American Idol is here. One of my favorite nights of the week. Me and Craig sit around and critique the kids like we’re professional music critics. Good times. Since it’s my first Idol blog, here are some of my overall thoughts on the show….

So I have to admit that I like Ryan Seacrest. I can’t help it. I feel like he’s the hardest working man in Hollywood. Between this, his radio show, E news, and g-d knows what else, I wonder how many hours a night he sleeps. And every joke Joel McHale makes on The Soup about Ryan being an elf cracks me up.

I think Ellen is doing awesome as the new host. Sometimes you can tell she might not know what to say about the music stuff, but she is entertaining and friggin funny. And she does know what we as the audience look for in entertainers. I’ve always really liked Ellen. My college friends and I quoted her standup for years.

Usher is introduced as the week’s mentor. The mentors have been really young lately! But I think he does an amazing job. He helps the contestants a lot with their stage presence and helping them connect with the audience and be more powerful as entertainers. Throughout the show he comes off as quite the character, always performing, but he definitely knows what he’s talking about when it comes to entertaining an audience.

So my thoughts on the contestants:

Siobhan: She sings “Through the Fire” and bombs it. Woof. That was rough. I’m kinda over her to be honest. She’s too dramatic for me. I liked Adam Lambert’s dramatic performances, they connected with me, unlike Siobhan’s. And I agree with Simon, stop screaming at the end and change it up! I feel like she just screeches every week.

Casey:  This is his category! He has a bluesy style every week. But he seemed really nervous and was moving kinda ackward. He would just step back from the mike stand and then step back forward over and over. But his voice sounded amazing.

Big Mike: I dug the end of the performance but the rest I found a little boring. But he can reeeeeallly sing. And it was romantic and pretty. Usher and the judges are right, he totally connected with me for the first time. Plus I love India.Arie and I am impressed with him for picking a song by her.

Didi:  Oh sweetie, I just didn’t get it. It was very lounge singer-y and old fashioned, like a song from a musical like Show Boat or someting. I think she blew it. I have to say that I hope the poor girl is receiving some sort of backstage therapy. She seems like she could use some support emotionally coping with all this! Is she still upset over her friend dying? I’m not sure why she didn’t want to talk about it last night but that made for some ackward television.

Tim: I feel like its kinda mean to keep voting for this guy just because he’s kinda adorable. Instead of being a singer, he should be on a sitcom or some kind of CW11 show or someting. But stop singing. please. Even though he’s really cute, it’s surprising a singer this bad could make it through to this portion of the contest.  Oops, there was a second there where I was tempted to vote for him when I got hypnotized by his hair and his teeth. Then I shook it off and remembered how bad a singer he is. But boy, he is charasmatic. Tim should definitely be on some kind of tv show.

Andrew:  I really really dug it.  I also really like that song (“Forever” Chris Brown) to begin with but I was really impressed with his reintrepetation. It totally was “one giant leap in the right direction” as Kara said and “miles and miles better” as Simon said. I hadn’t liked Andrew for weeks but now I do!  Another vote for Andrew.

Katie: I really liked her song choice (“Chain of Fools” Aretha Franklin) and I agree with Kara that she has potential but NEEDS to go younger, much younger. The whole time I was watching her I didn’t believe she was 17. She seems 37. But I feel really bad for the girl the way the judges fight over the direction she should go in. I agree with Randi and Ellen that she’s pop with R & B leans.

Lee:  AMAZING SONG CHOICE. My favorite of the night so far!!!  Dialed up and voted for him. Lee sings like a rocker, like he screams a lot of it. I think his voice sounded like he was screaming for too much of the song, but the guy can really sing. He did friggin good and I can see for the first time that he could actually win this thing and that he may be seeing that himself now.

Crystal: She does seem in it to win it now, more so than in the last few weeks. Gorgeous song for her (“Midnight Train to Georgia” Gladys Knight). However, I am not impressed that she gave in and put on stilettos. The girls can barely walk when they wear shoes like that and they end up moving around the stage like robots. Exhibit A: Crystal or Katie in this episode. Go barefoot or wear shorter heels! Then you can move around comfortably. But clearly Crystal is a powerhouse and the one to beat. I thought she was ready to record an album since the first episode.

and last but not least, one of my personal favorites,

Aaron: I thought this was a great song choice (“Ain’t No Sunshine” Bill Withers), even though the judges disagreed. But I’ve always loved this song since hearing it in Notting Hill a decade ago. Aaron started off a little rough and sang just okay for him. This definitely was not his best performance, but he’s so talented, cute, and consistent. I don’t think he has anything to worry about just for having one off week so far. I think he also sounds ready to record a country album. It’s hard to imagine handling all this as such a young kid!

So that’s my thoughts on this week. I was a little tougher this week and only voted for two people compared to my usual three or four. No one blew my mind tonight, but there’s always next week!