Tuesday, March 18, 2008

American Idol- Top 11

So, it was Beatles night on American Idol once again, or Beatles night as opposed to Lennon/McCartney songbook night or something like that, so they were able to fit a George Harrison song in, but once again Ringo gets screwed. All in all, I don't think there were too many performances from this week's show that will make for true "water cooler" moments tomorrow. Some contestants who disappointed last week were better, some failed to live up to their previous Fab Four performances, some continue to struggle, and some have proven they deserve to be around a while. I just wish that Heather Mills could have had some airtime to talk about her divorce settlement from Sir Paul. It would have been more interesting than the continued scripted banter between the judges. And as usual on this American Idol stuff, I am completely rambling and not attempting to organize anything...

Anyways, last week, I correctly predicted all three members of the bottom three. David Hernandez was the first to be stripped from the competition (after I had previously predicted he would be a few times) though and while that did not come as much of a surprise to me at all last week, I did think it was going to be Kristy Lee Cook. But like Haley Scarnato last season, KLC just keeps sticking around. Those country music fans or Confederate Flag appreciators are really loyal.

Here is how I ranked this week's performances from best to worst:

1. Carly Smithson- showed a different side to her vocal ability on "Blackbird" and was as strong and polished as usual. I think it would be hard to argue that she is not the most naturally talented and seasoned vocalist out of all the contestants, and she did it all without a St. Patrick's Day hangover apparently too. But what will America think of her husband's tattoo face? Will it scare little kids? I guess if Sanjaya did not do that last week, not many things could.

2. David Archuleta- the front-runner to win it bounced back in an impressive way on "The Long and Winding Road." Yes, I happened to think it was a little bit boring perhaps, but like Carly, young David has proven that he has tremendous natural talent and while he may have played it safe to an extent this week, that was probably a good move to get his confidence back and the song style suited his voice very well. Am I completely off base for suggesting that there might have been a conspiracy afoot for him to underperform the last two weeks? Watching the pre-performance video package though showed David's creepy stage father hanging around again though. I hate to rush to judgment but I have read the stories about how difficult Jeff Archuleta may potentially be and that really has me feeling sorry for his son, who is both very talented and seems like a genuinely decent person. I hope he is not really dealing with a quasi-Joseph Jackson situation with his dad, but I get the hunch that might be the case and that is too bad. Finally, what was up with that huge ear monitor thing that the singers are apparently using? Is American Idol not able to make them less conspicious? The thing in David's ear was almost as big as he was.

3. David Cook- sang a rocked-out version of "Day Tripper" and once again did a very good job. He has been extremely consistent since a poor performance in the Top 24 round. It was interesting how in the video, he admitted that he was borrowing this version from Whitesnake, as apparently, his past "original interpretations" were borrowed from some contemporary acts. The Missourian is also apparently a fan of the Kansas City Royals. Talk about bad karma! Is he aiming for a fifth place finish?

4. Chikezie- maybe not quite as memorable as last week but I still think he did a good job and was able to impress with his orginality. He went into a bluegrass sort of vibe on "I've Just Seen A Face" (hopefully not that of Carly's husband). How weird that a Nigerian-American is the best country genre singer this season?

5. Michael Johns- he sang "A Day in the Life" and I tended to think that while it was far from perfect, it was a little bit better than the judges thought. There was some serious weirdness though when Paula Abdul said he was messed up because of the ear monitor and he just stood there and nodded. Then, Ryan Seacrest asked to see it and Johns had to sheepishly admit that he was not wearing one. That made about as much sense as Barack Obama trying to explain what he may have personally witnessed Jeremiah Wright say from the pulpit. Call it Monitorgate. And Michael was very obviously pissed off with the judges comments. At times, he sweats like Nixon too.

6. Brooke White- she was so good last week and this week was pleasant to an extent with "Here Comes the Sun", but it was her weakest performance. For one thing, the girl cannot dance and should not even try. That is obvious even on the cheesy Idol group performances (and maybe a reason to like her more.) The vocals were maybe ok tonight but the performance was pretty weird. And wow, did she show a different side to herself during the judges' comments. She usually comes across as so likeable, but I think she has a huge "control freak" side to her now.

