Wow. Someone must have fed the American Idol contestants their Wheaties prior to their performances Tuesday night. If not a bowl of Wheaties, at least a PowerBar or a bran muffin.
Just one week after the contestants had one of the worst collective showings in the American Idol history, I was blown away by how good the performances were Tuesday night.
It might be because the only things I have to compare Tuesday night's show to are the dreadful shows of weeks past - like being thankful your new puppy pooped in the kitchen instead on your living room carpet again - but I honestly had a good time watching the performances this week.
It could have been because this week the contestants received their tutelage from Usher, who brought with him the kind of legitimate musical talent and actual criticism that the Idol contestants were missing last week from Miley Cyrus.
There was no better example of the contestant's turnaround than Andrew Garcia's outstanding cover of Chris Brown's "Forever."
It made me forget about how bad his performances were over the last few weeks. It actually made me forget "THE" performance that he has struggled to live up to since Hollywood Week. And it even made me forget about the popular YouTube video of the choreographed wedding entrance that was set to Brown's song. It was fresh. It was technically sound. It was an awesome performance all around - one that took Garcia from being in danger of going home to once again being a threat to win. If can manage to string good performances together, that is.
While Garcia won "Comeback of the Week" honors, it was Lee DeWyze who had the best performance of the night.
DeWyze's rendition of The Cornelius Brothers' "Treat Her Like A Lady" could be the most recordable performance of the year by any contestant. Though, Lacey Brown's beautiful cover of "What A Wonderful World" was also download worthy.
Rounding out my favorite performances of the night were Michael Lynche's smooth, tasteful cover of India.Arie's "Ready for Love" and Casey James' cover of "Hold On I'm Coming" by Sam & Dave. It took R&B week for James to finally find some stage presence. He still has a long way to go before he is a true showman, but the forced smiles and tiny head bobs were enough to make his performance enjoyable to watch.
Unfortunately, it seems it's impossible to get through one week of American Idol this season without at least a couple wretched performances. Tuesday's train wreck of the night was Siobhan Magnus.
I've said for weeks that I'm not a fan of Magnus, and Tuesday night all of the things I didn't like about her seemed to dominate her cover of Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire" - from her inconsistent lower range to her ear-piercing shrieks, which have earned praise from the judges in the past but are really starting to wear out their welcome.
To make things worse, after the commercial break the Idol cameras caught Magnus sulking in the corner, which reminded me far too much of the guy at end of The Blair Witch Project for my liking. I know this 20-year-old glassblower is eccentric, but that was just strange.
And then of course, there was Tim Urban, who never fails to make me question American Idol's entire voting process. The fact that he is still here is ridiculous. In fact, it actually looked like Usher was going to punch Urban in the face when he started butchering Anita Baker's "Sweet Love" during rehearsal. I almost wish he had, because Urban's performance was excruciating. It wasn't that his vocals were as bad as Magnus's, but his performance as a whole was just lame and uninspired.
With that being said, my locks for the bottom three this week are Urban, Didi Benami and based solely on the fact that Magnus has enough good will from previous weeks to get her by - Katie Stevens. Stevens' performance of Aretha Franklin‘s "Chain of Fools" wasn't bad at all, I just don't think she was as good as some of the other contestants.
And sadly, going home this week, will be one of my early favorites, Benami. Because it seems that the teenage voters are determined to keep Urban around for some reason, thus increasing the likelihood that my television set will find its way out my window at some point this season.