Binkys, bananas, and bawling are the order of an another uneven evening.
Kara and Simon engage in annoying arm nudging. Ryan refers to Kara as Simon's "binky." Simon doesn't know what a binky is and it's apparently acoustic guitar night on "Idol" as many of the guys continue this year's unofficial theme of drowsy balladeering.
Like many viewers, I often agree with one or several of the judges to varying degrees. But tonight I went back to listen to three of the performances with my eyes closed to try and figure out the disparity I felt between the judges comments and my own reactions.
Those reactions after the jump.
Was Todrick Hall really as great as the judges thought he was on Queen's "Somebody to Love"? I was with Simon that it was good in parts and that those parts were really good and the bad ones weren't terrible. I also agreed with Ellen that the church-y bits were the best and helped distance him from the mighty, inimitable Freddie Mercury. But this was the peformance that felt desperate to me.
I wonder if Kate Bush is tickled by the crazy love that male R&B singers have shown for "This Woman's Work" - one of my very favorites of hers. I think Michael Lynche benefitted greatly from doing something dynamic at the end of a tepid show. He didn't touch Maxwell, but there were some really strong runs, nice emotional moments, and he ended with a confident flourish. I thought his falsetto veered between excellent and cartoony and that his stage movements were a little much, but he showed range, control, and he was clearly feeling it. And so was a teary Kara.
It was the response to Aaron Kelly that I was most confused by. I thought that Lonestar song was a hot mess from the shaky opening to the wavering pitch throughout to the weird "intense" looks he seemed to be trying to project. Glimmers appeared when he worked the catch in his voice.
I understand Randy's note that the Keith Urban song was a safe choice for Casey James but I thought he sounded great, maybe the strongest from start to finish technically. No, it wasn't a showstopper but it felt honest.
Admittedly, the bar was set very low for Tim Urban but, aside from a couple of stray notes, he didn't sound bad on Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Seriously. Ryan called it the Jeff Buckley version but I don't know. Based on the key alone it reminded me more of Rufus Wainwright. Tim didn't do as much with the song as either of those great singers, or even Jason Castro. But it was definitely his strongest performance yet.
It would seem that the once promising Andrew Garcia has revealed himself as a one-trick-pony with his mellow, acoustic rendition of Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle." What's next, Cher's "Believe"?
I'm still not getting the Lee Dewyze love and that frothy Owl City ditty didn't help. Alex Lambert actually seemed more confident on "Trouble" to me and he sang well but he didn't light any fires. (And Randy needs to hush up if he's going to tell people to make songs slower.)
Elimination predictions: Todrick, I just don't think he did enough, and probably Andrew.
What do you think? Who's going home? Did anybody find themselves loving Todrick? Is Alex in trouble? Do you wish Ellen would drop her awful Alex-as-ripening-banana analogy already? Is Kara turning into Paula with the Simon arm nudging and tears? Would you go see "American Idol: The Broadway Musical"?
(Did anybody catch the ad for the ABC Family movie "The Cutting Edge: Fire and Ice"? Toepick!)
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsKatie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Sarah Rodman is a TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Meghan Colloton is a Things to Do and Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.