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 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 9 Performances

In a shocker, we lost Christian music artist Didi Benami last week.  There are at least three performers that should have gone home before Didi.  But, who am I to question?  I predicted, and still believe, that Katelyn Epperly should be winning American Idol Season 9.

There are only two Christian music artists remaining in the American Idol Season 9 Top 9Michael Lynche continues to deliver winning performances every week.  I think he has been the most consistent performer on American Idol Season 9Tim Urban is consistently harangued and demeaned by the judges every week.  The judges do not believe Tim Urban belongs in the competition and are frustrated that he continuously expresses joy and gratitude at his opportunity to participate in American Idol Season 9.  I love Tim Urban‘s transcendent gratitude.

American Idol Season 9 will feature songs from the Lennon/McCartney songbook this week.  The material will be great.  Will Crystal Bowersox and Michael Lynche continue their strings of superior performances?  Will Siobhan Magnus recover from last week’s fall from adulation and emotional train wreck?  Will Lee Dewyze build upon last week’s great performance?  Join us as we live blog the next two hours of American Idol Season 9 performances?

Ooh, Kara is wearing sparkly dress and Ellen is dressed like Charlie Chaplin, late in life.   Is Ryan the only one of the cast that can walk down the stairs.  Goodbye Didi Benami.  Aaron Kelly stands next to Ryan and he looks terrified.  We do Lennon/McCartney songbook.  I saw Paul McCartney discuss the writing process he and John Lennon followed.  They wrote most of these songs 3 hours as at time.  Amazingly, two guys, guitar, piano, three hours and out comes “Day Tipper”, “I Should’ve Known Better”?  Wow

No wonder Aaron Kelly was looking terrified.  He starts the night singing “The Long and Winding Road.”  He has managed to strip the soul from this heart breaking ballad.  His pacing is clunky, the song does not build.  He hits most of the notes but the performance is soooo boring.   Randy hates it.  “I don’t know, aaaah”.  He calls the arrangement sleepy.  Ellen hated it as well.  Kara is calling him to change his performance and do something with a little more tempo.  Simon calls is old fashioned and boring.  At least the judges agree with me.  Why do the judges act surprised when people boo them?  What did Simon mean by saying that Aaron Kelly should have done some research on the song?

With a 90 minute American Idol show for 9 singers we should have plenty of time for the singers to sing and the judges to judge.  Is that goos or bad?

Katie Stevens is next wearing a pink dress and looking 35.  Katie is pimping herself out as a prom date for votes.  What!  She is singing “Let It Be”.  Why are these young kids singing these deep, mature songs.  Come on kids have some fun.  Wow this is actually pretty good.  She brings a little Aretha arrangement to the song. This is Katie’s best performance since she auditioned.  Good job, Katie Stevens.  Randy?  He loved it, you can see it in his face.  “It reaffirms for me …. fumbler, fumble (what am I saying?), dude those were hot vocals.”  Ellen says it was amazing.  Kara says she made the song her own.  It is amazing that she is confident after the beating she has taken the past two weeks.  Simon says she got it right.  Simon says it was country.  The judges don’t get it and I don’t either.  There was no country there.   I am two for two in agreement with the judges.

Andy Garcia, according to his fellow American Idol Season 9 performers, has personality.  Are you listening Simon?  He is singing one of my all time favorite Beatles songs “Can’t Buy Me Love”.  Why do the performers stand behind the judges? How can they judge without seeing them perform?  This is a good version of the song.  It was one of Andy’s best performances but nothing amazing.  What Randy?  You agree that is was solid but not great.  Ellen thought it was a lot of fun.  Kara wants to love it but says it is nothing new from Andy.  Simon calls it a wedding song- corny and old fashioned.  I didn’t hate it like Simon did, but I didn’t  love it like Ellen did.

What do the fellow Idols think of Michael Lynche?  Katie Stevens thought he was the Incredible Hulk and he makes some weird high pitch squeal. Mike is performing “Elanor Rigby”.  He keeps the strings but delivers a quasi R&B vibe.  The semi rap,talk singing start sets up the big vocals at the end.  Maybe a little over dramatic but a wonderful vocal performance.  Randy thinks Mike is doing what ever he wants on the show and that he should put it on his album.  Ellen says he can do everything.  Ellen says it was incredible.  Kara calls it fire.  She loved the drama.  She says he made the song commercial and modern.  Simon did not love it as much as the others.  He thinks it was too theatrical.  Kara and Randy argued with Simon.

I just went back and watched Michael Lynche’s performance.  I agree with Kara.  That was Hot!

Crystal Bowersox sits on the stools with Ryan and she is letting her dreadlocks fly.  She is singing “Come Together” because of its fun groove.  She drops a didgeridoo onto the Beatles. Crystal brings the funk and her always great vocals.  She is just so original.  Crystal Bowersox is everything the judges wanted Adam Lambert to be last year.  Amazing vocal, amazing arrangement, amazing performance.  Randy kinda liked it.  Ellen worries about finding new ways to say how great she is.  It is one of Kara’s favorite Crystal Bowersox performances.  Simon says it just worked.  He says it was quirky and contemporary.  I agree with the judges.

