March 25, 2008

Idol Recap 3/25

So before I start on tonight's Recap, I'd like to apologize to our loyal six readers for the dearth of original posts the last few days, especially what with the NCAAs going on. You see... Maryland's performance this season pretty much rendered us joyless when it comes to college basketball. Further, J-Red, Brien, Russell, and myself actually also have day jobs. ECB doesn't pay the bills. So the four of us have been consumed with menial tasks like writing papers, drafting motions, and a few other things that we do just to pay the bills and to feed our sports habits. Stick with us oh ye loyal six readers... we'll be here for at least a little while longer.

Now, on to the Recap... last week's performance featured a picture of a horrifying trainwreck. Nice to see that some of the Idol contestants rebounded in a HUGE way this week.

David Cook - One of the absolute ballsiest performances I have ever seen on Idol. Performing Billie Jean in a hard rock arrangement. One of the most famous songs of all time thoroughly associated with Michael that even though had the alternate arrangement David played was never known in that particular version. And David's was phenomenal. I wouldn't spend the 99 cents on iTunes for any of these 1:45 performances, but this is the closest any performer has come so far to making me want to load up my iPod with his track.

Kristy Lee Cook -
"That was the most clever song choice I have heard in years" - Simon (post-performance)

"This is fucking brilliant! She's playing up to all the people in middle America who would never vote against the flag and is practically screaming 'Vote the Nigerian boy or the Irish girl off!!!!! Don't vote the pretty blonde American girl who rides horses off!' She's awesome! - Jeremy (laughing, during performance).

I said to the wife that Kristy Lee proved herself to be the most genius Idol contestant ever with this song choice of God Bless the USA. Talk about knowing how the game is played. Nicely done Kristy, nicely done. And you did actually sing it pretty well too.

David Archuleta - I don't know the song, but as usual, he sang it well. But Simon was spot on that this could've been out of "It's a Small World" themepark-like ride. And he got in a little dig at David's dad too. Nicely done Cowell. David can sing well but I'm not sure he has the charisma to win. See Melinda Doolittle last year. David will get the teenybopper vote more than Melinda did, but Melinda's "aww shucks" act wore thin by the final three when she lost out to two performers who brought more personality to the table.

Michael Johns - Given that his best two performances to date were Bohemian Rhapsody during Hollywood Week and We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions tonight, maybe he should just join a Queen cover band. I really would like to hear him take on Somebody to Love. But anyway, tonight's performance was excellent. Lots of energy, looked like he was loving life up on stage, and we FINALLY saw the Michael who showed up during Hollywood Week. Hopefully he'll use this week as a springboard because putting aside the fact that he used to work as a mascot for an Aussie football team, I really, really like him.

Jason Castro - He'll skate by because of the blue eyes, big eyelashes, girlish cheekbones, and goofy grin. But unless he branches out soon, his shelf life is limited to about three more weeks. He's got talent but he's become apathetic.

Syesha Mercado - I watch the show on DVR about 40 minutes before it starts. When I check my e-mail just before turning the show on and see an e-mail from J-Red warning me to watch for Syesha, I know I'm probably in for something good because that's a first from J-Red. Syesha is back people. She was Mariah Carey-esque in her performance tonight. Simon was right, she did stretch her vocal range to the limits. But my understanding is that's what the performers are supposed to do. Syesha is likeable and the girl can flat-out sing.

Brooke White - This could have been fabulous. But we all get protective of our favorite songs. Every Breath You Take just happens to be one of my favorite songs. Hence me being very upset when P-Diddy did his own little take to mourn Biggie. And hence me being upset when the band came up and Brooke tried to take on the original version of the song. Agree with the judges... I could totally tolerate her doing her own solo slowed down version with just the piano. It was nice. It was pretty. But she's not big enough to take on the original arrangement. She'll survive I think though. She had good stage presence to march on after flubbing the first note and starting over. Honestly, I didn't know that's what it was. I thought she just missed her cue. She's in danger of being in the bottom three this week if we go just by this week's performances.

