American Idol Rolling Stones Night Winners and Losers

The American Idol top 12 took to the stage Monday night for a Rolling Stones themed showdown and once again the ladies hand the guys a royal smackdown. While we do concede a few of the guys were decent, it was definitely Siobhan Magnus, Crystal Bowersox and Didi Benami from the ladies side who really left everyone else in the dust.

'American Idol' Top 12 (FOX

WINNERS:

Siobhan Magnus: We have to say we were rather impressed with Siobhan Magnus last night on American Idol. While we like her voice overall, her song choices haven’t quite clicked with us and her voice can topple over that fine line between fabulous and annoying rather quickly. However, her choice of “Paint It Black” for Rolling Stones night was perfect and she managed to girl the song the proper passion it deserved. Magnus earned our respect with this one and we have to award her with the best performance of the evening.

Crystal Bowersox: Although we are still a bit bummed about the elimination of Lilly Scott last week, we’re pleased Bowerox won the ‘eclectic girl’ vote. Scott was great, but Bowersox is just something special. Bowersox once again showed she’s the contestant to beat with her rendition of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. Not only was her voice rockin’, she’s the only one with true, natural stage presence in the bunch. However, we did think this was one of Bowersox’s less powerful performances and the song choice didn’t quite suit her as much as her previous choices have.

Didi Benami: We aren’t sure what the hell this girl was wearing last night, but her performance of “Play With Fire” was one of her best yet. Benami dug down and connected with both the song and the audience. Now if she can just lose the last of those nerves and keep up the consistency, she could have a sneak attack coming later in the competition.

MIDDLE OF THE PACK:

Casey James: We’re a little annoyed that we actually kind of liked the performance from Casey James this week. It wasn’t so bad really and we don’t want to like James. He’s too cute in that goofy “I’m so not aware of my own cuteness – or so you think” way and his talents are questionable at best. But we can’t deny this was one of his better performance nights.

Michael Lynche: Sadly he couldn’t quite pull off another powerhouse night like he did last week, but Big Mike’s sweet, strong performance of “Miss You” just made us want to give him a big teddy bear hug. Somehow we can’t ever quite see this guy becoming a huge star, but we do love his voice and think he’s definitely in our top five picks on the show.

Aaron Kelly: We’re not really Aaron Kelly fans and we’re unlikely to become such any time soon. His take on “Angie” wasn’t the worst though and even had a few nice moments. His vague wandering around and zoned-out face couldn’t help but make us wonder how much he’d been smoking before he hit the stage. Dude does NOT know how to click it with the audience.

Lee Dewyze: There were a few moments where Dewyze’s rendition of “Beast of Burden” almost shined, but not quite. He sounded like he had gum in his mouth through half the song and his zombie personality on stage has got to go.

Paige Miles: We’re not really sure why Paige Miles thought a song called “Honky Tonk Woman” would really suit her. The song didn’t quite fit and her voice was rough in spots, but we think she still earned a spot in the top 12.

LOSERS:

Tim Urban: The award for the biggest loser of the night absolutely goes to Tim Urban, American Idol‘s idiotic replacement for eliminated contestant Chris Golightly. His reggae version of “Under My Thumb” was so nasty, we had to plug our ears halfway through and cry a little bit. If this guy isn’t gone this week, we have serious doubts about the sanity (and taste level) of the American public.

Katie Stevens: Some people out there seem to love this girl and we totally just don’t get it. Her voice is week, her stage presence is boring and her song choices are confusing. Although her take on “Wild Horses” was one of her better performances, that’s not saying much.

Lacey Brown: Brown’s choice of “Ruby Tuesday” for her Rolling Stones song was just bad, bad, bad. It was worse than pitchy and actually caused physical discomfort in our ears. We’re honestly just sick of listening to her do damage to normally beautiful music.

Andrew Garcia: You just can’t take an awesome, classic song like “Gimme Shelter” and treat it like a joke. That’s what Garcia’s performance of it felt like. He was all over the place, his handling of his mic stand was almost lewd and his voice couldn’t figure out where the hell it was supposed to be throughout the song.

>> Previously:  Michael Lynche Tops the American Idol Top 8 Men

Michael Lynche Tops the American Idol Top 8 Men

Michael Lynche, affectionately known as ‘Big Mike’, put the other top eight men of American Idol to shame Wednesday night. Lynche’s rendition of “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell was by far the standout performance of the evening. But how did the rest of the American Idol guys do? Here’s our ranking of the American Idol men’s performances for the evening.

