Top 10 Guys tonight. This week, they’re letting us in on something that they don’t think America would know about them.
Michael Johns – tennis player – “Go Your Own Way” – It’s a bit strained, a bit shouty. It’s Yet Another Johns performance. It’s in his wheelhouse, for sure, but it’s a little redundant. Not bad, but nothing special. And going first, he NEEDS something for people to more actively like. And what’s with this pumping his microphone fist in the air thing he likes to do so much?
Jason Castro – hates interviews – “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” (does that sound right?) – He needs to get out from behind the guitar. This song isn’t as good as last week’s. And he’s in danger of looking like a serial repeater. Bad song choice, really.
Luke Menard – sang in an a capella band for six years – some Queen song, I think – I really liked it, but it verges on the cusp of being over-the-top Broadway theatrical. He has to calm that down a bit, but he has a really nice voice. With the right songs, he could go far, but I don’t think he’ll make it to the top 10.
Robbie Carrico – drag racer – “Hot Blooded” – I think he’s more natural as a pop singer and not a rocker. Look at the way he so carefully choreographs his every move to the lyrics. It’s something you’d expect a boy band guy to organize. And then he just paced across the stage as he sang the song. He needs more energy. It’s better than karaoke, but not by much.
Danny Noriega – Used to be in a punk band – “Don’t You Remember You Told Me You Loved Me Baby” (I’ve never known the real title to this song) – Oh god, not a ballad. Oh, my, that first note or two is painful. Major pitch problems on this one, I’m afraid. Sounds flat. Got better when the pace picked up, but this is definitely not his high point. Randy tells him to stop overthinking it and doing too much with it. That’s putting it mildly.
And now Danny mentions that he thought last week was a disaster. That saves him slightly in my book.
Simon: “Try to say it without moving your head.” Danny does have a habit of moving his head like a sassy black woman does — with no shoulder movement. It’s crazy. I just wish I could arch one eyebrow, and this kid can do that with his neck.
Hey, remember that Kelsey Grammar sit-com? It’s OK, nobody else did, either. It’s back tonight. And tomorrow. I smell “burning off episodes.”
David Hernandez – gymnast as a kid – “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” – Odd song choice, particularly for a guy. But this kind of thing can work.
First, Tina Turner and Beyonce sing it together. (I think I’m misremembering the Grammys there.) Then, Dance War does a number to it. And now David Hernandez is on American Idol crooning it. And he’s pretty good at it, actually. Nice strong ending, too. Camera loved him there. A little vocal strain there can be forgiven. That was good. Really good.
Simon: “That was the best vocal of the night so far.” I have to agree.
Jason Yeager – plays multiple instruments, self-taught (impressive) – “Without Love” (maybe that’s the title?) – Has a lot to prove after last week’s unmitigated disaster. Ohmigod, this is not starting well. His smiling and mugging have to stop. He’s too theatrical and Broadway for this show. And what the hell was that arm-flailing ending?!? This guy bothers me greatly. I think we just got a two-for-two CRASH AND BURN here.
Simon during Ryan’s uncharacteristically long interview bit with Jason: “This is like the Oscars — it’s neverending.”
Chikezie – his name is Nigerian – Some Donnie Hathaway tune. “I Believe” maybe? – He’s layering polo shirts now? Isn’t that so 2006 or so? And what is that watch? An early 80s toy calculator watch pasted onto one of those too-hip sweatband looking things? Weird. His vocal is strong, though, and he’s comfortable on the stage. Lots of fun. The audience loved him. This is ten times better than last week.
And now Chikezie is practically apologizing for talking back to Simon last week. He’s a lot more lovable this week.
David Cooke – huge word nerd (crap, now I kinda like him) – “All Right Now” – He broke out the guitar. Should have set the mic a little lower because his head looks uncomfortable reaching up for the mic, though I’m sure it’s better for the vocal end of things. This is a believable rock performances, if only because of the guitar. The vocal was good, too, for what the song is. Compare this guy to Robbie and you can see who feels more natural as a rocker.
Oh, crap, he just talked back to Simon. This is NOT good. Simon just smacked him down, though he’s wrong about the crossword puzzle thing being a bad thing.
David Archuleta – met the first season finalists and sang for them with cute grainy home video – “Imagine” – For everyone who wonders how Sanjaya made it as far as he did, look at the IDOL demographic. Listen back not-so-carefully to this show at how the girls (with their text message friendly pink cell phones) scream and squeal anytime his name is said. Thankfully, Archuleta is also a good singer.
Anyway, over to Yet Another Rendition of “Imagine.” I hate this song. I’m sick of this song. But, damn, he’s adding his own thing to it very early on.
I hate this song and yet I’m getting chills from this performance. I’m so confused.
Holy crap. Best performance of the season so far. This kid is ridiculously good.
And Paula is crying and wants to squish his head and dangle it from her rear view mirror. Someone check her meds, stat! Thankfully, his mother laughed it off.
Simon: “Right now, you’re the one to beat.” He’s right. Listen to the girls scream for him. This is the Archuleta show.
I’ll just call it now – David Archuleta has the first Idol Moment of the season right there.
Winners this week: Archuleta uber alles. Chikezie has a great week. David Cooke showed himself off well. David Hernandez became one to watch out for tonight. Luke redeemed himself from last week, though it’s not quite there yet.
Who’s going to go? Jason Yeager. That’s two very bad weeks in a row. After that, I have no idea. Maybe Danny Noriega? The demographic that he’s serving will be so busy voting for David A. that they’ll forget to vote for the weaker performance of Danny.
I might even argue that Michael Johns is in trouble for going first, but I think his last couple of weeks will carry him through this week. I fear for Luke Menard, who could get tossed just as he’s finding a stride to hit.
I’ll go with Jason and Danny. What the heck.
De Blieck Out!