I have never been more excited to see Adam Lambert on my TV as I was last night. Knowing that he was the mentor on American Idol this week got me very hyped about the show, because I was looking forward to the advice he was going to give to the contestants. Yes, I'd been having my doubts about this week because of the theme and the double elimination, but I came around right around the time the show started. Imagine that!
The show opened up with Ryan Seacrest having a sit down with Adam in the audience. They talked about the contestants and Adam said that his goal was to be honest, yet constructive with his criticism. Ryan then made an inappropriate joke about Adam's tongue, showing America why Ryan should never go off script.
Crystal Bowersox was up first performing "Saved." She seemed to have a great mentoring session with Adam, who encouraged her to play the electric guitar this week. Crystal was fantastic. She really took the song and put her flair on it. It was a great start to the show. Simon Cowell also praised Crystal for putting her own "slant" on the song.
Following Crystal was Andrew Garcia performing "Hound Dog." During his mentoring session, Adam was completely honest and told Andrew that he was boring. I knew after that critique that Adam seriously wasn't going to pull any punches with the contestants. Adam suggested that Andrew should speed the song up some, and really just punch the notes. You would think that when a former contestant gives you really decent advice that you might actually use it. I really don't think Andrew grasped the idea that Adam was seriously trying to improve his performance.
From the first note, Andrew's performance was awful. It was back to being slowed down and was like Adam told him, it was boring. When Andrew finished the song, the judges told him the song was not good and was, you guessed it, boring. I wish they would have cut to a shot of Adam in the audience, because you know he had to be sitting there with a look that said, "What did I tell you?"
Tim Urban was up next performing "I Can't Help Falling In Love." Adam said at the top of the show, that this would have been the song he would have chosen to sing, if they had done this theme during his season. Adam said that he liked Tim's voice a lot and thought his guitar was pretty. He suggested to Tim to end the song in his falsetto, but Tim was unsure if he could hold the note.
I really think that Tim is trying to shoot for a spot in the Top Five, if not attempting to win it all. A few weeks ago, this was not a possibility for Tim at all. Now he has had two solid performances in a row, and is gaining the momentum he needs to stay in the competition. Am I thrilled about this? Not really. I mean, kudos to Tim for pulling it together and staying on key the past couple weeks. I think if he does advance into the Top Seven tonight, then anything is possible this season.
The judges all praised Tim for another solid performance. Simon told him that he has gone from "a zero to a hero." Really, Simon? Ellen DeGeneres compared him to how much she likes tequila, which is a lot. So, good for Tim.
Lee Dewyze performed "A Little Less Conversation" this week. Adam told Lee during his mentoring session that he has a great voice and needs smile a little bit while he's singing, because it will help translate the song, as well as connect more with the audience.
As good as Lee sounded last night, there was no smiling going on during that performance. I think Lee really needs to embrace the fact that he's currently one of the front runners on the show and he needs to believe that he has a shot, or he's going to be at risk of being eliminated before his time, which would be the Final Two.
Next up was Aaron Kelly performing "Blue Suede Shoes," which he said during his pre-performance clip, that it was probably the wrong song in every way for him. During his mentoring session, Adam encouraged him to sing with a little more grit and really hit each of the notes with some passion.
I really didn't mind Aaron's vocal last night, I thought it was one of his better performances of the season. I do think that the reason Aaron gravitates towards performing ballads is so he doesn't have to dance, or in his case move awkwardly around the stage. I really think Simon went after him and did his best to completely throw him under the bus. I would assume Simon did this in an attempt to save Mike Lynche from elimination this week. Simon called Aaron's performance "old fashioned." I happen to disagree, because if Aaron's performance was considered old fashioned, then all of the contestant's performances should be considered the same. For starters, the contestants are singing the music of Elvis Presley, it's a pretty old fashioned theme to begin with. I think Aaron was trying to show he could sing an upbeat number, but he may end up as one of the eliminated contestants. I actually hopes he sticks around for at least another week.
