Tonight’s remaining Top 6 season 9 American Idol contestants will perform the songs of Shania Twain tonight, with guest mentor … Shania Twain!
Shania did a great job as a guest judge in the early audition rounds, so tonight should be a fun night of music. I’ll see you here at 8 PM ET.
Hard to believe we’re down to the final six contestants. I’m guessing that the final three will end up being Crystal, Lee and Siobhan. Then again, who knows what’s going to happen tonight.
Ryan starts by telling us Idol Gives Back raised $43 million.
Video intro of Shania; gotta love her. She talks about how her songs can cross into any genre. She says it’s a challenge for such a diverse group of singers to sing songs from one artist, and especially having the guys sing a girl’s song.

Lee Dewyze is up first, singing “:You’re Still The One”. Shania first met Lee in his audition in Chicago; she tells him to start just with the piano and add in the guitar. It’s a rough start tonight, as if he started unexpectedly, but he got into the groove in the chorus. He did a little change of the melody, which seems awkward. Randy says this is one of his favorite songs of all time, and he was worried about Lee doing it. He says it started pitchy but Lee found his “sweet spot” and did a pretty good job. Ellen says he always makes the songs sound like his version, and he couldn’t look cuter. Kara says the sound of his voice on every song make it so relevant, and to look at how far he’s come in the competition. Simon agrees with everyone, and it was the perfect song from Shania’s cataloge for him to sing. Kara butts in when Simon says Lee made a few weird faces and Simon’s time runs out. Lee is smiling a lot these past couple of weeks; that week with Adam Lambert really loosened him up.

Ryan announces that tickets to the American Idol tour go on sale in May.
Up next, Michael Lynche singing “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing.” Shania says she was moved to hear him singing her song. Michael starts sitting on the stairs; he’s got such a great voice. This was a nice choice for him. Shot of Shania in the audience; she’s teary and clearly happy. Randy says he’s really a great balladeer, and did a great job. Ellen says she was a tiny bit nervous with him taking on such a big song, but it felt like Luther Vandross singing. That’s a good comparison. Kara said she liked that he didn’t change it too much. Simon says Ellen’s Luther comparison was spot on. But he said the performance was a bit “wet”, as if he was in a musical and explains by saying the song was a “little bit girly for you.” Ryan asks Shania what she felt; she says she’s still teary and it was very emotional and he “really did get me.”
Casey James is up next, singing “Don’t”. Ryan recaps last week’s performance, and asks Casey how he prepared this week. Casey says he didn’t give anyone anything new last week, so he’s only playing rhythm guitar this week and singing more. Shania says he seems like he may be missing a little inner confidence; in the video she sings a little with him. Casey calls this “a singing song, I don’t think I’ve sang yet” and he’s showing another side of himself. He’s soo much better like this; him and the guitar, more singer/songwriter, less cover band. He’s really, really good tonight. Wow. Didn’t know he had it in him. Shania gives him a “woo!” Randy says it’s one of his best performances ever. Ellen says he sang it like that where he belongs, says it was his best to date. Kara says he didn’t hide behind his guitar, he was vulnerable, and he’s at the front. Simon says last week was a much needed wake up call because he didn’t seem like he was taking part in a competition. Simon says it was his best performance so far, and it didn’t feel like somebody else’s song. Then he says he needs to go give Shania a hug and kiss, and he does. She’s so happy for the contestants. Casey earned your votes tonight, that’s for sure.
And as Ryan says, “We’ve got ourselves a competition.”
Crystal Bowersox is singing “No One Needs to Know Right Now”. Crystal says Shania has this aura of positive energy and she glows. Shania says Crystal needs to remind herself how the song applies to her life; Crystal says it’s a song to her boyfriend, hints here and there, adding, “He’ll man up one of these days.” Crystals got a little country band backing her up, Love it. LOVE it. Crystal is always so spot on, no matter the song or genre. Randy says he kind of loves the whole Nicklecreek thing, but it’s not his favorite but he’s glad somebody did a country thing. Ellen says there’s nothing she can’t do, it’s not her favorite performance but that’s like says it’s your least favorite color of a rainbow. Kara agrees; she says it’s almost impossible for Crystal not to be good. It wasn’t her best but she’s always good. Simon says, “Shocker, we don’t like Crystal this week,” He says it’s limp, lacking conviction, and kind of like when they hire a band to sing in a coffeeshop when you don’t want them to. He calls it forgettable compared to the others. Crystal says it isn’t such a big song, but “bigger isn’t always better,” and points out her boygriend in the audience as proof of conviction.
Aaron Kelly is singing “You’ve Got A Way”. Shania says he seems preoccupied with hitting the notes and he needs to know they already love him. Aaron is sitting on a stool, backed by piano. Aaron sings it well, but it seems a little shaky and lacking in believability. Not one of his best performances. Randy says he did a really good job. Ellen says it’s going to be tough this week because everyone did so well; she says he sang it with conviction despite his age. Kara says he changed a line, “When we make love” and she appreciated that, because it wasn’t appropriate. He says he was singing the song to his mom. Simon says the last two weeks Aaron’s struggled but tonight he was like a different artist, and says this is the kind of record Aaron should make, calling it believeable. What did I miss??
Closing out the show, Sioghan Mangus is singing the song that was Shania’s first #1 Country hit, “Any Man of Mine.” Shania tells Siobhan she always looks so beautiful. Shania says the song is all about attittude, and Siobhan needs to put some attitude in those words when she sings them. Siobhan sings it well enough, I guess, but the attitude seems a bit put on. She walks around into the audience during her performance. I don’t love this, but of course everyone will say it’s great because she screeches out that big note at the end. Randy says he loved it, loved it. Ellen it was fantastic. Kara says, “Guess who’s back? Siobhan!” Simon says he really, really liked that song, thought the screaming at the end was a little too much, like she was giving birth. Again, what did I miss, because I didn’t love that.
Recap: Loved Lee, thought he put a great Lee spin on a great song; Big Mike sang great, very Luther Vandross style; Casey was fantastic tonight; Crystal was fun and sassy and great as always; Aaron warbled out a ballad, I didn’t love it but everyone else did; Siobhan screeched out another big note but I think her performance fell flat.
But what did you think about tonight’s performances?
Tomorrow, we’ll find out who’s going home, with performances by Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebelum and … Shakira? Really? Can’t we have one week without trashy crap? Sigh.
American Idol season 9 auditions and recaps – complete list of posts
American Idol season 9 Chicago auditions with guest judge Shania Twain
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