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 Rankings

American Idol Season 9‘s version of Idol Gives Back raised $45 million for charities around the world and proved how difficult it is to walk on that stage and deliver a quality performance.  Alicia Keys, Elton John and the Black Eyed Peas all stumbled through off key performances.  Jeff Beck and Joss Stone were interesting with their version of “I Put A Spell On You” and Carrie Underwood’s “Change” was as good as she always is.  Mary J. Blige was a revelation with her version of “Stairway to Heaven”.

We lost Christian music artist Tim Urban went home on Wednesday night.  What a great story.  Tim Urban did not survive Hollywood Week but was pulled back in at the last minute when Chris Golightly was disqualified.  Tim struggled mightily during the first few weeks and the judges destroyed Tim Urban week after week.  But Tim was grateful.  He took the criticism, enjoyed the tremendous opportunity of American Idol Season 9 and improved.  In doing so, Tim Urban has turned an audition into a music and acting career.

We are down to six on American Idol Season 9 and we are left with only one Christian music artist, Michael Lynche.  Last week, the Idols performed inspirational songs and Crystal Bowersox very much separated herself from all of the remaining six performers.

American Idol Season 9 Top 6 Power Rankings

  1. Crystal Bowersox delivered her most emotional and one of her most amazing performances of the season. She blasted through “People Get Ready” like she meant it.  Crystal Bowersox has no peers on American Idol Season 9.
  2. Michael Lynche‘s “Hero” was, once again, technically perfect but not was not his best performance of the American Idol Season 9.
  3. Lee Dewyze sang “The Boxer” and the judges were fighting to deliver the highest praise.  We were not as thrilled with Lee mumbling his way through this Simon & Garfunkel song.
  4. Casey James‘ version of “Don’t Stop” was bland and lazy.
  5. Siobhan Magnus continued to slide by taking a big risk with “When You Believe” and failing to deliver.
  6. Aaron Kelly‘s “I Believe I Can Fly” was a big overwrought pitchy mess.

Shania Twain will mentor this week and the American Idol Season 9 Top 6 will select songs from her songbook.  So get ready for six country pop performances and a fun mentor.

American Idol Season 9 Top 9 (part 2) Results

Two will go home tonight on American Idol Season 9.  There are no more saves, no more second chances.  After tonight we will be down to 7.

Last night American Idol Season 9 sang the songs of Elvis PresleyAdam Lambert did an admirable job of mentoring the performers through this tricky set of songs.  I expected a parade of karaoke and bad lounge act interpretations of Elvis. Andy Garcia, Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus managed to meet that expectation.  However, Crystal Bowersox (as always), Lee Dewyze and (believe it or not) Tim Urban delivered interesting, nuanced performances. See our live blog of American Idol Season 9 Elvis night.

Last week we experienced the Michael Lynche shocker.  According to dialidol, America responded to the almost Lynche tragedy by voting for Michael Lynche more than any other performer in the American Idol Season 9 Top 9.  Tim Urban has gained some well deserved momentum since the judges nearly had nervous breakdowns over his smiling.  I think his star is on the rise and Tim Urban could make it into the American Idol Season 9 Top 5 (remember Syesha Mercado?).  It is time for Aaron Kelly to go, but he won’t.

I think the bottom three will include Katie Stevens, Andrew Garcia and Siobhan Magnus.  Katie and Andrew will go home and Siobhan will be so crushed that she loses her way the rest of the season.

Let’s find out together as we live blog the results for the second installment of the American Idol Season 9 Top 9.

Ryan tells us America voted 34 million times last night, the largest number this season.  Adam Lambert and Brooke White perform. But first we start with a American Idol Season 9 group medley of Elvis classics. The medley gets the full Vegas lounge act review treatment.

To the results.  Casey James stands first and he is joined by Aaron Kelly and Andy Garcia.  Ryan walks them to the center of the stage. Andy Garcia looks like he thinks he is going home.  Andrew Garcia is going home.  Lee Dewyze is crushed, he loses his new best friend.  I hate to see Andrew Garcia go home but it is time.  What a classy guy, Andrew Garcia leaves with a statement of gratitude.  Well done.

For this most commercial of endeavours, I very much appreciate American Idol‘s consistent commitment to global charities.  Next week is Idol Gives Back.

Brooke White and Justin Gaston perform a duet of “Why Can’t My Dreams Come True”.  Brooke sounds great and this Justin guy sings really well.  This is the best guest performance of the past month.

