Mar 31

American Idol Season Nine: Top Ten Perform Soul and R&B Hits

The top ten compete tonight. Last week we said goodbye to Paige Miles after her atrocious slaying of “Against All Odds.”

This week, the theme is Soul and R&B hits with celebrity mentor Usher.

I’m not a real big Usher fan, but I do at least understand how he might have something interesting to say to the idols, unlike Miley Fucking Cyrus last week.

Siobhan Magnus is opening the show tonight. She’s star struck meeting Usher. She’s chosen “Through the Fire” by Chaka Khan. I absolutely love this song and I think Siobhan can actually pull it off. Usher seems impressed. There’s a couple of strange notes in the prechorus that made me cock my head a bit, but when she got to the power notes she absolutely nailed them. I really do think Siobhan has the ability to win. Randy thought it was a touch pitchy. Ellen thought she was lost from the trail for a moment, but it wasn’t her best performance. Kara thought she was a bit nervous and the lower parts were a little rough but she’s a great singer. Simon thought she was out of breath and it wasn’t a good performance.

Hopefully America remembers just how good she is and doesn’t base their votes on tonight solely.

Casey James picked “Hold On I’m Coming” by Sam and Dave. He blew the lyrics in his session with Usher who said, “He’s already a rock star.” This song couldn’t be more Casey’s style. If you like blues and roots rock, you will buy Casey’s album and enjoy it. Whether or not he’s got mass appeal remains to be seen. He’s definitely pretty. He’s got a great voice for this genre, and he’s probably the best guitarist that has been on Idol. Randy thought it was a hot night for Casey. Ellen called him consistently good, but thought it was a little generic and safe. Kara thinks he has more range than he has shown us, but he’s great. Simon called it Casey’s strongest week so far and thought it was authentic.

Michael Lynche is here to bore us with another lite jazz version of something or other. Oh, it’s “Ready for Love” by India.Arie. This song is seriously gorgeous and made me fall in love with India.Arie about 10 years ago when it came out. This might be the first performance of Michael’s that didn’t annoy the ever loving shit out of me. He didn’t flip into that tired falsetto. It was mostly a note-for-note cover with a few interesting changes in the last verse. His breath breaks in some phrases were distracting to me, as the verses were meant to be legato and fluid, but overall he managed to keep the “churchies” out of his voice and came across as honest and endearing. A great night for him. Randy thought he was in the zone tonight. Ellen thought it was beautiful. Kara had never heard the song before (!?) and thought he did a lovely performance. Simon thinks he can finally take Michael seriously as an artist.

Didi Benami is singing “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.” She had a bit of an emotional breakdown during her time with Usher who wants her to show that emotion during the song. So he’s basically asking her to cry through the performance? Interesting tactic. The arrangement is too slow which makes it seem really strange and stilted. I’m really not getting this song choice at all. If I were Didi, I’d have picked something like Corinne Bailey Rae or I’d really like to see what she could do with Macy Gray’s “I Try.” This was just all wrong and I’m disappointed about it. Randy thought the performance was sort of flat and there was no big moment. Ellen thought it was overly dramatic. Kara thinks Didi has lost her way as an artist. Simon thought it was like “swimming in jelly.” It was over the top and old-fashioned and never reached the climax.

Tim Urban is going to perform an Anita Baker song. Is now a good time to mention that I despise Anita Baker. I hate her hybrid man/cow voice and she’s one of the few artists that I will actually make an effort to turn off if she comes on my radio. “Sweet Love” is the song he’s going to inflict upon us. Usher insisted that he pretend that he was the person Tim is in love with.

Usher is totally gay, by the way.

Anyway – this sounds a bit like a college a cappella group leader taking a solo with a band. It’s pretty emotionless, though technically good. I do like Tim’s tone and think he’s pretty cute, but I haven’t seen him completely click with a song yet. This was a bit too sleepy for me. Randy compared him to a singing waiter who was mostly in tune. Ellen wants to know why he chose that song because it was a weird choice. Kara called it Broadway Vegas with no soul. Simon doesn’t think it makes any difference what the judges say. He thought it was an inappropriate song, but nobody cares, the audience will vote, so “well done.”

Andrew Garcia picked “Forever” by Chris Brown. Usher wants him to look directly into his eyes. Googly eyes with Usher? Nice. I have to admit I’m not familiar with this song. I’m fairly certain the original doesn’t sound so Jason Mraz-y. I’m actually digging the song, but I’m no more impressed with Andrew than I have been. His voice is rather weak. I suspect the judges will eat this up, though. Randy thought it was his best performance in a long time. Ellen thought it was amazing and strong. Kara called it a “giant leap in the right direction.” Simon called it miles better than his past few performances, but he comes across as kind of boring.

Katie Stevens will now bore us to tears and make us say she’s too old with “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin. Usher thought she had good energy and a good voice but she lacks a connection to the song. This might be the best she’s ever sounded. There’s actually some life in this 17 year old. That being said, she still sounds much older than she is and it was a rather dated cover of a song that is a quarter of a century older than Katie. How much cooler would it have been if she had picked a Joss Stone tune? Something younger and hipper? It’s like broken record week here at Chez Jester because the same performers are having the same problems every week. Randy thought it was one of the best performances of the night. Ellen thought her voice was great but wished the song was current and younger. Kara thought it was one of her best performances, though not really young or commercial. Simon thought it was pretty good but a bit robotic.

Lee Dewyze is performing next, even though he’s just getting over walking pneumonia. Out of all the great soul and R&B songs in the world, he’s decided to go with “Treat Her Like a Lady” by the Isley Brothers. Usher thinks he has an amazing voice and thinks he needs some confidence. One of my main problems with Lee is that he has a tendency to take a great melody and turn it into a monotonous gravelly mess. It’s as if he finds a note he likes in the melody and decides to hammer it to death. The performance was actually good, and when he’s actually singing instead of growling he sounds great. Unfortunately he hasn’t learned how to use that growl sparingly. The judges will love it. Randy called it “unbelievable.” Ellen called it the best performance of the night. Kara thought it was “amazing.” Simon called tonight the night his life has changed forever.

Crystal Bowersox is performing “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and the Pips and is playing the piano instead of the guitar tonight. Usher thinks Crystal “has a real shot, kid.” The real truth is that Crystal has already won this competition. It happened many weeks ago, and ever since, she’s just been performing to simply show everyone else how it should be done. She picks songs that she can connect with and everything she sings comes across as authentic and real and honest. Her voice is interesting and tonight she hit some notes that we’ve not heard from her before and they were just as on point as the others. She knows exactly who she is, who she wants to be, and she’s going to take us there week after week. She is absolutely in a different league than anyone else. Randy thought she did Gladys Knight proud. Ellen thinks she is in it to win it. Kara can’t wait to see what she does next. Simon thought she picked the best song and only had issue with the backing vocals making it seem old-fashioned.

