Well, it only took 3 months, but the only part of American Idol that anyone cares about is here. THE BIG STAGE! The guys and girls are now all 1 group and competing against each other. From here on out, unless there’s a change of course, one person will be eliminated every Wednesday night. Each Wednesday’s results episode will also have special musical performances by established stars. This week’s results show will have performances by Idol alum David Cook, pop-sensation Ke$ha and former Michael Jackson back-up singer, Orianthi.
For now though, we’re stuck with a week of The Rolling Stones. Yeah, I said “stuck.” I’ve never been a big Stones fan and I find them to be rather bland and boring. Then again, I’m a 26 year old guy. I love me some Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, and Genesis, but just not The Rolling Stones. So, if my criticisms seem a little hard tonight, my apologies. I just can’t say that I’m looking forward to hearing “Satisfaction” sang for the 87th time on Idol. That’s a tad bit sarcastic, but it’s been beaten to death.
With that said, let’s get the show on the road. Let’s hope this show rocks tonight and I’m pleasantly surprised.
Michael Lynche sings “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones – I’m a little shocked to see “Big Mike” open the show. First thing I can notice is that Mike is going to make this song more of a jazz/R&B type of song which is fine with me since it’s the type of music I can see him releasing. One of the top 3 favorites to win this show, and he brought the house down. If I have to pick a favorite Stones song, it’d be “Miss You”. He has amazing stage presence, moved around and commanded the stage in the same way that Mick Jagger does. Mike really impressed me on a theme that I thought he could potentially struggle with. Not my favorite performance, or even top 3, of his, but this guy will be here for a very long time. Score – 7 out of 10
[adinserter block=”1″]Didi Benami sings “Playing With Fire” by The Rolling Stones – One week after putting on a show-saving performance of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “Rhiannon”, Didi is back to tackle a song from the same time period. Her voice seemed off to me and she definitely had trouble hitting the notes. I think she did the song well, but this song was just extremely boring to me. I think that if an artist chooses to sing a song that is slow and bland, that they must have a great voice. Didi isn’t a great voice, but she does have incredible stage presence. I didn’t like this better than the Fleetwood Mac performance from last week, but this was her best performance other than that. She’s a cross between Amy Winehouse and Ingrid Michelson and I’m ok with that. Solid performance. Score – 6 out of 10.
Casey James sings “It’s All Over Now” by The Rolling Stones – Interesting choice of song just one week after he butchered a country song. He decided to make this song sound like a country meets jazz type song. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I think that Casey has done nothing but regress from week to week. I think it’s his look that has kept him alive thus far. This performance was his way of trying to get back on track. This was leaps and bounds better than his previous performance, but still was just average for me. If you close your eyes and listen to this song, it’s nothing different than you can hear at any jazz bar on a Friday night across the country. I don’t think he’s in danger of leaving, but I’d still link to see more. Score – 5 out of 10.
Lacey Brown sings “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones – 1967. It doesn’t get much older than this. After barely eking her way into this show, this performance is a huge risk. Flanked by 4 violinists on the stage, Lacey starts off extremely slow before the song gets heavier towards the end. For the second straight week, Lacey made the choice to sit at the edge of the stage for most of the song. Well Lacey, unless you plan on being an artist who puts on daily concerts while sitting on the floor, you might want to switch things up and shows us a little more versatility. This performance was extremely dreary and boring here. Given that there are multiple girls who perform and sound the same, I’m afraid to say that Lacey’s days could be numbered. Score – 4 out of 10.
Side note – I really love what Ellen DeGeneres has brought to the show this season. She’s made it entertaining and funny. I thoroughly enjoy her more than a drugged-up Paula Abdul stumbling through her critiques. Anyway, back to the show.
Andrew Garcia sings “Give Me Shelter” by The Rolling Stones – Wow, Andrew Garcia without an acoustic guitar? There are some things in this world that just don’t look right. Andrew’s decision to sing the Rock Band classic (come on, it’s 2010) is an interesting one. It’s just as intriguing as Andrew’s fall from grace in recent weeks. He quickly went from the front-runner to the guy who couldn’t live up to his Hollywood Week performance to the guy who lost confidence. What we saw this week is a guy who’s just really confused and unsure of what the judges want to hear from him. I still doubt that Andrew goes home because I still think he has enough fans and followers, but Andrew needs to show up next week in desperation mode or else he’s in some serious danger of packing his bags. Score – 3.5 out of 10.
[adinserter block=”2″]Katie Stevens sings “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones – This is a very young girl singing a very old song. This song recently regained popularity thanks to the hugely popular cover by The X-Factor’s Susan Boyle. Make no doubts about it, Katie has pipes. This girl can sing like any other girl her age anywhere on the globe. She bounced back greatly of her performance of “Breakaway” from last week. I don’t think Katie has any chance to win this show, but if she keeps showing off her vocals week after week like she did tonight, she has a chance to stay for a little awhile. She changed the song up a bit and that definitely helped. Katie really impressed me and gives me that feel of a young Katherine McPhee. I’d have to say that, so far, she is neck-and-neck with Michael Lynche for song of the night honors. Score – 7 out of 10.
