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Friday, March 5, 2010

"Idol" watch: Girls shine, but talentless contestants keep hanging on

Because no one else wants to do it -- or in Punishment Pool fashion, has been forced to like some Guantanamo-style form of Channel Surfing torture, Press-Gazette graphics editor Eric Ebert is stepping in with a weekly "American Idol" recap. We don't know whether to applaud or mock him for this extra shot of CS content. On second thought, we choose to mock.

A week after a series of forgettable performances from both the men and women of “American Idol,” the males continued their march into obscurity, while the women showed some glimmers of … do I dare say … talent.

Four women dominated the week in both performances and headlines. Lilly Scott continued to impress with a fresh take on Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” while Katelyn Epperly made a splash with a self-accompanied piano version of “The Scientist” by Coldplay.

The biggest showstopper came from the mouse-y Siobhan Magnus, who belted out an unforgettable rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Think.” The petite Magnus displayed pipes that would make most gospel singers gush, dominating the classic soul song with ease.

But judge-favorite Crystal Bowersox was the talk of the nation. After her last-minute hospitalization forced the men to go a day early, Bowersox returned Wednesday with a flawless version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “As Long as I Can See The Light.”

Meanwhile, the men turned in sub par performances for the second week in a row. And the judges’ terrible picks for semifinalists continue to pay dividends.

Talent-less musical hack Tim Urban continued his streak of sucking this week by turning in an unbelievably karaoke version of Matt Nathanson’s “Come on Get Higher.”

But a week after using his airy falsetto to murder OneRepublic’s “Apologize,” Urban had nowhere to go but up. His boyish good looks and an endless supply of tween voters again saved him from elimination Thursday night.

Not so lucky were John Park, Jermaine Sellers, Michelle Delamore and Haeley Vaughn.

Again, good riddance.

ERIC'S POWER RANKINGS:

Men:

1. Michael Lynche: I don’t know if he’s the best, but he’s been the most consistent of the men, and he blew up the stage Tuesday with James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.”

2. Casey James: Not so hot vocally this week, but another good performance and excellent guitar skills make him a frontrunner.

3. Lee Dewyze: After two mediocre performances, this is the judges’ frontrunner? He’s somewhat talented, but he’s nowhere near the best, even this season.

4. Andrew Garcia: The early favorite is quickly sinking off the radar. Can he recapture his Hollywood week genius, or will he fall by the wayside?

5. Alex Lambert: I know what you’re saying, “another Lambert?” Well, this Lambert is nowhere near as good as season eight’s Adam Lambert, but he is far and away the best male voice — mullet and all.

Women:

1. Crystal Bowersox: Although extremely talented, she is not my favorite, but a performance that had the judges gushing moves her into the top spot this week.

2. Lilly Scott: Still the most formidable opponent. Her flawless consistency is her ticket to success with or without "Idol" status.

3. Siobhan Magnus: Probably the most vocally talented female on the show, this awkward, tiny thing is quickly making her presence known.

4. Katelyn Epperly: Off the radar last week, she stunned me with her soft performance and raw talent this week.

5. Katie Stevens: This 17-year-old may not be polished, but she has some pipes.

Agree? Disagree? Add your own "Idol" comments below. Or just mock Eric for actually caring. It's what we're going to do.

— Eric Ebert, eebert@greenbaypressgazette.com

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