March 11, 2008

Idol Recap 3/11

So tonight's Idol demonstrates why this season is infinitely more talented than last season. For example, Chris Sligh would not have stood a chance of making the final 12 with this group. And he went deep into last season. Tonight, in addition to Kim Kardashian desperately trying to preserve her 15 minutes by being in the studio audience of Idol, we saw three people stand out, any of whom could win this season and any of whom are probably better than any previous champions aside from Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. We also saw quite a few performers who had pretty rough weeks but who will glide into next week (and rightfully so) based upon their body of work up until this point and the fact that they've likely got a bloc of supporters behind them. And, of course, we have two who might not have been the weakest two tonight, but who have been weak for some time now and tonight will likely be what pushes them back to their lives of going to school at FIU or fighting in mixed martial arts. On to the recap:

The Three True Contenders:
Carly Smithson - Yes, we know she already has a record deal. But damn if I didn't think watching her tonight that I was watching somebody who was already a superstar performing a live concert. Her take on Come Together was vocally and musically brilliant. The tats are scary, but she's a charming girl and she's safe for quite some time to come.

Brooke White - The one thing all three of these top contenders have is genuineness, and none shined through as much as Brooke. Ramiele, David, and she all tried to take on Lennon ballads. Only she really shined with hers because when stripped down to nothing else, her voice carries on its own. She doesn't need to be overpowering or sing with runs, vibratto, or falsetto. She just sings and it is melodic and beautiful.

David Cook - This is my boy. Daughtry came in fourth in Idol and I think that he could beat Daughtry when all is said and done. I don't think he'll win simply because I don't think a true rocker can win this competition. But he was again, incredible. He's no bullshit on stage, he just brings it every week.

Improving by the week:
Eze - Hmm... so this week's Idol revelation... the next time the surly TSA guy is screaming at everyone to have their boarding passes ready and all liquids in the clear plastic bag in the bin, be nice to that guy... he could be an American Idol finalist. And Eze is getting better by the week. He's appearing more comfortable on stage, he's picking better and better songs, and his enthusiasm is going to grab him some votes.

Totally confused why screaming = judge's love:
Amanda Overmyer - She's safe. But holy crap, I swear her performance was two solid minutes of screaming and scatting. It's horrifying. I actually wanted to fast forward through her performance because I was watching with a headache. She's trying to rock some extensions and smile more. And fellas, tell me that you didn't imagine a totally insane catfight between Amanda and Carly when we found out they're Idol roommates.

Safe by virtue of past performances:
David Archuleta - Tonight was fun. It's like when the kid who is Mr. Perfect 4.0, valedictorian-to-be scores a 980 on the SATs. My sources tell me this would be even worse now that the exam is out of 2400. I'm getting old. But who didn't enjoy watching him, wondering if he was going to run off stage and burst into tears when he forgot his lyrics. Listen cherub wonder, you're going to try to cover Stevie Wonder? In the words of Seth Meyers, "really?" Listen, there's no way he's getting voted off. But if it was based on tonight's performance alone, he's gone.

Ramiele Malubay - My first thought was that she has a really pretty voice. My second thought was that it was like watching an above-average karaoke singer performing in Manila. She's a cute girl with a booming voice. She just needs to maintain liveliness in her performances because she can't survive on voice alone like Brooke White.

David Hernandez - Performance tonight reminded me of Sanjaya. And who among you didn't laugh when he talked about his prior job at the "pizza joint" when he showed us a picture of himself with another guy's arm draped across his shoulders, and who talked about how he really wanted to "take over the stage." It was truly a manic performance. But he'll survive because he's proven he belongs.

Jason Castro - Getting better in interviews but he's going to need to start getting better on stage. The stationary performances only work if you knock the song lyrically out of the ballpark. Didn't do it tonight. He too could be venturing into some dangerous territory.

Michael Johns - I agree with Simon... I'm totally frustrated by Michael. In this spot weeks ago I booked him a spot on the Idol Tour (and therefore in the top 10). Since then, he's done nothing to show he belongs there. I know the talent is there, we saw it in his performance of Queen during Hollywood week. But he's in really dangerous territory. Probably in the bottom 3.

Mediocre before, still mediocre tonight:
Syesha Mercado - I thought she deserved to get canned last week instead of the girl who did (how sad is this show that not even five days have passed and I don't even remember the girl besides Sugartits who got cut?) She brought nothing to the table tonight and will be in the bottom two.

