It's Soul and R&B night and Usher is here to mentor the Idols. He asks their permission to be brutally honest. He tells them he wants to help them, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Usher only really wants to help Usher.
The camera pans the audience where we find Usher and his bodyguard chewing gum. What's up with the mentors and their love of gum this season? Regardless, I'm so glad that the bodyguard is there because the teens sitting behind Usher look menacing. Not.
First up - Siobhan Magnus. She's singing Though the Fire and after hearing her sing, Usher comments on her fashion sense (or lack thereof). And now that I'm seeing her on the big stage, I'm thinking that Usher didn't quite drive that point home. She looks a little bit like Hermes, the great messenger of the gods. He wore similar boots, but his had wings on them so he could fly. Siobhan is not flying, she is dying. This is the worst I've ever seen (or heard) her. Randy likes the way she looks. Of course he does.
There's a new Idol twist this week...after the commercial break the camera follows the Idol wannabees backstage after hearing their critique from the esteemed panel of judges. We see Siobhan making a bee-line for the snack table to drown her sorrows. And Big Mike is right behind her. Go figure.
Casey James is up next and he's singing I'm Coming. Casey looks good (no need for Usher to help with the fashion) and sounds good.
Usher tells Big Mike how to project and connect with the audience. I'm getting the feeling that Usher hasn't watched American Idol this season. And I'm getting the feeling that Usher is quite pleased with himself. There is not a humble bone in this man's body. As for Mike, he can project all he wants, bottom line is that this song, Ready for Love, is putting me to sleep. B-o-r-i-n-g.
Didi Benami is having a breakdown. So what else is new? She's always crying about something. Tonight it's the song What Becomes of the Broken Hearted that puts her over the edge. Usher thinks the audience will like that fact that she wears her heart on her sleeve. Present company excluded. Didi takes the stage and gives us all a good reason to cry. Horrible performance. She looks bad, she sounds bad, she is bad.
Tim Urban is singing Sweet Love and Usher asks Tim to sing it to him as if Usher is the person that Tim is in love with...um...awkward much? It seems that Usher is all about making the connection. So, Tim looks into Usher's eyes and sings, "With all my heart I love you baby..." Really, really awkward. And a lot of good it does, because when Tim gets up on stage, his performance is an abomination.
- Randy says he sounds like a singing waiter with no vibe and no swagger. This might be the best critique Randy's given all season.
- Ellen says that he moves as if he is sneaking into a bedroom. And she's spot on.
- Kara thinks it's a cross between Broadway and Vegas. And she, too, is spot on.
- And Simon says the reason Tim laughs all the time is because it doesn't matter what the judges say, he'll be back next week.
And he should be...for comedic purposes.
Andrew Garcia tells Usher that he's singing Chris Brown's Forever. Finally. Finally, Andrew redeems himself.
- Yo, yo, yo...lots of yo's....and then an "Andrew is Back!" from Randy.
- Ellen says it is a strong performance.
- Kara says it's one great leap in the right direction.
- And Simon, while he likes the performance, tells Andrew he is boring and needs to work on getting a personality.
Enter, stage left, Andrew's mother to the rescue. (Usher would have his hands full trying to talk fashion with Mrs. Garcia.) She tells Simon that Andrew is not boring and I think Andrew is about to have a heart attack as he pleads with his mama to be nice.
Katie Stevens tells Usher that she met him once at Epcot, but his gum-chewing bodyguard wouldn't let her take a picture. Katie sings Chain of Fools and does a fine job, but she's an old fart trapped in a teenage body.
As soon as I hear that Lee Dewyze is going to sing Treat Her Like a Lady, I know that we are in for a treat. This is by far the best of the evening. He sounds great, he looks great. He's my fave, for sure. Simon tells him to go back and watch the performance because this is the night his life may have changed forever. Now that is some serious kudos.
Even Crystal couldn't surpass Lee tonight. She comes close, but no cigar. She's singing Midnight Train to Georgia behind the piano instead of a guitar. She looks good and sounds good, but I think she is a little uncomfortable in stilettos behind a piano. She's better barefoot and strumming a guitar.
And the last person to let Usher show us how great he (Usher) is, is Aaron Kelly. He sings Ain't No Sunshine and it ain't nothing special. But there's no chance he's going any where this week.
Ok, roll the tape. I'm going to choose one or two words that sum up the performance.
1) Sioban: bizarre
2) Casey: suave
3) Mike: Shrek
4) Didi: bottom three
5) Tim: super freak
6) Andrew: redeemed
7) Katie: contrived
8)Lee: American Idol
9) Crystal: oozes talent
10) Aaron: just ok
Bottom Three: Didi, Tim and Katie. Who's going home? My money is on Didi. And I bet you anything....she cries.