American Idol Season 9- The Recap

One21music covers Christian music artists competing on American Idol. Now that Michael Lynche, the last of the Christian music artists on Season 9, it looks like our job is over. But before we bow out of American Idol Season 9 we would like to offer our final thoughts.

This season had the lowest number of Christian music artists in recent memory and they certainly did not experience the success of Season 8 Christian music artists.  Michael Lynche, Tim Urban, Didi Benami and Lacey Brown made it to the American Idol Season 9 Top 12.  Lacey Brown was eliminated at 12 and Didi Benami was gone at 10.  In one of the best stories of Season 9 Tim Urban used his joyful determination to win the hearts of America and the respect of the judges to reach the number seven spot.

Now to Michael Lynche.  The behemoth of a man has been one of our favorites from the beginning. He never had an off key moment and he had the best performance of American Idol Season 9. Surprisingly, Michael Lynche was voted off at number nine only to be justifiably saved by the judges.  The problem with Michael’s game this season was that there was virtually no variety in his performances.  He quickly settled into the role of R&B balladeer and never showed his soul/funk shouter and R&B sides.

American Idol Season 9 is now left with three barroom acoustic rockers to claim the title. Casey James, Crystal Bowersox or Lee Dewyze will win American Idol Season 9.  They are all essentially different flavors of the same style.  Crystal Bowersox is the most versatile and developed of the three, but we don’t believe she will win.  Her image is a little rough for American Idol voters.  Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox will be in the final and Lee Dewyze will win American Idol Season 9.  Lee will be third male, acoustic pop rock winner of American Idol in a row.

Thank you for joining us on the American Idol Season 9 ride this year.  Check back in January 2011 as we begin the search for Christian music artists on American Idol Season 10.

American Idol Season 9- Top 4 Results

Last night’s show ended with mentor Jaime Foxx making excuses for the American Idol Season 9 Top 4.  It seems that Jaime Foxx believes movie songs make it difficult for the Idols to show off their talents.  Then why does American Idol put these songs into the competition at this critical juncture?

Usually, the duets aren’t too great.  Last night they were the best parts of the show.  What does that say about the star power of the American Idol Season 9 Top 4?  No one really distinguished themselves last night, so anyone could go home.

I think Casey James and Christian music artist Michael Lynche will be in the Bottom 2.  Casey James starts his new, post Idol, career tonight and that seems about right.

Join us to find out what really happens as we live blog the American Idol Season 9 Top 4 results show.

37 million votes were cast so American Idol Season 9 continues to lag behind the last two seasons.  Tonight is an American Idol homecoming for uni-named former Idols as Daughtry and Fantasia perform.  Speaking of which, Fantasia kicks off the night with a song from her up coming cd.  I never really got Fantasia and I still don’t.

Back with the American Idol Season 9 Top 4, sitting on the stools in the middle of the stage.  Boy, do they look nervous.  Whoever, survives tonight’s vote gets a hero’s trip home this coming week.  Let’s find out who is safe.  Casey James is safe.  It looks like Michael Lynche is going home and it looks like he knows it.

Daughtry sings a song from his new cd.  How can a bald man have such thick eyebrows?  Daughtry was on American Idol before I started watching and I don’t listen to his style of pop rock very much, but he sure can sing.

Back with the three in danger.  Casey James is safe.  Lee Dewyze is safe and gets his homecoming next week.  Michael Lynche and Crystal Bowersox fates still hang in the balance.

Bon Jovi time. I wonder if this distracts Michael Lynche and Crystal Bowersox from what is happening or if their sweet seats for Bon Jovi are wasted.  The seats would be wasted on me as I worried about what was about to happen.

Christian music artist Michael Lynche goes home.  I am sorry to see Michael Lynche go.  He was my favorite of the Top 12.

Michael is the last of our Christian music artists on American Idol Season 9.  Join us Saturday as we recap American Idol Season 9.

