If only the actual show were half as interesting this season. Two Idols were sent packing, as Andrew went back to fulfill his custodial destiny (hey, his father said it, not me!) and Muppet Katie shuffled off to find the rainbow connection.
Casey James: Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop”
Casey kinda shout-speak-sings the song. It's a lazy performance that you might see at your local Six Flaggs, sung by an animatronic jug band. And with that, Casey has downgraded himself from "Good Bar Band Singer" to "Theme Park Act." The Judges are underwhelmed, and Simon thought it was "unoriginal" and a "lazy song choice."
Lee DeWyze: Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer”
Lee's in the pimp chair. Seacrest, in some sort of Barbara-Walters-lite interview, tries to wring pathos out of Andrew's departure; The bromance is over and there's no baby Gokeys for these two. Lee is singing Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer”, looking like something from "The CW's Presents: A Streetcar Named Desire." Lee gives the song some genuine pathos, and his voice actually gives the song a unique quality unlike the Simon & Garfunklel classic. The swaybots waft their arms in silent agreement.
Randy says his season is different because "it's about artists this year." Artists with broken crayons that can't stay within the lines and color people purple. And by "artists", Randy means "people we never should have chosen in the top 24." The Judges all like it, and Simon thought it was "sincere, emotional" and "brilliant" even.
Tim Urban: Goo Goo Dolls’ “Better Days”
Alicia coaches Tim on singing the excellent pop ballad "Better Days," which has weathered well through the years. In practice, Tim is singing this by way of Peter, Paul & Mary. Y'know, all those better days in that land called Honah Lee?
Note: Teflon Tim's past songs have all included the word "love." This week, Tim flirts with danger, in a song that doesn't allow him to camera rape the tweeners. The performance? I'm inspired.... to turn off my TV. It's crazy erratic and off-key. Really bad, easily the worst of the night. The Judges didn't like it, but they just pat him on the head and basically say, "That was good on the Tim Urban scale of what is good."
Aaron Kelly: R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly”
It's like they tried to rebuild David Archeletta but ran out of parts. Aaron is talented, but in a bland-boring sort of way. The Judges like, except Simon thinks it wouldn't work very well "in the real world." Shhh, Simon, we don't talk about "the real world" on this show.
Siobhan Magnus: Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe”
You call upon the wrath of The Judges when you invoke the holy trinity of divas (Mariah, Whitney and Celine). Crazy-pants Siobhan invokes two at once. She also takes bubble baths with the toaster on the very edge of the tub.
Although, arguably, Whitney doesn't even sing like Whitney anymore judging from her recent concerts. And the lesson, kids, is this: Crack is whack. OK, so Siobhan actually sings it pretty well, from a technical perspective. The Judges throw out some mini-hate, because they are apparently done with her and the money's on the dresser. And Simon even hates on her Poison Ivy inspired costume. "I was distracted by the... leaves," he sniffs. Thanks for that.... thoughtful critique of her singing?
Michael Lynche: Chad Kroeger’s “Hero”
Big Mike gets some time on the pimp chair, barely fitting his large frame onto the tiny seat. Mike does his usual over-emoting. To be fair, it's good vocally, but I'm so over Big Mike's pompous attitude and preening faux-sincere performances. The Judges half-like; Kara didn't care for it and Simon thought it was "a little artificial." On Simon's scale, Heidi Montag would also qualify as "a little artificial."
Crystal Bowersox: The Impressions’ “People Get Ready”
Crystal takes the stage without an instrument tonight - and she does just fine. What is there to say anymore? Crystal is in a completely different league from the rest of the contestants. She flubs the last line as she actually cries! Nobody can say this gal is phony, that's for sure. The Judges love and Simon sums it up, "That was inspirational."
We only had to wait 54 minutes into our "inspirational" episode for an inspirational moment. Bravo, Show.
Ryan lends Crystal a tissue, and high fives her with both hands. I half-expect the screen to freeze with a producer credit, like some cornball 80s sitcom. I guess being thrown under a bus is fairly easily forgiven.
So who's going home? I'm guessing Tim will find the vote results... less than inspiring.