CHALK AND CHEESE: Time for tag-team Idol coverage again, and Kim starts us off:
Kim: Now hear this. No good can come of a theme week in which there is no theme. "Top Billboard Hits" is not a theme. It is a list of songs that have been popular over the years for a variety of reasons. This is not a theme. I repeat: this is not a theme!
I liked Lee's "The Letter." Whose version is that? It was so familiar. I bet that if that performance had come later in the competition, Simon wouldn't have been so quick to dismiss it.
Adam: Well, I'll dismiss it. It just felt very Vegas-y, especially with the Magical Horns of Idol on stage with him. Lee had all this indie authenticity going on with his song choices and performance style so far, and it all went away this week. He's just another guy who looks like Bill Simmons and can sing okay.
Singing okay, however, puts him light years ahead of Paige. Lookit: No one has done “Against All Odds” well on the show before. (See, esp., Corey Clark.) Streak continued, and how. Worst performance in the finals this year.
Kim: Man, that "Against All Odds" was miserable. It was hopeless, though, before it ever started. Phil Collins must have sold his soul to the devil to be able to perform the song successfully, because I just don't think it's possible.
Tim Urban wasn't as bad as the judges said, but "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is just one of those dopey songs that shouldn't find their way onto the show. I know that Taylor Hicks sang it with some success, but doesn't that just prove that two negatives make a positive?
Adam: All I can say about Tim is that shaking hands does not increase your vocal range. Make it stop. He picked the one Freddie Mercury song which mortals can sing and he didn't sing it well. Aaron Kelly, on the other hand, was enjoyable for me for the first time. "Don't Want To Miss A Thing" was a great song selection for him -- even if he still comes off as a boy singing a man's song. He did it fine.
Kim: Yes, Aaron was fine. It was tolerable, which is high praise for this rudderless night. These kids need structure. And then we get to the anointed one. Crystal Bowersox singing "Me and Bobby McGee" (my own personal AI audition song) should have been the gimmiest of gimmes, and in the mind of the judges it was. But I was left the tiniest bit cold. Maybe it was the "Entertainer" factor -- if you're gonna have a hit, you've gotta make it fit, so they cut it down to 3:05. I don't know what it was. I adore the song, she sang it well, but still . . . kinda eh.
Adam: But she has a carpet! I feel like she's comment-proof at this point; all we can do is accurately peg the level of her weekly greatness, and this was ... not pantheon level, but solid. Yeah, Melinda Doolittle v2.0 in every endearing respect -- that is, until Next Week's Big Surprise. Also in the it-is-what-it-is box is Big Mike Lynche. We like him, he'll make it to Final 4 or 5, and that's it. Not much to say.
Kim: Aw, Big Mike. Climbing right into the Peabo box and staying there. He's a sweetiemuffin. But yeah, no chance. Kinda like Andrew Garcia. I liked the Santana vibe on his "Grapevine," but nothing worth discussing further.
Adam: There was a vibe other than I'm Denouncing You? Couldn't feel it from someone who's morphng from Lea DeLaria to Kim Jong-Il to Filipina Lesbian. Speaking of morphing, how 'bout that Katie Stevens? From DeGarmoBot we've occasionally dreaded to ... well, there's nothing wrong with competence, is there? Okay, one really sharp note towards the end, but she's totally safe right now.
Kim: Yeah, Katie sucked less than she had been sucking, which was nice, and it was good to hear a song from a decade in which I was old enough to vote. But it was also good to hear a song from my youth sounding a lot like it did in my youth -- Casey James does a right good Huey. Some songs/artists require you to be American to appreciate them; it surprised me not one bit that Simon was grumpy about "Power of Love."
Adam : When Casey said he was singing "The Power of Love," I couldn't imagine why he'd attempt a Celine Dion song. Phew. Knows his box. Stays within it. Occupies it well. There was nothing great about this, but the boy radiates star quality.
As for Didi, any song that requires you to sing "you're no good" over and over again runs the risk of subliminal suggestion to the viewer. She vamps well, but there wasn't much to that, was there?
Kim: The minute I heard what song Didi was singing, I of course had the same thought. The Elvine snarl was kind of weird too, and whatever did the world do before the advent of thigh-high boots? Oh, and while I'm at it, what's with Kara finding every possible opportunity to touch Simon? Did I miss something all these weeks that I wasn't watching?
I find Siobhan so utterly weird that it's kind of distracting me from my enjoyment of her singing. I get the inherent contradiction of the fact that (a) I was a huge Adam Lambert fan and didn't mind the screaming and the weird but (b) Siobhan bothers me with the screaming and the weird, but there you are.
Adam: Fienberg tweeted tonight that she's got a Clark Kent thing going on in the rehearsal footage; I prefer to think of it as She's All That. Either way ... this was her worst performance, just because the others have been much more interesting. Still, her worst is top 2, top 3 tonight easy. And Paige has to be the one going home, right?
Kim: One would think, although Tim should be a candidate too.
Speaking of candidates, I've got a Lost to watch. 'Nite.