American Idol Season 9: Top 20, Boys Night

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Crystal Bowersox has some sort of medical situation, so the boys are going first this week. Umm... ok? That must have been fun for them.

Ryan introduces the contestants (I must be crabby tonight, because Casey is suddenly doing nothing for me) and the judges (rearranged to Randy, Ellen, Kara, Simon now; Kara's a little Spicoli in her diction this eve), and then we're off to the races with yet more Billboard Hits.

Big Mike Lynche is up first, and in his pre-song package, he tells us he can bench over 500 pounds ("About 3-4 Ryan Seacrests, depending on if he's wearing a suit or not"). Mike's singing "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" by James Brown, and he's wicked good vocally, especially compared to last week's somewhat weaksauce offering... not that this song is particularly challenging tune-wise.

  • Randy gives him a brief standing O due to the fire in his eyes.
  • Ellen thought it was a great bar to set for the night.
  • Kara says she didn't get him until tonight, and he owned it.
  • Simon loved the difference in him tonight compared to last week, and thinks this was right in his wheelhouse.

Cute John Park is next, and we learn that Korean is his first language. He's singing "Gravity" by John Mayer, in an attempt to be more relevant and honest. Honesty involves sitting on a stool in a white t-shirt and jeans. He too is so much better than last week, and finds some serious sweet spots in his voice.

  • Randy gets to go first again. He likes the John Mayer vibe for John Park, but doesn't think he brought anything original to the performance.
  • Ellen agrees that his song choice was so much better than last week, but yes, he could have used some more soul.
  • Kara agrees, way better. She's concerned that he's not really connecting to the song.
  • Simon thinks he's toast this week 'cause there's nothing to get excited about here.

Casey James, folks. Casey didn't have a TV for most of his life. He's doing "I Don't Wanna Be," the worst of all the Gavin DeGraw songs, which is probably perfect for his voice even though it is crappy. I am right, of course, and he's ripping it up on the electric guitar too, which is like... whatever. I'm just waiting for Chad Michael Murray to show up with a basketball.

  • Randy thought it was hot.
  • Ellen likes the song. Minus 10 points for Ellen. However, she finds Casey kind of stiff. Thaaaaat's what she said.
  • Kara felt like he took two steps backwards tonight, but I'm pretty sure she's just trying to downplay the cougar stuff. Although she does make the valid point that his distinctness and honesty got lost with all the rocking out on the guitar.
  • Simon wonders whether Casey didn't return Kara's calls. Kara is sitting uncomfortably close to Simon. And hey, he agrees with Kara, because he thought Casey sounded like any dude in a bar band anywhere across America.

Casey is wicked tall. And his parents are adorbs.

Alex Lambert, still looking terrified, tells us that he made up his own language in elementary school; it sounds vaguely Hawaiian. He'll be singing "Everybody Knows" by John Legend. He says he's feeling better this week, partly because he gets to play his guitar. And OMG, it's adorbs, mullet and all. I don't know, I feel like I get it. The voice, the look, the nerves, the personality, the awkward... it all comes together for Alex tonight, if you ask me.

  • Randy says it's a marked improvement over last week and Alex has found his niche.
  • Ellen goes with the banana metaphor some more, and she's impressed with how quickly he improved from last week. She thinks he's the most unique of all the guys there.
  • Kara says everybody in the world is rooting for him at this point, pretty much, and people would die to have his tone. She says one day they're going to look at him and be like, "Oh my God, look where he came from," which worries me a bit because if they congratulate him too much, people are liable not to vote.
  • Simon says it was a million times better than last week, and his advice for Alex is that he should only be nervous if he's useless, which he is not. Now he wants Alex to work at this to win it, which means developing a killer instinct for song choice.

I think Alex has a touch of the Matt Saracen or Luke Cafferty about him. I know it's the Texas factor, but maybe that's just ANOTHER TESTAMENT TO HOW AMAZING FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS IS. Watch it.

Todrick Hall shares his dance background with us and will be singing another girl song, this time "What's Love Got To Do With It?" by none other than Tina Turner. He's slow-jamming it. Like on Jimmy Fallon with the news, for real. It's not terrible, but it's sort of boring and many of the notes just aren't right enough.

  • Randy wishes Todrick would just sing a song. You know, I don't think singing is going to help things unless he also sings better.
  • Ellen didn't think it was a good song choice, but she hopes people give him a chance.
  • Kara wishes he would just sing a melody, and imitates his melismas to hilarious effect.
  • Simon thinks Todrick should sing less. Heh.

Jermaine Sellers has a onesie, because the person makes the clothes, the clothes don't make the person, see? Also he steams his voice before he sings. Tonight, he's doing "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye. And guess what? He's slow-jamming it. Wake me up when he's done.

  • Randy says that he too was better than last week, but it just wasn't great. Which I agree with, but then Randy is his typical contradictory self and claims that "Marvin" (because they're pals) just wasn't that Gospel-y type of singer with all the vibrato, which is not false, but JERMAINE IS NOT MARVIN GAYE AND ISN'T THAT THE POINT YOU ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO MAKE ABOUT NOT BEING COPYCAT? Fool.
  • Ellen says it didn't work for her either.
  • Kara recognizes that yes, he has a powerful voice and he can do all kinds of crazy tricks with it, but one trick that means something with a whole lotta understanding of the lyrics would go much further.
  • Simon says Jermaine waters down the songs too much; this is one of the best pop songs of all time, but after Jermaine's done with it, it doesn't mean anything.

