night’s show. The judges are all about being modern and current and relevant, and most of that stuff last night was just…not.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that Andrew can hang around and “find himself” pretty soon!

  16. I agree with you about everyone except Siobhan. I totally agree with Simon about her screaming. If she screams through one more song, I’m going to scream!

  17. I wasn’t able to see AI last night….does anyone know where I can watch it online? AAAK!

  18. I just loved Michael Lynche. He’s like a big teddy bear. I adore him every week and would go out today and buy his CD. Oh yeah, and the dimples don’t hurt either. ;)

  19. Anyone who uses “Miley” and “mentor” in the same sentence should be sentenced. About all she did was say, in her best imitation of Brenda Vacaro, “I love his/her voice.” I’m not sure that’s mentoring….

    No more screaming, Siobahn. I fully expect to see her vocal cords lying on the stage, begging for CPR in the next few weeks.

    I loved Michael and Crystal. The rest of them need to go home and as Simon said, “Have proper voice lessons…”

  20. Last night was one of the worst nights of AI that I can remember. Those old, old songs are just so . . . karaoke to me. Ugh. And I hate that Katie did well because she’s just not that good. Oh well. She’s better than Paige. Whooo doggie!

  21. Ok so I just read my friend your description of Siobhan — because that’s exactly how I feel about her. The screaming just needs to stop. And I’m really sad about Andrew doing so badly because his first two auditions/performances were amazing . . .

  22. I think this season is awful so I haven’t been watching much, but I couldn’t believe they decided to pick Miley. I thought that was a REALLY strange choice!

  23. I wasn’t loving the outfit when I thought it was just the world’s shortest shirt. And then I realized they were shorts.

    And then I didn’t know what to think.

  24. girlfriend, I am SO over Miley Cyrus’ short skirts and shorts and whatnot that I can hardly look anymore. Not at all any kind of role model for girls my daughter’s age who used to like Hannah Montana in years past. She ‘s in the Brittney Spears category to me now. And when she sings lately she appears to spend a third of the time with her head below her knees.
    What is that all about?

    Michael Lynch fan all the way to the end.
    Love Casey.
    Love Didi.
    Hoping for Michael to win it. I just love his personality that comes through when he talks and sings.