Siobhan Magnus earned some comparisons to American Idol‘s Adam Lambert for her propensity for unleashing gutsy screeches early on in the competition, but she won’t advance as far as last season’s scene-stealing runner-up: the 20-year-old glassblower has been eliminated, leaving Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Casey James, Aaron Kelly and Michael Lynche as the Season Nine final five. Idol viewers cast 33 million votes after watching the top six contestants perform songs from Shania Twain’s catalog Tuesday night, leaving Magnus, James and Lynche in the bottom three. Despite the fact that the judges insisted the female contestants were stronger than the guys earlier this season, only one woman, Bowersox, remains in the competition, though she is a favorite to take it all at the show’s May finale.
Before Magnus exited singing one of her strongest numbers of the season, Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” a trio of country artists took the stage: Rascal Flatts played “Unstoppable,” Carrie Underwood introduced her opening act Sons of Sylvia — the winners of the 2007 Idol spin-off show The Next Great American Band with new haircuts and leather jackets — who tackled “Love Left to Lose,” and chart-toppers Lady Antebellum, who came off like a southern Fleetwood Mac performing “Need You Now.” Rascal Flatts returned to accompany Shakira as she sang “Gypsy” from her most recent disc She Wolf in a curious and less-than-successful collaboration. In an interesting and perhaps unintentional bit of synergy, this week’s Ford commercial had the contestants singing the Bravery’s “Believe,” and the band’s frontman Sam Endicott contributed a few tracks to She Wolf.
Next week Harry Connick Jr. will mentor the hopefuls as they explore songs made famous by Frank Sinatra — a pick that doesn’t seem like a strong match for any of the final five, particularly gritty soul singer Bowersox.