TwinklyBits (has this caught on yet?), I mean, Aaron Kelly, is gonna tackle “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers. One of my hands-down all time favorites… Kris Allen totally KILLED this song last year. Usher actually gave him some musical advice about the chorus that seemed constructive. Can I just start with an obvious statement that Aaron singing this song about a chick is highly improbable? So there were parts of the song that were actually pretty good. There were other parts that were wavering and unsupported. I didn’t like his interpretation of the “I know I know” chorus. He tried to incorporate what Usher suggested, but didn’t really carry it through to be something remarkable. It was very middle of the road for me. Randy thought it started rough but ended up all right. Ellen thought it was a good song choice. Kara thought it could have been more energetic. Simon called it a “cupcake” performance but he should be safe for next week.

Here’s my ranking for the week:

  1. Crystal Bowersox
  2. Casey James
  3. Lee Dewyze
  4. Michael Lynche
  5. Siobhan Magnus
  6. Andrew Garcia
  7. Tim Urban
  8. Aaron Kelly
  9. Katie Stevens
  10. Didi Benami

I’m afraid it’s Didi’s week to go home, which really bums me out. I’d rather see TwinklyBits or Katie go first. I’m also scared that Siobhan’s off night is going to put her in serious jeopardy. Though, I think the judges would use their “save” to keep her from going home. What do you guys think? Who did you vote for? Are you ready to just crown Crystal the winner now?

Mar 24

American Idol Season Nine: Top 11 Perform

Last week we said goodbye to the screechy Lacey Brown, who shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Lilly should have been in the Top 12. And TwinklyBits should have left a space for Alex. But you all know that already, yes?

We’ve finally reached the point where the Pop Star Mentors come to impart their advice to the Idol hopefuls.

The very first mentor… is…. Miley Fucking Cyrus?

Are you kidding me?

She can’t sing. She’s ugly. She’s probably a product of incest. She’s definitely a Disney whore who’s every move was carefully calculated and planned by some Public Relations guru.

Why does anyone think she’s a good mentor?

This night is just going to suck isn’t it? Wait… don’t tell me… I’m about to find out.

The theme tonight is #1 Hits on the Billboard Top 100.

Lee Dewyze has chosen “The Letter” by The Box Tops. This choice is actually a pretty timely pick since Alex Chilton (the lead singer who went on to head up Big Star) just died suddenly last week before a South By South West performance. Miley Fucking Cyrus had nothing to offer him. Seriously. Nothing. Lee does not seem to be comfortable on stage at all. Watch how he shrugs his shoulders and squats down trying to make himself smaller. As for the song, he’s trying to throw some of the Joe Cocker vibe into it, but he kept running out of steam at the end of ever phrase in the verses. He also missed the opportunity to hit some nice high notes and instead chose to keep singing the sam emontone pitch over and over again. The band was pretty hot, he was not. Randy thought he knocked it out of the box. Ellen called him her “favorite pen.” Kara said he had never sounded better or looked more comfortable. Simon thought it was cory and had no relevance to being a current artist.

Paige Miles picked “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins. Miley Fucking Cyrus offered up a lame “Watch your pitch.” Brilliant! What insight into the life of a performer! Three notes into the song Paige’s pith is off. This is painfully bad. This must have been what it was like to watch the Hindenburg disaster… you can’t do a damn thing about it but keep repeating “Oh, the humanity!” I can’t imagine anyone being worse than this tonight. It can’t get any worse, can it? It was a jumbled mess of sour notes, breathy whispers, ambitious runs that fell flat on their face and a sleepy arrangement. Awful. Randy couldn’t form a sentence and finally called it “honestly terrible.” Ellen congratulated her on not falling down in those heels. Kara thinks Paige stopped competing and called it the worst vocal of the season. Simon called it “all over the place” and thought she knew it on stage too.

Tim Urban chose “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen. Miley Fucking Cyrus offered him a hug and called him “great” before suggesting that he do something “cool and different.” *sigh* So I have to say I don’t think Tim has ever sounded better. His pitch was dead on. He had a Michael Buble-inspired arrangement and carried it off pretty confidently. Sure it was a little bit hokey to go out into the audience of reaching and clawing girls, but you have to admit he pulled off that slide across the floor without a hitch. I think it would be very wise of the other guys not to underestimate Tim. Randy thought the vocals were boring. Ellen compared it to a High School Musical audition that was corny (there’s another kind!?). Kara thought it was Zac Efron in Hairspray and reminded him that he hasn’t sold millions of records. Simon thought his stage antics smartly distracted from the song. He thought it was a pointless and silly choice.

Ryan just said that we’ll be hearing Aerosmith and Janis Joplin from Aaron and Crystal after the break. Is it wrong that I hope Crystal is doing the Aerosmith number?

Aaron Kelly aka TwinklyBits has laryngitis and tonsillitis. He’s singing “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith. Miley Fucking Cyrus thought he was “really really good.” Honestly, I would never have known he had throat problems, since he sounded just as pitchy and boring as he normally does. UMB however thinks this is the first time he’s actually liked anything TwinklyBits has sung. I’m certain the judges are going to give this a glowing review, but I was really underwhelmed. Randy was excited that he came out and sang since the last two sucked. Ellen thought it was a perfect song choice and said he’s normally pitch perfect and tonight he was so good. Kara called it the best song choice of the night. Simon called it a “brave choice.” He said that Aaron is making himself seem old-fashioned and there’s zero chance that he’s going home tomorrow.

Crystal Bowersox is performing “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin. Miley Fucking Cyrus suggested she make it more “gospelly.” This was a brilliant performance. Of course we knew she’d do a Joplin song at some point. Kudos for not picking the most obvious choice. I might have actually gasped if she had picked something like “Mercedes Benz” but outside of the obviousness of a Janice song, she made it interesting. She came out soft in the verses and then kicked major ass on the nonsensical scatting that happens at the end. The arrangement was great and her voice was in fine form. I’m ready to declare Crystal the winner of this thing and get this god-forsaken season over with already. She’s the most talented of the bunch. Randy called her a star. Ellen loved the song choice but wants a little more connection with the audience. Kara felt more from her this performance and wants to see her not hide behind the guitar. Simon said, “Don’t change anything.” He thought Crystal’s version was as good as Pink’s.

