February 24, 2010 07:57 PM by Candace Young
Tonight on FOX, it’s back to the live performances as American Idol 9 features the Top Twelve Guys singing on stage in the hopes of garnering enough votes to continue through to next week. Need a refresher on the Top 24 contestants? Check out Reality TV Magazine’s Guide to the Top 24! Ryan Seacrest introduces the Top Twelve guys, as well as judges Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, and Ellen Degeneres, and the night is underway! Read on for all of the highlights!
The episode begins with the judges urging the contestants to try to keep their nerves under control. Ever-jolly Simon warns that if they mess up or forget the words tonight, their career is over!
Todrick Hall is the first of the guys to take the stage. He is singing a Kelly Clarkson tune, Since You’ve Been Gone. Todrick looks cool in a leather jacket, jeans, and boots. His arrangement is completely different from the original, and comes across as an R&B version. Ellen tells him the singing wasn’t the greatest, but his performance was really good. Randy notes that he completely changed the song, which he wasn’t wild about. Kara agrees, saying he took a risk. Simon feels he came over as a dancer trying to sing – he murdered the original song!
Aaron Kelly, who is only sixteen years-old, will be the next live performer. Aaron is dressed in a simple plaid shirt and jeans and sings a country song, Here Comes Goodbye by Rascal Flatts. His vocals sound great, but was it too safe a choice? Simon calls it quite a good performance, but he needs to exude confidence more. Kara tells him he’s her favorite because he has such raw, natural talent. Randy notes he has a huge voice – he’s a fan! Ellen feels he’s going to do very well, and just get better and better!
Jermaine Sellers, a church singer from Atlanta will hit the stage now. His chosen song is Get Here, and he sings the lyrics softly, looking quite dapper in a charcoal suit and black fedora. It’s a class act. Ellen loves his look, but felt he was singing the song as a performance as opposed to feeling it. Randy wants him to be more current, and also thinks he needs to pull it back. Kara says he showed his voice, but it has to be meaningful. Simon calls it a cocktail bar song, and feels it was over the top – he may have blown his opportunity!
Tim Urban, arguably one of the cutest guys in the Top Twelve, is next to perform. Tim got a call from the producers asking him to come back after he’d been cut – and he decided it would be entertaining to keep it from his family! Tonight, he’s singing Apologize by One Republic. Dressed in a light gray jacket, jeans, and sneakers, Tim tackles the high notes in the song, and comes across a little shaky. Simon congratulates him for coming back, but says they made the right decision when they cut him – his voice just isn’t good enough. Kara says the music swallowed him up, as opposed to when he accompanied himself on acoustic guitar. Randy feels it was just totally the wrong song for him. Ellen understands why he chose that song, but thinks people will vote for him because he’s adorable.
Joe Munoz will try his luck with the judges and audience now singing a Jason Mraz tune. In dark casual clothing topped with a flashy scarf, Joe perches on a stool and sings a pretty nice-sounding version of You and I. Ellen points out that he looks so comfortable on stage – she liked it! Randy isn’t sure about the song choice, but thinks he did a good job with it. Kara is pleasantly surprised by his song choice – he’s been the most consistent singer so far. Simon kind of agrees, but he needs to get out of the bubble – it was an okay, safe performance – he didn’t show that he has the potential to be a star! He labels it forgettable.
Tyler Grady, the retro rocker who oozes a seventies vibe is up next. Tyler sings American Woman, dressed in a purple shirt and neck scarf. He starts it off soft, and then the band kicks in to take it up a notch. He struts and sings and fist pumps to the delight of the crowd. Simon feels people will remember that performance, but his issue is that he comes across cliche – he needs to change it up a bit. Kara agrees, he would be a great front man, but he needs to bring it into this decade. Randy expresses the same sentiment. Ellen thinks he’s going through the motions and poses without being an original.
Lee Dewyze will be the next hopeful to face the no-holds-barred judging tonight. He’s singing Snow Patrol’s tune, Chasing Cars. Lee is sporting a very chill look – t-shirt and ripped jeans, and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. He sounds good, but hits a couple of wanky notes. Ellen thought it was a good song choice, except when he went off, almost screaming. Randy disagrees – he didn’t like the song for him. Kara agrees – the song doesn’t have much of a range – he needs more of a rock song. Simon completely disagrees with Randy and Kara – he thought it was the best performance so far – a natural singer and an authentic good voice.
John Park is up next – he’s the contestant who won praise for his bottom end from Shania Twain during try-outs! He sings God Bless the Child, dressed in nice suit. His vocals are sweet, but the song seems old for him. Simon says his song wasn’t good enough for that song, and it came across as emotionless – he deems it pointless and flat. Kara agrees with Simon – there was no connection. Randy feels the song was old and it didn’t suit. Ellen agrees, saying that song isn’t going to get young girls to pick up the phone and vote, but notes he does have a good voice.
Michael Lynche, aka, Big Mike is not only a new daddy, but a Top Twelve contestant. He takes the stage dressed in a plaid dress shirt and jeans, and accompanies himself on guitar. He sings a decidedly jaunty version of I Won’t Say Goodbye Anymore. Ellen says the personality is just bursting out of him, but there were a few pitch problems. Randy likes the persona too. Kara feels Mike lifted the depression that had settled over them – but warns it wasn’t great. Simon points out that there was nothing unique about that performance.
Alex Lambert is the next American Idol singer to perform live. Singing Wonderful World, Alex hits the stage in jeans and a gray suit jacket. He gives a decent rendition of the song, but his voice seems quiet at times. Simon calls it the most uncomfortable performance of the night, even though he has a good voice. He says nerves are an issue. Kara wants to give him a hug, and notes that he has great potential. Randy likes him, and hopes he sticks around. Ellen remarks on his mullet, and says he has a great voice, but it needs to ripen more – he needs more confidence.
Casey James warns that he might just be singing to Kara. His choice is Heaven. Dressed in a white western-style shirt and grinning, Casey strums his guitar and looks and sounds awesome! Kara gives a fevered and distracted review, and is saved by Ellen who points out that he’s going to get votes like crazy – it doesn’t matter! Randy likes him too. Kara jumps back in and says he’s eye candy and ear candy – he’s good. Simon comments that they were both cursed with good looks, but he has to manage the talent side too – he chose the right song, he played well, and sang well – it’s the best performance from him since he’s been in the competition.
Andrew Garcia, stay-at-home-dad, is the last to perform this evening. Andrew is dressed in a smart black dress shirt and playing guitar. He sings Sugar We’re Going Down, and it seems pretty strong. Simon disagrees, saying it was self-indulgent and too serious. Kara calls it a strange rendition of the song, but says he’s great. Randy says Kara and Simon are right about the song, but he’s a fan. Ellen tells him that doing Straight Up during Hollywood Week will carry him for a bit, but for this he was too much inside himself.
Tomorrow night, American Idol 9 is back with the elimination of two guys and two girls! Don’t miss it!
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Photos Courtesy: FOX