It is time to set-up the second elimination.  Who will be in the bottom 2?  Crystal Bowersox is safe. SURPRISE!  Siobhan Magnus is safe.  Really, kind of a mild surprise. Lee Dewyze is safe. They leave Tim Urban, Michael Lynche and Katie Stevens in a sort of bottom 3.

Finally, Alicia Keys will mentor American Idol Season 9.  The best musician on the scene today will guide the Idols through their selections of inspirational songs.  I am excited.

It is time for Adam Lambert to reprise his place on the American Idol stage.  Some things never change.  I don’t think American Idol sprang for the lasers or the sparkling in-ear monitors last year, but that is about the only difference.

Will it be Tim, Michael or Katie?  It is time to find out.  Ryan sends Tim Urban back to safety. The season ends tonight for Katie Stevens. Ryan does reveal that Michael Lynche was not even in the bottom 3.

Join us next week for Idol Gives Back, inspirational songs and Alicia Keys.

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 Results

Last night we were Ushered through two hours of Soul/R&B on American Idol Season 9.  The results were better than the week before but more mediocre than I expected.  We are now in the push to win and nobody took the reins of the American Idol Season 9.  Three guys won the night.  The top girls delivered their weakest performances of the season and Tim Urban, Katie Stevens and Aaron Kelly made their pitches for the bottom 3.

Michael Lynche, Casey James and Lee Dewyze stole the night.  Michael Lynche went sensitive with a neo-soul ballad while Casey James and Lee Dewyze updated two old school soul raves and rocked the stage.  Top girl Crystal Bowersox struggled through a bland performance and Siobhan Magnus fell apart after the judges criticized her bad performance.  Didi Benami sang well but was destroyed by the judges and the judges fawned all over the Andy Garcia’s comeback to mediocrity.

We will see Usher sing a tune from his new release tonight.  I think Tim Urban, Katie Stevens and Andy Garcia are in the bottom 3 and I think this is the week that Tim Urban goes back to Texas to wait for the tour.  But hey, Kate Goslin survived last night on Dancing With The Stars and Tim Urban is better than Kate.  Let’s see what America thinks.

Is the Cracken going to be on American Idol tonight or they just teasing us with a Clash of The Titans trailer? I guess Simon really does really look like the Cracken.  Siobhan Magnus looks pretty miserable.  Rueben Studdard starts the show with some smooth R&B.  Remember this guy?  He was on American Idol Season 2.  Yeah he won and went into the American Idol winner protection program.  Rueben Studdard is good form, but this song sounds like a medley.  Why isn’t this guy more popular?  Michael Lynche is loving this guy.

So let’s start to slowly build the American Idol Season 9 Top 10 bottom 3.   But first a Ford commercial and nothing to say about that.  Michael Lynche has attached a pink ponytail to his bald head.  Mama Garcia just told Andrew to be himself, even thought judges are calling him boring. Lee Dewyze, who had his best night of the year last night, and even though he is talking way too much he is safe.  Casey James also had a terrific night last night and he is safe as well.  Aaron Kelly underperformed “Ain’t No Sunshine” last night but he is safe.  It is down to Siobhan Magnus and Katie Stevens and Katie Stevens is in the bottom 3.  Why is Siobhan Magnus is crying and why are they so focused on her?  She is safe.

Next week the American Idol Season 9 Top 9 will perform from the Lennon/McCartney songbook.  But now we see Usher using an auto-tuner and I hate that device. The auto tuner and the offensive lyrics cause me to change the channel.  No Usher for me.

I am back for the commercial break.  Will Didi Benami or Andy Garcia join Katie Stevens and perennial Bottom 3 resident Tim Urban in tonight’s bottom 3?  Didi Benami, the judges’ favorite punching bag, is up first and she is in the Bottom 3.  The judges might use their save on her.  Michael Lynche is on the hot spot now and Ellen is talking about his subtlety and sensitivity.  After Mike lifts Ryan over his head, Ryan may rethink his misdirection shenanigans.  Crystal Bowersox is safe.  Tim Urban and Andy Garcia are the last two left to join to Bottom 3.  Nobody can understand why Tim Urban smiles all of the time.  He explains it is because he is so grateful for being on the stage.  Of course, Tim Urban is in the bottom 3 again.  Katie Stevens is sent to safety so we will lose another Christian performer tonight.

That Nationwide Insurance dude with the blue phone makes me laugh, anyways most people get their insurances online now a days at sites as Insurance Partnership where they can get the best deals without that much work.

Diddy Dirty Money, who is that?  I thought dude was too busy selling jeans to record songs.  I didn’t like that very much.