American Idol Season 9-Top 4 Performances

American Idol Season 9 is in the home stretch.  Two more weeks to the finals and the entire season is really up in the air.  As weak as we believe Casey James appears, any one of the top 4 can win. In our American Idol Season 9 Power Rankings we discuss how close the top 4 are and how victory will be determined by who can deliver one or two break out performances over the next few weeks.

Tonight the American Idol Season 9 performers will perform one solo song and perform one duet.  Jaime Foxx will mentor the Idols as they sing songs form the movies. Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox will be paired in one duet while the Michael Lynche and Casey James will team up for the other song. The duets the past few years have been a waste of time.

Will Christian music artist Michael Lynche change his style to try to create an attention grabbing spectacle tonight?  Will Crystal Bowersox regain her form?  Can Casey James recover and stay on the show?  Will Lee Dewyze continue to play it safe and skate to the finals?  Join us as we live blog the American Idol Season 9 top 4 performances and maybe get some answers to these questions.

Remember Jamie Foxx is an Oscar winning actor and triple platinum R&B artist.  He brought tshirts.  He challenged the Idols to move from being a contestant to being an artist.

Lee Dewyze is doing Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose”.  Jaime Foxx got uncomfortably close to Lee’s face during rehearsals.  Lee just proved that his upper range has a very low limit and has fallen off key.  This is not the time for Lee to sing badly. He fights this song all of the way through.  That was as bad as Lee Dewyze has done this season.  Randy does not like the song choice but brushes over the singing.  Ellen feeds the Lee PR beast.  Kara, speak truth.  She calls out all of the bad singing but, in the end, she says he is great.  Simon says it sounded karaoke.  I would say bad karaoke.

Michael Lynche made a promise to himself a year ago to make it into the Top 3 on American Idol Season 9.  He is singing Michael Jackson‘s “Will You Be There”.  He starts on the stairs and is backed by a choir.  He is giving this the full gospel treatment. It had potential but never reached its crescendo.  The performance just did not have time to develop.  Randy does not like it.  Kara says he played it safe. Simon tried to find something nice to say.

Next up with the first duet.  Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze perform “Falling Slowly”.  This is two great singers going at it.  Kinda feels that they are battling rather than singing together. This pales in comparison to the original Randy loves it. Ellen compares them to Captain and Tenille.  Kara says it is one of her best moments of the season.  Simon says it was fantastic.

I just went back and watched Lee’s and Crystal’s duet.  Okay, so I was wrong.  That was pretty great.

Time for Casey James from Cool, Texas.  He is singing “Mrs. Robinson” playing a mandolin. This a nice Casey performance but it is a little sleepy for me. The mandolin is a nice touch, but the song does not build.  there is not much there to hold on to.  I agree with Randy that it was cool but there was not much exciting.  Ellen calls him out for not going further with the song.  Kara gets lost in the meaning of the song.  Simon says the performance had the substance  needed for this point in the competition.  I agree with Simon.

Crystal Bowersox is singing a song from “Caddyshack.” Yep, she is singing “I’m All Right.”  She re-arranges the song into an alt-country, blues number.  I am not sure I like the arrangement but it gives Crystal an opportunity to show off her voice.  This is her best performance in weeks. Randy like that she switched the arrangement but did not love the performance.  Ellen and Kara say she made the song better than the original.  Simon says she is back in the game.

We end the evening with Michael Lynche and Casey James singing “Have You Ever Really Loved A Women”.  Casey starts playing some sweet Spanish guitar.  Their voices sound good together.  That was a nice performance with a twist.  Randy calls it brilliant.  Kara says the duets were incredible, better than all of the solo performances.  Simon says it was really good.

Well, there it is.  The American Idol Season 9 Top4 have made their cases.  Join us tomorrow night as we live blog the results and see who gets the hometown parade.

American Idol Season 9- Top 4 Power Rankings

We are in the final stretch of American Idol Season 9 and this has really been a mystery season for me.  It seems as if Season 9 has been going on for two years yet I can remember very little of what has happened.  I can only remember five performances.