Well my first question has been answered.  Michael Lynche and Crystal Bowersox continued their march of greatness tonight.

Poor Tim Urban.  He has to follow those two performances.  The fellow Idols are overwhelmed by the smile.  He is singing “All My Loving”.  A quiet understated opening and then he kicks it up.  The song loses some of its edge in Tim’s hands, but the performance is interesting and solid.  He sings perfectly.  Good job, Tim Urban.  Randy is condescending, “I am going to judge if it is a good Tim performance”.  Tim Urban does look like one of a Beatle tonight.  Ellen thought it was his second best performance.  Kara said it was solid and asks him to smile.  Simon respectfully thought he did very well and thinks the song sounded contemporary.  Simon compliments him on his maturity with the criticism.  Thank you judges for being fair.

Casey James is known as the playboy soap opera star with a huge laugh.  He is doing John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”.  These songs are just so great.  Casey, his guitar and cello gives this song a distinctive vibe.  The performance a slight country feel to it, in a good way.  Casey doesn’t have the voice to completely deliver on the arrangement.  It was sensitive and moving.  Randy appreciates the individualism in the performance.  Ellen though is was soulful and beautiful.  Kara says he showed depth and vulnerability. Simon calls it the best performance of the night.  Simon felt his emotion.  The judges loved it better than I did, but I thought it was very good.

I just went back and watched Casey James‘ performance again.  I agree with everything the judges said, I just don’t like the way Casey sings.

Can Siobhan Magnus recapture her momentum?  Tonight she is going to sing “Across The Universe”.  Of course Siobhan would dig deep into the Beatles psychedelic era. It feels like I am watching Eydie Gorme singing on the Andy Williams Show.  This is certaintly the most understated Siobhan performance of American Idol Season 9.  Randy loves the tender side but thought it was a little sleepy. Ellen says she is special and thought it was beautiful.  Kara says the singing was perfect but a little too polite. Simon says she came back much stronger after last week.

Went back and watched the Siobhan performance again.  She did come back from last week.  I think it may have even gotten her attention and caused her to grow a bit.

Lee Dewyze is the resident worry wart, so much so that the other Idols laugh at him.  He is singing “Hey Jude”.  Oops.  Maybe last week was a fluke.  The singing was just okay.  The bagpipes were way too much.  The arrangement was a mess.  Sorry Lee, that was not good. Randy loved it?  What did he see?  Ellen thought he showed a lot of confidence.  Kara was mixed about the performance.  Simon thought the bagpipes were too much.

A very good night.  I thought Aaron Kelly was the only one who did rise to the occasion.  I though Lee Dewyze and Andy Garcia just missed in their performances.

Come watch Rihana with us tomorrow night as we live blog the results.

American Idol Season 9 Top 10 Performances

Now that the American Idol Season 9 tour is set, the next goal for American Idol hopefuls is victory.  It will interesting to see if some of the front runners (see our American Idol Season 9 Power Rankings) will take some chances tonight.  Siobhan Magnus and Crystal Bowersox said last week that they were going to try something new.  Will Michael Lynche bust out some Dirty South rap R&B on R&B/Soul night?

We are covering Christian music artists performing on American Idol Season 9Michael Lynche, Didi Benami and Tim Urban are in the top 10 and we will see them on tour this summer.  Michael Lynche is a contender to win it all, so he needs to start taking the type of risks that will launch him to victory.  Didi Benami is a viable darkhorse who needs a few breakthrough performances to make it into the final mix. Tim Urban needs a solid performance every week to stay in the competition after two weeks in the bottom 3.

Usher will mentor all 10 American Idol Season 9 top 10 through R&B/Soul hits of the last 60 years.  Last week’s performances were a disaster.  Let’s hope this week will the Idol’s fare better.

We get a little raw backstage footage that show how imaginary all of this glitz really is and then to the intros.  Why is Simon always pawing Kara?  Tonight is when we start the final push.  I wonder who will take the big risk and pull it off tonight?

Usher, the #1 R&B of the decade, has sold 45 million records and has 5 Grammys.  Wow, I love soul music and I don’t even listen to Usher. That girl by Usher sure does look like Charlize Theron.

We start with Siobhan Magnus and she is a fan of Usher.  She is performing “Through The Fire” by Chaka Kahn.  The start is a little clumsy.  This is one of my least favorite Chaka Kahn songs.  She has completely lost the pitch and started to screech.  Well, Siobhan clings to the big note as she has for the past four weeks.  This was really bad singing.  Almost as bad as Paige last week.  Randy refuses to criticize her.  Ellen says she was lost.  Kara says she was nervous.  Now Kara is making excuses for her.  Simon says it sounded like she was singing while she was of breath.  He says she was all over the place.  Siobhan is offended at Simon’s critcism.  Siobhan says it was the hardest song she has performed so far.  I guess we have seen the limits of Siobhan’s talent.  Siobhan looks like she is about to cry and the judges spend the next few minutes propping her up.  Why are some performers summarily destroyed but others are coddled?