Michael Lynche picked “When A Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge. Miley Fucking Cyrus fell in love with him and had nothing to say or critique him on. That’s so helpful! My problem with Michael is that he tries to sing too many damn notes. It is perfectly fine to hold a half or god forbid a whole note with out throwing a gospel run in it. I also wish he had a little bit of grit in his voice. He’s such a big guy he needs to have a little dirty ball soup going on. I want a growl! His performance was a perfectly pleasant smooth-jazz cover version of a great Motown hit. He’s got a nice voice but no stage presence. And no balls. Randy didn’t think it was the best song choice, but thought he sang it quite well. Ellen thought it was a safe choice but likes his tone. Kara thought it was really good technically, but it was boring and a bit lounge at time with too many riffs. Simon wishes it had just been Michael and a piano with out the rest of the band but the song choice was again not very relevant.

Andrew Garcia will be singing “Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye. He blew the lyrics and Miley Fucking Cyrus suggested he put the guitar down to connect with the audience better. Andrew has apparently gone to the School for the Incredibly Enunciated and graduated with high honors. This performance is stiff and staccato and uncomfortable. I. Heard. It. Through. The Grape. Vine. There was no soul, no oomph. He was frantically stumbling all over the stage and not looking at the audience. The arrangement was hokey. This was a terrible song choice and a terrible performance. It was still way better than the earlier Hindenburg, though. Randy said “It wasn’t good, dog.” Ellen did not think it was enough to get any fans on board and a terrible song choice. Kara thinks chasing the Straight Up moment is messing with his head and she pointed out how uncomfortable he was on stage. Simon thinks that the arrangement was horrific and he sucked the soul out of that song and ruined one of the great pop songs of all time.

Hey look… it’s a show about teenagers who can really sing… Glee, I mean.

Katie Stevens is going to murder “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie. Miley Fucking Cyrus told her to “remember why you love music.” This song is really not a younger choice. This song makes Fergie sound 50 what on earth will it do to Katie? Ohmygodthisissoboringandoffpitch. The best part of the performance was watching Katie’s hair get stuck in her lipstick and her moment of panic to try to get it out without touching it. So yeah, yuck. Boring high school talent show performance by the third chair alto. That pretty much sums it up. Randy thought it was sharp and pitchy all over the place but likes that she tried to go younger. Ellen thought it was her best performance so far. Kara thought this was a perfect song choice and found her vibe but she’s still got “mad pitch issues.” Simon thought meeting Miley Fucking Cyrus was the best thing that could happen for Katie. It was a good performance, but she still doesn’t know who she should be as an artist.

Casey James picked “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News. Miley Fucking Cyrus told him to make eye contact with the audience. Seriously, that’s awesome advice from a worldly performer. ::eye roll:: This is my favorite performance from Casey of the season so far. It was fun, exciting, and perfectly suited for his voice. He made some cool melody changes. My criticism is that the arrangement was a bit clunky. It really should have gone to the bridge (the “they say that all in love is fair” part) instead of that second chorus getting stuck in there. I totally dig the John Mayer / Kenny Wayne Shepard / Jonny Lang vibe that he has nailed down perfectly. I think Casey will be the last guy standing with Crystal Bowersox. Randy didn’t like the song choice but thought he did it well. Ellen didn’t like the song choice either but called it the best vocal of the night. Kara thinks he’s ready to make an album and he’s in the zone. Simon thought it was old fashioned when it came out 20 years ago. He thought it was like listening to an 80’s cover band with no originality.

Those are some fighting words, Simon.

Didi Benami takes the stage next with “You’re No Good” by Linda Rondstadt. Miley Fucking Cyrus still gets nervous and thinks Didi shouldn’t “let it take over.” Really? You think it’s a bad idea to let the nerves take over, Miley!? I keep forgetting Didi is on the show, which really sucks because I really like her. She’s in that weird middle ground where she’s not god-awful so you remember her, and she’s not fantastic so you remember her. She really needs a “moment” on stage. Last week was *almost* a moment. This was not that moment. This totally had a Nouvelle Vague vibe to it, jazzy, lounge-y, and quirky. She’s riding a very fine line between über-cool and hokey. I honestly am not sure which side of the line this was tonight. Randy loved the idea of the performance but thought she was pitchy all over the place. Ellen didn’t get the song choice. Kara thought she was playing a character that left her confused. Simon thought it was ironic that she kept saying “You’re No Good.”

Siobhan Magnus is closing the show with “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. Miley Fucking Cyrus wants her to “bring the swagger of your voice to the stage.” Is that even English? So look… Siobhan is this season’s Adam Lambert. You know, the contestant that seemingly beamed down from outer space and is here to entertain us with their alien whoops and hollers? Yeah… That’s Siobhan. This was fun, youthful, exciting, and her voice is great. I don’t even mind it when her head flip-tops open and her liver screams. She had a great arrangement, made smart melodic choices, hit the notes with power and looked like a star. This was not nearly as cool as last week, but it is as consistently good. Randy called her “fearless” and thought it was great. Ellen wants to see more performances. Kara thinks she expresses herself really well on stage. Simon thought some will like it and a lot will not. He said everyone including Siobhan needs to push themselves more.

Ok… so here’s the ranking:

  1. Crystal Bowersox
  2. Siobhan Magnus
  3. Casey James
  4. Michael Lynche
  5. Tim Urban
  6. Aaron Kelly
  7. Didi Benami
  8. Lee Dewyze
  9. Katie Stevens
  10. Andrew Garcia
  11. Paige Miles

And we will hopefully say goodbye to Paige tomorrow night. Though you could cut any of the bottom 4 and it would mean nothing to me whatsoever. Don’t care. What do you think? Am I far off the mark? Is TwinklyBits better than I give him credit for?

Mar 19

Public Outing

It’s my turn once again over at Our Big Gayborhood.

This month, I ask the question, “Is it ok to publicly out a closeted celebrity or other public figure?”

I’d be appreciative if you’d all go check it out!

You’re Outta Here!

Mar 17

Congratulations Internet!

You have once again come together in strength and solidarity and are providing a great service to the world.

In this era of unimaginable disasters in Haiti and Chile, when children are fighting over clean water, homes to live in and food to eat, you have answered the call!

In the middle of the worst financial crisis our country has seen in nearly 100 years, you have opened your hearts and your wallets.

When $10 can buy a mosquito net to prevent malaria, or condoms and other AIDS prevention can be made available to those in need, you have chosen to give, give, give!

In the face of 1 in 9 houses entering foreclosure, a 10% unemployment rate, and thousands of people dying every year in the US for lack of health care, you have done the impossible!

You have raised over $1400 in just a matter of days.

Since you’re in a giving mood, there’s this little piece of property I’d like buy in the Caribbean. I only need another 19 Million dollars to do it.