Shout-out to Ryan Seacrest: I love that you exist. I say it every week, but you are hilarity and perfection in a wee small package.

Andrew Garcia is up next, showing off his breakdancing moves. Tonight he's singing "You Give Me Something" by James Morrison, which I bet means he's not going to rearrange it much; it's already right in his wheelhouse. No guitar tonight, and at first it seems more interesting than the original, but then the bum notes get me down. Simply put, most of these other guys are better singers than Andrew.

  • Randy says it was pitchy and Andrew's better than that. Which is right, but then he says he sees Andrew with his guitar doing the singer-songwriter thing, and yes, but also, he has to be able to sing without his guitar or else what's the point? ...Kris Allen, anyone? Guitar, check. Piano, check. No instrument, check.
  • Ellen says Andrew set the bar too high with "Straight Up" and so now they're always disappointed; he needs to top that somehow.
  • Kara dittos Ellen.
  • Simon says Andrew's bad song choices are becoming a problem.

Now we have Aaron Kelly, who loves photography and certainly has a nicer camera than I do. He is kind of adorable in his softspokenness. Tonight, he's doing "My Girl" by The Temptations, and it is what it is: a pop-country version of Motown by an adorable 16-year-old with a big voice. I think of all these guys, he actually might have the clearest picture of himself.

  • Randy says Aaron can really sing and that was 200% as good as last week.
  • Ellen comments on Aaron's newfound confidence and great voice, but she found it a bit forgettable.
  • Kara really liked it and pretty much agrees with me.
  • Simon didn't like the song and thought he was a bit all over the place, maybe even went backwards this week. He mentions Justin Bieber, and just no.

Oh my GOSH, I just Wikipedia'd that shit, and I DID NOT KNOW UNTIL THIS VERY MOMENT THAT THE INSIPID CHILD IS CANADIAN. I AM SORRY, WORLD. For that, and for Nickelback. Deeply sorry. To make up for it, we have gifted you Ryan Reynolds and his abs.

(Great, now I am lost in a YouTube vortex of that 3-year-old kid who cried over Justin Bieber and then got to meet him on Jimmy Kimmel. Sigh.)

Tim Urban is next, telling us about his big family -- 10 kids. He prayed before he sang last week; didn't help, did it, Tim? Because know what's also important? Being in tune. He's singing Matt Nathanson's "Come On Get Higher," and he's singing it better than he sang last week, but still just not all that good. His voice is thin, his pitch is not accurate, and there is nothing interesting about his performance.

  • Randy didn't get it and calls it karaoke.
  • Ellen thinks he should be an actor (who also sings, if he wants to, like on Glee) because he's so cute, but his stage presence is nil.
  • Kara liked the song choice, but finds Tim frustrating in that he looks the part but it's not all adding up yet.
  • Simon disagrees and thinks it was a marked improvement on last week. He's glad Tim listened to them without whining.

Lee Dewyze is so cute, bad choices in his high school years and all. Lee Dewyze has also lost all favour he previously gained with me by choosing to sing Hinder's "Lips of an Angel" tonight. *headdesk* The thing about this song is that it has a really pretty melody, but the subject matter is horrible. Just awful. This is a song about a guy who is on the phone with a girl he likes way better than the girl he's with. BE WITH THE ONE YOU LOVE, GUY FROM HINDER. It breaks my brain that anyone would pick to sing about this. "Here, let me write a song about what an AWFUL PERSON I AM AND NOT APOLOGIZE FOR IT AT ALL." Like, what the f*** is stopping you from breaking up with your girl and being with this girl and her stupid angel lips? JUST DO IT. "Girl, you make it hard to be faithful"? Vom.

So whatever, he sings the song and it's decent vocally. But I am SO ANGRY.

  • Randy appreciates that Lee took the chance of singing without his guitar. He liked it, despite a few pitch problems.
  • Ellen agrees and she liked the intensity of Lee's performance.
  • Kara thought it was a big improvement from last week, still with pitch problems but much fewer. She says he sounds like he could be on the radio right now. Yeah, SINGING STUPID SONGS. This is gonna be a hard one to come back from with me, Lee.
  • Simon thinks that vocally, he's head and shoulders above the other guys in the competition. Both Simon and Kara want Lee to relax and gain more confidence.

And now, we recap the recap. Let me rank my favourites from tonight, in order from most to least: Alex Lambert, Casey, Big Mike, John Park, Andrew, Little Aaron, Todrick, Jermaine, Tim Urban, Lee. I am just as surprised as you that Alex was my favourite. I would like to see Tim and Jermaine go home, but who do I think it will be? No idea. I'm bad at this game when I don't have Canada's regional voting to rely on.

I'll be back tomorrow for the girls, maybe or maybe not minus Crystal Bowersox.

Tags: american idol, recap

Related Posts

Original Comments Posted (1)

ariana says...

P.S. I totes posted this last night, but I forgot to activate it. Whoops.

Mar 3, 2010 2:07pm

Comments Posted ()

SBM on Social Media on Facebook on Twitter on Instagram on YouTube