American Idol 9 Finals: Week 2

This week’s “Billboard #1s” show really comes down to two words: Miley Freakin’ Cyrus.  Despite that, I’m watching the show… maybe it’s not a “big f—–g deal”, but it’s a way to kill a couple hours.  Besides, I’ve gone this far, so I’m not letting the future star of “Celebrity Rehab 2030” stop me…

After Tim Urban inexplicably survived another week, we have reached an important milestone in the annual Idol gauntlet.  10 of tonight’s 11 Idol finalists will go on the summer tour… who’s going to lose out on all that experience, exposure, and cash… TONIGHT!?

Ryan’s on the big screen, peering over the contestants for the cold open…

From Television City in Hollywood… THIS… is American Idol! *cue the music, then Mark Thompson*

Pointless judges banter deleted…

OK… did Ryan have to use the phrase “Best Of Both Worlds” in setting up the theme/mentor B-Roll?  Really?  And now, here she comes… the “surprise” mentor is revealed to the Idols… and she actually showed up for the performance show… it’s Miley!

Lee – “The Letter”, Box Tops (although he’ll do the Joe Cocker version, no doubt) – Closer to the cover than the original… not a blowaway performance, but solid and enjoyable… good way to start the show.

Paige – “Against All Odds”, Phil Collins – She’s sprinting through the song, she’s pitchy, and I don’t think she gets the song at all.  She’s trying to be an Idolbot, doing what she thinks the judges and texters want, instead of just performing.  I have no doubt this is a Bottom Three performance. Wow… after this savaging by the judges, she is utterly doomed.

SCORECARD: Lee > commercial break > Paige.

Here’s something you don’t want to hear in the tease… “Tim takes on Queen… next!”  Oh boy… can he sink lower than what we just heard?

Tim – “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, Queen – OK, this might just be the VFTW poster boy’s best performance of the season.  He took the song’s advice, “got cool, relaxed”, and did a good job.  He may even avoid the Bottom Three this week, depending on how the next 90 minutes go… or maybe the judges’ battering will put him there.  I don’t think it was THAT bad, I think they wrote him off before he sang a note.

SCORECARD: Lee > Tim > Paige

Aaron – “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”, Aerosmith – Hmmm… a bit safe, a bit lite-rock on the arrangement, a bit dull at times, but I think it was just enough to get him on the tour… which may have been the angle he was playing here… I don’t think this was that much better, or better at all, than what Tim did… you wonder if the judges are scripted tonight… I can picture Tim ramming his head into the dressing room wall right now… and were they playing Kara off there at one point?

SCORECARD: Lee > Tim > Aaron > Paige

Crystal – “Me and Bobby McGee”, Janis Joplin – (on guitar) This is, of course, a perfect song choice for Crystal… and she was on her game again.  Without a doubt, this is the best of the evening, by a longshot.  Crystal’s going without the guitar next week… this’ll be interesting.

SCORECARD: Crystal > Lee > Tim > Aaron > Paige

TANGENT ALERT: Crystal comes off as a “real” person, as opposed to a raft of talent-show archetypes we’re seeing this season… I think that’s why she’s so popular… she’s a breath of fresh air in a sea of stale.  This is, absolutely, her competition to lose.  And even if she loses, she’s already won.  She has an audience now.  You will hear from Crystal again, whether she’s the 9th Idol or not.

Michael is also a clear difference from the rest…

Michael – “When A Man Loves A Woman”, Percy Sledge – It’s hard to do this song, I think, without lapsing into the original.  I was afraid Michael was going that way at the start, but he took control of the song about a third of the way through… and brought home a really good performance.

SCORECARD: Crystal > Michael > Lee > Tim > Aaron > Paige

Andrew – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, Marvin Gaye (and a host of Motown All-Stars) – (Miley talked him out of the guitar!) It seems that losing the guitar did make him a bit more animated… it was an OK performance… not great, not awful… but might slide to the Bottom Three only because someone has to… again, the judges are trying to steer the voting… they’ve ransacked three performances, let’s see if they do any more…

SCORECARD: Crystal > Michael > Lee > Tim > Andrew > Aaron > Paige

Katie – “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, Fergie – I’m not sure this was the right “current” song for her… Katie’s in dire need of a breakout moment, and this song just didn’t provide one.  That said, she’ll get through to next week.  It’s not that this was bad (it was middle-of-the-pack), it just wasn’t big enough to really push her in the competition.

SCORECARD: Crystal > Michael > Lee > Tim > Katie > Andrew > Aaron > Paige

Casey – “The Power Of Love”, Huey Lewis & The News – (on electric guitar) A serviceable performance, but definitely a safe play, if it did come off a little too similar to the original.  He’s on the Daughtry arc, he’ll make it to the last few weeks and get a “shocking” vote-off… you can bank on seeing him on the tour, though.

SCORECARD: Crystal > Michael > Lee > Casey > Tim > Katie > Andrew > Aaron > Paige

Didi – “You’re No Good”, Linda Ronstadt – Hmm… a bit rough (and I don’t mean that in the way the song might)… I don’t know that she was really comfortable with the song… like Casey, a serviceable and safe performance, but that’s as far as it goes…

SCORECARD: Crystal > Michael > Lee > Casey > Didi > Tim > Katie > Andrew > Aaron > Paige

Pimp-spot love for Siobhan, next…

Siobhan – “Superstition”, Stevie Wonder – I liked it.   Solid, faithful to the original without being karaoke, a good showcase for her voice and style… and she got to screech again… 🙂

PRE-MONTAGE SCORECARD: Crystal > Michael > Lee > Siobhan > Casey > Didi > Tim > Katie > Andrew > Aaron > Paige

The Big Finish

Is it a commentary on the state of pop music that of 11 singers, only one did a #1 song from this century? Why, yes… it is.

POST-MONTAGE SCORECARD: Crystal > Michael > Lee > Siobhan > Casey > Katie > Didi > Tim > Andrew > Aaron > Paige

  • My vote: Crystal
  • My elimination: Paige

I’ve got radio stuff tomorrow night, so you’ll see the Idol results (and comments on the performances by Miley Cyrus, and Joe Jonas/Demi Lovato) around the Internet before I get a chance to post my thoughts… see you late tomorrow night, anyway, I hope… your late local news is next…


As a reward for reading the blog today, I’m going off-message to give you the trailer for the best biopic never made… enjoy… and ponder what it’d be like if he mentored the Idol finalists… 🙂

EDIT: DAMNIT… WordPress won’t let me embed the Funny or Die video player here… so here’s the link instead…

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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