American Idol Season Nine: Songs of Shania Twain

It’s Idol night!

I’m really not excited about it. I’m faking my enthusiasm. I’m half tempted to fast forward to Crystal, Siobhan, and Casey and forget anyone else is on the show, especially since man-candy Tim Urban was voted off last week.

Idol Gives Back raised over $45 million last week. Good for them. The show was pretty blah, though. The only performance I really enjoyed was the pairing of Jeff Beck and Joss Stone.

Tonight’s theme is the “Music of Shania Twain.”

Shania is a super nice lady. I got to hang out with her several times back in my Nashville days. She’s the mentor this week and I expect she’ll have some good advice. Much better than Alicia Keys, for sure!

Lee Dewyze is up first. He picked “Still The One.” Shania suggested that he start with just piano and not be lead by his guitar. Probably good advice, but I wish she had told him to stop screaming in his monotone. This was kind of a mess. Randy thought he found a way to make it his own. Ellen thought it was “better than pretty good.” Kara thinks he always sounds “so relavent.” Simon thought it was the perfect song for him to do.

Michael Lynche chose “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing.” Shania wants him to connect to the song. I have to admit, I totally tuned this out. It was apparently boring and had no real power behind it. I really only caught the last note. Randy thought he did a great job. Ellen compared him to Luther Vandross. Kara thought he was very connected to the song. Simon thought the comparison to Luther was spot on, but he thought the performance was “wet.”

Casey James picked “Don’t.” Shania thought he was lacking a bit of confidence and wanted him to really sing instead of relying on the performance. This is probably my favorite performance of Casey’s. It was honest and emotional. He didn’t fall back on his great guitar skills to cover a generic blues/rock song. It was a fantastic performance. Randy called it the best Casey James performance ever. Ellen agreed wholeheartedly. Kara thought he was vulnerable and raw. Simon thought it was his best performance so far and thought it was a much needed performance.

Crystal Bowersox
is on stage next. She picked “No One Needs to Know.” Shania wants her to be a bit “happier.” It’s a pretty bouncy song. It’s one of my favorites off her second album. This version is a little less perky than the original and the bluegrass instrumentation certainly changed it up a bit. Not my favorite performance of Crystal’s but still quite good. Randy didn’t think it was her best but still loves her. Ellen didn’t think it was her favorite, but it was still great. Kara thought it was good. Simon thought it was limp.

Aaron TwinklyBits Kelly will be picking something really sappy, I suspect… perhaps “From This Moment?” Nope.. “You Got A Way.” Same vein, different song. Shania tried to bolster his confidence. Once again, he’s picked a song that is too big, too old, too sophisticated for him. Randy thinks he is the country artist on the show this year? Ellen thought he showed a lot of maturity and emotion. Kara thought he really felt the words and changing the “when we make love” lyric was smart. Simon thought this was the kind of record Aaron should make. Let me get out my credit card and not buy that.

Siobhan Magnus chose “Any Man of Mind.” Shania told Siobhan to get into character for this performance. While I find the idea of Siobhan doing a country song a bit ridiculous, this was still pretty fun to see her pull this off. I’m still a fan. Randy loved it. Ellen thought it was fantastic. Kara proclaimed that Siobhan is back. Simon thought the song was perfect and fun.

Here’s my ranking:

  1. Casey James
  2. Crystal Bowersox
  3. Siobhan Magnus
  4. Aaron Kelly
  5. Michael Lynche
  6. Lee Dewyze

So… did Shania deliver?

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