Aaron Kelly may have had laryngitis and tonsillitis, but his performance -- and Crystal Bowersox's usual excellence -- topped an oddly lackluster "American Idol," where most of the contestants wasted their chance to sing ANY song that topped the Billboard charts.
Aaron is clearly tops among all the guys right now, which is startling given how young he is. As Simon says, though, he's "a little trier," with a ton of courage. He may have been sick this week, but his great performance and stage presence -- combined with another nailed song choice -- made you forget any vocal issues.
And he provided one of the best moments of the night when he blushingly admitted he has a "little crush" on mentor Miley Cyrus, asking for an extra hug from her at the end of rehearsal (and prompting Simon to try and get him to go out in the audience after her during the live show).
Here's how I ranked a forgettable night. Be sure to put in your own rankings in the comments, below:
1) Aaron Kelly got to hug Miley Cyrus, who he said he has a "little crush" on, twice. Then he went out on the stage and went David Archuleta on "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"
2) Crystal Bowersox was really good on "Me and Bobby McGee" and was tops vocally -- I still think she'll be great one of these nights.
3) Siobhan Magnus screamed again, but her interesting take on "Superstition" was more than that, even if not as amazing as last week
4) Katie Stevens was singing for herself with "Big Girls Don't Cry." Like Kara I think she found herself this week
5) Michael Lynche may have been too much for the judges with "When a Man Loves a Woman," but it's nice to hear a great song sung well.
6) Andrew Garcia got crushed for "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," but I didn't think it was that bad, and rather enjoyed it.
7) Lee Dewyze may have been Ellen's "favorite pen" with "The Letter," but for me and Simon, the old song was a bit dry.
8) Didi Benami tried to be sultry and strong with "You're No Good," but just never got it together.
9) Casey James just aped Huey Lewis with "Power of Love." Not sure what Kara and the rest heard but Simon and I have heard it before.
10) Paige Miles was "honestly terrible" as Randy said with "Against All Odds." At least she realized it, too.
11) Tim Urban deserved the lashing he got from Simon for his "silly, silly" version of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."
TALK: Who was best on "American Idol" tonight? Click on "Add a comment" at the bottom of this post, or e-mail me and I'll post it for you.