Time for some Casey James.  He is singing Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin”.  Usher calls Casey a rock star.  This ong has never been performed on American Idol.  Casey is giving a big bluesy guitar opening.  This song is perfect Casey James singing style and his voice.  I wish he would have moved away from the guitar and given us a little more movement.   Casey is showing off his rock star persona.  This was a good night for Casey James. Randy says perfect song choice and hot performance.  Ellen says it was too safe.  Kara is imploring him to show off more of his range. Simon says it was Casey’s strongest performance of the season.  He loved the arrangement.  I agree with Simon.

I like the post performance backstage interviews.

Michael Lynche is singing  neo-soul “I Am Ready for Love” by India.Arie. Usher is coaching Michael on projecting his performance.  I wish Michael had done something more spectacular.   He is sitting on a stool behind the judges.  That may be a mistake.  As he has every week, he is singing the song perfectly.  This is a beautiful vocal performance but it does not deliver much firepower.  Randy loved it big time.   Ellen says that was beautiful.  Kara is about to cry again.  She says he mastered the intention of the song.  Simon says he can now take Michael seriously as an artist, that he demonstrated what it is to be “original”.  Simon says he believed the performance.  Great job Michael Lynche.

Didi Benami is singing The Temptations’ “What Becomes of The Brokenhearted” and breaks down during her mentoring session.  Can she keep it together during her performance?  I love her off kilter jazz phrasing. She is selling this song and singing her heart out.  It was okay I guess. Randy hated it. Ellen is booing herself and that is bad. She says it was too dramatic.  Kara says it was overdone, says she has lost her way. Simon says it was like swimming in jelly, too over the top.  At least Didi does not throw a fit.  Ryan is digging into Didi’s private life and she refuses to take the bait.  An uncomfortable moment.

The Christian performer triumvirate ends with Tim Urban singing Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” .  Tim is discussing Tim’s nickname of “Teflon Tim”.   Usher did a really great job mentoring Tim to make a connection.  Let’s see if it worked.  The singing starts a little shakey. He gets stronger through the performance but I just don’t think he has the vocals to keep up with American Idol Season 9.  Randy says it had no vibe or swagger. Ellen did not like it but I don’t know what she was saying.  Kara says she took the soul out of the song.  Tim is laughing during the criticism and Simon thinks Tim is laughing at the judges.  Simon hated the song performance.

Andy Garcia will try to break his bad streak with Chris Brown’s “Forever”.  Usher stopped Andy and made him stop thinking about it so much.  Usher is a good mentor.  This song is perfect for Andy Garcia.  Randy has called out several of the performers about “flat” performances and this is a little flat for me.  This was just okay for me.  Randy loved it, saying “Andrew is back!”  Ellen says it was a break through. Kara is happy with Andrew’s leap in the right direction.  Simon says it was miles better than the past few weeks.  He rightly coaches Andrew to show a little more personality.   Mama Garcia is giving Simon a piece of her mind for calling her son boring.

Let’s see if Katie Stevens can get back the mojo she had at the auditions.  I think she has a crush on Usher but she is one cool young lady.  She is singing Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools”, that is brave.  Katie has a great low end for this song but she can’t reach the heights of the original.  Overall this is a good, not great singing performance with clumsy stage presence. Randy says it was one of the best vocals of the night and then went on to criticize the performance. Kara says this is where she belongs but they want her younger and more commercial. Simon is mocking the judges for comparing her to Christina Aguilera.  Simon and Kara are arguing about what type of music she should sing.  Poor girl.

Michael Lynche has been the first to greet all of the contestants when they come back stage, before and after he performed.

Lee Dewyze is explaining how to create a moment on American Idol.  Lee has picked a golden obscurity “Treat Her Like A Lady” by the Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose. Another great song choice, this is perfect for his style.  Lee is throwing it down with a rip roaring, stomping performances.  Interesting pacing and dynamics packaging.  The band is big but Lee’s vocals are bigger.  That was awesome! Randy says unbelievable, the bomb and Ellen adds “there you go”.  Kara says amazing.  Simon says that tonight is the night that Lee Dewyze‘s life changes forever.

Crystal Bowersox has some big shoes to fill after Lee Dewyze’s performance so she slips in some 7 inch stilettos to take on the challenge.  Crystal will sing Gladys Knight‘s “Midnight Train to Georgia” behind the piano.  So Crystal Bowersox is a soul singer too. I did not like the arrangement but the singing was ferocious.  Randy says it was another great performance.  Ellen says it was wonderful idea and Kara loved it.  Simon says the vocals were great at times but she was a bit mechanical.

