Idol’s theme this week was Billboard No. 1s, with Miley Cyrus as mentor. It got off to a really rough start — as adorable and successful as Miley is, clearly mentoring nine of the older singers was a bit of a stretch! In past seasons we’ve seen some really great mentoring going on, advice you could hang your guitar on, but not last night. It was a little more like the advice subtext was – have a famous dad and hook up with Disney when you’re a kid. This was a make’em or break’em night, because the final ten will take to the road on the Idol Summer Tour, which, as we all know, is a great opportunity for those who didn’t win, to get some great experience and perhaps record deals.
Lee Dewyze, sang The Letter by The Box Tops, which he performed without his guitar. Lee seemed to have loosened up a bit and connected with the audience more. All the judges except for Simon dug it. Then things took a turn for the worse.
Paige Miles, did Against All Odds by Phil Collins and seemed to have disappeared from the competition right before our eyes. All the judges, even Ellen, couldn’t muster up anything good about the performance.
Then things just got a lot more weird when Tim Urban did Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love. If there had been a real mentor helping the kid out maybe things wouldn’t have gone so wrong. Urban, who is adorable, in that Jonas Brother’s kind of way, started sliding and jumping into the fan pit, that along with a bad arrangement unleashed all the negative feedback the judges could muster up.
Aaron Kelly won the judges over with Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing. Even with a bad case of Paige’s laryngitis he was able to get through it with pitch perfection, according to the judges.
Crystal Bowersox did Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin — Simon said her rendition was as good as Pink’s.
Michael Lynche crooned When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge, he may be old school R&B, but the audience loves that! People may call him corny, but the guy can sing, he loves being on stage and looks like he’s actually having a good time. Randy didn’t love the song choice, Kara thought it was too safe. Simon said that the audition could have taken place in any decade, that Mike should have simplified it to bring it up to date. Cowell actually gave him some great advice and encouragement telling Lynche that he has great charisma, a great voice and people like him. Ellen just said “this woman loves that man”.
Andrew Garcia laid down the guitar on the advice of Miss Miley, doing I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye. To say it was badly received by all the judges would be an understatement. Simon said “the arrangement was horrific, you sucked the soul out of that song!” These contestants are quite extraordinary, the way they’re able to take criticism. When the judges pour it on, it’s like watching torture at Guantanamo.
Katie Stevens, seemed to find her sweet spot with the judges when she sang Fergie’s Big Girls Don’t Cry. Ellen called her the “Dakota Fanning of Idol”, referencing Randy’s comment that she’s finally listening to their advice.
Casey James, brought it on in The Power Of Love by Huey Lewis and the News. Randy and Ellen were not fans of the song, but thought it was one of the best vocals of the night. Kara said he was “ready to make an album!” Simon said Casey sounded ” like an 80′s cover band!” When The other judges yelled at Simon, Cowell said “maybe it’s because I’m English!”
Didi Benami’s You’re No Good by Linda Ronstadt had Randy screaming “pitchy”, Ellen didn’t get the song choice and Kara felt like Didi “was playing a character and not being herself!” Simon said it “was like a bad musical!”
Siobhan Magnus did Superstition by Stevie Wonder — Randy loved it, Ellen said to quote Oliver “more please!” and Kara feels Magnus is most herself on stage. Simon wasn’t a fan and added that the night wasn’t a good one for him, Cowell says, with the exception of Crystal, everyone needs to push more and find better material. Maybe when they do, Simon will find a better wardrobe!!
All and all, Billboard’s No. 1′s was a rough night, it will be interesting to see who survives the cut. What do you think?
Men’s Night On Idol – For the first time in the history of the show, a judge left the desk to give a contestant a hug. Ellen De Generes felt so badly about beating up contestant Tim Urban the last few weeks that after his performance of Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah she ran up to him on stage and gave him a huge hug. The men in general had a pretty good night. Except for one of the show’s early favorites Andrew Garcia, who hasn’t been able to match his Straight Up performance before the Live Shows began.