Guest Mentor: Miley Cyrus
Blogging live and on Twitter. Away we go...
Again, peeps, the goal for these contestants is to become a pop superstar and connect with fans. It's not for them to sing as well as Barbra Streisand or Tony Bennett because none of them ever will. Miley Cyrus is here to help these kids learn how to move on a stage and connect, things she has proven to be quite good at.
And she already showed some value by loosening up Lee Dewyze a bit. Every week this nervous nellie has had the stage presence of lettuce. Tonight, she helped him graduate a bit ... to the arugula basket. He's still hopeless as a star but he was better. But I agree with Simon. The Box Tops' The Letter is a great 60s pop song and nice way to pay tribute to its singer, Alex Chilton, who died last week. But it's not contemporary or exciting.
After Miley warned Paige Miles to watch out for her pitch, it took the girl just three words into Phil Collins' 1984 No. 1 Against All Odds to swerve off-key and she never recovered. Dreary and depressing. Say goodbye to the Idol tour, sweetie. Shame, because I was hoping not to have to sit through Andrew Garcia on the summer tour.
Tim Urban got a bum deal from these wack judges. First, they put through kids with no voices and then blast them when they can't sing well. Then they saddle them with stupid, dated theme weeks and blast them for song choices. Billboard No. 1s? Come on, Idol. What teenager reads or gives a damn about Billboard? Tim didn't sing Queen's 1980 No. 1 Crazy Little Thing Called Love well but he delivered the only thing tonight that felt like a performance. And to blast him for looking like he was auditioning for High School Music is lame criticism. No one on the High School Musical cast can sing but Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are reaching the masses, which is what these Idols are after -- and few attain. If the goal is to get people to vote, Tim is the only one so far who will achieve that.
Aaron Kelly has laryngitis and tonsilitis and whatever else one can get in the throat and yet he still outsings all of those who came before him -- and infuses his performance with charm. He also makes a cute couple with Miley.
Mike Lynche knows how to "love a woman" with his oldie R&B numbers but we've seen these ancient oldies over and over on Idol. He sang well but as Simon used to say, "So what?" And now we have to sit through charmless Andrew Garcia singing Motown? Are these kids competing to win American Bandstand or American Idol in 2010? Aren't there any newer No. 1s?
Can someone call a locksmith? Andrew Garcia lost the key again. This guy has the least musical voice of any Idol contestant to date. Bad as Paige was, she'd be better on the tour. Don't know why anyone would dial a phone for this guy.
Props to country club cutie Katie Stevens for singing the first song written this century on a stodgy Idol. (Not that Fergie has to worry about being upstaged, because Katie's Big Girls Don't Cry wasn't especially good vocally. But at least it was somewhat suitable.)
Best moment of the night. When Casey James meets Miley Cyrus and says, "I'm a big fan of your ... dad's." Hilarious, well-placed pause there, dude. He then followed with a perfect Huey Lewis impersonation on 1985's Power of Love. Vocally, this was Casey's best of the season. And while he is a fine guitarist, he needs to ditch his instrument. It's become a crutch for him to hide behind and he's not working the stage like he needs to now. There is no need for guitar on this Back to the Future pop tune.
Didi Benami, more than any other, knows how to work the cameras. She's perfect for TV. Can't take my eyes off her as she slinks around the stage and melts the cameras and instruments with her come-hither looks. Vocally, she was less so appealing on the old Linda Ronstadt hit. Not quite "You're no good" but not nearly the vocal equivalent of Ronstadt or anyone else who has recorded this old song. (Well, maybe as good as David Lee Roth but ...)
Prediction: Paige and Andrew and Tim Urban wind up in the bottom three. America's 12 year olds aren't going to allow Tim to miss out on the tour. Technically, Paige delivered the most defeated performance, she seemed to deflate and gave up. But Andrew has the worst voice of any contestant and hasn't the remotest chance of ever becoming a pop star. There's no potential whatsoever there. So with Paige and Andrew almost certain bottom twos, I sure hope America gets it right and sends Andrew packing in 11th place, out of the Top 10 tour. But I've a nagging feeling it's gonna be Paige. And the strange thing is I don't think she really cares. She's a better singer than that.
Download This: If you're to download one audio performance, just for listening, it's Crystal's Janis cover. That's the one that will stand up to repeat listens the best.
As for Miley, she did a fine job coaching. Her advice was astute and while it's fitting sport to take pot shots at her, the negative nebobs have it wrong.