Mon. Jun 27th, 2022

And then there were nine. After Didi Benami was eliminated two weeks ago, only three women and six men remain in the competition. Fortunately for Benami, she managed to survive long enough to join the summer American Idol tour.

The lucky few who remain on the show were given the Holy Grail of songs to choose from – welcome to Paul McCartney and John Lennon week.

TUESDAY: COMPETITION

The pre-performance videos this week were actually tolerable, if not, (dare I say, enjoyable) for once.

Contestants were able to voice their opinions on one another, and I for one like finding out more about them. Part of being an American Idol is having a personality that captivates the audience both on and off the stage.

Aaron Kelly, nicknamed “Yoda” by fellow contestants, kicked off the show with his rendition of “The Long and Winding Road.”

However, Kelly failed to deliver the impressive vocals that his fans have become accustomed to hearing.

Additionally, the judges criticized him for not having enough variation in his performances. He needs to perform an up-tempo song that allows him to use the stage and show his personality.

Although I was not a fan initially, Casey James is quickly growing on me. Of course, what isn’t there to like about a good-looking guy showing his sensitive side while playing the guitar?

Unlike Kelly, his emotionally charged performance was believable. His performance of “Jealous Guy” drew praise from the judges, with Ellen DeGeneres calling it his “best performance to date.”

Crystal Bowersox, described as the “mothering type,” should get an award for consistently selecting the perfect songs for her voice and style.

Singing “Come Together,” she performed the song as if it were written specifically for her. The didgeridoo player was a great addition, and helped her already excellent performance stand out.

Fun fact: traditionally, women from the aboriginal tribes the instrument originated from are not supposed to play the didgeridoo.

Watch out, Beyonce! Apparently Katie Stevens has her own “Single Ladies” Dance. While she didn’t dance during her performance of “Let It Be,” she had, in my opinion, her “wow” moment.

I’ll admit I’ve been giving her a difficult time in my reviews, but she deserves nothing but accolades for this performance. Congratulations, Katie.

What is there to say about Lee Dewyze’s version of “Hey Jude?” He had strong vocals in the beginning, and it looked like he was well on his way to another successful performance.

Then towards the middle, a figure walked down the stairs. Is it a background singer? Another contestant?

No, it’s a bagpipe player in a kilt. I’m not sure how that connects to the song, but it proved to be a memorable event.

Michael Lynche, the “big teddy bear,” also had a memorable performance. While the arrangement certainly could have been better, his vocals were nothing short of outstanding.

I applaud the idea of having an orchestra on stage, and disagree with Simon that it was too theatrical. He has that elusive X-factor and knows what it takes to put on an A-list show.

WEDNESDAY: RESULTS

Ryan Seacrest began the show with exciting news on “Idol Gives Back,” American Idol’s annual charity event. American Idol fans can donate to the cause by bidding on items donated by the judges, including clothing, an opportunity to make a record and singing lessons.

For the right price, you can be the only person in your dorm wearing Ellen DeGeneres’ tennis shoes and Simon Cowell’s signature tight t-shirt. Go to idolgivesback.org for more information.

The girls finally managed to break the curse that had been plaguing them for the past few weeks. Seacrest put fears to rest early in the evening by announcing that the three remaining females, Katie Stevens, Siobhan Magnus and Crystal Bowersox, had escaped elimination.

Staying consistent with Beatles week, David Archuleta, who sang “Imagine,” returned to American Idol. For Aaron Kelly, seeing Archuleta must be like looking into a mirror. For as popular as he was on the show, I am surprised he has not achieved as much success post-Idol. However, Justin Bieber, his main competition, does have better hair.

Rihanna also performed Wednesday night with her single “Rock Star 101.” While she certainly knows how to work the stage, I find her old material, such as “Umbrella,” to be more alluring.

The bottom three consisted of Aaron Kelly, Andrew Garcia and Michael Lynche. Tim Urban, who desperately needs a new hairstyle, was safe. Apparently over-staged performances and “cheesy” dance moves are the new thing.

Ultimately it was Lynche desperately singing to be saved by the judges while his emotional wife cheered in the audience. Thankfully the judges had more sense than home voters and kept him on the show. However, this raises the pressure on the contestants, as two will be eliminated next week when Adam Lambert is the guest mentor.

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

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