In the round of seven, Idol’s mentor is Alicia Keys, and the theme is “Inspirational Songs.” That’s a tough one. Taking a song to an inspirational level is something that goes beyond just hitting the right notes, the Idols will need to really connect with the audience to pull it off.
Casey starts us off with Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop.” He’s actually a little rough and scratchy on this one.
Ellen says he was good but not great, which is actually true here. They blast him for not showing originality, since his songs all feature him singing in the same style and playing guitar.
That’s the Catch-22 of American Idol. If you don’t put yourself into your performances, the judges say you’re not giving them enough style. If you do and you perform several songs in the same way, then they say you don’t have enough originality.
Lee does “The Boxer.” This is a song he could have easily just done with a guitar, but he goes with the orchestra. Good call here, straight guitar means too much of a comparison to the original. He’s all over the place with this one, but it comes across as heartfelt.
Tim sings the Goo Goo Dolls “Better Days.” It’s a standard not-great Tim performance, and the judges let him know it.
Aaron sings “I Believe I Can Fly.” I don’t believe Aaron can fly. This song was from “Space Jam,” and I don’t think Aaron can even touch the rim. He’s got just the right amount of build-up in this one, and the judges like it, except for Simon.
Siobhan does “When You Believe.” It’s the standard Siobhan performance. Weird outfit, quiet build-up, powerful passage, high note, whispered final chorus. Simon calls her on the strange clothes and says her butterflies were distracting. Simon’s got no patience left, he may have already cleaned out his dressing room.
Mike does “Hero” (from the Spider-Man soundtrack), and the judges are split on it. Strangely, Simon thought it was actually about Spider-Man.
Seriously. Spider-Man. Talk about derailing a conversation.
Crystal’s our closer tonight, with “People Get Ready.” That’s a perfect song for her, and she performs without her guitar. Crystal actually breaks down in tears at the end of the song, which could either help connect her with people, or turn people off. It depends on how the public sees the tears.
Top Three: Lee, Aaron, Crystal
Bottom Three: Casey, Tim, Siobhan
Going Home: Tim?
For more: Check out Reid’s theory on how Adam Lambert is still overshadowing the show, his rundown on Elvis night, his all-sarcasm timelines from the Oscars or the Grammys. Follow Reid at Twitter or on Facebook.