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

American Idol 9, Mar. 23 – Favorite Pens and Magic Carpets


Several fans out there aren’t too excited about Miley Cyrus as a guest mentor. They’re questioning if she could really be of help. I can see her being of help to some of the lesser experienced and younger performers, but the others, not so much. They’ll be singing Billboard #1 hits tonight, and that’s something Miley does have some experience in. So does her dad.

Randy Jackson talks about how big of a night it is, saying whoever doesn’t do well tonight, could miss out on the opportunity of making the tour, as only the final ten make the tour. Ellen has a quick message about voting. You can’t assume people are going to stay, you have to vote, as sometimes people go home that shouldn’t. Kara DioGuardi talks more about every song having a story, saying that as a performer you have to understand that.

Simon, for the first time, thinks Kara has a point, and says he has seen the light. Ryan thinks we’re sitting very close to Simon’s heart with his v-neck. Maybe a little too close. Simon makes sure he doesn’t get too close this time. Ellen allows Ryan close to her and even gets a little kiss. Simon compares tonight to the lottery, saying it’s like if you need six numbers on a lottery ticket and only getting five. If you don’t go on the tour, you lose a lot of money and it would also be damaging your career.

The Idols all get anxious to see who the guest mentor will be and seem excited to see Miley. Ryan points out she’s only 17, but has a lifetime of experience. She notes she’s always the youngest, and at 17 has an idea what to feel. People take her seriously while she also takes herself seriously. She loves being here with the Idols and wants to help them, but not tell them when they’re bad. In the audience tonight, she tells Ryan she was a little nervous to do this, as she’s watched the show this year and knows how talented they are. When she was in front of them, though, she wanted to make sure she parlayed how to connect to their fans. It even made her nervous to watch them, as it made her look more closely at herself.

Lee Dewyze is the first up, and he’s doing The Letter. Miley thinks he has an amazing voice and that the only thing missing is stage presence. He says he doesn’t go out there to be a certain way, and he cares more about just putting out a good performance. She wants him to push himself a little more. He admits he’s a little reserved, but will try to open up a little more. He does the song a little faster tonight that I would expect it, but I love the horns backing him up. He’s reserved still in the beginning, but then he does kick it in, and he’s out here without his guitar. I like the hard rock vibe he gives it, and he totally starts to let go for the first time here. It’s good to see.

Randy tells Lee that what’s cool is that he chose this bluesy soul version of this song. He couldn’t believe he chose it at first, but he knocked it out the box and it was a way to start the show. Ellen asks if Lee knows what it’s like to have a favorite pen, how the ink just glides out and it writes perfectly. You love that one more than any others, but then it starts to run out of ink and you light a match under it or lick it or something, So, her favorite pen is back, and that was fantastic. Kara tells Lee he raised the bar for himself. She has never heard him sound better or look more comfortable on stage. He’s finally owning the stage, and now she can see the control in his vocals. From the first time he stepped on the stage to now, the progress is tremendous. He needs to believe that he’s good.

Simon asks how many number ones Lee could have chosen and says he’s really surprised, as it wasn’t a recording performance, and was him doing something quite corny. He sounded good, but he’s missing the point of what Simon was trying to say last week. It doesn’t define him as a contemporary recording artist. Even though Kara loves it, it’s reason to do the opposite. Lee says he was trying to not think at all and be less stiff and nervous and he hopes he did. Yes Lee, you did.

Paige Miles gets stool chat time with Ryan, and he mentions that since the show started, that former Idols have earned 261 number one hits. He also notes that Paige is stealing rings from the audience, but she explains the audience member gave it to her. Ryan gives Simon a hard time, telling him this is what it looks like. I’m sure that has something to do with his engagement. Paige was worried about her shoes earlier, as these are the tallest she’s ever worn. She hopes she doesn’t fall. She also notes the atmosphere has gotten more quiet and much more serious backstage this week.

Paige admits to being starstruck meeting Miley and says her age makes no difference. She’s singing Against All Odds, and Miley tells her she’s really beautiful and has a good voice. She lets her know her voice is just as powerful when she’s soft as when she’s belting it out, and that not a lot of people can do that, yet it sometimes can get a little pitchy that way. Miley knows she was sick last week, though, and it was just her voice getting healthy again. Tonight, Paige starts off sitting on Adam’s stairs, probably so that she doesn’t have to walk in those shoes. Pitchy doesn’t even begin to explain it. I don’t think there’s a single note that she sings in tune. She seems to have more vocal problems this week than she did last week when she had laryngitis. I also think this song should be retired from the Idol catalog. I’m tired of it.

Randy gives a few woahs and wows, then tells Paige he doesn’t know if her voice is back or not, but it was honestly terrible. There was nothing about it great, the pitch was all over the place, and nothing came together at all. Ellen starts with the positive, that Paige didn’t fall down. She looks stunning, with her hair and everything. Ellen turns it over to Kara and Simon for the music critique. Kara tells Paige that somewhere along the line she stopped competing and stopped listening to what they were saying. She knows it’s a big song, doing the Mariah Carey version, and it better be spectacular to take that on. Kara tells Paige it’s the worst vocal she’s heard from her and possibly this season.


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