American Idol

The 5th Judge – American Idol Top 16: Guys Hits & Misses

Michael LynchWelcome back to American Idol ‘Hits and Misses’. I am the 5th Judge and it’s time for the guys to take to the small stage for the final time before the merger of guys and gals. I look forward to the guys more than the girls because I feel that they are far superior this season. Aside from Crystal, Siobhan, and Lilly, the girls are average at best. But, enough with the females. Let’s get to the show!

Lee Dewyze sings “Fireflies” by Owl City – First thought; interesting song choice. Lee, of course, rocked out to the song on the acoustic guitar. He also did some new things to the song and added a few note changes and runs. He made the song sound like a rock hit. Lee is showing a knack of being able to sing any type of song and make it his. I am still hoping to hear him sing Kings of Leon one of these days, but this was a good performance. Lee looks extremely comfortable up on the stage and he is a shoe-in for the Top 12. Will this be his defining moment? No. But it was a solid performance and, like I said last week, I would buy a CD of his right now if he released one. He is a, undoubtedly, one of the 2 or 3 guys to beat this season. Score – 6 out of 10.

Alex Lambert sings “Trouble” by Ray Lamontagne – Coming off a mediocre performance of the John Legend song, “Everybody Knows”, I would have preferred Alex to sing something a little younger and maybe more current. Furthermore, I can’t help but hear this song and immediately think of the commercial that currently has the song in the background while a dog runs around the screen. Alex is borderline boring to me; though, he’s extremely talented. He comes across as someone who is trying too hard and has no stage presence. Stage presence means everything on Idol and if he doesn’t gain that confidence soon and show it, he’s putting himself in great jeopardy of not being alive much further. Score – 4.5 out of 10.

Tim Urban sings “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley – This song has gotten so popular and mainstream in recent years. I love that because I’m a huge fan of the song. Aside from Buckley, we’ve seen artists such as Justin Timberlake and K.D Lang cover this song in recent months. And American Idol alum Jason Castro had a stand-out performance with this song. Castro was so tremendous that he ended up performing it again on the finale. Urban’s version was pretty stripped down with just him and the acoustic guitar. I enjoyed his performance last week even though the judges chastised him. Tim was unbelievable this week and put on the best performance of the night, thus far. This song will make people vote for him and I believe we will see him make the Top 6 thanks to this performance. Great song choice because Tim was going home with another subpar or mediocre performance. Score – 8 out of 10.

Andrew Garcia sings “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera – Interesting song choice, but I love it especially after how well he did with the questionable choice of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” during Hollywood Week. His vocals were not the best tonight, but his arrangement of the song was very good. Like I said last week, Andrew set the bar high very early with the Paula Abdul song and he’s continuing to struggle to live up to it. I can’t help but wonder how the critiques would be of the last few weeks if he didn’t do so well during Hollywood Week. Andrew is very popular and I can’t imagine him going home, but he could be in danger after all of the strong performances we’ve seen so far. He was one of my favorites coming into the season and I hope he stays. We’ll go over this on hits and misses. Score – 4.5 out of 10.

Casey James sings “You’ll Think of Me” by Keith Urban – One of my favorite songs and by one of my favorite artists. It’s cool that so many of the guys have played the guitar tonight and kinda stripped things down a bit. It almost seems like we’ve been hearing one continuous performance so far this night. The performance was average and didn’t really do much improving over the Gavin DeGraw performance from last week even though it was better. With so many of the guys in a tight race for these 6 spots, I’m curious if Casey did enough to separate himself from the rest of the pack. Score – 4.5 out of 10.

Aaron Kelly sings “I’m Already There” by Lonestar – I’m shocked to hear one country tonight, and I actually get to hear two. I’m ok with that since I’m a country fan. Aaron is the youngest guy in the competition this year and I can’t help but to think how good he will be in the future. He’s definitely receiving the bulk of the young female votes and he’s going to need them all to carry him through to next week. The song sounded off extremely rough at the beginning. In fact, it was awful. Once the song got going and he went into his higher notes, he was tremendous. This was the tale of 2 songs. At just 16 years of age, Aaron is way ahead of his time. I really enjoyed the performance and I hope to see him continue growing for weeks to come. All you young girls better be voting! Aaron needs you! Score – 6 out of 10.

Todrick Hall sings “Somebody to Love” by Queen – First thoughts; I LOVE this song but can’t stand Todrick. I’ll try not to let the latter sway my opinion, however. I really feel that Todrick is lucky to still be in the competition. With that said, I thought he did a good job with this song; particularly at the end. He put himself neck-and-neck with Tim for the performance of the night. I didn’t think it would work at the beginning, but he worked it out and more. He took a huge risk singing a song that people wouldn’t expect to hear from him. I’d like to see Todrick tone down his theatrics and “WOW” us with just his voice. This performance is 9 out of 10 if you listen to it with your eyes closed. Unfortunately, I saw it. Score – 7.5 out of 10.

Michael Lynch sings “This Woman’s World” by Maxwell – I don’t know this song at all. Let’s see if that’s a good thing or bad. Michael has such a soulful voice and is starting to remind me of Season 2 winner Ruben Studderd. The suit he wore tonight probably fueled that comparison. Michael was unbelievable yet again tonight after being the best performance last week. He took a song I didn’t even know and made me really like it and want to download it. This song was like a great story. It started off slow and ended in a great climax. Michael reduced Kara to tears which was unexpected. This was the absolute best performance of the entire season and Michael is the overall person to beat in this season. He’s guaranteed a spot in the Top 12 and I would say the Top 3. Amazing performance and one that will be my first iTunes purchase by one of this season’s contestants. This also means the first perfect score of the season so far. Score – 10 out of 10.

Now, for the “Hits” and “Misses” for this week.

Hits (People that are 100% safe based on their performances) – Michael Lynch, Tim Urban, Todrick Hall

On The Fence (50/50 chance of going home) – Lee Dewyze and Aaron Kelly

Misses (The people that have the best chance of going home) – Alex Lambert, Andrew Garcia, and Casey James

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 [email protected]

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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