In continued observance of how I breeze through Am.Idol by fast-forwarding on my DVR, here are my (somewhat) brief comments on Tuesday's Top 7 performances, followed by the Wednesday Results Show. This wee,k the results show recap will be longer than usual since it's the actual Idol Gives Back night, while tonight is just Inspirational Songs night. I took a look online at the list of songs they were allowed to choose from and I was very nervous about it. There are just some TERRIBLE songs they could choose. I feel very confident that Big Mike will sing The Greatest Love Of All, because if he doesn't believe that children are our future, nobody does. I think that he isn't the only one in this group who might try to throw themselves on top of the GLOA grenade. Siobahn, Aaron and Tim could also slam face first into that one. Let's see what happened, shall we?
This is American Idol... we slam through the credits, the judges, the contestants and let me pause to see what they're doing with IGB... it's a star-studded event tomorrow... and it's not sold out. Tickets are still available? Yikes. That's not promising. Alicia Keys is the mentor this week and I think she's kinda awesome, so it's cool. Do I have to watch her with the contestants though? Not really.
1) Casey James - is singing "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac. Alicia is already warning him to connect with the song more which is a bad sign for what's to come. He starts off stiff and a bit pitchy. Will the judges like this? I think it's got some nice guitar work. I think he's kinda coasting. Randy wants something more special. Every says it was uninspiring. Awesome. Simon calls it a lazy song choice. I agree. Seacrest comes out to talk to Casey and I care not to hear either of them, bringing us to the zip zap zop.
2) Lee Dewyze - does he have new hair? I think so. Still same scared expression though! He's singing The Boxer. Oooh, this could have promise! He starts and - NOOOO! What was that note he just screeched? There was no need for that! That's not the melody! I'm done. I try to fast forward and then my DVR goes crazy and refuses to stop. It doesn't want me to hear Lee at all. During judge's comments though, they all say they love it. Ugh, I'll have to go back.... zop zap zip. Nah, still not sold. Don't get me wrong, 100 times better than Casey, but I don't really get what the fuss is over him.
3) Tim Urban- Singing "Better Days" by Goo Goo Dolls. Again the challenge for him this week is to convince the audience he understands the words he's singing. Seriously, that's pretty much exactly what he says. Does Tim really have the pipes for Goo Goo Dolls? Hmm... sorta? It feels like the shortest performance ever. Nothing happens! It left no impression. Randy says it sounded "okay." The others all "meh." Simon doesn't body slam him. He would've in seasons past. Sigh. zip zap -
4) Zop? Oh wait. We're going straight to High School Student Aaron Kelly? He's singing "I Can Fly." One of the songs I didn't want to hear tonight. He's on for most of it. I think he's handling it pretty well. Oh dear. These last few notes can't really fly. I don't care how hard the audience screams for him, I don't like the ending. Kara thinks he got there at the end but I think the exact opposite! After that, Simon says it was bad but Aaron is likable. Ryan comes out and I immediately fast forward. Why can't I tolerate him at all this season? I really can't.
5) Siobahn - She is singing "If You Believe," it's from that Prince of Egypt movie, yes? Allison Reynolds is dressed up for a really nice school dance this week. It might even be the prom of a popular boy from another high school. It's quite an interesting dress of which I can't quite make out the details, but it looks spritely. The performance is controlled but I kinda hate this song, so it's very hard for me to care. I would greatly prefer the Scream of Siobahn over this. It ends and all the judges don't like it except for Ellen. Simon is baffled by the "leaves" on her outfit, but it turns out they are really BUTTERFLIES? That's what those were?? Okay... Then we head to a segment called "Explaining Siobhan" hosted by Seacrest and Siobahn where they attempt to figure out who the hell she is before he gives us her numbers.
6) Big Mike - He's got 200 songs in his Idol playbook. Then sing a good one, Big Mike! He's singing Hero. But not Mariah Carey's Hero like you might think! That other song Hero that I'm sure was from a superhero movie. It sounds goooood-ish? He has one of the better voices in this group, i think. Everything else just gets in the way. Simon pokes fun of the fact that it's a not very inspiring song from Spiderman. Then why is it on the list this week, Simon? As a decoy? Two other songs were from cartoon movies and they weren't singled out for where they came from. Meh.
7) Bowersox! Finally getting the pimp spot again! Inspire us, Bowersox! INSPIRE US! People get ready! Get on board. It's all cool a capella to start. And then the instruments come in, and I didn't really need them. I was cool with just her voice. But it builds and builds. And then she gets overwhelmed with emotion and can't finish the last couple notes. It's amazing! She's the best!! I love the Bowersox! The judges all think she's the best thing ever and head and shoulders above the rest of the group. Before we get to Simon, it cuts off, because we are running WAY long. But luckily I'm recording Glee as well so we can get his comments. And then there is banter between Seacrest and Bowersox that is actually endearing. Bowersox can humanize Seacrest again. See? She really is inspiring!
So who's Bottom 3? My guess would be... Casey, Siobahn and Aaron? Maybe Big Mike? We got rid of two consistent bottom 3 dwellers last week, so some people who have been safe are gonna start being not so much. Crystal and Lee were the best and the others were all just sorta hanging around. So who knows? And now...
