Tuesday, April 29, 2008

American Idol: Top 5 Perform

Greetings IDOLISTS! How's everyone doing? Well me? I'm as befuddled as ever. I think I only agreed with the judges a couple of times tonight. But really does this mean anything on a night where Paula already had notes prepared for performances that didn't happen? I mean seriously what was THAT all about? Sure, she says it was really for David Cook's feedback when I think we all know that she took notes during the Dress Rehearsal and already knew she wasn't going to like Jason Castro's second song. I mean WHAAAAT???? Did you see Ryan look off stage and kinda make the "oh God what do we do?" face? It was like the "behind the scenes truths" that they never hoped would come out were being revealed on LIVE television! Next up: RIGGED VOTING! Okay okay, maybe Paula is just crazy and really was looking at Cook's notes. But you'll see, there will be a big fuss made of this little mishap! Maybe not "END OF THE WORLD FOR IDOL" big, but big nevertheless! Maybe as big as Brooke's Stop/Start last week.

Whoops, I forgot to talk about the Flyers! I heard that was a big hit last week! Well they're up 2 games to 1 against top seed Montreal. GO FLYERS! (yes the NHL! that hockey league that no one watches anymore!)

Okay, so Neil Diamond Night! Was everyone excited? I'm not sure if it was Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome that kicked in for me (I'm just joking!!) when I started seeing those old clips of Sparkly Neil thrusting his fist into the air during a performance of America, or just me realizing that I probably watched The Jazz Singer 132 times growing up with my obsessed Neil Fan-Family but I sure was reminiscing about the good ol' days! So many tunes, and we got to hear 10 of them tonight! Granted, most of them were pretty lousy renditions, but there were a couple performances that are begging for Idol Version downloads (okay, I lie, just one!!) It's tough for me not to get ahead of myself though. Considering that since the top 12 has begun, I have yet to pick the correct eliminated contestant, I am very very on edge about this week's guess! And just when I thought I had it figured out, SIMON (the man that probably knows the voting tallies - another conspiracy waiting to be unraveled!) had to go and "foresee" who will be leaving us Wednesday night. Ugh, the dilemma!!! Well, I won't bore you any more with my PREAMBLE (oooh nice word Mike!), let's dig in!

2 Performances each, Judges comments followed the 2nd performances (besides the Paula blunder that we discussed) Here we go!
1.) Jason Castro

Song 1:
Forever in Blue Jeans
Song 2: September Morn

Okay, so I guess I've set my standards pretty low for Castro these days because I thought his rendition of "Forever in Blue Jeans" was pretty much on par for what is expected of him these days. Yeah, Simon might be right that it was forgettable. But I enjoyed it. I guess I was just glad someone sang it, because that's a nifty little Neil tune. Fun Fact - The ladies of the 80's (that should be a band name shouldn't it?) used to be swooned by that song at concerts and Neil would sing it like 5 times per show. Great having parents and Aunts (all blog readers) that have seen him like 20 times. And they only took me once! Thanks guys! Anyways...his second song "September Morn" was a wonderful song torn to shreds by the Castro-mon (yep, the Jamaican thing again!). It was disastrous! And for that rendition alone he should be getting the boot! Alas, Simon did not pick him to go! Unless Simon is trying to sway the vote to keep Catro around to try and make that final 3 as he's been predicted to by all the crazy power rankings out there. Hmmmm....a forgettable first tune, an awful 2nd tune and he went first! All of these things going against him, yet Simon picks the person who went LAST! (the spot on Idol where you're least likely to get voted off!) Well, I just don't know kids! (can you tell I'm stressing about the pick this week???)

