Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Idol Goes To The Movies ... At The Second-Run Theater

The Top 4 of American Idol Season 9 revisited an old theme and an old mentor when it did movie night, which was done in season 8 (as well as season 2), under mentor Jamie Foxx, who mentored in season 8 as well. So it was only fitting that half of tonight's songs were retreads from season 8, including the much beloved "Falling Slowly", which Kris Allen plucked out of "obscurity" (the judges said the Oscar-winning song was obscure, not me!) and made famous on the Idol stage.

I understand completely that the song choices are limited and that most of the songs on there were pretty cheesy. I also understand that Kris Allen does not own this song. Obvs - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova do. But on the Idol stage, Kris introduced this song, made a moment out of it, and helped set him on a path to victory. You just don't do repeat "moment" songs, especially not so soon after it happened. There's a reason you haven't heard the likes of "Stuff Like That There", "Summertime", "In A Dream", "Billie Jean", and "Mad World" since they were first done. I'd add "Heartless" to that list too, but they seem to have no qualms about stealing from the Kris Allen playbook (seriously, this season we've seen six songs done by Kris last year, seven if you include the countless times we heard "Man In The Mirror" in that one Hollywood week episode), and there are still 2 weeks left to go!

Really, contestants ... a little originality would be nice. This is the 9th season of American Idol. Lord knows we didn't need the sixth version of "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing", Aaron Kelly. And we ESPECIALLY didn't need the seventh version of "Against All Odds", Paige Miles. Choose some new songs! David Cook went through his entire season of Idol in Season 7 without choosing a song someone had done in a previous season.

So anyway, Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox ~somehow got paired for the duet and chose to sing "Falling Slowly," which, I might add, was not on the original list of cleared songs. And these two gutted the song of all of its subtlety and beauty around the chorus, practically shouting it at times. I don't have anything against a rock arrangement, but it doesn't work for me on this song, especially when your singing is emotionally flat. I didn't like the trading off of lines. I thought that it made the song choppy. But the judges praised it to the high heavens, even going so far as to call the song choice fantastic and all that, when last year, the song done by hewhoshallnotbenamedonIdol (or hewhoshallnotbeseen eveninFordcommercials lol) was "obscure" and "risky".

Also doing a season 8 repeat were Casey James and Michael Lynche, who sang Bryan Adams' "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman," a song that initially got Matt Giraud kicked off before being saved by the judges. I actually quite liked this duet, as Casey and Mike sounded lovely on the harmonies. The Spanish guitar also let Casey show off his guitar skills. Odds are good that one of these two guys are going home tomorrow, but it won't be because of this duet. This was my favorite performance of the night.

As for the solo performances, I'd say those were plagued by bad singing (Lee on "Kiss From A Rose", which was painfully out of tune at times), karaoke-like singing (Big Mike of "Will You Be There"), and dull arrangements (Casey on "Mrs. Robinson). Crystal was universally praised for her "I'm Alright" performance, which was the only upbeat song of the night. I've never liked the song, so it was hard for me to get into it, but she put an interesting spin on the song.

With the way things have been going this season, it appears to be an inevitable Crystal-Lee finale. However, this is Top 4 week, and shock boots tend to happen right here, am I right, Chris Daughtry and Tamyra Gray?

This week's iTunes links:

Lee DeWyze - Kiss From A Rose by Seal (Studio recording | Performance video)
(Original Artist: iTunes | Amazon)

Michael Lynche - Will You Be There by Michael Jackson (Studio recording | Performance video)
(Original Artist: iTunes | Amazon)

Crystal Bowersox/Lee DeWyze - Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (Studio recording)
(Original Artist: iTunes | Amazon)

Crystal Bowersox - I'm Alright by Kenny Loggins (Studio recording | Performance video)
(Original Artist: iTunes | Amazon)

Casey James - Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel (Studio recording | Performance video)
(Original Artist: iTunes | Amazon)

Casey James/Michael Lynche - Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman by Bryan Adams (Studio recording)
(Original Artist: iTunes | Amazon)

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