Aaron Kelly closes the show singing the great Bill Wither‘s “Ain’t No Sunshine”.  Usher’s great coaching is to make the “I know” string personal.  This is a different side of Aaron tonight.  He does not seem so mechanical. When it is time for the song to lift and soar his performance lays a little flat.  That was just okay.  Just alright for Randy and Ellen was balnd about it.  Kara just liked it.  Simon called it a cupcake compared to some of the main course performances tonight.

Michael Lynche, Lee Dewyze and Casey James ruled the show tonight.  Join us tomorrow night to hear what America thinks.

American Idol Season 9 Top 10 Power Rankings

For all of the talk about the judges, Paula leaving, who is replacing Paula, Ellen Degeneres, Simon is leaving, oh no, this show rises and falls on the contestants.  So far American Idol Season 9 is sinking under the weight of a disappointing group of contestants.  Are we tired of American Idol?  Were American Idol Seasons 6, 7 and 8 just so good that American Idol Season 9 pales in comparison? Did the judges, with Simon’s focus on his next thing, Paula’s departure, the distraction of finding Paula’s replacement and all of the guest judges cause the judge group to just miss on the selections?  I don’t know.

We are down to the Top 10 and this is the group we will buy tickets to see on the American Idol Season 9 Tour.  Some contestants could rise up from here and raise the bar, maybe, hopefully.

We are covering Christian music artists on American Idol Season 9 and three will tour.  Michael Lynche, Didi Benami and Tim Urban have made it to the Top 10.  Michael Lynche is emerging as one of the favorites, Didi Benami shows signs of being a solid artist but is still finding her balance and Tim Urban is hanging on after surviving the Bottom 3 each of the last two weeks.

American Idol Season 9 Top 10 Power Rankings

  1. Crystal Bowersox has risen above the American Idol Season 9 crowd and proven herself to be the most complete and developed artist of the group.  She is a terrific singer who is completely confident in herself as an artist.  She has consistently chosen the perfect song for herself.  Her gospel rendition of “Long As I Can See The Light” was one of the two highlights of the season.  Does it seem that she is uncomfortably out of place on American Idol?
  2. Michael Lynche has demonstrated a wide range of soul styles from neo-soul to contemporary R&B to straight-up gut wrenching soul.  The judges have overlooked Michael somewhat because he seems to be playing the game of selecting “American Idol” songs and giving them interesting, if safe, arrangements.  His performance of “A Woman’s Work” was not only the season highlight for me but the highlight of the past three seasons. I know that his music is as challenging and dangerous and unique as anything Crystal Bowersox or Siobhan Magnus has thrown at the judges.  Let’s see if, now that Michael Lynche is in the Top 10 and probably has a few weeks to take a risk, he is willing to shake things up with some of his “Dirty South R&B”.
  3. Siobhan Magnus is this year’s bombastic judges favorite.  Every week she seems to try to be as loud and as outrageous on stage as she can be and the judges fawn over her like teenage girls in the presence of Joe Jonas. I really don’t get it.  In any of the other seasons I would rank in her in the bottom half, but if you guys have seen the show you understand.
  4. Didi Benami has moved away from “American Idol steroetype” of the “sensitive singer/songwriter who cries a lot” over the past few weeks.  She has performed “Paint It Black” and “You’re No Good” like she was thinking about someone who did her wrong.  It has worked for me but not the judges.  Didi Benami needs a really great moment when she uses her sensitive interpretive skills to quietly rip a song open and bring the judges to their knees.  I think she has it in her.
  5. Casey James has had several weeks of delivering workable, if forgettable, rocking performances of rock n’ roll and country songs.  I can’t remember any of the performances.
  6. Lee Dewyze
  7. Katie Stevens does not belong on American Idol Season 9. Not because she is not a great singer.  I think she is great.  Like Crystal Bowersox, American Idol pop music is not her deal.  The judges keep telling her to be more contemporary.  That is not who she is. Katie Stevens is an old soul.  We will see her singing interesting jazz and blues in New York and Paris cabarets for years to come.  I can’t wait.
  8. Tim Urban is the one the judges love to hate.  He managed to turn a substitute slot in the  Top 24 into a Top 10 place on the American Idol Season 9 tour, but the judges hate him.  I liked his reggae take on “Under My Thumb”.  Tim Urban does need to demonstrate more vocal skills and a more comfortable presence on stage.
  9. Andy Garcia is one of my two biggest disappointments of the year.  I thought he was going to be the one to bring smart, edgy interpretations to out of genre songs and wow us very week.  So far, he has forced all of his song selections into a bland mid tempo soft rock style.
  10. Aaron Kelly does not do it for me.  His has delivered one overwought, bombastic vocal performance after another.  The judges love him and I am sure we will see him on the Country Music Awards for decades.  That is why I don’t watch the CMA’s.

After two American Idol Seasons dominated by guys we thought girls might rule American Idol Season 9.  We have six guys in the American Idols Season 9 Tour.

