Back with another recap of an improved “Idol” show. Not saying much though considering last week’s show was a complete disaster. Definitely starting to see some people who actually have a chance to win rather than just someone up there who is counting the days til they’re voted off. I’m still having a hard time believing they’re going to let this group of kids tour. Obviously I know it’s going to happen, but I’d really like to see the gate receipts for those concerts. Sure, the teenie boppers will still come out to see their favorites, but since there just isn’t much buzz about this season, and no real stand-out, have-to-see performer out of these ten (like an Adam Lambert last season), I’m curious to know how the tour goes. And if those god awful group performances are any indication of what will happen on tour, they might as well start offering refunds now.
One thing I wanted to point out about this show in terms of the voting has to do with those who think Crystal is a lock to win this season. If right now there had to be a winner picked, or if the winner was the one with the highest percentage of votes, then yes, Crystal would win. But people seem to forget that every week, just because someone gets eliminated, it doesn’t mean that all the votes that person gets go away. Just means that those persons votes will go to someone else the following week, and so on and so on. Because lets face it, it’s essentially the same people that are voting for this show every week. If you’ve never voted before, you never will vote. So when it gets down to the final four, then three, then two, you notice every season, the amount of total votes keep increasing as the number of contestants decrease. So even though they don’t release voting results on this show, I guarantee you Crystal is getting the highest percentage of votes per week. However, that doesn’t mean she’s gonna win.
A good example would be last season when you had a final three of Danny, Adam, and Kris. Sure, I think people were surprised Danny left at three, but once he did, you could almost see that the tons of votes that came in for Danny would probably be going to Kris in the finale. At least a majority of them would. I think right now, based on three weeks of live shows, your final four is going to be Crystal, Casey, Lee, and Michael. Of course, there’s still plenty of time left and things could change, but that final four would not bode well for Crystal’s chances. Because once one of the guys leaves at four, his votes will probably be transferred to one of the other guys at three, then at two. Anyway, I think you get my point. People think because someone’s gone, that the votes will remain the same the next week, and that’s just not the case. Those people will now just apply their vote to someone different. On to last night’s performances:
Siobhan Magnus, “Through the Fire”: Didn’t really care for her space boots that she was wearing, and it was by far her worst performance to date. About eight years ago when I was working the overnight shift at a smooth jazz radio station in LA, “Through the Fire” was in the rotation every single night. So to say I’ve heard that song more than one gazillion times would be an understatement. Siobhan’s version sucked to be honest. You know what else I noticed about Siobhan last night that I guess I hadn’t picked up on all season? She has a really strong lisp. How did I not recognize this before? Like, a lisp that would make Cindy Brady say, “Damn, what’s with that lisp girl?’ I kinda like the live backstage shot we’re getting now after each performance. Probably the first new wrinkle added to the show that actually makes sense. However, Siobhan probably doesn’t like it since the cameras follow her back into the room practically about to break down after the judges tore her a new one. Oh well.
Casey James, “Hold on I’m Coming”: I’m kinda torn on Casey. Yes, I think he’s good. I just don’t think he’s great. I think he’s a great guitar player and performer, and that masks how good of a singer he is. He’s not a terrible singer by any means, but I do think his look and his guitar playing cover his singing ability probably more than it should. The other problem that I had with this particular song is the title must’ve been repeated 20 times during the song. That doesn’t show much vocal range and comes off as a safe play. It seems like he was singing “Hold on I’m Coming” the whole time. With all that said however, I think his guitar playing and his looks will carry him pretty far. I’d be surprised if he didn’t make the final four.
Michael Lynche, “Ready for Love”: I was kinda bored by the performance, but it was still solid. The best part about watching “Idol” recorded is being able to fast forward through most of the show. I honestly watched one performance last night from beginning to end (I’ll tell you which one it was later). All I need to hear is the first minute or minute or so before I start fast forwarding. And if the judges say something like, “You really nailed it at the end”, then I’ll go back and watch what I missed. But Michael’s performance, albeit good, was dreary and boring. But he’s talented, he’s likable, and people will vote for him no doubt. He has no worries tonight whatsoever. Well, other than his cholesterol level.
Didi Benami, “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted”: Ah, finally! My first conspiracy theory of the season! As we all know, she didn’t do well last night. Very dramatic, too drawn out, and nothing spectacular whatsoever. Ah ha! But here’s where Seacrest came to the rescue because, well, he has a crush on her. I think Ryan knew that Didi was in trouble last night after all the judges hated her performance, so to get her the sympathy vote, he tries to get her to admit that song was done in dedication to her best friend that died recently. It was ok to maybe mention it once Ryan, but for some reason, it was obvious Didi didn’t want to talk about it. Yet Ryan kept pushing it, almost like telling her, “Hey look. You sucked tonight. To get the sympathy vote, go with me here. Tell them the song was in dedication to your best friend who died, even though we’ve already told this story numerous times before on the show.” That’s the part I didn’t get. It’s not like we hadn’t heard this story from Didi before, so for Ryan to insist on trying to get her to bring it up, makes me fully believe he doing it to try and save her. Fans who’ve watched most of this season know about her friend who died. It’s just Ryan wouldn’t let it go last night. And even after it was obvious she wouldn’t admit it, Ryan then felt the need to tell us why Didi sang the song. Geez Ryan. Why not just ask her out on stage?
