‘Idol’ Guest Blog: Elliott Yamin Returns To Idolator, Looks Into The Souls Of The Top 10

Idolator Staff | March 31, 2010 11:40 am

American Idol pressed the Top 10 contestants to reach a bit outside their comfort zones (which, for many, remains singer-songwriter/coffeehouse rock). Did guest coach Usher get them to stretch? Well, kind of, in our opinion. But if there’s anyone truly qualified to review Idol‘s R&B/soul week, then it must be most “stank” soul performer (his word, not ours, and we mean it in the best way) Idol has ever produced — Elliott Yamin. We’re honored to have Elliott back in the house as a guest blogger today (especially after his excellent take last week on the Top 11).

We hardly need to say it, but Elliott remains one of the standout talents from any Idol season. Check out his official site to see his glorious performance of “Free”, “Can’t Keep On Loving You” and more at the Generosity Water charity event, Night of Generosity, from earlier this month. See his review of last night’s Idol below: Elliott’s Review:

And Then There Were 10

Ahhh….Top 10 week…I remember I came out with a little more swagger, trying to show a little more personality.. after all, the previous week I had just overcome another hurdle in the AI obstacle, making the post-Idol summer tour…so…I was home free, right?…Wrong!…It only got tougher…but I felt like I could afford to lose a little bit of my inhibitions, and just have fun out there on that stage…even though Paula said I had 2 left feet, I wasn’t that bad (insert cliche here)…let’s see how this seasons Top 10 fared…

1) Siobhan Magnus – “Through The Fire” First of all…way too much commentary …W hy did the judges get 2 rounds of it?.. The song has been done before, I thought it was too safe, old, and unoriginal… she sounded a bit nervous, which I get…but at this stage, you can’t let that affect your tone of voice. Keep your head up, kid.

2) Casey James – “Hold On, I’m Coming” Great, original song choice!… And again, kind of suited Casey’s voice.. which isn’t spectacular, nor does it blow anyone away… but I really dig the way Casey is workin’ it, and making the best of what he has to offer… He’s showing off his range of artistry with his guitar, which also doesn’t hurt… Good job tonight.

3) Michael Lynche – “Ready For Love” Bold, yet super-dope choice of a song… you know why? … Because it was so well emoted…It was genuine, straight from the heart, and I believed every syllable.. this is what I’m talkin’ ’bout! Taking a great song, which may not be as popular, and eternalizing that sucka… Keep doing what you’re doing Big Mike!

4) Didi Benami – “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted” A little indulgent at times.. I totally agree with Randy, in that there was no range in the way she performed the song… It really didn’t go anywhere…was a little flat at times (I was, every week)… Now, she said that she had a deep connection with the song, but I just felt like she got lost in it…. and was disconnected with the audience.

5) Tim Urban – “Sweet Love” Man, I was really rootin’ for Tim tonight!.. He’s a likable guy, right?…But this performance was flat-out flat… I mean, there’s just zero inflection in his voice, his tone…I mean this respectfully, but there was absolutely nothing interesting about the vocal arrangement or the vocal performance… and the judges were hilarious and spot on.

6) Andrew Garcia – “Forever”

Good, current choice.. and I actually thought Andrew made it his own tonight… wasn’t crazy about the arrangement, or the vocals, but I think he’s back on the right track… still, I’d love to see him show just at least a quarter of the amount of personality that his proud Momma Garcia showed!.. She was awesome!… Overall I thought Andrew was pretty decent.

7) Katie Stevens – “Chain Of Fools” I thought she actually sounded good tonight… I kinda dug her swag on stage as well… To her credit, she’s young… but I think the reason the judges say she sounds too mature at times is because she doesn’t really know how to use her voice just yet… so she doesn’t take risks with vocal runs, etc… All in all, I liked the performance.

8) Lee Dewyze – “Treat Her Like A Lady” I loved this key for Lee… and this was the best performance I’ve seen from him thus far! I mean, night and day as far as confidence is concerned. He owned that song, and made it his you know what… I was thoroughly impressed… hats off to Lee for coming around and believing in himself.

9) Crystal Bowersox – “Midnight Train To Georgia”

I liked the confidence that Crystal showed playing the piano, and getting out in front of it… again, she is the truth and knows she belongs in this competition… although it wasn’t the greatest vocal while playing combo, it was heartfelt and I liked it!

10) Aaron Kelly – “Ain’t No Sunshine” Great song…I really dig this kids voice…but I thought the performance was a little boring.. just because he really didn’t put enough stank on it…. I thought it was a safe choice, and would like to see him take more chances vocally… Aaron is still one of my favorites. It’s crunch time, kiddo!

The 2 best performers of the night for me were:

1. Lee Dewyze

2. Michael Lynche


Keep up with Elliott at his official site, and for Pete’s sake, follow him on Twitter. He’s a mensch.