American Idol 9 Finals: Week 6

If you read my non-Idol posts, you know there’s a new baseball team here in Richmond.  Well… tonight, I went to the Diamond to scope them out.  I’ll post on that separately, but I guess it says a lot about this season of Idol that I didn’t mind DVRing the competition show.  I will be watching Idol Gives Guilt Back live tomorrow, of course… so here we go, on digital delay…

Last week, two of the admittedly weaker links went home.  Seven contestants remain for Inspirational Songs week, and mentor Alicia Keys.  Can Tim Urban’s amazing survival story continue… or will he finally stumble… TONIGHT~!?

THIS… is American Idol! *cue the music*

A sparse open (a very brief pretape and Mark Thompson’s voiceover got the night off), as we have 7 singers and just one hour… but it’s the first of many reminders that this is Idol Gives Back week.  Hmm… tickets still on sale for the live show?

The Final Seven come on stage with Big Mike leading the way again… from which we dive directly into the mentor intro, focusing on Alicia Keys’ philanthropy as much as her music on this guilt-edged week…

…and without a break, right to our first singer…

Casey – “Don’t Stop”, Fleetwood Mac – no surprise, he’s on electric guitar… this kind of lite-rock song is perfect for Casey… as he throws in a few guitar riffs… he seemed to follow the advice he was given in the pre-roll and showed a little personality… nice start, good song choice… yes, Kara, we know you’re frustrated, but really, you don’t have to call attention to it…

…fast-forward…

Lee – “The Boxer”, Simon & Garfunkel – he gets the Red Room treatment this week, talking about his song choice… and after a detour through Technical Difficulties Theatre… he’s on acoustic guitar… I can’t count the times I’ve played this song on Big Oldies 107.3, so I wanted to hear something new… and I think it was there… a bit of an urgency in the performance… I kind of wish he had time to do the whole song… nicely done…

SCORECARD: Lee > Casey

Wow… Captain “Sully” (from that US Airways Hudson River “landing”) is in the crowd tonight… speaking of someone who needs a hero…

Tim – “Better Days”, Goo Goo Dolls – interesting choice… he’s on acoustic guitar… some vocal problems early… earnest effort, but he’s probably going to need VFTW assistance to get past this week… I think he reached a little further than he’s capable of here… OK, but not what he probably needed…

SCORECARD: Lee > Casey > Tim

Aaron – “I Believe I Can Fly”, R.Kelly – Alicia Keys basically told him that we have to believe he can fly by the time he’s done, let’s see… not quite sure about flight, but he may have gotten enough elevation to stay in the game… a nice performance with a strong finish… another “good-but-not-great” performance…

SCORECARD: Lee > Aaron > Casey > Tim

Siobhan – “When You Believe”, Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey – wow… taking on a Whitney/Mariah duet… talk about reaching high… there’s a butterfly on her shoulder… and some serious singing, without the Siobhan Screech… which makes it easier to take her seriously.  This may be her breakout performance… at least a couple of judges disagree… I suspect the part of the audience that votes will love it… although her post-song rambling is a bit… odd?

SCORECARD: Siobhan > Lee > Aaron > Casey > Tim

Michael – “Hero”, Chad Kroeger/Josey Scott – a trip through the Red Room before he sings… he’s on acoustic guitar… the common judges’ complaint that the Idol performance isn’t all that different from the original actually comes into play here… he did make it a little more soulful at the end, but it wasn’t all that special… what may save him isn’t a hero, but the fact that nobody’s been all that special tonight…

SCORECARD: Siobhan > Lee > Michael > Aaron > Casey > Tim

Crystal – “People Get Ready”, The Impressions (et al) – after being in the headlines this week, I assume it’s got to be a comfort for her to just sing… no instrument in hand, just her voice tonight… have I mentioned she’s going to win this thing?  Well, after this, there is no doubt at all… either she’ll be the 9th Idol, or she’ll be the one we remember after the 9th Idol flames out… her emotional reaction at the end of the song (because of her father being at Television City for the first time)  was even more endearing…

PRE-MONTAGE SCORECARD: Crystal > Siobhan > Lee > Michael > Aaron > Casey > Tim

The Big Finish:

  • My (hypothetical) vote: Crystal
  • Idol Sends Home: Tim

For the first time, it becomes obvious that the montage comes from dress rehearsal footage, as we see Crystal magically complete the song without tears.

POST-MONTAGE SCORECARD: Crystal > Siobhan > Lee > Casey > Michael > Aaron >  Tim

If we were live, Glee would be next, but since this is on DVR… oh, heck… Idol Gives Back tomorrow night, 8/7c (Seacrest has warned us, expect this to go long, set your DVRs accordingly!)… see you then…

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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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