Michael Lynche on 'American Idol' (FOC)
Michael Lynche on 'American Idol' (FOC)

8. Andrew Garcia: “Genie In a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera – First off, what the hell was up with this song choice? So not suitable for Garcia or his voice. We’re rather disappointed because Garcia was kind of growing on us until this performance. It was bland, boring and lacked any personal touch to make it stand out.

7. Todrick Hall: “Somebody to Love” by Queen – First off, we just have to say, if you are going to dare to do a Queen song, you better damn well rock it hard. Although it wasn’t too terrible by the end, the beginning was so rough it made us cringe. Regardless, it was a mediocre performance at best and messy all the way through. Plenty of folks will probably disagree, but we’re tired of Hall and ready for him to go.

6. Aaron Kelly: “I’m Already There” by Lonestar – Sure, he’s cute, but would he really be star material without his looks? We don’t think so and this performance just reinforces that belief. Not a great song choice at all for Kelly and we agree with Kara DioGuardi that it didn’t fit his age.

5. Lee Dewyze: “Fireflies” by Owl City – Dewyze has a decent voice but it’s the same old same old every damn week. Dewyze needs to break out of his shell and really “wow” folks with something new, unique and powerful – or he’s a goner.

4. Casey James: “You’ll Think of Me” by Keith Urban – If James’ intention was to put the audience to sleep, he nearly succeeded with us. James needs to really connect with the audience, dig for better song choices and put some real power into his performances.

3. Alex Lambert: “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne – Where’s the passion boys? That’s what we’re asking of most of the male contestants this year and Alex Lambert in particular. The song wasn’t terrible, but it lacked any real emotional oomph. Lambert also still just gives off this vibe of being entirely uncomfortable on the stage. Boy needs to chill out and get in love with the music. Then he might actually be a real contender.

2. Tim Urban: “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley – This is one of our all time favorite songs, so we have very high standards when it comes to anyone doing a cover of it. Urban certainly couldn’t touch the original version of the song, but it wasn’t all that bad. Certainly we think it was Urban’s best performance of the season so far.

1. Michael Lynche: “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell – There is no doubt Michael Lynche blew it out of the water with this Maxwell cover of Kate Bush‘s song. It was absolutely a fabulous song choice for Big Mike’s big voice and we agree with Ellen DeGeneres that Lynche’s performance was entirely “beautiful”. Although we didn’t quite turn on the waterworks like Kara, we did feel a bit misty-eyed watching Lynche work it. We are so glad Michael Lynche wasn’t eliminated from the show as all those rumors claimed he was. He’s our definite favorite of the guys so far this season.

>> Previously:  Ranking American Idol’s Top 8 Women

Ranking American Idol’s Top 8 Women

We are admitted American Idol addicts, even after years of listening to some of the worst singing we’ve ever had the horror to hear. Even though sometimes we desperately think we need therapy to break this American Idol addiction, we can’t help but keep watching week after week.

Crystal Bowersox on 'American Idol' (FOX)
Crystal Bowersox on 'American Idol' (FOX)

Thankfully, last night’s performances from the top eight women of this season’s American Idol were relatively easy on the ears for the most part. Several of the ladies were actually pretty damned fabulous. Which we are thankful for, because a handful of them were boring at best and cringe-worthy at worst. Let’s just say we were awfully tempted to fast-forward through several performances after hearing just a couple of notes.

So how did the American Idol top eight women do last night? Well, here’s our ranking of the performances from the evening.

8. Paige Miles: “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin – We are so ready for this girl to go! She can’t stay on pitch to save her life, her stage presence is boring as hell and she most definitively does NOT have the ‘it’ factor. We’re hoping this is the last time we’ll have to watch her in action.

7. Katelyn Epperly: “I Fell the Earth Move” by Carole King – Boring, flat and terrible song choice for her voice. It’s not that she’s a terrible singer, but she seems to have absolutely no clue what to do with her voice. Plus, she never really looks comfortable on stage and we tend to forget her the moment she walks off screen.

6. Katie Stevens: “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson – Not only was the song rough, Stevens just wasn’t connecting with it. When you know what this song sounds like when Clarkson belts it out, Stevens comes across as a terribly cheap rip-off. We did rate her a little better than we would have just because she actually went for a song that should have suited her voice better – if she could have pulled it off.

5. Lacey Brown: “The Story” by Brandi Carlile – We kind of like Lacey Brown but we don’t agree with the judges that this performance was relatively good for her. When you compare her against some of the stronger girls in the competition, she just comes across as a decent karaoke singer you enjoy after having far too many drinks.

