The truth is, I wasn't really buying the hype about how talented this group of contestants was. But tonight's
American Idol went a long way to convincing me. The Top 12 guys did an impressive job; not all were major league performances, but a few totally hit it out of the park. The theme was '60s songs, which I thought was sort of a questionable call on the part of the producers, but most of the boys handled their assignments well. It was also fun to see the judges harassing and teasing each other - finally, it feels like
Ryan being back to his old form; he's already stirring up trouble with
Simon and man-handling the contestants. It's nice to see that some things never change.
But of course it was all about the singers tonight, starting with...
David Hernandez, "In the Midnight Hour" - Good for him for wanting to "prove Simon wrong." I thought his vocals were darn good (except for the very end), but his performance skills could definitely use some work - as Simon said, he needs to loosen up.
Chikezie, "More Today Than Yesterday" - It's not easy being Eze, apparently. Chikezie has lost his last name - and some weight - since Hollywood week, but he's still got that winning smile, and I loved the orange suit. But alas, Chikezie was cheesy! OK, OK, I'm sorry, I'm stopping now. (Simon's calling him "Chacuzzi" - as in a whirlpool tub - is
not my fault.) I'm a major fan, but he needs to learn to tone down the back-talk to the judges; it takes away from his likeability. Simon found it "hideous"; I wouldn't go that far, but definitely not his best.
David Cook, "Happy Together" - In the beginning, I really didn't think this performance was good
at all. And I still didn't like it as much as the judges did, but I respect David's ability to make it his own. Plus, he's starting to rival Simon with the one liners, like, "It's nice to have people outside of your circle say, 'Hey, you don't suck.' "
Jason Yeager, "Moon River" - Yawn... this was such a sappy song choice that Jason would have had to really do something special with it to redeem the performance (which he didn't). But it did get
Paula reminiscing in her odd, grammatically freeform way: "I have such sentimental value to that song; I did my first ballet recital to that song."
Robbie Carrico, "One" - This performance honest-to-goodness surprised me; in fact, it might have been my favorite of the night. There's a passion to his delivery and a purity to his voice that are both very appealing. As Simon said, "It's the only current performance."
David Archuleta, "Shop Around" - OK, maybe Robbie's performance tied with this one for me. David is so sweet and seems so genuine, but his maturity and his vocal sophistication are definitely beyond his years. Simon called it the best performance of the night, and said, "When you've got it, you've got it."
Danny Noriega, "Jailhouse Rock" - Danny sure knows how to put on a show, but the vocals were just so-so. Simon thought it was awful; "[it] was verging on grotesque." But Danny was so attitudey, he managed to evoke a smile out of Simon. To which Ryan said, "Careful, he might double-snap you back." Oh, dear.
Luke Menard, "Everybody's Talkin'" - This guy reminds me of a cross between Noah Wyle, Luke Perry and (I know this is going to sound odd, but trust me on this one) James Van Der Beek. The vocals were fine, but didn't have much of a wow factor, or as Simon put it, "No one's going to remember you."
Colton Berry, "Suspicious Minds" - He cracks me up, with his
Teletubbies theme-song prescription for nerves. He managed to get Paula on her feet (though she later gave it only an OK assessment, calling it an "eager and fun attempt"), and I still think he's too theatrical. And, as usual, Simon had the best line: "I just think if people spent more time worrying about their voices than their hair..." To which Ryan responded, "That's called hopeless, that box cut you've got."
Garrett Haley, "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" - Garrett seems like a nice kid, but the song was honestly pretty abysmal. I leave it to Simon to do the clarifying: "It was boring, your voice sounded a bit whiny, you look terrified, and it looks like you've been shut up in your bedroom for about a month - you look verging on haunted. You need some fresh air."
Jason Castro, "Daydream" - Playing the guitar was a risky choice, but it worked for him (again, until the end, when I thought he lost it). The judges positively adored him; Paula called him "a blend of every favorite color I know," and Simon said he thinks he "has it." Jason, meanwhile, seemed a bit thunderstruck by the whole thing.
Michael Johns, "Light My Fire" - He's definitely got the
Ace Young factor, if you know what I mean, but I honestly thought the vocals were kind of all over the place. I mean, if you weren't actually watching him, you probably wouldn't think much of him. But I do agree with Simon when that he has, ahem, "charisma." No doubt about
My prediction: It'll come down to Jason Yeager, Garrett Haley and Luke Menard for the bottom two.
What do you think? Who - if anyone - wowed you tonight? Who do you think will be the first ones to go home?
Check out all of Simon's best lines of the season in our
Simon Says... the Most Quotable Things! blog.
American Idol clips, visit our
Online Video Guide.?
The truth is I wasnt really buying the hype about how talented this group of contestants was But tonights American Idol went a long way to convincing me The Top 12 guys did an impressive job not all were major league performances but a few totally hit it out of the park The theme was 60s songs which I thought was sort of a questionable call on the part of the producers but most of the boys handled their assignments well It was also fun to see the judges harassing and teasing each other finally it feels like Idol Including Ryan being back to his old form hes already stirring up trouble with Simon and man-handling the contestants Its nice to see that some things never changeBut of course it was all about the singers tonight starting withDavid Hernandez In the Midnight Hour Good for him for wanting to prove Simon wrong I thought his vocals were darn good except for the very end but his performance skills could definitely use some work 151