Stones a Beast of Burden for the Top 12

Alternative way to vote: sign a petition to bring Alex Lambert back, like Demi did

Last Updated: March 17, 2010 @ 7:46 AM

The health care crisis. Global warming. The fact that Cadbury Eggs are only available at Easter. With so many gross injustices in the world, you may feel like you can’t make much of an impact. But, there is one pressing social issue on which you can make your voice heard. (And I’m not talking about Bowersox’s dreads — “gross” injustice indeed! Ew…)  

I’m talking about the travesty that was last week’s elimination of poor little Alex Lambert, of course! Thankfully Jessica Bongiorno, graphic designer (and someone with a lot of extra time on her hands), was also angered by Lambert’s elimination and has created an online petition to bring him and his mullet back to the show.
 
Who knows if it will move producers to put a plan into action, but with mentions of the petition in many major outlets and supporters like Demi Moore, former contestant/”Idol Tonight” host Kimberly Caldwell (and me! — I have a lot of extra time on my hands too!) there is no doubt that they are aware of it. Perhaps it will pressure them to employ one of their patented last minute make-the-rules-up-as-we-go Wild Card Rounds? (Fingers crossed!) Sign the petition, and keep an eye out for Alex on this afternoon’s episode of “Ellen!”
 
While Simon & Co. did not acknowledge the elephant in the room that was the absence of Lambert and Lilly Scott, they had plenty to say about the remaining contestants’ takes on the Rolling Stones. I, on the other hand, had to hook up an IV of Mountain Dew to make it to the end of the show. The Top 12 is supposed to be about big things — big stage, big makeovers, big talent. Instead, last night was more like a big letdown.  
 
MICHAEL LYNCHE — “Miss You”
If Lynche didn’t endear himself to you when he chose “Idol” over the birth of his first child, maybe he will win you over with his motherlessness. In fact, when Michael’s mom died, music became his savior. (Tear!) Week after week, Big Mike impresses with his big performances. Last night was no exception, as his funktastic version of “Miss You” had him bouncing all around the stage in a controlled flailing motion. While his vocals are always commendable, it is really his personality that stands out.
 
DIDI BENAMI — “Play With Fire”
I’m relieved that the judges are finally starting to realize what I’ve known all along: this girl’s a star! OK, well she’s as close as you can get to being a star in this underwhelming Top 12. With this song, she showed that she doesn’t need to rely on her guitar (ahem, Crystal Bowersox) and that she is so much more than the pretty girl next door (hi, Katie Stevens!). Benami showed her darker side and it made her sexy. Plus, she really knows how to work that camera. Oh, did I mention that her voice is pretty damn good too? 
CASEY JAMES — “It’s All Over Now”
If being corny were a crime … well then, James would be arrested for a third time. (Cute mugshot!) Casey pulled out the electric guitar again and thankfully it didn’t come off as cheesy as the last time. In fact, the judges seemed to really like it overall but I still don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong. Casey’s pleasant and all — nice voice, good looking guy — but I just don’t see the “it” factor. And that’s something that you either have or you don’t (kind of like an arrest record). Simon seems to agree with me, as he frustratingly told Casey that all he needed to do was “just be a star.” Oooooh, why didn’t you say so in the first place, Cowell?
 
LACEY BROWN — “Ruby Tuesday”
Lacey’s pastor dad said that she lives by the adage “If you remain shy, you’ll miss your destiny.” Or wait. Was it “If you remain seated on the stage, you’ll sound better?” Well, anyway, it was one of those two. Lacey seems like a nice Christian girl, even if the Lord has yet to answer her prayers regarding fashion guidance. (A bustier over a one-shouldered striped shirt?) But Brown is just not the next American Idol. While I really like the quality of her voice when she’s on — and that’s rare — there is still an inauthenticity to it. Who is she imitating? Feist, Regina Spektor or … Lilly Scott? 
 
ANDREW GARCIA — “Gimme Shelter”
I don’t know which part of Andrew’s interview package made me the saddest: his parent’s gang ties, their financial woes or that his dad thought he’d turn out to be a custodian. No wait. It’s got to be the fear his mom seems to have of looking into video cameras. Or of looking at his dad … Or of smiling. Even sadder is the fact that I remember his parents more than I remember his actual performance. Kudos to Andrew for not using his guitar as a crutch but he’s gonna have to step it up if he wants to stand out in this season of mediocrity.
 
