After the night(s) that the contestants perform, I’m going to review the performances in order and provide my personal thoughts. On the day after the results show each week, I’m going to post a quick recap of that show as well as a overall Weekly Power Ranking (that will be more performance/judges’ comments/popularity based than my own opinions – which ALWAYS seem to be in conflict with the reality of the show).
So what did we learn from the judges' comments about the guys last night? The more safe and generic you are, the better - but you can't be too safe and generic or they'll be all over you.
Here's how it went down:
Todrick Hall – Since You’ve Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson)
One of the only guys that didn’t look petrified going into the evening and he completely OWNED the stage. Forget what the judges said, that was an excellent performance and was exactly what American Idol is supposed to be about – unknown artists putting their own, original spin on something familiar in order to stand out. I already prefer his version of the song to Clarkson’s.
Aaron Kelly – Here Comes Goodbye (Rascal Flats)
A boring, generic performance of a boring, generic song that the judges and (and probably America) loved. I can’t tell you how different I felt about these first two contestants than the judges. Just absolute polar opposites.
Jermaine Sellers – Get Here (Oleta Adams)
One of the only ways I judge any contestant on Idol is (A) could I imagine hearing them on the radio ? And (B) would I stop to listen to it if they were? It would be a “yes” on both accounts for me in regards to Jermaine’s performance last night. PS – I wish the judges would stop trying to make everyone younger. There’s enough Neos and Maxwells, out there already, Randy. I personally prefer an older soul, thank you.
Tim Urban – Apologize (One Republic)
Wow look at that: I compared Urban to former Idol winner Kris Allen after the Top 24 was announced and he didn’t even wait a week to do a song that Allen crushed during his run. Unfortunately for Urban, this song crushed him.
Joe Munoz – You and I Both (Jason Mraz)
While I would never go to his concert or buy his album and I can’t dream of scenario where Ryan announces his name as the next American Idol, I have to admit that it was a pretty solid performance and a rock solid song choice.
Tyler Grady – American Woman (The Guess Who)
I have no way of being objective when it comes to Tyler. He’s going to skew my perspective as long as he is in the competition because I’m such a classic rock fan and he totally embodies that era. I agree with the judges that he needs to work on the vocals a bit, but I always enjoy him when he’s on the stage, and that’s all that matters to me.
Lee Dewyze – Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
That was the most amazing performance… if it was 2004. Really? Chasing Cars? You either have to go classic or a lot more modern for me. I’m really confused by the judges so far by the way. If Simon’s comments didn’t prove that he’s completely on cruise control for this season, then I don’t know what will.
John Park – God Bless the Child (Billie Holliday)
I liked his sense of humor in the Shania Twain set-up piece and I will always appreciate a good jazz standard, but I actually did agree with Kara (for once tonight) in that the performance was a little on the “sleepy” side. I’m just not seeing him as a legit contender yet.
Big Mike Lynche – This Love (Maroon 5)
So far, he seems to be the perfect contestant for what America loves. Ultimately both Mike and the performance were pretty standard and predictable but he has just enough personality to mask it with some smoke and mirrors. We love our style and no substance characters that are easy to comprehend and put in our safe little mental boxes. Enjoy a nice long ride, Big Mike!
Alex Lambert – What a Wonderful World (James Morrison)
Alex made this easy on me by describing his own performance with lyrics from the song he sang: I've been down so low/People look at me and they know/They can tell something is wrong/Like I don't belong. Couldn’t have said it better myself, buddy.
Casey James – Heaven (Bryan Adams)
All Casey had to do last night to ensure that he keeps moving on was to not create some sort of internationally offensive incident on stage. He played it safe for sure, but I gotta admit that he was solid nonetheless. By the way, the Casey-Kara love affair is getting borderline creepy. What is the ceiling for those two this season and aren’t we kinda there ALREADY?
Andrew Garcia – Sugar We’re Going Down (Fall Out Boy)
This is how much I love Andrew: I HATE that song (and Fall Out Boy for that matter) but I LOVED his performance. He sang the song with meaning and purpose and gave it a sweet, bluesy vibe. Very cool! I give him the nod over Todrick for originality on the night just because there was a little more depth.
MY TOP 3 OF THE NIGHT: (1) Andrew Garcia, (2) Todrick Hall, (3) Tyler Grady
MY BOTTOM 3 OF THE NIGHT: (1) Alex Lambert, (2) Tim Urban, (3) John Park
Who were your favorites? Who were your least favorites? Feel free to comment below!