American Idol Season 9 started with more of a thud than a roar. The ladies did not prove to be as fantastic as hyped. However, did we expect any different? When have these first show been fantastic? The only great performance I can ever remember is Lakisha Jones who set a high bar in the first live show of American Idol Season 6. There were no revelations last night and most of the ladies underwhelmed.
Tonight the guys get their chance to surprise us with consistently good performances. American Idol Season 9 features three Christian music artist men: Michael Lynche, Jermaine Sellers, and Tim Urban. To learn more about these American Idol Season 9 Christian music artists see our articles on American Idol Season 9
The Christian music performers will be joined tonight by nine other American Idol Season 9 hopefuls: Aaron Kelly, Alex Lambert, Toddrick Hall, Tyler Grady, Casey James, Lee Dewyze, Andrew Garcia, Jose Munoz and John Park.
As we discussed in our American Idol Season 9 Top 24 preview we expect Michael Lynche and Andrew Garcia to be strong contenders all season and we would not be surprised if Toddrick Hall and Alex Lambert struggle tonight.
As we discussed in last night’s Top 12 Girls Live Blog, American Idol Season 9 presents a few changes for song selection in. Contestant performances will be available for purchase and download exclusively on the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com) the day following the performances. And for the first time, beginning with the Top 12, American Idol Season 9 show themes will be revealed in advance on iTunes along with playlists of original songs by the original artists from which the contestants may choose and which fans can preview and download.
This week the American Idol season 9 Top 24 will perform songs from the Top 10 Hits of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. We were unlcear how this would work, but it seems American Idol Season 9 contestants can select just about any song ever sold. Let’s see if the guys can deliver tonight.
That was an odd opening, “This Is American..Simon stop talking.” Randy says the girls blew it out last night, what? It will be interesting to see if Ellen has anything to say tonight.
So we start with Toddrick Hall. He has some gospel in his background but I cannot find much in his recent past and there has been some controversy with some of his business dealings. He is singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone” as an R&B number. Toddrick has it going on. Good vocals, great arrangement and fantastic stage presence. This is a good way to start the show. I think Ellen just summed it up with “yep”. Randy hated the arrangement. Kara agrees that she wants to see him sing more. Simon hated it. I disagree with the judges.
Aaron Kelly, the 16 year old adopted country singer from Pennsylvania. He has published songs as a song writer. He is singing Rascal Flatt’s “Here Comes Goodbye”. I am not a Flatt’s fan but this sounds better than their version. Country is definitely his strong suit. Of course the judges will say he did not show enough originality. Simon says it was good but he is not confident enough. The judges ignored what they did not like about him and focused on building him up.
Christian music artist Jermaine Sellers starting singing gospel music professionally when he was 14. He is singing “Get Here” Oleta Adams. This does not sound very good. I don’t know this song, but it seems to be off key and shrill. I did not like this. Ellen is trying to more insightful tonight. Randy hates it and says he was trying to do too much with it. He says just sing, dude. Simon says it was so over the top that he was screaming. I agree with Simon.
Tim Urban, our last minute substitute, is the stealth Idol. Have we seen him on camera yet this season? He is a Christian from Texas and he needs a break out performance tonight. At least Ryan spends a couple of minutes with him before performs. He kept his success from his family until it was announced on television, how cool. He is a heartthrob. He sings “Apologize” by OneRepublic and he is channeling Kris Allen. I am not sure he has the high end for this song. He is really struggling. Not the type of performance you need to stay in the competition. Simon slams him and says they made the right decision the first time. Kara says he was buried by the song. The judges are right that the performance did not work. Hopefully he will get another a chance to show what he can do.
Joe Munoz, a 20 year-old from California, talks through his Hollywood struggles. Tonight he sings “You and I Both” by Jason Mraz. This a boring song but he sounds pretty good. Not much stage presence. There is really not much here. I suspect Simon will say forgettable. Ellen liked it? Kara and Randy liked the singing. and Simon said it, forgettable.
Now we see, 70′s rocker Tyler Grady. Remember, he auditioned with broken wrists. He is singing The Guess Who’s “American Mind”. He certainly feels comfortable in his rock singer stage presence. The back-up singers are a little distracting. The singing is okay, but the performance is good. I like the song. Simon calls him cliched and focuses too much on his persona. Kara thinks he needs to be more original. All the judges are saying style over substance.
The judges are vicious tonight. It seems that half way through last night’s show the judges lost patience and decided to be brutally honest and they carried it over into tonight. Not that the performers are helping, mostly below average tonight. We need someone to ignite the judges with a great performance. Where is Michael Lynch?
It is time for rocker Lee Dewyze, a 23 year old paint sales clerk from Chicago. He is singing “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. He is the first one to play his guitar tonight. He has a big, but rough voice. Tonight he is flat. He does not deliver the break through we needed. Ellen loves his tone but heard he pushed off key. Randy did not like it all and Kara didn’t either. Simon thinks it was the best of the night, calling him a naturally good singer. Lee will get another chance.
Next up is John Park. He had a great audition but we have not seen him much since. If I remember, he has a deep soulful voice. He is a student at Northwestern. He is singing the jazz standard “God Bless the Child”. What a beautiful voice this guy has. As Shania Twain said, he has a great bottom end. Simon does not think he has a good enough voice and the performance was emotionless. Kara agrees with Simon and feels he did not connect. Randy likes it a little better but he is not excited. John may be in trouble.
Now Christian music Michael Lynche takes his shot at exciting the judges. You cannot forget Michael, he is the biggest performer ever on American Idol, but he seems so soulful and nice. He sings “This Love” by Maroon 5. Is this who he is? He does not seem comfortable, maybe a little stiff. The vocals are strong but something is missing. I have heard this guy’s original stuff, it is brilliant. I hope he brings his creativity to future performances. He is good but not up to his own standards. Ellen liked it. Randy thinks he brought energy to the show. Kara appreciates him but says the performance was not outrageously great. Simon calls him a support act.
Next up is 19 year old Alex Lambert who suffered through the Mary Powers’ Hollywood Week group. He is butchering some song by James Morrison. Is it “Wonderful World”? I don’t like his voice and I don’t like his performance. He may be leaving us this week. Simon says it was the most uncomfortable performance of the night. Kara thinks he needs a hug. The judges love his tone but they agree he needs to believe in himself. Ellen loves his mullet and compares him to a banana?
Ft. Worth heartthrob, blues guitarist Casey James steps into the gauntlet with the Bryan Adams song “Heaven”. On stool, bathed in blue light with his guitar he delivers on this power ballad. this thing between him and Kara needs to stop, it is too weird. The performance is pretty good. It is nothing special. Thank you Ellen for apologizing for the judges’ behavior. Kara calls him eye candy and ear candy. Simon thinks it was honest and likable. Casey thanks them for complimenting him. He said, “I was ready to come up her and get torn apart.”
Can anyone pulls this bus out of the ditch? Andrew Garcia, you are our last hope.
Andrew Garcia, the stay at home father, whose family left the gang life to raise him, is one of the great hopes for American Idol Season 9. He sings “Sugar We Are Going Down” by Fall Out Boy. He is a very confident performer. It is not his best vocal but the arrangement is fantastic. Simon was disappointed, calling it too serious and too indulgent. Kara calls it a strange arrangement, but I liked it. I disagree with the judges about the arrangement.
Overall, this is another disappointing night. Maybe the performers get their groove back next week. Join us tomorrow night to see four people go home.