AI7 – Round of 9 – Dolly Parton

American Idol logoOh, goody. It’s an April Fools gag to open things. I can’t be the only one who loathes this day, can I? It’s just ridiculous. At least go all the way and have a video clip of Simon Cowell on the set of “Moment of Truth.” Sheesh.

It’s Dolly Parton week! Yee-ha. It’s like looking into Kelly Pickler’s future, isn’t it?

Wait, that practically makes it Country Week! Kristy Lee Cook must be thrilled!

Brooke White – “Jolene” – Good song choice. And going for the guitar instead of the piano will deflect criticism that she’s hiding behind an instrument. And, look, it’s Dan DiDio on percussion! It might be too karaoke, but she sounds good. Not an Idol Moment by a long shot, but very respectable. Perhaps too safe? I don’t know; I liked it.

“You are Brooke White,” says Paula, stating the obvious. This might be a bad night for Paula, if this is how we start.

Seems weird to hear Ryan to introduce her as “Mrs. Brooke White.” I knnow she’s married and all, but “Mrs. Brooke?” Odd. David Cooke – “Little Sparrow” – He didn’t crib this arrangement off the internet, so let’s see how he manages this one. It’s another solid performance. I don’t know the original song, so I don’t know how much he’s changed it, but it sounds nice. It fits in with his voice. It’s nothing overwhelming, but it’s good stuff. And, as the judges said, it shows that he can do the more tender things.

Oh, look: It’s corset week for the background singers. What an odd show it’s been so far.

Ramiele Malubay – I don’t know the title of the song, and I don’t care that much. It’s boring. The band is overwhelming her voice. She’s not doing anything too memorable with this song. Yawn. Am I going to have to predict this is the last week for her yet again?!?

Really, an entire week of Dolly Parton songs? What an odd odd week.

Ooh, it’s a new “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” ad! BWAH HA HA. It’s a complete Vista hit piece. Ouch.

Jason Castro – “Travelin’ Through” – (Too bad it wasn’t “Travelin’ Prayer,” a Billy Joel song Parton had a minor hit with a few years back.) Good song choice. It’s in his wheel house. Still popping his “P”s, way too many weeks into the competition. He hasn’t learned yet. It’s a bit like Ramiele’s song: Nothing special. I think it’s better than Ramiele’s, in that he led the song and had a good arrangement of it. But, again, nothing memorable. Nothing exciting. Just good.

Simon’s wrong, though — this kind of music could suit Jason. As Randy pointed out, there’s a certain singer/songwriter vibe to the song that fits him. Carly Smithson – “Here I (?) Come Again” – Sounds a bit old. I’m sure Simon will complain that she didn’t modernize it. But you know what? It doesn’t matter to me. She’s got some amazing vocal chops, and this song is another showcase for them. Maybe not the greatest Idol showcase song, but her voice is great.

Wow, she held the heck out of that long high note. No other singer on this show this season could have held that note at that key for that long.

Carly has no idea how to respond to Simon’s criticism of her choice in clothing. You can see her biting her lip.

David Archuleta – “Smokey Mountain Memories” – He’s safe this week. The song works for him, though it’s once again nothing that’ll excite people (outside his loyal fanbase) to download the video on iTunes tomorrow. It’s good work with a strong ending, though. The judges all thought it was great.

I’m so glad this show is only an hour tonight. I just ain’t feeling it, dawg.

Kristy Lee Cooke – “Coat of Many Colors” – Ooh, Simon is going to LOATHE that dress. Not surprisingly, Kristy excels vocally on country songs. But there’s still something about her that makes you wonder why she can’t break loose. She seems so reserved. Paula has mentioned her lack of showmanship before, and I think it’s really the one missing part of her game that’s going to keep her from going too far in this competition. In the last couple of weeks, she’s proven she can sing. Now she needs to “act.”

“Pleasant but forgettable” is Simon’s phrase, and that about fits. He didn’t give Ryan a hard time about noticing Kristy Lee’s French manicure. They all looked in pain from having to rush things through to fit nine songs in an hour. . .

Whitney HoustonSyesha Mercado – “I Will Always Love You” – Wow, this is brave. Most people think of this as a Whitney song, which is just the thing you don’t want to do on IDOL. Can she possibly live up to that? It isn’t possible, is it? I hope last week’s Idol Moment isn’t giving her too much confidence. Dolly liked her arrangement. Underplaying it might be the only way to do it.

Holy crap. Got goosebumps there in the final notes. I liked it. Nice mix of Dolly and Whitney. Gee whiz, her voice is amazing. I said before that I couldn’t imagine anyone other than Carly hitting that one note and holding it for that long. I forgot about Syesha. She could. She’s got amazing pipes. Simon was not thrilled with it, as I was. Randy was OK with it. It’s an impossible song to live up to, but I think Syesha did a great job with it, and deserves to stick around based on that performance.

Given last week’s flirt with the bottom three, I think her fanbase will get out their vote well tonight. She’ll be safe..

“PC/Mac Commercial” #2 on the night. Hilarious again, especially in light of the recent Microsoft e-mails that blame 30% of all Vista crashes on Nvidia. BWAH HA HA #2.

Michael Johns – “It’s All Wrong” (just guessing there) – It’s a male version of a torch song. He’s got a great voice for it. The scratchy rocker voice works very well on a song like this, where he can really sink his vocal claws into it, if you’ll forgive the mixed metaphor. Great performance, backed up by another amazing guitar performance. Even Simon liked it.

An off week, overall, but Michael Johns leads the pack, with David Archuleta, Carly, David Cooke, and Syesha just behind him in my mind. Brooke White is next, alongside Kristy. Then Jason. Ramiele is dead last.

I want a sing-off between Syesha and Carly, though. Let’s have an epic Idol Battle! We need a special show for that. Then you could pair off David C. and Michael Johns to go at it. What about Castro versus White? Ramiele versus a random teenager from the mosh pit audience?

So who’s in the bottom three? Heck if I know. I never guess that right, anyway. Why bother trying? Ramiele goes home this week. No, really, I mean it this week. Jason and Brooke (this week’s bit shocker) join her in the bottom three.

2 thoughts on “AI7 – Round of 9 – Dolly Parton

  1. I’m with you on the Ramiele thing. I have her in the bottom 3 EVERY week and she’s no where to be found there when they announce the results. She has the talent and the big voice but she just hasn’t been able to give that BIG performance yet.

  2. I would put Carly before Archuleta, otherwise I agree on your top 5. And Ramiele was the worst. This is going to be a tough season to pick a winner from among the top four: Cooke, Archuleta, Carly and Michael Johns.

Comments are closed.