Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

Get ready America, because the American Idol contestants are going on tour this summer. Unfortunately for the contestant eliminated on Wednesday, the tour is only for the top 10.The theme this week was top hits from the Billboard chart. One would think that each contestant would be able to find the perfect song from this elite list, right? Wrong.

TUESDAY: COMPETITION

In last week’s article, I thanked American Idol for introducing a new generation to The Rolling Stones as opposed to Miley Cyrus. Imagine my disappointment when Cyrus was the guest mentor this week.

Cyrus certainly has achieved an enormous amount of success, and I suppose that would be inspiring for the contestants, particularly teenagers Aaron Kelly and Katie Stevens.

That being said, she does not have the experience to provide valuable insight and suggestions as a mentor. It was especially awkward watching her give advice to older and more polished performers, such as Crystal Bowersox.

Although Cyrus only gave positive feedback, the judges were more than willing to offer brutal honesty. After listening to the performances, the harsh criticisms were well deserved.

Paige Miles’ performance of “Against All Odds” was best summed up by Randy Jackson as “honestly terrible.” Miles was off pitch from the very first note, and admits that she “struggled with the song.”

She was in the bottom two last week against her roommate Lacey Brown. Based on this performance, America definitely sent the wrong person home.

The always-charming Aaron Kelly took a risk with “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.” Even with laryngitis, Kelly’s rendition of this classic Aerosmith song was another demonstration of his vocal talent.

His pre-performance video with Cyrus made him even more adorable as the down-to-earth Pennsylvania native was completely star-struck at the sight of her.

Don’t worry Aaron, you are well on your way to becoming a teen heartthrob yourself.

Crystal Bowersox’s performance of “Me and Bobby McGee” once again earned rave reviews from the judges.

She is certainly the one to beat in the competition, yet I still worry about her fate after Idol. Will she be able to find a market outside of the American Idol audience?

Andrew Garcia must regret doing his brilliant interpretation of Paula Abdul’s hit “Straight Up” during Hollywood Week as every performance since has been compared to that audition.

Unfortunately, he has failed to prove that he can be more than just a “one hit wonder”. His performance of “Heard It Through The Grapevine” was no exception, with Simon Cowell saying he “sucked the soul out of that song.”

Katie Stevens must have missed my article last week where I encouraged her to continue crying for votes. Instead, she chose to sing “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” but I can appreciate the irony.

Stevens actually managed to impress this week, and it was the first time she appeared to be enjoying herself and connecting with the song.

While I usually agree with the judges, I have to disagree with their evaluation of Didi Benami. Similarly to last week, she portrayed a darker side during her performance of “You’re No Good”.

Instead of appreciating the risk, the judges had negative reactions. Kara DioGuardi commented that Benami looked like she was “playing a character”.

Many of today’s pop superstars play a character in their concerts and music videos. Lady Gaga has made an entire career out of this, and while Benami cannot be compared to Lady Gaga, the point stands that singers can and do take on different roles in their performances.

WEDNESDAY: RESULTS

The screams of teenyboppers are still ringing in my ears days later. American Idol fulfilled the dreams of “tweens” across America with performances by Miley Cyrus, Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato all in one night.

Cyrus should be thankful she appeared early in the show as Lovato’s impressive vocals outshined her pitchy performance. While I give them both credit for singing live, Cyrus would have done better lip-syncing.

This week’s bottom three consisted of Paige Miles, Tim Urban and Katie Stevens. Not surprisingly, Miles was sent home and will not be joining the tour. Cowell added to the disappointment by admitting the judges would not use their save to keep her.

Tracy Combs is a junior Communications Studies major. She can be reached at tc694114@wcupa.edu

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