American Idol 7: Top 8 Perform

American Idol is pushing my patience with three shows this week: tonight the Top 8 performing "inspirational" songs, tomorrow the Idol Gives Back charity extravaganza and then Thursday someone gets voted off. I feel like I've already seen Idol Gives Back, since it was taped on Sunday and there have been pictures and write-ups all over the web -- from what everyone was wearing to what they sang. Even the So You Think You Can Dance kids from season's past showed up, which means producer Nigel Lythgoe is beating his money-makers hard and fast. I'll miss most of Idol Gives Back and the results show, since I've poetry engagements both evenings, but I'll get recaps up ASAP. I saw the song list for tonight's show earlier today and I shuddered at some of the choices. If this is all these kids have for inspiration, I weep for today's youth.

Michael Johns: Yes, he's hot -- although this penchant for the weird scarf/ascot is becoming a bit old granddad for me -- but his song choices are so predictable it's become a joke. Rather than picking a Queen song, he picks Aerosmith's Dream On, which was basically them trying to emulate Queen. He got mouthy with the judges (except for Paula, whose...umm...chihuahuas were about to break their leash) and talked about the "universal message" of the song. Dude, really? The big line of the chorus is "maybe tomorrow the good Lord will take you away" -- so does that mean Michael's universal message is that we should all die? You first. I see him in the bottom three.

Syesha Mercado: I think she's trying to get sent home at this point. Last week it was trying to do Whitney and this week she took Fantasia's coronation song I Believe and technically sang it well, but there was just no emotional connection. Lakisha tried this last season and it didn't work for her either. Fantasia owns that piece of treacle. She's in the bottom three.

Jason Castro: This was a bit Tiny "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" Tim for me, but ladydude cribbed Somewhere Over the Rainbow from YouTube sensation Israel, ukulele and all, and rocked that Lillith Fair vibe once again. The judge's love it and the girls were screaming. I just realized tonight who Jason really reminds me of -- the Janice puppet from The Muppet Show. Like, wow, groooovy.

Kristy Lee Cook: I can't believe I'm about to type this, but I thought she was the best tonight. I know, I know... It just proves how mediocre the evening was when the worst singer on the show did the best. She covered Martina McBride's Anyway and it was the perfect song choice for her. Safe another week.

David Cook: Woah...what happened to Mr. Smug tonight? His cover of Our Lady Peace's Innocent was a big zero. His voice was rough as hell, he wasn't even near the pitch on the verses and the chorus was just a scream. Writing "Give Back" on his palm and showing it to the camera at the end was total pandering. Simon called the performance "pompous." I call it bad.

Carly Smithson: Oh, dear. This was yet another bad song choice for Lady Goth. Queen's The Show Must Go On is another one of those big arrangements condensed to two minutes that just didn't work. She really did look angry and ominous while singing it and Simon chastised her for it, especially with the theme of "giving back" this week. That was vomit-inducing, but he's sort of right. She's in the bottom three again.

David Archuleta: The Terminator sang Robbie Williams' Angel and got the biggest kudos of the shocker there. However, I didn't think it was that great, especially after he walked off with the show during Dolly Parton week. His lower register is, for lack of a better word, muddy. But when he goes into the bigger power notes, he's untouchable. He's going to be in the top two for sure. Trust.

Brooke White: What was up with her? She was all trembly-voiced and lost in the song while singing Carole King's classic You've Got A Friend. She looked like she needed a hug. She could have nailed this song if she had accompanied herself solo on the piano, but no, she had to add in the syrupy string arrangement halfway through. When will she learn that Brooke + Piano = Gold? The judges went pretty easy on for whatever reason, maybe because she looked like she was about to burst into tears.

Bottom three prediction: Michael Johns, Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson.


Anne said…
I am so bored with this whole season. Unless I find myself seriously needing an excuse to procrastinate on something more worthwhile, I'm probably skipping Idol Gives Back entirely (all TWO AND A HALF HOURS [kill me now] of it) and I may skip the results show & just come read your recap. I mean, I wasn't even remotely tempted to vote for any of them tonight, in the least. Yawn.
Anonymous said…
This was one of the worst shows if the season if you ask me. I was bored out of my fucking mind. Yeah KLC was better than usual and that aint saying much is it? They all looked tired. Probably from having to film that Give Back show, record these songs for itunes, rehears for tonights show. I agree with your bottom three but they might throw in David C for a shocker.

I liked Jason the best tonight. I LOVE Iz (I've been wearing a hole in an Iz CD in my car ever since we went to Hawaii in December) -- and while Jason is no Iz, he did a good job--and added his own flair. And damn, he's just so so pretty.

And I agree, amazingly, that Kristy Lee was very good. Weird.

No let's-throw-rice-at-starving-children for me tomorrow since I'll be runing a literary event.
C. Dale said…
OMG! It is so true. Jason Castro does remind me of the Janice Puppet on the Muppets! Pure genius.

As for Idol, this season is the worst one yet. Last night's show was a big steaming mess...
Justin Evans said…
The show was an absolute bore. It was as if they all sucked on purpose.
becauseweloveit said…
Great analysis. I think you were on point with everyone, except I think Brooke White is in the bottom three instead of Michael Johns. David Cook should be, but won't. His singing was awful and Simon nailed it with his 'pompous' statement. I started to gag when I saw the 'give back' on his hand.

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