Wednesday, March 12, 2008

American Idol Roundup

Tonight's theme is the Beatles. Hmm, interesting. At my daughter's ice show competition, the group who did a number to Beatles songs got first place. I credited it more to the songs than the skating. A lot of over 40 folks just swoon for anything Beatles so the judges were swayed by that. Of course, I was being a bitter second place skate dad. Anyway, the kids should be able to do alright. They've got lots of good songs to choose from.

Syesha Mercado

Got to Get You Into My Life
I'm not loving it. Her voice is only so-so. She's not really going for huge notes and the smaller notes just don't sound so good. Oh yeah, this mirrors the Earth, Wind, and Fire version. I forgot about that. Grade B-.


She's a Woman – Wow, a bluegrass rendition. Cool. I like it. Now into a rock version. I like the arrangement, the vocals, and the performance. Very, very good. Grade: A
I wonder who did the arrangements because that was very original and effective. If Chikezie did the arrangement himself, then A+.

Ramiele Malubay

In My Life – Well I've got to say that I'm probably more partial to the rockers over the ballads, so Ramiele has to really shine to get a good grade from me. So far, its only ok. There are no real big notes, so its just not that difficult. I didn't think it was anything special. Type of thing I could hear at open mike night. Grade: C+

Ryan asks Randy if the song was enough to get Ramiele to next week. Randy says “I don't know”. “Nice” Paula jumps in and says no, she will get through. Um, Paula, that means that you're cosigning someone else to being eliminated. Why don't you wait and see if anyone is worse than Ramiele? I mean if someone who does better is eliminated, that would really be mean.
Unofficial vote totals so far: Paul songs: 2, John songs: 1

Jason Castro

If I Fell – Not sure about this song choice. Not one of my favorites. Ah, going with the guitar. I think his vocals are pretty good, but the song too slow. Nice falsetto. You all know that I like a good falsetto. Shows guts. Grade: B+
I was going to give an A- but felt that I've been grading too easy.
Paula - “I feel your heart”? What a weird comment.

Carly Smithson

Come Together – another not so favorite of mine. She's doing a good job though. I think she has the “fullest” voice of all of the contestants. Strong but pleasant. Unlike Amanda, which is strong but unpleasant. Very good rock voice on this number. Grade: A

John has moved into the lead: 3 to 2 over Paul. But next song is gonna be Eleanor Rigby, so that will tie things back up.

David Cook

Eleanor Rigby – pretty good. Kind of a Pearl Jam version of the Beatles. Good job amping up the chorus, giving us some big notes. Nice finishing note also. Grade: A-
High praise from Simon for David C. I agree that he's intriguing.

Brooke White

I think that Brooke is ok as a coffee house performer but I question whether she has a strong enough voice for this competition. Because we all know, its all about the vocals.
Let It Be – Hmm, doing her own piano playing. How do I judge that? Its pretty good so far, but not great. Like I said, I think doesn't have the BIG voice. Grade: B as in Let it B.

Ryan is a little bit too eager to gather Brooke's shoes for her. A guy I worked with in college was arrested for stealing women's shoes. But to his credit, the victims said that he was very polite about it.

David Hernandez –

I Saw Her Standing There
In a word, cheesy. Or as Simon likes to say, “kareoke”. I'm not sure why, but I'm not a fan of David's singing style. Somehow, there seems to be any personal investment in the song for him. Grade D

Amanda Overmyer

You Can't Do That
I don't like her voice or her faux rocker style, so she has that going against her from the start. This arrangement is not flattering to her voice and to me, it sounds like she hit some flat notes. Grade C-

Michael Johns

Across the Universe
Michael enters as one of the “solid” contenders. However his age (29) makes it difficult for him to become the actual winner. This is kind of a slow song for Michael to be doing. He's made his bones thus far on “rocker” tunes such as “Light My Fire”. Its an ok performance but not great. Tough song to really have that big moment on. I've never figured out the words to the first line of the chorus. The one that comes before “Nothing's going to change my world.” I used to think it was something about 7 time batting champion Rod Carew. Michael hasn't helped with that. Still can't figure it out. Grade: B-

Kristy Lee Cook, aka “horse girl”

8 Days a Week
In theory, there's nothing wrong with a countrified version of “8 Days a Week”. In practice tonight, its horrible. The “country” part is overdone and corny. You can do country without all of that fake twang. Aarg. The music seems to be going too fast for her voice and her voice is strangely muted throughout the song. In addition, she comes close to talking the lyrics instead of singing. Just a bad performance.
Grade D-.

David Archuletta

We Can Work It Out
OK, I missed the intro in which he said he was singing the Stevie Wonder version of this song. I have never heard that version but I hate, hate, hate the arrangement. Its a mess. David's singing and performance is also a mess. He even forgets the lyrics. I guess being so young, he hasn't actually heard many Beatles songs. But the original arrangement would have suited him much better. Odd that he talks about being scared to sing the Beatles 2 weeks after his big breakthrough with John Lennon's “Imagine”. Anyway, grade: C- and that is only based on past performance. This was bad. Its his competition to lose and it looks like he may be up for that particular challenge.

Overall grade for the group: B-. There's some solid performers and there is no Sanjaya.

1. David Cook
2. Carly Smithson
3. Chikezie
4. Jacon Castro
5. Michael Johns
6. Brooke White
7. Syesha Mercado
8. David Archuleta
9. Ramiele Malubay
10. Amanda Overmyer
11. David Hernandez
12. Kristy Lee Cook

Who should go home: Kristy
Who will go home: Kristy

I won't be available next week to do my American Idol roundup. But I will attempt to do the Slovenian Idol roundup if I get a chance.

Final Four Prediction: North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis, and Georgetown

I mean David Archuletta, David Cook, Carly Smithson, and Jason Castro
Final 2: David Cook, Carly Smithson
Winner: David Cook


MarkEC said...

I haven't been watching Idol, so thanks for the roundup! I did hear that David A. forgot some of the lines.. that made the news! 8 days a week in country style.. I will have to dig that out and hear it, cannot imagine what that sounds like.. maybe something like 9-to-5?

greeny said...

Scarey! I was thinking the same thing, very much for the same reasons you sighted.
I think David Archuletta will stay around for longer than Amanda or Christy Lee- they annoy me. So does Carley- I think it's because she has a history with recording already.
I'm sorta of partial to Brooke but only because she has an interesting voice that stands out unlike Syesha or Ramiele- they don't do much for me.
Chikezie is ok- he isn't my fav.
Love the Jason but don't think the mob will want him.
I think David Cook might be the taker of the prize.
Enjoy the trip.