American Idol Recap: Who 'Inspired' Us Most?

Last night, American Idol battered us with selections from its most syrupy set list yet: Inspirational Songs. Run, Bowersox! Rod Stewart wouldn't touch half of this nonsense in a "Great American Songbook" package, and lord, that says it all. Still, we got seven performances, seven consultations with the catatonic Alicia Keys, and one obvious winner. Our rankings and video after the jump.

7. Tim Urban, "Better Days"

Tim's heyday of surviving elimination thanks to over-compensating Preteen Vogue subscribers is behind us. Now, we return to the good work of forgetting his ass, because what did he sing? "Better Days" by the Goo Goo Dolls? I don't recall that. You're making it up! I remember that he stared Alicia Keys in the face with all the determination of a kindergartner who painted his egg-carton caterpillar the wrong way. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Keys. I put the yellow stripe on the top -- not the sides. Don't take away my recess. :( " But otherwise, his performance barely happened. Too effing late for your child eyes now, Tim. If it were up to me and the rest of the faculty, we'd string you up on the jungle gym until you admit you're a wayward Quizno's sandwich artist who's never heard of "Goo Goo Dolls" or "American Idol" or "songs."

6. Casey James, "Don't Stop"

Casey read that roaring Idol crowd like a book: He knew the tweens wanted to hear an inauguration anthem from before they were born. My God, it happened for them! We didn't get to see when Casey slept with most members of Rickey Minor's band and wrote a blockbuster '70s album, or when he ingested hills of cocaine with his "bottom end" (quoth Shania Twain), but he captured that Fleetwood Mac air and Christine McVie indifference. It was as "indifferent" as it gets, actually. For Top 7 night, this performance needed to register with us much more.

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Comments

  • Arthur says:

    Worst. Episode. Ever. But the performance that really pissed me off was Lee DeWyze's. Why on Earth were the judges praising to the heavens such a robotic turn at the mic? And can someone please explain to me how "The Boxer" is an inspirational song? It's about people who are down and out on the fringes of society. It's sad. It's beautiful. Yet it offers no redemption for its characters, no hope for a better tomorrow. So how is it inspiring?

  • Alice says:

    Can't say I agree with your detective work, Louis. I think Crystal was honest and touching and by far the best of the night. Yes, professional singers usually keep it together (I think of Elton during Princess Di's funeral as the epitome) but give the girl a break - she was a street performer 6 months ago.
    Michael Lynch the best?!? Were you still celebrating 420?

  • Marlene Cronkhite says:

    My favorite is Casey James. I love anything he sings. And he's wild on that guitar. He's going to be big someday--you wait and see. No, I'm not a teen or a tween...I'm a 73 year old woman and I predict that Casey James will win. Go Casey!!

  • Louis Virtel says:

    I think you may be onto something with your high hopes for Casey James. He's so unfazed and comfortable that it never seems like his elimination is upon us. I may have to start a "Casey James Dark Horse Watch."

  • Louis Virtel says:

    Crystal was touching, yes. But #2 still seems appropriate.
    As for Michael: Look, let's vote him out. I don't want him to continue on either. But that performance was more solid than the others, plain and simple. "Solid" isn't a ringing endorsement, but there wasn't a showstopping moment among the other six. The opposite of "showstopping" occurred, in fact. It kept. On. Going.

  • Wow. I thought Michael's was horrible. Very karaoke.
    Let me know what you think of my recap:
    http://iamnoahjames.com/2010/04/21/idolspec-top-7-performance-show-%e2%80%93-4202010/

  • el smrtmnky says:

    i always expect siobhan on to rip off her face a la mission: impossible and reveal that it's really juliette lewis

  • DIANA says:

    SIOBHAN & CRYSTAL WILL BE IN THE TOP 2! THESE GIRLS ARE AMAZING. NO ONE ELSE COMPARES. I MISS LILLY! GOOD LUCK & GOD BLESS!

  • DIANA says:

    THE JUDGES SAY EVERY YEAR, THIS IS THE BEST EVER. NOT! THE LAST FEW YEARS WERE BETTER THAN THIS YEAR. THERE ARE GOOD SINGERS & SOME GET BETTER W/ EVERY SHOW. BUT THE JUDGES CONFUSE THE CONTESTANTS W/ CHANGE IT UP.... NOT EVERY SINGER CAN SING AN MJ SONG ETC. LOOK AT MARY J BLIGE SINGING STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN! UGH! TERRIBLE. AND SHE'S FAMOUS. AND IT DOESN'T MEAN SHES A BAD SINGER, SHE JUST CAN'T SING THAT SONG. SAME W/ THE IDOL CONTESTANTS. THEY ARE FORCED TO SING SONGS THAT ARE NOT THEM. EVERYONE HAS A GOOD/BAD WEEK. DOESN'T MAKE THEM A BAD SINGER BUT WHEN SOMEONE IS CONSISTANTLY BAD THEY NEED TO BE VOTED OFF BECAUSE THEY CAN'T SING NOT KEEP THEM FOR POPULARITY OF GOOD LOOKS ETC.... THEY NEED TO CHANGE THE VOTING FROM VOTING FOR YOUR FAV TO VOTE OFF THE WORST! IT'S EASIER & WOULD PROBABLY MAKE IT MORE EFFECTIVE & ACCURATE.
    CASEY, MIKE & AARON WILL BE IN THE BOTTOM 3 NEXT WEEK. CRYSTAL & SIOBHAN WILL MAKE IT TO THE TOP 2!
    IDOL REALLY GIVES PEOPLE RECOGNITION. AND IF THEY ARE GOOD SOMEONE WILL HIRE THEM WHETHER THEY WIN OR NOT! LOOK AT DAUGHTRY. HE DID BETTER THAN STUDDARD & FANTASIA.
    I LOVE IDOL GIVES BACK TOO BUT THIS YEAR DIDN'T EVEN COMPARE TO THE LAST ONE EITHER. I WAS VERY DISSAPOINTED THAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE IDOL GIVES BACK LAST YEAR. SO MANY PEOPLE WATCH THE SHOW & ITS A GREAT OPPURTUNITY FOR IDOL TO HELP THE WORLD. IT IS FOR SUCH A GREAT CAUSE. IT HELPS HERE IN THE USA & OTHER COUNTRIES. I LOVE TO GIVE BACK.

  • Denise Gregory says:

    Siobhan Magnus and Lee Dewyze are the best. Simon and the others have their favorites and as always think they are a shoe in. As in season seven where they trashed David Cook and said by Far David Archaletta was the best. I love archie he is good but David Cook was by far the best. Last year they just went wild over Adam Lambert. I do love his new song What do you want from me. I also loved Kris Allen and thought he was just as good. The public decides and they listen to the songs these contestants sing over and over and pick which songs they would listen to on a CD over and over again. Siobhan and Lee will make the top two by public votes even though the Judges picks seem to be Crystal and Big Mike. All the contestants when you reach the top 10 are awesome. But don't count out anyone at this point. I really think Siobhan will take the show this year if she continues as she has in previous weeks. Siobhan Keep YOUR HEAD UP GIRL WE LOVE YOU

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