Last night on American Idol, the Top 6 were mentored by the very beautiful Shania Twain. She had such a great time during Auditions Week in Chicago that she wanted to come back and give a little more. The bad news was that they had to sing her songs. Truth be told, I love her voice, just hate her songs.
Anyway, I thought that a couple of the contestants would have a very hard time with her songs, and a couple of the contestants, if they picked the right songs, the theme would be a breeze.
Here’s how it played out for me:
1 – Casey James – Kinda funny not to see Lee or Crystal in this spot where one or the other has been for several weeks now, but it is what it is. Casey sang Don’t, from 2005, in what was easily his best performance in several weeks. He was more connected with both the audience and song since he sang Jealous Guy during Lennon-McCartney Week. Also, he seemed way more confident then he’s been in a while. His range was near perfect, as was his pitch during this emotional ballad.
2 – Michael Lynche – Michael, who I was a little concerned about being able to find the right song, somehow managed to find the perfect song to sing with It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing, a soft, soulful, emotional melody filled song that fit right in his wheelhouse. This song is right in line with the rest of the R&B type songs that Michael sings so perfectly and that he needs to keep singing to stay relevant in this competition. The falsetto at the end was beautiful and Ellen’s comparison to Luther Vandross was a very good one.
3 – Lee Dewyze – Lee sang Twain’s super smash Looks Like We Made It and he was so off key when he started it that I had no idea what song he was even singing. By the chorus he was at least back in the groove. He clearly was making the song his own, and it was completely different than the original. I just wish the beginning was better. This could have been great. At best, it was OK.
4 – Aaron Kelly – Aaron sang You’ve Got a Way and he was very smart in changing the words to the song from “when we make love’ to so he could sing to his mother and really feel the emotion of the song. It paid off in a big way and it was his best performance in a while. He was right back in his comfort zone, singing country and he was very happy going back to the Lonestar sound that he managed to finally escape a few weeks ago. I hope he doesn’t make this a permanent change. On another note, during the mentoring session, Shania Twain commented that he seemed to be “distracted” (I’m paraphrasing here). Well, no shit. He’s a 17 year old red-blooded American male, and you’re freakin’ Shania Twain. Um, hello.
5 – Crystal Bowersox – Crystal sang the folksy No One Needs To Know, and it while it wasn’t my favorite Crystal Performance, she sang it well enough with changes in tempo and moves into and out of falsettos. It was fairly effortless. Kinda reminded a little of a Raffi song my kids used to listen to.
6 – Siobhan Magnus – Siobhan sang the country Any Man of Mine and by the time she was done, I was ready for some square-dancing. This is most definitely NOT her type of music. By far, one of her worst performances, but the glory note was there, like every week. There’s no denying the power in her voice, and she shows it off at every opportunity. She gets props for trying to have some fun with the genre, and even punking it up a little, and the judges recognized that and loved her for it. Me, not so much.
Overall, the whole night was far better than I would have ever thought it would have been. Casey and Mike were way better than I expected, while Crystal and Siobhan both could have been better if they chose better songs. Neither are in any danger of going home.