Idol Chat 2008 (part 2)Last night on American Idol the theme was expanded from Lennon and McCartney songs to the entire Beatles oeuvre. Clearly the producers of AI are satisfying their six year hunger for the song rights that were heretofore unattainable. While these are the standards of the rock era and an excellent test for any up and coming artist, week two of Beetles songs revealed the contestants' second-choices songs and which made for less exciting performances across the board.
As with last week here are my top and bottom 3:
TOP THREE David Archuleta--"The Long and Winding Road" After a shaky performance last week the wunderkindt was back in top form. I know there are some who are already suspect of his "aw shucks" humility, but to me it's sincere. This kid is a star. He has the voice of an angel. He picked the perfect song. His performance was simple, pure and vulnerable--exactly the right tone for the song. He was right on point throughout.
Carly Smithson--"Blackbird" She gave a great hard-rock performance of "Come Together" last week only to turn around and show a beautiful vulnerable side this week. She revealed a rich deep register that we had not heard before and still managed to find the height of the song as well. This was beautiful. I have a feeling this girl can sing anything. A consummate pro.
David Cook--"Day Tripper" I'm very surprised to be putting David Cook in the top three because I really don't like him. I find him smarmy and affected. I detested his interpretation of "Eleanor Rigby" last week for reasons I could write a thesis on, but this week I kinda liked him. He chose the perfect song and arrangement. I could have done without that weird voicebox thing and frankly, his guitar playing does him no favors. It ended up looking like an uncomfortable prop. But I thought he sounded good and he sold the song and the style well.
Kristy Lee Cook--"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" This was painful. Her pitch is all over the place. She consistently sang the same wrong note through the entire song. Hopeless. She is beautiful though.
Michael Johns--"A Day in the Life" It pains me to put Michael Johns in the bottom three because I think he's really cute and pretty talented, but he chose the wrong song for the second week in a row. It's not worth it to cut a song like this down to a minute and a half. He has a habit of choosing songs that are sentimental to him but don't necessarily show him off very well. He claims to have a deep emotional connection to them, but it almost seems like those connections are too fresh or painful to reveal in a performance. He needs some distance from these songs and to revisit them in five years.
Jason Castro--"Michele Ma Belle" I guess Jason's beautiful performance of "Hallelujah" from a couple weeks ago was a fluke because he hasn't been able to deliver since. He gave a pretty bad performance last week and this week was even worse. Jason is the kind of guy who is very cute and charming but feels he doesn't need to do anything else. He seems to let his performances happen by chance, giving no thought to the lyrics or emotion of the song. He was boring. He didn't even sound good. He'll be around for a while thought because 12 year old girls think he's cute.
WHO SHOULD GO?
Kristy Lee Cook Oh, please, God, put her out of her misery. The only reason she's lasted this long is because Danny Noriega and David Hernandez were too gay for prime time. But the party's over--it's time to go, Kristy.
UPDATE: Sadly, one of the most unique contestants to ever appear on American Idol goes home tonight--Amanda Overmeier. Unfortunately, she probably had a little too much edge for middle America. They prefer a marginally talented bland Barbie doll--So Kristy Lee Cook lives to see another week. Oy.