Reality Steve

American Idol 9

American Idol Recap – 3/16/10

Breaking down last night’s “Idol” performances in today’s column, and pushing all the other stuff back to Friday. Makes it easier to do Wednesday/Friday columns than cram it all into one. So the stuff about the 20/20 Bachelor piece will be in Friday’s column. Thank you to everyone for the well wishes regarding Maddie and I’s two year anniversary. I tried to get her to be excited about it but, well, she didn’t seem to care. Nor understand what the hell I was telling her. Oh that’s right. I forgot. She’s not a human. Could’ve fooled me. She knows when I’m taking her to Doggie Resort before we even get in the car, so to me, that means she’s fully aware of understanding the English language.

So our first live show of the season and they went with the Rolling Stones theme. Funny, I thought I knew a few Rolling Stones songs going into last night’s show. Apparently not. I guess I only know “Start Me Up” and “Satisfaction”. Sure, I was familiar with a few of the songs from last night, but probably half of them. If only Mick Jagger could’ve mentored them, now that would’ve been a treat. I’m sure a guy like Mick Jagger watches “Idol” on a weekly basis. Or not. Doesn’t it just seem like there’s something missing this season? I can’t pinpoint it, but, every week I’m expecting something that I never get. Talent, maybe? Ha ha. It’s definitely one of the weaker Top 12’s ever, but on the flip side, I thought there were actually some good performances last night.

One thing that I say every season when I talk about “Idol” that I’ll say again. Just because I might not like a performance or a person that you like, doesn’t mean I’m the worst human walking the planet. You may like whoever you like on this show, but just know, so-and-so could’ve given the greatest performance you thought you’ve ever seen, and half of the people watching probably didn’t like it. It’s why the show is the most popular TV show in America the last five or six years. Everyone has their favorites, and it’s the ultimate “water cooler” show. So even though you like someone, doesn’t mean everyone else does. I will never try to convince you that I know who’s gonna win this thing because with teenie boppers and middle aged housewives voting, you’re really pandering to their likes and dislikes. I’ve got guy friends who watch this show that have never voted before. I’ve never voted before. And I don’t think many guys in general vote for this show. It caters to women, so keep that in mind when you see people eliminated every week. On to last night’s performances:

Michael Lynche, “Miss You”: Hey, did any of you know Michael Lynche has a newborn baby? Didn’t know if you were aware of that. I think Michael is a good on stage performer, he’s very confident in his abilities, and has a good voice. But Simon was right last night, the dancing and the theatrics were a bit corny. I thought it was a good performance. Wasn’t terrible, but certainly didn’t have me breaking out the tissues like he did for Kara last week. Solid performance that’ll most certainly have him back next week.

Didi Benami, “Play With Fire”: As you know, one of my favorite vocalists on the show and one of the few who I think could actually win. Chose a good song, sang it real well, and I realize it was more on the serious side for her, but I think she appeals to more people when she’s happy or smiling. I don’t think she smiled once during the song. But definitely good enough to keep her around another week. Not to mention I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her in a spaghetti strap top that showed a lot of back. Always been a sucker for tops that show back. So thank you, Didi. I appreciate you doing that for me last night.

Casey James, “It’s All Over Now”: Judges loved it. I didn’t get it. Thought it was something I’d see at any country bar on Karaoke night. Did nothing to distinguish himself with that performance other than show us he can play the guitar. And make Kara feel all squishy inside again. By the way, the next insightful critique Ellen gives will be the first. Look, I understand why she was brought on the show, to be the “voice of the people” and because she has a huge fanbase, but c’mon. You thought Paula added nothing to this show? I can’t remember one thing Ellen has said where I went, “You know what? Great point. Never thought of that.” Then again, neither has Randy, and he’s been on nine seasons. I’m sure Ellen is still a little nervous and getting her feet wet, and it’s not like adding her has been a disaster or anything. It just hasn’t been this unbelievable find that has turned the show on its heels either.

Lacey Brown, “Ruby Tuesday”: Never heard of this song. Sounded like something the Beatles would’ve recorded at some point. Sweet girl, kinda has the “Tenley” voice going, and comes across as quite likeable. I just don’t know how long that’ll last for her now that we’re down to the finals. I’m trying to pinpoint who she sounds like, and every time, I keep coming back to that Sixpence None the Richer song, “Kiss Me”. Just seems to me that’s the perfect song for her voice and that’s all she can sing. Every time I see her I think of that song. Not a good sign.

