Are you ready for some inspiration?
This week’s theme for American Idol was “Songs of Inspiration.” To help the candidates along, Alicia Keyes came in to serve as this week’s mentor. Despite the theme, most of the candidates were less than inspiring in their performances, with a few notable exceptions.
Casey James: As much as I love Fleetwood Mac, I hated Casey’s song choice before I even heard his performance. The first few notes sounded out of tune until I realized he unnecesarily changed the melody…..zzzzz……Kara was spot on with the “jam band” reference, and so was Simon in saying the song choice was lazy. Grade: B-
Lee Dewyze: Better than I would have thought. A little pitchy in spots but it was heartfelt. I didn’t quite see it like the judges did, but at least Kara and I agree that he connected to the song. Grade: B+
Tim Urban: Yeah, not so much. Urban’s pitch was all over the place. I wasn’t really feelin’ the song either; ditto for the judges. Grade: C
Aaron Kelly: Odd wardrobe choice, surprisingly good beginning. The middle? Meh. The ending wasn’t bad. Probably the best I’ve seen him in weeks. Randy, Ellen and Kara dug it. Per the norm, Simon injected a much-needed dose of reality into the conversation by saying that it was good for Aaron, but “in the real world” mostly forgettable. Grade: B
Siobhan Magnus: I think she sings the song well, but it wasn’t the best choice. I’d hate to give the judges their due, but I am starting to agree with them on whether Siobhan has “lost her way.” I mean what’s with all the shmaltzy music lately? What happened to her edge? Her appearance seems in conflict with what she’s been singing. Thankfully the judges (save Ellen) agree as they mostly tore apart the song choice and the arrangement. Kara summed it up the best by saying that “technically” it was great, but in reality, it was overly dramatic and mostly booooooring. Grade: B
“Big Mike” Lynche: Hmmm, yeah, not so much. My man-crush on Big Mike is well documented. Yet, I didn’t really care for the song or the arrangement. I’m starting to wonder if I dislike “inspirational” songs in general. But, the guy can sing and it was generally a strong performance. Grade: B
Crystal Bowersox: Even though its hard to go wrong with a song like “People Get Ready,” Crystal really made it her own with the a cappella intro. She also appeared for the first time on stage sans instrument. And though she nailed all the big notes, she stole the show with a heartfelt ending, during which she broke into tears. Grade: A