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

American Idol 9, March 30 – Ushering In the Top 10


Randy tells America that Andrew is back. He like the outfit and it’s mad dope. He likes that he took a Chris Brown dance record and made it his own. It’s his best for him in a long time. Ellen says every single week he was trying to compete with the other song, but finally, all-of-a-sudden, on its own, was an amazingly strong performance. When he smiled, it proved the adage that the whole world smiles back with you. It’s on a poster in her dentist’s office, along with gingivitis affects 4 out of 5 Americans.

Kara tells Andrew nothing makes her happier than to say that’s one huge giant leap in the right direction. Simon agrees it was miles better than what they heard recently. The only problem he has with him is as a person, he comes over as very boring. He has to start showing personality and that he cares, as he knows nothing about him as a person, and personality is just as important at this point. Kara says he can worry about that next week. Ryan tells Mrs. Garcia to talk to Simon, and Andrew tells her to be nice. She wants to know how her son can be called boring. Simon gives her a hug at the end.

Katie Stevens is next up and admits to Usher she’s nervous, and says she met him before in Epcot. His bodyguard wouldn’t let her take a picture with him though. She’s singing Chain of Fools and Usher likes her energy, but wants to make sure she adds pizzazz and attitude and tells her story to someone in the audience. She knows she hears that a lot, but him telling her, kind of makes her want to do it more. He thinks she could do well if she personalizes the performance, and finds her wise beyond her years. She sounds okay tonight, but it just isn’t appropriate coming from a 17-year-old girl. Again, she’s singing too old. Being that she was in the bottom last week, this isn’t necessarily going to help it. Aside from that, the jumper she’s wearing makes her look heavier than she is.

Randy says he knows she’s mad young and was disconnected vocally, but he feels it was one of the best vocally of the night, because what she did was show she has the pipes and is like a young Christina. She should own and embrace it, even though it got a little rough. Ellen mentions the Snookie Poof Katie has going on. The vocals were great, but she wishes the song were more current. She always sounds so mature.

Kara believes Katie has found where she belongs, R&B pop, with one of her best performances. But, she needs to go back to making it young and commercial. Simon says for Randy to compare her to Christina is crazy, as he thought it was pretty good, but very robotic and cold. She needs to make it fun and shouldn’t have taken on that song, as it came off like Star Search. His problem is he still thinks Kara’s advice is wrong, and if Katie has to choose advice of Kara or Simon, he’d take his advice. With Simon, Kara, and Randy arguing about what genre Katie should do, Ellen tells her she likes her earrings.

Lee Dewyze gets some stool time with Ryan, who notes the judges are looking for him to create a moment. He asks him how he’ll do it. Lee thinks it’s about showing what kind of artist you can be, and thinks when you can do that, it’s having a moment. He’s also doing this with walking pneumonia, but says he’s fine. I’ve had that, and it’s not fine.

For this genre, Lee is singing Treat Her Like a Lady, because it has a lot of soul, and he wants to use it as the basis for his arrangement. Usher mentions that Lee doing this is a special treat … and that’s just big coming from him. He tells Lee he has an incredible voice and needs to just own it. Lee admits his problem is being too critical, but he’s starting to realize what’s holding himself back is himself. Usher tells him if he doesn’t believe it, others won’t either. He’ll be even more impressed if Lee goes out there and does it. Tonight, I think Lee’s having that moment. I think it meant a lot to him to get that critique from Usher. And all this with walking pneumonia.

Randy tells Lee “this is great, right here, unbelievable,” and that it’s the best he’s heard him in weeks. “This was the bomb, baby.” Ellen tells him, “There ya go, now the night started.” She calls it the best performance of the night, and probably his best so far. Kara tells him he brought the song into her world and could have been on his record. It was amazing. Simon has always believed in Lee, since the beginning and was frustrated he didn’t believe in himself and even finds eye contact hard, but this has been his problem. He wants him to go home tonight and watch this performance back, and know that this is the night his life may have changed for the better.

Crystal Bowersox meets with Usher and says she’s changing it up after Kara asked her to put the guitar down. She feels like she wants to try something new and something different. She tells Usher it’s a secret. He asks her to play the piano, and she says he called it and blew her cover. She sings Midnight Train to Georgia, and Usher thinks it fits her really perfectly with the story. She knows she needs to be more comfortable at the piano, though, and he says if she’s able to make that secondary, then put her focus on the vocal, she’s got a real shot. He calls her a sweetheart as she leaves. Here Crystal is at the piano, and her nerves are showing a little bit, so she just needs to kick it in. There she is. She leaves the piano and walks it, singing to the crowd, without being behind an instrument at all. In addition, she’s in a tight red dress and stilettos. She looks and sounds gorgeous. Plus, she took a risk.

Randy loves the outfit and whole ensemble. He says it’s a funny thing that he’s working with Gladys Knight right now, and he thinks she’d say Crystal did the song proud. He liked her switching it up and playing the piano and thought it was another great performance by her. Ellen tells Crystal she is never not good, and it was yet another side of her, which means she’s competing and in it to win it. Kara is so glad she took that risk, as she wanted to see another side of her. There are so many things about her that she loves, and she can’t wait to see what she does next.

Simon thinks Crystal’s choice of song is sensational and her vocal at times was incredible, but the problem he had was the background vocals, as it made it old-fashioned. She was uncomfortable at the piano, so she was overthinking it. But regardless of the advice she was given, he does not want the process to suck the identity out of her, as what she was doing before was absolutely fantastic. He had no issues with her whatsoever. She says she wanted to prove to herself she could do something else. He says she’s the kind of artist that is rare and knows what she should be doing. With her talent and her personality that shows she’s real, she needs to do what she’s comfortable with. She promises she wouldn’t do something she wasn’t comfortable with.


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