Train wreck before, still a train wreck tonight:
Kristy Lee Cook - It was almost fun watching the judges tonight as soon as her performance ended to see how they could possibly put into non-profane words what the rest of America was thinking: "WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT????" Sorry dear, you're not going to make the Idol tour... no buying back your favorite barrel horse. And let this be a lesson to all Idol contestants. If Paula tells you that she didn't like it, you're done.

10 Responses:

Josh said...

I really liked Chikezie, and yeah, the country girl has to go.

big tuna said...

Yes, Kristy was a train wreck. I think her voice was actually ok but it wasn't matching what the band was playing. The band was playing at a much faster tempo than she was singing and that song just didn't translate. It was hard to listen to. Buuut... I wouldn't be suprised if she stayed. She is the only country contestant and don't underestimate the country voters. They keep their contestants in until the field dwindles no matter what the judges say. It depends on what is stronger - the gay vote or the country vote. I think David Hernandez is gone.

And Brooke White was awesome.

Brien said...

I agree with tuna, Hernandez is gone. Jason Castro was pretty good, I thought. And how did Amanda miss the chance to sing "Helter Skelter?" That would have been a perfect song for her, but instead she picked an obscure Beatles song.

Staci said...

Not to pile on, but yes, Kristy Lee Cook was dreadful. There are plenty of Beatles songs that would be interesting in a country way. "Eight Days a Week" is not one of them, at least not the way she did it. If she had slowed it down to a ballad, I think she might have had a better chance. I sort of loved the David Archuleta trainwreck because, let's be honest, the Beatles are not super deep lyrically. And "We Can Work It Out" is certainly one of their lyrically simple pieces. Plus, he loses points with me for being like "I didn't know a lot of Beatles songs." Give me a break. No excuse at 17. He would have killed "Let It Be." Ramiele's choice of song was bad. I knew someone would try to do "In My Life," and there's no way to make it sound anything but trite. I think she's up for it this week, along with Hernandez/Johns. I also liked Chikezie, but for some reason, I see him being an early exit candidate. If he's still around in three weeks, Jeremy will eat a trucker hat. For real.

"ben" said...

Since I'm now an Idol expert:

Carly: Call me crazy, I did not like her version of Come Together at all. I totally disagree with Simon. She had a much better song choice last week than this week for her voice.

Brooke: Right idea for her, but I don't think she nailed it. She totally bit it at the end, probably fighting back tears. I thought the crying was lame.

Cook: Pretty good, but I fear he's only a "great" rocker by Idol standards. Would he hold up against other Rock 'n Roll dudes? I'm not sure. But he's good at taking non-rock songs and rocking out.

Eze: This was my favorite last night. I didn't even know the song at all, which I think helped, because I wasn't comparing it to The Beatles.

Overmeyer: She's only got one speed, one note. She can't last.

Archuleta: He's got a good voice, but I didn't like him last week because he's such a doofus. He's not an Idol to me. I'm sorry he's everyone else's darling.

Ramiele: Her worst feature is that as good as her voice is, she's utterly generic sounding. She compounded that by taking an incredibly generic sounding song (it's a great song and all, but it's only been covered 1,000 times). She sounds like a high school graduation. It's sad. She has no creativity or uniqueness. Brooke and Castro can get away with being true to a song because their voices are unique. She can't.

Hernandez: Eh, he stunk. His voice is too good to boot him, though.

Castro: I decided I really like his style, but like Overmeyer, he's only got one speed that can't carry him the whole way. If he got to do original songs that he wrote that were fresh rather than covering songs, I think he'd have the potential to be great. If he is a good songwriter, he could be a star on his own without Idol's help.

I'm with Jeremy on the last three, although I did like Syesha better than Asia or whatever her name is.

big tuna said...

I agree with "ben" on Carly, but I think my problem is trying to compare everything to the Beatles. That's why I thought the week was pretty lame except for Brooke (and I thought Johns was pretty good). My wife pointed out that I was too close-minded and that is why she thought it was a great night.

Nic said...

On a different note, I've never watched Idol before this year, but I'm finding the bickering between the judges and Seacrest rather hard to follow. Is it always like this?

big tuna said...

For all those betting on Idol I can tell you who I think is leaving for a nominal fee.

J-Red said...

Nic: Yes.

Anonymous said...

I am not a big fan of american idol, but in the detroit area all that has been on t.v. this week was our beloved mayor acting like asshole. So, I thought to myself, let channel surf and american idol caught my eye. and to my wonder, amanda was good. she reminded me of one of my favorite singers, janice joplin, raw unhinged talent and i thought she was brillant. i look forward to watching her next week because this girl will bring back again for a second look.