Andrew Garcia, “Gimmie Shelter”: His hair is mix between Lou Diamond Phillips in “La Bamba” and President Hassan’s in this season of “24”. And when I start off his critique with that, you know nothing good is coming. Talk about not living up to the hype. He was probably the favorite coming out of Hollywood Week, and frankly, he’s now bombed four weeks in a row. He definitely has a talent to play his guitar and get creative with songs, but in a singing competition, he’s in the bottom half of these twelve in terms of his voice. Not a very loud, demonstrative, or powerful voice at all. Nice kid, but he’s been a pretty big disappointment since his “Straight Up” performance, which basically, he’s going to get compared to every week that he’s on the show, fair or not.

Katie Stevens, “Wild Horses”: As you know, my second favorite female vocalist on the show behind Didi. And some weeks, I like her better than Didi. She was awful for three straight weeks of live shows, but was much better tonight. I still think she has the potential to make the final four. I also think she could end up going home in the next few weeks. After last night, she’s definitely staying. I think that at least earned her another week. I actually thought it was a lot better than the judges thought. I wish I knew what “pitchy” meant despite the fact judges have been throwing out that word for nine seasons now. Is there an exact definition for it? Whatever it is, I didn’t really think she was last night, and I watched her performance twice. She’s got an amazing voice for sixteen years old. Actually seemed a little more confident last night too.

Tim Urban, “Under My Thumb”: Hated it. I just thought it was boring the whole way through. With that said, he’ll be around next week. The teenie bopper vote will keep him in the competition. I just think he needs something else to “wow” people with other than his guitar playing. Remember, the judges didn’t think he was good enough to send through to the Top 24 but got saved when that one guy was disqualified. So he’s playing with house money right now. Not a chance in the world he wins, but at this point, he’s getting face time for his next role as “random guy with moppy hair on some future MTV show”.

Siobhan Magnus, “Paint it Black”: Simon said it perfectly after her performance, “Half of America will love that, and half will hate it.” She took a popular song and completely changed it to fit her style. Kinda like when Blake Lewis beat boxed Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name”. Same thing. Half hated it, and half loved it. I didn’t really care for Siobhan’s performance actually. Especially that scream at the end. Now THAT sounded pitchy. And screechy. She’s probably the only vocalist in the competition capable of hitting that note, but that’s now twice she’s gone to that, and just like Adam Lambert, it becomes overkill at some point. Now, just because I said I didn’t care for her performance of “Paint it Black”, doesn’t mean I didn’t think it was any good. Just wasn’t for me. And thank you to everyone who emailed me the origination of her name. I was asking that rhetorically to be honest, but thanks anyway.

Lee DeWyze, “Beast of Burden”: Once again, Simon is dead on. The guy probably has the most talent of any of the men, but has absolutely ZERO personality. Doesn’t look like he’s having fun up there, no confidence, and never smiles. If you took his talent and combined it with Michael Lynche’s bravado, charm, and stage presence, it’d be your hands down winner. Lee is probably my favorite male vocalist on the show, and I look forward to hearing him each week, but goddam he’s boring. Personality and likeablility, as we know, is a huge factor in determining the winner of this show, and he just doesn’t have that right now. I hope he lightens up because I really think he could win if he does. Very talented artist, but honestly, I have more interesting conversation with Maddie than I would with him. He does realize he’s on a show watched by 25 million people a week, right?

Paige Miles, “Honky Tonk Woman”: Credit to her for singing with laryngitis. Best she’s ever sounded…ha ha. I’m kidding, Paige. Or not. Nice girl, means well, fun at parties, but is probably the least talked about contestant of the twelve. I don’t think she strikes a chord, positive or negative, with anyone who watches this show. I wouldn’t get my hopes up about going on the “Idol Tour” if I were her.

Aaron Kelly, “Angie”: Uh oh. We found out this week that Aaron is adopted. That just bought him a couple extra weeks on this show. His singing was ok. I just can’t take him seriously considering he looks like he just hit puberty last Tuesday. Little girls will like him, and older women probably want their sons to look like him when they grow up to be nine years old, but other than that, I don’t get him at all. He’s not going to win this thing, and he’s also in the bottom half of the twelve when it comes to vocals. I’d put Didi, Siobhan, Katie, Lee, Crystal, and Michael all ahead of him. You gonna argue any of those people have worse vocals than Aaron? Hell, you could probably convince me that Casey does too at this point.