Or, you could try clicking on one of the links above and donating to an actually worthy cause. Donate on behalf of “Jared’s Motorcycle Fund.”

Mar 17

American Idol Season 9: Top 12 Perform

Normally, THIS is the part of the season that I start blogging. Luckily, I started earlier this year, because I’m fairly certain the best of this season has already happened.

Last week’s elimination was totally utterly and catastrophically wrong.

Lilly, Alex, and Katelyn should not have gone ANYWHERE. Not with the likes of TwinklyBits and Katie still on the show.

Tonight’s theme is music of the Rolling Stones. I predict Casey, Crystal, Lee, and Siobhan will do something interesting. Let’s see, shall we?

Michael Lynche is starting the show with his version of “Miss You.” I’ve been a fan of Michael in the past, but I have to say I absolutely HATE this arrangement of one the Stones creepiest sounding songs. Turning it into some weird Michael Buble/Stevie Wonder hybrid was just a bad choice. We get it, Michael, you’ve got a nice falsetto. There’s no need to subject us to it every 6.2 seconds. The ending could not have been cheesier if it had come out on a crust with sauce. Randy didn’t like the arrangement, but thought he performed it well. Ellen called it “amazing.” Kara thought he had plenty of swagger and attitude. Simon thought it was confident, but the performance was a bit corny and desperate.

Catfight between Ryan and Simon already? It ended up with Simon offering to work it out in his trailer after the show. I’d like some video of that, please?

Didi Benami is up next with “Play with Fire.” Wow! Didi is out to prove that she’s got more depth than just the perky bubbly personality she usually projects. There was some great intensity on her face and her voice sounded fantastic. I thought the arrangement was cool and understated. It might have been better had they raised the volume and maybe brought in some drums near the end, but it still worked really well. I’m quite impressed. Randy thought she was “on fire tonight.” Ellen thought she did “great.” Kara commented on her intensity and thought it was very well done. Simon thought it was a very cool choice of song, thought it was “solid, not quite brilliant.”

Casey James takes the stage next to sing “All Over Now.” He’s turned up the country twang in this arrangement. He’s almost always got some pitch issues, maybe as a stylistic choice, but it kind of annoys me when I notice it. While I think Casey could hit the studio and make a decent record and have some moderate success as one of those artists that rides the line between country and rock like John Mayer or Jonny Lang, I also know that I have friends who perform as well or better than he performed this song tonight. You could see this performance in one of probably 30 bars in Nashville tomorrow night. Not saying he isn’t good… just nothing extraordinary. Randy compared him to Jonny Lang. Ellen made a gay joke before declaring it “fantastic.” Kara said he was a rock star tonight, full of soul. Simon thought it was like an audition performance. He didn’t use the stage or show any great presence.

Lacey Brown is here to murder a Stones song. Which one? “Ruby Tuesday,” that’s which one. They brought out the strings for this? Come on, Lacey… there are notes there that you didn’t even come close to reaching. There were a couple of notes that were so flat they were almost in key again. That’s flat. Ok. I’m ready for this bleeting quirky warbler to get the hell off my television. It was boring and painful. That was the musical equivalent of a six hour root canal. Randy was “pleasantly surprised” and it was “interesting.” Ellen thought her stage presence was weird and it was “sleepy.” Kara pointed out some bad notes and thought it didn’t have enough drama. Simon says she performs like an actress who is over thinking everything, but there was “nothing wrong with the vocals.” Obviously he wasn’t really listening. It was awful.

Andrew Garcia is gonna show us his version of “Gimme Shelter.” This is such a kick ass song. Well, it was. Before Andrew turned into the “Let in Bleed” musical. This guy was a gang member? Where the hell are his cojones? This song is raucous and angry and all about violence and protests and disquiet during the Vietnam war. Andrew has managed to make it sound like Vietnam was nothing more a traffic stop in a school zone. And his stage presence? Non-existant. There’s a word for this: craptastic! Randy thought it was pitchy everywhere and was not great. Ellen thought it was his best performance yet, but did say, “What do I know?” Kara mentioned the Vietnam war and said he didn’t connect to the song. Simon thought he gave it 100% but thought it didn’t quite connect.

Katie Stevens will be limping her way through “Wild Horses.” She’s from Middlebury, Connecticut… that explains why she’s the whitest girl on the planet. This is a total snoozefest. There have been some great covers of this song that she could have listened to and tried to emulate. She didn’t do that. Instead, she did a karaoke style note for note rendition that was pitchy and nothing special. Randy thought she sang it pretty well despite some pitch problems. Ellen thought it started pitchy but was a great choice. Kara said it was better than last week. Simon thought this was the only week she picked the right song, but she lost the connection with the song in the second half.

Tim Urban has the opportunity to do something good with “Under My Thumb.” Tim has really played up the reggae feel of this song. The original version merely suggests a hint of it. Tim is just missing the dreads and a fatty. I can’t say it was the most exciting performance, but it was pleasant. His vocals were quite good. I think he actually has a nice tone. It was good to see him kind of relaxed and not quite as twitchy as he’s been in past weeks. Randy didn’t get it. He hated the reggae version. Ellen felt like she was drinking a pina colada at a resort. She thought it wasn’t exciting enough. Kara applauded the changes to the arrangement. Simon didn’t think it worked at all.

Siobhan Magnus
picked “Paint It Black.” This might be my favorite Stones song. And this is definitely my favorite performance of the night. The arrangement was very cool, and man she’s got some pipes. Siobhan reminds me a lot of Tori Amos with her intensity and style… she even looks like a cross between Tori and Anna Paquin. Randy called it “hot!” Ellen loves everything about it. Kara called it the best interpretation of the night and it reminds her of Adam Lambert. Simon called it the “standout performance of the night.”

Lee Dewyze is up with “Beast of Burden.” I don’t like this slowed down arrangement much. You know what I don’t like about Lee? He sounds like Adam Duritz, but not as good…like if Adam Duritz was having a really bad night, was constipated, and didn’t really care about the cover he was doing… that’s what Lee sounds like. I want it to be better, but it’s not. It’s not the worst thing on the show by far, but man, it could be so much better. Randy compared him to Rob Thomas and Dave Matthews. He called it “dope.” Ellen thought it sounded great, but she was expecting more. Kara commended his tremendous growth. Simon likes his story but thinks his personality doesn’t shine enough.

Paige Miles chose “Honkey Tonk Woman.” This is a really bizarre choice. Totally bizarre. I hate this. I hate her changing the lyrics. I hate the arrangement. I hate her melody choices. I hate her voice. I hate her outfit. Oh my god my head hurts from how much I hate this. Randy thought she did “all right.” Ellen thinks she has star quality. Kara said she hit some big notes for someone who is struggling with vocal problems this week. Simon thought she did great for having laryngitis. She still hasn’t connected to the audience.

Aaron Kelly is set to destroy “Angie.” Let’s give the youngest performer the most mature song in the Stones playbook. It’s this sweeping love song… not really meant to be sung by TwinklyBits, but let’s let him do it anyway. So yeah… he couldn’t connect to the emotion or meaning of the song, but he actually didn’t make me want to rip the ears off my head this week. There are some nice tones to his voice, but he’s just completely outclassed by other performers… which this season seems really strange to say. Randy liked the “tender moments.” Ellen thought it was a great song choice and it stands out with Siobhan for performance of the night. Kara thought it was powerful and great. Simon said he chose the right song and it was believable.

Crystal Bowersox is hopefully going to show them all how it’s done. She chose “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” I love her. Big pink puffy hearts for Crystal. This was a cool and clever choice for her. She’s exactly the kind of artist that I like to listen to when I’m not critiquing American Idol. She’s up there with the Amanda Marshall, Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morrissette types that are heartfelt with great voices and awesome talents. It’s hard for me to decide whether this performance beats Siobhan or not. I’m gonna say no, just because it wasn’t as surprising as Siobhan’s. That’s the only reason. Randy didn’t think it was her best performance, but he loved it. Ellen called it effortless. Kara called it comfortable and easy to watch. Simon thought it wasn’t exactly the right song. And he said she was beaten by Siobhan.

That’s the same conclusion I came to…

Here’s my ranking:

  1. Siobhan Magnus
  2. Crystal Bowersox
  3. Didi Benami
  4. Casey James
  5. Tim Urban
  6. Lee Dewyze
  7. Michael Lynche
  8. Aaron Kelly
  9. Katie Stevens
  10. Andrew Garcia
  11. Lacey Brown
  12. Paige Miles

Anyone else ready to just keep the top 4 and get this over with? It’s painful!

Mar 12

Latest Lessons from the Internet

I’m really tired of keeping my mouth shut. I’ve been watching, horrified, for months while people continue to redefine the term “inappropriate.”

I hate hypocrites.

I loathe arrogance.

I despise people who abuse the trust and insult the intelligence of their readers and friends.

So with that, I present to you the things I’ve learned in a very small dysfunctional corner of the internet:

  • It’s perfectly justifiable to ask your sycophants to contribute to your anniversary fund to buy your husband a motorcycle when unemployment is at record highs, your friends are having their homes foreclosed on, are being laid off from their jobs or struggling with health problems almost sure to bankrupt them.
  • No one will notice this request for money is on a blog full of stories about how much money you make as a super busy writer, how much you spend on your hair, shoes, and trips because you’re just so darn cute and likable!
  • It’s perfectly ok to repeatedly and publicly write stories that paint your spouse in a negative light… stories that make all your fans cluck their tongues and commiserate with you for having to run your household with no help whatsoever, with having to deal with mountains of insensitive slights against you while you play the role of the helpless and innocent damsel in distress.
  • It’s acceptable to peer down your nose and cast judgment on friends who have had an extra-marital affair, even when you are yourself guilty of having an extra-marital affair.
  • It’s “good friendship” to constantly remind your friends of their past mistakes.
  • Refusing to stop seeing the man you cheated with because he is your “best friend” and boss, despite how hurt and angry it makes your husband, is normal and acceptable behavior.
  • Posting photos of your husband with his arm around the man you are cheating with and labeling it “My Boys” is the new funniest thing ever!
  • It’s ok to make everything about yourself, even your family’s bad choices.
  • There are no repercussions for questioning the sincerity of all the friends and strangers who offer you prayers and well wishes.
  • There are, however, repercussions for directly commenting on how shitty questioning that sincerity really is – you get twitter dumped and facebook unfriended.
  • High school rules never go away – you can’t be friends with me because you’re friends with him, and I don’t like him, so you must not like him, or I won’t like you. Or something like that.
  • The best way to control your friends is by hiring them and being responsible for their livelihoods. They won’t disagree with you, they’ll keep your secrets, and they will put up with incredibly inappropriate behavior because they are dependent on your money.
  • Putting other people down and reminding them of their flaws at every opportunity hides how really insecure and immature you are.
  • Your self worth should be tied to your fancy college degree, or lack thereof.
  • Artists and musicians contribute nothing to society, or at least much less than a law degree, whether or not the holder of the law degree actually practices law or uses it in anyway.
  • There’s no reason to think that commenting on every post your girlfriend makes might make her husband feel bad.
  • You should always express your deepest and most private feelings for your married girlfriend via whimsical stories of dragons and princesses, because your readers are far too stupid to ever figure out what you are really talking about.
  • Allowing the people around you to rise above their emotional hurdles and improve their lives is ill-advised because it exposes your own weaknesses and faults.
  • Being kind of a big deal on the internet excuses even the most reprehensible behavior. So does italics.
  • Sometimes, all you need is a dildo with a suction cup attachment and some hand sanitizer to make it all better.

The fact that I ever hung out in that corner of the world wide web makes me feel unclean.

The fact that people will still continue to ooh and aah and heap praise on them makes me sad.

The fact that people will come here and insult me for posting this amuses me, if only because defending the indefensible is normally humorous.

Why is it my business? Because my friends have been forced to defend their friendship with me, as if *I* am the immoral asshole in this equation.

That and I’m already being accused of gossiping. I’d rather be hated for what I’ve done, rather than what people assume I have done.

Mar 11

American Idol Season 9: All Acoustic Boys

Aah, it’s Wednesday and there are 8 boys left to sit and judge.

I’ve got a killer sore throat tonight and a bit of a headache, so I’m not in the mood for any bullshit out of the guys. The girls were so boring last night that I wanted to find something else to do. I hope the boys don’t send me off to the medicine cabinet looking for a chemical escape.

Last week America voted just like I thought they would and booted that Godly Queen of Denial, Jermaine Stewart and John Park, who just kept making stupid song choices.

Let’s get to it…

Lee Dewyze has picked “Fireflies” by Owl City. Dude, you can’t copy the effect of an autotuner with just your voice. Luckily you gave that up after the first verse. Unfortunately, you still sound like you’re trying to be Adam Duritz from Counting Crows, and you just aren’t that good. I will say that this is the best performance I’ve seen of Lee’s I’ve seen so far. But that’s a lot like saying one turd is somewhat more aesthetically pleasing than another. Randy thought it was a strange song choice and there were some pitch issues but he “worked it out.” Ellen liked the arrangement, but said his pitch problems “didn’t matter.” Kara called it confident and made the song better. Simon said there was nothing to rave about, but he’s progressed well.

