Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Idol: Top 12 Recap

While this season of American Idol still feels a little weaker than some of the past years, it was good to finally get the Top 12 on the big stage (as you will notice, that will be a running theme through my comments below). The expanded space really let the contestants' vocals go and I can't honestly say that I thought any one was outrageously terrible for once.

There were some that did stand out (for the good and the not so good) however, so let's get to the individual performances:

Michael LyncheMiss You
Other than wearing the same scarf as his wife in the intro piece, there was nothing technically wrong with Big Mike last night. He was at his generic best – very engaging and entertaining. No doubt he sticks around for another week.

Didi BenamiPlay With Fire
There’s just something about the larger stage that lets the performances just fell bigger. I thought this was a solid, controlled performance by Didi and while I typically don’t care for the slower songs, this was the perfect choice for her to let her voice go and explore the space.

Casey JamesIt’s All Over Now
Looks like Casey listened to my advice last week. Loved the country spin he put on the Stones’ classic. I know he has his faults vocally, but overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable performance – and if nothing else, he’s locking down two strong demographics: country fans and women. That’s a great combination to have behind you.

Lacey BrownRuby Tuesday
I’ll admit that I have a lot of trouble being objective when my favorite contestants cover my favorite songs. I know everyone disagrees with me, but I love the lingering quality to Lacey’s voice. I was totally ready for her to be gone way before now so I’m just enjoying the ride for as long as she can stick around.

Andrew GarciaGive Me Shelter
The reason I’ve always liked Andrew is because he already has a smooth, radio-quality voice. BUT, I keep waiting for him to let loose and become an entertainer. Give him credit for stepping out of his comfort zone but it still felt a little too controlled and contained.

Katie StevensWild Horses
Excellent song choice for Katie. For once she was in control of the performance and she really showcased her big vocals. It almost seemed like she just needed to be on the bigger stage as opposed to being boxed in the smaller venue. I was a big fan of hers, then I wasn’t, but if she keeps this up, I could easily be back on the Katie bandwagon in a few weeks.

Tim UrbanUnder My Thumb
Uh-oh. After the top 24, I wrote the following about Tim: “Being cut right from the Kris Allen cloth is great news for him and bad news for us.” As much as I didn’t like it and as much as the judges didn’t like it, I have a bad feeling that America might start getting behind him slowly but surely.

Siobhan MagnusPaint it Black
The thing that I really do love about Siobhan is that her voice never seems to match her personality so it provides this unexpected, jarring kind of thrill ride every time she opens her mouth. It was a very mature and focused performance and if nothing else, she at least brings a legit life to the stage. Bordered on the creepy and bizarre side (as always) but a stellar showing overall.

Lee DewyzeBeast of Burden
While he was technically proficient, this is my absolute favorite Stones’ song and there was absolutely NO angst or (required) provocative sensuality to it. I know everyone else is going to love it but I just wasn’t feeling it at all. Can’t imagine him going home under any circumstances at this point.

Paige MilesHonky Tonk Woman
Like Didi and Katie before her, I felt like Paige actually benefited from the bigger stage to show off her big vocals. Not too sure about that safari/Girl Scout outfit but this was by far the best performance from someone that shouldn’t even be there.

Aaron KellyAngie
I know all the little girls and grandmas love Aaron and I’m sure there’s no chance that he gets voted off, but that was brutally boring. That formula has been working for the Boy Wonder so far, so I can’t imagine him going anywhere anytime soon.

Crystal BowersoxYou Can’t Always Get What You Want
The only legitimate superstar in the field. She single handedly rendered the rest of the night pointless.

My personal favorites on the night were Crystal, Lacey, and Casey BUT...

Here's my OFFICIAL TOP 3: (1) Crystal, (2) Siobhan, (3) Katie (because she was surprisingly good for once)

My bottom 3: (1) Andrew (kills me to say that), (2) Tim, (3) Aaron

What did YOU think of the first week of the Top 12 and their covers of the Rolling Stones?

Let me know below!

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