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Casey James’ Idol Moment

In Television on April 8, 2010 at 12:23 am

Top 9’s Lennon-McCartney theme uncovers better, if not the best, performances in weeks.

 

For the first time in weeks, I enjoyed Tuesday’s Top 9 Performances like I used to enjoy American Idol. Why? No one sucked for a change. Everyone was great, with a few minor glitches. There goes the new standard for a good show.

This article is, however, is dedicated to Casey James whom I haven’t found compelling aside from his dashing soap opera-ish looks -  until this performance. It was honest, raw, and a head-turning standout. Anyone who hasn’t paid attention to him must have looked up and listened.  Leave it to a gorgeous guy to pretend like he’s heartbroken and you have a winner. Casey, in fact, confirmed this when Ryan Seacrest asked who or what he was thinking about while singing his version of Lennon’s Jealous Guy. "I was thinking about being a jealous guy," he quipped matter-of-factly, to which Seacrest came back with “It was believable.”

 

 

The judges were thoroughly impressed by this "other side" to Casey and the highest compliment, of course, comes from the voice of reason Simon Cowell, crowning it as the best performance of the night. I have to agree. With Crystal Bowersox’s number a bit too predictable, Casey did win the night on account of the Wow factor.

Siobhan Magnus redeemed herself only to an extent, with a note of disappointment from the judges for being a bit "sleepy" (Randy Jackson) and not sounding like something one would hear on the radio (Kara DioGuardi). Nevertheless, I thought her version of Across The Universe was beautifully dark and poetic in a way that only she can pull off. I was just about to take her off my dark horse list, but seems like she’s still in there for now.

 

Michael Lynch performed Eleonor Rigby in an arrangement leaning towards R&B – that was too much for my taste, but I see how it worked for him and how the judges thought it was a great performance. He is believable and is confident enough to stick to his guns (no pun intended) and doesn’t confuse the audience as to what kind of artist he is. That’s all good – but again, I’ve never been completely sold on Big Mike. There are a lot of R&B artists out there right now, and I don’t see anything new he can offer.

Tim Urban deserves more credit, but not too much. Tonight the judges did just that, commending his wholesome and endearing performance of All My Loving. There is no doubt Tim can carry a tune, but on Idol, that’s just not enough. With more evolved artists-to-be like Crystal Bowersox and Casey James, Tim would be lucky to make it as far as the Top 5. I wouldn’t get my hopes up, though.

 

Katie Stevens is “blossoming” according to the judges. She sang the staple choice Let It Be with enough sincerity and competence. This is the second performance that I saw Katie’s emotional presence on stage, the first one on Rolling Stones week when she sang Wild Horses. I think for someone who is still trying to figure out her identity, she should be safe in sticking to simple arrangements and investing on her vocal skills. She is much too young to be thinking about gimmicks such as Crystal’s didgeridoo and Lee’s bagpipes.

Andrew Garcia tried his luck one more time with his version of Can’t Buy Me Love, but it didn’t pick up where he left off with last week’s more relevant performance of Chris Brown’s Forever. This arrangement, however, “drowned” his voice and ruined the acoustic vibe he so desperately clings to every time.

My guess on who’s going home? The last one mentioned is always the least worth mentioning, hence, the most likely to lose votes. Yes, Andrew, it might be you.

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