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"American Idol" Top 8 Men Performances

By admin Published: March 10, 2010

In-progress notes after the jump. I hope you did not miss Michael Lynche's show closer.

Ellen not on Simon's lap tonight, but Ryan asks why Kara and Simon are sitting so close to each other. Lame banter ensues.

Lee Dewyze. "Fireflies." Owl City. With guitar. Like his voice OK but he has his limits, and they show. Mellow, I suppose, but it makes me tired. C. Randy thinks it was a strange song choice but he worked it out. Ellen drops an adorable on him, but like Randy notes pitch problems. Kara thinks he made it a better song. Simon says nothing to rave about but likes Lee's progress on the show.

Alex Lambert, "Trouble." Is there a dog? No, just a guitar. And Alex. Another singer better when not watched. His eyes are so dead. And he's adding nothing to the song. C. Randy likes the song choice but he wasn't wowed. Ellen boos Randyl calls Alex a "mooshy banana," ripening so fast. Kara says he has a lot but he is stiff and not being himself onstage. Simon agrees; "you've kind of got yourself mentally somewhere else" and never relaxes.

There is so much chatter here they are already in danger of running too long.

Tim Urban, doing "Jeff Buckley's version of 'Hallelujah.' " By Leonard Cohen, Ryan could have added. Oh, so weary of covers of this. He sings it well, I just don't need to hear another version. But he's really going to get by on those cutie-pie looks. B minus on the vocal, docked to C plus for the song choice. Randy says he did a pretty good job. Ellen goes onstage, hugs Tim and tells him it was fantastic. Kara thinks he may be at the top of the boys. Simon thought he was "very, very smart" -- not the best version Simon has heard but good for Tim and Tim's strongest performance so far.

Andrew Garcia. Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle." Admits he's going back to something that works. But it's also a trick he's done before. Still, he sounds OK at first. Then slips. And the chorus is kind of blah; the trick's not working. But maybe he can get a job opening for the Dan Band. C. Randy thought it was a good idea that "didn't work for me" and the song felt as it was three notes. Ellen thought it was a great song choice but that he really only surprised people at the end. Kara says he peaked so early and has been chasing it ever since, and he was fighting with the rhythm of the guitar; "it just wasn't great." Simon is "kind of with Kara a little bit" and this was "a little bit desperate."

Now completely psyched for "Iron Man 2." OK, was already psyched but now I know I should be.

Casey James. Keith Urban's "You'll Thin of Me." Another guitar. And such odd hair. Another song that brings out the Bob Seger in his voice. But Seger gave us "Night Moves." Casey is giving us ... not much. C. Randy wants edgier, thought it was safe. Ellen thought it was great. Wow, it's really her inner-Paula night. Kara is "kinda back on the Casey train." Better than a week ago but "missing that spark." Simon says it wasn't as good as week one but better than last week, but not memorable.

Aaron Kelly. Lonestar's "I'm Already There," continuing, as Ryan says, the country genre. Way too much quaver in Aaron's voice at first. But he's basically built for the Archie crowd; young, vulnerable, doing big songs. Only Archie has a bigger voice. This is kind of herniated. Still, C-ish. Randy thought it was really good especially when he hit his power zone in the middle. Ellen loves him and his confidence but thought it was "a little too much song for you." Kara loves him, too, but the song isn't relevant to AK because it's about a man calling his kids. Simon thinks what Kara said is "complete and utter rubbish" and it was "the right type" of song for Aaron, even though "it wasn't a great vocal." And he worries about confusing contestants with too many you-can't-do-this comments.

Todrick Hall. Queen, "Somebody to Love." This worries me. And the first notes don't make me any more comfortable. But I'm getting to like the gospel turn in it. Only he's uneven vocally -- good when he kicks it up, but talking the verse more than singing it. I fear the judges will love it. I don't. Would it have been better if he had had more time? Dunno. C plus. One singer left and I am once again thinking they should send the men home and give the women the show. Randy says "Todrick is back" and it's one of the best vocals he's heard the last couple of weeks -- with this codicil: "by a man." Ellen thought he went in and out of it "but man, you're great." Kara thought it was good singing but there were moments when she thought about laughing. Simon thought it was good in parts but he has told them he is "a Broadway singer." But after boring performances by guys with guitars, "it may have saved you."

"Big Mike" Lynche to close. "This Woman's Work." Ah, Maxwell. And Big Mike tearing it up. Best performance of the last two nights. Very likely iTunes buy. Damn. A. Randy says "Really?" He's going to call Maxwell about it -- and exults over the last note. Ellen says "Oh, my God, that was so beautiful. ... You are the one to beat now." Kara cried: "You were amazing." Simon says "this was so needed tonight. ... You 100 percent nailed it." Calls it best performance of the live shows so far.

And I do not remotely disagree. This is one of those times when you go, that's why I sit through so much crap on this show. And it make me all the more sure of all the C's I've been assigning of late -- because Big Mike made everyone else look so mediocre.

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