American Idol Season 9- Top 5 Results Live Blog

Last night’s show convinced me of one thing.  I would like to go on a road trip with Harry Connick Jr.  The dude was funny, engaged and smart. Wouldn’t it be cool to drive Route 66 in a ’67 El Dorado convertible singing Rat Pack standards?  I also learned the American Idol Season 9 performers have limited stylistic range.

Michael Lynche was the only American Idol Season 9 performer to deliver  the vocal stylings and performance swagger necessary to realize the promise of these songs.  Lee Dewyze was over praised for bending “That’s Life” into a blues style he could handle.  Crystal Bowersox has lost her magic after being forced into the country pop and jazz standards genres.  Crystal may be able to sing the phone book but unless it is in a gospel, blues, rock style we may not enjoy it. Casey James and Aaron Kelly were just consumed by their songs and Harry Connick Jr’s arrangements.

This far into the American Idol Season 9 and we have no clear cut favorite.  Crystal Bowersox has fallen back to the pack now. Lee Dewyze is being pumped as the new “dark horse” favorite, but is anyone really excited about that.  It seems unimaginable that Michael Lynche could be the first American Idol winner to have been eliminated during the season.  Aaron Kelly, please no. Could Casey James; I can’t even write the words.

Who is going home tonight?  Most people think Casey James may have a chance to pick up a few gigs in North Texas next week, but it is really too close to call.  I think Aaron Kelly should go home, but I rarely get what I want.  This is really too close to call and you should expect some shocking results.  Just remember, this is the week in Season 8 when Adam Lambert landed in the bottom 2.

I predict the Bottom 2 will be Casey James and Crystal Bowersox. Casey James will leave American Idol Season 9 tonight.

Wow, only 32 million votes last night.  Lady Gaga filmed her clip last week but Harry Connick Jr will perform live. Well that group number of Sinatra songs did not sell very many tickets for the American Idol Season 9 Tour.

Next week Jaime Foxx will mentor the American Idol Season 9 Top 4 through “Songs From The Movies”.  Jaime Foxx was a very effective mentor in American Idol Season 8.

The results phase 1 starts with Lee Dewyze walking to center stage and then across the stage to the safe stools.

Lady Gaga in a huge extravaganza taped after last week’s results show singing her new song, “Alejandro”. In every performance I have seen of her’s she is overproduced and over sexual.  She was very good on the Grammy’s when it was just her and Elton John on dueling pianos.  But that isn’t her act so I am done.

After Harry Connick sings “And I Love Her”, he leads the Top 5 through a medley of his songs.  This Idols are just okay but it is great to hear Harry Connick Jr play his piano.  He is really good at playing the piano.

Fifteen minutes left so let’s get to the results.  Lee is safe but the others are on the hot seat.  Crystal Bowersox starts one group and Michael Lynche starts another group on the opposite side of the stage.  Aaron Kelly joins Michael Lynche so Casey James and Crystal Bowersox are a pair. Michael and Aaron are in the bottom two.  Could I have been any more wrong?

It is time to see if my wishes come true or if American Idol Season 9 is over for One21music. Aaron Kelly goes home?  That is truly a shocker.

Join next week when the Top 4 sing music from the movies.

American Idol Season 9-Top 5 Perform Sinatra

The American Idol Season 9 Top 5, Crystal Bowersox, Christian music artist Michael Lynche, Lee Dewyze, Casey James and Aaron Kelly, perform the songs of Sinatra under the tutelage of Harry Connick Jr.  This is not a great week for any of the Top 5.  Sinatra will be a stretch for all of them.  I would think Michael Lynche would have the best skills to translate Sinatra but, as I said in our American Idol Season 9 Top 5 power rankings, he needs to break his mold this week and do something outrageous and big.  Sinatra does not translate too well to what Michael Lynche needs.

Last year, the Top 5 performed the songs of the Rat Pack, essentially the saem theme and it cost Matt Giraud his place on American Idol Season 8.

In an interesting twist, Connick will arrange their songs.  This could show us a lot about each of the remaining 5. How well do they respond to the collaborative process?  Can they execute a producer’s vision?  Join us a we live blog tonight’s performances to see who turns the Sinatra minefield into their American Idol Season 9 victory launch pad.

I remember Harry Connick Jr from 1987 when I bought his first nationally distributed album.  He was a cool 19 year old jazz pianist who had the critics drooling over his potential.  He has built a serious acting and recording career but never met the critic’s expectations of jazz legend.  While he has not reached the status of Monk or Coltrane in jazz circles, we love him.  This guy does not look much different than he did on that first album when he was 19.  Connick is playing piano for the performances.  How intimidating is that?

Aaron Kelly begins the festivities. Like Connick, Kelly stated very young.  Harry Connick Jr released his first album when he was ten and Aaron Kelly first had a song he wrote recorded when he was 6 years old.  Aaron sings “Fly Me To The Moon”.  Aaron is in the deep end of the pool here.  He struggled a bit and his voice sounded a little rough for this song. Randy loves it but doesn’t say why.  Ellen thinks he  pulled it off.  Kara was luke warm and did not think it was as strong as last week’s performance.  Simon calls Aaron a mouse to Sinatra’s lion.

