I fast forwarded through the silliness with the judges.
01) Lee Dewyze (Fireflies, by Owl City) This song is such a quiet, sweet song, and Lee was all over the place on it for me. He was rocking the guitar, but it lost the charm of the song. I could barely listen to it. Oh, Lee. You're better than this. Randy thought it was a strange song choice, but appreciated the different take on it, even with the pitch problems. Ellen appreciated that he made it a little rock, even though there were pitch problems. Kara thought he looked confident, and they have been waiting for that. She thinks he made the song a better song, and thought it was a solid job, though it wasn't his best moment. Simon didn't think there was anything to rave about, and thought that he is better than that performance. Didn't I just say that?
02) Alex Lambert (Trouble, by Ray Lamontagne) I really hate his mullet, but he is rocking the guitar again. I think this is the best I've liked him so far. He sounds phlegmy to me sometimes, but this was a really competent job, and it was modern. I liked it. But the mullet is ridiculous. It's not cute, it's not unique. It's just ridiculous. Randy, yo yo, thought it was good, but could have been better. Ellen returned to the banana analogy, and said he is getting mushy because he's ripening so fast. She loves his innocence and vulnerability. She doesn't want him to become a cocky banana. Kara thinks that he is the only thing standing in the way of him winning. She wanted just a stripped down, him and the guitar, performance. Simon wants him to get himself mentally somewhere else because he is too stiff performing. Some silliness with judges...
03) Tim Urban (Hallelujiah, by Jeff Buckley) I really don't like Tim. To me, this song belongs to Jason Castro on the AI stage. He didn't seem to be feeling the lyrics at all. I guess, vocally, it was nicer than anything I've heard him sing before, but that doesn't change my mind about him. He's boring. Randy loves the song, and he thinks that Tim did a pretty good job. Ellen thinks that she has criticized him a lot, but hopped up out of the judge's table and gave Tim a hug because she thought it was fantastic. Kara thinks he might have just brought himself back into the competition. Simon thinks Tim is good this week because of the comments Simon gave. He didn't think it was the best version of the song he's ever heard, but it was the best Tim's been. I guess so. But I still don't like him. I just don't see much special in his voice or his performance. And, his hair is stupid.
04) Andrew Garcia (Genie in a Bottle, by Christina Aguelarra) Nice job! This is what I've been waiting for from him - another stripped down, different version of an unexpected song. I don't think it was as good as Straight Up, but it was definitely heading in the right direction. Randy appreciated his cardigan, but didn't think that the song quite worked, and thought it sounded like it was three notes. I disagree. Ellen thought that it was the right song, but the end was the best part, and she wanted more of that. Kara worries that he peaked too early, and he's been chasing it ever since. She thought he was fighting with the rhythm of the guitar. Simon was with Kara, and thought it was a little desperate, and over-thought. I liked it, again, not as much as Straight Up, but it was certainly much better.
05) Casey James (You'll Think of Me, by Keith Urban) He's unplugged this week, and I don't know this song, but I liked the way he sounded. His vibrato was more in control. It was still slightly bleaty here and there, but certainly better vocally than last week, and he finished his phrases. Thank you, Casey. And, by the way, I like his hair back instead of down. Randy, yo, is a fan of that song, but thought it was a safe choice, and thinks Casey is edgier than that song. Ellen thought it was great, and likes Casey sitting down. Kara is kind of back on the Casey train, and thinks he did better not trying to be a rock star, and called it more honest, but wanted more spark. Simon called it his second best so far, and thinks it made him sincere, but doesn't think it will be memorable.
06) Aaron Kelly (I'm Already There, by Lonestar) This came out in 2001, when Aaron was 5 I think. He's bad. Mumbly. Shakey on pitch. Nasal. He was better when he stood up, but that doesn't make it good. Add to that, he looked really uncomfortable on stage. I hope the teeny boppers don't unite for him. He's bad. Oh, oh, oh, so bad. Randy, dude, thinks he has the makings of the great, but thinks that he needs to work on his lower register. Ellen loves Aaron, and doesn't think that he seems 16. She thinks he's sounded better, and that the song was too big for him. Kara loves him, but doesn't think that the song related to his life at all. Simon thinks Kara's literal criticism was rubbish, and thinks it was the right kind of song for him, though vocally it wasn't that great for him. I agree with Simon. Just because Kara writes songs, she gets hung up on the literal stuff. Still, he was bad.
07) Todrick Hall (Somebody to Love, by Queen) He's got to compete not only with Freddy's genius, but with singing penguins. Good luck, Todrick. This is the least he's sucked so far. This seems to be a theme tonight for a lot of these guys. I still don't love him, but I forgive him a little for his vocal slaughter of great songs. Randy declared that Todrick is back, and he's proved that he can really sing. Ellen called him a brave, brave young man, and digged that he sang it like a gospel song. Kara thought it was really good singing, but worried that it was a little too dramatic, like Godspell. Simon thought it was good in parts, but thought that Todrick proved that he is more a Broadway performer than a pop singer. I'd say that's fair.
08) Michael Lynche (This Woman's Work, by Maxwell) His initial falsetto was really good, and this song gives me chills, because all I can think of is the breast cancer dance from SYTYCD. Chills. He's giving it some awesome vocals. His final long note was astounding, and he followed by some good falsetto. Nice work. Randy, dawg, wait-a-minute, dawg, thought it was crazy, urged Michael to listen, and what? What? He's incomprehensible sometimes. Ellen thought it was beautiful and called Michael the one to beat. He reduced Kara to genuine tears. Wow. Simon gave Kara hugs, and called this a needed performance, and thinks that he 100% nailed it, and called it the best performance of the live shows so far. Wow. That was really really good.
So, tonight, Michael was the best BY FAR. Lee was better in the playback, but still not great. Alex is interesting. I still stand by my dislike for Tim. Andrew is in the middle of the pack for me, with Lee and Alex. Casey was ok, but not great. I actually kind of dug Todrick.. did I just say that?
Oh, I can't focus. Michael was so freaking good.
Aaron and Tim. They can go. I wouldn't cry if Casey went, because I think his bleating voice is going to get on my nerves.
What do you think?