When the show started, the first thing Ryan Seacrest announced was the unexpected day change. The men had agreed to sing on Tuesday to help out Crystal Bowersox, who was hospitalized and would be unable to perform otherwise. It was very kind of the men to make this switch (at least the network sounded like they gave them a choice on whether to switch to Tuesday or not). It left all the men at a day's disadvantage because of the missing practice time. Fortunately, they all stepped up their game and improved.
The most noticeable improvement, and the man who stole the show that night, was Big Mike. Originally, I've been complaining about how he always sounds the same when he is singing. I've been unimpressed with him purely because his voice tone bores me. Tonight, he proved that he was in the competition to win by belting out "This is a Man's World" by James Brown. Unfortunately, I detested the song itself (what macho lyrics!) and still refused to vote for him. Ellen expressed my frustration when she commented on how she learned about some "great" inventions that men created (such as the television) but that women also invented things, such as the medical syringe and the water pressure heater. It was not a song that spoke to modern day women, especially feminists. Despite the song lyrics, Michael took a spot in the top eight with such a solid and different performance.
There were a lot of improvements made by some of my favorite singers, such as Alex Lambert, Aaron Kelly, Tim Urban, and Lee Dewyze. Alex has been struggling to come out of his shell and face the stage and audience with confidence. His performance of "Everybody Knows" showed what he was capable of as long as he didn't let nerves get the best of him. I was glad that Simon gave him a pep talk about his confidence because I want to see Alex grow throughout the show. Unfortunately, Simon didn't have much praise to offer Aaron Kelly with his song "My Girl." Simon complained that it was outdated and boring. Since when is "My Girl" outdated? That song is timeless! It actually had more meaning with Aaron singing it because he reminded me of Macaulay Culkin's performance in the movie My Girl. Finally, Lee was the only one who competed with Michael's performance. The show started with a bang and ended with one too. Lee still has a lot of improvements to make in regards to his pitch and tone, but the judges were fans of his singing tonight. I was also a fan, but I was more captivated by his story. It sounds like he's experienced rough times, but I am glad that they didn't prevent him from achieving his dream. Often, dreams are sacrificed when you hit those low moments in your life. Lee and many other contestants on American Idol have reminded the audience to never lose hope.
Despite some of the uplifting and engaging performances, I did lose hope in some of my early favorites. John Park never delivered the performance I knew he could and fell flat with "Gravity." Andrew Garcia is in the same boat. He has never been able to top his performance from Hollywood week. He's only in the competition because fans remember what he's capable of.
Others are in the competition merely because of personality, such as Casey James and Todrick Hall. I've never liked either, and although Casey's performance wasn't bad, he didn't strike me as an artist out to win this competition. He's just a pretty boy getting by with his looks. Todrick butchered Turner's song, as he's butchered every song since the show began with the top 24 singers. Why is America still voting for him?
Despite some shaky moments, all the guys improved over last week, most noticeably Tim Urban who, surprisingly enough, is still in the competition despite his shaky beginning. The audience got to learn more about everyone's stories through the video clips (who doesn't love Jermaine's onesies?). Even though it's a singing competition, the connections to the contestants' personalities is what compels America to vote despite bad performances. Props to all the male singers, and may next week be as inspiring.
Here is the full lineup of all the contestants and what they sang for this episode. I included as much information as I remembered:
Michael Lynche, 26/FL, "This Is a Man's World" by James Brown
John Park, 21/IL, "Gravity" by John Mayer
Casey James, 27/TX, "I Don't Wanna Be" by Gavin McGraw
Alex Lambert, 19/TX, "Everybody Knows" by John Legends
Todrick Hall, 24/TX, "What's Love Got to Do with It" by Tina Turner
Jermaine Sellers, 27/IL, "What's Going on" by Marvin Gaye
Andrew Garcia, 24/CA, "You Give Me Something" by James Morrison
Aaron Kelly, 16/PA, "My Girl" by The Temptations
Tim Urban, 20/TX, "Come on and Get Higher" by Matt Nathanson
Lee Dewyze, 23/IL, "Lips of an Angel" by Hinder
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Adrianna Simone (Adrianna)
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