Tim Urban sings “Under My Thumb” by The Rolling Stones – Coming off last week in which he was the best performer, guy or girl, Tim must now show some form of consistency and staying power. He rebounded from being the early underdog, to getting put on the show after a contestant was kicked out, to the top 12. Maybe it was just me, but I found this performance to be extremely bland, boring, and didn’t showcase the awesome vocals that we heard from him last week on “Hallelujah”. I don’t understand this song choice and the arrangement was awful. Tim most definitely put himself in danger after this performance. This was just a head-scratcher and, because I like him, I hope he gets the chance to bounce back next week. Score – 2.5 out of 10.
Another Side note – ONE MONTH UNTIL GLEE!!!!
Siobhan Magnus sings “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones – Siobhan is one of the most solid performers on this show. I didn’t know what to think about this song choice at first. She is so unique and individualistic. It’s weird that Kara compared her to Adam Lambert and she is definitely right. This was the best performance of the night. This was phenomenal. Her arrangement was awesome and so definitely made this song her own. Specifically, I loved the high note at the end and the A capella ending to the song. This girl can hit notes that maybe only Katie Stevens can match. The difference between her and Katie, however, is that Siobhan knows who she is and has an identity. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Score – 8.5 out of 10.
Lee Dewyze sings “Beast of Burden” by The Rolling Stones – Lee is definitely one of my personal top-3 favorites. I’m still curious what type of artist he is though. Is he a rocker or a country singer? He loves to rock out but sings with a country sound to his voice. I like it, and it’s not because I’m often told that I sound like a country singer no matter what type of music I try to sing. I really enjoyed his performance even though it seemed to be a safe performance. Lee has gone from a relative unknown to one of the faces of this season. What Simon said was tough to hear, but it was right. Even though Lee is one of the best performers this season, it’s going to be his lack of a personality that could prevent him from forming a connection with a fan base. Lee will be safe. No questions asked. Score – 6.5 out of 10.
Paige Miles sings “Honky Tonk Woman” by The Rolling Stones – This year’s award for ‘Contestant Who Shoulda Never Made the Top 12″ goes to Paige Miles. Paige has no defining moments yet this season, but she is only 16 with a terrific voice. It’s just that she’s not sure how to use it yet. She’s a clone of a contestant from a few seasons ago named Paris Bennett. Very often though, second chances like this one are blessings in disguise. Paige actually shocked me tonight because she actually sounded really good doing this song. There were a few pitch problems, but she impressed me with her stage presence even after battling off a lost-voice earlier in the week. I don’t know if this will save her or not, but this was a step in the right direction. It’s good to see her back. Score – 6 out of 10.
Aaron Kelly sings “Angie” by The Rolling Stones – I was talking to a friend earlier today and I correctly predicted that Aaron would sing this song. It’s not a good thing this early in a competition when someone can nail what song someone will sing. Every season there is that one of two contestants that get by because they’re young, attractive singers with mediocre voices who get a lot of votes from young America. Aaron has a great voice, but that stereotype fits Aaron to a T. I’d like to see him step away from the soft, slow ballads and take a chance. We already know that he can sing, but I just want to see more. Tonight’s performance was one of the best of the week so far and I can’t help but wonder how good this guy will be when he branches out and tries some new songs and takes some risks. There’s someone else he reminds me of who made it rather far…..David Archuleta. Aaron is a sleeper pick to go very far. Score – 7.5 out of 10
Crystal Bowersox sings “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones – And Crystal gains the first “Pimp Spot” of the season which is what has been the nickname given for the person who gets to leave the final impression on voters. So, between her being the face of the season so far and Fox’s obsession with this song after Glee covered it during their season finale, I’m not shocked she was put in this spot. And how did Crystal respond? She responded by putting out an awesome performance. I would buy a ticket to watch her perform today. She is so unique and does some fantastic things with every song. She changed this song up a bit and let herself shine. The acoustic guitar should never leave her shoulder. She once again put in one of the top performances of the night and barring a fix, we’ll be seeing her for many more weeks. Score – 7.5 out of 10.
Now, for the “Hits” and “Misses” for this week.
Hits (People that are 100% safe based on their performances) – Siobhan Magnus, Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynche, and Aaron Kelly
On The Fence (50/50 chance of going home) – Casey James, Didi Benami, Katie Stevens, Lee Dewyze, and Paige Miles
Misses (The people that have the best chance of going home) – Andrew Garcia, Tim Urban, and Lacey Brown
That concludes the Top 12 for this week. I’ll be back next week with the Top 11.
Brett is 26 years old and from Millville, NJ. He has is a life-log fan of the Philadelphia sports teams as well as the Boston red Sox and Cincinnati Bengals. Brett is also a big fan of professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. If you would like to comment on one of his stories, please e-mail him at Brettley916@aol.com
Check out American Idol Season 8