Project ‘Idol’ Tuesday: Top 11 perform No. 1s

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Miley Cyrus as a mentor? Really, “American Idol”? Unless she’s mentoring in auto-tune, dancing on stripper poles, sexting and posing for disturbing photographs with her daddy, Miley has no business telling anyone how to do anything – especially singing.

According to Internet rumors, Tuesday’s theme was supposed to be “Teen Idols,” which would sort of explain Miley, but at some point over the weekend the theme was switched to Billboard’s Number One Hits. Miley is simply a ratings ploy to get more tweens and teens to watch the show.

After some gay panic banter between Miss Seacrest and Simon about the latter’s v-neck sweater blouse, it was on with the show. And what a mostly terrible show it was.

imageLee DeWyze: Miley said he had no stage presence, so he came out looking vaguely like Michael Bublé and backed by a horn section on “The Letter” by The Boxtops. It was definitely his most energetic performance to date, but the vocal was only so-so. He has a raspy voice – whoop-de-fucking-doo. Every song sounds the same.

Paige Miles: Miley calling anyone pitchy is ridiculous, but she was right. Paige’s live performance of Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” was nightmarishly out of tune. I don’t think she hit a single note. The judges savaged her, with Kara calling it the worst performance of the season. Unless she gets massive sympathy votes, she’s outta there.

imageTim Urban: Lego head decided to try Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and Miley advised him to loosen up and inject some personality. Tim decided to slide around the stage on his knees and jump into the audience, all the while sounding like he was singing at the Summer Bible Camp talent show. In a word: Dreadful.

Aaron Kelly: He’s got a crush on Miley (Awwww…), and she said he was awesome and gave him a big hug (Awwww…vomit). Although he had tonsillitis, Aaron sounded OK on Aerosmith’s schmaltzy “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing.” Compared to those who came before him, he was Pavarotti. Miss Seacrest got in a zinger and called him David Archuletta.

imageCrystal Bowersox: I figured Crystal would be giving Miley the “bitch, please” side-eye, but she had the prosti-tot sign her guitar. Classy, Crystal. As for the song, Crystal went extra hippy-ish standing on a rug and belting Janis Joplin’s “Bobby McGee,” which was a little too obvious and expected. It was still the best performance of the night.

Michael Lynche: He called Miley his “little sister” (more vomit), and she was like totally in love with him. Like, omigod, totally. Blech. Big Mike sang “When a Man Loves a Woman” wearing a velvet smoking jacket with his shirt open and dangling gold chain. As Kara said, it was a little too lounge singer-ish. He’s this year’s Ruben Studdard. Wonder whatever happened to Ruben?

imageAndrew Garcia: Miley sabotaged Andrew by telling him to put down the guitar for his cover of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” I swear to god the glasses were even bigger this week, and that only magnified how terrible this performance was. From the safari jacket, to the corny dance moves, to the lifeless – nearly spoken word – attempt at this classic Motown tune, it was a big disaster.

Katie Stevens: For a moment, I thought I was watching the Miss Teen USA pageant. Her voice sounded strained on Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and the judges were way over-pimping her for no good reason. Still, she’s young and pretty and did well enough to make it to the Top 10. I doubt she’ll make it to the Top 5, but could imagine the judge’s save option being wasted on her.

imageCasey James: He was almost channeling Huey Lewis on “Power of Love,” which made it more than a little copycat. Cougar Bait obviously thought he was making it bluesy and cool, but it was just pure corn. Simon said it was like listening to an ‘80s cover band and I can’t disagree. Still, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed.

Didi Benami: Didi covered Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good,” and it wasn’t any good. It fact, it was terrible. Period.

Siobhan Magnus: She thought it was “wicked cool” that Miley thought her voice had “swagger” – whatever the hell that means. Siobhan looked like a nerd when she met Miley, then came out on stage looking like a punk rock chick with and ugly hair-don’t. She belted Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” with a great brass section backing her up, and unleashed her now trademark scream at the end. However, the scream is becoming clichéd and overwrought. I can still see her in the finale.

Who’s going home Wednesday? I would guess Paige, but there were so many horrible performances it could easily be Tim, Didi or Andrew.

Collin. Out.

imageCollin Kelley is a poet, Atlanta-based journalist and author of the recently released novel, “Conquering Venus.” Follow him on the Modern Confessional blog at


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