|Adam Lambert is coming back to American Idol tonight, although he’ll be acting as mentor, not as performer. At first, I wasn’t sure what type of a message it was sending, since he was the runner-up and not the winner, but the more I think about it, I can see good coming from it, as the top Idols are all so unique, and they can only stand to benefit from Adam’s experience.
However, the genre will be Elvis Presley music, so that could make for some interesting song choices, both good and bad. The top nine took a trip to Vegas and hit the strip, experiencing Elvis the only way the past few generations know him. At Viva Elvis, the Idols took the stage and were joined by Adam. He calls it an honor to mentor this week, and also considers Elvis quite the showman. His mission is to be completely honest, but constructive. He hopes they take that spirit of Elvis seriously and inject it into these songs and give us something to listen to, look at, and feel.
Adam is of course in the audience tonight and looking good with an Elvis style ‘do. Ryan mentions he’s the first contestant to come back as mentor. Adam explains his critique was honest, but also constructive. They all have great voices and are very kind, but he also wanted them all to wake up a bit. He wants more energy from them, especially during Elvis week. Ryan tries to do an Adam impression, and when Adam advises him to stick his tongue out, he says it’s not as talented as Adam’s, which of course leads to many unspoken jokes. If he was singing a song tonight, he’d be singing Can’t Help Falling In Love, the song Tim is singing.
Crystal Bowersox is up first, and she’s singing Saved. Adam says she has an awesome voice, so authentic and so real, and it comes from her heart. She adds she loves gospel music and blues, so she really felt like she could connect to this song. She asks if he thinks acoustic or electric for guitar, and he thinks electric, to go with something different, saying he always tried to be new and fresh and different every week. He hopes she does it and lets those dreads down. She takes the stage tonight with her electric guitar, and listening to it, I can’t think of a more perfect song choice for her. It’s vintage Crystal all the way.
Randy quiets the crowd and tells Crystal every week he says it like a broken record, but it’s a way to come out and give it up. She had energy; it was dope. She had a whole cool blues vibe going on and he felt he was listening to somebody’s record. It could have been the second coming of Bonnie Raitt or something. Ellen DeGeneres it’s going to be a broken record. She’s so tired of telling Crystal how great she is, so she asks if there’s any birthdays in the audience, and wishes happy birthday to everybody. She also tells Crystal she was fantastic.
Kara adds it was another solid performance from Crystal. She liked that she picked something with controversial lyrics for the time, and the up tempo, as her personality came across more. She also appreciated the switchup in the arrangement, and she thinks she did some great things tonight. Simon jokes it was a lyric he could relate to with the lying and cheating. What he loved about it was that she didn’t choose an obvious song and picked something that suited her, as she put her own slant on it. Most importantly, she didn’t fall into the karaoke trap that he thinks many will fall into tonight. Additionally, she sounded great.
Andrew Garcia gets stool time with Ryan who mentions last week being intense for him. He wonders when Mike was singing for his life and broke a ceiling with the performance, what Andrew was thinking. He replies he was thinking about how they were both fathers, and he totally knew what he was working for. It was amazing to see him go from being in the bottom to trying to save himself.
Hound Dog is Andrew’s choice this week. Adam notes when he started singing it for him, he was looking forward to it, as it’s a great song, yet he left him wanting more. He flat out tells Andrew it’s boring and that it needs more punch. Andrew says he encouraged him to change it up, and that’s what both of them do to songs. Adam thinks he has potential, but needs to step his game up. Andrew would love for everyone to say Andrew put his twist on it again and that they loved it. It’s still coming off a little boring though, as he’s made it too slow. He’s missing that punch that Adam was encouraging him to put into it. His family is in the audience holding giant versions of his glasses.
Randy says he hates to say it, but Simon predicted it earlier. It was not good karaoke. He didn’t like it and didn’t get it all. It’s Elvis, one the greatest ever. Ellen tells Andrew she has his back, but she wishes he would have put a little more swagger into it. She does like how much he changed it, as he he needed to do something like this, and he pulled it off.
Kara says with Elvis, you have to own it, and she felt the mike was a crutch for Andrew as he dragged it around, instead of opening up and owning the performance. There were a few nice places where he changed up the melody, but she wanted to feel more from it. She wanted a swagger, like it was his last performance. Simon has to agree, saying it was lazy and unpredictable, and like that one part in a musical that no one wants to see or hear. He thinks all of Andrew’s coolness has been sucked out of him right now. Ryan asks what the difference is that Ellen saw that the others didn’t, and she replies they all have different opinions. She really did personally like it.
Tim Urban is doing Can’t Help Falling In Love, and Adam thinks he’s doing a really lovely job. He has a really cool sound to his voice with some pretty good guitar work as well. He asks him if he can do the end in his head voice, and after, believes he pushed him out of his comfort zone, doing the ending in a pretty falsetto, making him more vulnerable. Tim hopes that helps him connect with it and shows that he does know what the words are about. He plays his acoustic guitar on a stool, sitting behind the judges, and this is really pretty. Adam’s right that he’s very vulnerable, and I think Tim might be buying himself another week in the competition. He’s vulnerable without getting that scary look in his eyes. He didn’t do the falsetto at the end though.