American Idol Season 9: Top 16, Boys Night

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Ryan seems particularly punchy tonight, so let's get on with it, shall we?

Lee is first tonight, with like, I don't know, Nickelback's take on Owl City? So, "Fireflies," which I don't like on its own because it is boring and derivative, but which sounds especially hideous here without at least the fun bleeps and bloops. Far better song choice than last week, but way to underachieve, Lee. Still, his notes are more accurate than usual and it will most definitely appeal to the masses of speed-texting tween girls and their grandmothers, who I am convinced are the only ones who vote on this show.

  • Randy likes how Lee made it his own, I guess by taking kind of a schmoopy little pop ditty and letting it rock a little.
  • Ellen dittos Randy and tells Lee that some people have crushes on him.
  • Kara likes that Lee looked confident tonight. I LOVE her top.
  • Simon didn't like it a whole lot, but he thinks Lee has done well these past three weeks and he'll most likely make the Top 12.

Alex Lambert is singing a song that may as well have been written for him, "Trouble" by Ray LaMontagne. You know, I don't even know what to think of this. It's the right song, but Alex's voice, which I found charming last week, is driving me mental tonight. Judges, go:

  • Randy agrees: good song choice, but Alex didn't wow him. He wonders if Alex maybe did it too fast (hmm, interesting point, Jackson).
  • Ellen calls Alex a mushy banana, because... of the unripened... thing, from two weeks ago. Let it go, Ellen.
  • Kara says the only thing standing in the way of Alex is Alex; he's too stiff still.
  • Simon agrees that Alex needs to relax, maybe get his brain totally somewhere else other than worrying so much about the performance and the cameras.

Simon does this whole thing about Randy in a bikini, but I am far too dignified to recap that.

Ohhh boy. Tim Urban is doing "Hallelujah," allegedly Jeff Buckley's version. Sigh. Let us mentally prepare ourselves for the massacre. And... no. We're all still alive and so is the song. In fact, this is the first time Tim's been in tune, like... ever! It's amazing! And the performance itself isn't all that bad! Suddenly it starts to almost make sense why he ever got this far! Huh.

  • Randy thinks Tim did a pretty good job taking on such a big song.
  • Ellen had the same worries I did, but she's so happy for him that she gets down off the judges' dais and runs up on stage to hug Tim and tell him he was fantastic. Well, that's a first.
  • Kara thinks Tim is kinda in it now. She felt it was honest.
  • Simon feels responsible for Tim doing well tonight.

Andrew Garcia is giving the old rearranging-a-pop-princess-hit thing a go again, since he hasn't had success with anything else he's tried. "Genie in a Bottle," and here we go with me and my high expectations... and it's pretty fantastic. Maybe it would be more fantastic if it wasn't so predictable. This coming out of nowhere would be unreal; this in the wake of "Straight Up" is unsurprising. But still, excellent choice and I'm sure he'll sail through to the Top 12 with that.

  • It didn't quite work for Randy, mostly 'cause of its being pitchy and lacking range.
  • Ellen thought it was just what Andrew needed to do tonight. Yeah, that's exactly it; regardless of how, y'know, awesome it was or was not, it'll get votes and that's what ultimately matters in this game.
  • Kara didn't think it was great enough.
  • Simon agrees with Kara and feels like Andrew is still going backwards.

Casey's singing Keith Urban tonight, a song I vaguely recollect called "You'll Think of Me." It must be one of those "honest, heartfelt" songs because he's sitting on a stool. I'm trying so hard to figure out whose voice Casey's reminds me of... I may have to get back to you on that one. (Do you have any ideas or personal opinions on the matter?) Regardless, I love the performance even though yes, I'm sure someone on the internet will comment that Casey's held notes can be a little bleat-y.

  • I am SO OVER Randy speaking first, because he is always such a downer. "Song choice"! "Pitchy"! "Eennhh, dawg"! "Tsk, I dunno"! WE GET IT. Not that he doesn't have a valid point here. Randy felt it was a little safe, but it's like... do what's gonna get you votes, right?
  • Ellen thought it was grrreat. Shocker.
  • Kara says it was better than last week and she's kiiiiinda back on the Casey train, but she needs to see more spark. That's what she said. (I don't know.)
  • Simon thinks it was Casey's second best of the whole three voting performances thus far.

Ryan's in a hurry. Casey's still pretty. And tall.

Little Aaron has regrettably chosen to sing Lonestar's "I'm Already There." Well, regrettable in the sense that it is a stupid song; probably not so regrettable in that it will serve him well for getting votes, or at least as well as anything else might have. I feel as though I have been transported to Season 2. Flatly.

  • Randy babbles a bunch, but the gist is that Aaron's lower range is a little weak.
  • Ellen says that he has sounded better, but she likes his confidence.
  • Kara appreciates how Aaron always gives his all, but gently "honey"s to Aaron that the song is in third person (*facepalm*) about a man calling home to talk to his kids, and Aaron hasn't experienced that. Aaron counters that he was trying to tell the story and it's not necessarily about himself.
  • Simon calls Kara's judgment rubbish, which it is if only because her grasp of the English language fails to impress. Anyway, less-than-great vocal, but good performance and good emotion, Simon says.

Todrick is doing Queen's "Somebody To Love," and I have no pre-performance judgment statements to make on this one. Let's just see how it goes. He R&Bs it up as is his wont, but more importantly, the song is recognizable and he sings it really well. Good job, Todrick.

  • Randy yells, "Todrick is back."
  • Ellen calls him brave, and she loved it.
  • Kara says nobody could say that wasn't good singing, although she found it a little melodramatic at times.
  • Simon says that tonight they've learned who Todrick is: a Broadway singer. Well, DUH. That's what he DOES. Like, actually. Keep up, Simon.

Big Mike is doing "This Woman's Work," presumably the Maxwell version, and I guess I just didn't need to hear a soulless carbon copy of this because I AM BORED. I mean, Maxwell already did it to perfection; why mess with such a good thing? Especially while dressed half in a tux and half like you're on your way to the skatepark, and all flailing and pointing and affectations EVERY which way, not to mention weaksauce vocals. Excuse me a moment, I need to go find something on YouTube... Mm, here. Cleanse your palate with this. (And for the purists in the crowd.)

  • Randy, predictably, loved it and says Big Mike is knocking on Maxwell's door, which... N to the O. Shut up, Randy.
  • Ellen says he's the one to beat now.
  • Kara's crying. Honestly, Kara. Something about Big Mike's baby and his wife and boohoo.
  • Simon says Mike 100% nailed it, best performance of all the live shows so far.

Um, vom. It sucked. I'm going back and rewatching Casey so I can forget that all just happened.

In conclusion... shoot. Almost everybody was decent tonight. In my perfect land, Little Aaron and Tim Urban or Big Mike go home, but realistically... I have no prediction!

Tags: american idol, recap

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