7. Kristi Lee Cook- well, after the debacle last week, she could not have been any worse, and she certainly did make an improvement. I still do not think she measures up as a potential American Idol but was halfway decent (maybe just halfway) on "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away." So, she should have been happy with that, but Simon did not really like it, so just before it was time for her segment to end, KLC made some sort of very risque botched comment that I am too afraid to even attempt to repeat her. I think she realizes she sort of messed up what she was trying to say. I wonder if the West Coast version will edit out the remarks. Well, at least she doesn't have a red tongue anymore.

8. Jason Castro- I kind of wonder if I should have him lower. It is true that if his version of "Michelle" came on the radio, I would say something like, "What kind of crap is this?" But since he is an interesting personality and good performer, it was sort of interesting in a weird, but very corny sort of way. His facial expressions indicate that he probably realizes that the whole time he was singing it. Thankfully, pro-American Nicholas Sarkozy is now the President of France, or singing parts of a song on French on American Idol would be a sure ticket out of there.

9. Amanda Overmeyer- maybe I should have her ranked higher. I continue to be impressed with her entertainment value and showmanship (plus her mother), but it is just the same thing week after week and I do not think her vocals are as strong overall as many of the others. She sang "Back in the U.S.S.R." which in years past might also have been a controversial choice but kids today are going to be asking, "what is the USSR?" But with her choice of that song, she may get an invitation to perform at a Vladimir Putin/Dmitri Medevev inagural event or something.

10. Ramiele Mulabay- there was a time when I envisioned her in the finale, but I think that time has passed. She sang "I Should Have Known Better" and that sort of uptempo song just does not suit her as well as power ballad type songs. She was just a whole heck of a lot better in the Top 24 Round. Perhaps she was busy still missing Danny Noriega, who abandoned poor Ramiele to go on a cruise with Rosie O'Donnell.

11. Syesha Mercado- Let me be the first to say I know nothing about music, but her performance tonight just did not work for me. American Idol clearly put a lot of thought into her hair and wardrobe aspects and that might have worked out well, but her take on "Yesterday" seemed off key to me. I don't know if it just because it is one of the few songs tonight I was really familiar with or what, but she seemed off her game and tentative. But the judges all disagreed with me and my mother, who claims to be a former professional singer (thanks for reading Mom) said Syesha was good too. It just did not come across that way to me in the live performance for some reason. At the end of the show, when they did the recaps using footage from dress rehearsal, it even sounded better. So for Syesha's sake, I hope I do not know what I am talking about.

This is an important week on American Idol as the one who is eliminated on Wednesday will either be unlucky enough or lucky enough to not have to go on the Idols summer tour across America. Certainly, those who will not win or come close to winning should milk their 15 minutes of fame for as long as they can, but some of them probably are still feeling pretty ambitious and might try to see the bright side of not having Idol control their lives for the rest of the year.

So, somebody has to go, and I would bet almost anything it will be a female this week. Whether it just works out this way or if AI has to manufacture it, they will want a Final 10 and a tour of 5 guys and 5 girls.

I am going to guess the final three will be Kristy and Syesha again, and maybe Ramiele, all females. I again really sort of have the feeling that Syesha might be in trouble, but for like the 85th time, I will say that Kristi Lee Cook's chances will run out. But hey, at least she wasn't the worst this week!


At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Conservative Democrat:

Corey, I see the Bottom 3 being Kristy Lee Cook, Michael Johns and Brooke White, with Kristy Lee FINALLY going home tonight.

Archuleta and Ramiele in the Final 2, get used to it.

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ramiele will be gone in 3 weeks based on talent.

As much as I liked the Beatles, part 1, I disliked the Beatles part 2. Only DA improved from his first performance which was surprisingly awful. Everybody else went down a notch. Also, Simon was in a very bad mood during part II.



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