On tonight's American Idol, the Top 6 are taking on the songs of Shania Twain.
As mentor, she tells the contestants they need to interpret the songs and make them their own.
Lee DeWyze is first, and he's singing "You're Still the One." Shania tells him he is rushing the guitar somewhat and gets him to slow it down a little. I think maybe she should have suggested he start a little lower in the chorus because it's a little rough, but overall still good, typical Lee. Randy Jackson says this is one of his all-time favorite songs. He says he was worried for him, but he found his sweet spot in the lower part of his register. Ellen DeGeneres says it was better than "pretty good" and that he made it his own. Kara DioGuardi says his voice makes every song sound "so relevant." She thinks it was "a good job." Simon Cowell agrees with "everything everyone's said." (Whoa, Twilight Zone.) He says he was pulling some weird faces here and there.
Michael Lynche is singing "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing." Shania Twain says he takes the song to a whole other place. He does a lovely job with it, and Shania is even tearing up in the audience. Randy says he was in the zone of who he is. Ellen says she was nervous, but it felt like Luther Vandross singing that song, and she felt all his emotion. Kara says he is always connected to the songs, and he put his mark on it. Simon agrees with Ellen's Luther analogy. But he thinks the performance was "wet," but no one really understands what he's talking about. He says it was "a little bit girly for you."
Casey James tells Ryan that after last week, he went through all his performances and realized that last week, he didn't give anyone anything new. He is singing "Don't." Shania tells him to let his confidence come out through the song. He says it's "a singing song," and probably the first one of those he's done in a while. I think he's probably right -- this is way more of a performance than a jam. Randy says this was one of the best Casey James performances ever and he hopes Casey really learned something from this. Ellen says he sang it like that's where he belongs. She thinks it was his best to date. Kara says artists don't hide, and tonight that is what he was doing, he was out there. Simon says last week was a much-needed wakeup call and he agrees with Randy that it was his best performance.
Oooh! Did you see the So You Think You Can Dance ad? The Top 10 will be paired with 10 all stars from past seasons. (Yes, I know this is old news that Nigel has been tweeting about for ages, but now it's really real!)
Crystal Bowersox says she loved working with Shania because she is so nice and is surrounded by an aura of positivity. Shania says she should bring in a more positive feeling to her tone because this is a peppy song. Crystal interviews that it's a message to her boyfriend, who will "man up" one of these days. Heh. She sings "No One Needs to Know," and it's sweet and fun, a bit of a change for her. Plus, she seamlessly harmonizes with her background singer -- how many times have we seen people mess that up on this show? Randy says it felt like Nickel Creek, but it wasn't his favorite performance, but he's glad she did a country performance. Ellen says there is nothing she can't do, though it wasn't her favorite either. Kara says it's impossible for her not to sound good because she's so authentic, but it wasn't her best. Simon says it was limp and felt like a coffee shop where they hire people to sing when you don't really want them to.
Aaron Kelly is singing "You Got a Way" and he tells her he is debating about some parts of it. She tells him to stop thinking so much about hitting the notes and just feel the song. He sings and reminds us that he has a big voice -- it's one of his better performances, I'd say. Randy says this is his wheelhouse and that he did a really good job. Ellen says this week is going to be tough because everyone is doing so well. Kara says he really felt the words and he changed a line. He adds that he was singing the song to his mom, which is why he changed the line. Simon says he's struggled the past couple of weeks, but tonight "you were like a different artist."
Siobhan Magnus is singing Shania's first No. 1 hit, "Any Man of Mine." Shania tells her to put some character into the words to make them come alive. She sings it fast and with some attitude, and then closes with a couple of those huge, incredible notes. I don't always feel her big notes, but tonight they worked. Randy says he loved it, loved it, loved it. Ellen says it was fantastic and a good way to end the show. Kara says Siobhan is back. Simon says he really, really liked the song, though the thought the end went on a little too long. He says it was like she was giving birth up there if you just heard that note in isolation (bahahahahaha), but he liked it.
What did you think about the performances? I'm pretty shocked it took Shania week to get these contestants to step up their games.
(Photo of the Top 6 with Shania Twain by Ray Mickshaw for Fox)