Graphic by Emmy Lindfors

Graphic by Emmy Lindfors

After a night of mostly dissapointment from this seasons’s Top 8 girls, we tuned in on Wednesday night, hoping for a change in performance quality. And here’s what we found…

Lee DeWyze

Emmy: Awesome, awesome, awesome, is all I can say because Lee rocked it tonight! Yeah he did and I am in love with it.

First off, when I heard Lee DeWyze and Fireflies by Owl City I was ready to jump out of my seat. I love both of those things. I love them so much that I was ready to jump out of my chair, but I couldn’t because I have a hurt foot with a bruise that looks like Florida, no joke.

Tonight’s performance was great. He took a different take on it, but it paid off. I really liked it. Lee is getting my vote as soon as I can call. I will be walking around my house pressing the redial button.

On a side note, Prospect has “Lee Fever,” but there is one aspect that many are too focused on. That is the fact that Lee got kicked out of Prospect. People seemed shocked at it and that’s all they can focus on. Let’s get all the gasps and OMG’s out now people.

I have news for you. Lee did NOT get kicked out of Prospect. He voluntarily left Prospect. If you want to read the true story behind Lee’s time at Prospect, click here and for a Q & A with Lee from April 2008 click here.

Have you heard Lee’s voice? It’s AMAZING and it doesn’t even matter if he was kicked out. Him being kicked out does not affect his music. He’s still amazing, no matter what his past held.

Also for those of you who can’t let it go, you obviously haven’t listen to Lee. He is very open on the fact that he was kicked out of his high school and he has said in his Golden Ticket interview, “that’s not who I am today.”

So stop focusing on Lee’s “bad boy” side and start focusing on the side that is talented and just performed a great version of “Fireflies.”

Maddie: When I heard that Lee was about to perform Owl City’s “Fireflies,” one of my favorites — seriously, I’m addicted — I was over the moon with excitement. After all, my favorite “Idol” contestant and on one of my favorite songs in one just couldn’t be a bad combination.

And I was right. Lee’s execution of the song was one of his best to date, flawless with the exception of a few minor pitch problems here and there.

And guess what? After Lee changed the melody slightly and incorporated a twist into the song with his raspy, David Cook-esque tone to near perfection, I’m pretty much addicted to Lee’s version of the song, too.

Alex Lambert

E: I was bored by your performance. Sure, it was good. it wasn’t great, and I’m not comparing it to Lee’s because nothing can top that. Ellen is still comparing you to a banana and Simon told you to think of Randy in a bikini. There always seems to be odd stuff happening when the judges talk to Alex.

M: Alex, honey, I hate to have to say this, but I’m worried for you. So, terribly worried.

And it’s not even close to fair: Like Ellen said, he’s turned into a mushed banana (once again, a pretty creative comparison — or maybe just a little downright creepy this time, as Ellen has already passed her first, second and probably third offenses when it comes to fruit analogies). He’s grown from a very awkward kid with a mullet to a moderately awkward kid with a mullet to… Well, to a distinctly less awkward kid with a mullet. Detect a pattern here?

I do, and it’s that pattern that just might cost him a spot in the Top 12. He’s got the talent, but I’m missing that spark. Although I do have a solution: Cut the darn mullet, and I swear, the angels — or should I say voters — will sing.

Tim Urban

E: It’s Maddie’s BFF! Yeah right. I actually liked Tim’s performance tonight. It was super good and it was very executed. Ellen, you’re so awesome, running away from your judges table to hug Tim. I don’t think that has everbeen done during the performances on the American Idol stage. I believe, that if Tim continues what he did last night, he will be going far in the show. I have a feeling that he will make the top 12.

M: Why? Why? WHY?

Why did Tim Urban have to be good? I’ve wanted nothing less than his elimination ever since he first auditioned for the show, yet the odds do not seem to be working in my favor; rather, they’re working in Tim’s. After miraculously getting chosen by the judges to replace a previous in the Top 24, Tim managed to escape being sent home after what would even rival Sanjaya Malakar’s as the most ridiculous performance that did not result in elimination.

Why? Oh, yeah, that’s right: He’s got nice hair, and the rest of him is nice enough to match it. Because that’s totally relevant to how a person sings. Um, obviously not, because otherwise, Zac Efron might have actually been able to sing his own vocal part in “High School Musical.”

But alas, in the wonderful world of “American Idol,” anything can happen, including vocally-challenged pretty boys making it through to the Top 12. The fact that he actually managed not to completely bomb this week doesn’t help my cause. So I guess we’ll be seeing Timmy Boy for at least another week.

Andrew Garcia

E: From hearing that Andrew is doing Cristina Aguillera, I had a feeling that he was going to try and top the Paula song that is still being talked about from Hollywood week. This song and how he arranged it might top the Paula song. I think that his version of “Genie in a Bottle” is way better than its orginial version. I can see Andrew being in the top 12.

