Two hours and 10 contestants give Ryan Seacrest plenty of time to talk with Usher about his new album. Which would be great if I were bulimic. So let's just try to muddle through somehow.
Siobhan picked a song that I can't remember ever hearing and I don't want to hear again. I know Chaka Khan is supposed to be this goddess of soul, but I don't know too many of her songs that deserve air time in the 21st Century. She's just not one of my favorite soul singers. Come to think of it, I don't even count Chaka among my top 5 favorite Khans (Cobra, Genghis, Kublai, Shere, and Ricardo Montalban). "Though the Fire" burned with not-goodness. The only thing worse than the garbled, funky mess was the 10-minute judges' review. Ugh^10. Odds of going home: Nah. There will be much more suck to follow.
It's time for the guitar to say goodbye. At least it will be next week. But to be honest, Casey could just go up there and smile, and a billion people would text "vote" to 5702. Crap, I think my wife just caught me staring dreamily at the screen. Time to wrap up. Uh . . . yeah, he's talented, and he doesn't need this show anymore. He really doesn't fit the mold of AI. Odds of going home: 300 to .0036
Big Mike picks good songs and performs them well. He hits his notes. He connects with his audience. He doesn't have an off switch. I love that he was positioned behind the judges' table. It was like he was saying, "Forget you four, I'm singing to the people." He's really something. Odds of going home: not if there's anything right in the world.
Didi broke down performing for Usher, which I find fascinating. It had me looking to see if she could display just enough of that emotion to make us feel with her and not so much that we feel for her. But in all that, I think she just missed the rhythm of the song a bit. She wasn't nearly as bad as the judges made her out to be (which they have made a habit with Didi), but she's not doing incredibly well. Odds of going home: 5 to 1
Tim, a dud with hair, sings Anita Baker, maybe the best ever at blowing people's minds with understated soul. This has all the makings of a snoozapalooza. Somehow, the song seemed to suit him. But it still made me yawn at the innermost part of my being. Randy outsinging him woke me up a bit. Ellen saved the segment. She's perfect. The whole round of critiques was absolutely brilliant. Odds of going home: 1.1 to 1
I'll give Usher this: he's giving some really good advice to these people. He may have just saved Andrew's season, because this thing sounds good. Yeah, there it is kid. He's still not the best singer on the show, but he finally did something exciting with a low-key cover. Very nice. Prediction: 7 mentions of "Straight Up." (Shockingly, they all made an obviously intentional effort not to refer to it. Only Ryan called the song by name.) Odds of going home: 11 to 1
Katie < Aretha is the biggest mathematical understatement in the history of numbers. Even comparing Katie's version of "Chain of Fools" to the one from School of Rock is off-base. The judges can love it all they want, but Katie should not be singing Aretha. And none of the judges seem to notice how close R&B and Country really are to each other . . . or how far apart Katie is from Aretha. Odds of going home: 6 to 1
"Treat Her Like a Lady." Okay, Lee, what do you got? I'll tell you what he's got: an innate ability to make old songs sound not as old. Maybe not 100% fresh, but day-old, and I'll eat that for a dollar. Even if he is wearing a Members Only jacket. Lee rocked that one out, and it made my wife cry a little bit. Odds of going home: that really shouldn't happen.
Based on the trailer, Heather really wants to see Knight & Day. I say that because I'm sure this is gonna be great with no need for commentary. But what-what? She's singing Gladys Knight? Just let her sing people . . . shhhhh.
Chills. Man, I knew she could sing, but that was amazing. She showed she's better than what I thought she was. It doesn't hurt that "Midnight Train to Georgia" is a top 10 song for me. Amen, Crystal. Amen. Odds of . . . no.
Ah, the obligatory "Ain't No Sunshine" performance. He sounded better with Usher. Meh. Odds of going home: Justin Bieber to 1
Who's in the Bottom Three? Didi, Katie, and Tim, who really must go.