I need to come clean about something: I never watch American Idol live. I rarely get home from work before 8 o’clock on Tuesdays. And When I get home, I usually make dinner and then settle in for Lost (which is way better than Idol, BTW). I usually don’t even start watching American Idol until a little after 10 o’clock.
This week was no different. But as I fired up the DVR and plopped in front of my computer to blog while watching an hour of critical karaoke, the theme song sounded a little different. I paused the broadcast, and realized what I was hearing. It was Jackie Wilson’s (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher, blaring from my drunken neighbor’s apartment. Could he possibly be watching a similarly delayed episode American Idol? Could it be the Ghostbusters Theme Night that I had always dreamed of?! Could a creepy, Tim Urban performed, reggae version of Bobby Brown’s classic hit, On Our Own, be far behind? Nope. My dreams were crushed as I realized that he was just listening to the original Jackie Wilson version.
So I hit play, and was quickly reminded my Señor Seacrest that it’s Idol Gives Back week. I seem to remember that contestants usually don’t go home on Gives Back week, but I guess we’ll find out for sure tomorrow. Under Alicia Keys’ guidance, this week the contestants are singing inspirational songs. Boring theme … Ghostbusters would’ve been so much more fun.
Up first was Casey James with Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop. While his performance was solid, he didn’t really mix it up, didn’t really make it his own, and didn’t really impress me. It was alright, but he should be working harder to really impress us with a more original take on a classic hit.
My husband Lee was up next with Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer. With the exception of a few yucky spit strings in his mouth, Lee was flawless, amazing and incredibly sexy. If this guy doesn’t make it to the finale (and ultimately lose to Crystal Bowersox), I’ll be really, really disappointed. Simon: “Even though we’re only two in, that was the best of the night.”
With a sloppy and out-of-tune version of the Goo Goo Dolls’ Better Days, Tim Urban was up next. I’ve noticed that in every performance he does this annoying thing where he occasionally blows into microphone between words. It just seems amateurish as a performer, and coupled with the bad notes and unoriginal arraignment … I think it’s time for Tim to go home. (Yes I’ve said that before — but one of these days I’m bound get my wish.)
I used to think I could not go on, and life was nothing but an awful song. The underage Aaron Kelly was next, singing the underage-loving R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly. It’s a big song and Aaron’s version quickly became one of those American Idol performances that aren’t reallllly bad, but just make you cringe. His singing wasn’t terrible … but I didn’t like it.
Giant Mouth Girl was next with that Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s When You Believe. For me, Siobhan usually comes across a bit over-rehearsed and over-staged. But was it just me, or was every other note a gross, sour one? It just wasn’t good at all … not at all.
Big Mike followed that crazy mess with Chad Kroeger (Feat. Josey Scott)’s Hero. His performance wasn’t too bad, but it just didn’t feel like the Big Mike that we’ve gotten to know. Like the rest of tonight’s contestants, he seemed to have a little difficulty fitting his style into this week’s theme. Simon: “The theme tonight is inspirational song, and that was about Spider-Man, wasn’t it?”
Finally, finally, finally Crystal Bowersox wrapped up the night with Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready. For the first time without the aid of an instrument, Chrystal sounded amazing using her natural instrument. She even managed to squirt out a few tears at the end of the song! Simply fantastic! Yay for funny microphone stands and emotional squirting!
Overall it was a pretty rough, not-very-inspirational week. Like usual, Bowersox and my husband were only two performers that deserve ANY votes at all. But sadly I watch the show too late to even have a chance at voting. So, what do you think? Oh, and which contestant would have done the best version of Ray Parker Jr.’s hit? Who ya gunna call?