March 16, 2010 06:59 PM by Candace Young
Tonight, FOX brings us the performance of the Top Twelve finalists on American Idol 9! Host Ryan Seacrest is there to introduce the twelve talented individuals, along with judges Randy Jackson, Ellen Degeneres, Kara Dioguardi, and the one and only Simon Cowell. The theme for the night is the music of The Rolling Stones! Read on for highlights!
Michael Lynche is the first to perform live on the larger stage. He talks about his mother passing away and how proud she would be of him right now. Big Mike sings Miss You dressed in a dark short-sleeved shirt and dark pants. His vocals are really good, but the arrangement is a little questionable. Randy notes that the arrangement threw him at first, but says he slayed it. Ellen thinks it was a good way to start the night. Kara compliments him on the way he filled the stage – she really liked it. Simon says Mike has his confidence up, but the performance, and particularly his dancing, was corny at times.Â Ryan gets in Simon’s face after he says it almost verged on desperate in parts. Simon says they can settle this in his trailer after, but notes it was the middle part of the performance in particular that he was referring to.
Didi Benami stands with Ryan next – he asks her about his mother’s absence – apparently she can’t bear to watch her perform or get judged!Â She’s performing Play With Fire by the Stones, and is wearing jeans and a halter top. Didi comes down the staircase onto the stage and delivers a smouldery version of the tune.Â Randy thinks she was actually on fire tonight! Ellen notes that she spun out at one point but got right back in the song. Kara feels that she got dark, which contrasted well with the sweetness of her voice – it was two steps in the right direction. Simon agrees,Â saying it was a cool choice of song, and that it was a solid, although not brilliant, performance.
Casey James follows Didi. He talks about being raised by a single mom, and how his whole family sings and performs. Singing It’s All Over Now, Casey wears rocker hair and accompanies himself on electric guitar. His rendition is edgy, yet has a jaunty air about it.Â Randy tells Casey he could make a great career out of this stuff – he loved it! Ellen thought it was fantastic! Kara said tonight he was a rock star – this showed his soul – his best performance since they met! Simon acknowledges that he looks great, but it was more like an audition for him – he has to push himself to do more than stand in the middle of the stage – he has to be a star.
Next up is Lacey Brown from Amarillo, Texas singing the Rolling Stone’s tune Ruby Tuesday. In a black and white single-sleeved dress, Lacey delivers a unique version of the tune with a string quartet accompanying her.Â Randy says he wasn’t jumping up and down, but she held it together and it was interesting. Ellen wonders why she sat down when the song was building – it was a little bit sleepy for her. Kara agrees, and says there was times when she missed notes. Simon feels she performs like an actress, and the song was okay. He advises her to stop over-thinking her performances or she’s in danger of doing the same thing week after week.
Andrew Garcia hits the big stage on American Idol 9 next. His father recalls how poor they were growing up and remarks on how proud he is that Andrew takes care of his own wife and child now. Andrew sings Give Me Shelter in jeans and a grey suit jacket. He sounds okay, but doesn’t do much on the stage. Randy tells him it was pitchy everywhere – it wasn’t great for him. Ellen loved it! Kara wanted it to be more intense – she didn’t connect with the song. Simon says he was better in rehearsal, but he genuinely hopes he survives another week.
It’s time for Katie Stevens to perform. She tells Ryan she chose Wild Horses because it spoke to her – this is her time and wild horses couldn’t drag her away right now! She begins perched on a stool in her gold dress and sings a rather country-sounding arrangement of the song. Her vocals are strong. Randy thought it was a very strong performance. Ellen thought she sounded great once she got into it. Kara says she made some nice variations on the melody and it was better than last week. Simon calls this the only week she has chosen a very good song and connected – well done!
Tim Urban talks about growing up in his big family, and how nice it is to be recognized as an individual as well. Tim takes the stage to sing a folksy/reggae version of Under My Thumb, which has it’s moments.Â Randy says he didn’t get it. Ellen feels he sounded great, but it was like being at a beach resort and didn’t have wow factor. Kara applauds him for doing something incredibly different with the song – he made it his own. Simon agrees with her, but didn’t think it worked – he calls it a crazy decision.
Siobhan Magnus discusses her hometown of Cape Cod, and her huge family before taking the stage to sing Paint It Black. On a red-lit staircase, Siobhan sits dressed in a black strapless dress – it’s a dramatic beginning. Soon she is on the stage and delivers one of the more memorable renditions of the night – complete with big note! Randy shouts that it was hot! Ellen loves the way she looks, sounds – she rises above! Kara is having Adam Lambert flashbacks due to the drama. Simon agrees with Kara – it was the standout performance of the night!
Up next is Idol hopeful Lee Dewyze who was living paycheck-to-paycheck before coming to the show. His parents describe how Lee used to agree to sing only if no one would look at him! In a grey leather jacket and playing guitar, Lee takes the big stage to do Beast Of Burden. It’s a low key, raspy rendition of the tune – almost Springsteen-ish. Randy pronounces it to be dope – one of his better performances. Ellen expected a bit more from him, but there was nothing wrong with it. Kara thinks he’s growing faster than anybody. Simon likes Lee, but his personality is holding him back – tonight he chose a forgettable, safe song. He needs to have a moment if he makes it through to next week.
Paige Miles tells Ryan how her musical influence comes from her mom, who grew up singing in the church. Paige gives the most upbeat performance she’s done so far with Honky Tonk Woman. She wears a khaki jumpsuit and knee boots and moves around the stage as she belts it out. Randy says she pulled it out, though she could have had more energy and really rocked it. Ellen says she sounded great – no one would know she was having issues with her voice. Kara agrees – she says the Paige they fell in love with is back. Simon notes that considering she had laryngitis it was great. She still hasn’t connected, but at moments they heard that big voice they loved in Hollywood.
Up next is Aaron Kelly, whose mom says music has been his passion since he was nine years-old. Aaron has chosen the Stones tune Angie to sing tonight. He begins on the stairs, and is in a casual shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots.Â He delivers a soft, great-sounding rendition of the song. Randy thought it was hot! Ellen teases him that his hair looks like hers, then tells him that she thought it was a great sound choice – it really stood out! Kara labels it as very powerful. Simon admits he was worried about him for Stones week, but he 100% chose the right song – one of his strongest performances!
Crystal Bowersox is set to perform on the big stage, but first talks about how her dad has supported her music, and about being a songwriter. She sings You Can’t Always Get What You Want, accompanying herself on her guitar and dressed simply in black. Her version of the song is all Crystal – very bluesy and soul-stirring. Randy doesn’t think it was her best, but he loves her. Ellen says singing is so effortless for her that she needs to add personality. Kara agrees with the others, adding that she’s easy to watch. Simon tells Crystal this is the first time she’s been beaten by somebody – and that was Siobhan.
Photos Courtesy: FOX