4. Didi Benami: “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac – We liked the song choice here, especially since Benami doesn’t really sound much like Stevie Nicks, so it made the song feel more original and unique. There were certainly some weak spots though and she still doesn’t quite own the stage, but we feel she’s got potential.

3. Lilly Scott: “I Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline – It was quite hard to rank the last three ladies because they are seriously all way above the rest of the pack. We know how hard Patsy Cline is to sing and Scott did quite a hot job of it. It was a bit quirky here and there and not quite the perfect song for her voice, but it was still far and away a better performance than most of the other ladies.

2. Siobhan Magnus: “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals – We almost ranked Magnus at number one for this great song choice, but she did have a bit of wobble at one point. The song suited her voice nicely though and we think this may have been one of Magnus’ best performances yet. We could see big things for this girl.

1. Crystal Bowersox: “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman – Bowersox almost didn’t make our number one spot, but that was only because we expect so much of her. Her rendition of Chapman’s classic song was terrific, but it wasn’t risky. There was virtually no chance Bowersox wasn’t going to do a fabulous job with this kind of material. Still, her voice is definitely one of the strongest of the ladies and she always looks like she belongs on a stage like nobody else.

>> Previously:  American Idol Top 10 Women – Best and Worst

American Idol Top 10 Women – Best and Worst

Thank goodness American Idol contestant Crystal Bowersox was able to return to the stage last night after her brief hospitalization. Bowersox ended up being one of the few women of the American Idol top 10 ladies that didn’t sound like a total train wreck. It would have been a serious loss to the competition – and the fans – if Bowersox had been eliminated over her sudden illness.

'American Idol' Top 10 Women (FOX)
'American Idol' Top 10 Women (FOX)

While the women of American Idol certainly outshined the men Wednesday night, that’s not really saying much. While most of the performances were just boringly mediocre, a few were just appallingly bad. Luckily, there were a few rare exceptions. Which is good for American Idol, because otherwise we might seriously consider not even tuning in next week. Thankfully, there were at least a few ladies that we were seriously impressed with and can’t wait to see what they do next week.

Best:

Lilly Scott – Quirky girl Scott set the state on fire with her take on the Sam Cooke classic “A Change is Gonna Come.” While most of the contestants are struggling and straining to sing their songs, Lilly Scott just opens her mouth and does it. She’s an artist, a natural talent and a unique presence. We hope she goes very far indeed.

Crystal Bowersox – If you hadn’t known the girl had just been languishing in the hospital, you’d never have guessed. Bowersox proved once again why she’s a favorite to make the American Idol top 10 with her cover of Credence Clearwater Revival‘s “Long As I Can See the Light.” I think we’re going to have to call Bowersox as our early favorite, although we think Lilly Scott probably has a slightly higher commercial appeal.

Katelyn Epperly – While we agree her take on Coldplay‘s “The Scientist” was way, way too slow – we still liked it quite a bit. Finally, Epperly chose a song that really showed off her pipes properly. If she can just find her ‘niche’ and get into the groove of picking the right songs for her voice, she could prove to be a powerhouse to reckon with.

Best Runner-Up:  Siobhan Magnus received high praise from the judges for performing Aretha Franklin‘s “Think,” but we’re not really totally clicking with her. While we agree it was a good performance and so close to being even better, something about this girl drives us a bit nuts in a way we just can’t understand or explain…

Middle of the Road: Katie Stevens was so unimpressive; we don’t even remember whether she was really sucky or just boring. Paige Miles made the mistake of covering past American Idol winner Kelly Clarkston and not even coming close to the original. That always irritates us to no end. Michelle Delamor was sort of okay and we want to like her more than we do. But she’s just another one of those girls we can’t seem to click with. Maybe it’s because she just doesn’t really seem to feel the music. You gotta have passion to impress us girl!

Worst:

DiDi Benami – For god’s sake, STOP singing “Lean on Me” on American Idol! It’s another one of those songs that everyone friggin’ does and no one ever does well. And it’s so overdone and so unoriginal that it just makes you look cheap, pathetic and easily expendable. Not to mention, Benami’s rendition of the song was just plain bad.

Lacey Brown – While we think “Kiss Me” was a much better song choice for Brown, she’s struggling so hard with her vocals that it’s painful to watch. She has a constant nervous burr in her vocals and can’t stay on pitch or hold onto the notes long enough. This girl has got to lose the nerves or she’s going to be out on her butt. It was pretty much a rather decent karaoke performance, which means it sucked pretty hard.

