American Idol Season 9: Top 9 Week

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Ohhh, the Lennon/McCartney songbook. Remember the first time they did that? Will we have any similar moments tonight? ...Perhaps if I can get my DVR to cooperate. Ah yes, there we go. (There was no sound. And no, I did not have it muted.)

Oh good, so I'm especially stream-of-consciousness tonight. Aaaand stuck in a David Cook YouTube vortex. Remember when he got hot, like a hot, hot stalker? Yeah.

But let's talk about these kids. These far, far less interesting kids, who are minus one Didi, and plus one perm this week. There is a video message from Sir Paul, but not one from John. And our pre-song clip packages appear to feature "what the other contestants think about you" and are very long because there is no guest mentor and we have two hours to fill.

Little Aaron is singing first, and everybody calls him Yoda and does Yoda voices at him. I think it's because he's so small and wise. Aaron isn't sure if they're complimenting or taunting him. He'll be singing "The Long and Winding Road." It is deeply boring, but at least the notes are right.

Randy agrees: boring. Ellen calls it "a long and winding song." O ho ho! Kara says it feels the same every week and he should try some tempo. Simon gets some powerful boos.

Katie's up next. At least we're getting the super boring stuff out of the way first. Katie is "fun," according to the other Idols. This is in direct contradiction to my last sentence, but she does a mean "Single Ladies" dance so let's go with it. Oh, except she picked "Let It Be," so wake me up in ten minutes when "17-year-old Katie Stevens" is done singing the boring song real pretty and real boring. I sort of wish Ryan would introduce, like, Andrew and Casey with their ages. "Old Man Casey James and His Man-Perm."

I am cracking myself up tonight.

Randy thinks it was Katie's best performance ever. Well, perhaps, if we're speaking in terms of being in tune. Ellen thinks it was amazing, which I am here to tell you it was not. Ellen and Kara both thought she "made it her own." Kara says Katie is blossoming. It's because she's wearing pink that she looks that way, Kara. Simon is gratified that Katie's performance was more country tonight, which sets Kara and Randy off, and I'm spent.

Here we go with Andrew. He is "goofy." He's singing "Can't Buy Me Love" and I am skeptical... and still bored. He is wearing the ugliest yellow polo shirt buttoned all the way up under his grey suit, and performing from the mini-stage behind the judges. This is like... Buddy Holly, only not as awesome. And also? Boring.

Randy calls it solid but a bit corny. Ellen calls it fun. Kara wants to love it but doesn't. Simon compares it to when the guitarist in a wedding band takes a turn at singing lead. Ouch.

Big Mike is known as "Big Mike." He's also "hilarious" and a "teddy bear." I am broken from the boring. Oh! Oh! Here's a good one: Michael's family band growing up was known as The Lynche Mob. I... I can't... Really???

He's singing "Eleanor Rigby." OH NOES. I hate this show tonight. I hate it so much. And he SLOW-JAMS it, you guys. Well, the beginning. Then he sings the rest kind of poorly, actually, considering that he usually has excellent pitch.

Randy gives Big Mike "license to do whatever he wants." Umm, no. Ellen thought it was incredible, and Kara calls the vocals amazing and dramatic. Why was I so bored then? Simon didn't love it as much and felt it sort of belonged in a musical. Randy argues that this in fact makes it contemporary, because: Glee.

Crystal is here to rescue us! I forgot about her! I was so bored I forgot about Crystal! Crystal is everybody's backstage mom, and they admire that she knows who she is and isn't afraid of that. Crystal is singing "Come Together," so this should rock enough to wake me up. There is a didgeridoo. This makes it awesome by default, and in addition it is truly, actually awesome. Thank you, Crystal. I needed that.

Randy calls it solid but not his favourite of hers, and Ellen's only worry is how she will keep coming with new superlatives for Crystal. Kara calls it one of her favourites of Crystal's--both accessible and sultry. Simon agrees with Ellen that it could be on the radio, right now or in any era, really.

There is a whole bit with the didgeridoo player that is frankly rather adorable.

Oh no, I thought we were done with the boring people. But no: Tim Urban. He smiles a lot, say the other contestants. And he will be singing "All My Loving," while playing the guitar. This music suits his voice very well, so it's not as terrible as some weeks, but I do wish he would stop trying to stare me down through the camera. And also be less boring.

Randy has decided to start judging Tim on a Tim-scale instead of a regular one, and for Tim it was good. Ellen says it was his next best performance after "Hallelujah." Kara says he's always better and more honest with a guitar, and I think she's sorry she was so mean to him last week. Simon says they can't judge him on a special Tim-scale, but regardless he did very well tonight, and then he compliments Tim on how well he's handled their criticism.

Casey has got such girl hair tonight. The other contestants like to make up soap opera names for him, and they love his big laugh. Or maybe they hate it. But they certainly all comment on it. He's singing "Jealous Guy," which is not in fact a Beatles song, but a John Lennon song. And this... this is Casey's ~*moment*~. Incredible, sparse arrangement with just him on acoustic guitar and a cellist beside him on stage. Like, I don't know if I'm allowed to say this, but: better than the original. Although I hope we all can agree that John Lennon is an extraordinary songwriter but a subpar vocalist.

