Thursday, April 10, 2008

Idol Chat 2008 (Part 5)

My American Idol post is late this week because I wasn't able to watch the show Tuesday night. I finally caught it on DVR last night, fast forwarded through all of Ryan Seacrest's inane remarks and just got right to the songs. The theme this week is Inspirational songs to tie in with the big Idol gives back brouhaha. It's actually a really good theme because the songs have some meat to them and test a singer's performance mettle. Okay. On with my top and bottom three picks for this week:

David Archuletta-- "Angels" This is the first time we've seen David get behind the piano to sing. This always presents a challenge for a performer because there is literally a thousand pound obstacle in the way of his connection with the audience. David, however, has so much stage presence he seemed to shine from the piano bench despite his diminutive size. The vocal was effortless and the run he did at the end was absolute perfection; every note seemed to float in perfect cadence. This kid is unbelievably talented.
Michael Johns--"Dream On" I don't understand the judges' lukewarm reception of this song. Randy complained of pitch problems, but I really didn't hear any. Granted he was the first singer of the night and I was still getting settled with my note pad and snacks when he started singing, but usually an off-pitch note will stick out like a sore thumb to me, so if there were pitch issues, they were insignificant. He was also criticized for song choice, Simon saying that the rock style didn't suit him. What? Since when is Michael Johns not one of this year's rocker boys? Isn't this the kid who got on the show by singing Bohemian Rhapsody? I thought he sang it great. He seemed confident and comfortable on stage and the falsetto notes at the end were fabulous! He took a risk going for them and it paid off. I thought he was great.
Syesha--"I believe" I had trouble coming up with a number three this week. There were a bunch of performers who sort of fell in the middle range. I chose Syesha because technically she sang this song very well. She has a very pretty voice and sounded great on this throughout. The problem with Syesha is her song choices. Choosing a Fantasia song was not smart, just like last week when she invited comparisons to Whitney Houston. Part of talent is choosing the right song. My complaint with Syesha is the same every week; she sings well, but she's not a star. There's just something lacking in her presence.

Kristy Lee Cook "Anyway" Even though this was a good performance for Kristy, again, her pitch is terrible which is why she's in my bottom three again. BUT, she chooses the right song week after week and as I said, that's part of talent, so she does have some. There was a lyric in the song she sang though that sort of summed up Kristy's performance for me "Tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang." Yeah. That's pretty much it.
Jason Castro "Over the Rainbow" Jason's long hair and ukelele evoked images of Tiny Tim for me. I was waiting for him to start singing Tiptoe Through the Tulips, but he sang Over the Rainbow instead. He chose a very distinct overplayed arrangement by a singer with a very distinct voice, one that due to its richness and character makes the song work. But Jason has no richness or character to his voice or anything else. He barely has an intellect. This was another low-ball, derivative performance. I'm convinced he has no desire to win this thing.
David Cook "Innocent" Ick! Ick! Ick! I hated this song. It was weird. The vocals were bizarre and disjointed. He was so pretentious and smug I felt like throwing up. This guy takes himself too damn seriously. One of the worst of the night by far.

WHO SHOULD GO: Jason Castro. He's just not in the same league as the other singers. Even Kristy Lee manages to choose good songs, but Jason seems checked out of this competition and so he should go. Bub-bye.
UPDATE: Whoa! Total upset! Michael Johns goes home. Way too prematurely if you ask me. But then I think his appeal is an older market, not the one that is voting right now which explains why Jason Castro is still around and not even in the bottom three tonight.



At 11:20 AM, Blogger Diane said...

Finally! I've been refreshing like mad waiting to see your assessment. I completely agree with you about Michael Johns. I have no idea what they were talking about. Aside from David Archuletta who is demonstrating that he is in a completely different league, he is one of my absolute favorites. He looks fantastic, has a great voice and he gets bonus points for the completely sexy accent! I will disagree with you about Jason. I thought this was a very nice performance. My main problem with it was that it was a complete copycat of a very unique version of the song. He brought nothing new to it. For that reason, I didn't think he deserved all the high praise he got from the judges. Finally, another performance that I thought belonged near the bottom (although not necessarily bottom 3) was Carly's. Such a missed opportunity for her -- terrible song choice, I thought and mostly upsetting because she could have done something spectacular.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Y | O | Y said...

I made the same connection to Tiny Tim! Why the judges are falling all over him is beyond me. He can't go quick enough for me.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Jas said...

Gosh I respect your opinion but Jason Castro is no where in the bottom 3. Listen to him, his voice and that is what music should be about. Minimialist . Pop fade comes and go just like underwear. We need a pure talent, who is true to his music and who he is , who sings and connect with audience with is music .
This generation of wannabes stars are a dime too many and yes, I am referring to almost everyone in American Idol. We need to discover and grow a gem like Jason.

Hearing just a few notes of Jason and his ukulele, smiling and adorable with his dreads pulled back from his face, I was utterly transfixed. I get it now. This kid is an artist who knows how to have a true emotional impact on an audience. This is a fantastic performance. Even Randy was moved enough to call it "blazing molten hot.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger YNAGER '65 said...

I am ready for Jason AND Kristy Lee AND Carly to all exit stage left. All 3 grate my last good nerve. I think AI is losing it's appeal for me, I didn't really connect with any of them this year, save David A. I do agree with you about his talent.

Have a great one!!!

At 10:28 PM, Blogger LSL said...

This is the first time (since Kelly Clarkston!) that I'm trying to follow it, so I'm having fun with your updates. :)

At 1:10 PM, Blogger TCho said...

Jason Castro sounded exactly like that Hawaiian guy version. It was so boring. I don't really find him that offensive (like KKKristy Lee), but I agree that some of the others are a in a different league.

I, too, really like Michael Johns. Plus he's so hot. Hopefully he got enough exposure to get a record deal.

Not only does David Cook think way too highly of himself, but this week, he was just awful. He sounded out of tune and just plain weird. He was terrible.

David Archuleta is so cute. I think he's going to be a hottie in 10 years. This week, he was great.

Carly sounded weird. there's something weird about her voice. I can't quite pinpoint it.

Syesha kind of bugged me too. I think she already thinks she's the next Whitney. That doesn't mean you have to sing these songs that someone else has already mastered.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger TCho said...

btw, i'm really getting annoyed with Fox's programming of Idol. They keep running over or they sometimes call it a different name, so that my DVR messes up and doesn't record.


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