Leading up to the Rolling Stone performance show on American Idol, the final 16 were paired down to twelve. I have to say that I was not too surprised. Two of the three girls I had at the bottom went home and two of the three guys at the bottom also went home. I don't know if they way they hold a couple of individuals at the end means that they were the bottom vote getters or what. If that is the case, I was given two surprises from the girls.
One, I would not have had Paige Miles so high, and I also would not have Katie Stevens so low.
I really think that Stevens has a reserved style, like maybe she was born about fifty years too late. She is clearly going to have to step it up if she wants to continue.
Also, why was Crystal Bowersox looking so pissed off? Was it nerves? Didn't the the judges and everyone tell her like 300 times that she was the one to beat?
Anyhow, the Rolling Stones have worlds of good songs.
Michael Lynch went first with Miss You and I honestly thought...enh, whatever. The Judges always give him a pass, not really challenging him on anything. I think for me what it is, is that I think he has good control over his voice and has a nice sound. He has the strongest stage presence of all the contestants and a hight likability factor. I think quite frankly though, his voice is often not very strong. When he sings in the mid ranges I think it is flatish and think there are are five or six others in the room that can top him on vocal strength.
He sounded good but a little weak at times in the less challenging "while I miss you" part at the beginning, but then his falsetto who whoing and "awe baby" broke up the flow of the song...very little connection at all. He might have been feeling something, but he did not communicate it.
Didi Benami went dark, as several of the judges noticed, when she sang Play With Fire. She let loose a bit with something different and did quite well. There were a couple of rough spots, once where she came in a little late sort of spoke the lyrics to catch up..."The old man took her diamonds and tiaras by the score..." but she recovered nicely. Then near the end in the repetition of "don't play with me cause you're playing with fire" where she went high, she sort of lost control of her voice as she seemed to try to make to big of a register jump, and she remained shaky until the end.
Is it reasonable to say that he sang it too much, added too much styling? I just didn't feel it, to quote the judge on the left.
I like what Casey James did with Used to Love Her. The lyrics to the song are not that numerous. Lucky for him, he sang the part well. I definitely liked the county blues sound from him. This was a nice performance.
Lacy Brown did Ruby Tuesday and it wasn't into a good half minute into the song that I really felt anything. At that point her vocals were pretty there, but the arrangement detracted from her performance. At times I kinda felt like I was listening to a Marylin Monroe rendition.
I think Andrew Garcia coming in was on his last leg. He stepped it up with Gimme Shelter and could go further based on this raspy, passioned performance. He hit the notes right pretty right and showed he can vocalize. I think Randy and Kara probably called it wrong. When I think of his last performances, I think this was his best one so far. He definitely made me forget last weeks a bit.
Katie Stevens went with Wild Horses. It is a song I love and I was eager so see what she would do with it. It started of pretty blah but once she got going with the vocals she was there and she has a lot of passion. I think as a singer she hasn't really found her self. She definitely has pipes, there is no doubt. I think should might be a great country singer one day. Who knows.
Tim Urban went with Under My Thumb. I kind of felt I was listening to a cowboy stringing a banjo with the guitar. Honestly I heard like three different styles there. A kind of jazzy, ragae, cowboy song. Too Bad, I think Urban has a lot of talent. If he survives he might do better because he has effectively lowered everyone's expectations.
Next up was one of my favorites, Siobhan Magnus singing Painted Black. She had the whole dark soul ridden thing going on. I thought for a moment that maybe it was the wrong arrangement for her, but man did she finish strong! Man, did she finish strong!!! If you need a singer that can scream and sound good, she is the one.
Lee Dewyze went with Beast of Burden and made a good sound after a solid performance by Mangus. I think he could stand in for Hootie with the Blowfish or the Dock and the Bay guy. It was not as special as I might have liked, but it was great Saturday afternoon in the park music.
It's nice but it wouldn't make me want to turn up the radio if was listening in the car.
Paige Miles sang better than I thought she could based on past performances. She went with Honkey Tonk Woman and it seemed to be the perfect choice for her vocal style. She sounded pretty good most of the time. Simon said it right though...it sounded like something you would hear in a bar.
What and odd name Aaron Kelly's adoptive mother has...Kelly Kelly. Hm. Anyhow, the singular Kelly went with Angie. Being 16 and singing the Stones, it must be hard to come up with an age suitable song. His ability to find a connection to songs that are certainly outside of his life experience might mean he has a career ahead in acting. It was technically great, passionate, filled with emotions. He did a great job and certainly showed he is likely going to last longer. This doesn't bode well for Tim Urban if someone is going home.
Crystal Bowersox, who many would say is the girl to beat, sang Can't Always Get What You Want. Definitely the kind of performance that makes you want to turn it up. I really liked her passioned, elongated vocalizing. She didn't just vocalize gave it a unique sound that was enjoyable. I don't know if the judges were very fair, or weather she just suffered from being praised so highly so early.
So, let me rate these performances, regardless of gender, and regardless of previous performances.
- Siobhan Magnus --Painted Black
- Didi Benami--Wild Horses
- Crystal Bowersox--Can't Always Get What You Wan
- Lee Dewyze--Beast of Burden
- Aaron Kelly--Katie
- Michael Lynch--Miss You
- Lacy Brown--Ruby Tuesday
- Casey James--Used to Love Her
- Katie Stevens--Wild Horses
- Andrew Garcia--Gimme Shelter
- Paige Mile--Honky Tonk Woman
- Tim Urban--Under My Thumb
Magnus can definitely bellow, I wonder if she can match Bowersox when it comes to more human vocal ranges however. Last week, however, was no fluke. She will be one of the last one's standing. I want to say that Benami scored high and was definitely the surprise of this week but I don't expect her to stay there. I still say the Dewyze might have petered out. He is pretty good, but just not great. Urban get't the crash and burn award for the week. Can he somehow recover?
At this point I would say that Magnus and Bowersox are the two to beat and Dewyze and Lynch are just hoping the pair get a nasty case of laryngitis. Benami still might surprise however and bump the Dewyze and maybe Lynch farther down. I know the multitude of Lynch lovers out there might make an likable guy finish higher than his ability shows.