Faithful American Idol watchers, I have a confession to make. I’ve got a case of the blues … bad. You see, there’s this show I love, but it don’t treat me no good no more. Things used to be different. It used to be all Filet Mignon dinners and surprise gifts, and now its microwave meals on the couch. Nowadays instead of anticipating them like Christmas morning, I spend my Tuesdays and Wednesdays worrying that the magic is gone for good and it’s got me down.

At least the soundtrack will be fitting tonight, because nothing goes better with a case of the blues than the Blues themselves. As we all know, tonight the Top 10 are singing R&B and soul songs … hopefully complete with rhythm, blues and soul. Because a night of R&B with no rhythm or soul would be about as sad as a night dedicated to The Rolling Stones with no rock … and we all remember how well that went. Despite my downtrodden mood, I have hope that tonight’s the night “A Change is Gonna Come” and American Idol returns to the show I loved. So watch along with me tonight (both here and on Twitter), as we discover if the Top 10 is a cure for the blues or the cause of them.

If even a couple members of the Top 10 sing our recommend songs, some of my blues will certainly be lifted:

It’s Idol mentor introduction time, you know Usher don’t you? According to Ryan Seacrest you have to live in a cave to not know him he’s sold 45 million records after all. Usher promises to be hyper-critical and that he may hurt people’s feelings with his critiques, which pleases me deeply. Not because I want these kids to be eviscerated more than they are week-to-week by the judges, but because these kids need a mentor. Unlike say, last week. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think Miley did awful, but telling folks to make eye-contact isn’t exactly earth shattering advice.

Siobhan Magnus – “Through The Fire” by Chaka Khan

Usher Says: Usher says that Siobhan has the voice to pull of “Through The Fire,” so he spends most of his time mentoring her on fashion choices.

It’s a good song choice for Siobhan, it’s a mellower tempo with less chance of her getting out of control and lost in the song, unfortunately she executes it poorly. Siobhan hits a string of nasty sharp notes, will definitely get the “pitchy” comments, still goes for the predictable glory note at the end of the song and has her first serious stumble of the season. No worries for Siobhan though, even if America doesn’t vote for her, I think she’s  a shoe-in for the judges’ save.

Simon Says: “It sounded to me as if you’d run a marathon and you were singing while you were running out of breath. It was by far the your weakest performance so far and I am getting bored of the screaming at the end.” By the end of the critique, Siobhan is clearly on the edge of tears, this girl is in it to win it and you can tell it broke her heart to have faltered.

Safe, Shaky or Should be Packing: Shaky (she’ll be safe whether America votes for her or not)

Casey James – “Hold On I’m Coming” by Sam & Dave 

Usher’s Words of Wisdom: Usher was really impressed with Casey, especially his guitar work.”You’re already a rock star.”

First and foremost, Casey took Dear Abbey’s advice and pulled his hair back. He’s also brought the star to the stage, Casey looks down right giddy to be performing something bluesy. He’s got the growl, but this song is also showing off more of his vocal range. This right here is the artist that Casey James is trying to be and if this is any indication, he’ll be successful at it. This was a performance that would garner a standing ovation at venues across America, including tonight during American Idol performance show.

Simon Says: Ellen thought it was a little generic, because it was a safe zone for Casey. Simon thought it was Casey’s strongest week so far (and I agree). He even drops the big “A” word: “authentic” and says he’s really really impressed with him this week.

Safe, Shaky or Should be Packing: Safe

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Abbey Simmons

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV