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The 3 Gs of American Idol: Week 1, Part 2

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In a departure from our normal content, we will be guiding you through this season of American Idol from The A Cappella Blog’s perspective. We’re going to do this through the 3 Gs format.

Great/Good: Represents my thoughts on the best performance(s) of the night—these are the starmakers, the tearjerkers, the ones we’re all going to remember.

Gone: Represents my thoughts on the contestant(s) who I think is most likely to be going home (not necessarily the one I think should be going home).

Give it a second look: Represents the act(s) you might not remember, or that we might not have expected much from, but which delivered just the same, and deserve another listen.

Here are my thoughts from tonight’s episode:

GOOD

If Andrew Garcia is going down, he’s going down swinging: Despite incurring the wrath of the judges, Andrew was, hands down, the best of the guys this week. Where Todrick Hall remixed “Since U Been Gone” beyond the point of recognition, Andrew did a fine job of sticking to the original melody, but putting forth a distinctive performance, acousticizing a song that was recorded to be very plugged in. He sounded great, the song was cool, and he’s very likeable. There is little doubt this guy is in it for the long haul.

Casey James plays to his strengths: From a purely musical perspective Casey was good, but not all that far ahead of the middle of the pack. The guy knew he had a heartthrob thing going for him, though, and played that up to the tee, breaking out his acoustic guitar, and strumming a recognizable-but-old-enough-to-seem-off-beat Bryan Adams ballad to sure up his demographic of voters. This act may wear thin after a couple weeks, but for now, he’s making the right decisions for who he is and how he has been positioned in this competition. It’s quite arguable that no one made better use of his time on stage tonight.

GONE

Tim Urban finds that it’s too late to apologize: So Tim gets kicked off Idol then invited back—only to do this? While this wasn’t quite as bad as some might have you believe, it wasn’t good. The performance was uninspired and forgettable, and the guy did little to set himself apart as a personality. Long story short, I can’t imagine we’ll be seeing much more of him on the show.

Jermaine Sellers: While uber-talent John Park earns the nod for worst song choice of the night, Jermaine wasn’t far behind, and lacked the pure ability to make up for it. I like the idea of starting soft and building someplace—showing some range and dynamics. But when you’ve only got a minute and a half to perform, there’s not much leeway when it comes to boring your audience. This song choice was just too mellow, and the energy was too little to late to salvage Jermaine’s Idol hopes.

GIVE IT A SECOND LOOK

Tyler Grady is more than a gimmick: OK, so the most memorable thing about Tyler was the way in which he embraced his 70s rock icon gimmick by performing an iconic 70s rock anthem. OK, so the guy looks and moves like a caricature of himself. But beneath all this superficial posturing stands a guy with some decent vocal chops, good stage presence, and an ability to pick a song that will stand out from the crowd. I don’t like the idea of a contestant riding his cardboard image in this competition, and if he continues down this road another two or three weeks, we have a problem. For now, though, it’s worth giving this performance another listen—the guy’s not half bad.

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