2.) David Cook
Song 1: I'm Alive
Song 2: All I really Need is You

Crazy Neil, he said these songs aren't that well known! I guess I never would have known that because I knew them all! (Granted some buffoon contestant sang both of Neil's most famous tunes...I'll give you one guess who that idiot named after a vegetable was!) Anyway, I wasn't very thrilled with the "I'm Alive" rendition. Sounded like Cook was trying to get all RASPY Neil on us yet still ROCK it out! I mean, it would be entertaining at a concert probably but not if you're trying to win American Idol (which I'm pretty much sold that he is going to at this point). But hey now...song #2....When I first heard the name of it, I thought maybe I didn't know it. But I did, and it's a beaut alright! But COOK's version? Wow...that was some good stuff. Showing his range with the high notes at the end and bringing some raw emotion (and yes Paula, Vulnerability. You know when you say it about all 5 contestants it loses its meaning!). Almost brought me to tears on that one. (and I'm a man's man! Tough Guy....tough to make cry. You know, the kind of guy that you'd see writing blogs about American Idol!) Yeah, with that performance, and watching The Artichoke (you catching on to my vegetable reference earlier?) perform afterwards I just kept thinking to myself "who can seriously be questioning who should win season 7???" If Paula already is looking at an American Idol, why wouldn't we be too?

Brooke White
Song 1: I'm a Believer
Song 2: I Am I Said

Okay, there is no shocker that most people didn't impress on song #1. But Brooke, come on! We already know you can't rock it out! Yeah, great you proved you can play Guitar and Piano in one night. But her rendition of "I'm a Believer" (made famous by The Monkees and ever more recently by Smashmouth for the Shrek soundtrack.) was straight out of Woodstock or some kind of hippie festival. Either that or on a very special episode of the Brady Bunch where everyone is smiling and swaying and singing and trying not to think of the on set romance between Marsha and Greg. Ewwwwwww! Anyway, total disaster. Sorry Brooke, I can't help you defend that one! But I'm going to blame Neil for the song 2 blunder! Right when I was hearing the word come out of his mouth "you know...I am from New York which is why I sang it that way. You're from Arizona. I think you should put that into the song" (paraphrased him don't sue me Neil!) I knew it could only lead to a mistake. And surely enough, I'm sure I'm the only one that noticed besides Brooke, after she talked about being in L.A. with the Palm Trees, then she said she was born and raised in Arizona (instead of New York) she then sang a lyric "I'm lost between 2 shores." (shaking my head furiously) Okay, yes granted If you're in LA or Arizona you're still between 2 shores geographically...but it was clearly talking about being in LA while a part of you is still in New York or somewhere in between. 2 SHORES! Atlantic/Pacific! Helloooooo again Neil hello!!!! Anyway, with that said, this was definitely a better performance for Brooke. But I agree with Simon, I wasn't blown away but it was better than the 1st performance. I really don't see how David and David will NOT be the last 2 standing. So, hey if I get the next couple weeks wrong...there's a chance I can get at least ONE right!

4.) David "The Artichoke" Archuleta
Song 1: Sweet Caroline (seriously???)
Song 2: America (I mean, for real???)

Yeah, he proved me wrong. He didn't do "Heartlight" or "Heading for the Future" but he did something even worse! He proved to me that he didn't want to explore into Neil's VAST library of tunes to find some good ones. Oh yeah...everyone loves these 2 songs. But they are Neil's BIGGEST SONGS OF ALL SONGS! And for me, it just screamed "Hi...I'm David, I'm 17. I've never heard of Neil Diamond before, but oooh I sure know that Sweet Caroline song, it's so swell! mmmm hmmm Am I still grinning? Ooh let me tell you about America! It's such a beautiful song and it's about immigration and peace and harmony...oooh really something I tell you! I know that one too! Beautiful message! yes yes!!" UGH...I've had enough of this kid! Yeah, I know I had enough of him after his audition. He turned Neil's greatest selling achievements into musical mush! He went TOO BIG with both of them adding his runs when they just beg to be sung the way they are. I'll give him one thing....he didn't make the audience do the "oh oh oohhhhhhs" and the "So good so goods!" during Sweet Caroline. Bonus! But for Simon to call "America" a BRILLIANT choice? Come on Simon! Be original! Kristy Lee Cook sang "God Bless the USA" and you called that a brilliant song choice. And yes, it was. But call Archiebunker's choice what it is....a COPY CAT Song choice! That being said, he's still got the screaming girls in his corner and will be here until that final 2. yay! But I really can't wait for the Cook to make him cry! ("ooh i'm just so grateful to get this far...but that David Cook...he's just so...sniff....amazing. He's such a wonderful message...sniff sniff...hee hee waaa waaa sob" ugh..)

