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American Idol 9 March 23 – Top Eleven Perform!

March 23, 2010 07:03 PM by Candace Young

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Tonight on FOX, Ryan Seacrest kicks off this episode of American Idol 9 by introducing the judges, Ellen Degeneres, Simon Cowell, Kara Dioguardi, and Randy Jackson, who notes that tonight is crucial because only the Top Ten get to go on the tour, so whoever gets sent home this week will lose out on that opportunity.  After some teasing between Simon and Ryan, Simon agrees with Randy – this is the worst time to go. The Top Eleven are brought out and Ryan announces that Billboard Hot 100 Hits is the theme for tonight – and Miley Cyrus is the mentor this week. Read on for all of the highlights!

Ryan greets Miley, who is also in the audience tonight. She tells him she was nervous about being asked to mentor, and that she thought the contestants were amazing. Ryan notes she will perform on tomorrow night’s results show.

Lee Dewyze is up first. Miley felt he was only lacking stage presence – the talent was not in question. She advised him to give the audience a couple of notes they’re not expecting from him. Lee takes the stage and sings The Letter wearing a black suit and accompanied by a brass section and back up singers. His performance is definitely more upbeat and he connects with the crowd better.  Randy loved the bluesy version of the tune. Ellen likens Lee to a favorite pen, saying it was fantastic! Kara says his progress is tremendous! Simon goes against the others and says it didn’t define him at all as a contemporary recording artist – it was corny!

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Paige Miles is next up on American Idol. Miley thinks she will do Phil Collin’s Take a Look at Me Now very well. Paige begins seated on the stairs and slowly walks across the stage as the song progresses. She is in black tights and a cream tunic – she looks great, but the vocal seems understated and off-key. Randy tells her honestly – it was terrible. Ellen says she looks great and she is turning over the music critique to Kara and Simon. Kara informs Paige it was the worst vocal she’s heard from her, and possibly of the season. Simon asks Paige what she thinks – she admits she struggled with the pitch and to find herself in the song. Simon tells her he thinks she’s in serious trouble tonight.

Tim Urban will try his luck next. Miley says he needed to add some riffs and switch things up a bit. He is singing Crazy Little Thing Called Love. In a grey suit jacket, Tim begins the tune at the mic stand before moving around the stage some – even doing a slide! It’s admittedly cheesy, but his vocals are fine and he’s still cute.  Randy tells him the slide was dope, but the vocals were boring – like karaoke. Ellen agrees – it felt corny or like an audition for High School Musical. Kara concurs – it was Zac Efron in Hairspray, and little girls will love it, but he hasn’t made it yet. Simon calls the performance pointless and silly – he has zero chance of winning unless he gets his act together.

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Aaron Kelly is up after Tim. He has laryngitis, but is able to tell Ryan that he has a crush on Miley. In practice, she is surprised at how good Aaron is. He takes the stage to sing Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith. With a bit of a country sound to it, Aaron’s version sounds great, and he still hits some decent notes in spite of his illness.  Randy likes him and tells him he’s really talented! Ellen thinks the song choice was perfect for him – she can see his career already! Kara agrees it was the best song choice of the night, and he is consistent – she only wishes for more stage presence. Simon calls Aaron a little ‘tryer’ – he worries that he comes across a bit old fashioned, but thinks there is zero chance he is going home!

Crystal Bowersox is ready to perform. Miley’s advice to her in practice was to push herself more and hit the higher notes more often. Crystal gets Miley to sign her guitar. Crystal dresses all in black and brings her acoustic with her to perform Bobby McGee tonight. She really gives it an extra bit of oomph tonight and gets her energy up – her vocals are interesting and terrific as usual. Randy says that’s being a star – that’s how you do it! Ellen says there was nothing wrong with that performance, but she still would like to see some more interaction between Crystal and the crowd and judges. Kara felt more from Crystal tonight, but asks if she’d consider putting the guitar down. Crystal smiles and says she has big plans for next week. Simon informs her he wouldn’t change anything. This is about finding a recording artist!

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Big Mike Lynche is up next on Idol. Upon meeting Miley to get some advice he gives her a huge bear hug. She is impressed when he sings to her and keeps eye contact the entire time! Mike takes the stage to perform When a Man Loves a Woman looking smooth and accompanied by an orchestra and back up singers – it sounds fabulous – he hits some big notes which draw cheers from the audience.  Randy comments that he knows who he is – he loved it! Ellen thought it was a safe song choice, but she loved it too. Kara didn’t connect with him – she thought there were too many riffs and seemed lounge-y at times. Simon would have made it more simple, but says he has tons of charisma and a very good voice.

Ryan calls out Andrew Garcia, who is going to do some Marvin Gaye tonight. Miley Cyrus suggested during practice that he put down the guitar. He calls it a risk, but does it. Andrew hits the stage to sing Heard It Through the Grapevine in a tan jacket and jeans wielding only a mic. He has back up singers and a guitar player with him, freeing him up to work the stage as he performs. Randy tells him it wasn’t good – not the right song choice. Ellen agrees, but hopes people vote for him. Kara thinks he’s confused about what to do up there, and once again suggests he go back to when he did Straight Up, but Simon pipes up and says perhaps they overrated that original moment. He tells him he sucked the soul out of this song tonight – he doesn’t know who he is as an artist.

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Katie Stevens is happy to meet Miley and get feedback from someone who is in the business and is her age. Miley says Katie needs to make the song her own – she’s doing Big Girls Don’t Cry by Fergie. Katie hits the stage in tight jeans and heels. She doesn’t move around a whole lot and she has some issues with her vocal in spots. Randy notes that he took their advice by picking a younger person’s song. Ellen thought it was great! Kara thinks this is the lane for her – pop with R&B leanings. She has pitch issues though. Simon notes the improvement, but still isn’t sure she is believable or knows what she wants to be.

Next up on American Idol is Casey James, who told Miley Cyrus that he is a big fan – of her dad! Miley advises him to interact with the crowd and make it personal. Power of Love is Casey’s song, which he tackles with the help of his electric guitar, a brass section, and back up singers. He delivers an up-to-the-minute version of the tune with plenty of energy. Randy and Ellen both don’t think much of the song choice, but say he sounded great. Ellen even calls it the best vocal of the night! Kara says he’s in the zone, but Simon disagrees, saying it was a twenty year-old song. Kara and the other judges argue that Casey made it current! Simon wonders if maybe it’s just him – he’s British!

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Didi Benami, who is still fighting nerves, is told by Miley that she needs to sass things up! Didi brings her attitude to the stage as she performs You’re No Good. She struts purposefully forward as she exhibits a different vocal than in previous performances.  Randy loves the idea of it, but she had some pitch issues. Ellen didn’t get the song choice. Kara felt like she was playing a character – it left her confused. Simon says there was a certain irony in her screaming out, “You’re No Good,” over and over. He says it didn’t sound like it was her!

Siobhan Magnus is singing Superstitious tonight. Miley tells her she loves her voice – it has swagger. Siobhan remarks that it gives her more confidence. Siobhan hits the stage in a look reminiscent of the eighties, and treats the crowd to her usual great vocals and big ending notes! Randy and Ellen both loved it! Kara says she expresses herself so well onstage – the end note is amazing. Simon feels the votes will be split because a lot of people will like that, but many won’t. He says she needs to change up the end note thing, make herself more relevant, and adds that except for Crystal it wasn’t a great night on Idol tonight.

Tomorrow night one more hopeful will be sent home and the Top Ten will be set!

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Photos Courtesy: FOX

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