American Idol, You've Got a Way

Here's my Andre-Leon-Talley-approved Idol post from

Well played, Idol.  Just when I thought this was going to be the suckiest suck fest of boredom and suck, you went and delivered an episode that was neither boring nor totally sucky.  In fact, performance for performance, this was probably one of the best weeks of the season.  Of course, it wasn't all popcorn and roses.  There were some bumps along the way.  And I have no idea how I'm going to rank these folks from best to worst, because there are a lot of factors to consider.  (Though I do have a definitive #1 of the night).

Shania Twain proved to be as good a mentor as she was a judge.  I loved her advice to the contestants to treat her song catalogue as if it were their own.  It was sound advice, and I think she genuinely wanted to see them interpret her songs in new ways.  Too bad there's nary a Lambert nor a Kris Allen in the competition.

Here's how your final six fared:

Lee DeWyze ("Still the One"): I thought this was a great choice for Lee.  On paper.  However, I am now convinced that his voice is not made to be tender.  He struggled mightily on the first spare verse.  The lack of accompaniment and the soft dynamics really served to emphasize the weaknesses in Lee's voice.  He worked hard to stay on pitch, and his voice seemed strained.  He found his footing as the song progressed, but he had reverted to his old gravelly ways.  That's not a bad thing, necessarily, it just proves that he doesn't have a lot of vocal range.  I did appreciate how he changed up the melody a bit and how he tried to do something outside of his comfort zone. 

Michael Lynche ("It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing"): Big Mike vexes me.  I'm terribly vexed.  His voice is just unpleasant to listen to.  It's too high, and kind of tinny.  He does things like point to the heavens while he's performing.  He sings with a falsetto that would make dogs howl in pain.  Yet.  This was not a bad performance for The Mike That Is Big.  He always pays attention to the words he's singing, which is commendable (and rare during this Idol season).  The first verse was particularly pleasant.  However.  He still has no place on the radio today.  Unless he manages to really start the post-irony movement I've been contemplating for him.  Then we'd all better watch out because it'll be Big Mike's world and we'll all be lucky if he lets us live in it.

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Tags: American Idol, Recaps, TV

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