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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 9

'American Idol's Top 9 ninth-season finalists take stage, sing -- again

By Reality TV World staff, 04/14/2010 

Due to last week's "save" of Michael Lynche, American Idol's Top 9 ninth-season finalists all took to the stage once again during Tuesday night's live performance episode broadcast.

This time around, they sang Elvis Presley songs and were mentored by eighth-season Idol runner-up Adam Lambert, who became the first former contestant to return as a show mentor.

The following is Reality TV World's recap of the performance broadcast in the order which the Top 9 finalists sang.  Also included are comments from each of the four judges -- Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell -- as well as any noteworthy additional information about each finalist's performance or comments to Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

On Wednesday night, two finalists be eliminated based on home viewer votes cast immediately following last night's broadcast as the result of last week's save of Lynche.

Crystal Bowersox, a 24-year-old from Elliston, OH who currently resides in Toledo, OH

Song: "Saved"

Randy said: "Every week I know I saw this like a broken record, but dude, that's the way to come out and give it up.  You had energy, it was dope.  You got this whole blues, cool vibe going on -- I thought I was listening to somebody's record.  It could have been the second coming of Bonnie Raitt or something.  I loved it!  Loved it!"

Ellen said: "Yeah, this is going to be a broken record and I'm just so tired of telling you how great you are, I'm going to use this time for [something else] -- are there any birthdays in the audience we should celebrate?  Happy birthday everybody!  Fantastic Crystal."

Kara said: "It's another solid performance from Crystal, it is.  I loved that you picked the lyrics -- [they] were kind of controversial for that time.  I love the up tempo, I feel that your personality comes across more and the switch up and the arrangement gave some drama.  So I think you did some really good things tonight, I do."

Simon said: "Yeah, and that was a lyric I could personally relate to -- the lying, the cheating.  I'm kind of feeling saved.... no, what I loved about that was that you didn't choose an obvious song.  You chose something that suited you, you put your own slant on it, and most importantly you didn't fall into the karaoke trap which a lot of people I think are going to do tonight.  For that reason -- original, sounded great -- congratulations once again, terrific."

Andrew Garcia, a 23-year-old from Moreno Valley, CA

Song: "Hound Dog"

Randy said: "I hate to say this, but Simon Cowell kind of predicted it earlier.  That was definitely not good karaoke.  I didn't like it, I didn't get it at all.  It was pitchy... dude, this is Elvis, one of the greatest ever!  I didn't like it."

Ellen said: "I thought that I wish you had put a little more swagger into it -- you put a little bit into it and I liked how much you changed it.  And I think you needed to do something like this, and I thought you pulled it off.  I liked it a whole lot."

Kara said: "It's Elvis!  You got to own it.  He owned the stage and I felt like the mic was your crutch almost.  You were dragging it around as opposed to opening up and really owning the performance.  There were some nice places where you changed up the melody but I wanted to feel more from that performance.  Swagger -- like you were really up there to be a star and that is your last performance -- and I didn't get that from you."

Simon said: "Andrew, I'm going to have to agree.  I thought it was lazy [and] unpredictable.  And like when you see one of these musicals, there's always the one part in it that no one really wants to see and hear, and that was the part.  It didn't feel like a star performance, and I think all of your coolness has been sucked out of you right now.... I'm sorry, I just really didn't get it."

Timothy "Tim" Urban, a 20-year-old from Duncanville, TX

Song: "Can't Help Falling In Love"

Randy said: "This may surprise you, right -- I actually liked it!"

Ellen said: "You know Tim, the first time I took a shot of tequila I didn't know if I'd like it or not.  Then I took another, and then I took another, then I took another and I really enjoyed it.  That's how I feel about you.  I really enjoyed it -- I can't help falling in love with you, Tim.  I thought that that was beautiful.  Beautiful."

Kara said: "Probably my favorite Tim performance ever.  It was authentic.  Real.  From your heart.  Current singer-songwriter.  And you didn't have to do a lot, you didn't have to move all over the stage because it was that meaningful.  Well done."

Simon said: "Did I see Ryan dancing in the background to that?  That by the way was beautiful, that part, and very well thought out.  You have managed to do from 'zero' to 'hero' in two weeks.  And you know what, you don't need much.  You, the guitar [and] a good song.  Very clean arrangement, you're growing in confidence, and I think that you've taken the advice really, really well from us.  Congratulations."

Lee Dewyze, a 23-year-old from Mount Prospect, IL

Song: "A Little Less Conversation"

Randy said: "You know what I'm loving right now?  The thing that's really in my mind right now is dude, you are definitely in the zone dude!  Another great, amazing performance.  I loved the guitar... the rhythm stuff.  I loved where your voice is.  Very good dude, very good."

Ellen said: "You made that so current, that really sounded like a brand-new song.  And I liked that you're engaging with the audience more, there's more confidence.  Every single time you show more confidence and own that stage.  You get better and better and better."

Kara said: "I've never seen you, ever, go for it vocally like you did tonight.  You really went for it and I loved it.  I mean just rasp, hitting those notes, changing it up.  An intensity that I haven't seen from you.  Only think I wish is a little bit lighter, playful.  That's the only thing.  You get very serious.  But the vocal was fire, it really was."

Simon said: "When you say playful, I mean what do you want, kittens?  [That's] old-fashioned, he's not going to skip around the stage!  It was about nailing the song [and] that was on the money, full stop."

Additional Notes: Kara told Simon he just wanted Lee to be "a little more looser."  "For me that's what I prefer, I wasn't him to be a little looser up there," she insisted.  "Smile a little."

