It’s time for American Idol and the top 6 will be singing from the Shania songbook.
I personally think Shania was a weird and somewhat dumb choice, but the producers of American Idol rarely consult me. And by rarely, I mean never.
And we get a Shania video package and a bunch of info about how Shania changed country music and is a crossover queen. But I do think her advice to sing the songs like they wrote them is actually really, really good advice.
Lee Dewyze “You’re Still the One”
Shania: feels like you’re rushing with the guitar a little, just start it piano and voice
• I think Shania’s advice was the right thing to do • I like how Lee is making this song fit his style • His phrasing could be a little longer, I think • I wish there had been a little more resolution with the last note, but good performance. Made it his own.
Randy: Started out a little pitchy, but found a way to make it your own.
Ellen: It always sounds like your version. You couldn’t look cuter.
Kara: Look how far you’ve come since the beginning until now. Good job.
Simon: Absolutely the perfect song out of Shania’s catalog for you.
Michael Lynche “It only hurts when I’m breathing”
Shania: I was really moved to her his voice sing my lyrics. It’s one of my favorite songs. I hope he’s able to make that connection and not just be another great voice.
• I hate the overused singing-on-the -steps tactic • I’m a little bored by this song, but I don’t really dig Mike, so it could be that • nice control on the runs • Shania cries • I hate the falsetto at the end • Nice, not great, though.
Randy: You’ve really found your zone on this show.
Ellen: It felt like Luther Vandross. I thought it was beautiful.
Kara: I always feel that you go to that place that relates to you. I thought it was great you didn’t change it too much.
Simon: I thought the performance was a little bit wet, like you were in a musical acting out the lyrics. A little bit girly for you.
(I must have a heart of stone because I didn’t think it was all that amazing. But, as previously stated, Mike isn’t my favorite style of music, so that’s probably some of it.)
Casey James “Don’t”
Shania: I feel that he’s missing a little inner confidence.
• Casey’s hair is TOO pretty, but maybe I’m just a little jealous of the curls • I hate the faces Casey is making while singing, but like the emotion • I feel he gets a little shouty toward the middle • Love the ending, nice control and the notes are spot on • One of his best performances
Randy: One of the best Casey James’ performances EVER!
Ellen: You sang that like that’s where you really belong. Beautiful. Best performance to date.
Kara: Artist’s do not hide the good, the bad, and the ugly. And that’s what you did in that performance.
Simon: Last week was much-needed wake-up call for you. Probably your best performance so far.
Crystal Bowersox “No One Needs to Know”
Shania: She needs to remember how this song applies to her in her real life.
• First off, what is Crystal wearing? It doesn’t do her any favors. • I like the slight changes and variations she makes with the melodic line • It’s weird when she jumps up to the higher notes, but kind of nice, because she has really good control of her voice. • It’s not amazing. It’s not last week. It’s OK for me.
Randy: I like the whole Nickel Creek kind-of thing. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was good.
Ellen: It was not my favorite performance of yours either, but you’re just brilliant and you’re always going to be good.
Kara: It always feels honest. Was it your best? No. But you’re still amazing.
Simon: I thought it was limp. It was very much something you’d expect in a coffee shop. This is the only week where I haven’t really liked you.
(I’m glad Simon told her the truth about that, but I don’t think it was a terrible performance. I also feel really sorry for her boyfriend who looked like he’d rather spontaneously combust than have the awkward camera staring at him while he ponders that his girlfriend just announced she was expecting a ring on national TV.)
Aaron Kelly “You Got a Way”
Shania: It suits him beautifully. It’s almost as though he’s preoccupied with hitting the note. (Does anyone think Shania sounds like she has denture issues?)
• I hate the way he’s saying the word “what,” but he does have a nice voice • a bit pitchy and a little out-of-his control in the first chorus • nice build-up in second verse, but in choruses, I feel like he’s unsure of what note he’s going to hit next and it’s a bit all over the place • nice big notes at the end.
Randy: This is definitely your wheelhouse. Really good job.
Ellen: You sang that with such emotion. Good job.
Kara: You really felt those words.
Simon: I think the last two or three weeks you’ve really struggled. However, tonight you were like a different artist.
Siobhan Magnus “Any Man of Mine”
Shania: It’s a song about a woman who knows what she wants. She’s got to let her character come out and make those words come alive.
• Hate what Siobhan is wearing and the clapping • beginning is a bit rough, there’s something grating in her lower register and I feel like the song is overwhelming her. I’m not sure about the song choice and the changes she makes to the melody, particularly her scream/big note. • Ending is OK, but I think I’m over Siobhan.
Randy: I loved it.
Ellen: Good way to end the show, fantastic.
Kara: Guess who’s back?! Siobahn.
Simon: I really, really like that song. I think the screaming may have gone a little bit . . . .but it was fun.
(Apparently, I’m the only person who didn’t like that. Hmm. . . Also, as a sidenote, I went to Girls State in MO b/t my junior and senior years in high school. And every night the cop/security guard on campus drove around blasting this song. He thought it was funny. I thought it was weird.)
Best of the night: Casey James (Lee is probably second if I were ranking)
In trouble: Mike and Siobhan