We're inching ever closer to the end of season nine of 'American Idol,' and I'm seeing some clear standouts from the pack. My favorites as of tonight are Michael Lynche, Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Aaron Kelly, and Casey James. I'll add in Siobhan Magnus, but I'm not as big a fan as the judges (though I liked her performance this week better than they did).
It's R&B/Soul week, and Usher is the celebrity mentor. Unlike some mentors, he actually seems to give the contestants something useful in his critiques. He drills home the fact that they have to connect with the audience, which, of course, is important and something they might overlook while trying to bring the performance together on stage. And he's also got his new album to promote, 'Raymond v Raymond.' In fact, while I was writing this review, I got an email from iTunes about it, so good timing there, marketing people.
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