Tonight the remaining Top 9 Idol contestants perform live – again. Last week the judges opted to save Big Mike Lynche, so tonight all 9 will perform again, and two contestants will go home tomorrow.
We’ll see the performances tonight, with guest mentor Adam Lambert.
Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Slezak talked to Idol producer Ken Warwick, who had this to say about Adam Lambert when asked if bringing the Idol finalist back would shake things up a bit:

“I sincerely hope so. Because the guy is an incredible talent, and he had an incredible following. And it kind of upsets me that at the moment he’s not doing quite as well… [Pauses.] I don’t know what possessed him to do what he did at the AMAs, but he’s still struggling to live it down.”

To which Vote For The Worst commented, “Number one: Adam Lambert does not have talent. And number two: Adam Lambert will continue to fail regardless, so he might as well enjoy the one modest radio hit he’s had and fade back into obscurity (or become a tabloid staple.”
So what do you think about those comments?
And on to tonight’s show!

We’re at a point in the competition where talent means less than popularity. If a contestant goes home, it simply means they have less fans on the show.
Tonight’s theme: Elvis. We watch the Idols visit Vegas to see Cirque du Soliel, and hear Ryan talk about how Adam Lambert continues to “fascinate” audiences. “Fascinate.” That’s one way to spin … er … say … it. Adam Lambert meets the contestants in Vegas to give some constructive criticism.
They act like he’s a god of music industry or something. Ryan points out that Adam is the first contestant to come back to mentor the contestants, which makes you wonder what agenda the Idol producers have with the choice. Lambert is a better choice for Idol-returning-as-guest-mentor than Kelly Clarkson? Carrie Underwood? David Cook? Chris Daughtery?

