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

American Idol 9, March 16 – Making the Stones Seem Young Again


Aaron Kelly is from Sonestown, Pennslyvania with about fifty houses and one stoplight. His mom is credited as being an influence on him. She mentions legally adopting Aaron when he was 5, and even though he’s not her biological son, he is her son. He’s the only one that sings in the family and says his mom can’t sing at all. This has been his passion since he was about 9. He sang in a talent show, and it still blows his mom away. Aaron sings Angie tonight from Adam’s steps and I started to do an eye roll on this choice, but I have to admit it’s not bad. It allows him the use of his voice. Although I don’t think this young guy understands fully the emotions he’s singing about. But the sound is great.

Randy tells Aaron his mom was right that he was absolutely born to sing. He loves the tender moments in his voice, and it was almost like a little Justin Timberlake thing in it. Ellen asks Aaron if he’s trying to do his hair like her, then says she thought it was such a great choice for him, and next to Siobhan, it’s one of the two performances that stood out tonight so far.

Kara admits she beat Aaron up last week, but he showed her tonight. When he connects the feeling, and it’s coming from him, it’s powerful. Smon has to admit he did fear for him hearing it was Stones week, but he choise absolutely 100% the right song. He didn’t quite get where Randy was hearing Justin, but what he did cleverly was sing the song within the limits of his vocal. He hasn’t got a big voice, but it was in tune and believable, and one of his strongest performances. Aaron says the whole experience was a little difficult in the beginning, but later in the week he started to get the hang of it.

Up last tonight is Crystal Bowersox, who grew up in a rural area of Ohio. Her dad was always supportive of her music and would drive her from gig to gig, carrying her equipment, then watch her play. She started writing at 10 years old and says it definitely comes from childhood and teenage experiences. Her dad thinks she puts her heart and soul into it and mentions he got to be in a song she wrote early on with a refrain that says “Daddy, I love you.” She knew when she touched the guitar that she was born to do this, and it hasn’t changed since she was 10. Tonight she’s singing You Can’t Always Get What You Want, and she walks out onstage already stumming her guitar. She’s just … performance ready, unlike many of the others. She takes it right back to the Stones’ roots in bluesy rock. She should have soared in this genre, and she does.

Randy doesn’t think it was Crystal’s best perfromance, but says he loves her, as she’s always great, and he’s always excited to see what she’s going to do. She didn’t disappoint today, and he still loves her. Ellen says she sings with such ease, and it’s so effortless as she’s so born to be onstage. What she’s been missing from Crystal, which she saw a little bit of tonight is personality. She started adding a little tonight and being playful. Crystal adimts she was thinking too much, and Ellen says everyone should stop thinking. Amen.

Kara agrees and says she’s so comfortable, it was like she was starting to think she had this, but tonight she loosened up. It wasn’t her best vocal, but it shows her comforability and is so easy to watch. Crystal explains her overthinking is because she has a lot of her mind, like the show, her family, and wasn’t in the right zone to just let it out. Simon says the interesting thing is that she came out 100% the clear favorite, but for the first time was beaten by someone, Siobhan, who Crystal admits was amazing. Crystal clears it up and says she hasn’t tought she had the competition in her pocket, but she appreciates Simon thinking she did. She also shows Ryan her momento for Lilly Scott. She’s wearing a feather to match LIlly’s earrrings in one of her braids.

For a grop that has been called the least exciting, I think they all did fairly well, considering the genre. It doesn’t seem like a tough genre, but to use one of their favorite words, the Stones are so stylized. And it would be hard to take that on and not try to duplicate, yet set your own feel to it, yet not totally denigrate it. They just might end up surprising us this year!

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