Crystal Bowersox, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”: Nope, she didn’t smile this week either. And she’s still missing two teeth on her top row. Either that, or they’re just pushed back. Even the teeth whitening she got in between Hollywood Week and the live shows isn’t helping matters. She’s got a good story, has a uniqueness to her that’s only matched by Siobhan, and she’s a talented performer – she’s just doesn’t fit on “American Idol”. I don’t think she has a chance in hell to win this thing, despite what Simon says. Doesn’t appeal to mainstream America, but I could see her doing well opening for Melissa Etheridge or the Indigo Girls.

So here’s where I’ll give my top three favorite performances of the week, followed by the three performances I liked the least, followed then by who I think will be in the final three and who I think is going home. Sometimes you’ll see one of my favorite performances also under the list of people I think are in the bottom three, and vice versa. Just because I like it, doesn’t mean I don’t think it’ll avoid the bottom three. And just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean it will definitely be in the bottom three. My “bottom three prediction” is based on how I think America saw the performances and voted. Obviously I have no inside knowledge, and it’s pure speculation on my part. But last year, I remember doing pretty well. Lets see if I can keep it up.

Reality Steve’s Top Three Performances:

1. Siobhan Magnus
2. Lee DeWyze
3. Didi Benami

Reality Steve’s Bottom Three Performances:

1. Paige Miles
2. Tim Urban
3. Andrew Garcia

Reality Steve’s Bottom Three Prediction:

1. Paige Miles
2. Lacey Brown
3. Andrew Garcia

Reality Steve’s prediction of who will get eliminated: I’ll go with Paige Miles this week. She’s kinda done nothing for almost a month now, and I don’t even think the laryngitis thing can save her. If it does, then I’d expect Lacey to be going home, but I just don’t know how strong Paige is in the viewers minds right now. I’d be shocked if it wasn’t either one of those two, but if you’re holding a gun to my head, I’ll say Paige goes home tonight.

So for the next couple months, I will have my “American Idol Recap” up on Wednesday mornings, with a “Reality Roundup” on Friday covering mostly “Survivor”, “DWTS”, “Celebrity Apprentice”, and any other shows I happen to be watching that catch my eye. This Friday’s column will also have some detailed thoughts on the 20/20 special on the “Bachelor”. I need to rewatch a couple things on there to make sure I have it all covered, but look forward to that on Friday. Any questions, comments, emails, praises, criticisms, email me at Follow me on Twitter at: See you Friday…



  1. ndavis

    March 17, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    I’m sorry, but I do NOT think that Lee is impressive in absolutely any way. I’ll admit that he has a good voice. But you and Simon are definitely right, he has no personality whatsoever. Sometimes he comes across as cocky and other times as shy. I just can’t figure him out. But all in all, you would never find me buying his cd, if he ever makes one. I just can’t stand voices like that. It makes me think of Creed, Hinder and Nickelback. And personally, those bands just make me cringe.

  2. Sherry

    March 17, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Steve, you are dead on about Crystal. I can’t stop looking at her teeth. They started out very yellow-ish brown, and now are about half-way on the little strip dentists use to show you how white you “could” be if you use a whitening product. Its so distracting, I forget to listen. Even though some have half-way decent voices, all the contestants from this season are so forgetable. I always ask myself, “Would I buy this person’s cd?” and the answer this year is a big NO to everyone. I will be watching tonight, but only because David Cook is going to sing. Keep it real, Steve, keep it real. p.s. Maddie told me she wants a Frosty Paws treat to celebrate your anniversary.

  3. ab3

    March 17, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    I disagree. I think this season has some amazing talent and this is the first season out of many that I can see myself purchasing cds from the contestants. Thank you Steve for pointing out how amazing Didi is. She and Crystal have been my favorites since Hollywood week and last week her performance was fantastic!! Same for Lee this week, loved it!! And I disagree with the comment comparing him to Nickelback or Creed. I can’t stand them and love Lee. He sounds almost like red dirt country and I can see how some people won’t appreciate it, but definitely one of the best performances of the night. I hope he comes out of his shell, b/c he deserves to stick around for a long time!

