And then there were nine (part two).Nerves must have been running wild on the American Idol set as two contestants would be facing elimination this week, due to Michael Lynche being saved last week.
To prepare for their performances, the contestants traveled to Las Vegas to get a better understanding of the “King of Rock,” Elvis Presley.
Who better to mentor the contestants this week than American Idol’s own Adam Lambert, who, like Elvis, knows how to deliver jaw-dropping performances.
But it was Ryan Seacrest’s conversation with Lambert before the performances that had fans talking. American Idol is no stranger to awkward moments, but I figured these would decrease after Paula Abdul left the show.
Ryan Seacrest continues to prove me wrong. While talking with Lambert, Seacrest revealed too much information, saying, “My tongue is not nearly as talented as yours.”
Interpret that as you wish. I’ll leave it at that, and move on to the performances.
Crystal Bowersox: Is there any point reviewing her performance of “Saved?” As usual, her vocals were exceptional and the judges all loved her. I will mention, though, that the bejeweled guitar was a nice touch.
Andrew Garcia: He has a great personality and I wish I could like him, but his performances continue to disappoint. He took a risk with “Hound Dog,” one of Elvis’ most recognizable songs.
It seems like he tried to use the stage, but ended up lazily dragging the microphone the whole way. Randy Jackson called the performance, “not-good karaoke.”
Tim Urban: Jackson reviewed Urban’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” best by saying, “This may surprise you. I actually liked it!”
Normally, I find his mediocre talent and silly dance moves unbearable, but I was also pleasantly surprised. He lost the gimmicks, focused on the vocals and improved his performance.
Lee DeWyze: Lambert told him to be more “playful” on stage and to connect with the audience.
Having confidence on stage has been a struggle for Lee, though he seems to be improving as the competition progresses. His arrangement of “A Little Less Conversation” was unique and fresh, with Ellen DeGeneres calling it “current.” However, he still needs to work on loosening up on stage.
Aaron Kelly: Before he even stepped on the stage to perform “Blue Suede Shoes,” he said, “I don’t know that the song fits me. It’s probably wrong in every possible way.”
Obviously, this is not the best attitude to have. He is obviously not a rock singer, and it is unfair to force contestants to sing songs that are obviously outside of their genre.
Kara DioGuardi enjoyed the fact that he was outside his comfort range and showed a different side.
I also enjoyed seeing him using the stage and showing a bit more personality, but he struggled vocally and is going backwards in the competition.
Siobhan Magnus: I expected Siobhan to have an outstanding week, especially due to being compared to Lambert with her style. I thought vocally she sounded fine singing “Suspicious Minds,” but her performance just did not do Elvis justice.
Of all weeks appropriate to go all out and put on a show, she chose to be more subdued.
Michael Lynche: Welcome back to the competition! His performance of “In The Ghetto” made me fall in love with his voice all over again.
He was successful in delivering a much needed strong vocal performance after almost being eliminated last week. DeGeneres said, “I’m glad we saved you.”
Katie Stevens: It is no secret that she has had difficulty pleasing the judges, and this week she wanted a song she could put her frustrations into.
She sounded fantastic singing “Baby What You Want Me To Do,” and really put personality into her performance.
The reviews from the judges were mixed, though Ellen did mention that the song was “horn-y” (in reference to the horns playing in the background, of course).
Casey James: Again this was another contestant I thought could really make an impression with this theme.
However, I have to agree with Simon that it was a “wasted opportunity.” His vocals sounded fine on “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” but at this point in the competition, it needs to be about the complete package.
Casey James, Andrew Garcia and Aaron Kelly were brought to the stage and their performances were reviewed. Instead of building up the usual suspense, Ryan Seacrest announced rather quickly that Andrew had been eliminated. His departure was not unexpected, Tuesday’s song being another link in a chain of failed performances. His departure was graceful, and he repeatedly thanked the judges and fans for the opportunity.
“Idol Gives Back” takes place next week, and was promoted this week with a video of Elliott Yamin’s and Kara DioGuardi’s recent trip to Africa. The video showed how the charity has helped more than one million individuals throughout its history, and demonstrated how much help is needed to save even more lives.
The Black Eyed Peas, Carrie Underwood, Mary J. Blige and Sir. Elton John are just a few of the A-list performers that will take part in the charity event.
Former contestant Brooke White sang a duet with Justin Gaston (yes, Miley Cyrus’ ex-boyfriend). Not only is this an odd pairing, but I’m not sure what the purpose was of having them on the show.
I think two performances from Adam Lambert would have been a better choice. Even though I liked Brooke White when she was a contestant, the performance was forgettable.
Seacrest must have agreed as he did not give them much opportunity to talk after their performance.
Lambert’s performance reminded fans why he is one of the most talked about constants in Idol’s history.
While I found the lasers slightly distracting, his powerful voice and stage presence makes him unforgettable. He certainly deserves more success than he has had post-Idol.
Seacrest teased Lee DeWyze by pointing out that he sang the last song Chris Daughtry performed before he was eliminated. Fortunately for DeWyze, he did not suffer the same fate. This left Tim Urban, Michael Lynche and Katie Stevens facing elimination.
It was the end of the road for Stevens, and I must admit that I am disappointed to see her go. She finally found the confidence she needed and was making better song choices, though it may have been too little, too late.
The rest of the contestants are undoubtedly looking forward to meeting Alicia Keys next week.
Tracy Combs is a junior Communications Studies major. She can be reached at TC694114@wcupa.edu