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This…Is American Idol…Blog (Top 12 Perform)

After week’s of auditions, both good and bad, and dragging out the Hollywood Round for as long as humanly possible, and then after three more weeks of voting, we’re finally set with our 2010 Top 12 American Idol contestants.

Get ready to see on the big stage tonight, Lilly Scott, Toderick Hall, Alex Lambert and Katelyn Epperly! Oh wait, nevermind, they somehow didn’t make it. Instead, get ready to see Paige Miles, Lacey Brown, Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly. Hooray! For the fantasy sports fans out there, this would be the equivalent of trading Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Peterson, Chad OchoCinco and Pierre Thomas for Paige Miles, Lacey Brown, Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly. It would kill fantasy team. (Somehow I bet my buddy Eric Tarr is actually trying to propose that deal to someone right now as we speak).

Back to the big show, it’s Rolling Stones night on Idol, and thru all the auditions and all the rounds, here’s how I have the Top 12 ranked as well as my wish list of what I’d like them to sing tonight….

AMERICAN IDOL TOP 12 (thru last week’s performances)
1. Crystal Bowersox (“Gimme Shelter”)
2. Siobhan Magnus (“Paint It Black”)
3. Lee Dewyze (“Beast of Burden”)
4. Michael Lynche (“Brown Sugar”)
5. Katie Stevens (“Honky Tonk Woman”)
6. Didi Benami (“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”)
7. Andrew Garcia (“Wild Horses”)
8. Casey James (“Tumbling Dice”)
9-12. Lacey Brown, Paige Miles, Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly (“I’d rather they not sing anything please”)

I’m giddy, here we go…..

After each person’s performance, I’ll tell you where I picked them to finish overall in the annual American Idol Pool.

Michael Lynche “Miss You” – nice job living off the awesome falsetto from last week as he went right back to it again. Great performance to kick off the real season of Idol, although one could argue, it really starts at the Top 10 since 11th and 12th place don’t get to go on tour. But glad to see another strong vocal from Mike, as he’s definitely gaining more confidence for a big man. It’s apparently needed since I got this email from reader Nick P. in Florida, “Btw, I went to school with Michael Lynche. He’s a much better singer than football player. He couldn’t see the field at UCF while on a 6-6 team in the MAC…Not Good.”
GRADE: B (for the performance, but F for football)

Didi Benami “Play With Fire” – always like when they have these theme nights and they bust out the lesser known hits that I’m a fan of. Easily Didi’s best performance of the season, and a very believable one as well. It was almost as if she was in the bathroom with Kelly Taylor at the rave at that abandoned house when she was trapped.

Casey James “It’s All Over Now” – it’s quiet in my house right now with Maggie out of town. There’s also less drool on the TV too which is nice. I’m diggin the Stones theme tonight as three straight really good performances to start the night have me in a good mood. Casey still doesn’t have the best of voices, and it’s still twangy (but not in the good country way), but coupled with the guitar and the bluesy tone to performance, it was really enjoyable. Also great to see the first three all put their own style on their songs. Keep up it Idol.

By the way, Ellen off to a great start tonight mentioning that most women would fawn all over Casey and that performance, but not women like Ellen…blondes.

Lacey Brown “Ruby Tuesday” – I’m not being biased, but that was terrible from note #1. Her type of voice doesn’t pair well with a string quartet, it’s like lamb and tuna fish. She redeemed herself a little bit at the chorus, although I’m not entirely sure why she rushed the words “still i’m gonna miss you,” because it just seemed awkward and out of place. Like Seacrest on a basketball court, or Steiny at a billiards table (read the Lazy Man’s Decathlon if you don’t get the reference).

Andrew Garcia “Gimme Shelter” – for all the die hard Idol fans out there, is it just me or does Andrew’s wife look like Ramiele Mulabay? Kind of bummed that he’s singing my favorite Stones song, and he showed why. That was sooooo boring. Not a good song choice for his voice, which isn’t powerful enough for a big song like that. I’m starting to wonder who’s going to live off their success of “Straight Up” longer, Andrew Garcia or Paula Abdul?

Shame on you if you were one of the 8 people who saw that Sarah Jessica Parker / Hugh Grant monkey-feces movie!

