AI7 – Round of 11 – Beatles Week II

What’s up with Ryan’s hair tonight? It’s not flat-ironed. It’s semi-fauxhawk, practically.

Isn’t it a little early to talk about their favorite moment of the show?

Amanda Overmyer – “Back In The USSR” – Good song choice for her. Billy Joel did it justice on his Kohuept live album, too. Good news — she’s showing life in her eyes this week, which she didn’t do for me last week. I liked it. I don’t think she’s going to win this whole thing this season, but this worked for her.

And then she delivers the greatest response to Simon ever. Not sure she should be pushing the local dive bars on a family friendly show like IDOL, though.

First commercial break — no Beatles on iTunes. But the Kitchen Nightmares commercial looks cool!

Kristy Lee Cook – “You Got To Hide Your Love Away” – Judging by that dress, we knew it would be a ballad. Her voice sounds very weak tonight. Nice song though a bit repetitive. You could hear her struggle with wrestling a couple of those notes to the ground. The last note was good. Simon will find it boring and Paula will tell her how nice she looks.

Yup, Paula said it’s the best she’s ever looked. But Simon is right — she has no showmanship.

“Blow you out of your socks” is not fit for a family show. And Ryan and Simon can’t get around it. . .

David Archuleta – “The Long and Winding Road” – Did they really need to show him blow his lyrics from last week again? Wow. That’s harsh. In any case, I remember this song best from the Tiny Toons album. Heaven help me. This song is in his wheelhouse, though. So long as he remembers the lyrics, he should be safe. And he is. If not spectacular, he’s at least solid. He could have done MORE with the song, but the fact that he got through it will be enough. Simon thought he was amazing. Am I expecting too much now?

I know I say it every week, but I need to say it again: IDOL is beautiful on a high def TV screen. Ah, bliss. . .

Second break. No iTunes commercial. Wait – Ryan is pulling an iPhone out of the crowd. Crap, it’s just an Idol on iTunes ad. Like that chick wasn’t planted. . .

Michael Johns – “A Day in the Life” – Starting out with the mic too low. Corrected it pretty quickly. That falsetto is tough to hit. He needs more of his accent in this song, I think. Some of those notes are tough to hit. Not sure it’s a great IDOL song, but I think he did it justice. Crazy arrangement. He fell into the trap of picking a song he liked rather than one that fit him. And Randy is all over him for that.

Paula just mentioned the monitors in the contestants’ ears. Back in the day, they were only allowed to have them if they started off stage in the audience. I guess the stage is so big nowadays that they’re mandatory.

And Simon hated it. He’s right that Michael needs to nail more songs. He is starting to coast a little. He’s a better contestant than this week.

Ouch, he’s not wearing an earpiece. Paula is lost. Whoops.

Mac Book Air commercial time. Ah, well. The dream is dead for another night. For once, I’d like ONE prediction of mine to go right. At least we don’t have Mariah Carey sitting in as a guest judge. That rumor proved false.

More after the break, including the closest to a crash and burn we had this week, and my Bottom Three predictions:

Brooke White – “Here Comes the Sun” – She’s Canadian. I should have known it. The song explains the dress choice. The dancing is a little much. She’s lucky the smile is contagious, because this song is putting me to sleep. Painfully safe. And she has a habit of raising her shoulders up over her ears. It’s odd. Randy thought it was awkward. I agree. Big laughs for her admitting the “Whoo” was a mistake.

Here’s a contestant who can talk back to the judges and keep people on her side beyond just the studio audience.

OK, now she needs to shut up. Too much.

In retrospect, it was nearly a crash and burn. I’m tempted to label it so, but she wasn’t singing consistently off key. She didn’t forget any lyrics. It was just blah. That’s not a crime.

David Cook – “Daytripper” – Why is Ryan carrying a hand-held microphone? Too much crowd noise? And what is that special mic for in front of Cooke? Is there a modified vocal in this song? I can’t remember. He was smart in acknowledging the White Snake influejnce in the opening. Oh, so that’s what that second mic is for. Oddness. I never knew how they did that before. This is Guitar Hero song, right?

In any case, good performance. Right up his alley. Crowd’s on his side. He did good. He’s almost too comfortable on stage. Simon might be right that he’s a little predictable now, but it works for him.

Wow, Paula’s wind screen is obviously off. She’s popping some bad “p”s right now.

Ooh, Ryan just brought up Maria to Randy. He’s not biting. She’s not there.

Carly Smithson – “Blackbird” – Hey, I think O.A.R. covered this song in a concert bootleg I have around here somewhere. . . Smart move for Carly to mix things up and go with a slower song. It definitely shows off her vocal skills, which are very very strong. Thought it was a little safe in the first half, but she really picked up nicely in the second half. Great job.

They need to give her more opportunities to talk, though, because she’s got such a great Irish lilt.