Idol. Gives. BACK. I feel like I should say right from the start that I find the clips of people living in poverty really heartbreaking and obviously not snark-worthy. So I won't really say too much about them in the recap, we got to see how people are struggling in different parts of the United States and around the world and it's touching and sad and uplifting and twenty different other intense emotions. So I'll just say that I personally believe charitable giving is important and that people all over the world are in dire need of help. I appreciate that Idol takes the time to do this event. The show is really under no obligation to do it. So even if you don't feel like donating to IGB, you should find a relief organization that you want to support and give what you can. If you do want to donate to IGB charities you can follow this link
Also, before we start. I have to say that Idol never does (intentional) comedy well and I'll be skipping over the celebrity phone bank, George Lopez and even Wanda Sykes, because it just creeps me out. I recognize these things happened, but I'm not so dutiful a recapper to deal with them.
Anyway, let's finally start. Ryan opens and jumps to a recorded message from the POTUS and FLOTUS. I can't even focus on what they are saying as the thought pops into my mind that Sasha and Malia are most likey giant Tim Urban fans. By the time I recover, they've stopped talking and the credits are going.
Ryan lets us know that he has a co-host for the night in the form of Queen Latifah. She's in Pasadena where most of the special guest artists will be performing. Let me do a quick run down of who performed and how they fared:
Idol Top 12 reunited (GAH, why??) and dressed up like the White Lantern Corps to lip-sync to “Keeping the Dream Alive” and wander in small groups around the stage.
Black Eyed Peas brought out their latest batch of back up singers dressed up as latter-generation Power Ranger lackies to give us “Rock That Body” in the most atonal performance possible.
Jeff Beck and Joss Stone teamed with the Jubilation Choir for “I Put a Spell on You” I didn't really listen to the whole thing, but I thought it was fine. Joss Stone looked really hot in her dress. As the judges like to say, even though you're going second, it's the best performance of the night so far!
Alicia Keys serves up a combo platter of Unthinkable and Empire State of Mind. I thought it sounded like she had a cold. But still, one hand in the air for the Big City.
Carrie Underwood delivers as usual singing “Change.” Underwood's "Waiting For Time" from a previous Idol Gives Back is one of my favorite Idol performances ever, so this for me is not quite that. But she's such a pro, and certainly Idol's most bankable former winner in situations such as these.
Annie Lennox: This is a classy broad. My second favorite post IGB performance is her rocking out to Many Rivers To Cross. She's not on the piano for this year's “Universal Child” she's not even in LA due to the Volcano erupting in Iceland. It's just her and the mic and many many jumbo screens. She sounds great and she's rocking an HIV Positive t-shirt. I love her!
Mary J. Blige and her All Star Band including our own Randy Jackson team up for “Stairway to Heaven." I thought it rocked pretty hard. MJB is not everyone's personal taste, but I thought it was cool.
Elton John brings out the classic "Your Song.” Sometimes I can't believe this dude's darkest periods of life didn't kill him. I think he feels the same way. It's a very pretty and understated performance. So all in all, there were some nice performances the worst of which were gotten out of the way early. Good job, IGB!
As for this week's elimination? We had a couple face-offs where Casey went up against Crystal and so he was obviously in the bottom 3. Then HS Student Aaron Kelly went up against Lee Dewyze and he too was obviously in the bottom 3. Then w have a three-way face-off with Siobahn, Big Mike and Tim and this one is harder to call. Siobahn is safe and in my mind once again dodged a huge bullet. Then Big Mike is also safe which means Tim is bottom 3. He looks beautiful as he takes his place on the Silver Stools with Casey and Aaron. Finally we know that a guy will be leaving the competition!
Also, right after this bit, David Cook came out to introduce his journey to talk about the United Nations Foundation. I kinda totally love David Cook. He's one of my favorite winning Idols. His triumph over Archuleta still makes me smile.
So Bottom 3 is Casey, Aaron, and Tim. Then Bottom 2 is Casey and Tim. Casey looks so weird in that white suit and light blonde hair under the hot spotlight. I think he thinks he's gone in the moment before Seacrest is gonna read who's eliminated. But surprise! Apparently America found Tim Urban to be beautiful, but not inspiring, as he is sent home in 7th Place. Not bad for someone who originally wasn't supposed to make the Top 20 and totally bombed in his first performance singing "Apologize." He is as good natured as ever about getting the boot. His smile is intact, America. Never fear! His clip package proves that he seems like a solidly pleasant beautiful dude who managed not to get bitter under judge scrutiny. We close on a very pretty tableau of the remaining contestants standing around him and watch his smiley happy journey on the jumbo screen.
(It's like Tim is looking into the future at his eventual dismissal from the show and already shrugging it off.)
Next week Shania Twain is the mentor, and 4 boys and 2 girls will be singing her songbook. I hope that Bowersox rocks out to "Man, I feel Like A Woman." Because someone's gotta sing it, and it better not be Big Mike.
For the record, these are IGB 2010 Beneficiary Organizations if you would like to give directly:
The Children's Health Fund (www.childrenshealthfund.org)
Feeding America (www.feedingamerica.org)
Malaria No More (www.malarianomore.org)
Save the Children (www.savethechildren.org)
United Nations Foundation (www.unfoundation.org)