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‘American Idol’ gets inspirational


Part of the allure of "American Idol" is you hope for that one special performance that judge Simon Cowell refers to as “a moment." Whether it’s Fantasia Barrino crooning “Summertime” or David Cook overhauling “Billie Jean,” each season yields performance worthy of becoming iconic.

Given that it was "Inspirational Songs" night, it provided the perfect canvas for that “moment” to happen. It also opened the door for maudlin cheese to seep through.

Most of the competitors split the difference -- with a little mentoring from Alicia Keys -- often confusing "inspiring" with "overdone." Take Casey James, whose shopworn rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Don’t Stop” (the weakest song on the classic "Rumours" record) kicked off the show with a thud. As with many past "Idol" contestants, James has more talent than good judgment. The selection did nothing to camouflage his cover band roots.

Lee DeWyze delivered Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer," flanked by an army of backup singers and symphonic musicians. It was unnecessary overkill, considering he could have likely gotten the same mileage out of a version featuring only his acoustic guitar and comfortably raspy voice. The judges were overly fawning of his routine.

Tim Urban stuck within his wheelhouse of emotional-yet-unchallenging material with a soundtrack-friendly "Better Days" by Goo Goo Dolls." Like the Dolls, it was blandly pleasant -- or pleasantly bland.

Aaron Kelly cranked out one of the night's better vocal performance's. Unfortunately, it was at the service of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly" -- a song perhaps only rivaled by Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" for cliche ballad of the millennium. Also, given R. Kelly's multiple arrests on child pornography and underage sex charges, isn't it a bit skeazy that a 17-year-old singer opted for this track?

Speaking of Whitney Houston ... Siobhan Magnus unleashed a version of Houston and/or Mariah Carey's “When You Believe." It proved just as freaky and schizophrenic as Magnus herself -- first a breathy ballad, then a screechy soul number, then back to a breathy ballad. The butterfly-adorned singer may have one of the biggest voices in the competition, but with each week that waltzes by she seems less focused. She keeps striving to come across as a radio-friendly diva, when in reality she's more like a singing performance artist at an underground coffee house who gets the audience's attention through her "unconventional antics."

Since Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" from the "Batman Forever" soundtrack was likely too challenging, Michael Lynche opted for the next best thing: Chad Kroeger’s “Hero” from "Spider-Man." Big Mike sang it just fine, though emulating the singer from Nickelback can't be very demanding. While Mike was strumming his guitar, it was hard not to notice he might be the most out-of-shape bodybuilder on the planet. His arms looked like Gabourey Sidibe's legs.

At last, some actual inspiration. Crystal Bowersox may have chosen a song that's been covered to death (The Impressions’ “People Get Ready,” penned by the great Curtis Mayfield), but she owned it during the evening's telecast. Not only did she eschew performing with an instrument for the first time on "Idol," she actually displayed some genuine emotion when she shockingly, charmingly burst into tears at the song's conclusion. She explained that she had seen her dad in the audience, who had previously never attended a taping. It was the "moment" the “Idol” season had been longing to experience.

Bottom three: Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus.

Going home: Aaron Kelly. Sorry kid. You're good, but you have no chance of winning.


Steve Bunch 8 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for keeping us up to date on these matters.

William Pike 8 years, 1 month ago

"His arms looked like Gabourey Sidibe's legs. " HAHAHAHAHA

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm so lucky my woman doesn't care about this show. Thank you, God!

Steven Revare 8 years, 1 month ago

Excellent analysis. Siobahn may be gone this week. I think she is getting an increasingly desperate look in her eyes. My DVR stopped early right after Crystal's song as Randy was providing the standing O. I read an article from the AP that vaguely described the judges as liking it. While the AP article did have the delightful description of Tim Urban as a "unique 20-year-old glass blower," they got nothing on "His arms looked like Gabourey Sidibe's legs."

UfoPilot 8 years, 1 month ago

American Idol gives money to pro-abortion groups.


FRONT ROYAL, Va., April 21 /Christian Newswire/ -- Once again, "American Idol" is aligning itself with pro-abortion groups. Among the groups benefiting this year's "Idol Gives Back" fund-raising campaign are Save the Children and the United Nations Foundation. "Idol Gives Back," which airs tonight, will feature several celebrities who will urge Americans to make a donation.

Save the Children has a working relationship with what it calls "prominent international organizations." Several of these groups are actively pro-abortion, including Better World Fund, Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Population Action International, and the U.S. Committee for UNICEF.

In 2001, Save the Children worked with Planned Parenthood, the Population Action Council, and the pro-abortion Audubon Society on its five-year "Planet Campaign." Funded by the rabidly pro-abortion/ population control David and Lucile Packard and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations, the purpose of the campaign was to "raise awareness of the connections between international family planning and the health of children, women and the environment." The Planet Campaign used television and print advertising, community outreach, special events, and other activities to spread its message. Save the Children said the campaign's website provided "an international forum for discussion of, and action on, women's reproductive health---including family planning---in various countries and diverse cultures around the world."

Save the Children has stated that "family planning" has been a "critical component" of its work for nearly 20 years. The group quoted a UNICEF document which stated that "family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race." Save the Children noted that the report identified "access to family planning" as a "key factor contributing to maternal and child survival and well-being."

Several divisions of the United Nations have donated funds to Planned Parenthood and the body has wholeheartedly embraced its abortion and population control agenda.

Life Decisions International (LDI) is dedicated to challenging the Culture of Death, concentrating on exposing and fighting the agenda of Planned Parenthood. LDI's chief project is a boycott of corporations that fund the abortion-committing giant.

WilburM 8 years, 1 month ago

Truly radical: Save the Children and the UN Foundation.

If everything you see is a nail, you have to wield that anti-abortion hammer.

always4ever 8 years, 1 month ago

I truly hope that this is Tim's final performance...

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