Katie Stevens “Wild Horses” – I’m very glad that Andrew didn’t do this song, because otherwise we wouldn’t have been treated to a great vocal from Katie “Holmes” Stevens. Easily her best to date and should get her back on track as a potential favorite. I could have done without the Creed-esque ending where the title of the song is repeated like 22 times in a row (see “With Arms Wide Open” as a reference). Weird feedback from the judges, it was all positive but not very enthusiastic.

Right before commercial break, Seacrest says “Tim Urban fans you will get your fix next” ::crickets::

Tim Urban “Under My Thumb” – KEYBOARD SMASH!!!!! Seriously, come on, I’ve had bowel movements that didn’t stink as bad as this. You know what this was, this was like listening to Adam Sandler’s singing his “I’ve Got a Piece of S*** Car” song, it was almost the same beat, same melody. Also, I’m fairly certain that Tim will be visited by the ghost of Bob Marley tonight for trashing the reggae name. I got my Tim Urban fix, I’m set for a lifetime now.

Siobhan Magnus – “Paint It Black” – alright, I got one song correct! Had to rewind this after watching it the first time to get a better feel for it. Kara nailed it dead-on in her comments, it was a very dramatic, almost theatrical performance and very reminiscent of something Adam Lambert would have done. That’s a compliment too. I’m a little disturbed by her now sporting the hairdo left behind by Katelyn Epperly, but three memorable performances in a row for Siobhan and she’s going to be a hot topic around the water cooler for a long time. If she can get past her quirky-ness, she can give Crystal a run for her money for best vocalist.

I’m going to agree Adam K. and say that Hot Tub Time Machine is going to be really funny. I just can’t see John Cusack doing this movie if it wasn’t. Plus it’s gonna the funny weird kid from Sex Drive, a movie probably less people saw that SJP/Grant garbage.

Lee Dewyze “Beast of Burden” – nice, two in a row correct. I feel like the manager from Major League is gonna show up and say “we won a game yesterday, if we win today, that’s called a winning streak.” I liked this a heck of a lot, it was very much like listening to Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish. Really enjoying tonight outside of Lacey/Andrew/Tim, everyone else doing a great job being their own artist and showing off their individual talents.

Paige Miles “Honky Tonk Woman” – bit of an oxymoron, but ok. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I actually dug this. It wasn’t as great as the other big vocals tonight, but considering she was recovering from laryngitis, I was pleasantly surprised. If this was a glimpse of what the judges really saw out of her that we never got to see, then she might be able to stick around a few weeks. If anything, I’m ready to anoint her president of the Paige/Lacey/Tim/Aaron We’re Not Gonna Win Fan Club.

Aaron Kelly “Angie” – Kevin Covais, Anthony Federov and now Aaron Kelly. The little engines that could, even though I think they can’t. Actually this was good vocally but not my cup of tea, and didn’t help that this is one of my least favorite Stones’ songs. He’s safe for another week, and is now Vice President of the aforementioned Fan Club. He’s also got the teen scream vote, which will keep him around for longer than he should be.

Crystal Bowersox “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – normally I type during the contestants’ performances, but with Crystal it’s all about forgetting I’m writing a blog for 90-120 seconds and just absorb her talents and her soulfulness. This goes on the list of songs I’ll download from iTunes. I think Simon was wrong though, in no way do I see Crystal coming off as if she’s got this competition in the bag. She’s just that good and consistent week to week and mesmerizing to watch. But I do believe the gap is shrinking between her and a few others.

Excellent first big show of the season with 9 very solid to great performances. I think the bottom three should be obvious, but this show never goes true to form, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow night.

MY BOTTOM THREE: Lacey Brown, Andrew Garcia, Tim Urban
MY PREDICTION FOR AMERICA’S BOTTOM THREE: Same as above (I’m going to hope America heard what I heard)
GOING HOME: Tim Urban (enough already)

MY UPDATED POWER RANKINGS (previous week’s ranking in parenthesis)
1. Crystal Bowersox (1)
2. Siobhan Magnus (2)
3. Lee Dewyze (3)
4. Michael Lynche (4)
5. Katie Stevens (5)
6. Didi Benami (6)
7. Casey James (8)
8. Andrew Garcia (7)
9. Aaron Kelly (9)
10. Paige Miles (12)
11. Lacey Brown (10)
12. Tim Urban (11)

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