Randy dug the sensitive vibe. Randy and Ellen both note how heartfelt it was (authentic, soulful, etc.). Kara appreciates that he finally showed vulnerability and depth, and thinks he's got more in him yet. Simon calls it the best performance of the night. Well, obviously. No question. How are Lee and Siobhan going to top that?

Ryan goes for the awkward questioning again, but Casey's so tall that he evades him easily.

It's Siobhan's turn now. Everybody talks about her uniqueness and ability to hit very high notes. You know, this season would be such a bust personality-wise without Siobhan; she is a delight. And she is singing "Across the Universe," which I expect to go very well. Solo pianist on the stage, and she's got this crazy white lace skirt draped across the stool she's sitting on. But unfortunately I am not a huge fan of this performance. It's pretty, and I think I get where she's going with it, but her voice doesn't translate well to this subtlety and softness -- the nasalness stands out too much. Also it's, dare I say it, kind of boring.

Randy likes this tender, controlled side of her, but calls it a little sleepy. This is apt, I think. Ellen talks a bunch about how special Siobhan is. Kara notes that Siobhan was in pitch and showed control, but she found it "restrained and polite," which doesn't process easily in relation to Siobhan. Siobhan is shocking in her politeness! Simon asks what she was connecting to in the song, and Siobhan gives a very moving speech about her baby sisters. Simon appreciates that she is sort of confusing. Some guy in the audience boos Simon really loudly and gets to hug Siobhan as a result.

All right, Lee, bring it home, I've got other things to do tonight. Lee is the worrywart of the crew, we're told--and we're shocked; just shocked! Lee and Andrew are soulmates, apparently. Direct quote from Crystal: "I'm so glad that, you know, those two can be together and get married and have lots of little Danny Gokey babies."


Also: wait. Hasn't she never watched this show before, supposedly?

So Lee sings "Hey Jude," and he looks exceptionally cute. Do I say that every week? It's like this slow country version or something, and I enjoy it because it's Lee, but it is nothing special in any way and I'm going to watch Casey again. (Oh, P.S., there are bagpipes. Like one-tenth as cool as a didgeridoo.)

Randy tells Lee to stop being nervous. Ellen loved it. Kara could hear Lee on the radio. Simon didn't care for the bagpipes, but other than that... Oh hey! Lacey's in the audience!

In summation: Aaron, Katie, Andrew, Big Mike, Tim Urban and Siobhan were boring. Crystal, Casey and Lee were less boring. The usual.

And now, your results. Still unspoiled, I predict Katie, Tim and Andrew for bottom 3, with Andrew going. Man, there are still so many bad people left.

Three "professional" performances tonight: Jason Derülo, Rihanna, and dear David Archuleta. Kara is wearing the ugliest top (dress?) of possibly ever. Ryan assures us tonight's results will be SHOCKING.

Oh... oh, no. Group "sing." Beatles medley. Can you believe there are only three girls left?

And the kaleidoscope-themed Ford commercial, set to "Will It Go Round in Circles" by Billy Preston. They make Casey dance. Looks like they tried to make Lee and he didn't oblige.

A little bit of results, shall we? It's Top 9 week, so we would expect to get the three groups of three before we find out who's in the bottom. But Ryan calls the three girls out to centre stage before telling them they're all safe. And thus, finally will a man be headed home.

Next week, Adam Lambert is mentoring. Katie's star-struck already.

Jason Derülo sings. Hey, know what he is? Boring. And annoying. At least he's singing live, and doing so reasonably well, while also dancing. And then there are some swwwweeeeet slow-mo camera effects. What the hell am I watching?

Kara (who signed Jason, I believe) claims that he's written two huge songs, but I would argue that he co-opted one of those.

Now, David Archuleta doing a repeat of "Imagine." Which he didn't even do during Lennon/McCartney week in his season! Oh, he is just so adorable, and I am happy to report his voice has gotten even better. Remember this? That piano lick is so good.

Back to some results, and Ryan announces they'll form two groups of three, so we are getting the usual Top 9 treatment, just with that little twist at the beginning.

The two groups are: Lee, Casey and Tim Urban to our left, and Big Mike, Little Aaron and Andrew to our right. This second group is clearly the Bottom 3. (This is both predictive and accurate.)

VFTW! You're killing me! Andrew is going home. Which means I will still be right. Let us see, shall we? Ryan sends Aaron back to the couches. I am supposed to find any of this shocking?

Rihanna. Doesn't rhyme with marijuana. (My name does.) She does what she does: look hot and sing and be generally badass and weird. Her new song, which she is debuting here tonight, is "Rock Star 101." It's not my favourite, but her dancers have metal corsets and belt sanders, so.

The backup singers are attired in sparkly hooded bodysuits, naturally, and Rihanna is in a vinyl bodysuit herself. I often wonder why she needs to make peeing so difficult. But she does get to play all kinds of crazy pretend guitar, which is fun. It all balances out.

Back with Big Mike and Andrew... and Andrew is safe. Ok, ok. You got me; I'm shocked. Mike sings "This Woman's Work" for the judges' save. Even through my fastforward-ing, I can see there are a lot of tears all over the place.

And the verdict is... Big Mike is saved. Which was obvious as soon as Simon said, "This was unanimous, if that's any comfort." So, whatever. No guys going home yet. I guess we get a double elimination next week, and probably at least one of them will be somebody un-boring because that is my luck. And this is all about me, after all.

Tags: american idol, recap

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