I thought Katelyn Epperly’s heart-breaking interpretation of “The Scientist” would take her into the American Idol Season 9 Top 5.  It was the most polished, professional performance of the season.  Crystal Bowersox’s breakdown at the end of her mind blowing take on “People Get Ready” was a breakthrough in her image.  That may have given America enough insight into Crystal, the girl, to propel her to victory.  Lee Dewyze‘s “Treat Her Like A Lady’ separated him from the other mid tempo acoustic rockers and turned him American Idol Season 9 dark horse to favorite. Crystal Bowersox‘s gospel “Long As I Can See The Light”, sung just out of ICU from a near death experience was the most poignant moment of American Idol Season 9.  Finally, Michael Lynche’s “A Woman’s Work” was the most amazing vocal performance I have seen in five years of watching American Idol.

Other than those performances the rest of American Idol Season 9 has been pretty forgettable.

After the shocking departure Aaron Kelly we are down to four.  Any one of them could still win American Idol Season 9, but none of them stand out in the history of American Idol winners.  Somebody has to win, here are our power rankings.

American Idol Season 9 Top 4 Power Rankings

Last week was another genre struggling for the performers.  As I said in our Top 4 results live blog, the country pop genre and the songs of Sinatra demonstrated how limited the American Idol Season 9 performers can be.  Season long favorite Crystal Bowersox stumbled badly and Casey James delivered his two worst performances.  Christian music artist Michael Lynche was the only of the Top 4 to deliver stellar performances.

  1. Michael Lynche continues dwell in the Bottom 2 but his season long consistency and mastery of country pop and Sinatra propel him to the top of our Top 4 power rankings.  If Michael is to survive into the Top 2 he must, as we have said over the past several weeks, use this week’s theme “Songs of the Movies” to deliver a big, break out performance with funk and hip-hop flavors.
  2. Lee Dewyze is filling the role of fast rising underdog to a tee.  The question is if there is too much time left in American Idol Season 9 for Lee’s act to remain fresh and exciting.  He has not shown very much range and we do not expect anything new over the rest of the season.
  3. Crystal Bowersox seemed invincible two weeks ago.  The story of her quitting American Idol Season 9 cemented her image as a rebel.  She broke down in the middle of “People Get Ready” and seemed all the more vulnrable.  But the past two weeks she strolled through  country pop and Sinatra and now looks like a stylistically limited performer.
  4. Casey James is hanging on by a thread.  The past two weeks exposed his limitations as a singer and seems to be crumbling under the pressure of the competition.  He seems almost glassy eyed during the judges comments.  He has a chance this week to crank up his guitar and make it into the Top 3.

I don’t know who is going to win American Idol Season 9.  It could be any one of these four performers. Join us Tuesday night as we live blog the Movie song performances.


  1. Lee Dewyze continues to fly

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.

American Idol Season 9- Top 6 Results

Who will make it to the American Idol Season 9 Top 5?  Join us tonight as we live blog the Top 6 results show.

Shania Twain mentored last night with insight, compassion and grace.  That did not transfer into a night of great performances.  After a strong start by Lee Dewyze and Christian music artist Michael Lynche, the show went south in a hurry.  Michael and Lee both reinterpreted Shania Twain‘s songs, making them current and stretching them out of the country pop genre, without trashing the original beauty of the songs.  Casey James made a valiant but bland attempt to deliver a country ballad.  Crystal Bowersox, Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus all three fell into the hokey cotton candy that is country pop.

Michael Lynche is the last of the Christian music artists remaining on American Idol Season 9.  Unfortunately, I think he is in trouble tonight.  For some reason America haa not connected with his R&B balladeering.  I have said for several weeks that he needs a big time, mind-blowing, change of pace performance that only he is capable of, imagine Kanye West but on key with appealing tone.  Michael Lynche has not chosen to take that risk and I think he pays for it tonight.

We believe the bottom three tonight will be Michael Lynche, Lee Dewyze and Casey James.  We believe Aaron Kelly should go home tonight, but we think Michael Lynhce will leave American Idol Season 9 tonight.