Casey James will be singing “Blue Skies”. Casey reveals that he passed up a gig tonight that paid $50 and a meal.  Casey seems very, very uncomfortable without his guitar.  He is trying to pull off the Didi Benami jazz phrasing and it does not work.  This song and arrangement exposes Casey’s vocal limitations.  I can already tell Randy hates it. He calls it Casey’s worst performance.  Ellen is speechless, get it, Ellen is speechless?  Kara says he sounded like a lamb holding a note.  Simon says he seemed embarrassed and uncomfortable.  I think Casey is in trouble.

Harry Connick Jr just defended Casey James by saying it is hard to hear on the stage.  Why, at the end of the 9th season, and after six weeks on this stage, can the producers not get the sound right for these performers.  Is it really that impossible for top professionals to get the sound right?

Crystal Bowersox joins Harry Connick Jr to sing my favorite Sinatra song, “Summer Wind.” I don’t like the arrangement but, unlike last week, Crystal showcases her great vocals. It sounded like a show tune. Randy thinks it was a little sleepy.  Ellen wanted her to loosen up, but was impressed.  Kara liked her phrasing.  Simon says this is her second okay performance.

I hope Michael Lynche does not try to channel Sinatra.  The suit and hat are making me nervous.  He is singing “The Way You Look Tonight.”  I love Harry Connick Jr as a mentor. And again Michael Lynche takes an iconic song and makes it modern without scrapping the greatness of the original.  The audience is going nuts.  Randy loves it with a capital L, says he threw down the gauntlet.  Ellen says really good.  Kara says he found the drama and owned the song.  Simon says Michael put himself back in the game.  He says everything worked.  Is Michael Lynche back in the game?

Lee Dewyze finishes the night with “That’s Life.” Harry Connick breaks out the Hammond B3 for the bluesy, jazzy versions of “That’s Life.”  Lee’s singing is not great but he has come into his own as a performer. He really charmed the camera with that performance.  Randy loved it and Ellen says if this was the last night he would have won the show.  Kara says he can win American Idol Season 9.  Simon says Harry brought out his confidence and personality.  Simon calls it the best performance of the night.

Join us tomorrow night as we live blog the results to see who makes it to the American Idol Season 9 Top 4.

American Idol Season 9- Top 5 Power Rankings

Well here we are, the American Idol Season 9 Top 5.  Are you excited?  Have you latched onto Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynche, Lee Dewyze, Casey James or Aaron Kelly.  Do you eagerly anticipate their cds?  Are you buying tickets for the American Idol Season 9 Tour?  My answers are no, maybe, no and definitely not.

Last week told us nothing.  if you read our American Idol Season 9 Top 6 performance live blog, you will see that only two performers, Lee Dewyze and Christian music artist Michael Lynche did anything remotely interesting with Shania Twain’s songs.  The rest of the performers bog downed into the blandness of country pop music.  Even Crystal Bowersox stumbled through some throw away song about cupid or something.  It cost Siobhan Magnus her place on American Idol Season 9, but it really shed no light on who might win this thing.  I am afraid next week’s Sinatra theme will generate the same results.

Before we get into the power rankings let’s take a shot at what will happen to the American Idol Season 9 Top5 when they attempt make a career out of their American Idol success:

  • Aaron Kelly will issue thirty or forty country albums, perform for decades on the CMA awards and be a regular on Carrie Underwood’s variety show specials.
  • Casey James will be linked to dozens of disposal models and starlets over the next three or four years, secure a three record deal and then become a reality show host.
  • Crystal Bowersox will fulfill her three record deal (one will be great the others ruined by over production), hate every minute of the fame, retire to the farm she will buy with her wealth and surface every five to ten years with a killer album.
  • Lee Dewyze will release three or four feverishly hyped acoustic rock albums that will disappear from the charts within a few weeks.
  • Michael Lynche will frustrate and confound music fans by continually alternating between collections of R&B ballads and aggressive Dirty South rap.

Even with this little bit of fun at the expense of these performers, I really do appreciate their bravery and fortitude at running this gauntlet in pursuit of their dreams.  We do wish them all the best.

American Idol Season 9 Top5 Power Rankings

  1. Crystal Bowersox followed-up maybe her best performance in the Top 7 show with what was easily her worst performance. At lease we know she is capable of bad music decisions
  2. Michael Lynche’s once again delivered a technically perfect performance and an interesting interpretation of “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing”.  The problem is that he has painted himself into a box of monotonous ballads that will lead to a too early exit.  He desperately needs and big, loud, audacious arrangement and a wild performance to re-capture America’s attention.  That will be extremely difficult with this week’s Sinatra theme.
  3. Lee Dewyze‘s molded “You’re Still The One” into his only style but delivered a shaky vocal performance.  Lee suffers the same problem as Michael in that, week after week, his performances seem to be the same.  He benefits from being the more talented that Casey James and more palatable to American Idol voters than Crystal Bowersox.  I think he has the chance to win American Idol Season 9.
  4. Casey James was lauded by the judges for stretching himself with “Don’t”.  I can’t remember anything about his performance.  He was in the American Idol Season 9 Bottom 2 this week and he is at risk of leaving this week.  Sinatra will not be his friend this week.
  5. Aaron Kelly’s, I think, just represents a style of over-sung,bombastic country pop ballads that leaves me cold.  He seems to have captured the attention of American Idol voters and will almost certainly be in the American Idol Season 9 Top 3.

Join us on Tuesday night as we live blog the American Idol Season 9 Top 5 performing the songs of Sinatra and see if Harry Connick Jr can guide these five to great performances.