Ah, the '70s. Like the judges, I love this era of music (and I was glad no one was tempted to sing disco). This is going to sound crazy, but I think I actually agreed... with...
Paula most, of all the judges tonight. She was, dare I say it, sane, wise and insightful.
Simon, meanwhile, went on the record Tuesday afternoon - even before last night's show - to tout
David Archuleta as the one to beat this season. (You can read the full news story in our
Great American Idol blog.) Young David's take on "Imagine" perhaps only cemented that opinion. But more on that in a bit.
All in all, this was a more successful performance night than the boys had last week, and there were a few standouts. But there are still more than two of these fellas who should definitely get the ax before
American Idol heads to the big stage and the eliminations get harder and harder.
As for the performances...
Michael Johns, "Go Your Own Way": I'm trying to figure out what it is about Michael; I really enjoyed this, but when I went back and listened to it again, with my eyes shut, it was just sort of bland. I think he's just got that "thing" that makes him enjoyable to watch (and I'm not just talking about good looks). The vocals were pretty good - I'm not sure I agree with
Simon that it was his weakest performance of the competition - but his strong suits are more his persona and delivery.
Jason Castro, "I Just Want to Be Your Everything": His frustration with interviews and having his picture taken was half-endearing, half-"oh, get over yourself," but I'm with the judges: He needs to stop hiding behind his guitar. Simon found it "schmooltzy," by which I think he meant schmaltzy, and I have to say: Jason lost a few points with me tonight.
Luke Menard, "Killer Queen": It makes
so much sense that Luke is a member of an a capella group. He just seems so wholesome, and although this week was a heck of a lot better than last, it was an oddly poppy rendition of Queen. "You are always going to be judged with the original," Simon said. "The trouble is that the singer of that song had charisma and personality; you didn't, so therefore you suffered by comparison." By the way, I'm totally with those of you who said that Luke has an Orlando Bloom thing going on. But even
Ryan had the same thought I did, that he looks like James Van Der Beek - or at least that's what I assume he was going for with that
Dawson's Creek comment.
Robbie Carrico, "Hot Blooded": As you guys know, I really liked Robbie's "One" last week, but I'm jumping off his bandwagon after this one. Paula was right that Robbie played it safe; worse than that, he managed to make a song I really enjoy sound boring. Not good.
Danny Noriega, "Superstar": Danny gave us a pretty vocal, but it wasn't particularly spectacular. Oh, and of
course he was in a punk-rock band with his best friend who played drums, and of
course they were lousy but enjoyed themselves. I would expect nothing less from him.
David Hernandez, "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone": You can tell he really worked on the performance values - good for David! I stick by my assessment that this guy can
sing. Simon even gave him a best-of-the-night (till that point). And he did gymnastics when he was a kid - do you think that means we'll get to see a cartwheel from him sometime this season?
Jason Yeager, "Long Train Runnin'": This is such a pretty song, and, frankly, Jason massacred it. It's cool that he plays piano, guitar and drums, but did anyone else think the sight of him sitting behind the keyboard was beyond cheesy? Said Simon: "The simple truth is, last week was boring; this week was just awkward and ordinary, and that horrific ending, I don't know what you were doing there. It was like you were drunk at a party there." I'm thinking that's the last we'll see of Jason.
Chikezie, "I Believe to My Soul": By making this song choice, Chikezie had to compare to two singers I love: the great Donny Hathaway, who popularized it, and my darling
Elliott Yamin. And you know what? I liked it! And it wasn't just me: He got three thumbs-up from the judges. As for his name, Chikezie explained that it's Nigerian, and the proper pronunciation is really beautiful. I also thought it was classy that he pointed out that one of the backup singers, Kenya, is Donny Hathaway's daughter. To the commenter who took offense at what I said about Chikezie's back-talk to Simon, I'll reiterate my response: Personally, I enjoy it when these kids stand up for themselves, but time and again, the voting public has proved that
they don't like their contestants too mouthy.
David Cook, "All Right Now": OK, I'm officially onboard with David Cook. That was a
rockin' performance. But please, David:
no more winking. Robbie, watching from the balcony, looked kind of distressed, like he knew that he really couldn't compare. Plus, David is a "huge word nerd," which Simon thought was boring, but can we geeks of the world please gather together to say that that's actually
hot? As Paula said, "Women like smart men." Um, yeah!
David Archuleta, "Imagine": When it started up, I was worried - John Lennon is sacrosanct in this household - but this was gorgeous, original and made Paula cry (granted, not all that hard to do). When she said, "You're destined for superstardom," I had to agree. The scene with him at age 11 singing for
Kelly Clarkson was priceless. Plus, on top of everything? I believe his humility. The only catch with him is that the gasping for breath between phrases is somewhat distressing. But the girls are already screeching for him. Yes, folks, we definitely have a front-runner. (Or, as my husband put it tonight, "He's going to win.") For more on David, see our
Great American Idol blog (
Simon Predicts Idol Winner).
My prediction: Jason and Robbie are going home. And if not this week, then soon, Luke will be out the door, too.
Is David Archuleta the one to beat?
Should Simon have spoken publicly about David being the favorite?
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.
Ah the 70s Like the judges I love this era of music and I was glad no one was tempted to sing disco This is going to sound crazy but I think I actually agreed with Paula most of all the judges tonight She was dare I say it sane wise and insightful Simon meanwhile went on the record Tuesday afternoon even before last nights show to tout David Archuleta as the one to beat this season You can read the full news story in our Great American Idol blog Young Davids take on Imagine perhaps only cemented that opinion But more on that in a bitAll in all this was a more successful performance night than the boys had last week and there were a few standouts But there are still more than two of these fellas who should definitely get the ax before American Idol heads to the big stage and the eliminations get harder and harderAs for the performancesMichael Johns Go Your Own Way Im trying to figure out what it is about Michael I really enjo