Season 5 finalist Kevin Covais will be offering his thoughts on this season's Idol performance episodes exclusively for UsMagazine.com. In the time since his 2006 run on the show, Covais appeared in the films College and Labor Pains, alongside Lindsay Lohan. When he is not in the recording studio readying new music, Covais works with the Diabetes Research Institute. He lives in Los Angeles. Here is Kevin's first blog entry.
With the first Top 12 performance round kicking off last night, the American Idol stakes are officially raised and the contestants under a pressure like you couldn't imagine. I can't help but recall my pulse racing right before I hit the stage four years ago around this time. Ah, what fun it was! But I digress.
We start off theme weeks with a band that is a bit before my time, but undoubtedly one of the best ever: The Rolling Stones. And I must say, when comparing last night's show to some of the lackluster semifinals weeks of the show thus far, I found myself quite excited and impressed when it was all said and done. My biggest issue the past few weeks has been song choice, but it appears that having a theme was a blessing in disguise for this very unique, talented group. I don't know that there was a single song choice I didn't agree with last night. But as usual, there were those that took the risk and stepped up, and those that may have slipped up by playing it a bit too safe.
Let's start with one of the singers pegged as an early favorite to go the distance this year, and that is Crystal Bowersox. She performed "You Can't Always Get What You Want," and she did a great job. While the performance wasn't spectacular, it is obvious that this girl is a natural on stage. Everything about her seems effortless, from the vocals to the delivery. She'll be around for a while and will definitely offer quite a few stellar performances along the way.
As far as the men were concerned, early favorites Casey James and Michael Lynche both delivered solid performances that will see them advancing to the Top 11 with ease. But for me, it was both Lee Dewyze and Aaron Kelly that surprised and gave two of the best performances of the night. There is something very earnest about these two guys, who performed "Beast of Burden" and "Angie" respectively. They both displayed great, controlled vocal ability tonight, and I was very impressed.
The night's overall top spot had to go to the incredibly unique Siobhan Magnus. I've loved this girl from day one, and the risk she took with the song choice "Paint It, Black" showed me why. Magnus has a strong voice paired with a strong stage presence (judge Ellen DeGeneres said she "stood out like Snooki's pouf"), and the fearlessness to aim for the high notes. She blew me away.
Now, we move on to the not-so-good the night had to offer. To be honest, there wasn't much of it. If I had to point out two weak links, I'd have to go with Andrew Garcia and Tim Urban. Garcia has just never quite lived up to the hype for me, and his performance of "Gimme Shelter" seemed a bit heartless and flat. Urban, whom I'll start out by saying seems like a really nice guy, should have been sent home during the semifinals. It's just my opinion, and believe me, I recall plenty of people who thought the same of me once upon a time. There just wasn't much to his performance of "Under My Thumb."
While I think he should be the one to go, sweet Lacey Brown might be in the most trouble. Her performance of "Ruby Tuesday" was forgettable, and those seem to be the ones that are at risk the most come time for the results. But as we know, anything can happen.
--By Kevin Covais for UsMagazine.com