American Idol 9 Finals: Week 7

Last week, we saw the end of Tim Urban’s unexpected and unpredictable run through the semifinals, which ended with the ignominy of not even getting the traditional sing-off.   As Idol got bashed pretty heavily for that omission, I suspect we’ll see Tim given a chance to sing this week…

That particular error had a rather obvious cause, as we also saw another bloated and self-indulgent Idol Gives Back telethon (sorry, but as Simon likes to say, “just being honest”).  I suspect I’m not alone in that feeling, as IGB3 badly underperformed the fund-raising levels set by the first two shows.

On the night that the 4th Idol is performing just a few miles away from me, the 6 remaining finalists will tackle the music of a different country star.  Which finalist will butcher the music of Shania Twain… TONIGHT~!?

We start with a rather quiet cold open, reminding us of the backgrounds of the Final Six… before Ryan sends us into the opening credits…

THIS… is American Idol! *cue the music*

It looks like Mark Thompson has lost another gig (Hole In The Wall isn’t coming back, after all) as once again, there’s no voiceover for the introductions.

Ryan notes the $45,000,000 haul from IGB3 last week before introducing the judges, then reminds us that we are only a month away from the finale.  I can hear the Worsters at VFTW saying “ANOTHER MONTH????”.

Big Mike leads the final six onstage before Ryan introduces the Mentor Montage for Shania Twain… and then introduces Shania in the studio audience, leading to the Obligatory Quick Interview.  No break, we dive right into the first performance…

Lee – “You’re Still The One” – Shania’s advice: “stop getting lost behind the guitar.”  Guess what – he’s on guitar! 🙂 Interesting… trying to sound a bit edgier, I think… a likeably rockish take… definitely played to his strengths. Good performance, should keep him around another week.

We’re into two-numbers-per-finalist territory now.  Let’s see if that actually increases audience participation… 🙂

Idols Live 2010 tour dates are set, tickets go on sale May 14-15.  They’re skipping Richmond again… 🙂 they are hitting Jiffy Lube Live (that’s really a concert venue, in the D.C. suburbs), Baltimore, Charlotte, and Virginia Beach… but not Richmond.  This is where I again note that our arena in Richmond is a disgrace.  I’ll also note that the last stop of the tour is part of the opening fortnight of Pittsburgh’s new arena, the Consol Energy Center.  PITTSBURGH’s new arena.  Moving on…

Michael – “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing” – “Don’t take your voice for granted.”  Kind of a thin start to the song… he started to find his rhythm, but I’m not sure this song really showcases him the way he wanted… OK, but not his best work, and he’s left himself vulnerable to one of the weaker performers pulling off a miracle.

SCORECARD: Lee > Michael

Casey – “Don’t” – “Find your inner confidence.”  He’s on acoustic guitar.  Well, now… tonight he decided to sing instead of playing the Guitar Rock Star?  Took him THIS long? :)  It may be his best decision of the competition.   It gives him a different sound, and a different tone, and he found a song that takes advantage of it.  This time, he earned the screams of the tweens in the crowd… it might be his best performance of the season… he’s certainly out front tonight.

SCORECARD: Casey > Lee > Michael

Crystal – “No One Needs To Know” – “Be a bit happier, it’s a cheerful song.”  She’s on guitar.  I know, I know… I say this every week.  She did it again.  Another terrific performance, absolutely spot on, and another piece of evidence that she’s by far the most ready of the performers in this competition.  The judges go on about how this wasn’t her best… “not her best” can stand up to any other of this season’s “best”.  I think the judges were put up to knock this by The Powers That Be to try to preserve the illusion that there’s a competition here.

SCORECARD: Casey > Crystal > Lee > Michael
(Yes, Casey gets a slight nod… for now… subject to revision after the montage…)

Aaron – “You’ve Got A Way” – “Don’t debate.  Just give us what you love.”  Let’s face it, putting him after Crystal is a bit unfair.   Also, his choice of song probably wasn’t the best.  It was a good performance.  However, it wasn’t good enough.  He needed to kill it tonight… he didn’t.  His only hope now is that Siobhan falls on her face.  He may have gotten a few votes by noting that he changed the song up to make it a song for his mom.  The judges’ puffery might help, too.  He still needs a LOT of help.

SCORECARD: Casey > Crystal > Lee > Michael > Aaron

Siobhan – “Any Man Of Mine” – “Let your character come out through the words.”  I’m not sure about the “attitude” that Shania was looking for, but she did an uptempo and fun performance, which hasn’t been her specialty.  And, of course, she got a screech in at the end.  It was good enough to give Aaron a sleepless night… and going last doesn’t hurt, either.

We’re going over, again.  Even with speed-judging here at the end… your DVR probably cut out during the montage.

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

The Big Finish:

POST-MONTAGE SCORECARD: no change, although the producers’ choice of clip did Siobhan no favors.

  • My vote: Casey
  • My elimination: Aaron

On the results show, we’ve got Shania, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Sons of Sylvia, Shakira… and somewhere in there, we might even have someone eliminated.  That’s tomorrow, 9/8c.  Glee is next. 

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

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

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