Join us Tuesday night as we live blog the 10 American Idol finalists performing Soul/R&B songs under the mentoring of Usher.

American Idol Season 9- Top 11

This week is the week America selects the American Idol Season 9 touring troupe.There has been mass confusion this week about the theme and the guest mentor.  First the theme was “Teen Idol Hits” and now it has been changed to “Billboard Number 1 Hits”.  At first rumors were that the surprise guest mentor was Christina Aquilera but it looks like Christian music artist Miley Cyrus will mentor the American Idol Season 9 Top 11.

At One21music we cover Christians performing on American Idol Season 9 and the numbers are dwindling quickly.  Last week we lost Christian music artist Lacey Brown and Christian music artist Tim Urban was in the bottom 3.  Didi Benami made a shrewd move last week and showed an aggressive side to her personality.  She looks to be a strong contender for a while. Michael Lynche continues to deliver strong, interesting performances and looks to me to be a potential contender to win it all.  There doesn’t seem to be much of a buzz about Michael Lynche so he needs to continue to perform at a high level.  The lack of buzz may work in his favor though, as he has room to improve and capture momentum through the season.

Hang with us for the next two hours as we live blog American Idol Season 9 Top 11 performances.

Why are the judges wasting so much time.  Can we get on with the show?  Correction the theme is “Billboard Hot 100 Number Ones”.  The mentor is younger than all of the contestants?  I like Miley Cyrus and she does have years of experience, I just wonder.  So Myley Cyrus as the mentor wound up mentoring herself.

Lee Dewyze is singing The Letter by the The Boxtops.  Myley coaches him to push himself as a vocalist and a performer.  Why is rocker Lee Dewyze doing a Vegas lounge version of this rock classic?  This song was originally sung by 16 year old phenom Alex Chilton who went on to create Big StarAlex Chilton died this week.  Lee Dewyze sang exceptionally well, but I did not like the arrangement.  The judges are loving Lee Dewyze, except of course Simon who thought the performance missed the point.

Paige Miles is wearing the tallest heels she has ever worn so let’s hope she doesn’t fall.  She is singing Phil Collins‘ “Against All Odds”.  And as Myley warned her against, she is completely off pitch.  If Paige Miles was in the bottom 3 last week, this is not the performance she needs.  I am sorry Paige, this is as bad as I have seen on American Idol Season 9.  Randy tries to find words, and finds the words “honestly terrible”. Ellen refuses to critique the song.  Kara calls it the worst vocal of the season.  Simon is almost at a loss for words.

Tim Urban is doing a Queen number 1?  Could be dangerous.  He is singing “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.  He sounds good in the rehearsal.  Crazy stage move by Tim Urban.  He sings okay, but does not stretch himself vocally.  This was pretty good, not great, but pretty good.  Randy is under judging Tim Urban, calling the singing boring. Ellen says it was corny.   I don’t understand what Kara is saying.  Simon says it was pointless and silly.

Aaron Kelly has a crush on Myley Cyrus.  Tonight he is singing Aerosmith‘s “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing”.  This sounds a little pitchy at the beginning and he struggles throughout the song.  What is going on tonight?  He gives a big performance of this bombastic ballad from bad Aerosmith.  My wife says, if they liked that then I know they have a short list.  Looks like the judges have a short list. Randy loved it and Ellen thinks it was amazing.  Kara calls it the best song choice of the night.  Simon calls it brave and is generally complimentary.  I don’t think he was much better than Paige Miles and I didn’t like her.

Finally, Crystal Bowersox is doing Janis Joplin.  But first she added Myley Cyrus to her collection of autographs on her guitar.  She is singing Kris Kristofferson‘s “Me and Bobby McGee”.  It starts a little boring but she begins to rave and stomp through the back-end of the song and made it pretty great.  Randy calls her a star and dope.  Ellen has a criticism, asking her to connect more with the audience. Kara felt more of her personality.  Is Crystal a little confident with her big plans for next week?  Simon says she sang the song as big as Pink.

We are back with Big Mike Lynche. He is doing Percy Sledge‘s “When A Man Loves a Woman” and he hypnotized Myley Cyrus.  Michael Lynche is putting his own stamp on the Classic (with a capital “C”) song.  He throws out a big long note and some stomping vocals.  Michael Lynche’s version of “When A Man Loves A Woman’ is the best in 40 years.  Randy what was wrong with this?  Ellen says it was a safe choice.  Kara calls it technically good, but lazy.  WHAT ARE THESE JUDGES WATCHING?  Simon says it was too much and does not like the staging and arrangement.  I so disagree so much with the judges.

When I was listening to Crystal Bowersox sing I was thinking how good Janis Joplin was.  When I listened to Michael Lynche I was thinking that we had the third great version of this song, along with Percy Sledge and Bette Midler.  I don’t like these judges very much right now.