KATIE STEVENS — “Wild Horses”
Wild horses couldn’t drag me to the phone to vote for little Katie Stevens. The judges thought that she finally picked the right song but I have to disagree. While she sounded better than she has since the audition rounds, I still felt that this song was too old for her. I mean, Susan Boyle recorded it for the love of Seacrest! What’s next? “I Dreamed A Dream?” There’s a difference between being the star of the high school talent show and being an American Idol. She should go back to singing at family functions in Connecticut. (Who gets an 8-year-old to sing at their wedding anyway?)
 
TIM URBAN — “Under My Thumb”
Urban was going to be a quarterback until he realized that it was never gonna happen because he wasn’t tall enough. Someone needs to work up the guts to tell Tim that his dream to be the America Idol is never gonna happen, either, because he’s not talented enough. None of the judges really “got” this reggae version of “Under My Thumb.” I didn’t think it was that bad, though, and I commend him for trying something different. We’d better get used to him; thousands of votes will undoubtedly go his way, thanks to Vote for the Worst and the tween girl community (not to mention his myriad of siblings).
SIOBHAN MAGNUS — “Paint It Black”
Holy Clay Aiken! For me (and probably you, too), this was the standout performance of the night, maybe even the season. I’m not a big Glambert fan, but Siobhan’s performance was reminiscent of the best parts of his “Idol” run: lighting, stairs and screeching. I don’t know where she came up with this arrangement but I loved it — from the string-heavy beginning that sounded straight out of a Disney movie to the last ten seconds of controlled and utter perfection. Now that my two favorite quirky people were voted off, I’m officially backing Magnus. It doesn’t get much quirkier than this girl. In fact, her whole clan seems like the kind of family who would be perfect candidates on “Wife Swap,” IF you know what I mean. Go Siobhan!
 
LEE DEWYZE — “Beast of Burden”
“What’s always held you back … is your personality.” Wow. I’d rather be told that I was a bad singer than to hear these words from Simon or anyone for that matter. Makes you wanna hang up the guitar and jump off a bridge. (Don’t do it, Lee!) I actually liked this sleepy version of the song and enjoyed Lee’s voice too but this performance was yet another example of why this season has been so underwhelming. While I like the whole singer-songwriter thing, it bores me to see it over and over again from every other contestant. If I wanted that, I’d go to a James Taylor concert, not watch “American Idol.” 
 
PAIGE DAVIS — “Honky Tonk Woman”
It looks like someone took advantage of the makeover team! Paige’s hair and makeup looked amazing, even against her creepy honey-colored contacts. While I wasn’t blown away, I have to say that this was probably Miles’ strongest performance yet. She used the big stage and actually looked like she was — gasp! — having fun. Also getting her brownie points was the fact that she lost her father at a young age. So much more interesting than her past confession of that nasty coloring book habit. If Paige has stayed in the game this long, chances are that she’ll be around for a few more episodes, especially if her confidence keeps blossoming.
 
AARON KELLY — “Angie”
I love that Kelly looks like a singing Haley Joel Osment and that his voice is so pure. Most of all, I love that his mom’s name is Kelly Kelly. What I don’t like, though, is the crazy hip shaking move he performs week after week. Can someone get this kid a choreographer? The judges all lauded his song choice but I felt it was a little too old for him, once again. Of course, in his defense, it was Rolling Stones Week. Maybe I’ll deem his song choice more appropriate during Jonas Brothers Week. That is, if he makes it until then.
 
CRYSTAL BOWERSOX — “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
One person not buying into the antiquated patriarchal belief that a women’s value is measured by her beauty is Crystal Bowersox. In other words, she didn’t get a makeover.  (Stick it to The Man, sister!) Deodorized or not, Bowersox sounded as impeccable as always. Once again, though, it is all a bit too folksy for me. How about a Madonna Week? Then we can really see her range! Bowersox is, of course, the favorite to win but I think that Magnus’ ability to perform many different genres may give her a run for her money.

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