Last night's Idol theme was honoring country mega-singer/songwriter Shania Twain (I dare you to say that like Elmer Fudd and not laugh). Not that I don't like Shania, because I think she's got a terrific voice - and any performer that writes their own material gains huge points of respect from me - I'm just not a big country fan. I think she did a great job as our 6 finalist's mentor however. My only chagrin was that since I only knew a few of her big hits, I was unable to judge how every performer put his or her own twist on each song. No biggie though. I actually ended up quite surprised with how all 6 did (more on that in a sec), and felt that overall, it was a mostly enjoyable evening... if not just a bit snoozy. Compared to last season's train wreck of a country night (excepting Adam Lambert's arguably genius version of "Ring of Fire"), I would call it most successful! So let's recap -
Idol Country Night featuring Shania Twain ~ Shania Twain as mentor
1) Lee - "Still the One" - A great song choice for Lee. But I hate to even see myself type this... He didn't do a very good job :( I'm not sure what happened - it was very unlike Lee to be, as Randy would say, so pitchy! Lee was downright off tune, especially in the beginning. Maybe his ear monitor wasn't working? It was really hard to watch. And then I was shocked the judges praised him! I thought they were going to rip him apart! Was it me? I still think Lee has the best male Idol's voice overall though - his version of "the Boxer" still gives me chills.
2) Big Mike - "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing" - I thought this was a lovely song, and that Mike did a beautiful job singing it. He really does connect with the songs he seems to choose very carefully. And that connection is so evident, I think it draws the audience in to connect with him as well. "Wet"? "Girly"? Hardly. I much more agreed with Mike's performance being compared to the great Luther Vandross.
3) Casey - "Don't" - Another very personal song, and Casey did awesome. I know he loves to play a screamin' guitar, but I think Casey is finding out he also has a nice niche to fill in the more raw, acoustic, emotional arena. It seems like when he lets himself be a tad vulnerable, he not only sounds better, but connects with his audience.
4) Crystal - "No One Needs to Know" - Oh Crystal. You all know what a fan I am of hers, but I'll say this: it's the first time I haven't sped to iTunes at 110mph and pre-ordered her song of the week. It was just so... so-so. I probably need to listen to it again. A cute song, and Crystal had a cute reason for singing it. But I don't consider Crystal cutesy. Maybe that's what threw me. It was just okay... and she usually delivers so much more.
5) Aaron - "You Got a Way" - Every single week I wonder what saves this boy. I think he's an awesome kid, I think he's very talented, but I think Idol is way too big for him and can't believe he's made it this far. However. I will be the first to admit that this week he gave a very fine performance. I was very surprised and happy for him.
6) Siobhan - "Any Man of Mine" - Siobhan seems to be the one contestant Idol fans seem to really love or really dislike. Not a bad position to be in really. I happen to think she's got a lot of talent and potential and I think her quirkiness adds just that much more to her appeal. After several weeks of floundering and enduring harsh critiques by the judges, last night seemed to be the night she finally seemed back to herself again. I liked her song choice and I thought she gave a terrific, classic Siobhan performance. I just hope fans picked up the phone.
Do you peeps have a CLUE who will be in the bottom three tonight???
Let alone who's going to have to be sent HOME???
I can hardly make my brain think that way - overall, it was a pretty smooth night for everyone.
Total guess for the bottom three: Aaron, Mike, Siobhan
Ditto for the one sent packing: Aaron
Okay, it's YOUR TURN NOW! Tell me what you think!