It was supposed to be the women tonight, but Crystal Bowersox went to the hospital earlier today. Lets all hope that it isn’t anything serious. The men agreed to perform a day earlier, which had to be a relief to the producers.
The singers, the songs-
Michael Lynch, “It’s a Man’s World”, James Brown-
Mike was almost perfect tonight. My one quibble is the same one that has bothered me about him from the beginning: He has no range. His tone is sweet, and he sings in tune, but he just doesn’t have any range. He spent the whole song in a tonal space of less than half of an octave. That won’t cut it later, but he is very safe for this week. He has terrific stage presence and poise. He’s a great guy with a sense of humor and the teddy bear vibe. All he needs is about two and a half steps of high range that he can jump to when he needs it.
John Park, “Gravity”, John Mayer-
John has the same problem as Mike. He has no high range. Because of this he wasn’t able to make the song soar. He missed a couple of runs as well. I do like his voice, but there just aren’t any dynamics there to make me see a star. There are some questionable performers to come, but he might very well be in trouble this week. Even if he survives it’s only a matter of time for him. There isn’t enough pizzazz to the kid. I was interested in him, but I am rapidly losing that interest.
Casey James, “I Don’t Wanna Be”, Gavin DeGraw-
Hmm…. That was kind of weird. He was good, not great. I didn’t really like the song choice for him. It exposed the weaker parts of his voice far too often. That being said, he’s a lock to be back next week and for a good bit longer. He played guitar, but not just strumming. He chose to highlight his lead skills. It will get him tons of votes, but truthfully he isn’t exactly Slash or Richie Sambora. He was somewhat wooden as a picker, and he lost his riffs a couple of times at the end of the song. Take the flash and glitter away from this performance and there really isn’t much there. It can be taken as another “safe” performance by a frontrunner, and a chance to slip in a side skill (lead guitar) in the early rounds when he is in no danger of getting bounced. Good strategy, Casey. Now go sing better.
Alex Lambert, “Everybody Knows”, John Legend-
The kid was much better than last week. I liked and enjoyed this performance. His voice is really cool to listen to, and he avoided the problems that he has with phrasing and end notes by keeping it simple and moving it along. The last note wasn’t very good but the rest of the song was nicely done. He is still on the chopping block, but he might avoid the axe for one more week. Hell, if he can make it another week or two he might grow enough to be a fine addition to the tour (top 10). He might be making himself over into a darkhorse to go deep in the show; the male Sha-Von maybe?
Todrick Hall- “What’s Love Got to do With It”, Tina Turner-
His voice reminds me of someone, can’t put my finger on it. The song is one from the 1980’s, which suits him in a way. His voice sounds 80’s to me.. That last run was interesting in that he had a scratch to his falsetto which I am not sure he intended to have. He held it together, though. Like Mike and John he has some range issues. The men this year, other than Jermaine and perhaps Andrew, all have baritone voices with no high range power kicker. Adam would stand out even more this year than he did last year.
Jermaine Sellers, “What’s going on”, Marvin Gaye-
He was sloppy again tonight, but not as much as last week. Overall this was an improved, but frustrating performance. If he can’t sing in tune comfortably I end up listening scared; scared of the inevitable bum notes. He treats a melody like a long haul trucker treats a truck stop waitress. I don’t know what to think about the give and take from the judges. Jermaine is arrogant, but also very earnest and real. What this will mean when they vote, I have no clue. He will probably always be in danger of getting bounced as long as he lasts.
Andrew Garcia, “You Give Me Something”, James Morrison-
He was kind of pitchy, especially when he went lower in the range of the song but man, what a tone he has. The judges gave it to him hard, but he’s still the frontrunner among the men. This part of the competition is a no man’s land for the frontrunners. If they keep taking it to another level they won’t have anything left for the final 12, but if they coast a little the judges get on them. It’s part of the education, I guess.
Aaron Kelly, “My Girl”, The Temptations-
Much, much better this week. This was up with the best performances of the night. I forgot about him when I was talking about all the baritones. He has some very nice upper range. He was confident and he was singing free. I don’t much like his falsetto, but he proved to me that he belongs. I’m sure my opinion will help him sleep tonight.
Tim Urban, “Come on get High”, Matt Nathanson-
This was the best that he’s sounded and, for the first time, it wasn’t ridiculous that he was still in the competition. There wasn’t much there other than that he sang well, and he played the guitar well. Was he amazing? Well, no. He was karaoke with a guitar. Still, it was far from the worst performance of the night.
Lee Dewyze, “Lips of an Angel”, Hinder-
Ooh, good song…. He hit some of the falsetto parts in full voice, and that didn’t sound great to me. Other than that he sounded terrific. He might rethink hitching his pants up in the middle of the song. It was weirdly out of place, like stopping at the McDonalds drive through for a burger on the way to your wedding. This is what Lee is, I think. He’s got that growly, scratchy voice – and no fashion sense or etiquette:
New jeans – 40 dollars
Suspenders to hold your pants up – 12 dollars
A stylish haircut – 75 dollars
That VOICE – priceless
This week is wide open as far as who is going home. Only Casey, Mike, Andrew and Lee are totally safe. Here is my list, safe to danger:
I can throw a hand towel over the last five on the list. Any of them could go home on Thursday night.