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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 9, Feb. 24 – Song Choice, Song Choice, Song Choice!


Here’s Casey James, 27, Forth Worth, TX. His audition was a little bit crazy with Kara asking him to unbutton his shirt. He’s kind of embarrassed at the attention he gets from Kara, but also thinks it’s flattering. He’s going to pick some people to sing to tonight, and it very well could be Kara. He sings Heaven tonight, and he has a little bit of a makeover on his hair. Still long, but more stylized. Randy helps Kara wave along to the song. It’s a good performance, but isn’t anything on top of what Bryan Adams has done with it. His look is going to carry him through until he has more of a defining performance.

Kara tells Casey she doesn’t recognize him with his shirt on, then says it was hard to listen to it, because she’s married. She thought he got a little pitchy when she was in his arms in the chorus. She passes it off to Ellen, who says it was hard for her to hear, as she could feel Kara undressing him with her eyes. She thought he sounded great, though, and she knows he’ll get votes like crazy. Randy tells him from one dude to another, knowing they’re both models, he actually really likes him and it was a great song choice for him. He likes his swagger and likes him, but not in that way.

Kara gets more serious, saying Casey is eye candy, but is also ear candy. He’s noticed for his looks first, but she doesn’t care as he can still sing and play very well, with heart and soul. Simon believes they were both cursed with good looks. Somehow Casey has to manage the talent thing as well. All the kidding aside, though, what he likes about him was that he chose the right song and came over honest and sincere and likable, and obviously the “cougar” loves him. This is the best singing he’s heard from him so far. Ryan gets in on the fun, cracking that looking at the schedule, tomorrow is results, and Friday is Kara’s HR meeting, a two-hour live event.

The last to perform is Andrew Garcia, 24, of Moreno Valley, CA, a musician and stay-at-home dad. The most emotional part of Hollywood was the end when he made it. He tried to keep his cool, but it was so emotional . He feels like music is the only thing he’s good at and the only thing he knows he’s good at. He sings Sugar We’re Going Down, playing along on his guitar. This song has a different, complex beat, that requires different phrasing, and Andrew nails it with a natural ease. This guy is comfortable and makes us feel just as much so. He’s also the only one to nail the falsetto tonight.

Simon was looking forward to hearing Andrew more than anyone else, but was disappointed. It was too serious, too indulgent, and not original enough. When he sang Paula Abdul’s song in Hollywood, it made him stand out as interesting, quirky, and original. It was a risk, but tonight he didn’t take a risk, making him think it was forgettable. Simon thinks Andrew has a great story and a fantastic recording voice, but he wants him to do better. Kara thinks Andrew took the risk, but it was a strange rendition, one that isn’t meant to be played. She likes that he takes chances, and says Paula’s song bought him some time.

Randy agrees with the other judges, saying the arrangement was strange, but he’s a fan, as he still remembers the Paula thing too. Ellen agrees with all, saying Straight Up will carry him, and as a fan, if she was at home, she’d be glad to see him there. When he shined was when he looked at his girlfriend/wife, and that’s when he came out of himself. Like Simon said, Andrew was too serious, but opened up once he saw her. That’s what they want. Andrew notes he picked Straight Up because he had fun with it, but he had fun with this one too.

Predictably, it was as we figured on the night. Again, who I’m remembering on the night is Michael Lynche, Lee Dewyze, Casey James, and Andrew Garcia. i wold have remembered Andrew regardless, as he’s that kind of performer to me, but he was also last, so hard to forget just yet. What helps Casey, Andrew, and Michael is they have big stories from earlier i the season to keep them around. Lee doesn’t have that, but I feel he was up there with the big Dawgs tonight.

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