“So now we get some behind-the-scenes after the performances and a 2-hour show. What does that mean? More un-necessary footage and commentary from the judges to confuse the contestants and a lot more critique from this week’s mentor! Although this weeks mentor is actually quite credible and made a lot of great performances happen. This was by far my favorite night for the entire season. 3 perfect scores and everyone was good despite a few missteps. ”
The scores are based on vocal ability, appearance, song choice, personality, stage presence and impact out of a possible 30 points! EPIC (29-30) GREAT (27-28) GOOD (25-26) OK (23-25) FAIL (22 and below)
Here are the guy’s grades in order of performance:
Siobhan Magnus 26
Her awkwardness is actually quite appealing. Usher didn’t expect that voice like most of us when we first heard her. Her fashion sense and her quirky personality make her unique and that vocal ability sets her apart. Tonight, somehow her vocals and appearance were off. Even that high-note didn’t work out and there was a lot of pitch problems. Her weakest performance of the season so far and that last note seems like a signature high for her, but tonight it was too much.
Elimination: So-so (This is the first test of her popularity. Not a good performance. Has she been coasting or does she have a true following. We will see!)
Casey James 29
He’s right. What better theme than rnb/soul which is so close to his blues genre. This should be his comfort zone. Verdict? He nails it vocally. Everything works except his look. Someone I almost wish he had a beard or a goatee because he looks like a pop-star with that big bluesy voice. That aside I guess he is a commercial blues singer. His best performance to date though and Simon was on point. Don’t understand what Kara or Ellen were hearing because he showed a lot of range and performance ability. What the hell is this show going to do without Simon?
Elimination: Very Safe (Start planning your next performance!!)
Michael Lynche 30
Connecting with the audience, I am pretty sure he has no problem doing that. I was worried because the first time he had a guitar on him in the very first episode, he was kind of corny and didn’t connect emotionally, so I was legitimately worried. However, this was night and day and an amazing acoustic rendition of the song and if the judges were looking for a moment, he had one! Outstanding vocals and even if it was a gloomy song he sold it.
Elimination: Very Safe (He’ll be around till the end if he continues on this route)
Didi Benami 25
She had an emotional connection to the song and a moment that caused her to cry in front of Usher. Will she translate that on stage? No. The arrangement and the key changes unfortunately didn’t work! I thought it was theatrical, dramatic and overdone for no reason. Was she trying to create the emotion through dramatization? She tried to show some range, but it was a little too forced and a little too much. I wish she translated her emotions into a much more simple arrangement that let her vocals speak for her emotions.
Elimination: Bottom 3 (Not good. This could be her downfall)
Tim Urban 26
Why is he still here? The abs? The hair? And the way he sung that song to Usher was right on point on Usher’s part. I didn’t believe it either. Will he connect to the audience? No. His eyes just looked so vacant on stage. He looked like he was trying to make sure he got the vocals out and although they sounded good, it was just boring and plain. The whole performance was so old-fashioned and cruisy!! Last week he was singing to his target market and this week he was trying to reach a new crowd and it didn’t work. Unfortunately for me, he has a huge fan club and that may keep him around, although I am hoping for a different result.
Elimination: Bottom 3 (He was there last week and this performance didn’t really gain him any points)
Andrew Garcia 28
Is he back? A great acoustic rendition of the song and more in line with Andrew’s type of music, but am I digging it because I like the song or is it because he’s done so poorly the last few weeks that its refreshing to see him back on track. Maybe a mix of both which I think is very smart on his part. His fans may have rekindled the love for him too. The judges comments of course, were overwhelmingly positive but is it fair to glorify him for it? I suppose being a former favorite for the title, its acceptable and worth the praise, but will it continue or is it a fluke?
Elimination: Safe (Should be safe considering the positive feedback but has the previous few weeks caught up to him?)
Katie Stevens 27
Kara’s pitch queen! Is she going to be pitchy or will she pull through. Unfortunately, she was a tad pitchy. I don’t get it because she actually has a good voice under there but something’s always off. I think performance-wise and vocal ability she did pretty good but she went back to her old-fashioned ways when she could have continued the youth route and sang another contemporary song. The judges are correct, Katie is going in the right direction vocally, but wrong era. Enough said.
Elimination: So-so (She was in the bottom last week, did she do enough to get out of the bottom 3 or will she find herself there again?)
Lee Dewyze 30
Unlike Tim, I actually love Lee’s voice and his overall appeal and this genre suits him perfectly. I don’t see how he will mess this up even if there is a lot of bias on my part. Will he live up to Usher’s praises? Yes Yes Yes!! He was on fire tonight. It was just him on stage with his guitar doing what Lee does… wow!!! Lee’s performance was upbeat and I agree with Simon completely, if he knew how good he was and his confidence showed it, he would sail to another level, but that’s something I hope he hones soon to perfect his performance ability. But from an emotional standpoint he edged Michael’s performance by a smidgen.
Elimination: Very Safe (He should plan his coronation song at this point!)
Crystal Bowersox 30
She says there is a surprise this week? Heels and the piano!! What instrument doesn’t she play. And then she steps away from the piano and sings front and center. I got goosebump’s when she hit those high notes. This was a different direction for her but still her. But I do agree with Simon that she is the only person who truly knows who she is. Props for doing something different and not look awkward, but enhancing her performance abilities.
Elimination: Very Safe (Plan something else. I’ll buy anything you do. Wait, figure out your finale song as well)
Aaron Kelly 27
Nasal country king Aaron made a fan out of Usher. I actually didn’t like that nasal quality when i first heard him in the beginning of the season but grew to accept this as his signature vocal ability. Now that line that Usher was looking for him to nail, the “I Know, I know..” didn’t have the impact that I thought Usher was looking for, or even i was expecting. Overall the song was good and the judges “liked” it which isn’t the best critique but I don’t think he has anything to worry about tonight.
Elimination: Safe (He hasn’t had any trouble thus far and shouldn’t face any this week)
My top 10:
- Lee Dewyze
- Michael Lynche
- Crystal Bowersox
- Casey James
- Andrew Garcia
- Aaron Kelly
- Katie Stevens
- Siobhan Magnus
- Tim Urban
- Didi Benami
Final Thoughts: Lee, Michael and Crystal were on a different level tonight. However both Casey and Andrew were not too far from that bar. Siobhan had an off-night which will definitely test her appeal to the audience whether it puts her in the bottom 3 or whether she will sail through on that appeal. Katie, Tim and Didi are the strongest possibilities for the bottom 3 with Didi going home!
Result: Didi is eliminated! No surprise there. She was weak last night and she struggle in the last few weeks to find herself. Tim was a close second once again. He is the Sanjaya this season, although for his defense he does have the teen vote.