American Idol Season 9 heads into the final stretch tonight. Idol Gives Back is over, next week we will be left with the Top 5 and, after this week, there are only five performance shows left. We cover Christian music performers on American Idol. We lost Tim Urban last week so only Michael Lynche remains to carry the flag on American Idol Season 9.
Our American Idol Season 9 Power Rankings has Michael Lynche at number 2 behind the runaway best performer of the season, Crystal Bowersox. However, we don’t believe Michael or Crystal will win American Idol Season 9. Despite a season of near perfect singing, voters don’t seem to love Michael Lynche. He is still on the show because the judges saved him after he was shockingly eliminated at number 9 and voting estimates have him consistently in the bottom 3 or 4. Crystal Bowersox is the most developed and grounded performer of anyone on American Idol Season 9 and many of her performances have been better than those of the American Idol Season 9 celebrity performers. However her bluesy rock style and hippie dippy look don’t translate to the American Idol demographic. It will be interesting to see if her talent can overcome her look.
The bad news is that, after Michael Lynche and Crystal Bowersox, none of the American Idol Season 9 performers have captured our imagination. The good news is that the season looks to be wide open, so the next five weeks will have everything to do with who wins American Idol Season 9.
One of our favorite celebrity judges, Shania Twain, mentors tonight and the Idols will be singing her songs. Join us as we live blog this country pop fandango and see if anyone can make their move to claim American Idol Season 9.
Once again, tonight will be quick so we eschew the judges’ march across the stage. Thank you America, Idol Gives back raised $45 million. Shania Twain is a country pioneer? She created country pop? Shania Twain has the biggest selling record of all time by a woman. She is a much bigger artist than I realized.
We jump right into Lee Dewyze singing “You’re Still The One”. Lee follows Shania’s advice to slow and quiet the intro. The performance is developing nicely. Lee Dewyze has found his groove. This is a powerful, soulful interpretation of this song. Why does Randy always go first? Randy loves this song. Randy only sort of likes the performance. Ellen says it sounds like his version. Kara says the sound of his voice makes this and every song sound relevant. Simon calls it the perfect song selection but the performance had some rough spots.
Next up, Michael Lynche sings “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing”. Michael starts the song sitting on the stairs in the dark. He is turning this song into an R&B ballad and it is pretty beautiful. Was Shania Twain crying when he was singing? Yes she was. Randy loves that Michael has become the R&B balladeer. Ellen says it felt like Luther Vandross and felt it was beautiful. Kara loves how connected Michael is to his songs. Simon thought the performance was a bit “wet”? None of us know what Simon is talking about. Shania speaks up and tells Michael that he got her emotionally.
Casey James, the construction worker, is at the stools with Ryan where he promises a different kind of performance. Tonight he is singing “Don’t”. While the performance is back to the acoustic performance that the judges love, it seems pretty bland to me. Of course Randy and Ellen love it. They tell him these country ballads are where he belongs. Kara says something about not hiding. Simon says it was his best performance so far in the competition.
Crystal Bowersox sings “No One Needs To Know” as a message to her boyfriend. Shania tells her to adopt a happier tone. This song does not really fight Crystal’s strengths. The performance is not up to the standards she has set in the previous weeks. It was bland. Randy says it was not his favorite Crystal Bowersox performance. Ellen agrees with Randy. Kara says it is impossible for Crystal to not be good. Simon says it was limp and says he didn’t feel any connection with the performance.
Aaron Kelly continues the Shania Twain marathon with “You Got Away”. Once again Aaron starts the song wobbly and off key. He struggles with his quiet bottom end and he is flat all over the place. After the rough start this is a good rendition of a country song. Shania loved it, she is smiling from ear to ear. Randy says, “really good job.” Ellen speaks of the maturity and depth of emotion in his performance and Kara agrees with him. Simon loves it. aaron starts to cry when he speaks of singing this song for his mother. He changed the words to make the song appropriate for his mother.
Siobhan Magnus closes the show singing “Any Man of Mine”, Shania’s first number 1 country hit. Siobhan’s low end is too breathy for my taste. She goes super country with this big romping rave. Siobhan hits and misses the notes but she can blow those big notes and finishes big, real big. That felt like a sassy protest from Siobhan. Randy loved it! Ellen says fantastic. Kara says, ‘guess who’s back”. Simon likes the song and says the scream was like she was giving birth.
Join us tomorrow night as we live blog the results. It is going to be a difficult night and we will be unhappy with any one of these guys going home.