Wow, Lie To Me is back.  I thought this little bug faded away last year.

Wow, only 33 million votes last night.  Has America lost interest?

We start the night with Rascal Flatts.  It is time for me to go refill my drink glass.  Talk to you in a bit.

Back to the results, but first we sell some Ford automobiles.  Then we go to the movies.  Wow, American Idol Season 9 has cornered the market on filling time.  Finally, the lights are down.  We are pairing the Idols up.  Siobhan Magnus is paired with Lee Dewyze, Aaron Kelly is paired with Crystal Bowersox and Michael Lynche is paired with Casey James.   If our predictions are true Michael Lynche and Casey James are the Bottom 2.  Well add Siobhan Magnus and you have the Bottom 3.

Just in, Harry Conick Jr will mentor the Idols next week in singing the songs of Sinatra.

Who is this band Sons of Sylvia?  They are someone Carrie Underwood likes, she introduced them tonight.  It is hard to describe them because you can’t actually hear anything but the vocals and the drums and occasionally the piano.  It is sort understated arena rock.  The poor mandolin players is just tearing up his little mandolin and we can’t hear it all.  That was better than Rascal Flatts.

Time for another performance.  Lady Antebelum is performing “Need You Now”.  Is this the country version of “Rhiannon?”  Stevie Nicks should sue them for sampling her song without giving her credit.

Rascal Flatts performing with Shakira?  Is this the final step in her fall from critical grace?  Shakira was a wildly successful world pop star with a rabid following in Europe and South America.  She then decided to remake herself in the style of Britany Spears and now with Rascal Flatts.  I am prepared to be disappointed.  She eprfrormed her hit “Gypsy” That was not bad.

Dream crushing time.  Michael Lynche is safe.  I was so wrong and I am so glad. Casey James or Siobhan Magnus, who is it.  Siobhan Magnus is done tonight. It is the end of the Siobhan Magnus run on American Idol Season 9Crystal Bowersox is the only remaining girl.

American Idol Season 9- Top 6 Live Performances

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, since so many celebrities have their looks defined and everyone want to see them, so Did You Missed Naked Kirsten Dunst Nude Pictures? – Ximage, you can see them here now.

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.

American Idol Season 9 Top 7 Perform Inspirational Songs

This was not just another week in the lives and loves of the soap opera we call American Idol Season 9Katie Stevens and Andrew Garcia went home and many people are outraged that the sure thing, beauty queen Katie Stevens left before teen throb Tim Urban. Crystal Bowersox tried to quit American Idol Season 9, Ryan stopped her, she is mad that Ryan told.  The ratings are down and the judges are doing public appearances on Larry King.  The judges want Paula back but they won’t admit it.  Wow, this is fun.

Seriously, American Idol Season 9 heads into Idol Gives Back Week with more than a few questions about this season and the future.  But we don’t care because the   American Idol Season 9 Top 7 are singing inspirational songs and the great Alicia Keys is mentoring..    It is time for clear favorties to start to emerge.  After the departure of Katelyn Epperly we have not seen a new favorite emerge.  Check out our American Idol Season 9 Top 7  power rankings to see who we think are th ebest performers and a little more commentary on this week’s events..

How will Crystal Bowersox react to controversy this week?  Will Christian music artist Tim Urban continue his rise with another good performance? Will Siobhan Magnus continue her emotional meltdown?  Will Christian music artist Michael Lynche continue his string of perfect vocal performances?  Join us and let’s find out together as we live blog the next hour of American Idol Season 9.

We have a packed schedule tonight so the producers dispense with the judges intros.  There is a black theme in the Idol’s wardrobes tonight.  Siobhan is just about the only Idol wearing any color tonight.

We start the evening with a good piece on Alicia Keys, her philanthropy and impact on the music scene.

