Reality Steve

American Idol 9

American Idol Recap – 3/30/10

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 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 See you Friday…



  1. carrief

    March 31, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Completely agree with you Steve, though I will say in addition to Andrew’s performance (being a huge “Office” fan) I watched Lee’s entire performance as well. For the rest of them, I had my TIVO in hand and used it a LOT last night. Lee is definitely my favorite; he has a unique, powerful & strong voice, and the musical talent to match. I’ve never heard the guy hit a wrong note. I don’t care if he’s not entirely comfortable with being in the spotlight. The bottom line is he is the best one there and the only one who I look forward to purchasing songs from on iTunes when his record comes out.

    This has to be the crappiest season overall. I agree with the “final four” choices, and though Crystal has a unique voice & talent I just can’t picture the voters choosing her in the end.

  2. contusion

    March 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    I don’t mean to be disagreeable, but when I tuned in last night the judges were gushing all over Lee. Simon went as far to say this was the night that changed his life. I thought, “Wow, I better go back and watch that one…must be amazing!” When I went back and watched it I thought I must have missed something. The guy has a great voice, though I would argue that, not only does he NOT never hit a wrong note, he constantly hits wrong notes. He’s pitchy every time out. I’m sure when he records his album they’ll fix all the wrong notes and it’s no big deal. But to say he never hits a wrong note is just off base. Anyway, back to his performance. I rewound and watched and he just did the same thing he always does…stands there and sings. This time he looked LESS uncomfortable than usual, but I still can’t figure out what the judges were fawning over him about. Maybe they were just trying to pump him up so they have more than one successful person on the show.

    I’ve commented this before, but I just don’t see Bowersox as a niche artist. She’s not the most beautiful gal in town, but she’s got the talent to have a career in music. Bigger than niche. She’s not a goofy pop star, but I see her more like a Sheryl Crow, and that ain’t a bad career to have. Casey has a good bluesy rock voice and the good looks, but he doesn’t seem to get it…he sings songs about pain and smiles really pretty while he’s singing. There’s no connection to the song. He’s good but he’s not better than a good bar band on a Saturday in any city.

    I maybe be one of the few who really likes Andrew Garcia. He’s not pretty, doesn’t perform a big show, but if you close your eyes and listen to him sing, I think he’s got a very unique and interesting voice. Could make a really good album with the right producer. Didi just sounded like she was plodding along…she’s got that sort of jazziness to her voice and yet she has no real feel to the flowing with the music. She was so regimented. Michael is obviously likable and sings well, but he looks like a giant in pixieland with a tiny guitar…like he’s on a little kid scale stage. I have a hard time getting past the visual, though he probably deserves better than that.

    I get the sad feeling that Bowersox will end up going home at about the Daughtry level and everyone will be shocked and then some idiot like Siobhan will end up in the finals and it will be a joke like when the little goofy beatbox guy came in second with 14 votes.

  3. lauraxx678

    March 31, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    Agree with everything.
    Just one quick side note.
    I was actually reading this while listening to Kidd Kraddick In the Morning radio show(that you were on), and I find it funny how you and them agreed EXACTLY! I personally found it very very funny. They were saying that they think Ryan has a crush on Didi, and all about the whole friend story. They also said the exact thing about Aaron, and how he pretty much ignored Usher’s advice.
    It’s like yall where on the same brain wave!! I found that funny.
    Keep it up.

  4. contusion

    March 31, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention how I continue to be creeped out by Aaron the teenage old man. He’s freakin’ me out. And when will the Idol style team finally realize that the faux hawk hairdo thing is so three years ago, not to mention anything from the American Eagle accessories rack. It’s not going to help him. Nothing will make this kid hip.

  5. alisemaria

    April 2, 2010 at 5:52 AM

    Why are the judges all over Andrew and Lee for having no personality but not Crystal? She’s talented but shows hardly any personality and sometimes looks like she doesn’t even want to be there. She said she has a lot going on, a lot on her mind, etc etc. I don’t know what she’s going through but if its too much, maybe she shouldn’t be there. There are millions of people who would be thrilled to take her place.

  6. jorgiegirl

    April 4, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    You might have missed the early interviews where Crystal said she’s just there for her kid.

    For all who diss on her, guess it’s okay for Michael, cause we all know his story, but personality aside, why not Crystal? When people start incorporating “personality” into it, that’s when it becomes a popularity contest, and not the best talent. Stage presence (whatever that is) can be learned, raw talent cannot. I’d rather pay money to hear Crystal at concert than to be given a free ticket for some pitchy performer with “stage presence”.

  7. contusion

    April 6, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    The reason they don’t give her a hard time about personality is because she can win it on talent. She is miles above the other two and so they need to ham it up a bit to contend. From what I’ve heard, what is on her mind is that she has some pretty big diabetic problems and when she almost missed the show it was because she was in the hospital and was really not well. She’s not going to be a Katy Perry type personality. Thank god. I just want to hear a good singer sing a good song and I don’t need costumes and dance routines and freaky makeup.

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