So far out of four performances I can see all of them in the top 12.

M: While the judges weren’t crazy about Andrew’s take on the Christina hit, I loved it. The beginning was lacking slightly in spark, but as it progressed, the song gained more and more momentum until it had me feeling similar to how I felt when I first heard his take on “Straight Up”: floored. Completely and utterly floored. His voice has a unique tone to it that leaves me wanting to do nothing less than pop open YouTube and listen to it ten times over again. And guess what? I do.

Casey James

E: I like Keith Urban…a lot, so don’t let me down Casey.

Wow, you don’t have your hair down! Not showing off for Kara?

I like this song choice for Casey. The judges will probably disagree with me, because that’s what they seem to do all the time. Casey is really in the moment and has a great stage persona. He’s easy to watch and doesn’t make you sympathize him or worry about him like previous contestants.

Dear Randy, I don’t care if it was safe, “dawg.” Hearts, Emmy.

Kara, what stop did you get off of on the Casey train? You mean that you got off it?

Simon, way to hit that microphone! You do know it’s been there for as long as you’ve been on this show.

M: Casey’s an interesting guy, not even taking the dynamic of his relationship with Kara into account, which, quite frankly, is too strange — kind of like Siobhan — to even discuss. Even without that, though, Casey is intriguing: He’s probably got one of the best voices in the competition at this point, and when he chooses the right song as he did in the first week, he’s golden.

But other times, he’s not so perfect. Like tonight, for instance: Casey’s vocals were as superior to many of his competitors in the way that they always are, but he did not leave as lasting of an impression on me as he has in the past. His performance would have been great last night where all of the girls were terrible with the exception of Lilly and Crystal, but it was easily forgotten in a night of shining stars. Any other competitor would be in danger after a showing like his, but Casey and his association with the “cougar” will keep him in for another go.

Aaron Kelly

E: Another country song from Aaron…OK. Can’t you mix it up, Aaron? I will say that he has a pretty good voice for a young guy. He’s only s16, but he doesn’t seem like it.  I don’t exactly see him in the top 12, but I think he’s got a great shot at getting in.

M: One thing that never fails to impress me about Aaron is how he somehow manages to know exactly who he wants to be at such a young age. That’s more than I can say for either or the other two younger contestants this season, Katie and Haeley, neither of whom have even found one song that truly matches who they are. Aaron knows, though.

But that’s a double-edged sword: While not knowing who you want to be will cause you to perform badly, Aaron might know who he wants to be a little too well. It’s like being tight-casted in the film business: You may excell at all the roles you get, but you never get to show off what else you can do.

With Aaron singing country song after country song each week, I’m starting to get bored. And I can usually keep my attention trained pretty well, so if I’m losing interest, then America is, too.

Todrick Hall

E: It’s a Glee song! They did good with this song on Glee.

To be honest, I cannot see Todrick in the top 12. He just doesn’t have star quality or pizazz. I just am bored with him, even though I like his jacket very much. But his pants, are confusing. What’s with them?

Todrick is back? What? These judges and I cannot agree!

M: When Todrick stood up on the stage, I was already taking for granted that he was going to ruin a hit and take the first spot home. And again, wrong. So, so wrong.

I can’t believe it, but Todrick rocked it out tonight. Simon was right, of course, in saying that Todrick performs like it’s “American Idol on Broadway,” but what’s wrong with that? That’s essentially what Adam did every week last season, and look where he ended up. Answer: runner-up.

Big Mike

E: You sound like a screeching cat right now. Now you get back to your normal voice, what the heck?  You’re voice is good, but the ending I didn’t like.

The judges are pleased..no duh because we seem to be disagreeing tonight.

Kara, can you say over emotional? You are crying! Come on! This is ridiculous.

And Big Mike is safe. Great. Now I’m so confused on who is going home. I’m so, so, so confused.

M: Big Mike was the grand finale of a show that was already going grand: After not performance that I can honestly call bad, Mike rose the bar as easily as he raises a 150-pound weight. That is to say, very.

What is there to say? He was insane; he was powerful; he was the best of the night. And there’s no way he’s going home.

Overall

E: Everyone was good tonight. It was completely opposite of last night. I am so confused on who is going to go home tonight. I like everyone’s performance, but at the same time Lee’s performance stuck out to me and not just because we are from the same town. He took one of my favorite songs and made it different. A very good different. I really want to listen to it again because I really liked it. I am still remembering it from over an hour ago.

Who is safe: Big Mike, Tim

Who might go home: Casey, Aaron, Alex

M: Tonight really was the polar opposite of the girls, all of whom struggled except Crystal and Lilly. Tonight left me feeling great — until I realized that two of these amazing performers will have to go home tomorrow night. Who will it be? I honestly have no idea. Tune in at 7 to find out.

— Emmy Lindfors and Maddie Conway