Casey James jumps right into it singing Fleetwood Mac‘s “Don’t Stop” and it is rough right out of the gate. Casey can’t resist the guitar solo and that helps him regain his footing.  Another Casey James performance that does not disappoint me but doesn’t impress me either. Randy agrees with me saying he is doing the same thing every week. Ellen agrees telling him he is good but not great.  Kara is frustrated that he made himself just like everyone else.  Simon calls it lazy.  What a thrill for Casey to play Lindsey Buckingham‘s guitar.

Lee Dewyze sits on the stool talking about his buddy Andrew Garcia.  He is singing “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel.  This song does not fit Lee’s voice very well.  He mumbles the lyrics so we don’t really know what he is talking about.  He does sing the “la la’s” very well.  I was not inspired.  Randy liked it calling Lee a great artist.  Ellen liked the soul and depth he is displaying.  Kara calls it his moment?  Simon liked it as well, calling it sincere and emotional.  Simon calls it brilliant.

Teen Throb segment as Aaron Kelly and Tim Urban go back to back.

Tim Urban is singing Goo Goo Dolls “Better Days”.  Tim Urban struggles with pitch tonight, but the song is perfect for Tim Urban.  I loved the lyrics but that performance did not continue his momentum of the last few weeks.  Randy calls it karaoke.  Ellen does not like it.  Kara says he did not execute.  Simon says if this was his first performance they would have been impressed but it was a little bit of a letdown.  I agree with Simon.

Aaron Kelly is singing “I Believe I Can Fly”by R.Kelly, a song he has been singing since he was 5. Why didn’t someone ask him to stop.  This is bland, the same over the top awards show performance he gives every week. Of course the judges will love it.  Randy did not like the arrangement but gives him a pass on the performance.  Ellen does as well.  I don’t know what Kara said.  Simon gets real and says it was not very good.

You gotta love Siobhan Magnus as she takes on the twin tower of diva, Whitney and Mariah.  She is singing “When You Believe” from the Prince of Egypt and is using that special place in her voice.  I wanted to like Siobhan in her tinkerbell costume but I just did not.  Her low register is bothersome to me.  Randy thinks it was just okay but Ellen disagreed.  Kara says it was technically good but uninteresting. Simon hated it and is starting to be dismissive of Siobhan Magnus.

Michael Lynche has a playbook of 200 songs for American Idol Season 9. Tonight he pulls Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” from that book.  I love the arrangement of this song.  It has big dramatic heights and suits his stage presence.  A mindblowing performance from Michael Lynche. Randy was worried but says it workd out.  Ellen liked it, Kara did not.  Simon says he sang it pretty well but hates the song.

Crystal Bowersox puts down her guitar and walks away from the piano to sing “People Get Ready” by Curtis Mayfield.  She starts acapella sounding a lot like Patty Griffin.  I will say it again, it is not fair.  That was powerful, moving and perfect.  What was the emotional breakdown at the end?  Randy gives her a standing ovation.  Ellen calls the performance beautiful.  Kara says she just schooled everyone.  Simon says it was inspirational, calling it in a completely different class.  She looked over at her dad and that caused the breakdown.

Join us tomorrow night as we live blog Idol Gives Back.

American Idol Season 9-Big News and Top 7 Rankings

Big news breaking this week on American Idol Season 9 over the last few days.  Two weeks ago, front runner Crystal Bowersox walked out of American Idol Season 9. Missing he rfamily, tired of the attention and frustrated with the competitive mood of the show, she walked off the set after the airing of the “Soul/R&B Theme” performances.   American Idol host Ryan Seachrest found Bowersox in the parking lot and convinced her to stay.

We have said all along that Crystal Bowersox, as great as she is, doesn’t seem to fit American Idol.  For weeks, the judges have told her she seemed constrained.  That night does seem to be a turning point for Crystal Bowersox.  The last two weeks we have seen Crystal Bowersox introduce the didgeridoo to American Idol in her performance of “Come Together”.  Last week she delivered a smoking version of the rockabilly gospel classic “Saved.”  Does it really matter? If Crystal Bowersox struggles with the competitive grind of American Idol Season 9, how will she respond to the 19 Entertainment juggernaut that will attempt to polish off all of her interesting quirks to create a bland pop star.  Kelly Clarkson played the game for a few years then rebelled her career into oblivion.  I am not sure Crystal Bowersox has the patience of Kelly Clarkson.

