Oh, Michael, Michael, Michael.
He’s not gone, but the revelation that ‘American Idol‘s Big Mike Lynche is not as invincible as he seemed to think he was should have been a real eye opener. As you know by now (otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this), the judges used their one and only save of the entire season on Big Mike this week after his disjointed and ultimately pointless performance of “Eleanor Rigby.”
Last week, Mike had jumped ahead of Casey James in the power rankings, but will his slip-up this week cost him that lead and maybe more? Let’s find out:
The Top 9
1. Crystal Bowersox (Last week: #1): What more can be said about Crystal? She’s clear about who she is, she picks the right songs week in and week out and she’s been giving even more genuine and heartfelt performances recently. Even if “Come Together” was a sort of obvious choice for her on Lennon-McCartney night, she played it well, she got into it and proved once again why she’s the one to beat.
2. Siobhan Magnus (Last week: #2): Siobhan made a very wise choice this week, toning it down for a softer version of “Across the Universe.” She’s been criticized, of late, for relying too much on the big scream, so she backed off of it and showed a nicely controlled voice that we might not have known she had. The song itself was a bit sleepy, but the effort must applauded because she purposely kept her biggest weapon in her pocket to show she had more to offer, and I think she was successful.
3. Casey James (Last week: #4): If ever there was a week for Casey to just stay in the middle of the stage and play guitar while singing, this was it. His version of “Jealous Guy” was straight from the heart and it was captivating. He backed off the guitar antics a bit, even though he had an acoustic in his hands, and gave a pure vocal performance, which was nice to see. If he goes up-tempo again soon, though, I still want to see him ditch the six-string and use the stage space to really put on a rock show.
4. Lee Dewyze (Last week: #5): I’m slowly coming to appreciate what Lee is bringing to this season. As I mentioned in our Live “Eye on Idol” chat Thursday, my mistake with Lee was comparing him to the likes of David Cook, Chris Daughtry and Bo Bice. It’s clear that the talent level this season doesn’t compare to previous seasons, so it’s unfair to expect him to live up to the great rockers of “Idol’s” past. I’m still trying to figure out what the bagpiper was all about on Tuesday, but Lee is at least becoming a consistent performer in a season that’s lacking them.
5. “Big” Mike Lynche (Last week: #3): Has Big Mike gotten a bit too full of himself? Yes. Did the judges use their one and only save too soon? Maybe. Did Big Mike really deserve to go home this week? Not at all. I’ve had my issues with Big Mike’s overall “I’ve got this in the bag” demeanor, but that doesn’t mean I wanted him to go, or even thought the judges should have let him go. He’s clearly still one of the best guys in the competition, but the fact that he came as close to elimination as one possibly can on this show without leaving should make him pay attention. His performance on Tuesday was not good, and Randy’s comment that Mike has earned the right to try going way out there was completely off base. If not for the near-elimination, that comment might have made Big Mike even more likely to push the envelope in the future, which would have been disastrous.
6. Aaron Kelly (Last week: #6): Aaron has lost his way. I’m not sure if it’s a confidence thing, or if he’s genuinely forgotten what works for him, or maybe it’s a strategy to lay low and play it safe for a few weeks, before emerging like Kris Allen in the homestretch. Whatever the case, Aaron is getting lost in the middle of the pack. He probably isn’t in any danger of going home anytime soon, but he needs a great performance quickly if he expects to compete for a top spot.
7. Katie Stevens (Last week: #8): Katie came this close to jumping ahead of Aaron in these rankings this week, but she’s not quite there yet. Her performance of “Let It Be” this week was brave and original and showed that she’s starting to discover herself in this wild process. Another week like this and she’ll be firmly in the middle of the pack. After that, who knows?
8. Andrew Garcia (Last week: #7): A week after having one of his best performances of the season, Andrew slipped into just another Andrew performance this week. It was bad, but it wasn’t great, either, and I’m worried the numbers are about to catch up to him. He was already in the bottom two with Mike this week, but my prediction (which could – and probably should – change based on this Tuesday’s performances) is that Mike’s fans will vote in force and Andrew and Tim will finally be sent packing.
9. Tim Urban (Last week: #9): I give it one more week, tops. (In fairness, though, Tim was pretty good – for Tim – this week).