Idol Chatter: The Live Blog #9: The Top 7 (Inspirational).

[I wanted to do this last season, but I got the idea a few episodes too late. I do admit, I watch American Idol. I really didn't start until a couple years ago, though (my mom was a much bigger fan). Similar in style to the Live Survivor Blog over at Blog Cabins, Idol Chatter (pun and all) will be a play by play of the episodes and what I think of what's happening. For those that don't know, just continually refresh this page to get new updates as the show goes on.]

We're finally down to the Top 7 and... it's also (finally) Idol Gives Back... well, tomorrow, anyway. Hopefully we won't have to hear about it again after tomorrow. So let's get to it.

7:00: "This... is American Idol."

7:02: It's "Inspirational Songs" night... I bet pretty much everything I own that Big Mike will be singing a slow song. This week's mentor is Alicia Keys.

7:04: Casey's up first. He's singing "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac. I like this song. This should be perfect for him.

7:05: Doing well. Didn't take him long to get into a mini guitar solo. But the singing is really good. He seems to be having fun with it. Didn't take as big of a vocal range as last week or the week before (I forget which at the moment. I think the week before). But still pretty good. I liked it.

7:06: Randy thought it was good, but not his best. He wants him to step out of his comfort zone. I can agree with that. Ellen says he's consistently good, but he needs to be great. Kara says he's made himself like everybody else tonight. Simon didn't think it was particularly inspiring and there was little originality.

7:13: And we're back with Lee! He's singing "The Boxer" by Simon Garfunkel. I think this is a pretty good choice for him and his journey on idol.

7:14: A couple minor rough notes, but nothing killer. Overall a really good vocal. Nothing much else to say. Wasn't too crazy about it, but it was good.

7:16: Randy thinks he's a great artist and that he'll have a great career. Ellen thought it was a beautiful song choice and thinks he's getting better and better. Kara said Lee just had his true "moment." Eh... I'm not sure I agree with that. Simon thought it was the best of the night, despite it only being the second song in. But the difference between him and Casey is staggering. I knew this was gonna happen with this song when it was halfway through... that the judges were going to adore it, despite me not melting over it. I mean, I really liked it, but I don't think it was the best thing he's ever done.

7:23: Huh... because that was coincidental. On inspirational night, they have Cap'n Sully (the guy who landed the plane in the harbor a while back). Anywho... Tim's up singing some Goo Goo Dolls with "Better Days."

7:24: He's continuing with his good performance streak here. The vocals are slightly shaky at times, but I think he's doing overall pretty well with it. Nothing fantastic, but good.

7:25: Randy thought it was OK. Ellen compares him to the soup of the day (sometimes you like it, sometimes you don't), and she didn't like it. Kara thought he's found himself, but didn't perform it to his best. Simon thought if this had been his first performance, they might be impressed, but they were actually let down (imagine that... being let down by Tim). And I have to say... I kinda was, too.

7:28: Continuing on with Aaron. Wow, Tim and Aaron back-to-back. I don't think my heart can take it. OH! And Aaron is singing "I Believe I Can Fly." That's the inspirational song to end all inspirational songs. This outta be... excuse me while I go throw up.

7:29: Archuletta, you are not. Vocals are... alright. But the song should not be a song that any American Idol should ever sing. I mean, it was an inspirational song sung by a guy who peed on an underage girl written for Michael Jordan in a movie he acted in with Bugs Bunny, for crying out loud.

7:30: Randy thought he did good with such a big song. Ellen: "There was a brief time in the 70s when I believed I could fly." Lol. But she thought he handled it well. Kara thought it took time, but by the end he got there. Simon judges this in two parts. First, knowing Aaron and liking him. Second, hearing it on the radio and how he would have turned it off. I kinda agree with both Kara and Simon. The song wasn't that good, but it did get good there at the very end. However, you can't save a terrible song by how you end it. If a song isn't good all the way through, it isn't made a good song by having a good final note (as opposed to movies where the ending can make an entire movie--see: Saw... no pun intended).

7:37: Siobhan is up. Come on, Siobhan. Make it good this week. She's singing "When You Believe" by Mariah Carey.

7:38: Vocals are really good. She didn't go for a screamer this time again, but she did hit a nice high note. Not my favorite of hers, but still pretty good.

7:40: Randy thought it was just OK. Ellen disagrees as she loved it. Kara thought that it was technically well sung, but doesn't think this is a musical (um... k). Simon agrees with Randy... and thinks Siobhan's little plastic butterflies on her outfit look like leaves. I can see where they're coming from (performance-wise). Again, it's not my favorite, but it was good... which seems to be the real theme tonight.

7:47: Big Mike is up... and apparently he has a playbook of songs, and he's choosing a song from this playbook tonight. He's singing "Hero" by Chad Kroeger (the Spider-Man song).

7:48: Fine, Mike, prove me wrong by singing a song with more of an uptempo. Granted, is about mid-tempo, but still. But I'm liking it... mostly because it's not some slow, sappy ballad. But it was good vocally, too. (I guess I lose only half my stuff?)

7:50: Randy thought he held his own. Ellen thought he did great. Kara didn't like it, thought it was all over-the-place and unrecognizable. Simon thought he sang it pretty well, but it was inspirational night and the song was about Spider-Man (lol... I love that he mentioned that).

7:55: Crystal is singing "People Get Ready" by The Impressions (?). And for the first time ever, she's singing without an instrument.

7:56: Starting off a capella. Great vocals, as per usual. Sorry I'm a little lacking in words on the performances tonight. Just not all that much to say. And... Crystal started crying at the end of the song? Interesting.

7:58: Randy gave her a standing ovation. Ellen thought it was beautiful. Kara loved it. Simon thought THAT was inspirational and happy to see some emotion there (and that it was in a completely different class from the rest of the night). Crystal explains that she started crying because she saw her dad in the audience.

8:00: The Recap. Casey was Casey... again. Lee was really good, as usual. Turban was... disappointing? I can't believe I'm saying that. Aaron was just... not good. Siobhan was alright... good vocals. Big Mike finally does something besides a slow ballad, and it's just alright, but I liked it. Crystal was excellent. Did they re-film Crystal's ending? I'm pretty sure she ended in tears, and her recap didn't have that. Anywho... tomorrow is Idol Gives Back! Shocker. I swear, Ryan hasn't even mentioned it all season...

Final Thoughts: I think the Bottom 3 will be Aaron, Tim, and... maybe Casey? But I think Aaron is going home.

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