Adam says if he was on the show tonight he’d sing the song Tim is singing tonight, “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”
Crystal Bowersox is up first, singing “Saved.” She says she connected with the song because of it’s gospel and blues sound. Adam tells her to use the electric guitar and let her dreads down and toss ’em around a little bit. She went with the electric guitar but kept the dreads up. Randy says it was “dope” and loves the cool blues vibe and says she could be the second coming of Bonnie Rait. Ellen says fantastic. Kara says another solid performance, says she loved that controversial lyrics of the song for its time. Simon says it was a line he could personally relate to, haha. He says he loved that she didn’t choose an obvious song, she chose a song that suited her, and she didn’t fall into the karaoke trap.
I find it ironic, given all of the Christian/gay hoopla from last season, that the night that Adam is guest mentoring, Crystal sings an old timey gospel song. Just one of those things that jumped out at me during the break.
Andrew Garcia is up next. Last week, he was in the bottom two, and this week he’s going to hope it doesn’t happen again with “Hound Dog.” Adam tells him it’s boring and he needs to step his game up. He adds a little bouncy, jazzy beat but it’s still boring. It’s jazz karaoke. I mean, “Hound Dog?” Of the entire Elvis catalog, that’s the only song he could pick and “make his own.” He seems happy and the audience is all screamy. Randy says Simon was right and it was terrible karaoke. Ellen says she wishes he put more swagger but he pulled it off. Kara says he needed to own the stage and the mic was his crutch; there were some nice places where he changed up the performance. Simon says it was lazy, predictable, and like a musical where there’s that one part no one wants to hear; he says all of Andrew’s coolness has been sucked out.
Tim Urban is up next, and Adam Lambert already let out that he’s singing “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Oh, look, that’s Ryan’s mom in the audience! Nice. OK, so Adam actually likes Tim, calling it pretty. Adam says he pushes him out of his comfort zone at the end, so let’s see. Just Tim – or as Ryan called him, Turban – and his acoustic guitar, “showing off his romantic side.” You know what? This is lovely. Nothing earthshattering. Oh look, Ryan is dancing in the audience with someone (who turns out to be Michael Sarver). OK, that performance was more than worthy of another week in the game, Tim. Very good job. Randy says he actually liked it – as if it’s a shock that he could like Tim. Ellen says the firs ttime she took a shot of tequila she didn’t know if she’d like it, then she took another, and another and another and she liked it. That’s how she feels about him. She says she can’t help falling in love with him. Kara called it her favorite Tim performance ever. Simon says, “You’ve managed to go from zero to hero in two weeks.” He says he’s getting more confident, he’s good with just him and guitar.
Lee Dewyze is up next, with “A Little Less Conversation” and Adam says there’s nothing going on on his face visually but he sounds awesome. He tells him to smile more. Lee seems to be loosening up a bit; he seems a little more confident, his facial muscles seem less tense. And he sounds great. I still think this could be a Lee and Crystal finale. Great job, Lee! Randy says he’s in the zone, calling it an amazing performance. Ellen said he made it so current and he was more engaged with the audience. Kara says she never saw him go for it vocally like he did tonight; she says she was a little more playful. Oh brother, Kara. Simon asks if she wants kittens, and says he’s not going to skip around the stage. Simon says it was all about nailing the song, and it was “on the money, full spot.” Lee says it helped a lot to have Adam tell him to smile, and he realized he needed to let people know that he’s having fun and loving the show.
Aaron Kelly is singing “Blue Suede Shoes.” Adam says he underestimated Aaron’s voice, and he tries to get Aaron to just break out and let go. Aaron says the song is probably wrong in every way for him but he’s going to go out and have a great performance. That’s not very encouraging. He starts by walking down the stairs. Aaron has a great voice, and he seems comfortable walking around the stage, going up to the judges. But it all comes off a bit … theme park, as Simon might say. I mean, Aaron just can’t pull off the swagger that goes with that song. But he sounds great, especially for a song that he didn’t think was really right for him. Aaron says he didn’t think the song was right because of one of the lyrics. Randy says the song was OK but got good when he broke into the blues. Ellen says it was a big song to take on, and he did a good job even if he “didn’t get all the way there.” Kara says that she likes that he’s out of his comfort zone. She says his nerves worked for him and it felt current. Simon says he thinks the opposite of Kara, and that it was like a high school concert, and there’s nothing wrong with that in the context but it was karaoke and it felt like he was “dressing up for the part.” That’s a good way to put it.
Siobhan Mangus is up next. Ryan talks to Siobhan about how she’s a true Elvis fan; she even wrote a paper on him in school. She says she admires his rags to riches story. She’s singing “Suspicious Minds.” Adam says “she’s got the pipes” but it’s sleep and needs a little more fire under it. So he has her sing it a little faster. Siobhan gushes to Adam about how she’s been compared to him. She sounds good, she’s hitting the notes, but there’s something a little bit reserved about it, like she’s on a cruise ship or something? OK, when it slowed down and she was able to give it a little bluesy vibe it’s much better. Randy says he kind of liked “the whole Supremes-ish” thing. He liked the slower part better. Ellen says Siobhan looks fabulous and agrees she liked the second half better, too, but she liked it a lot. Kara says Siobhan’s two voices confuse her. Simon says the first part of the song was terrible, and says she didn’t even hit the notes the second part, calling it a bit screechy. Siobhan says even she can’t label herself so she doesn’t think it’s necessary for anyone else to. I get what she’s saying, but the sad truth is that commerical music is all about the labels, and very little about the art. The thing is, Siobhan has a beautiful voice, but she also has this crazy, screaming voice, and the two really don’t meld well together. Just my opinion. I like the bluesy voice, but not the screeching.
Reminder: next week is Idol Gives Back. Ryan will emcee from the theater, and Bryan Dunkleman … hahaha … Queen Latifah will be in Pasadena hosting that stage.
Michael Lynche is singing “In The Ghetto”, and Adam tells him to pick it up a bit. Big Mike says he’s hesitates to do that because he gets the comments from the judges about being theatrical. So Mike is sitting tonight, playing his acoustic guitar. I’m glad he didn’t take Adam’s advice to pick up the tempo. It’s nice, the little soul vibe he gave it was nice, not groundbreaking. Randy says his vocals were hot. Ellen says she’s glad they saved him. Kara says it was beautiful. Simon says they’re running out of time for comments, but it was a terrific choice of song and million billion times better than last week.
Katie Stevens is up next, singing “Baby What Do You Want Me To Do?” Adam tells her to show that anger or frustration she has about the judges’ confusing comments. He says she needs to “make us believe it.” I think Katie has a great voice, and I like her sassy attitude. She sounds great tonight; but I agree that she needs to loosen up her body a bit. Vocally, I think she has it all over Siobhan. That’s just me, though. Randy says “Katie’s getting a little sassy,” and says he has nice vocals. Ellen says it was “a very horny song,” referring to the horn section on stage with her. Haha. And adds, “Man, you can sing. That was great.” Kara says she showed the judges. Simon thought it was loud and annoying and he didn’t like the song, but adds that the audience liked it so it doesn’t matter what he thinks.
Casey James closes out the show with “Miss Clawdy “a bluesy song that fits Casey’s voice well. Casey seems to really have found his groove in this competition, picking songs tht fit his guitar playing and stage vibe. Randy says he’s in the zone, and it was … and oh rats, i somehow just erased everything I just wrote. Rats.
Basically the judges didn’t think Casey did anything new tonight.
I think Adam gave some good advice – he certainly helped Lee loosen up. But I think he gave Siobhan some bad direction.
So who’s going home tomorrow? I hate to say it, but I think Andrew and Big Mike are going to be right back in the bottom two.
But what do you think? How did Adam Lambert do as guest mentor? And who do you think is going home tomorrow?
American Idol season 9 auditions and recaps – complete list of posts
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