Siobhan Stands Out on Rolling Stones Night
03/17/2010 AT 12:00 AM EDT
In fact, Katie Stevens chose to do the Susan Boyle song, and managed to come up with a … new, power-ballad interpretation in a belting voice. The judges agreed this … was her least problematic – which is to say, most successful – performance. “This … is the first time I think you connected with a song,” said Simon. “Well done.”
The wildest moment of the night was Siobhan Magnus, made over in a sleek … dress and curled hair, singing an intensely melodramatic cover of “Paint It Black.” … The Judging Four were thrilled, especially when it ended with another of her … roof-rattling shrieks. “Like Snooki’s pouf,” Ellen said, Siobhan had risen above everyone … else. Kara thought it was the best turn of the night, and so did Simon: “The standout.” … He added, however, that a lot of would hate it.
That includes me. She looked like a French pop star struck by lightning.
Crystal Bowersox, the one singer you might have expected to have a knockout … with this sort of blues-rock, didn’t quite connect with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” She … just sort of strummed along, comfortably and even respectfully melodic, but the song … didn’t build to anything. “This is the first time where I think you were beaten by somebody,” … said Simon, “and that was Siobhan. ... You’ve got to come on that stage, and you’ve got to kill.”
The disaster of the night? That would be Tim Urban. He sang a reggae “Under My Thumb,” perhaps … trying to sound like early Police. The sexual aggression of the original was gone, and that left … nothing. “I felt like I was at a resort and drinking a pina colada,” said Ellen.
Didi Benami cemented her comeback singing a slowed-down, sexed-up “Playing With Fire.” It … didn’t really convey the threat of the lyrics – she’s not a singer who carries a lot of matches. … But the judges were pleased. “Didi, you’re on fire tonight,” said Randy. Kara: “You got dark.” Ellen … liked her phrasing: “You made the word ‘fire’ two syllables, which I thought was gr-eat.”
Casey James had rollicking fun doing “It’s All Over Now” with his electric guitar. Ellen made a … cute little joke about not being about to appreciate him as a straight sex symbol – that his … appeal doesn’t work for “ like me … blonds” – but she thought he was “fantastic.” Simon … carped that it felt like an audition – Casey wasn’t pushing himself. “There’s got to be more.”
Lacey Brown sang “Ruby Tuesday” to a stupid string arrangement that made it sound like the … Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.” Ellen thought it was “a tiny tiny bit sleepy.”
Andrew Garcia took “Gimme Shelter,” with its rumblings of danger, and turned it into something … like a lounge performance in the shadow of the apocalypse. The judges were split. Ellen called it his … “best performance yet.” When Kara complained that he had defanged the song’s imagery of war, … Simon countered: “Did you want him to come onstage with a tank?” Well, yes.
Lee Dewyze’s version of “Beast of Burden” particularly impressed Kara (“You are growing faster than … anybody… Tremendous growth”) and particularly frustrated Simon – he thinks Lee has yet to have … that big “moment” of onstage electricity, and should. He does have a way of just … standing there.
Paige Miles, who’s had a troubled run up to now, nonetheless happens to have a very good voice – … and despite laryngitis, and hardly any rehearsal, still pushed her way through “Honky Tonk Woman.” … The judges seemed to think she’d at least recovered some of the ground that had been … slipping away in recent weeks. ENOUGH ground, though?
Aaron Kelly, in a simple, understated performance, managed to capture the tender sadness of … “Angie.” The judges all ranked it as one of his best nights yet.
Michael Lynche was confidently smooth on “Miss You.” Kara, invoking Mick Jagger himself, praised … him for being “hot onstage.” Simon, though, cautioned that his moves were a bit corny and “a tiny bit desperate.”
This led to a weird faceoff between Simon and Ryan.
Ryan asked Simon to clarify his criticism and Simon, in effect, told Ryan to mind his own beeswax. Ryan at that … point marched down off the stage, leaned across the judges’ table and tersely informed Simon he was … just trying to make it clear that Michael understood Simon's critique. “I’m actually trying to help out a little, buddy,” he told Simon, as if they were having an altercation in a diner. Simon waved him back toward the stage.
What on earth did any of it mean?
Most in danger: Tim, Andrew, Paige, Lacey.
-- Tom Gliatto