Review: Top 11 Performs Billboard #1’s!
For this week’s theme, the 11 remaining singers were given the freedom to choose any song that had hit #1 on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart, which has been around since 1958. After last week’s Songs Of The Rolling Stones assignment had them entrenched in the ’60s and ’70s, I fully expected the contestants to jump at the chance to select more contemporary music while working with guest mentor Miley Cyrus. Curiously, more than half of them returned to the ’60s and ’70s, with only the two teenagers performing anything from the past ten years, and as a result I found the show to be a little boring overall. Thankfully, there were a handful of standouts:
CRYSTAL BOWERSOX - Me and Bobby McGee – The frontrunner status seems to see-saw week to week between Crystal and Siobhan, but Ms. Bowersox owned the night with a confident, gospel-tinged reading of the Janis Joplin classic. Although I still wish Crystal would surprise us with less-obvious song selections, there’s no denying the power of that voice. Grade: A-
SIOBHAN MAGNUS - Superstition – Even in a week where she stumbled slightly with a so-so song choice, Siobhan remains this season’s most interesting and unpredictable entertainer. I suppose she’s thrilling some people by providing that final “scream” note every week, but I would appreciate a break every now and then so it’s not so utterly predictable. Nice faux hawk, though. Grade: B
AARON KELLY - I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – The season’s youngest contestant had the best song selection and delivered some of the most solid vocals of the evening, despite a struggle with laryngitis (or was it tonsillitis?). This kid’s going to be around for a while. Grade: B
MICHAEL LYNCHE - When a Man Loves a Woman – This was one of the night’s many old-fashioned performances and I definitely was a little bored, but as Kara pointed out, it technically worked. Still, Simon’s use of the word “loungey” was accurate as well. Grade: B
CASEY JAMES - The Power of Love – Casey had the best line of the night when he said to Miley Cyrus “I’m a big fan…of your dad’s.” Hysterical, but if Billy Ray Cyrus is indeed an idol of his, he might be in trouble. And why he sang a straight-up karaoke version of a Huey Lewis song is beyond me…his cool factor pretty much just flew out the window. However, his vocals were among the best of the night. Grade: B-
DIDI BENAMI - You’re No Good - Didi has a very unique and distinct voice and for the most part I thought she sounded great. But Kara said it best when she noted that it was like she was playing a character, and the whole thing just had a vampy feel that was in stark contrast from her more sincere offerings in weeks past. Grade: B-
LEE DeWYZE - The Letter – Week after week he’s given us strong performances in the Chris Daughtry/David Cook vein, but last night Lee inexplicably decided to add a strange, jazzy flavor. His vocals were okay, but as Simon said, ‘It was quite corny.” Grade: C
KATIE STEVENS - Big Girls Don’t Cry – Although to my ears she sounded off-key throughout the entire number, my excitement over finally hearing a more recent hit made me appreciate this performance a little more, especially since I thought Katie looked great and chose the right song for the first time. Grade: C-
ANDREW GARCIA - I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Why was there all this talk of Andrew “taking a risk” because he put the guitar down? He already did that last week, and if this is what we’re going to get, then it’s time to bring back the guitar. Also, Simon brilliantly pointed out that Andrew’s “Straight Up” moment from months ago may have simply been overrated. Grade: D
TIM URBAN - Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Does anyone else remember Season 3 finalist Jon Peter Lewis? Tim’s goofy performance last night reminded me of him…and that’s not a good thing. Grade: D
PAIGE MILES - Against All Odds – Last week I predicted that Paige would be the one going home, and I was wrong…but I have a feeling that forecast is about to come to pass. Grade: D
BOTTOM 3 PREDICTION: Paige Miles, Tim Urban, and Andrew Garcia
GOING HOME: Paige Miles
What did you think? Was I the only one bored with this episode? Who was your favorite of the night? (Vote in our poll on the right.) And who’s going home? Sound off below with a comment!