Haeley Vaughn – Anyone who actually chooses to sing Miley Cyrus is probably going to put us in a bad mood anyway. But to choose to do so and then do it really badly – that hurts man. Simon Cowell called it a “complete and utter mess” and for once, we totally agree with his judgment.

>> Previously:  American Idol Top 10 Men – Win or Fail?

American Idol Top 10 Men – Win or Fail?

So far this year on American Idol, we’ve been rather uninspired by most of the contestants, including many of those in the top 24. Overall, the men have seemed especially bland this season, but last night we finally started to click with a few of the top 10 male contestants.

Alex Lambert on 'American Idol' (FOX)
Alex Lambert on 'American Idol' (FOX)

Despite a last minute switcheroo that ended up with the boys performing last night rather than the girls (due to Crystal Bowersox‘s hospital trip), the top 10 men of American Idol showed nice improvement in general over the previous week’s abysmal performances. We can only hope they’ll continue to ramp it up next week.

Win:

Michael Lynche – We’re starting to be rather happy that the rumors Michael Lynche had been eliminated from American Idol over a press leak that he’d make the top 24 seem to have proven totally false. This week on Idol, Lynche belted out a James Brown tune that suited him to near perfection. Big Mike really showed off that big voice and we’re kinda getting sweet on him.

Alex Lambert – For some reason we can’t quite get with Alex Lambert, despite his shy cuteness and promising talent. Perhaps because he just seems so awkward on stage we wonder if he can ever really make it as a ‘star’ in the music business. This week, however, Lambert pushed out of his shell somewhat performing John Legend‘s “Everybody Knows”. You never know, he might just turn out to be the dark horse this season.

Lee DeWyze – Unlike Alex Lambert, we have really wanted to like this guy from the beginning. Although his performance this week was still pitchy and shaky, it was nice to see him pick a song that fit much better with his voice. We feel he’s got potential in there, but we’re not quite sure he’s ever going to be able to really live up to it.

Win Runner-Up: Tim Urban, for sticking in there and not sucking too badly, despite constantly looking like a fish out of water.

Fail:

Casey James – Why on earth did this boy go and pick Gavin DeGraw‘s “I Don’t Want To Be”? – a song that’s been covered so often that it’s almost painful to hear it yet again? Get some originality dude! Not only is the song totally overdone, but James struggled with the vocals and the whole rendition just fell flat.

Andrew Garcia – It’s not that he was all that terrible doing Morrison‘s “You Give Me Something”. It’s just that honestly we forgot he had even performed minutes after he sang. That, in our opinion, is almost worse than sucking. At least sucking is memorable, we just forgot he existed.

Aaron Kelly – Yet again, poor song choice here. If we have to hear “My Girl” one more bloody time… Simon and Kara might have liked Aaron, but we’re pretty much done with his boring self.

Fail Runner-Ups: John Park, who can’t quite seem to get it together. Todrick Hall, for daring to sing Tina Turner badly. Jermaine Sellers, who abused Marvin Gaye‘s overdone song “What’s Going On” and sounded just plain weird singing it.

Check out more American Idol news and dish over at AmericanIdolNet.com.

>> Previously:  American Idol Disqualified Contestant Chris Golightly Still Fighting to Return

American Idol Replacing Simon Cowell with Ryan Seacrest?

Will American Idol producers keep it in the family when they replace outgoing judge Simon Cowell? Rumor has it AI is considering doing just that by moving host Ryan Seacrest into Cowell’s soon to be vacated seat on the judging panel.

Ryan Seacrest
Ryan Seacrest

According to a report from E! Online, American Idol producers are mulling the idea of replacing Simon Cowell with Ryan Seacrest for the next season of the show. Seacrest would allegedly continue to host the show as well, pulling a crazed double-duty shift.

When asked about the possible switch, an unnamed ‘insider’ reportedly told E! Online “anything is possible. Stay tuned.”

Personally, we’re calling this one as just an idle rumor with no real substance behind it at this point. Ryan Seacrest has done an admirable enough job holding on to his American Idol hosting gig this long. But we’re not really feeling him as a judge.

If American Idol is going to survive the loss of Simon Cowell, producers are going to have to find someone with a lot more star power than Seacrest – and we’re pretty sure they are well aware of it.

>> Previously:  Simon Cowell ‘Very Sad’ About Leaving American Idol