Tim Urban, “Sweet Love”: Horrible song choice for him. Granted, he’s not an R&B guy and this definitely wasn’t his genre, but should’ve gone with something more up tempo. And for the first time this season, Ellen said something relevant. She was dead on when she said Tim was walking around stage “like he was sneaking into someone’s bedroom.” When Tim was singing, and before Ellen spoke, I wrote this down in my notes: “Why is Tim creeping around the stage like he’s about to burglarize someone?” So apparently Ellen and I are on the same page for the first time all season. I just don’t stutter and stammer as well as her. Or use horrible metaphors like she does. Or offer no insight whatsoever to any of the performances. Other than that, she’s been one hell of an addition to the show.
Andrew Garcia, “Forever”: Remember I told you there was only one performance last night I watched from the first note to the last? This was it. Not necessarily because it was the greatest vocal of the night (because it wasn’t), but because he finally did something I enjoyed, it was different, and I was curious to see how much different he made it. Lets face it, anyone who follows pop culture or watches the “Office” couldn’t listen to Andrew’s performance last night and not think of one of two things: the couple that got married last summer who had the whole wedding party dance to this song down the aisle, or, Jim and Pam’s hilarious wedding episode on the “Office” that parodied it. So that song has become highly entertaining to listen to just for that aspect alone, but to hear him change it up and make it acoustic was cool to hear. Wasn’t better than “Straight Up”, but it was definitely the best live performance he’s had and my favorite performance of the night. In case you’ve been living under a rock and aren’t familiar with the wedding video and the parody that the “Office” did, here are the clips:
Katie Stevens, “Chain of Fools”: This song needs to officially be banned from this show. I’m sick of it. As much as I like Katie, and I actually think she’s gaining more confidence week-by-week and is giving better than average performances, it was just ok last night. There certainly is no “wow” factor with this song, and the judges were right, it made her sound old fashioned. However, the biggest thing Simon has been wrong about this season is Katie being a country singer. Huh? Her voice isn’t suited for country at all. It’s quite deep actually and she has no twang whatsoever. Not that you have to have twang to sing country, but I definitely see her as more pop, Top 40 style than country. Simon is smoking crack on that one. Don’t know where he’s coming up with that.
Lee DeWyze, “Treat Her Like a Lady”: I really can’t say much more than the judges already did with him last night. Easily the best vocal of the night. Easily his best performance of the season and it skyrocketed him to a potential front runner. I still wish he’d show a little more personality on a weekly basis, but this guy is the most talented male singer left in the show, and aside from completely melting down, I think he’s making the final two. Simon nailed it when he said it’s just as much about personality now as it is about singing, and Lee still doesn’t smile, he looks nervous and tentative in all interviews, and that could hurt him. There’s no denying he can put out a record tomorrow and it’d do decent. He’s got a future ahead of him no doubt. He just needs some coaching on how to act in front of cameras. Apparently Lee and I have the same problem in that we don’t make eye contact into the cameras. Hmmmm…
Crystal Bowersox, “Midnight Train to Georgia”: Didn’t like it that much. Totally out of her element in a dress, high heels, and sitting behind a piano. Started really slow. The reason she’s good and the reason people like her is because she knows exactly what type of music she wants to make, and she knows what type of artist she is. The only negative is that as good as she is, I still believe she only appeals to a niche group of people. And that niche group of people aren’t big enough to win her this competition. But she’ll do well, get exposure she never in a million years would’ve had if she hadn’t come on this show, she’ll put out an album and people will buy it. I just don’t see it being that mainstream. But that’s fine. I don’t think she cares about being mainstream or not. I’m just saying that’s what’ll prevent her from winning this show.
Aaron Stevens, “Ain’t No Sunshine”: Wasn’t believable to me. He doesn’t come across as someone with much soul or R&B in him. Hell, he’s 16! He should be preparing for junior prom right now, instead he’s covering Bill Withers’ songs on a show watched by 25 million people. So for that I give him credit. However, do we have an official count yet on how many times Aaron has worn a hooded sweatshirt on the live shows? Seems like he’s got one on every week. He sang an old fashioned song last night, yet, was dressed like a teenager. He should’ve worn a suit with that song. And even though Usher told him to put some feeling behind the “I know, I know, I know…” part of the song, I didn’t think Aaron did. I thought he struggled to get all those “I knows” out and he just rushed through it. But hey, that’s just me.
Reality Steve’s Top 3 Performances:
1. Andrew Garcia
2. Lee DeWyze
3. Michael Lynche
Reality Steve’s Bottom 3 Performances:
1. Tim Urban
2. Didi Benami (sorry, sweetcakes)
3. Siobhan Magnus
Reality Steve’s Bottom 3 Prediction:
1. Tim Urban
2. Katie Stevens
3. Andrew Garcia
Reality Steve’s prediction of who’ll get eliminated: Tim Urban. Even though Simon thinks his smiling gets him through to next week, he’s basically given three crappy performances since the live shows began. At some point, that’s gotta catch up with him, and my guess is it’ll be tonight. As you’ll notice, I also think Andrew is in the bottom three. As good as I thought he was last night, I think people kinda sense that he’s a one trick pony now. Even on songs he goes acoustic, he still doesn’t have all that great of voice. Not much range whatsoever. So he’s different, but his voice isn’t good enough to win this whole thing and I can see him being in trouble for the remaining time he’s there. Siobhan was bad last night, but she’s not going home tonight. No way.
I’ll be back Friday with a new column covering “Survivor”, “Dancing with the Stars”, “Celebrity Apprentice”, and some “Bachelorette” news. For those that want to follow me on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/RealitySteve. I’m almost maxed out on the 5,000 Facebook friends and have 2,000 currently waiting to be added. I’ll be starting a fan page soon and will let you know when I do. So if you’re wondering why you haven’t been added, that’s the reason. Any questions, comments, emails, praises, criticisms, suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you Friday…