For the most part, this week’s ‘American Idol‘ performance were decent. A couple were terrible (yes, Tim Urban: you’ve worked your way back to the bottom of the power rankings), but there wasn’t much craziness, on the whole, to cause any major shakeups.
That doesn’t mean nothing changes. There were a couple of standouts that will be nicely rewarded in this week’s rankings. Let’s get to it:
The Top 11
1. Siobhan Magnus (Last week: #2): She’s done it. With a remarkably standout performance, Siobhan shattered the Crystal ceiling this week and proved herself a worthy opponent. Each week, Siobhan gets better and more confident, and I’m finding she’s one of the singers I most look forward to each week. That Adam Lambert comparison, however, was way off base. The only similarity between her performance and Adams was that they walked down the stairs while singing. Other than that, Siobhan is offering up more genuine and powerful performances than Lambert did. Adam was talented, no doubt. But he was a showman and Siobhan is a singer who’s learning to perform.
2. Crystal Bowersox (Last week: #1): Even though she drops a spot this week in the rankings, Crystal scored some huge points this week with her humility on Tuesday and Wednesday. When Simon suggested that she thought she had this competition in the bag (on Tuesday) she quickly said she didn’t, and never thought that. This was significant because she’s given an air of overconfidence all season. She followed that up with a great response to Simon’s suggestion that Siobhan outperformed her. She said, “She was amazing.” These are little things, but this competition is as much about personality and likability as anything, so she definitely helped herself.
3. “Big” Mike Lynche (Last week: #3): Big Mike didn’t blow me away this week, but he didn’t do anything to knock himself down. Speaking of Crystal’s battle with overconfidence, though, Big Mike is starting to give an air of cockiness that doesn’t suit him. It’s one thing to gain confidence as a performer, but outside of the performances, Mike is starting to look like he thinks he’s a shoo-in to stick a long while. He might be, but humility goes a long way on this show.
4. Casey James (Last week: #4): Casey could have easily overtaken Mike this week in the rankings if he’d just put down the darn guitar. Simon said he didn’t use enough of the stage, and Kara and Ryan both mocked him, suggesting that Casey couldn’t carry his amp around on the stage. What Simon meant (and what I’d already been thinking) was that Casey shouldn’t play guitar every week. This was the perfect chance for him to grab the microphone stand and march around the stage, giving a rocker performance reminiscent of Bo Bice (look up his “Vehicle” performance). Instead, we watched a guy standing still in the middle of the stage playing guitar. We get it. He plays guitar well. But this is not a guitarist competition.
5. Didi Benami (Last week: #5): Didi had a great week, but has yet to push herself out of the middle of the pack. She’s definitely leading the middle group, but it’s going to take a truly standout performance to push her into real contention. She’s definitely trending upward, though, and showing some consistency week after week.
6. Katie Stevens (Last week: #6): Katie didn’t quite have that breakout performance she’s been looking for, but she picked a great song and did it very well — especially on Rolling Stones week, which must have been a struggle because she’s been told she’s picking songs that are “too old” for her. She found a good one, though, and gave herself a chance to show off that big voice. She still needs to get more consistent for the long haul.
7. Lee Dewyze (Last week: #7): If anyone could take a Rolling Stones song and make it boring, it was Lee. And he did it. He doesn’t move down this week, but that’s mostly because the group of singers below him on this list still haven’t nailed down who they want to be, and their talent isn’t quite keeping them in contention just yet. Lee is consistently the least exciting singer of the bunch. Even watching Tim Urban is more thrilling, if only because it’s riveting to see how long it will take before the whole thing falls apart. Lee is just consistently average.
8. Andrew Garcia (Last week: #9): I enjoyed Andrew’s performance of “Gimme Shelter,” but it didn’t feel as authentic as the few moments of authenticity we’ve seen from him in the past. Teen idols week will be an interesting one for him because we’ll have to see if he can force himself to stay away from taking a Britney Spears song and putting his acoustic guitar to it. If he can show another dimension of himself this week, it will move him back into the middle group.
9. Aaron Kelly (Last week: #12): Aaron redeemed himself this week with a solid rendition of “Angie.” He picked a perfect song for him — another one that would make the girls swoon — and he showed that tender side of his voice that Randy mentioned. It definitely made him stand out as more than just a cute kid. If he can continue that kind of performance, he could overtake Lee and Andrew on this list sooner than later.
10. Paige Miles (Last week: #8): It’s becoming clear that people don’t seem to fully understand Paige. She’s definitely got a Kelly Clarkson type of vibe (note: this should not be taken to mean I think she’s as good as Kelly), but people seem to be expecting something different from her. Paige is difficult to label, really, but she’s running out of time to do something special.
11. Tim Urban (Last week: #11): The good fortune that his version of “Hallelujah” earned is all used up. You don’t take a Rolling Stones classic and turn it into reggae. You just don’t.
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