American Idol

The 5th Judge – American Idol’s Top 9 Hits & Misses: Take 2

Tim UrbanWelcome back to this week’s American Idol‘s “Hits & Misses”. What you see above is not a typo. This is indeed the second consecutive week of having a Top 9. Last week, the world was shocked as it was revealed that one of the favorites to win the show, Michael Lynche, had received the least amount of votes and was headed home. Michael Lynche had the opportunity to sing any song that he’s previously sang this season in order to be considered for the “Judge’s Save.”

The “Judge’s Save” was introduced in prior season’s of American Idol. It was introduced to give the judges the option to prevent a leading contender from going home. Think back to years ago where a guy named Chris Daughtry was the favorite the entire season and he ended up getting voted out. A guy named Taylor Hicks won that season and hasn’t been heard from since, while Daughtry has gone on to be a Platinum recording artist. The “Judge’s Save” was implemented directly after that to prevent that from ever happening again. It has its limitations, however. It can only be used from the Top 10 until the Top 5. It can also only be used once. After its one use, the following week two people are eliminated.

Which brings us full circle. The “Judge’s Save” is no longer available this season after the judge’s unanimously agreed to save “Big Mike”. That means that this week, two people will be sent home. Last season’s runner up, Adam Lambert will mentor the group tonight. The theme is Elvis Presley. Should be interesting.

With that said, let’s get this show on the road.

Crystal Bowersox sings “Safe” by Elvis Presley – A really upbeat, almost country-western arrangement from Crystal. She actually set down her acoustic guitar for this one. Don’t get excited; she simply used an electric guitar instead. This was the perfect song choice for Crystal. She has such a unique, bluesy voice that perfectly fits just about any Elvis song. She really showcased her personality here which was needed since this is one of the few areas where she has actually received criticism. I commend her for choosing one of the lesser known Elvis songs and making a song sound current once again. This is the person to beat this season and she proved why once again. Score – 9 out of 10.

Andrew Garcia sings “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley – I loved Adam Lambert telling him flat out, “it’s boring. Change it up.” I can’t remember a mentor being that blunt with a contestant before in recent years. Well, Andrew did change the song a bit to give it more of a ballroom type feel. I’m really on the fence with what I think about it. I don’t think he has the correct vocal style for this song. He didn’t change the song at all and didn’t make it his own. This was nothing but a karaoke performance. Andrew was in the bottom two last week and with two people going home tomorrow, Andrew should probably pack his bags. I’ll be shocked if he’s not one of the two going home. Score – 2.5 out of 10.

Tim Urban sings “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley – I couldn’t help but snicker at Ryan introducing Tim Urban as “Turban”. This is an interesting choice and a massive risk for Tim. He doesn’t have the best vocals and he’s been in the bottom three multiple times. So, to sit behind the judges with just him and his acoustic guitar, it’s a major risk. His vocals will be showcased more and he’s taking a massive chance by singing a boring song. But Tim nailed it! His vocals were awesome and Adam Lambert’s advice of using his falsetto at the end was terrific. Lambert has really impressed me thus far with his advice. This was right up there with the best performance of the season for Tim. Score – 9 out of 10.

Lee Dewyze sings “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley – Is there any doubt that Lee Dewyze isn’t just making every single performance seem easy? He really is in the zone with just about every performance he does anymore and could be the dark horse on this show. This performance was awesome and it was great to see Lee really show some more of his vocals. He really took a lot of chances in that area and just let loose. Mark this up as another performance that Adam Lambert really put his hand prints on. This was Lee at his best once again. Score – 8.5 out of 10.

Aaron Kelly sings “Blue Suede Shoes” by Elvis Presley – Well, I’ll say this. It was nice to see Aaron not come out and stand there and sing some ballad. Good thing some else had already taken “Can’t Help Falling in Love” before he did. It was nice to see the change of pace and to see him take on something with a bit of tempo. That was about the only positive to this performance. This was nothing more than a glorified karaoke performance. Everyone will forget about this tomorrow, and that’s a good thing since Aaron may have just sealed his fate. Score – 2 out of 10.

Siobhan Magnus sings “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley – You had to have known that someone was going to sing this song during Elvis week. Also, if there’s one mentor to push Siobhan to do that overdone screeching sound at the end, it’ll be Adam. Siobhan really changed up this song and once again showcased her unbelievable pipes. Her facial expressions towards the camera are really starting to bother me. It reminds me of Rachel from Glee when she sings. The difference is that Rachel is acting on a TV show and Siobhan is trying to be a singer. Siobhan isn’t there right now and she’s kind of gone off the tracks. Let’s hope she makes it through tomorrow because she definitely has the voice to be able to make it far on this show. Score – 3.5 out of 10.

Michael Lynche sings “In The Ghetto” by Elvis Presley – Michael is here singing for redemption tonight. He wants to justify that he deserved the “Judge’s Save” last week and also show America that he indeed belongs here. I think there’s a portion of America has the wrong impression of Mike. I’m shocked that he chose to strip down his performance this week and perform with just the acoustic guitar. It was a risk. But, it paid off very well. Michael’s vocal was terrific this week and this is a guy who doesn’t deserve to go home for another few weeks at least. Let’s hope this performance reminded America that he belongs here. I think he did that. Score – 7.5 out of 10.

Katie Stevens sings “Baby, What You Want Me To Do” by Elvis Presley – Katie takes this opportunity to show some personality on the stage and move around a bit. I loved the addition of the horn section. Her vocals were a bit all over the place, specifically during the many “you’s” in the song. She screeched them out here and there. You couldn’t help but to bob your head to this song. I loved her energy and I think she’s popular enough to make it through the double elimination tomorrow. This was just an average performance. Score – 6 out of 10.

Casey James sings “Lawdy Miss Claudy” by Elvis Presley – Casey will man the “pimp spot” tonight. This is an interesting song choice as it’s one of the lesser known Elvis songs. Normally the pimp spot is a “WOW” performance, but this performance was just average. There wasn’t anything special about it. This was a decent performance, but it’ll go down as one of the forgotten performances by Casey this season. His vocal was good, but that was about it. The rest of the performance had no substance. Casey’s popularity should get him by tomorrow’s vote. Score – 4 out of 10.

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

Hits (People that are 100% safe based on their performances) – Crystal Bowersox, Tim Urban, and Lee Dewyze

On The Fence (50/50 chance of going home) – Michael Lynche, Katie Stevens, and Casey James

Misses (The people that have the best chance of going home) – Siobhan Magnus, Aaron Kelly, and Andrew Garcia

That concludes the Top 11 for this week. I’ll be back next week with the Top 8!

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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