Money time.  After America has voted Didi Benami has been voted off.  Oh no!  She needs to sing for her American Idol Season 9 life.  She sings “Rhianon”.  This is a captivating performance but I don’t know if it is enough to keep her on American Idol Season 9.  The judges do not save her.  I am disappointed we have lost Didi Benami.

Join us next week as American Idol Season 9, the season of the girls, continues with six guys and three girls.

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 12 Results

This is the big night for American Idol Season 9 contestants.  Whoever survives tonight’s votes will join the American Idol Season 9 tour and dramatically increase their probability of a career in entertainment. Overall, I enjoyed the show last night.  I thought most of the performances were good to very good.

However, I must be watching a different show than the American Idol Season 9 judges.  They generally hated what I liked and liked what I hated.  After following this show so long I should realize that American Idol judges love the bombastic (with a big capital B).  So why should I be surprised that they went apoplectic over Siobhan Magnus’s crazy version of “Paint It Black.”   I thought it was loud, over theatrical and lost all connection with song.

How did our Christian music artists fare?  Let me give you my opinion:

  • Michael Lynche’s “Miss You” was outstanding.  Every week he demonstrates more and more of his vocal prowess and last night he showed off his arranging skills with an R&B influenced version of the Stone’s biggest disco hit.
  • Didi Benami showed herself to be more than a fragile pop singer/songwriter as she took “Play With Fire” deep into her dark self.  This was a good move for her, even if it was a little scary.
  • I liked Tim Urban’s reggae take on “Under My Thumb”.  The judges did not get it, but I guess these music industry professionals do not understand the mournful, rebellious mood of most reggae music.  This is protest music of a suppressed people packaged in an island dance beat.  Anyway, this was a good choice for Tim to control a Rolling Stone’s song and he performed it well.
  • Lacey Brown sang “Ruby Tuesday” quite well.  I don’t think she did anything special with the song and I think her inability to arrange and interpret songs to her talents will be her downfall.

I believe that Katie Stevens (hopefully not Lacey Brown) or Andy Garcia (hopefully not Tim Urban) will go home tonight.  If my predictions hold true that will be somewhat of a surprise because both Katie and Andy came into the live performances as strong contenders to win.  They just have not raised their game.

Well, here we go.  Wonderful montage of past moments for our current contestants.  Ryan and Simon discuss their “less than civil” moments last night.  Simon offers Ryan his job. Simon reminds the audience that the judges have the power to save a contestant from going home.  The decision must be unanimous. Ryan welcomes David Cook, singing Jumping Jack Flash. David and his band rock out. David is working on an album and planning a trip to Africa with Idol Gives Back.

The first Ford commercial is up with all of our contestants.  Looks good.  Hair stylists and wardrobe consultants definitely in play here.  They got to work with the Ford designers to work on their own custom Fiesta graphics.  On to the results.  There are 3 stools highlighted at stage left and the three least voted for contestants will sit there.  Paige Miles is up first and unfortunately for her, is asked to sit on a stool.  Next up is Lee Dewyze.  Lee thinks he needs to let loose and relax if he gets to stay.  He is safe and sits down.  Siobhan Magnus is also safe.  Aaron Kelly stands next.  Randy still thinks Aaron had a Justin Timberlake moment.  Aaron is also safe.  Andrew Garcia and Tim Urban are up next.  Both guys look really nervous.  Andrew is safe and oh no, our guy Tim is asked to sit with Paige.

New rock and roll personality Orianthi will perform According to You.  This artist has played with the likes of  Steve Vai,  Carlos Santana and Carrie Underwood (at the Grammys).  She auditioned for  Michael Jackson to be a part of his planned tour. 

Ryan continues with the voting results.  Didi Benami talks with Ryan next.  She seems nervous but says she is having a good time.  She admits that she almost cried when she saw her Mom on the video prior to her song. Very emotional singer. But good news, she is safe. Crystal Bowersox stands next.  She was also emotional to see her Dad cry on the video, making it somewhat difficult  to perform.  Maybe they shouldn’t show those videos prior to performances.  Just a thought.  Crystal is also safe.  Katie Stevens is up.  Katie feels the judges comments can be somewhat confusing. Simon feels she should be doing more country.  She is safe.  Here comes Michael Lynche.  Big Mike.  He did go back to watch his song.  He says he is here for the people.  This is good, Michael will be back next week.  He waves to the crowd.  Lacey Brown and Casey James are asked to stand.  After the nationwide vote, Lacey is in the bottom three.  With all of the bottom 3 on stage now, Ryan states that one will have to sing for survival, and two will be safe.  Will the judges use the save tonight?  They can only do this one time.  Tim Urban is safe.  Wow, that’s great.  He looks surprised.