Siobhan Magnus followed performing, "Suspicious Minds." Adam suggested during their mentoring session that she should speed the song up some to make it different. Then she and Adam had a little bonding moment, where Siobhan told him that she had been compared to him in the press, and it was an honor to get to meet him. All together now, "Awwwwww!"
Siobhan's performance was pretty decent. I liked that she brought back her big notes, and didn't go too crazy with them. She took some hits from the judges about the first half of the performance not being as good as the second half. Kara DioGuardi told her that she was confused about what kind of artist Siobhan planned to be. Simon told her that the big notes were a bit off key, and I have to agree with him.
Even though I am not a supporter of talking back to the judges, I think when Siobhan told the judges last night that she doesn't label herself as a certain kind of artist, that she spoke her peace without going all Lil' Rounds on the judges. I really think the judges are sending Siobhan mixed signals at this point and I really think it has broken down her spirit a little bit. This is not the same Siobhan we met in the Top 24, I felt like last night that Siobhan was frustrated and with the judges constant nit-picking at her, I can understand why she would be.
Back on stage after his almost elimination from last week, Mike Lynche was performing "In The Ghetto." To be honest, I didn't really pay attention at all. I am completely over Big Mike and his smug look that he gets after his critiques from the judges. As far as I'm concerned, I don't care how well he did last night, his lame, cocky personality completely ruined him as an Idol contestant in my eyes.
Katie Stevens performed "Baby What Do You Want Me To Do" to express her frustration about comments the judges have made about her. So, let me get this straight. She performed fairly well last week, received praise from all the judges, yet wants to bite the hand that feeds her? Oh Katie, have at it.
Adam told Katie that she needed to show the frustration on her face, especially if she was singing the song about the judges. Her performance this week, for me, it was absolutely ridiculous. She had an okay vocal, maybe it would have been better if she hadn't buried herself under a bunch of jewelry? For the love, less is more. I thought it was a horrible song choice and I wouldn't be surprised if she was eliminated this week.
In the coveted pimp spot, was none other than Casey James, who was performing "Lawdy Miss Clawdy." Adam suggested to Casey to add another dynamic to his performance, which resulted in Casey singing, while surrounded by a bunch of girls from the audience. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.
I will say this. Casey had a very nice vocal. (Yes, I have something nice to say about him. Shocked?) I actually liked his song choice and thought it suited him very well. Simon said that he had wasted an opportunity with the song, and I take that to mean that Casey should have put down the guitar and moved around on stage. I think that would have enhanced Casey's performance a lot. He's apparently dead set on playing his guitar for every performance and this week it was a detriment. (Yeah, I'm still not budging about Casey needing to put down the guitar.)
Overall, the show was pretty middle of the road for me. Adam gave the contestants really good advice from the standpoint of a former contestant that has been through the process. I wish those who chose not to take his advice had opted to take a chance and let Adam be their guide this week. I really think without a doubt that Andrew is heading home this week. It's a toss up about who joins him. I think that Tim has enough momentum to get to the next round. Katie or Aaron are other legit possibilities to leave this week. If I controlled the eliminations this week, I'd send home Big Mike in a heartbeat.
Also, what in the name of Paula Abdul was up with Ryan last night? He kept making awkward statements, he introduced Tim Urban as "Turban," and made an off-color joke about his former Idol co-host from season one, Brian Dunkleman. It just made for some seriously weird moments on the show. Idol really should think about tightening his leash a bit after last night.
Adam should definitely be commended for being a fantastic mentor for the Idol contestants. His critiques were absolutely spot on. I think he was the wake up call that the contestants needed to make them aware of what they really need to work on. I knew he wasn't going to be able to work miracles, but there were improvements by some of the contestants.
What did you think of the show last night? How do you think Adam did as a mentor? What do you think was up with Ryan? And which two contestants after last night's performances do you think should be eliminated?