“A paint salesman. A high school student. A glass blower. A mother. A father. A construction worker.” No, it’s not the all-new Village People. It’s Seacrest introducing our final six.
Flashback to last Wednesday, where “Idol Gives Back” managed to take… from me. 144 precious minutes, to be exact. So if it’s still taking up precious space on your DVR, allow me to recap:
Barack Obama said “you’re all my dawgs” without a trace of irony; The Idolers, dressed in the visual aftermath of the Second Coming, sang the under-rated “Keeping The Dream Alive” by Freiheit; David Cook visited Ethiopia and sang because … Pop music is nourishment for the soul?; Todd Bridges was in the audience, likely looking for someone to give back to him; Russell Brand and Jonah Hill performed some painfully unfunny shtick, that was actually a precursor to a movie I’ll never see; And Annie Lennox once again provided the classiest and most poignant moment of the show.
Also, Teflon Tim’s shields went down, and he was sent home, still smiling all the way. We shall all miss this clueless bastard, who provided unintentional entertainment on a weekly basis.
This week’s mentor is Shania Twain, who Ryan refers to as a “country pioneer.” You mean, like Laura Ingalls Wilder? OK, so Shania Twain is a country artist who crossed over into pop. Also, she all but devoured John Park like a Tasty Cake 100 years ago during auditions in Chicago.
Lee Dewyze: “You’re Still the One”
No, it’s not the 70s original co-opted by ABC’s gloriously cheesy promotional ads. It’s the overplayed Shania Twain opus. It starts off a little rough, but once we get to the chorus, s’all good, although there’s pitch problems throughout. Lee also makes the Kris Allen memorial triangle mouth while singing. The Judges all like it, and Jedi mind trick us be failing to mention any pitch problems, because aren’t we all pulling for the Dewylsox finale?
Michael Lynche: “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing”
Big Mike starts off sitting on the stairs. It’s Idol shorthand for “take me seriously, bitches.” He gets the soft magenta lights and the swaybots in fully synchronized accompaniment. It’s a technically solid performance, but honestly, it puts me to sleep. A Luthor Vandross Lullaby. The Judges like it, although Simon found it “wet”, which is British for “sucks a little.”
Casey James: “Don’t”
OK, so I’ve knocked Casey in the past as a typical Bar Band Singer. But I honestly have to give him some props tonight. It’s actually a nice, quiet performance, with just a hint of Blues. It’s a million times better than that Bob Segar lite we’ve seen from him. Well done, say I. The Judges agree, and Simon and Randy both think it’s his best performance. Then Simon has Casey molest Shania Twain on national television.
Crystal Bowersox: “No One Needs to Know”
Crystal, on the pimp stool, notes that Shania is “supersweet.” And Ryan drops this useful bit of nothing, “and she has really white teeth.” And Crystal was all like, “teeth are supposed to be white?” Crystal mentions that this song is an ode to her boyfriend, who she hopes will “step up someday.” Tabloids, commence dumpster diving.
It’s a typical Crystal performance: laid back, comfortable and pitch-perfect… And country, even. Not her greatest, but even her worst is better than most Top Twelvers best this season, let’s be serious. The Judges didn’t like it too much, but that’s only judging it on the Bowersoxscale. Or, conspiracy theory: perhaps they are trying to get fingers texting to prevent Crystal from being ousted early, a la Chris Daughtry?
Aaron Kelly: “You’ve Got a Way”
It’s all good and vocally sound, but just kinda boring. It’s a step up, because he’s at least believable singing the lyrics. Kara mentions that Aaron changed the line of the song. “when we made love,” because, Aaron is still sleeping in Power Rangers bed sheets. And also, he sang this song to his mom, apparently. Is there a way to combine “awww” and “ewww” in one word? Because I would like to do that at this juncture. The Judges, they all love it to pieces. They also decide he should be a country artist, because, why not? And also, no.
Siobhan Magnus: “Any Man of Mine”
Honestly, this performance is a little all over the place, much like Siobhan’s “hooker cowgirl meets Lillian August swatch catalog” outfit. Parts of it are good, parts of it are silly, and then she shrieks. Again. And, y’know, enough with that. The Judges all loved it, but Simon thought the scream sounded like she was “giving birth.”
So who’s going home? Hmm, really tough to guess based on tonight’s vocals. I’m actually guessing Big Mike will not be singing, “looks like we made it…”