But first up is artist Kesha with her new single, Blah Blah Blah.  (That is the name of her song, I am not being callous) Interesting.

Paige and Lacey are up.  One of the girls will be safe and continue on while the other sings for the save.  Ryan announces that the person in danger is Lacey.   Oh no.  Paige is safe and sits down.  Lacey Brown is singing for the save as the judges discuss amongst themselves whether they will keep her until next week.  C’mon Lacey, you can do it girl.  She sounds nervous though.  The judges think so too and decide not to save her. 

Well Lacey Brown, I enjoyed your singing and performances and I feel that you were improving and becoming stronger each week. Continue singing.   We will miss you.  God bless.

American Idol Season 9 Top 16 Results

To summarize the last two nights: sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, hum, okay, sleepy, WOW.   Tonight we learn what voters thought about the performances of American Idol Season 9‘s Top 16 the last two nights.  We cover Christian music artists competing on American Idol Season 9 and here are our thoughts of the last two nights:

  • Christian music artist Michael Lynche delivered my favorite performance since Jordan Sparks slayed “I(Who have Nothing)” in Season 6. This was a game changing performance of Maxwell’s (and Kate Bush) “This Woman’s Work”.  Michael displayed mad falsetto, crazy power and an intimidating stage presence.  He has set a bar that I am not sure even he can surpass.
  • The four remaining Christian music artists Michael Lynch, Tim Urban, Didi Benami and Lacey Brown American Idol Season 9 delivered their best performances of the year and probably secured their place in the Top 12.
  • After we projected Katelyn Epperly as the winner of American Idol Season 9 she proceeded to stumble through a cheesey performance of Carol King’s “I Feel The Earth Move”.
  • Crystal Bowersox continued to demonstrate her superiority of the American Idol Season 9 girls with a rocking throwdown of Traci Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason”.
  • Tonight we expect Paige Miles, Katie Stevens, Aaron Kelly and Toddrick Hall to go home.

Join us now as we live blog through the results and the top12 are revealed.

Ryan is bantering with the judges about comments made on last night’s show involving Randy in a bikini and thank you American Idol, we are now seeing a photo of same.  The 16 contestants will perform Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet”.  All seem at ease, but time is drawing nigh.

Ryan announces the breaking news that the first theme of the big stage will be the music  of the Rolling Stones. New this year will be the audiences’ capability to go to Itunes to download the songs/playlist the contestants will listen to as they decide what to sing. 

He starts with the ladies.  Didi  Benami is invited to centerstage with Ryan.  He speaks to her about her struggles at the beginning of the show, then announces that  she has made it into the top 12. She is ecstatic.  Siobhan Magnus is next.  She tells everyone that she is very comfortable  on the stage.  She is in.  Paige Miles and Katelyn Epperly come to the stage together.  One is in and one is out.  Who will it be?  Simon feels the one with the most potential is Paige.  Paige has made it.  Uh oh, Katelyn is out.  There goes our prediction.

Next set will be chosen from the guys.  Tim Urban,  Toddrick Hall,  Lee Dewyze and Casey James are invited to centerstage.  Ryan begins with Tim Urban.  Tim is told to hang tight.  Toddrick is hanging tight too.  Lee is talked about for a moment and then on to Casey.  Casey is safe and joins the ladies.  Tim Urban is safe.  He acts shocked.  Lee will continue on the show and Toddrick will go home tonight.

Matt Geraud and Scott McIntyre will perform Billy Joel’s “Tell Her about It”.  Two piano men.  Matt and Scott are sporting leather tonight  as they play their baby grands.  I wonder if they performed this on their tour?  They can really play. Scott has an album out called Heartstring and it is available on Itunes through his website.  All original music.  Matt has a number one single with Anna Wilson called “You Don’t Know Me” on the jazz charts.

Okay here we go.  Eight are left.  Crystal Bowersox is invited to stand.  She looks so nervous.  After the nationwide vote, she is in.  Not smiling much, but she’s  in.  Michael Lynche goes to centerstage.  Kara talks about why she cried when he sang last night.  Ryan asks him if he can fit on a stool.  Michael has made it.  Lacey Brown stands.  C’mon Lacey.  She makes it through. Wow.  Aaron Kelly comes to the stage.  He feels he can bring more confidence if  he makes it through.  And he does.  Two more stools to fill.  Ryan calls Alex Lambert and Andrew Garcia.   Simon feels Andrew may have peaked too soon, but is talented.  Andrew makes it through and Alex is trying not to be too emotional.  It is so difficult to see these young singers go through the disappointment. After his song, all the guys crowd around him.  Katie Stevens and Lilly Scott are the last two.  The final seat in the top 12 belongs to Katie Stevens.  Lilly is going home.  That was a surprise.  I think she was surprised too.