Alex Lambert is performing “Trouble” by Ray Lamontagne. Alex is an odd one to figure out. Tonight his voice sounds a little like Cat Stevens and a Muppet had a love child. It’s not bad, but it’s not altogether good, either. His version of the song wasn’t that special, it stuck pretty closely to the original, but he didn’t seem to have any pitch issues. He also appears to have gotten his nerves in check. There’s enough interesting about him that I’d like to see him stick around awhile. Not to mention the fact that I totally dig his modified mullet and curious scar on his cheek. Randy wasn’t wowed by it. Ellen called him a “mushy banana” in that he’s ripening quickly and getting better and better. Kara said the only thing standing in the way of his winning is his confidence level. Simon wants to see him relax and have a good time but likes his distinct voice.

Tim Urban is tackling “Hallelujah” the Leonard Cohen song that Jeff Buckley popularized. He’s playing acoustic guitar and has switched up the melody a bit. So, I have to admit that I’m pretty shocked by how strong his voice is tonight. The only reason I ever remembered this guy is that he’s easy to look at with his crooked smile and shaggy mop…. I can’t say that I loved the fact that he didn’t complete all of his phrases, perhaps as a stylistic choice, but he sounded quite good. I will remember this performance at least until the end credits roll. Which is more than I can say for What’s His Name that sang first. Randy thought he did a pretty good job. Ellen ran on to the stage and hugged him and called him fantastic. Kara thought he was going home a few weeks ago but thinks he’s in it to win it now. Simon said it was a very smart song choice and called it terrific.

Andrew Garcia has decided to sing “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera. I can already tell this will be one of those performances everyone loves. He’s playing acoustic guitar too. Apparently it’s acoustic guitar night on American Idol. There’s not too much to say about his performance. He’s consistently a good singer who for the most part picks decent songs. I think the arrangement would have been better slowed down a touch. Randy thought it was pitchy and didn’t really show his range. Ellen thought it was a great song choice but wishes he had done it a bit different. Kara thinks he peaked so early and has been chasing it since. She’s disappointed that it “just wasn’t great.” Simon thought it was a little bit desperate and over thought.

Casey James is up next with “You’ll Think of Me” by Keith Urban. Hey guess what, he’s also playing acoustic guitar! Shocking! Amazing! Stupendous! There were a few moments tonight that Casey sounded like Bob Segar. It was an interesting song that he performed fairly well. I think he may be the guy to beat… he’s a great guitar player with a decent voice who is smoking hot. And we all know that all the little girlies like a blond with blue eyes, white teeth and a guitar. Randy thought it was a bit too safe of a song choice. Ellen thought it was great. Kara thinks she may be back on the Casey train. We know that is where she would like to be… Simon called it his “second best” and was sincere, but not necessarily memorable.

Aaron Kelly aka TwinklyBits is singing “I’m Already There” by Lonestar. First notes out of the gate were rough. And it so far hasn’t gotten any better. I just can’t buy TwinklyBits singing about his kids. This song is way too old and way too big for him. This is like one of those Star Search Semi-Final performances. That is to say, he’s gotten as far as he has because he’s just oh so put-him-in-your-pocket cute…. but it’s time for the dream to die tonight. His pitch was all over the place, the verses were too low for him, the material too mature, and he just can not compete with the older contestants. I will give him an extra point for NOT playing guitar. That brings his total to 1 point. Randy thought it was really good, but the lower notes were awful. Ellen thought he has sounded better and it was pretty rough. Kara thought he gave it his all, but said the song was completely irrelevant to his life. Simon interrupted Kara and thought it was the right type of song for him to do, though it wasn’t a great vocal.

Todrick Hall is throwing some “Somebody to Love” by Queen at us. What I really hate is that this arrangement has completely pussified a rock anthem into a Baptist church spiritual. Where are the balls? Even the version they did on GLEE had more bite and cock throwing to it. I like Todrick, I think he’s got a better voice than several of the other guys left, but this just totally let the air out of the room. The build didn’t even quite get to the attitude that the song should have started at… I think he was more interested in showcasing those few falsetto notes at the very beginning than in delivering a kick-ass rock song. I would go so far to say that Todrick has never even heard the original Queen version, if he had, he would be embarrassed by this performance. Randy called it one of the best vocals of the season. Ellen called it brave and thought it worked as a gospel song. Kara said it was really good singing but wasn’t sure if it was really good or really bad. Simon said it was good in parts, and thought he would be a good Broadway performer.

Michael Lynche is closing the show tonight with his version of “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell. There is absolutely no question that Michael can sing. This was a fantastic vocal! It was intense in the right spots, it had just the right amount of softness and falsetto and rough growl. He looked the part, has great stage presence, and delivered the performance of the night. Bravo to the big guy! Randy called it dope and babbled on at length without saying anything. Ellen called it “so beautiful” and said he’s the one to beat. Kara is in tears and said it was amazing. Simon said he nailed it and called it the best performance of any of the live shows of this season.

Here’s my ranking:

  1. Michael Lynche
  2. Tim Urban
  3. Casey James
  4. Andrew Garcia
  5. Alex Lambert
  6. Lee Dewyze
  7. Todrick Hall
  8. Aaron Kelly

I think Aaron and Todrick are in the most danger. Though, there’s a chance that Alex and Tim are fighting for the same votes, and in that case Tim will beat out Alex. What are your predictions?

Mar 10

American Idol Season 9: 8 Girls Left

And then there were 8 girls…

Last week we got rid of Haeley the Annoying and Michelle Delamor. I didn’t expect Michelle to go so quickly, as the red haired screecher, Lacey Brown should have gone out before her.

Katie Stevens is up first with “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson. No pre-packaged interviews tonight to make fun of? Guess it’s a shorter show. Katie’s having pitch issues through the whole first verse. I’m incredibly bored by her. Major Yawn reporting for duty. Where’s my iPhone? I’ve got Words with Friends games to play. Randy said it paled in comparison to Kelly’s version. Ellen thought it was a good song choice but didn’t think she showed any personality. Kara thinks she has a good radio voice but lacks a vision of who she is as an artist. Simon thinks she’s been listening to the judge’s advice but thinks she sucked the energy out of the performance.

Siobhan Magnus chose “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. This is kind of a strange song choice, that will either go really well or really badly. Most of the audience is going to say, “What the hell is this song?” She started out completely a cappella and dead on the pitch. A very nice start! She’s totally got that sultry look at the camera and shift her eyes thing going for her. This was a really nice display of her voice. Randy loves what she does. Ellen says “You are why I love music.” She called it captivating and current. Kara loved the a cappella start and her vibe. Simon wasn’t such a fan, he thought it was a bit weird. He remains “underimpressed.”

