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The 3 Gs of American Idol: Week 7

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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 star-makers, 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

Casey James was dreaming of the past, and got America’s heart beating fast. I don’t think there has been a single better reinvention of a song this season than Casey on “Jealous Guy.” I love the original, but between the bluesy vocals and the acoustic guitar, this one arrived as contemporary, emotionally raw, different, and completely winning.

GONE

Tim Urban--tomorrow, I’ll miss you. So here’s what’s awkward—after his heartfelt, good-natured explanation of why he smiles last Wednesday (how can I not smile after I just performed for millions of people?), I actually really like Tim as a person. The problem is that his rendering of “All My Loving” was not in the same league as what the other contestants were doing. While others are making their case that they belong as legit recording artists, I feel as though he’s still turning in borderline-Hollywood-worthy-audition performances. It really ought to be time for him to head home.

GIVE IT A SECOND LOOK

Simon Cowell is embarrassed for Aaron Kelly. In what was, for me, the first laugh out loud moment of this season, Simon asked Aaron why he picked “The Long and Winding Road.” Aaron’s reply was that he felt as though the journey of Idol, itself, was a long and winding road. The answer was horribly telegraphed and lame, and Simon reasserted his status as one of the most trustworthy personalities of reality TV when he justly rolled his eyes and cut the young contestant no slack. Earnest, cutting, and on-point, this is the Simon I’ve missed as of late.

Katie Stevens lets it be. No, Katie did not perform as well as Crystal or Michael, who are on the fast track to at least the top three. But what Katie did demonstrate was what a contestant without such a profound “it factor” should do in this competition—she got out there and sang. This is the best Katie has sounded since she sang “Feelin’ Good,” at which point I considered her an Idol frontrunner. She didn’t dance e around, or try to sound R&B, or try to sound country (despite Simon’s claims). She kept it simple and was herself, and it turned out well.

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