April 8, 2008

Top 8 American Idol

My first American Idol re-cap post. The arrival of DVR in our home has allowed me the ability to FINALLY watch AI consistently. YIPEE!!! So I'm gonna throw out my thoughts on tonights show.

Random Notes:

  • Simon must have visited his pharmacologist this week. Hello Mr. Positive.
  • Paula. oh my lands. that dress? No words.
  • And Glory hallelujah, the arm wavers in the front section have finally left the building.

And just a short PSA to all the performers; just because you love the words of the song, and the message really speaks to your heart, it does not mean the song is an automatic slam dunk for you to do. Carly Smithson, a few weeks ago argued that Blackbird was a good song for her, because she understood what it meant to struggle to succeed. Same thing tonight with Michael Johns, he argued that Dream On was a good choice because he understood what it meant to Dream and have your Dreams come true. Free tip for the AI contestants. Loving the lyrics and identifying with the message are what iPod's are for, but if you wanna win this contest, you might want to consider a few other aspects as well.

Alright, on with my thoughts, tell me if you agree.

Michael Johns "Dream On" - First, I think he's trying to recapture the magic of last weeks ascot with the scarf. The scarf didn't work for me and neither did the song. His voice just didn't seem to live up to this song's potential. And those falsy's at the end were not at all tight. Those screeched out 'dream ons' at the end probably made this one of my least favorite performances of the evening. The ability to reach the note is only half the battle, you really have to nail it and I don't think he did.

Syesha Mercado "I Believe"- I really liked this performance, although it was a bit pitchy there near the end. I think I have the benefit of not seeing Fantasia's emotion filled prior performance of it on AI. That seems to have tainted the judge's opinion a bit. For where we're at in the contest, I thought she did very well. There's still a lot of room to grow, but I felt very engaged with the song and her performance.

Jason Castro "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - I'll admit that from the moment he said he'd be playing it on his Ukulele, I instantly had visions of Tiny Tim. Not a fantastic mental start, but certainly there's nowhere to go but UP from those kind of expectations. That being said, I really, REALLY enjoyed this performance and version of the song. It was a perfect all around song choice for him (style, vocal range, instrumental talents).

Kristy Lee Cook "Anyway" - I've never heard this song, but I instantly recognized the lyrics from one of my favorite poems, often attributed to Mother Teresa, called "Do It Anyway". Maybe it was the lyrics and maybe it was the the choir in the background with her belting it out but I really liked this song.

David Cook "Innocent" - I very much wanted to enjoy this song. But after the last two weeks my expectations were perty high. I'd buy "Billy Jean" and "Sparrow" off iTunes, but not this one. He couldn't seem to pull off the notes in the lower register. That being said, there were moments that he displayed his amazing talents, but on the whole I felt a little let down.

Carly Smithson "Show Must Go On" - This was another of my top four of the night. I thought she did great on this song, although I agree with Simon that it did sound a little angry for an Inspirational theme night. Nonetheless, I thought she carried the whole song well from first note to last. And she looked really good to boot. Hair looked great with the long layers, and the shirt and pants where stylish and flattering. I really thought Carly had a good night.

David Archaleto "Angels" - For me, his voice was just a little to breathy on this song, though that just seems to be the tendency of his voice in general. Even speaking he sounds a little breathy. Really the boy has got some skillz, both vocally and on the keys but this was not one of my favorites. I can't even explain why, but it's my blog so I don't have to. In short he did well, but not one of my top 4 of the evening.

Brooke White "You've got A Friend" - I agree with Simon that there was little originality to this song. I think the factors that she is such a fan of Carole King and James Taylor, that she went retro with her hair and clothing, and that she had previously performed this song for a talent show, all worked against her standing out in any way on this song. I doubt originality was the goal in the talent show, and once you've done a song, it's much harder to think outside of the box on it. Also, Brooke has got to stop working the puppy dog eyes when she doesn't get the feedback from the judges that she's hoping for. I really think that's going to work against her in the voting.

The final analysis: There was no performance that I enjoyed so thoroughly that I was compelled to hit rewind and watch it again. Also, I'm looking forward to the point of the show where pitch problems are more of the exception than the rule.

So my faves for the evening were: Syesha, Jason, Kristy Lee, and Carly.
Who I think will go: Probably Carly. Brooke was possibly my least favorite of the evening, however she has been a contender in the past and has it in her to go much farther with this. I'm gonna say Carly, even though I enjoyed her performance. I just don't see her connecting with the AI audience, and for that I think she'll probably go this week.

If you'd like to read more blog reviews of AI, you've got a plethora of options over at Boo's house.