What a trip down memory lane - the '80s were when I discovered popular music, so to hear a lot of my old favorites again was quite a treat. Not just for me, either - I'm currently eight months pregnant (thank you, thank you) and the little one was doing some fancy dance moves along with tonight's songs, too. I really wasn't sure about
Idol's decision to have the semi-final rounds be themed, but I've actually come to enjoy the decades-spanning performances. It's also interesting to see who picks what in each decade.
As for the judges tonight, they were back to
their old ways, too.
Ryan said of the '80s that "Many of us wore our most embarrassing outfits then." Like, for example,
Randy's shirt, which was both shimmery and multi-colored? (At least he didn't come out wearing a Madonna'ish lace headband, single glove and jelly bracelets, like I used to do back in the day).
Paula was also in rare form tonight, stuttering over her words, rambling incoherently and dropping gems like, "Two words: phe-nomenal."
On to the performances:
Luke Menard, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go": This was kind of like when the girls try to sing Aretha - being compared vocally to George Michael is just not really going to help
anyone; you'd better be darn close to perfect, and this was hardly that. In fact, this was pretty awful. "I thought it was weak, a bit girly," said
Simon. "There is no chance you're going to make it through even to the final 12." I hope he's right; this should be the end of the road for Luke.
David Archuleta, "Another Day in Paradise": Sometimes you forget how young this kid is - he's just so darn
smoooth. He started off playing the piano and then, at the perfect dramatic moment, got up with the microphone and worked the stage. I actually found myself agreeing with Ms. Crazypants - I'm sorry, Ms. Abdul - that it was kind of reassuring David's performance wasn't
perfect tonight. He did hit a few clunkers, and Simon made a valid point that David should try to lighten things up a bit. Though David was getting a head start on "Idol Gives Back" by trying to bring attention to the plight of homeless people with his song choice.
Danny Noriega, "Tainted Love": I know that there are some Danny haters out there, but he clearly enjoyed this Soft Cell classic - and so did I! Love this song, and Danny's energy (not to mention the purple in his hair) were just right for it. Simon thought it was "absolutely useless." He hated the arrangement, the vocals, the whole thing. Danny's "whatever" hand-to-the-head Simon move in response was kind of funny, but I worry for him.
David Hernandez, "It's All Coming Back to Me Now": I was really hoping David would be great tonight, after the whole stripper scandal that broke about him. And this was good, but not all
that good. Not to mention his embarrassing-moment story about the pea-sized bugger in his nose during a photo shoot. Yikes - that wasn't, as Danny said "TMTH," but rather "TMI" (ah, these kids and their texting language).
Michael Johns, "Don't You (Forget About Me)":
The Breakfast Club was one of those defining movies for me, and I loved hearing this song. But again, Michael's vocals on their own were just all right; it was the whole package of watching him that made the performance. His embarrassing story was equal parts disturbing and endearing - he was dressed as a kangaroo mascot called Boomer and got beat up in front of a rugby stadium full of people. Anyone know why Randy was comparing Michael to Michael Hutchence tonight? I mean, they're both Australian and have sort of similar vibes... but this song was by Simple Minds - a Scottish band, mind you, and one that Michael Hutchence never belonged to. One of those head-scratcher moments.
David Cook, "Hello": As the song started up, I thought, "No way. What is he
doing?" But this was one of my favorite performances of the season. Who the heck would have thought that Lionel Richie could sound like that? David is seriously cool - I just wish he'd stop doing that smug pseudo-wink thing to the camera. Simon said of the performance, "That was a very brave thing to do, and I loved it." Couldn't agree more!
Jason Castro, "Hallelujah": Ladies and gentlemen, Jason's back! He chose one of the most beautiful songs I know, and he managed to treat it with the grace and delicate strength it deserves. Even with that little moment of lost breath at the end, he pulled it off. Simon thought it was "absolutely brilliant," and I thought it proved why Jason is in the running.
Chikezie, "All the Woman That I Need": This was a good performance from Chikezie, but whether it was good enough to keep him in the running... I'm just not sure. I'm still not clear what Simon was getting at in his critique - because Whitney Houston performed this song, Chikezie's version didn't work? That's not quite fair; other artists before and after Whitney have tackled it successfully. I was with Paula and Randy on this one; Chikezie did a nice job, and I, for one, hope to hear him sing another day.
My prediction: Luke should really go. As for the other one, I'm going to say it's a toss-up between David Hernandez, Danny Noriega and Chikezie.
What do you think? Was the trip down '80s memory lane fun for you, too? And who did enough to warrant a place in the Top 12?
Cheers & Jeers:
Did David Cook turn up the heat?
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What a trip down memory lane the 80s were when I discovered popular music so to hear a lot of my old favorites again was quite a treat Not just for me either Im currently eight months pregnant thank you thank you and the little one was doing some fancy dance moves along with tonights songs too I really wasnt sure about Idols decision to have the semi-final rounds be themed but Ive actually come to enjoy the decades-spanning performances Its also interesting to see who picks what in each decadeAs for the judges tonight they were back to their old ways too Ryan said of the 80s that Many of us wore our most embarrassing outfits then Like for example Randys shirt which was both shimmery and multi-colored At least he didnt come out wearing a Madonnaish lace headband single glove and jelly bracelets like I used to do back in the day Paula was also in rare form tonight stuttering over her words rambling incoherently and dropping gems li