5.) Syesha Mercado
Song 1: Hello Again
Song 2: Thank the Lord for the Nighttime

Well, I just don't get it. After round 1 my thoughts were that I thought Castro was okay and Syesha was really good. I thought the other 3 were not so good. Then the judges gave their brief feedback and Simon said they were all awful and Syesha's "Hello Again" was old fashioned. Well there you have it. After Round 2 my thoughts were Castro - Awful, Cook - Amazing, Brooke - Eh not bad, Archapuke-a - Vomit inducing, Syesha - Well that was quite good and she went last which can only mean good things for her! But nooooooo Simon has to rain on her parade "I think you should be worried tonight" (paraphrasing again!) Well...I know I've been saying Syesha was next to go for the last few weeks. But then the past 2 weeks' performances have impressed me. And come on...the gospelly "Thank the Lord for the Night Time" with the choreographed background singers? and the "Hey Micky you're so fine you blow my mind" clapping going on? She was PREACHIN out there. And you know who likes being preached to? Probably the majority of her fanbase! You know....POWER VOCALIST fans! (gotta be PC these days!) I just thought she'd be safe! But on the other hand I think Simon knows stuff we don't. And I think he does not like to be wrong often. And what better way to not be wrong than already knowing the answer? Yikes! Another tough call ahead of me folks!
You guys didn't know you'd be in for an EPIC Blog tonight did you? What can I say? Neil Diamond night just begs for long winded writing by yours truly! But now it is time to cast my votes and figure out who is going home. (oh boy do I dread this!) Here goes nothing! (I'm just going to close my eyes..wake me up when it's over!)

Who is Finale Bound? Cook, ArchaLipLicker

Who is still a fan favorite? Jason Casserole (Thanks Stephanie's Friend's little girl for the great name!)

Whose cheery persona is wearing on me? Brooke

Who is probably the least popular but had a decent night AND went last? Syesha

Bottom 2: Syesha Mercado, Jason Castro Wildcard: Brooke White

Elimination Pick:
Jason Castro - Hey I'm just doing the math. He was the worst and he went first! Ooh and that reminded me to check Votefortheworst.com and Brooke is getting their support now. Jason the dreadmeister is going home! Not to mention Simon begged people to vote for Syesha at the end of the show by saying she should be worried. I'm pretty confident about this one! It HAS to be Jason! Or you know...it could be Brooke or Syesha! Wish me luck kids!

Whew....EPIC blog indeed. Hope you all are still awake and enjoyed my crazy ramblings. And let's all pray that I get it right this week! I don't think my ego can handle another LOSS! The next blog could be twice as long as this one! Please comment away, share your memories of Neil Diamond, who do you think is going home? Explain in detail why Archie drives you crazy too! And...as always see you Wednesday night for the results!


Anonymous said...

My memory of Neil Diamond: Having to listen to him all the way to Orlando in the Griswaldmobile praying all the while that the tape player would disenegrate!!!

So, I guess as much as you OVERLY loved him, I hated him when I was a kid!

I didn't think anyone was great tonight except Cook on the second song. I really loved it.

Anonymous said...


Paula Abdul claiming she had already heard Jason twice and giving a critique on a song NOT YET SUNG.....PRICELESS!!!!

Ok, we all know that the judges are there for the dress rehearsal and undoubtedly Paula had already made her notes and whatnot. But then for her to claim that the rattling off of her second song critique was actually meant for David Cook?....COME ON PAULA!!!! That wasn't cool.

What was cool was seeing Seacrest wetting his pants on stage while looking around for some sort of direction. LOL Live TV at its best!

Frankly, it was a really dumb idea for Idol to try to cram it all down our throats like they did. Everything was rushed; there was no consistency; Seacrest, for the most part, does an excellent job at hosting but it was frankly hilarous to see in the background, some of the Idols rush to their respective spots while Ryan's giving out the numbers. Not Ryan's fault there but the whole show seemed out of whack with this new arrangement.

Meanwhile, Jason has got to go home. And I mean right now! Don't even let him on the show tommorrow night. He was absolutely dreadful tonight. If he's not voted off, kick him off!

The two Davids and Syesha have shown enough to me that they deserve to be in the top 3. Will they? Nope! America's caught in some weird nanny-fantasy with Brooke and for whatever reason, keep voting for her. She needs to go next week.

As far as Neil Diamond goes....pfft! Not a big fan...sorry Mike.

Ian said...

