'American Idol' Top 8 Recap: Please Fellas, Don't Fail Us (Page 2/2)
Abbey Simmons
Abbey Simmons
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Andrew Garcia
"Genie in a Bottle" by Christina Aguilera

Clearly Andrew Garcia is trying to regain the magic of his cover of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up Now Tell Me" with a little help from a genie. In a night of already strange song choices, this may be the strangest.

Sadly, I feel like Andrew Garcia has become a caricature of himself, an artist trying to rewrite his one hit wonder over and over again. The veritable Vanilla Ice of season 9. If you didn't like Andrew and his acoustic rewrites before, this isn't going to be the song that wins you over. His voice still has that lovely rasp, but by now his unpredictability is painfully predictable. Maybe this would be a hit on YouTube, but it won't be on iTunes.

Simon Says: "The genie came out of the bottle too late," says Ellen, who never met a pun she didn't love. Simon says the song choice was "a little bit desperate."

Safe, Shaky or Should Be Packing: Shaky (were he anyone else, without the pre-season buzz and big fan base, I would say: should be packing)

Did you hear, I think that Andrew Garcia has a celebrity doppelganger that ISN'T Danny Gokey? Check it out during commercial break:

Casey James
"You'll Think of Me" by Keith Urban

Casey took our advice and put down the electric guitar and strapped the acoustic on. He also took our advice by going country, contemporary country even. And Casey James' voice works really well for it, like, he could be on country FM radio tomorrow. Though I would still  prefer he went the Outlaw route: give me Willie, Waylon, or Johnny. That being said this song highlights the kind of artist Casey wants to be.The kind of artist that women pretend are singing the song just for them...otherwise spelled as: succe$$. Tonight Casey has a lovely twang and rasp in his voice and makes better connection with the camera than almost any of the other contestants, without feeling like he's eye humping it. (Ahem, Lacey Brown.)

Simon Says:  "It was your second best, I think it made you sincere. You sounded great, I have to say."

Safe, Shaky or Should Be Packing:  Safe

Aaron Kelly
"I'm Already There" by Lonestar

Ouch AK, you seem to be channeling Haeley Vaughn this week. From note one Aaron struggles, in a way that actually had me turning down the volume. Though he gained confidence as the song went along, this was karaoke through and through. He hits a wow note at the end (nothing like Siobhan's) but Aaron and his voice need another year or so to mature. Plus, he'll suffer from being right after Casey James who just showed the boot scoot boggie-ing Idol voters there's a country alternative to Aaron Kelly.

Looks like I'll be starting another petition after my "Save Hallelujah" one... Raise the American Idol Age Limit to 18. This season is eating the youngins' alive. 

Simon Says: "It's a beautiful song, it was the right type of song for you to do, it wasn't a great vocal. I could tell you were trying hard."

Safe, Shaky or Should Be Packing:  Should be packing (whatever Simon says, I think those vocals were super shaky, Tim Urban just cornered the tween vote and Casey just lassoed the country crowd.)

Todrick Hall
"Somebody To Love" by Queen

Oh goodness, this makes me almost as nervous as Tim Urban doing "Hallelujah."  Todrick starts out the song about two octaves too high, which makes the moment when he drops down into his regular, not helium-induced high note sound jarring and awkward. When he does get into the right range Todrick has much more vocal success. Also helping him tonight? For the first time Todrick doesn't completely rewrite the song, adding in extra vocal runs and a gospel flair that for the most part work. To me, that was Todrick's best performance so far, by far but it was more Off-Broadway than American Idol.

Simon Says: Kara channels Simon, "There were moments I didn't know whether to laugh at it or love it." The rest of the judges loved it, except for Simon who said it was Broadway.

Safe, Shaky or Should Be Packing: should be packing (too little, too late)

Mike Lynche
"Woman's Work" by Maxwell

Well, Big Mike definitely got the "keep it soulful" memo this week. As your faithful BuddyTV So You Think You Can Dance recapper, all I can think of when I hear this song is Melissa and Ade's "Cancer Dance." But Big Mike's committed, passionate performance just might replace that memory. Because he is nailing it, while showing off a range we never knew was hiding in this bear of a man. Big Mike's performance may be a little over the top, but he is singing this song to the rafters, putting his heart and soul into it, giving it his all and soaring. He shows off tone and range we had no idea he had and is staking his claim on this competition.

Simon Says: Ellen says "this show just began. You're the one to beat now." Kara cries and I preferred Paula's tears. Simon says it's the best performance of all the live performances thus far.

Safe, Shaky or Should Be Packing: so so so safe

So, the fellas definitely didn't fail us tonight. Sure there were some rough spots (*cough cough* Aaron Kelly) but it didn't bore me to tears and I've even cancelled that custom ear plug order for the remaining weeks of Idol.

Who was your favorite tonight? Who was your least favorite? And the all important question, who do you think is going home? I think half the guys are safe: Big Mike, Lee, Casey, and Alex. Meanwhile, if I were Aaron Kelly, He-Bangs, Todrick Hall or Andrew Garcia .... I might tidy up my living space just in case. Share your thoughts on who's going home tomorrow and remember to make your Fantasy TV picks!