Well, here we go with another evening of [[American Idol (2010 Series)|American Idol]], and this time it’s the turn of the guys to impress us with their vocal stylings. Tonight is an evening filled with acoustic guitar performances from the gents, and some very strong performances almost universally across the board! Let’s just get started with our first singer:
Walking on stage with a guitar, [[Lee DeWyze]] takes on a current single (gasp), FireFlies by Owl City. The way he’s singing it, especially with the acoustic accompaniment, it sounds more country than the original. Still, I love the tone of Lee’s voice, it’s a great version.
[[Randy Jackson|Randy]]: For me it was a strange song choice. There were a couple of pitch problems, but you really made it your own. To me, it’s a cool song, but it’s a softer thing for a big voice like yours. But you made it work. Ellen: I like the way you made it a little rock, there were a couple of pitch problems, but I don’t think that matters right now. A couple of people are talking to me at the moment, they have crushes on you, so you’re adorable. Kara: You look confident tonight. That’s what we’ve been waiting for, for you to step up. There’s a star bubbling there and I think you actually made the song a better song with your interpretation. The production value is what made that song really big. Simon: There’s nothing to rave about after that. I don’t think you had a moment with that song. Having said that, I’ve seen the progress with you over the last three weeks. I’m really glad that you’re here, you’ve got a great chance of making the top twelve. But I think you’re better than the version of the song you just did.
[[Alex Lambert]] is singing a song called Trouble by Ray LaMontagne. Again, never heard it. But I’m getting a bluesy tone on this track, and Alex’s voice sounds a little sonorous, but that’s good. I like it. He’s also playing acoustic. Lots of musical ability on display tonight. I enjoyed this, perhaps slightly better than Lee’s performance.
Randy: It was a good song choice for you, but I’m not sure you wowed me with it. But I liked it, I just wasn’t jumping up and down. You could’ve made it slower, it was a little bit too fast for me. [[Ellen DeGeneres|Ellen]]: You’re becoming a mushy banana. You’re ripening so fast. Here’s the thing – some people are good, then they’re not so good. But you consistently every week get better and better. Don’t lose that confidence, but don’t get cocky. Kara: The only thing standing in the way of you winning, is you right now. Because you have so much, and when I close my eyes, I know exactly who’s singing when I listen to you. But you are still stiff and you’re not in it up there. I want an acoustic guitar and you just singing and being in the moment. Simon: You’ve kind of got to get yourself somewhere else mentally. We’ve never ever seen you relaxed and having a good time. You’ve got to kind of imagine Randy in a bikini or something. You’ve got to stop staring down that lens and loosen up.
Rocking what is fast becoming a reality TV standard – Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah – [[Tim Urban]] is out with his acoustic. Just him and a guitar. Again, the tone of his voice is fantastic. I still want to sort that haircut out for him. A good, soulful solo performance. Tim’s really recovered since he was drafted in here as a replacement a few weeks ago.
Randy: One of the greatest songs ever, I love that song. We’ve had some great times on this show with that song, and you walked in some pretty big shoes, but you did a pretty good job Tim. Ellen: Every week I feel like I’ve been so hard on you and when I saw you were doing this song I thought “Ugh!!” I have to do this [runs on stage and hugs him] You were fantastic! [[Kara DioGuardi|Kara]]: I thought you were going home a few weeks ago. Now, I actually think you’re kinda in it and you may just be in the top of the boys right now. That was an honest interpretation. Simon: I kind of feel responsible for you doing well. I gave you a confidence boost and you needed it. This week, very very smart with that song. Because it’s a song that reacts. It’s not the best version I’ve ever heard but for you it was terrific. And by far the strongest performance you’ve given in the competition.
Yes, he of the thick-framed glasses, [[Andrew Garcia]] has chosen to to Christina Aguilera’s Genie In A Bottle. Love the voice. I’m actually loving the guys’ voices tonight. Garcia has quite a funky tone to his singing, and this is leaps ahead of the unmitigated disasters of the last couple of weeks. A step up for Andrew, but what will the judges think?
Randy: I like the cardigan dawg! Very interesting song choice. It didn’t quite work for me, dude. It was a little pitchy all over the place. Here’s the problem, you made us feel like the whole song was three notes. Ellen: I thought it was a great song choice, and that’s what you needed to do. I thought at the end is where you really surprised us, and the genie maybe came out of the bottle too late. Kara: You’re in a difficult position, because you peaked so early. You had that moment that just blew us away. You’ve been chasing it ever since. I can appreciate what you did tonight, but you were fighting with the rhythm of the guitar. I couldn’t hear the melody, I couldn’t hear you until the very end. I’m disappointed, because I like you, but it just wasn’t great. [[Simon Cowell|Simon]]: I have to say, I’m kind of with Kara a bit. It was a little bit desperate, it didn’t feel comfortable. You’ve overthought it, and this is a tricky one for you. You’ve got a good voice, you’re a cool guy, but you’re kind of going backwards for me, Andrew.