Dang it, why'd you have to save Jason by predicting he'd go? Then again, I predicted he'd go on my blog too, so I can't argue with the choice.

I actually enjoyed Brooke's "I'm a Believer". I mean, even though Brooke is my favorite, I can still admit it when she's not that great. I truly liked that performance though, despite its technical flaws. Then again, I'm a huge Monkees fan (when are The Monkees getting a theme night?) and I have a cheesy personality too, so perhaps I connect better to something like that.

The Flyers are looking good. Is an all-Pennsylvania matchup in store for the next round?

Anonymous said...

Mike, here’s my order for tonight, although it was difficult.

1. David Cook (this one wasn’t hard for me to figure out).
2. Syesha Mercado (at least she was consistent tonight)
3. David Archuleta (also consistent, even if I don’t like the consistency)
4. Jason Castro (I guess I thought his second performance wasn’t as bad as Brooke’s first performance)
5. Brooke White (That first song was horrific)

I do think the show IS rigged and tonight just proved my suspicions right. Paula critiqued a performance we hadn’t yet seen!! She tried to play this off as having read David Cook’s critique (but there’s no way it was). But let’s face it. What does this say? To me it says that the judges know ahead of time what they’re going to say. How do they know? There are a couple of possibilities. One, the responses are scripted. The judges don’t come up with anything they’re going to say. Two, the judges pre-write their responses based on the rehearsals that they see earlier. Three, knowing Paula’s love of rambling and knowing it was a short show, Paula was handed a script for tonight. (I’d love to hear other theories, as well.)

Anonymous said...

Well tonight was Neil Diamond night and quite frankly NOBODY absolutely blew me away. At this stage in the competition I either want to get goose bumps and feel weak in the knees, get teary eyed or suddenly flushed with attraction or be moved to break out in full dance. I want to be affected by the performances!

David Cook - I liked his first song but wasn't blown away. I LOVED his second song and definitely got that weak in the knees feeling (but not as much as last week). David Cook is my guy and I think he is well on his way to winning the whole thing. I'm phone voting now and I probably got in 100 votes for David Cook tonight. That is small potatoes but I haven't even begun to power vote yet. I'm afraid that David's fans are becoming too comfortable and thinking they don't need to vote. I've seen this happen before and the results can be devastating. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE! BTW, David will be safe this week!

Jason - I can't help but be mesmerized by this guy! His smooth 'Don't worry, be happy' swagger along with his smooth voice and those georgeous blue eyes. I especially loved the way he puffed his cheeks out while Randy was judging him. So cute! I'm not sure exactly who is voting for Jason (in addition to the entire state of Texas) but he obviously has some fans out there. In polls he's ranked just beneath the two Davids. I think Jason is in danger of going home this week or at least being in the bottom 2.

Brooke - Well I didn't exactly hate Brooke this week. I really hated her first song and those weird Elvis faces she was making, but the second song I really, really liked. I can't help but admire someone who can sing while playing the piano or any instrument for that matter. Both acts require such concentration to me, having played the piano, I can't imagine trying to do both together. It would be like trying to walk and chew gum, or something like that. Anyway, I think that Brooke will be safe this week (although I could definitely be wrong).

David Archuleta - Lately I've really been noticing that there is something that is just not right with Little David. He just seems oppressed and robotic in his lack of emotion and his programmed responses. I just get the feeling that he is a very unhappy kid. He is only 17 years old. My kid is only 17 years old and I can't imagine how she would handle such pressure. Not to say that a 17 year old can't handle it, Jordin handled it just fine but her family was supportive. I just get the feeling that David's family is banking on him. That's a hell of a lot of undue pressure added to the pressure he's already under just doing this show! That is so cruel and I think it's a subtle form of child abuse. I've been noticing in the photos on AI.com and if he's not singing or smiling he seems to have this blank look (when he's listening to the judges). His smile is a flatline and his eyes look fearful yet deader than dead. He seems to say the things that his family expects him to say. He sings the songs his family wants him to sing in the style that they have formed him in. I'm tired of the cyborg, I want to see a 17 year old kid get out there and belt one out in his own style! I didn't really like either of David's songs tonight because they sounded like the same song we've heard for weeks and weeks. I wonder if he would do better if his Father weren't in the audience intimidating him? I think David will be safe this week, luckily.