Lacey Brown is singing Brandy Carlisle’s “The Story.” Can we talk for a second about the outfit? Did she raid Doris Roberts’ closet before the show? Holy hell! You just look at her and know that she smells like she took a bath in some heavy floral perfume and is still irritated that her gardener hasn’t weeded the front yard of the townhouse she owns in Boca. And while I’ve been sitting here flabbergasted at the ridiculous leopard print and bright red lipstick, I’ve totally missed the song. Which is probably a good thing… it was super slow, had no real hook, and if I had just heard this as background noise, I’d be wandering around the house looking for an injured cat. I usually love the quirky girl with strange hair that there seems to be on every season…. and in this case I still do – only it’s not Lacey, it’s Lilly. Randy thought the song was sleepy, but called it her best performance in a long time. Ellen agreed it was her best performance to date. Kara said it was effortless and was a “brilliant choice.” Simon didn’t love the song but thought she sang it really well.

No one mentioned the fact that she’s wearing a salmon colored frock that clashes terribly with her bright red hair. I didn’t see her feet, but I would bet she’s got combat boots on.

Katelyn Epperly is performing “I Feel The Earth Move” by Carole King. She’s playing keys and doing absolutely nothing to make this song her own. It was nearly a note for note version without the cool gritty timbre that Carole has. That being said, she has a nice tone, she’s pretty, and isn’t plagued with the same nerves and pitch problems some other contestants are, so there’s that. Randy liked her look but didn’t feel the vibe and thought there wasn’t anything special about it. Ellen doesn’t know that the song was the best choice for her. Kara didn’t feel like she was competing or connected to the song. Simon likes her hair. He called it “request night at a restaurant” and she performed it quite well but didn’t do anything special with it.

Didi Benami is up next with “Rhiannon” from Fleetwood Mac. She’s playing it acoustically on the guitar and playing with the melody a little bit. Again, I find myself absolutely intrigued by Didi. Last week the judges ate her alive for a performance that I loved. This version was very cool with an interesting arrangement. It was quite haunting and I really wanted to hear more of it when it was done. Her tone is unique and she’s able to make huge interval jumps look absolutely effortless. I’m officially a fan. Randy called it “a whole lot better than last week.” He didn’t see a lot of “wow” in it. Ellen said, “Yes indeedy Didi.” Kara called it one of her favorite moments of the show for this whole season. She called her rendition brilliant. Simon thought it was head and shoulders above anything so far tonight. He disagreed with Randy and said it was a complete “Wow” moment for her.

Paige Miles chose “Smile” a standard written by Charlie Chaplin. She seems to be rushing the band just a bit. She’s also just slightly flat. I don’t know what the problem is here… did they lose the monitor or what? This was an ugly mess. Maybe the problem was a terrible arrangement with multiple key changes, or maybe Paige isn’t feeling well, or maybe this was just an absolutely terrible song choice for her. Whatever it is needs to be fixed immediately, because my ears aren’t speaking to me any longer. Randy said it just didn’t work and he hated the arrangement. Ellen said it’s supposed to be uplifting, but it was just sad. Kara said, “it’s just all wrong.” Kara keeps putting the contestants on the spot with stupid questions. Simon called it a horrible choice of song and blamed the awful arrangement on the band.

Crystal Bowersox picked one of my signature songs, “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman. She’s the first contestant to perform the song any where near the way I do. This song has so much opportunity for personality and most of the people who sing it don’t interject any. Crystal of course does. I would have liked to see her go a bit more aggressive with it, but she still performed it quite well. As far as I’m concerned, Crystal is the girl to beat. Randy loved it. Ellen can’t stop calling her “amazing.” Kara commends her for knowing who she is. Simon guarantees she will be in the top 12. He actually said, “You are the one to beat.”

Lilly Scott is closing the show with a Patsy Cline hit, “I Fall to Pieces.” She’s playing an electric mandolin. I just can’t help but smile when she’s singing this song. I love her quirky voice. She changed up the melody a bit and did some cute things with it. That being said, I would never have picked this song for her, and I’m not sure it will be a very big hit with the viewing audience. Randy thought it was hot. Ellen loves her voice and style. Kara said she made Patsy Cline feel current. Simon called it a brave song choice. It didn’t have a wow factor, but it was cute and quirky.

Here’s my ranking:

  1. Siobhan Magnus
  2. Crystal Bowersox
  3. Didi Benami
  4. Lilly Scott
  5. Katelyn Epperly
  6. Lacey Brown
  7. Katie Stevens
  8. Paige Miles

I think Katie and Katelyn are in the most danger of being forgotten and voted off… I really think this competition is down to the first four girls in my ranking. The rest will fall one by one. What do you think?

Mar 08

1000 Posts

I haven’t anything special to say… but I just happened to notice while doing some maintenance today that this is my 1000th post.

Seriously, I would have thought that I had more than that, but I guess the database is better equipped to track that sort of stuff than I am.

So anyway. Today is definitely a Monday, and I’m gonna leave it at that, else I’ll start venting about stuff that will piss a lot of people off.

And we don’t want that, do we?

Mar 04

American Idol Season Nine: Top 10 Girls Disappoint

The boys showed a marked improvement over their performances last week, even if they still left a lot to be desired. It’s time to see if the girls have managed to pull themselves together and turn this into an actual competition for the best, instead the lesser of several mediocre singer evils…

Last week we said a cheerful goodbye to Ashley Rodriguez (who??) and Janell Wheeler who should have stuck around at least one more week in place of Lacey who murdered the Fleetwood Mac song.

Crystal Bowersox
has a twin brother. No mention of what had her in the hospital, but she does say she’s feeling fine and able to perform tonight. She’s picked “As Long As I Can See The Light” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. She’s put a bit of a gospel feel into this arrangement. Her sparse intro was pretty cool. She’s got this very hippie/earth momma vibe about her that reminds me of Melissa Etheridge crossed with Janis Joplin with just a touch of Jewel. This performance wasn’t the best vocal I’ve ever heard, but I will say that I’m glad they switched the performance dates around so that she could still compete. I’m a fan. Randy called her “the truth” and said she was “hot” tonight. Ellen described her performance was “pure natural talent.” Kara said she completely recovered from last week. She called it “effortless.” Simon commended her on ability to bounce back from being ill and said he totally “misunderestimated” her last week. He compared her performance to that moment that they knew Kelly Clarkson would be a star.

