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American Idol – Top 11 Performance Show

The theme tonight is Billboard #1’s – any song that appeared at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list.  And…Miley Cyrus is the mentor.  Umm…a 17-year-old mentor?  Really?  Hannah Montana?  Maybe she could be a mentor for Katie Stevens, but anyone else?  Crystal Bowersox must have lost it when she heard.

As far as I am concerned, Idol has now officially jumped the shark.  There was one performance tonight with star quality and at least four people who wouldn’t even make it to first round of callbacks for my college a cappella group, let alone the American Idol top 11.  If I were the Idol producers, I would choose songs for each of the contestants next week, arrange them, and make them rehearse with vocal coaches and any other experts who can help them.  This season is an embarrassment.

With that, on to the performances…

Lee – “The Letter” – The Box Tops
This is what this guy chooses to sing of all #1’s?  Doesn’t he watch this show.  So overplayed.  He sounded good and performed it better than he did his previous performances, but still not sure what the hype is about this guy.  Randy says he “knocked it out of the box.”  Ellen says “my favorite pen is back.”  Kara says “the progress is tremendous.”  And thank goodness, Simon is surprised that he chose that song, saying it was quite corny.

Paige – “Against All Odds” – Phil Collins
Great song.  One that Katherine McPhee did no justice in Season 5.  And one that Paige is murdering.  Was this the “Smile” version of “Against All Odds.”  Oh, please let this be the last time we have to hear from her.  Please.  To quote Randy, “Yo, man.  Yo, wow.  That was honestly terrible.”  Kara thought it was the worst vocal of the season.  Honestly, I have no idea how she could be so bad.  There was zero redeeming about that performance.

Tim – “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” – Elvis
This kid has really solidified his place in the competition.  I mean, he’s no Elvis.  But he has been solid, and he knows he’s good-looking, and has gotten his mojo back.  Every tween girl in America is mass-texting for him.  Randy hated him.  Ellen thought it was an audition for “High School Musical,” but acknowledged that there will be a large group of people who loved the performance.  Kara agreed.  Simon thought it was “completely and utterly pointless and silly.”  Since Simon says he has absolutely no chance of winning, he is practically guaranteed a spot in the top 10.

Aaron – “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” – Aerosmith
Song was way too big for him, and just exposed that he is no Archuletta.  And once again, I am no particular fan of Archuletta.  You don’t choose that song if you can’t really sing it full-out.  I don’t know who is paying the judges to pimp this kid.

Mama Sox – Janis Joplin – “Me And Bobby McGee”
Hilarious to watch Miley Cyrus critique Crystal.  And once again, this woman is the real deal.  It’s difficult to watch her in the same competition with these other folks.

Big Mike – “When A Man Loves A Woman” – Percy Sledge
I’m sorry.  I hate him just from his outro schtick.  Miley loves him.  He definitely sounds good.  But look, dude.  This competition is not JUST about vocals.  It’s about how much people like you, and dude – you like yourself way too much for the rest of us to like you.  Thank goodness Kara thought it was overindulgent and loungy.  Or as Simon put it, “it’s like when you want one scoop of ice cream and you get 11.”

Andrew – “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye
This guy has ZERO soul.  Wow.  If he weren’t Latino, I would say he is the whitest singer I have ever heard.  This guy deserves to go almost as much as Paige does.  Perhaps even more, given how much of a front-runner he was.

Katie – “Big Girls Don’t Cry” – Fergie
Well, she was better than Paige and Andrew.  Solid performance, thought a bit pitchy, but certainly no one who deserves to be on American Idol.  No idea why the judges actually liked her.

Casey – “Power Of Love” – Huey Lewis and the News
Huey finally gets some respect.  What a great song.  Look, he sounded great, but didn’t do anything with it, and certainly didn’t perform it.  Did he listen to the judges last week?  Simon was right: “no effort, no originality.”

Didi – “You’re No Good” – Linda Rondstadt
Not sure what I think.  But I do like Didi.  I kind of agree with Kara that it felt like she was playing a character.

Siobhan – “Superstition” – Stevie Wonder
Again, she can really sing.  But she is a weird, weird performer.  She feels too restrained.

My Ranking of Tonight’s Performances

  1. Crystal Bowersox
  2. Siobhan Magnus
  3. Lee Dewyze
  4. Casey James
  5. Big Mike
  6. Tim Urban
  7. Didi Benami
  8. Aaron Kelly
  9. Katie Stevens
  10. Andrew Garcia
  11. Paige Miles

If there is any justice in the world, Paige will go this week.  Please explain to me how she is the best African-American woman that auditioned for Idol this season.  Andrew could also go, and there is always the possibility that Didi won’t make it.  I would put my money on Katie squeezing through another week.

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