Aaron Kelly, a 16-year-old from Sonestown, PA

Song: "Blue Suede Shoes"

Randy said: "Listen, for me it started off kind of weird, I didn't like the first half.  But when you broke into the halftime, with the whole blues thing, I think fit your voice better that kind of way.  I wish you had done the whole song like that, so it's kind of a half and halfer for me, you know what I mean?"

Ellen said: "Yeah, I thought it was -- you know, of all the songs to pick, [you picked] the most iconic song probably of Elvis' songs.  I thought that was a big song to take on so I have to give an 'A' for effort and I thought you did a really good job.  I didn't think you got all the way there, but I think you did a really good job."

Kara said: "You're out of your comfort zone and I like it.  I really like it.  You seemed younger.  You, I'm sure, had some nerves because you were a little bit scared of the song, and that worked for you.  I think it pushed you, it gave you that growl, it kept you on edge.  And again, it felt more current and young for you and I've been lacking that. so I actually liked it."

Simon said: "I don't think it made you younger.  I think it did the opposite in my personal opinion, because it's a very old-fashioned song, very old-fashioned arrangement.  Look, it was kind of what it was -- which was somebody at a high school doing a concert at the end.... there's nothing wrong with that, within that context.  I think what's frustrating, I think, is that you didn't make it young.  It was very karaoke and unlike Crystal and Lee -- and actually Tim, who kind of did something original -- I think you failed to do that, and it felt like you were sort of dressing up for the part.  So I wasn't crazy about it, I'm afraid."

Siobhan Magnus, a 20-year-old from Barnstable, MA who currently resides in Marstons Mills, MA

Song: "Suspicious Mind"

Randy said: "Alright, so listen, you took some chances, you took a couple of risks tonight.  I mean I kind of liked the whole Supremes-ish intro to the thing, with the whole kind of thing.  It was when you broke into the halftime part, the slower part, is where you really came alive for me and I heard those big vocals.  I've been missing those vocals for a week and I'm happy that they're back.  That girl can sing, right there!"

Ellen said: "You look fabulous, you look great.  And I agree, I liked the second half a lot more than I liked the first half because I really do miss that from you.  I know you're getting mixed messages like 'too much' and 'back off' but that really is what you do best and you really have a beautiful voice.  I really liked it a lot."

Kara said: "I mean I feel like you guys are picking up on this: Siobhan has two voices.  The first part of that performance is one voice and the second is kind of this crazy screaming thing, and it's just getting confusing for me.  It just leaves me... I'm sorry, I wasn't crazy about it... it's just too distinct, too different for me."

Simon said: "To me it was like you were put into a time machine and you came back in 20 years time, that's what it came over.  This was like a completely different person who I'd seen, the way you look.  I thought the first part of the song was terrible and I think even when you hit some of those big notes later on, you didn't actually quite hit the notes this time.  So it sounded to be me, very erratic, very screechy.  And I kind of feel that you've lost who you were two or three weeks ago.  Maybe it's confidence, maybe it was the song, I don't know.  But this was not one of your best performances."

Additional Notes: "Even I can't pinpoint who or what I am, and I've always kind of taken pride in that.  I'm not just one kind of singer or one kind of person," Siobhan told Simon after his comments.  "I mean if I can't even label myself -- I don't think it's necessary to be labeled, I just love to sing."

Michael Lynche, a 26-year-old from Astoria, NY

Song: "In the Ghetto"

Randy said: "The song was a little sleepy for me but this is a singing competition and those were hot vocals baby.  Hot!  Hot!"

Ellen said: "I'm glad we saved you."

Kara said: "It's a beautiful song and you definitely sang it well."

Simon said: "We're running out of time so we haven't got much to say.  But it was a million, billion times better than last week, and one of my favorite performances you've done.  It was a terrific choice of song, congratulations."

Katie Stevens, a 17-year-old from Middlebury, CT

Song: "Baby What You Want Me To Do"

Randy said: "Yo, Katie's getting a little sassy, letting all the vibes out!  Listen, nice vocals, nice vocals.  Very nice. I liked that, I was entertained.  I was like moving -- woo, woo!"

Ellen said: "It was a very horny song -- a lot of horns in it.  A lot of horns in it!  A lot of horns in it!  There were a lot of horns in it.  And you can sing, that was great."

Kara said: "Katie, I think you showed us judges!  I think you just showed us girl!  Good job."

Simon said: "Ah look, for me I just found it very loud and a bit annoying.  Because you know, again -- I just didn't like the song very much.  Look, they liked it so it doesn't matter what  I think, right?"

Casey James, a 27-year-old from Fort Worth, TX

Song: "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"

Randy said: "Alright, so listen, you're definitely in the zone doing your kind of bluesy thing -- your souly, bluesy thing.  Listen, I didn't see anything different but it's another solid performance from you man.  Another solid one."

Ellen said: "I agree.  I love your voice.  You look great, you looked comfortable surrounded by a whole sea of women over there.  It wasn't as I would have like to have seen, but you're always good."

Kara said: "Casey, we know what you're capable of, you have brilliance and that just really fell short for me.  There's so much more to you, I want to see that next week."

Simon said: "Casey, I'm going to call that one -- bearing in mind that this was Elvis -- a wasted opportunity with a song that was completely forgettable.  But your vocal was good." 

The "American Idol" judges don't regret keeping Michael Lynche out of the jailhouse.

The 26-year-old personal trainer from Queens, N.Y., hit the right notes on the Fox singing competition Tuesday with his stripped-down version of Elvis Presley's "In the Ghetto." Lynche previously impressed the panel with a dramatic rendition of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" but received the fewest viewer votes last week and was subsequently saved by the judges.

"It's a beautiful song, and you definitely sang it well," Kara DioGuardi said after Lynche's take on The King.

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