Haeley Vaughn makes headbands and hair accessories. Isn’t she just the cutest? She’s picked an ear-bleed-inducing Miley Cyrus song, “The Climb.” The fact that this song is a Billboard top hit makes me insane. Wow she’s pitchy tonight. Again. She’s no less annoying than she’s been in the past. She’s got no real power in her voice. While she’s loud, she’s not strong. This was just a mess. Randy called it “excruciating.” Ellen complimented her smile, but didn’t think she connected to the song at all. Kara thinks she’s got lots of people rooting for her, but thinks she needs about a year of vocal strengthening. Simon called it a “complete and utter mess.”

It seems that so far the judges and I are hearing the same things tonight. It’s about time. I was beginning to think I might need to check my ears.

Lacey Brown is up next. The fact that she’s still here after last week’s massacre of “Landslide” makes me kind of ill. Lacey is an “antiquer.” Isn’t that special? She picked “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer… you know the song Kara suggested last week. This is a good choice for her, but she’s totally fucked it up by trying to do a super dramatic opening which was a bit pitchy. There were some nice moments in the performance, but her accent is distracting, and the pitch problems haven’t gone anywhere. This is definitely better than Haeley, but not even close to Crystal’s talent level. Randy didn’t think it worked because it was super karaoke. Ellen thought it was adorable, even if she didn’t do anything special to it. Kara thinks she has a unique tone that she likes, but she needs to bring her game up. Simon called it marginally better than last week, but doesn’t think she shows herself as an artist.

Katie Stevens is apparently a kiss whore. “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae is her choice. This is a difficult song to perform. She’s trying too hard to sound just like the recording. This is a prime example of a “karaoke performance.” There was really nothing original, special, or remarkable about it. It’s some 17 year old chick with a decent singing voice singing along to a record in the kitchen. Very so what? She didn’t have any major pitch problems or screechy notes, but she also didn’t power out some of the high notes in the chorus that really give this song some balls. She neutered it. Randy said there were some bright moments. Ellen thinks she has a great voice, but she still is performing songs that are too old. Kara is frustrated by Katie picking the wrong song and not making them special enough. Simon is still not sure what type of artist she’s going to be. He thinks she’s safe, but just barely.

Didi Benami was a mascot for her middle school. Furries delight! I liked her a lot last week. She’s picked “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. Love it! Loved her arrangement. Loved her changes to the melody; they were not significant but very suited to her voice. She knows who she is and what she can do. She’s got an interesting tone, she’s super cute, and hopefully the judges will agree with me. Randy didn’t think it worked. Thought it was a terrible choice. Ellen loves her voice and energy but didn’t think it was a good song choice. Kara said “it wasn’t good.” Simon thought it was all over the place and screechy. He thought it was generic and a wasted opportunity.

So, we’re back to not hearing the same thing. Seriously? Giving her shit for picking a soulful song? It’s almost enough to make me give up.

Michelle Delamor is a church children’s choir director. She’s lost her mind and is performing “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed. I hate this fucking song. What the hell is she wearing? A dress over jeans? WTF? Michelle is not changing my mind. While she’s got a perfectly pleasant voice for the most part, this song was just wrong wrong wrong. Boring cabaret bullshit. Randy thinks her outfit is hot but she didn’t do enough to the song. Ellen liked that she tried to do something different and it “almost worked.” Kara called it her favorite performance of Michelle’s ever. She thought it was believable. Simon thought she struggled a bit with some of the notes, but he agreed with Kara, that it was believable.

I swear the politics of this show get more and more obvious every season. There are three girls of color competing. The judges clearly can’t pin all their hopes and dreams on Haeley, so they have to talk Michelle up far beyond what she deserves, maybe because she is the prettiest of the three? I call bullshit. They slammed Didi because they have plenty of cute blonde chicks to pick from. They did exactly the same thing with the guys, offering crappy critiques to the guys they obviously want the audience to vote off.

Lilly Scott plays multiple instruments, including the melodica and the Moog. She’s playing “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke, an awesome soul classic. I really like Lilly. I dig her vibe. She’s unique and interesting in a different way from Crystal. Her version of this song was super cool. Her pitch is great, mostly because her general style has a touch of the blues-slide in it. This is up there in my top two so far. Randy thought she worked it out. He called it his favorite of the night. Ellen thinks she’s got “it.” She agreed it was the best of the night. Kara said she just had her first moment. She was riveted. Simon wasn’t crazy about it, but thought it was quite good.

Katelyn Epperly is studying to be a recording engineer. She’s picked “The Scientist” by Coldplay. She’s accompanying herself on the piano. I really want to hate this, but I’m having a bit of trouble mustering it. My main problem is that she doesn’t really look the part of a piano playing singer songwriter. Again, a perfectly pleasant performance, but not really special. Just a slow tempo downer kinda song. Randy liked it, but thought it was way slow. Ellen fell asleep. It was too slow. Kara “kinda loves her.” She said Katelyn is really good but needs to figure out who she is as an artist. Simon thought it was a smart choice of song, but thinks she has a tendency to come across as a bit corny. He said it was a million percent better than last week.

Paige Miles likes to color. Isn’t that just so quirky?!? Paige is singing “Walk Away” by Kelly Clarkson. Simon might be right. She might have the best voice of all the girls. I haven’t really loved her performances yet, so I think she’s picking the wrong song. I was not thrilled by the money note in this performance, it was a bit shrill and not quite on. Randy didn’t think it was the best song choice because it didn’t showcase her voice. Ellen loved her energy and the changes she made. Kara who wrote the song wasn’t sure that Paige grasped the meaning, but thought she could have a hit with it. Simon thinks she has again failed to pick the right song and that she might be getting lost in the shuffle.

Siobhan Magnus is closing the show tonight. Siobhan used to rock a mohawk. She’s going to tackle “Think” by Aretha Franklin. So this is a strange one… I absolutely love the way she’s doing the verses, but I’m not sure the chorus is quite right. But holy hell’s bells grandma, she threw in a sky high money shot that was dead on pitch. I suspect Simon will say she was shouting this song, but if ever a song called for that kind of force, it’s this one. Sure there were a couple of pitch issues, but compared with some of the other performances this was great. Siobhan remains one of my favorites. Randy called her fearless and “dope.” Ellen thought “oh man that was good!” Kara can’t get over that note. Simon thinks she’s such a strange person, there were parts of the song that were terrible, but that note was outstanding.

Ok… let’s get to the rankings.

  1. Crystal Bowersox
  2. Lilly Scott
  3. Siobhan Magnus
  4. Didi Benami
  5. Paige Mills
  6. Michelle Delamor
  7. Katie Stevens
  8. Katelyn Epperly
  9. Lacey Brown
  10. Haeley Vaughn

I think Lacey and Haeley will be going home.

Your turn… who’s going home? Are the judges losing their grip on reality?