In continued observance of how I breeze through Am.Idol by fast-forwarding on my DVR, here are my brief comments on Tuesday's Top 6 performances, followed by the Wednesday Results Show. This week we are raiding the Shania Twain songbook, because that's as close to Country Week as we're going to get this season. Shania is also the guest mentor. I initially thought this would be tough on the guys, but then I reversed my position after thinking about it. I think it will in fact work in the guys' favor to sing female songs because it will automatically be a departure from the original version just by being dudes. That puts Crystal and Siobahn at an odd disadvantage at this stage of the game. Hmm. Let's see what happened, shall we?
So Ryan starts by telling America what the Final 6 did before they were on this show. Awesome. They don't look awkward about it all. Credits! Judges! Idol Gives Back raised over 45 million bucks! Here's your top 6! And your Shania montage! Her album Come on Over is the biggest selling record by any female artist in any genre EVER? Can that be true? Is that not a manufactured statistic in some way? I mean, really? I'll fess up that whenever it was in the 90's that Shania was mega-popular, I had a total crush on her. She was hot. She still looks great. But she's not at the front of the pack in country relevance right now the way a Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood or Lady Cerebellum are. What's Ryan saying now? On to performances! Zip Zap Zop.
1) Paint Salesman Lee Dewyze - He'll be singing "Still The One." I've heard of this one! He starts and...what key is he in? He doesn't know and neither do I. This happened at the beginning of his song last week. It sounds totally labored. If the judges fall all over this I'll be pissed. Randy almost is honest about it not being good, but then he runs the other way and lies. Ellen loves him. Kara thought it was a sign of growth. Simon liked it to and I think that's such bullshit that we zip zap zop.
2) Big Papa Mike - singing "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing." In the package Shania tells him to connect with the song because his pretty vocals aren't enough. He does a good job with it. I think his usual ticks that annoy me are under control. The judges all think it's the best thing that ever happened to anybody. We all know he's not my cup of tea, but he can certainly sing. This was a good week for him.
3) Construction Worker Casey James - he's singing "Don't." Shania calls him on his bullshit in the nicest Shania way possible by telling him to sing with some inner confidence for once instead of just coasting along like he's done for the past two weeks. It actually sounds really good in his voice and there is some fire behind the performance. A good showing for Casey this week. The judges applaud his return to form. Damn, Shania week is going so well! Who'da thought?
4) MAMASOX - She is singing "No One Needs To Know" Shania just tells her to sing it happier. It starts and it's... kinda... a flimsy song. I mean, it's cute. But it doesn't really have a lot of momentum as a song compared to the previous selections. There are a few beautiful falsetto moments with a nice harmony underneath them. But it's pretty underwhelming for Mamasox. The first three judges are all "not my favorite performance of yours." and Simon is all "We didn't like you tonight." Which is kinda honest, as much as I don't like to admit it. Crystal tells them they're wrong, she might have been overly concerned with her bf in the audience to realize it wasn't so great. Shania is ready to kill Simon after he says he doesn't like the song. I'm a little nervous for Crystal this week...
5) High School Student Aaron Kelly - he is singing "You've Got a Way" but it sounds like he's saying "You Got Away." Shania tells him he's preoccupied with hitting the notes instead of singing. Good analysis! This vocal isn't bad. He's definitely feeling this song more than what he's been singing the past three weeks or so. He did a good job, he still just seems to me like a little kid singin' a song though. Ellen says it's gonna be tough this week, and I agree. Bottom 3 should be interesting. There's apparently was a line change about "making love" which Aaron changed because he was singing thank to his mom. Good call, young Kelly.
6) Glass Blower Siobahn Magnus - singing Shania's first #1 hit. "Any Man of Mine." Shania believes Siobahn needs a lot of attitude behind this song. Allison Reynolds is dressed up this time like Strawberry Shortcake caught between a teenage rocker phase and a country phase. This is not the kind of idol performance I like, with the wandering around in the audience. It always feels like they can't quite move at a normal pace and it's not always on the beat either. The vocal's not really there either. When she gets back to the stage, the Scream of Siobahn comes parachuting in to the rescue. The judges like it, but Simon disses the scream as labored (literally). The girls kinda struggled with Shania this week.
So bottom 3 predictions? I honestly don't know. If I went purely on vocal tonight. I would say Lee, Bowersox and Siobahn. But that seems like a bizarro bottom 3. That won't happen. I think tonight was kind of a dead heat. Hmm...
Results Show! Montage of all I just recapped plus shots of the Idols getting their faces on. There are judges. There are millions of votes cast. There are something like 15 musical performances this hour. We can't waste any time! Here's Rascal Flatts. The truth is I don't pay attention to Rascal Flatts on a normal day and I'm not really digging this song "Unstoppable" though it might be, it is not UnZoppable? See what I did there? zip zap zop.
We fly though commercials. We fly through the Ford Idol Commercial. We fly through a Shrek Forever After premiere party. And then Cameron Diaz is there and I pause long enough to hear Ryan tell Cameron that this Shrek movie is actually emotional and that's enough of that. Zip zap.
We're now dividing contestants into pairs. We get Siobahn and Lee on the left. Aaron and Crystal in the center and Casey and Big Mike on the Right. Seacrest walks Siobahn over past Big Mike and Casey in a couch fake-out move that nobody really buys, and then slams her, Casey and Mike with the knowledge that they are Bottom 3. Ooh, I was sweatin' it for Crystal for a second there. Big Mike and Casey look mightily discouraged and Siobahn looks pissed. Commercial time!
It's only 30 minutes in and we only have two reveals left so more people have to perform. BTW Harry Connick Jr is gonna be here next week with Sinatra songs. Then suddenly Carrie Underwood is back to introduce Sons of Sylvia. These dudes are country singers? Emo-Country? Carrie likes 'em, so I guess they're okay. Then we have Lady Cerebellum. They sing that song about it being late and being drunk and needing you now. I snark, but I kinda really like that song. THEN we STILL can't get to the three very-depressed-looking bottom 3 contestants because Rascall Flatts has to perform AGAIN - this time with Shakira! She is singing "Gypsy." It has a line that goes "I'll steal your clothes and wear them if they fit me." It doesn't make any more sense now then when I wrote about the video.
Finally we're back to Bottom 3. Big Mike is safe. He seems relieved, but honestly, I don't know how much better he or Casey could do and they're STILL at the bottom. It's gotta be discouraging. So it's Casey or Siobahn, and Siobahn goes home. It's hard to really see her face, but she looks rather pissed nonetheless. We see her montage and all of her Allison Reynolds outfits that walked the Idol runway these past few months. Then Siobahn rocks out her sing out to "Think" and she sings like five verses I never knew existed. She lets The Scream of Siobahn get it's own curtain call, and it's certainly earned that honor.
Then something weird happens. There are four minutes left in the show. Somehow with all the filler and the FOUR musical performances and the longest sing out ever ,we are for once UNDER time. So Siobahn goes and hugs all the judges. And Seacrest asks Randy for his thoughts knowing that will kill at least two minutes on the time. Then after that, Ryan asks Siobahn to go get hugged by her friends who are now the Final Five, because that's always good footage. And then he wanders back to center stage, stalls for time and then restates things he's already said twice. Then finally the show is over. Goodbye, Siobahn! You were crazy and fun and interesting. I know what you're thinking, "Don't you forget about me." I promise I won't.
Five contestants remain. Bowersox is the lone female. Never thought it'd be like this from how things were going in the semifinals. Until next time, folks!