Simon is dead wrong in panning this. Ooh, and in her defense, we get to hear more of the accent. Whoo-hoo!

Jason Castro – “Michelle” – Cool! French song! Quote of the day: “I just found out “my bell” is French.” So close, Jason. Look up “ma belle” on the babelfish next time you’re looking things up on that iPod Touch or iPhone they just showed you with. (Or is the real lyric really “my belle”? I dunno.)

It’s getting a little corny on the French lines. He’s tossing his hand up in the air like an effete Frenchman. Odd.

He doesn’t look comfortable on stage at all, though some parts of it work when it feels like he’s letting go and just sitting. The rest of it looks like he’s thinking too hard.

Paula got it right — he missed the tone of the song completely.

Syesha Mercado – “Yesterday” – She’s spouting a brand new hairdo again. It’s just her on stage with the best guitarist in the land of TV bands. That man, Paul, is MY American Idol. I like this rendition. It’s really soft and tender, with bits of anger and pain, almost. I really like it. I think it’s the best of the night. That just means the judges will hate it. But after Castro’s performance, this is a textbook example of how you connect with a song, and not merely sing it.

Simon thought Brooke should have sung it . Brilliant idea, actually.

Chikezie – “I’ve Just Seen a Face” – He’s playing a harmonica, which he just learned to play this week. Uh oh. Maybe he shouldn’t have admitted to that up front. Seems forced now. This song has a bit of an R&B vibe in Chikezie’s voice’s favor. And then it turns into a country rock song, and he’s reaching deep into some accent to pull it off at points. I liked the second half better than the first, but it is impressive how wide a variety of song styles he can pull of each week. Simon called it gimmicky, and he hated the harmonica, calling it atrocious.

And another MacBook Air commercial.

Ramiele Malubay – “I Should Have Known Better” – First good sign: She’s not playing her own harmonica. I’m distracted by those high-waisted corset-like pants. She’s trying to put life into this song as much as possible, but it’s laying too flat for me. It’s like she’s just going through the motions on stage. Not bad, but nothing special. Needed more power, but the song doesn’t often reach up there. Could be Bottom Three material there again.

Who’s in trouble this week? Kristy again. She’s the weekly bottom runner-upper. Brooke deserves to be after this week’s disaster, but I don’t see people not voting for her, so she’ll be safe. I’m not sure Syesha has a fanbase. Great song this week, but will it excite the small base enough? Jason deserves to go home. He’s just not strong enough. He’s cutesy-awkward, but that was not good this week, and I think we’ve seen everything he has to offer by now already. Sad, but true. And Ramiele is just not lighting it up the way she needs to be.

The final bottom three: Kristy, Jason, and Ramiele. Will the teenage girls stop voting for David Archuleta long enough to save Jason? Will the country voters return to save Kristy for another week? Yes, and yes. Ramiele is a goner. (Didn’t I call for that last week, too? I’m glutton for punishment.)

Question of the week: Which typo in this write-up made you laugh the hardest?

7 thoughts on “AI7 – Round of 11 – Beatles Week II

  1. Maria vs. Mariah made me chuckle.

    I think I’m 100% in agreement with your bottom three, and with Ramiele getting the boot. I think Amanda deserves to be in the bottom also, but won’t be.

  2. Best of the night: Syesha Carly Chikezie

    David A. played that song way too safe and it got really boring, really quick for me!

  3. Am I the only one not being seduced by the wonderfulness that is David Archuleta? Yes, he can sing, and it’s lovely, but I’m truly not understanding the fuss. He’s simply not interesting.

    I also am not feeling the Jason Castro love At. All. I find him overly affected, and the vocals aren’t strong enough to overcome that.

    I keep waiting for Kristy to live up to her promise, but it’s just not happening.

    I actually enjoyed Brooke’s performance, despite it being less than stellar.

    Loved Carly, but I don’t think there’s anything she could sing that I would not enjoy.

  4. Am I the only one that heard Simon call one of the performances “wet?” What exactly does that mean? And, when he said that things were a little awkward after Carly’s performance, did he not go to rub his nipples then catch himself?

    Seriously, overly harsh on Carly, Chikezie and Brooke, I think, which evoked the latter’s breakdown. The harmonica was bold and actually sounded decent, while David C.’s vocal box was the real gimmick. Agree with you about Ramiele, too — while she doesn’t have an accent when she speaks, I think she’s fighting it when she sings.

  5. Is it my imagination, or does making a Beatles song “modern” suddenly mean that you have to slow it down a little bit and draining it of energy?

    Why did everyone go right for the songs that are most familiar to listeners and not with songs that on the periphery of recognition? I am really surprised that we didn’t see someone to a very high-energy cover of “Paperback Writer,” “Taxman,” or “Ticket to Ride.” Although it’s more familiar to the audience, I think “You Can Drive My Car” would have worked out for most of the contestants.

  6. When it comes to Carly, just about everything Simon says is wrong.

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