I just said if Andy Garcia was singing an Eddie Kendriks Motown song it would be good, but if he does Marvin Gaye he should go home.  Well he is doing Marvin Gaye‘s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”. He just does not have the voice to sing this song and talks large sections of the verses.   I didn’t like this very much.  I doubt he will go home but he should be punished.  Randy said it did not work and Ellen agreed.  Kara says he seems confused.  For once I agree with the judges.  Simon thinks maybe they had overrated Andy.

Katie Stevens is singing Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry”.  The old soul is singing a contemporary song. Maybe we should all realize that maybe Katie Stevens is not a contemporary songstress.  She needs to be singing old soul and jazz songs.  That seemed like an effort.  Randy likes that is presenting herself as a younger artist.  Ellen loved it, thinks it was her best performance.  Kara thinks this was the perfect niche for her. Simon thinks she should be doing country and does not believe that this style of music is what Katie wants to do.

Casey James sitting on the stools talking about pushing himself.  He is singing “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and The News. Casey James rocks a few power chords before he starts singing.  His singing is good but the horn section is more animated than Casey.  Randy does not like the song choice but liked the performance.  Ellen says it was the best vocal of the night.  Kara says he is in a zone.  Simon completely disagrees with the other judges and says it was like listening to an 80′s cover band.

Christian music artist Didi Benami goes dark again with Linda Rondstat’s “You’re No Good”.  She  takes the country out of the song and makes it a sultry, jazz ditty.  This is a good, unique performance.  I think she is starting to get her groove.  Who is she angry at? Randy thought it was too pitchey. Ellen did not think it was the right song choice. Kara felt it was over dramatic and she is confused.  Simon eviscerates her.  Man I am not connecting with the judges.

Before Siobhan Magnus ever sings I can write the judges comments.  Randy says that was the bomb.  Ellen says Siobhan is so unique.  Kara will reference Adam Lambert.  Simon will say that she continues to separate herself from the other contestants.

Siobhan Magnus is singing Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”.  Siobhan is doing the best to recreate her mohawk.  Her voice is too smooth to do this funky song, but of course she screams at the end.  Randy did not drop the bomb and said the others should emulate her.  Ellen gives her an automatic greatness.  Kara loved her fearlesness.  Simon says her style of screaming at the end of the song is becoming rote.

So the judges and I watched two different shows.  I think Paige Miles has to go home, but Tim Urban is probably at risk as well.

American Idol Season 9 Top 20 Results Live Blog

Back for our fifth hour of American Idol Season 9 this week.  I like that American Idol gave the Top 24 time to sing and the judges time comment over the past two weeks.   In seasons past these early shows were so rushed that it did not feel you had time to truly hear the competitors.  This extended approach worked better.  Next week, American Idol Season 9 will return to one hour shows on three separate nights.  The Top 8 Girls will perform on Tuesday, the Top 8 Guys on Wednesday and then a results show on Thursday.  So, who will survive tonight to perform next week on American Idol Season 9?  Settle in with us for the next hour as we live blog the festivities.

The last two night we saw 20 American Idol Season 9 performances.  For the most part everyone improved, but, not everyone was great.   Three performances really stood out for me.  Crystal Bowersox’s gospel cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Long As I Can See The Light” was amazing.  Her singing was powerful and the arrangement was a revelation.  That was one of those moments that propel an artist far into the American Idol Season 9 finals.  Katelyn Epperly’s take on “The Scientist ” (Coldplay) was beautiful, stirring and heartfelt.  Coming in third for the week is Christian music artist Michael Lynche.  He updated James Brown’s “Its A Man’s World”, made it feel modern and sang it perfectly.

Unfortunately, I think some of our Christian music artists are in trouble.  Tim Urban has yet to prove he is up to the task of winning American Idol Season 9. It feels like he needs another year of heavy performing to be ready for this stage.  Making it even more treacherous for Tim that he is part of a “teen throb” triumvirate that could split votes (Tim Urban, Alex Lambert, Aaron Kelly).  Christian music artist Jermaine Sellers could be in trouble.  His two live performances have been a bit strange and his interactions with the judges are uncomfortable.  But, Jermaine, make sure you get Simon to church! I am also afraid that Christian music artist Lacey Brown is in serious trouble tonight.  I love her voice but she has not yet shown that she can package that voice in a compelling way.  I hope I am wrong on all accounts.

I think Lacey Brown, Haeley Vaughn, John Park and Jermaine Sellers will go home tonight.  If so, we will be down to four Christian music artists left in the American Idol Season 9 Top 16.

Tonight, in addition to finding out who goes home, we get to see Danny Gokey perform a song from his new album.  27 million votes.  The Idols are doing Black Eyed Peas, “I Got A Feeling”.  Thing is, none of them believe the lyric “Tonight’s gonna be a good night”, a few smiles please.

We are back to send someone home.  Let’s start with the guys.  Christian music artist Tim Urban up first and he is safe.  Joyful surprise, the girls love them some Tim Urban! Christian music artist Michael Lynche is safe as is Toddrick Hall.  John Park goes home.  He just did not assert his personality. The rest of the guys hang through the commercial.

