Michael Slezak
March 16, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EDT

“(I Haven’t Been Able to Get No) Satisfaction” from most of the current crop of American Idol finalists over the past three weeks. And though I’m not sure tonight’s telecast turned that trend on its head, at least the bulk of the dozen performances didn’t use the pages of the Rolling Stones songbook to line the spattered birdcage that season 9 has been. [WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD, west-coast Idoloonies!]

What we saw happening tonight was a tightening of the pack, a heating up of the raging battle for fifth through tenth place, as singers from Casey James to Lacey Brown to Paige Miles to Lee Dewyze gave a’iight-to-decent performances. Meanwhile, way out in front, righteous rocker babe Crystal Bowersox and vocal MVP Siobhan Magnus lived up to the hype, giving the kind of memorable efforts that should be enough to stop disgruntled folks from deleting Idol from their DVR rosters for at least one more week. (Watch out, though, ladies…with a little improvement, Didi Benami might be nipping at your heels.)

Only two contestants really proved worthy of the Jasmine Murray Early Ouster Memorial Trophy: Featherweight Katie Stevens swung her Wiffleball bat with all her might, but ended up gasping on the ground after “Wild Horses.” And in what was essentially the equivalent of urinating on the graves of Alex Lambert, Lilly Scott, Katelyn Epperly, and even Todrick Hall’s Idol Summer Tour dreams, Tim Urban took misogynistic anthem “Under My Thumb” and tried to turn it into something that might snugly fit on the iCarly soundtrack. H to the O to the R to the R to the O to the R. Yes, it’s like that, only with a reggae beat.


I’ve got some other strong opinions about how Rolling Stones night on Idol played out, but I’m gonna save most of ’em for my full TV Watch recap, which will post early tomorrow morning on EW.com. While I get to work on that, why don’t you head to our message boards and share your own feelings about tonight’s performances. And don’t forget to do one or more of the following: press play below to view our latest episode of Idolatry (featuring Idol history major Kate Ward); sign up to follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak; and #SignMattGiraud. (Related: ‘American Idol’: Our Advice for the Top 12 Finalists)

Tonight’s Set List:

Michael Lynche: “Miss You”

Didi Benami: “Play With Fire”

Casey James: “It’s All Over Now”

Lacey Brown: “Ruby Tuesday”

Andrew Garcia: “Gimme Shelter”

Katie Stevens: “Wild Horses”

Tim Urban: “Under My Thumb”

Siobhan Magnus: “Paint It Black”

Lee Dewyze: “Beast of Burden”

Paige Miles: “Honky Tonk Women”

Aaron Kelly: “Angie”

Crystal Bowersox: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox; Inset: John Spellman/Retna Ltd

You May Like