American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "7 Finalists Compete"

Season 9, Episode 32
Episode Synopsis: The seven remaining contestants perform inspirational songs. Alicia Keys is the mentor.
Original Air Date: Apr 20, 2010
Guest Cast Alicia Keys

American Idol Episode Recap: The Top 7 Perform Season 9, Episode 32

The top 7 singers took the American Idol stage to sing inspirational songs; as Simon Cowell repeatedly pointed out, though, many renditions were uninspired. While no singer was just awful, one contestant in particular stole the night, and probably most of the hearts of viewers. So how did it all shake out?

Alicia Keys, the last decade's top-selling R&B artist, was on hand to offer her own bit of inspiration as the contestants' mentor. Much of her advice centered on connecting with the songs' meaning, which was sometimes problematic. So, let's get to the singers:

Casey James, "Don't Stop"
Casey has become frustrating. His version of the Fleetwood Mac classic was completely passable, but it was the same Casey we've seen week after week. I don't want to sound too much like Kara, but "Jealous Guy" was a revelation a couple weeks ago. And while I don't want to see that over and over again, I would like to see another layer of diversity in Casey's repertoire.
Judging the judges: B Ellen said it was good, not great and wouldn't inspire watercooler talk. Kara said he made himself like everyone else and Simon said the song choice was lazy.

Lee DeWyze, "The Boxer"
It was trademark Lee: grave and a little hit-or-miss with the pitch. The performance was leaden throughout much of the song — which is, after all, named after a fighter. The song should have more oomph.
Judging the Judges: C- I was braced to see him walloped. But surprise, surprise: the judges enjoyed DeWyze's rendering of the classic Simon and Garfunkel song.

Tim Urban, "Better Days"
Aww, Alicia Keys tried to be nice to Tim. She said his cover of the Goo Goo Dolls sounded like it could be his own song. Um, not so much. Again, Tim wasn't nearly as awful as we've heard, but there was nothing exciting or interesting about it. I am continuously shocked this kid is still in the competition.
Judging the Judges: B Kara said Tim was in the right genre, but the execution was lacking. Simon called it a letdown after his growth in recent weeks and Ellen, helpful as always, compared him to the soup of the day that she didn't like.

Aaron Kelly, "I Believe I Can Fly"
Who helps Aaron pick his songs? He, nearly without fail, has picked a song that is boring or has just been done to death. This was the latter. That said, when he finally got to the big parts of the song, Aaron handled them quite well — much better than I expected. Still, Aaron is the oldest 16-year-old I know.
Judging the Judges: B- Randy said it's clear Aaron has vocal talent. (Gee, on a singing show, no less. Who would have thought?) Kara said Aaron finally took off at the end, but Simon, said in the real world he would have turned the song off his radio after 10 seconds.

Siobhan Magnus, "When You Believe"
I've been tough on Siobhan the last couple of weeks, but tonight's performance again reminded me why. It has little to do with Siobhan's singing (although her tone doesn't always hit my ear that pleasantly). It's more about the presence she has on stage. I find all of her artistry just a little too much, even to the point of being phony. The outfits and the moody performances just don't get me excited week after week. And she really has to stop with the five-minute explanations after the judges' cut into her.
Judging the Judges: A Randy said she chose the night's toughest song and was just OK. Kara said it was too dramatic. Simon said it was the wrong song and was all over the place.

Michael Lynche, "Hero"
I think I've decided my statements about Big Mike playing the guitar earlier in the season were wrong. At least when he's strapped up, he leaves the shtick in the dressing room. I'm not sure this was a song I ever imagined Mike singing (or that he would have come to the competition hoping to get a chance to sing it) but he was vocally strong.
Judging the Judges: C Ellen said Mike was great, but Kara said he made the song unrecognizable because it wasn't right for his tone. And Simon's comments that the song wasn't inspirational because it was from Spider-Man were just silly.

Crystal Bowersox, "People Get Ready"
I think I am ready to finally buy into Bowersox fever. Even without her guitar, she blew the roof off the place. She honestly made the other singers look silly by comparison. I do think she looks uncomfortable when her hands aren't strumming, but she was in the zone from the a cappella opening to the end, during which she burst into tears, Crystal's performance was in a class of its own.
Judging the Judges: A Randy gave her a standing ovation and Ellen said she loved seeing her continued evolution. Kara said she schooled the other contestants and Simon was happy to finally feel inspired.

What did you think of the singers? Who is in danger of going home?

show less

The top 7 singers took the American Idol stage to sing inspirational songs; as Simon Cowell repeatedly pointed out, though, many renditions were uninspired. While no singer was just awful, one contestant in particular stole the night, and probably most of the hearts of viewers. So how did it all shake out? read more

Related Links

Other Links:
American Idol
Tags:
TV Recaps, FOX

Are You Watching?

Loading ...
Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (3,321 ratings)
Add Your Rating: 1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

Cast

Shop

American Idols: The Worship of the American Dream
Buy American Idols: The Worship of the American Dream from Amazon.com
From B&H Books (Paperback)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $11.90 (as of 2:07 PM EST - more info)
American Idol - The Best of Seasons 1 - 4
Buy American Idol - The Best of Seasons 1 - 4 from Amazon.com
From Capital Entertainment (DVD)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $9.23 (as of 2:07 PM EST - more info)

More Products

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular