Only a few of the AI9 top ten have soul on R&B night

The "American Idol" season 9 top 10 Michael Lynche, Casey James, Katie Stevens, Lee DeWyze, Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus, Andrew Garcia, Tim Urban, and Aaron Kelly were mentored by Usher for R&B Week.

I actually had time to watch American Idol tonight! Hope I can get back into that groove even though this season is still whack as hell.

The top ten finalists who will be touring this summer sang R&B tunes with the help of Usher (Whose music I enjoy, but is now DTM since he was the one who brought Justin Bieber into our lives), who I thought did a pretty good job at encouraging the contestants. However, wrong song choices were made, stage presences were lacking, and bad notes were hit. Oh yeah, just like the rest of the season and in the past sometimes, I suppose. BUT a standout, or two, or three, made tonight quite enjoyable for all the right reasons.

Siobhan Magnus – “Through the Fire”
Usher loves Siobhan’s voice but says he has problems with her style, so for her performance, she steps out in Missy Elliott boots and shows some skin in a one-shoulder top and short skirt. She looks good though, as does her hair. If only her singing was better. I actually like her lower register because when she hits those high notes, I think I can hear them all the way from LA. You know what else is painful? The judges panning her. It was a crap performance and she knows it, no need to prolong that guilt! I’m still rooting for her but she’s gotta do much, much, much better next week.

Casey James – “Hold On, I’m Coming”
I never really liked Casey and I’m still feeling a disconnect from his performance, but gotta hand it to him – really enjoying this one! He may look like a poor man’s Bucky Covington (season 5 finalist), but I’m getting a Bo Bice kind of vibe, performance-wise and I loved Bo during season 4, so I’m liking it.

Michael Lynche – “Ready for Love”
Oh Big Mike – he’s truly always a joy. The song is a bit too slow for my taste, but I like the whole setup of him sitting behind the judges on a stool and with dim lighting and the spotlight set on him and his guitar. Not to mention that he’s sounding beautiful! I don’t think he’ll ever have a moment as amazing as “Woman’s Work” though.

Didi Benami – “What Becomes of a Broken Hearted”
Didi is in tears in front of Usher, talking about how this song really means something to her. Pique my curiosity, why won’t ya? She looks drop-dead gorgeous on stage and she’s singing beautifully, but I’m not feeling any of the emotion that Usher wanted her to bring out. Underwhelming. Sad because I LOVE her. WTF, this isn’t “over-the-top” though. And Ryan, let go of her and stop asking questions, for real!

Tim Urban – “Sweet Love”
I never understood why this guy gets so much hate. He sounds alright – I suppose it wasn’t the best song for him. I guess one thing I’ll agree with is that dude looks absolutely DERANGED just staring into the camera like that. It’s quite frightening, actually. Simon is so giving him the Sanjaya treatment but I like Tim’s attitude despite all the criticism he gets from the judges.

Andrew Garcia – “Forever”
I saw the song spoilers and jumped up and down in excitement (In my imagination) when I saw that this was Andrew’s song choice for the night. He did a YouTube cover of this and it was good, yeah? And he needed to be good again for this competition. Not to mention it was nice to see a contemporary well-known R&B song to be performed tonight. Oh my gosh, I’m loving this. The strings paired with the acoustic guitar is just fantastic. He’s just sailing through. NEED A STUDIO VERSION OF THIS NOW. I’m so happy that he’s getting some well-deserved praise. Andrew’s back, baby! Can I vote for his mom though?

Katie Stevens – “Chain of Fools”
I like Katie as a person and I know she has a good voice, but I know I’m already going to hate this. At least she’s not hurting my ears. Y so srs tho, Katie? Maybe Tim can hand you some of his smiles? Robot, pageant-y – yes, that’s what you are. Your good voice (When you use it correctly) will never be good enough for me. Sorry, babe.

Lee DeWyze – “Treat Her Like a Lady”
Yes, I find him immensely attractive, SO WHAT. If I close my eyes, I’m hearing a great voice. This boy is just bringing it tonight! It feels right, it feels perfect. The song is love, he’s singing it well, and he’s making the audience feel his presence. The judges love him too, saying it’s his best and one of the best of the night. Simon said it very nicely, that this will be the night that his life changes. What great progress this guy has made, though I’ve always enjoyed him. Good for him for delivering a fantastic performance and for getting that validation.

Crystal Bowersox – “Midnight Train to Georgia”
Usher reads minds, y’all! And he read Crystal’s mind that she’s going to play piano! LOVE LOVE LOVE. On stage, she sounds flawless. Her voice sends me chills. I love how subdued this is and how she mixes it up by getting off the piano and just singing. Wow! She’s always been amazing but she just continues to outdo herself week after week (At least since that last time I’ve seen her, which was two weeks ago. Thanks a lot, school!). Oh shut up, she does have a personality. Can’t wait to see what she does next week. Better yet, can we just crown her already? She’s totally IT.

Aaron Kelly – “Ain’t No Sunshine”
Oh Aaron Kelly, I don’t even know what to say to you. You managed to piss off all the Kris Allen fans on my Twitter feed and probably even made those who didn’t like him to come back and show you how it’s DONE. And you’re not the most horrible singer, but you continue to unimpress – your voice is boring, your stage presence is boring, and your musicality is boring. There ain’t no sunshine after you rained down on the stage. What are you still doing here? Well, if there’s anything I like about you, I’d still like to pinch your cheeks. That won’t be a priority of mine come finale/tour time though.


Who SHOULD go home: Aaron
Who WILL go home: This is a tough one…but I have a feeling it’ll be Katie

4 thoughts on “Only a few of the AI9 top ten have soul on R&B night

  1. LaGina

    I agree with about everything you said! Especially about Katie and Aaron. And Lee and Andrew. lol. I didn’t hear about the Aaron/Kris drama, though. Curiouser and curiouser o_O


    1. Karen

      Thanks! I’m so proud of Lee and Andrew, they really brought it tonight!

      There wasn’t drama going on between them specifically, but since “Ain’t No Sunshine” was one of Kris’s signature performances last season, a lot of Kris fans were mad that someone else would try to live up to it. Not to mention that Aaron was wearing plaid, which Kris is known a lot for, LOL!


  2. socaliflavor

    I can say that I agree with your commentary on most points, especially on Lee… he’s my favorite this season (and I said I wasn’t going to watch at all this season, lol). I still think Tim is going home tonight, but we’ll see. Anyway, great commentary! 🙂


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