American Idol Season 9 sent Andrew Garcia and Katie Stevens home last week to take us to the Top 7.  Both Andrew and Katie were favorites coming out of Hollywood.  Andrew Garcia never seemed comfortable on the live stage.  His hard street look was in conflict with his bland acoustic pop style and he was never able to recapture the magic he created during Hollywood week.  Katie Stevens is an old soul in a 16 year old body.  The judges constantly tried to make her young and current but her best performances of the season were her audition, “At Last”, and “Let It Be”.  In three years, we will hear about Katie Stevens recording jazz records and playing the Newport Jazz Festival.

So now American Idol Season 9 is down to the Top 7.  No one has asserted themselves as a clear favorite to win.   Crystal Bowersox and Christian music artist Michael Lynche are clearly the best singers and most developed performers, but that doesn’t mean they will win.  Here are our American Idol Season 9 Top 7:

  1. Crystal Bowersox is by far the most developed artist and one of the two best singers in American Idol Season 9. However, we have seen season after season when the judges start telling a constestant that “I just don’t have any more words to describe how great you are”, that performer finishes second or third.  Crystal Bowersox is the best performer of the Top 7 but I think she is a bit to quirky to win American Idol Season 9.
  2. Michael Lynche is the best singer on this show.  He has sung the most difficult songs (“A Woman’s Work”) and he has yet to hit a sour note.  My complaint with Michael Lynche is that he has yet to use his rap skills to create a big exciting moment.  He sorely needs a change of pace this week.  Until he was saved by the judges two weeks ago, I thought Michael Lynche had a great chance to win American Idol Season 9.
  3. Lee Dewyze seems to have turned a corner the past three weeks. His loose, rollicking performance of “Treat Her Like A Lady” has apparently proven to Lee that he can compete, perform and have fun at the same time.  I have started to see the singer the judges have been talking about throughout American Idol Season 9. If Lee Dewyze continues to improve each week I think his booming growl of a voice could lead him to win American Idol Season 9.
  4. Casey James is a bit of an enigma for me.  The judges love him but I don’t get it.  I don’t hate him as a performer I just don’t notice him.  As I list the performers each week, he is always the one I forget.  He is a middle of the road rocker who can do some country rock.  I expect to see him performing with Carrie Underwood on the CMA show in a few year.

    Fighting to Get To American Idol Season 9 Top 5

  5. Siobhan Magnus continues to slide from her early season accolades.  After wowing the judges with big, crazy, bombastic performances in the first few weeks Siobhan missed.  Her performance of Chaka Kahn‘s “Through The Fire” was possibly the worst single performance of any performer on American Idol Season 9.  The judges critiqued her fairly and she has been visibly shaken since.  As one of only two girls and a performer of unique style I expect her to make it to the American Idol Season 9 Top 5, but I don’t think she should.
  6. Tim Urban is the story of American Idol Season 9.  Joining the show at the last minute as a substitute for a disqualified candidate, Tim Urban‘s first four performances were pretty bad.  However, his smile and good looks kept him in the competition.  We thought we were headed for another Sanjaya story.  Funny thing is, Christian music artist Tim Urban got better.  His last four weeks have ranged from pretty good to last week’s declaration as the best performance of the night.  Even the judges have come to love Tim Urban. He has been in the bottom two just about every week so I don’t think Tim Urban will win American Idol Season 9 but he has done enough to create a recording career.
  7. Aaron Kelly confounds me every week.  He is bland while being bombastic.  He brings no depth to the songs he sings.  His voice has some potential but he hits as many sour notes as he does strong ones.  I keep waiting for him to leave every week and yet he is never in the Bottom 2.

Join us Tuesday night as the American Idol Season 9 performs Inspirational songs under the tutelage of Alicia Keys.  Then on Wednesday night the reuslts will be integrated into a night of great performances on “Idol Gives Back.”