Sayesha - I loved both of her songs tonight! She has a beautiful voice and is a great performer. I would rank Sayesha second to David Cook in not only their ability to sing, but their ability to perform well. Like David, Sayesha knows how to work the camera for optimum effect. Although I really liked Sayesha this week, she just cannot seem to gain 100% approval from the judges, and based upon her record number of times in the bottom I'm going to rank her there once again with Jason. I also pick her to be going home

Anonymous said...

I was sitting here watching last night's "Neil Diamond" performance night on American Idol, and it occured to me that no one can even come close to beating David Cook for sheer star power and appeal. I'm sure there are some people who despise him, his gigantic head, and smug confidence, but I'm not one of those people. I can't wait to download his first album.

While David Archuleta has a pure, angelic voice and demeanor, that's not really what rock/pop stars are made of. I have no doubt that he will have a fantastic career, considering his huge tween fan base... maybe he and Miley Cyrus can tour together (LOL), although I think she might be too edgy and raw for him.

And have you noticed how Syesha is suddenly bringing her "A game"? Is Syesha a talent vampire, stealing away both Jason Castro's and Brooke's talent, because as they have gotten worse, Syesha has come alive. I will grant that Brooke's second performance of this evening was more like her earlier Idol performances, but it may be too little, too late. And Jason sounds the same on every performance these days, so I'm thinking there will be some Castro in the bottom two for tomorrow night's results show. I hope so anyway.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I only saw him 4 times..lol.. and will admit I was one of those gals who liked Forever in Blue Jeans and also had fond memories of September Morn- fond enough that I will be voting Jason out in our pool tonite.He just didn't cut it for me. I will also confess that I actually did phone in for Brooke last night- something I haven't done since Taylor Hicks. I think it was just a knee-jerk anti artichoke reaction, though......

Anonymous said...

Okay, so even though Paula royally messed up last night, I am actually finding myself defending her. So as everyone has stated as a possibility, they probably made their notes from the dress rehearsals. That being said, at the beginning of the show, didn't Ryan say that the comments would be held until after the second performance? If that is what the judges were expecting, then their notes from the dress rehearsals most likely had both of their performances together. That would make sense to me if I were a judge and had to give my feedback.

But yet again, if Paula wasn't on the sauce last night, she probably would have remembered that when they gave their comments, the contestants had only sang one song and she should have adjusted her comments accordingly.

Unknown said...

Mike, it is so weird how much we agree this season... Don't think I have anything of my own to say!! Oh this is funny...Brian thought someone died when I gasped at Paula's blunder. I watch way too much TV!!

Mike V. said...

Ahh lots of comments today! Lots of anonymous reviews out there too! I wonder where they allcame from! lol

Well first off - to those apologizing for not liking Neil Diamond...hey no offense taken. Like I said, I was brainwashed very early in my childhood. I never had a chance! lol

I agree with everyone on Paulagate. It was probably notes from the Rehearsal. But in reading Michael Slezak (wow am I actually about to agree with him?) from EW.com's review, he said there really is no justification for giving Castro feedback from the rehearsal and the judges really shouldn't be able to hear the contestants perform at the dress rehearsal. But the comment about Paula being thrown for a loop with Ryan's spur of the moment "let's see what the judges thought of the first peformances" makes sense too. But come on! Wow that was quality television! lol

I'm interested to see how the brains behind America's most popular TV show handle this tonight. Ignore it? Come up with an excuse? My thoughts would be...that they will say for this instance only they took notes at the dress rehearsal due to time constraints on the show. The initial thought was that they would revise these notes after hearing the LIVE performances but then Paula slipped. I have no idea! But I have a feeling the ratings may be up tonight because curiosity is peaked!

Also, Slezak brought up a good point that Castro's 2nd performance may have been as bad as it was because Paula had already shared her feelings on his rendition and it's all he could think about while singing it. yikes. I dunno...definitely bizarre stuff.

Laura - Yes very crazy how we're on the same page. But the Brian comment is priceless! lol I can't say I didn't react the same way though. It was just one of those jaw dropping "please make it stop but at the same time don't let it stop!" wonderful moments! lol

whew...i think i'm done. Now i'm posting EPIC COMMENTS in addition to my epic blogs!!!