Someone in our weekly live “Eye on Idol” chat this week suggested the show get rid of all the remaining contestants and just let Crystal Bowersox and Siobhan Magnus duke it out week after week until the finale.
I’m starting to warm up to that idea.
It was clear to pretty much everyone that either Paige Miles or Tim Urban would be going home this week — and that was even before Ryan Seacrest said the words, “This is ‘American Idol’” on Tuesday night. In a season that seems to be offering relatively little talent, Paige and Tim were clearly at the bottom of the heap and their performances further supported that notion on Tuesday.
Paige looked like she’d given up, and Tim must know he’s been living on borrowed time for a few weeks now. It also wasn’t much of a surprise to see Katie Stevens in the bottom three, although she had one of her better weeks.
So where does that leave MagnuSox duo, and where should all the middle-dwellers land in this week’s power rankings. Let’s find out:
The Top 10
1. Crystal Bowersox (Last week: #2): Who would’ve thought Miley Cyrus could give Crystal Bowersox the first good advice she’s taken all season? I, like many, snickered at the thought of Miley as a “mentor” to a group of singers mostly older than her, but when she suggested to Crystal that she push herself to sing higher notes on Janis Joplin’s “Bobby McGee.” Crystal did it and the result was that she finally let loose for the first time all season. She seemed to be really enjoying herself in the second half of that performance, and it showed. If she can continue to open up — and she hinted that she plans to drop the guitar next week — she can do great things.
2. Siobhan Magnus (Last week: #1): After pushing past Crystal last week, Siobhan slips back down this week. But this isn’t because of a poor performance. She did just fine with Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” but Crystal just a touch better in this neck-and-neck contest that will likely play out for many weeks to come. Simon is right about her relying on her scream a little too much, so she’ll have to pull another trick out of the bag soon.
3. Casey James (Last week: #4): Casey again was hurt by not just putting his guitar down and using the stage to his advantage. His choice of Huey Lewis’ “Power of Love” was fine, but pretty safe. Still, he sang it well and inched just ahead of Big Mike Lynche in their less-interesting version of Crystal and Siobhan’s head to head battle.
4. “Big” Mike Lynche (Last week: #3): As soon as Mike said he was dedicating his song “to all the lovers out there,” I knew we were in trouble. Then, as he sang “When a Man Loves a Woman,” I was hoping that Simon would bust out the word “indulgent.” But Kara got there first. That’s exactly what it was, and Mike came very close to jumping the shark with that performance. He’s bought into the notion that he’s the next big voice of soul, and he’s simply not there yet. All we can hope is that the criticism slows him down a bit and makes him re-evaluate his whole vibe. He’s good, but he isn’t a star just yet.
5. Aaron Kelly (Last week: #9): My resistance toward Aaron is softening. He makes the biggest jump in the power rankings this week, going from ninth to fifth, and he deserves it. Sure, the competition around him is pretty weak, so that helps. But Aaron is showing a keen ability to make the right choices every week. We heard the slight country twang in his voice a few weeks ago when he wisely took on Rascal Flatts, and he gave this week’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” a similar treatment. It’s a wise move by a young kid, and he should only get better as his confidence and stage presence improve.
6. Didi Benami (Last week: #5): I still don’t understand all the Didi haters out there, but she’s certainly stuck in the middle of the pack. Her rendition of Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good” this week was fairly flat and not particularly interesting, which is the last thing Didi needs. She has to have a big moment soon, or she’s in danger of being forgotten. She shouldn’t go home just yet, but an early exit, at this point, wouldn’t shock me because she isn’t doing much to stand out.
7. Lee Dewyze (Last week: #7): I’ll say this: At least Lee finally did something different. That said, it wasn’t great and Simon was right when he said it showed us nothing about who Lee is (or even thinks he is) as a current artist. At least when he’s doing the Snow Patrol thing, he’s consistent. This version of “The Letter” was just a bizarre mishmash of styles that didn’t make any sense. He stays where he’s at in the rankings because I can’t knock him too much for taking a chance. He has to find a way to be different while remaining true to his style.
8. Katie Stevens (Last week: #6): I’m starting to think it just isn’t the right time for Katie to be on the show. She’s a terrific singer with a strong voice, but her lack of experience (in life and in music) is starting to show. She sang just fine this week, and she was smart to go with a younger, more current type of song, but it just further demonstrated how difficult it’s been for her to find her place in the competition. She’s clearly running out of time — given the fact that she landed in the bottom three. I don’t think she can win, but she needs to have a musical epiphany soon if she wants any shot at the Top 5.
9. Andrew Garcia (Last week: #8): Oh, boy. Simon may have said it best when he suggested that it’s possible the whole “Straight Up” performance was overrated in the first place. It definitely seems like the worse Andrew gets, the better that performance seemed. And that’s not the direction you want to be going. It might already be over for Andrew, as the bottom of this list keeps creeping closer and closer to his name. If he hasn’t already given up, then he needs to do something very special this week to save himself.
10. Tim Urban (Last week: #11): I’ve run out of ways to say Tim should already be gone. So let’s just take a moment to remember Alex Lambert.