Toning it down after a rocktastic performance last week, [[Casey James]] takes to the stage with an acoustic and a stripped down performance. He’s singing You’ll Think Of Me by Keith Urban. I think he’s one of my favourite contestants – I like his look, and his voice is perhaps one of the best and most mature in the show.
Randy: I’m a fan of that song. It was a little bit of a safe choice for me, that song. Don’t pull away from the vocals or anything you do. I feel you’ve got more edge in your vocals, more a Stevie Ray (Vaughn) kinda thing. I see you more that way. I don’t know if it was amazing. Ellen: I thought it was great. You’re so much more comfortable sitting on a stool and playing guitar and that feels like your vibe. I thought you sounded great, I really liked it. Kara: I’m kinda back on the Casey train. You’re not trying to be a rock star, it was honest, you’re sitting down, you’re doing what you do best. You’re missing that spark, I want to see more from you, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction. Simon: I would say it was your second best performance. I think it made you sincere. I don’t think we’ll be raving about it in 24 hours time, but you sounded great, I have to say.
Youngest of the male contestants, [[Aaron Kelly]] singles Lonestar’s I’m Already There – great voice as always, but in the wake of Casey’s performance, Aaron feels a bit lightweight tonight. Still, he handles what’s clearly a big song with confidence and capability.
Randy: You got the makings of a great, man. The thing you should work on is the lower notes. When you first started singing, I was like “where’s this going”, but when you hit your power zone in the middle I was like “Yo, this dude can sing.” Ellen: I love you, and what’s weird is that you’re 16 and you stand like someone who’s 30 years old. I think you’ve sounded better. I thought that was a tough song for you – I love that song and I felt it was a little too much song for you. I just didn’t think that was terrific. Kara: You come out on the stage every week and you give it your all. You’re in it and I can feel that, but honey, that song is in the third person and it’s about a man calling home to talk to his kids on the phone. You’re 16 years old and it’s not relevant to your life – how can you feel the connection to it? Simon: If it’s any help, I think what Kara just said is complete and utter rubbish. You can’t keep getting all literal because he’s sixteen – it’s a beautiful song, it was the right type of song for you to do. It wasn’t a great vocal, but what it does have is emotion and I could tell you were trying hard.
I take great offense to [[Todrick Hall|Todrick]] trying to cover Queen with Somebody To Love. Glee has a lot to answer for. I enjoyed the falsetto at the start, but the problem with these musical theatre ‘reimaginings’ is that they totally lose the the pomp and runaway madness of the original. And this isn’t even Queen’s best song! I felt that the verses exposed the weaknesses in Todrick’s voice and the toothy grins to the camera show that he thinks more of himself that I think of him.
Randy: Todrick is back! What you did just there is you proved that you can really sing that’s why you’re here. That was one of the best vocals I heard all night, in the last couple of weeks. And by a man! Ellen: You are a brave brave young man. You made it sound like a gospel song – I thought it actually worked like that. Man you’re brave and I commend you for singing that song. Kara: You can’t say that wasn’t really good singing. That was really good singing. But there were moments where I didn’t know whether to laugh at it or love it. It was so dramatic, it was almost like Godspell a little bit. Simon: I would say it was good in parts, not the whole way through. What you’ve done tonight is tell us who you are – you’re a Broadway singer. That is American Idol The Musical doing Queen. Silly gloves and the performing. I see you more as that than a recording artist. Having said that, because we’ve had so many boring performances, with people sitting on a stool playing guitar, at least you made an attempt to perform. It was a good song choice and it may have saved you.
[[Michael Lynche]] is taking a big risk tonight with a Kate Bush song, This Woman’s Work. He starts with some falsetto, but returns to his natural soulful delivery for the bulk of the song. A very short performance – you know it’s good when you want to hear more, and Michael delivered there – great vocals and a cool stage performance.
Randy: Dawg? Really? Really, really? I got to give it to you again, that was crazy! For everybody who doesn’t know, that was dope, it was unbelievable, I’m ready to phone Maxwell and tell him Big Mike’s knocking on the door. The last note! For you to hear that chord – yo Mike, that was hot. Ellen: One of my favourite songs. Oh my god! That was so beautiful and it feels like the show just began. You are the one to beat now. The show just began. Kara: I’ve never cried after hearing somebody like that. It’s amazing. You are amazing. It’s so relevant for you right now and I can feel it – it’s you’re life right now, it’s your respect for your wife, what you’ve gone through. And as a woman who doesn’t have a child, I can relate to it so much. Simon: It was so needed tonight, because it was all a little bit boring. You come out with an incredibly difficult song to sing and you 100% nailed it. Not just the best performance of the night, it was the best performance of these live shows.