  4. SixFootBlonde

    March 17, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Steve, best I can tell “pitchy” means they aren’t staying in tune or on pitch with the melody… like their tone is sharp or flat (or maybe even all over the place) compared to what it should be. 🙂

  5. lizalyn

    March 17, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    SixFootBlonde is absolutely correct about the definition of “pitchy”… in any case, I have always found that Lacey reminded me of Dolly Parton; even more than Sixpence None the Richer.

    Enjoy the writing 🙂

  6. lemon-lime

    March 17, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Chrystal’s lack of veneers shows she has more depth than topical people like didi.
    And its not “red country dirt” its ‘georgia red clay.’ Yes, I live in georgia.

  7. akey3912

    March 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

  8. contusion

    March 18, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    Worst group ever…but you are off base about Bowersox…she’s the ONLY one of the group who can have a career. Jewel has a messed up tooth and she’s done okay. If you are going to let a tooth issue sidetrack you then you are watching for the wrong reasons. She can get the teeth fixed…the others can’t go to the doctor and get talent. Lee is pitchy constantly…in other words, he doesn’t sing the notes on key…slightly off one way or the other. He’s just a regular dude with a decent voice and no personality. The little guy is this year’s grandma’s favorite. There’s one every year. The redheaded sinatra guy, clay aiken, etc. They cast this show. The quirky girl, the lovable big black guy, the funky colored hair girl, the young girl with talent but not experience, the good looking guy who is good but not good enough. You could compare the cast from season to season and it all lines up pretty well. Usually there are about 3 people with real talent and the rest are for TV. Can you imagine Siobhan or Katie with an actual record deal? It would tank faster than a new Andy Richter sitcom. The folks at 19 Entertainment better hope that Bowersox wins…she’s their only hope.

  9. RavenFischer

    March 18, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    Steve… Love what you do, bro, but you gotta cut out the “Maddie and I’s” or “Rozlyn and I’s,” okay, it’s “Maddie’s and my”…

    You’re sounding like one of the dumb girls (was it Vienna who kept saying, “…on Jake and I’s date…”) Come on. You’re better than that. If you intend to keep using the written word as your weapons, you gotta have someone spell & grammar check that sh*t. I’m just saying…

    Keep it up, though. Love your wordsmithing vigilanteism…

  10. L

    March 19, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Agreed about saying “I’s.” “I’s” is not a word.

    Why did you say you didn’t care for Siobhan’s performance, and then you put her as your top one?

    Also… this was not the first time we found out Aaron was adopted. They told us that during his first audition and have mentioned it a couple more times.

  11. lemon

    March 19, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Steve, I wish you’d set up a message forum so we could discuss these shows. I like a lot of the people at Fort but the mods there get off on locking threads and deleting messages.

  12. lemon-lime

    March 19, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Yes, Steve, I second lemon’s motion. Of course, then you’d have to choose moderators. I volunteer!

  13. lithargic

    March 21, 2010 at 5:24 AM

    Here’s a piece of advice Steve. Don’t promise to write a blog and then not deliver. It really makes you look bad. It seems that you have become bored with this blog now that you have found your 15 minutes of fame.

  14. contusion

    March 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    Here’s another piece of advice Steve…write your blog whenever you damn well feel like it. It’s YOUR blog. Idiots.

  15. lithargic

    March 22, 2010 at 7:32 AM

    Contusion: You are correct in that Steve can write the blog any time he wants. It is his blog. I’m just saying don’t tell people that you are going to do something and then not do it. That is a fundamental principle.

  16. JenniferC

    March 22, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    hope you’re ok Steve!

  17. MA

    March 22, 2010 at 9:52 PM

    If I promised a client I would be having a report ready for them on Friday but got “sidetracked” with a basketball tournament (of all important things) and then didn’t have the report ready until the following Monday, I would expect to be fired . . . post haste!

    You are not very reliable when you state with certainty you will have a new posting on a specific day and then don’t! This isn’t an isolated incident with you either!

    You’re fired!

  18. contusion

    March 22, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    Jeez, are you people paying him to do this? No. It’s entertainment. You are comparing someone writing a blog entry to getting fired for not getting a report in at work? Get a handle on reality folks. It’s a blog about TV shows. Not a report about the end of the world. Take a deep breath. Relax. It’s okay, the Bachelor and American Idol are still there. Like as we know it still exists.

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