Ramiele Mulabay - Better than last week and that's not saying much. Alone by Heart was not a good song because everybody automatically compared her to Carly who has the voice to sing a far superior version, and who did sing a far superior version in Hollywood Week. Plus, she was born in Saudi Arabia. With that in mind, going up against Kristy Lee's performance, Ramiele must be a terrorist who any good red-blooded American Idol voters would never support. But of course that's not what Kristy Lee Cook was thinking, right????

Eze - Nice job buddy. You're not going to listen to judges who praised you for singing up tempo songs the past few weeks and blasted you for ballads? You're going to listen to the bandleader?!?! His job is to play your background music and to get it right. That's it. I'll give you credit for at least singing the song well and showing some range and depth to your voice. Your performance though was catatonic and sleep-inducing and you put yourself squarely in danger. Especially with Kristy Lee Cook's song choice which could make middle America harken back to the days of segregated schools. But of course that's not what Kristy Lee Cook was thinking, right????

Carly Smithson - Simon was actually very poignantly accurate tonight. I was super excited for Carly to follow up Michael's awesome performance, especially when I heard the first few bars of Total Eclipse of the Heart, again, awesome song, and a great song for somebody like Carly with a big voice. However, last week's bottom three performance scared the shit out of Carly who was clearly feeling the pressure tonight and it showed in her performance. She was ahead of the backup singers, then behind them, and all over the place when it came to pace. She didn't show much stage presence. She looked like she wanted to just pound out the song. She's going to need just a kick-ass performance to get her footing back. She's safe for now, but I still think in this week's Bottom 3. America might be ready to get rid of the tattoed, Irish girl with the scary looking boyfriend who has 95% of his body covered in ink. But of course that's not what Kristy Lee Cook was thinking, right????

18 Responses:

J-Red said...

I think Ramiele is in the most trouble. She went first AND sucked. Add to that David Cook killing at the end and I can't imagine many people remembered to vote for her.

Carly was clearly shaken by her trip to the bottom last week. She made a comment about "going to the bathroom" beforehand that Seacrest talked over, but if she went to puke I wouldn't be surprised. She looked close to tears afterwards.

I want to like Chikezie so much, and he's great when he picks the right songs. He needs someone to help him out.

Archuleta was not impressive at all, and he picked a song no one knows. I'm sure he's safe though.

Kristy Lee Cook, regrettably, got a huge gift with Proud to Be an American falling in her birth year. She's beyond safe.

I didn't think Michael Johns was so great, but I guess that's just because he tried to sing the song exactly like Queen did, except he couldn't hit the huge notes because he isn't Freddie Mercury.

Syesha and David were the best by far. They can relax tomorrow.

Nic said...

Hah, I thought the same thing about Kristy. How the hell are the judges going to be able to criticize that?

I'm almost tempted to spend 99cents on David Cook's rendition.

However, I don't like Syesha. Sure she can sing, but she's a power singer. Do you know how many power singers we have already? Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and on and on. Plus I'm sure if any of us go down to our local church we could pick up some one just like her.

JACK said...

My only problem with David Cook is that he's getting so much praise for something that isn't his: the song arrangements.

Tonight we got David Cook doing Chris Cornell's rendition of Billy Jean. Before we got White Snake's Day Tripper, Doxology's Eleanor Rigsby, and Incubus' Hello. He's doing a great job in performing them, but I am tired of him being praised as "brilliant" and "ballsy". He's smart, but I think he's playing this a bit too coy. He knows the judges don't know jack about alternative and so he can use these act's versions and yet reap the "creativity" praise that's rightly do them.

"ben" said...

After weeks of rolling my eyes at Kristy Lee Cook I waited for her to screw up again last night. Then when she started, something happened to me...

I don't know what it was, but suddenly I saw the real KLC. She's such a wonderful person, a wonderful singer, a beautiful girl and a beautiful person. In this crazy, mixed up world, she is what is right with America today! She is what all Americans should aspire to be!


"ben" said...

Regarding everyone else, I was pretty disappointed. I think I just don't like 80s music. I really didn't like Michael Johns. I was severely disappointed in Carly who I think could be gone if she was truly in last week's bottom three. I was turned off by some of Syesha's over-the-top singing.

