‘Idol’ Guest Blog: Kim Caldwell Checks Out The Mess That Is The Top 9
Let’s face it: this season of American Idol has been… confusing. The judges have offered contradictory bits of advice, voters have kept certain cute-but-less-than-stellar talents, and this week, somebody played the bagpipes. We had a feeling this kind of thing might happen, and that’s why we called in the experts. We’re completely thrilled to welcome our new guest blogger, Kimberly Caldwell!
While Kim’s busy prepping her debut album, Without Regret (and playing for select crowds—catch her at the chic Aria resort in Las Vegas this Saturday), we’re stoked that she’s also also taking time to help us figure out the chaos unfolding on Idol. Which of Simon’s reactions last night was “unnecessary”? And who’s “the lost Jonas brother”? Check her take on Lennon/McCartney week below.
Statuesque and packing a distinctively Texan charm, Kim (an Idol finalist in Season 2), is readying her full-length album, and we simply cannot wait to hear it. If you’ve seen her self-affirming—and beautifully shot—“Mess Of You” video, or heard her one-of-a-kind rasp (check out her tribute to Melissa Etheridge on this cover of “Come To My Window”), you’ll understand why. Of course, she’s still more than savvy when it comes to Idol.
American Idol always amazes me with the status of celebrity involved in the show. I mean, even Paul McCartney sends out his love to the final 9 contenders! Really can’t get better than! It’s Beatles music this week so the bar is already raised with Lennon and McCartney’s brilliant and legendary music and lyrics. It’s on!
First up, Aaron Kelly with “The Long and Winding Road.” The token little brother of this year’s group starts off kinda shaky, but this kid’s tone is pretty remarkable. I can’t imagine being so young with his grace on that big stage. I think if he knew how good he really was, we would have a true star on our hands. Simon’s eye roll was unnecessary, as usual, but I hope he stays around another week so we get to see him take the criticism and come out of his shell.
Next, we see Katie Stevens with “Let It Be.” I automatically think of Brooke White’s memorable performance of this song, which was so powerful on the piano, so… a lot to live up to. But, I have to say, Katie gave us a solid performance, in my opinion. Randy agreed that it was her best performance ever and no more robots here. We got to see her truly step it up and sing from her heart. Mature little thang for 17! Go girl!
One of my early favorites, Mr. Andrew Garcia, takes the stage with the classic “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Every week, I’m waiting for him to rival his own “Straight Up” performance, which he transformed to a modern-day smash, so I’m left feeling the same as Kara. I wanted to learn more about him as an artist this week. Don’t get me wrong though, this guy is absolutely precious and when he makes his album, I’m gonna buy it because I’ve been a fan since day one. That’s what this competition is all about anyways…. making that album post-show, so I’m sold.
Taking over the screen is the lovable teddy bear, Michael Lynche, to sing his story. This guy has star power spilling out of his pores. Even though every note wasn’t perfect, he still keeps you engaged as a viewer with his passion and enthusiasm. Don’t take your eyes off this guy because he is making sure he doesn’t get lost in the crowd. Personality plus!
We all “Come Together” to, once again, enjoy Crystal Mama Sox staying true to herself. This girl just has “IT.” She doesn’t have to dress up or run all over the stage to prove she could be this season’s champ. She just does her thing and her thing is working like a charm. Talk about consistency. She is, like Randy said, “in the zone.”
Tim Urban and his electric guitar take over next and I can see why the little ladies adore this kid. He’s like the lost Jonas brother. The judges in past weeks have been pretty harsh on him, but I was glad he was able to come out and show why he earned a spot in the top nine. We are watching this little boy take the constructive criticism like a real man and I truly commend him for that.
Casey James and his perfectly tossed hair are up next. I really believe that if he wins this show or not, he has a long career ahead of him. He’s not too bad on the eyes either, which just completes the whole package! He sings with conviction and true emotion. He deserves the place he has fought for in this competition and Simon pegs him “the best of the night.”
One of this year’s stand out vocalists, Siobhan Magnus, kept things pure and tender, which I personally thought was a smart move on her part. Her control was solid and, if she stays unpredictable, I believe she will stay in this fight for the ultimate title. She showed us a touching and soft side of her personality that I really enjoyed. Very nice, very nice.
Lee Dewyze strummed his acoustic guitar to “Hey Jude” and his Danny Gokey like vocals were showcased once again. I don’t care what Simon says, the dude in the kilt was a nice treat too. Like Kara mentioned, I believe Lee is radio-ready and I bet we get to see him rock out again next week.
All in all, this week’s show was a pretty captivating two hours! Thank you to all of the contestants of AI 9 for keeping us glued to the screen and on the edge of our seats. It’s gonna be a fight to the finish this year. Bring it!