Definitely some surprises tonight.  But congratulations to our 4 Christian artists as they go on to perform with American Idol’s top 12.  Join us next week as we continue to cover the music and performances.

American Idol Season 9 Top 8 Guys Live Blog

So last night everyone, but Crystal Bowersox, moved to the middle on American Idol Season 9. The mighty (Katelyn Epperly, Siobhan Magnus and Lilly Scott) stumbled, some of  the weak (Christian music artists Didi Benami and Lacey Brown) excelled and two (Paige Miles and Katie Stevens) may have sealed their exits.  Let’s hope the boys do better.

Christian music artists Michael Lynche (one of our favorites) and Tim Urban (whom we worry about) are joined by Andrew Garcia, Toddrick Hall, Lee Dewyze, Alex Lambert, Aaron Kelly and Casey James tonight as the American Idol Top 8 guys  perform Billboard 100 songs.

Once again we have 8 performances in one hour so it will be fast and furious.  If the guys are no better than the girls, we need no more than an hour.

Let’s get started with Lee Dewyze singing “Fireflies” from Christian music artist Owl City.  This is a horribly bland, but popular song.  It doesn’t really fit with my image of Lee Dewyze.  He sang it well, but it was just okay.  Randy tried to like it and Ellen liked that he made it a little rock.  Kara thinks Lee made it a better song.  Simon was a little ambivalent.

Alex Lambert is singing “Trouble” by Ray Lamontagne.  He really has an interesting voice but he looks so stiff and uncomfortable.  There was not much range in that performance.  Ellen loves her little banana, saying he gets better and better every week.  Kara says Alex is the only one standing in the way of him winning American Idol Season 9.  Simon wants Alex to imagine Randy in a bikini and let himself go.  I think that would be frightening.

Tim Urban is taking on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.  Could be a big mistake.  But maybe not.  This is great. Who knew he could sing this song.  The best so far, and his best by far.  Randy says pretty good.  Ellen runs over to him, hugs him and says “that was fantastic”.  Kara says he is now in the competition.  Simon says very smart and it was terrific.  Tim Urban may have just earned his way onto the American Idol Season 9 tour.

Andrew Garcia is singing his version of Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle”.  It sounds like everything else he has done.  I am losing my love for Andrew Garcia, even Lee Dewyze looks bored. If you can’t tell, I did not like this very much.  It didn’t work for Randy either.  Kara says he peaked early and is disappointed by this performance, as is Simon.  He calls it a desperate performance.

Casey James is performing Keith Urban’s “You’ll Think of Me”.  This is a quiet acoustic performance that features his voice.  Guess what, he has a nice voice.  This is very good.  I don’t know the song, so I don’t know how original it was but it was a nice moment for Casey James.  Randy says that it was too safe, but Ellen thought it was great.  She likes most performances doesn’t she?  Kara calls it honest and heart felt but she is missing a spark.  Simon calls it his second best performance.

Aaron Kelly stays country with Lone Star’s “I’m Already There”.  Aaron has completely missed the pitch from the start.  This is the type of country song that makes me want to turn down the radio.  The performance is bombastic with little personality.  Ellen does hate some performances, but in a nice way.  Kara says it was completely irrelevant to him.  Simon says Kara’s critique was complete rubbish.  I don’t know what the judges saw.

Two more.  Toddrick Hall is doing Queen.  Should be interesting.  I love this song, “Somebody To Love”.  It is my favorite Queen song.  But maybe not this version.  Started fine in falsetto, but he needs to lose the background singers. I am trying to like it, but it is just missing something and I don’t know what.  Randy loved it.  Ellen says he was brave and thought it worked.  Kara says it was good singing but too dramatic.  I agree with Simon, that it was good in parts.

We end the evening with Christian music artist Michael Lynche doing Maxwell’s “This Woman’s Work”. Big Mike throwing down some falsetto.  This is deep modern R&B and what a beautiful tone. Mike is working it out. Fantastic.  Michale Lynche has to moved the the front of the pack. It is like boys playing with a man.  Kara cried, Randy says unbelievable, Ellen said great.  Simon says it was so needed and that he delivered the best performance of the season.

Just like last night, Christian music artists made big moves.  Tim Urban put himself in the competition and Michael Lynche threw down a guantlet for the rest of the performers.