Who else goes home right now.  Up first is Lee Dewyze who, of course, is safe.  Aaron Kelly sang “My Girl”, which I liked, and he is safe.  Alex Lambert looks like he is going to faint but he is safe also.  It is down to Jermaine Sellers and Andy Garcia.  Looks like Jermaine is home.  Christian music artist Jermaine Sellers goes home.  Unfortunately, my predictions have come true.  I am really surprised Jermaine did not do better on American Idol Season 9.  He has been touring since he was 14.  I thought he would sail through the early weeks.  Was he too confident?  He is singing his farewell and as is often the case we ask ourselves, why didn’t he do that last night?

It is Danny Gokey time.  I am interested to hear his new stuff.  This is a good song for him.  The guy is singing about getting old?  What is he 28?  He sounds really good.  I would like to hear him sing a little more soulful music and I look forward to his worship cd.  That was country?  I guess, living in Texas, I don’t know what country music is.  This song is Number 5 on iTunes.  I love Danny Gokey.  All of you haters shut your mouth.

Girls on a hot seat!  Will Lacey Brown survive?  We hope so.  Of course Lilly Scott comes back nest week.  Paige Miles is safe. Katie Stevens is safe.   Didi Benami and Michelle Delamor are left.  We are going to lose another Christian music artist.  I disagree with this no matter who it is.  We lose Michelle Delamor.  I am shocked. She is crushed.

Now it is time for the final cut of the night.  Will it be Lacey Brown, Haeley Vaughn or another surprise.  Katelyn Epperly and Crystal Bowersox are safe.  Siobhan Magnus is safe so it is down to Lacey and Haeley.  Lacey Brown is safe!  Haeley Vaughn is going home.

I am shocked that we lost Michelle Delamor tonight.  We are down to four Christian music artists in the final 16.  Join us next Tuesday night.

American Idol Seaon 9 Goes Live

American Idol Season 9 goes live this week with a bang and One21music will be there live blogging the journey of this year’s Top 24 performers.  Tuesday night we have a two hour extravaganza of the the Top 12 girls performing live for the first time on American Idol Season 9.  That is followed on Wednesday night with another two hours as the Top 12 guys deliver their first live performances.  Then on Thursday, American Idol Season 9 the contestants hear their first results from America when two girls and two guys are eliminated.  Join us for our live reactions to the performances and the results.

I will set the Top 24 and share a few thoughts on how I think American Idol Season 9 will play out in a few minutes but first, let’s discuss the shift in the Top 24 that I noticed in the One21 live blog of the American Idol Season 9 Top 24 announcement.

Christian music artist Chris “orphan” Golightly was disqualified this week when a prodcution company contacted American Idol claiming that the had a recording contract with Golightly.  Chris Golightly claims the contract expired before he auditioned, but the damage was done.

Christian music artist Tim Urban was called on Tuesday afternoon to replace Chris Golightly.  We caught one small Tim Urban 2glimpse of Tim Urban in the first American Idol Season 9 Hollywood Week episode but we really have yet to hear him perform. Tim Urban is a hotel and restaurant singer from Duncanville, Texas who plays the Dallas/Ft Worth Christian music circuit with his band.  They have played iconic Dallas Christian music club The Door and Six Flags Over Texas. Tim Urban has been singing and playing the guitar since he was 13 years old, sings Christian music and says that he has never touched alcohol. Tim Urban and his nine siblings were home schooled by his mother.  It will be hard for Tim Urban to survive the first few weeks, but if he does, watch out.  He looks to be an American Idol Season 9 contestant that teenage girls will quickly fall in love with.

Now that is all settled, American Idol’s Season 9 Top 24 features 7 Christian music performers, a few more we are still researching.

Christian Music Performers on American Idol Season 9

Ashley Rodriguez
Jermaine Sellers
Lacey Brown
Michelle Delamor
Tim Urban
Michael “Mike” Lynche
Didi Benami

These Christian music artists are joined on American Idol Season 9 by these performers. If you know anything about the faith backgrounds of these aspiring artists please share.
Aaron Kelly
Alex Lambert
Andrew Garcia
Casey James
Crystal Bowersox
Haeley Vaughn
Janell Wheeler
John Park
Jose Munoz
Katelyn Epperly
Katie Stevens
Lee DeWyze
Lilly Scott
Paige Miles
Siobhan Magnus
Tyler Grady
Toddrick Hall

How Will Amercia respond to these American Idol Season 9 Contestants

As intimidating and the American Idol judges can be, you never know how these aspiring artists will respond to a live audience and a huge television viewership. However, based on what we have seen there are a few competitors I expect to contend for the title:

  • Christian music artist Michael Lynche has a huge presence on stage both physically and with his personality. He is very creative in his recorded music and is a great singer.
  • We discussed Christian music artist Tim Urban’s chance above.  His biggest drawback is his similarity to Kris Allen and David Cook.
  • Andrew Garcia has demonstrated the highest level of artistry through the American Idol Season 9 auditions and Hollywood Week.  His ability to arrange popular songs into his own style will excite the voting public deep into the season .
  • Katie Stevens looks like a winner to me.  She is young enough to connect with the teenage girl voting block, she appears to be extremely confident and she has as good a voice as I have seen on American Idol since Kelly Clarkson.

