The final nine performed classics from the Lennon-McCartney songbook
Beyond Crystal Bowersox, most Idol fans feel that this season of American Idol is featuring less talent than previous seasons. I agree with that assessment — we certainly don’t have anything like the excitement generated by the Adam Lambert-Chris Allen battle last year or the David vs. David duel the year before.
However, that doesn’t make the decision on who should be sent home any easier when you are down to the top nine. It was Lennon-McCartney week and the Idol producers got Mr. McCartney to pre-record words of encouragement to the contestants. Just goes to show that even Sir Paul wants a piece of the Idol pie.
It was a solid night for the contestants; the judges were even kind to Tim Urban for his take on “All My Lovin.’” Maybe Simon Cowell thought if he were nice to Tim, there wouldn’t be so many Simon backlash votes for Urban blight. He still should be the one sent home; maybe this will be the week.
As noted, MamaSox is a cut above the rest of the field and she proved it again with her dynamic rendition, back on guitar, for “Come Together.”
Katie Stevens has been in trouble the last few weeks but she bounced back with a surprisingly strong vocal on “Let It Be.” While the body of her work might put her on the chopping block tonight, she deserves to stay another week.
Andrew Garcia got no love from the judges for his enjoyable, but bland take on “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Garcia showed so much promise early on in the competition — Vegas oddsmakers made him the favorite way back when, but he is firmly entrenched in “OK land.” Now that we are down to nine, he might be in the bottom three with Tim tonight.
Mr. Personality, huggy bear Mike Lynche, seemed strangely detached during his rendition of “Eleanor Rigby.” We found out that as a child, Mike performed with his family in a group known as the “Lynche Mob.” The judges didn’t feel the disconnect, and Mike was over-praised for an okay effort.
My runner-up to Bowersox this week was Casey James. He toned down the rock/blues vibe and went into ballad mode with an emotionally and obviously heartfelt take on John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.” Casey showed the judges another side of his talent and they gave him props for it.
Siobhan Magnus listened to the judges who warned her last week that her screaming was getting tiresome and went for quiet confidence and an emotional interpretation of “Across the Universe.” I thought it was a little too low-key, but she should stick around for another week.
Aaron Kelly had problems staying on the melody with his rendition of “The Long and Winding Road.” Earlier on in the competition he could get away with it, but he might be in the bottom three tonight.
Lee Dewyze finished off the night with a bagpiper sidekick for his rendition of “Hey Jude.” It was another solid effort from the gravel-voiced rocker. However, now that we are in the final weeks, his lack of charisma might be more of a factor than his obvious musical skills.
Crystal Bowersox A
Casey James A
Katie Stevens B+
Lee Dewyze B
Andy Garcia B-
Mike Lynche C
Siobhan Magnus C
Aaron Kelly C-
Tim Urban C-
‘American Idol’ top 10, including country rocker Skylar Laine, head for Boardwalk Hall Friday, Sept. 7.
Country traditionalist Trace Adkins and 2005 American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler took very different routes to country music stardom but those roads have converged this summer with a successful summer tour that lands at the Taj on Friday, Sept. 2.
In 2009, the American Idols Tour played at Boardwalk Hall, a 12,000-seat venue. This year, the show is taking place at the much smaller Mark G. Etess Arena at the Trump Taj Mahal this Saturday.
The Wrecking Crüe
Laughing with George Lopez
Fight Night at Boardwalk Hall