In all seriousness, I thought Kristy did one of the better jobs last night, though her problem is still she doesn't perform when she's on stage, she's "musical wallpaper."

Josh said...

Kristie Lee Cook did a good job but was definitely pandering. She'll get a half-life from that song that the performance won't warrant. David Cook was the best last night; that he's using pre-existing arrangements is news to me. Jason Castro probably deserves to leave more than anyone, but he's not gonna.

big tuna said...

We had an Idol first in our household. We rewinded to see David Cook's performance again. I thought it was going to be a mess when Seacrest said what he was singing but I was blown away.

Kristy was great too. Finally. I told you she had it in her. I am pretty sure she was thinking "there are a ton of country fans that watch this show and don't call in. What can I sing to get those conservative country fans to call and vote?"

And I am proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free...

= segregated schools?

Huh? I know you were joking but I it is kind of a stretch...

Brien said...

As Simon always likes to say, this is a singing competition. It's not an arranging competition. So what if David Cook is using existing arrangements? They're probably better than what the Idol people could put together in a week. Maybe the other contestants should start covering covers instead of trying to do the original.

I liked Carly both this week and last week, but I'm clearly in the minority.

I thought Brook was also very good, I was surprised to see her get such bad reviews.

Ramiele should go home tonight, she hasn't blown me away yet this year.

"ben" said...

I wonder if KLC will make the classic mistake and act like a five-year-old who gets a big reaction when she says something cute, and then tries to do the same trick two minutes later on the same audience and thinks no one will notice.

In other words, will she sing America the Beautiful next week?

J-Red said...

Jack -

You're right about him taking advantage of other people's arrangements because the judges don't know any better. I remember Daughtry did that with a Live rendition of a song that catapulted his career. As for Live's career....

Nic said...

I'm going to go ahead and say this. I hate Kristy, I hate Kristy, I hate Kristy!

Because of her we have no more Chikezie. I'm going to miss him.

Josh said...

We're seeing identity politics here just like in the Democratic primary. Ramiele has a voting bloc with the Filipinos. It's not as big as Indians calling from overseas for what's-his-name last year, but it's significant enough to boost her for a bit longer, maybe just to next week. Syesha is now the only black contestant so she'll last to the final six. Jason Castro will go before David Archuleta, but he's got a fan base beyond being Hispanic (and he doesn't even seem that Hispanic, really more of a hippie). KLC has the Middle America crowd now that she pulled the jingoistic song and did it well. I think Carly and Michael Johns are in trouble because they're foreign without being ethnic. Performances, week to week, can tilt things, but this is the way things will shake out for a while, if not the entire rest of the season.

"ben" said...

I'm really sorry that Chikezie got the boot. Ramiele would have been my choice, but I knew that wouldn't happen.

KLC is going to be very safe next week, too, if it really is Dolly Parton time.

And J-Red, I like Live. I guess buying six of their songs on iTunes didn't keep them from becoming Dead, huh?

I saw them at the HFStival. I am so cool.

J-Red said...

Ben, Live was my favorite band for a while in high school. They just got a little too close to their Christian roots recently for my taste.

Russell said...

Is there any easier song to sing than Proud to Be an American? The vocal range required is minimal, and mustering up a patriotic look isn't too hard either. So the level of difficulty on that one was pretty low, but it'll probably pay off because she sounded good and no one's going to vote off the patriotic blonde all-american girl.

"ben" said...

She already wasn't voted off. I don't think that one song will carry her through the whole competition.

As for Live, I did notice in a few of their songs that they were coming awfully close to being a Christian Rock group. Still, I like the song Heaven.

Let's see, I like songs about Jesus and I didn't hate KLC after her shameless, talentless, manipulative vote-grab...


I blame Michigan.

Jeremy said...

They certainly don't teach love of such things at the Parkway Deli.

J-Red said...

Live has gone through a number of changes.

The first commercial album, Mental Jewelry, was a reference to them getting away from it and was inspired by an Indian figure. Throwing Copper was just a straight up rock album. Secret Samahdi was a bit of mysticism. It went a little downhill from there I think.