Four people will go home this week.  Based on what I have seen I think Haeley Vaughn, Siobhan Magnus, Toddrick Hall and Alex Lambert will not survive the week.

Join us Tuesday night at 8:00 est as we start the wild ride of American Idol Season 9 with two hours of musical revalations, forgotten lyrics and catty comments from the judges.

American Idol Season 9 Top 24 Selection Live Blog

American Idol Season 9 threw us for a loop last night.  They extended the show to two hours and started the selection of the Top 24.  They revealed seven of the Top 24 last night.  Christian music artists Michael Lynche and Didi Benami go to the live show next week.  I will complain that one of my early Christian music favorites, Alex Nestor, was eliminated last night without us ever seeing her perform or them even mentioning her name.  Check her out, she is terrific.

Michael Lynche and Didi Benami are joined by five other American Idol Season 9 competitors.  We have not been able to find our anything about the faith backgrounds of Aaron Kelly,Casey James, Katelyn Epperly, Lee Dewyze or Toddrick Hall.  We do know that they are in the Top 24.  Please help us if you know anything about these American Idol Season 9 finalists.

Join us now as we live blog you through the next hour of judge fake outs and emotional breakdowns on the way to our American Idol Season 9 Top 24.

We go back to the Kodak Theater to find the last 17 of American Idol’s Season 9 Top 24.

Janelle Wheeler is up next.  We believe that she is a Christian music artists but we have not been able to confirm.  Rumor is that she dated college football star Tim Tebow.  They showed a shaky final Hollywood Week performance.  And Ellen talks on and on and on. Janelle Wheeler has made it to the American Idol Season 9 Top 24.

Tyler Grady is the rocker dude who auditioned with two broken wrists.  He sings lead and plays drums in a rock band. The judges say that he is very 70′s.  He tells the judges he copies his stage moves from old rock DVDs. Tyler Grady has made it to the American Idol Season 9 Top 24.

Up next in the hot seat is Christian music artist Lacey Brown.  She came back from Season 8.  I really like her. Lacey Brown is in American Idol’s Season 9 Top 24.  Yeah, I think she is going to be a contender.

Christian music artist Ashley Rodriguez, Jose Munoz and Alex Lambert are put through to the top 24 in a rapid fire segment over Lacey Brown’s rendition of “Wonderful World”.

Rocker chick, independent music artist Crystal Bowersox has been put into the American Idol Season 9 Top 24 as well.  And she has a nickname “Mamasox”.

After a commercial break we have revealed 14 of the Top 24.

17 year old Katie Stevens walks the long aisle to sit in the chair of judgment.  Is there really much of a question here?  she is very, very good.  I think she is a favorite and she is in the American Idol Season 9 Top 24.

We go through a long montage of no’s with no names.  We end this segment with Angela Martin on her third try at American Idol. Her father died during her first try, she went to jail during Hollywood Week last year (traffic violations) but this year she still does not make it.  On the positive side, because of her American Idol exposure Shiner Hospital agreed to take care of her young sick daughter until she turns 21.  This was really sad.

Offbeat indie rocker Lilly Scott is up next.  We hear throw down a great jazz take during the first round of Hollywood Week but stumble to the finish.  Kara calls her unique and tells her that she is going through to the American Idol Season 9 Top 24.  Eighteen in, six to go.

Paige Miles, Siodhan Magnus and Christian music artists Michelle Delamor and Jermaine Sellers make it through in rapid fire.  John Park joins that rapid fire group. Only three spots left.

The final two go down to Haeley Vaughn and Tori Kelly. Of course, they drag it out and put these girls through a ringer.  Haeley Vaughn is the final girl in the American Idol Season 9 Top 24.

We are down to 16 year old Thadeous Johnson and Andrew Garcia.  I love both of these guys.  It is a crime that is one of them will not make to the American Idol Season 9 Top 24, but Thadeous goes home and Andrew Garcia lives on to sing next week.

Interestingly enough they did not show Chris Golightly making the top 12.  He was in the group picture but not in the closing montage.  Instead someone named Tim Urban danced in the closing montage.  What happened?

Help us find out more about Andy Garcia, Haeley Vaughn, Paige Miles, Katie Stevens, Janelle Wheeler, Jose Munoz and Alex Lambert.  Next week we live blog on both Tuesday and Wednesday as the Top 12 girls and Top 12 guys are cut to 10 each.  It will be two hours of American Idol Season 9 excitement.  We will see you then.