It’s Andrew Lloyd Webber week, with special guest dance star, Ricky Minor. How odd. It’s odd enough seeing him not strapped into his bass guitar. It’s odder still seeing him in a tux. But donning a chapeau and dancing with the contestants on stage?
Syesha Mercado – “One Rock N Roll Too Many” – I don’t know which musical this is from. I was hoping for something from “Whistle Down The Wind,” just for the Jim Steinman goodness. Sadly, it never happened. This was a fun upbeat and lively number. It’s the first time Syesha’s really “rocked out,” and did so in the guise of sexy musical theater. Go figure. She interacted with the band. She told her story. I thought she was a little lost in the verses when she wasn’t powering through, but it was a memorable enough act to get her some votes. Is it enough to overcome the dreaded #1 start on the night? I don’t now.
I liked the way Randy and Simon both went for her jugular in the nicest way possible. “You can be a Broadway star” is the nice way of telling someone, “You’ll never win this show if we have any say in it.”
Speaking of which, I was watching the latter rounds of Season Two this last week. Forget Ruben versus Clay. Kimberley Locke should have won it.
Jason Castro – “Memory” from CATS - Crash and burn? Possibly. It’s a matter of style. There were a few moments, particularly early on, where I thought he was changing the song to fit his style. It kind of worked with a funkier more rhythmic beat. Sadly, he didn’t go there. He merely muddle through, as Simon put it, the longest two minutes of his life. Perhaps Webber’s words should have been our warning: “He kind of understood it [the song]. I think.”
As for men not singing the song — I rather like Dennis De Young’s version, thanks.
Brooke White – “You Must Love Me” – It’s the new song from EVITA, the movie. She stutter started again. Blew the second line and stopped the orchestra. Ouch. I fear she’s starting to lose it. I was nervous for the rest of the song for her. That didn’t feel good. Simon said she looked tense after that, too. I’m inclined to agree. That’s where I picked the vibe up from. She has a nice voice. It’s not meant to be a power Broadway singer. Stick to something folksier and she’ll be fine. She did “get” the song, though.
Does it really matter, though, how these contestants sing? Aren’t Brooke, Syesha, and Jason just cannon fodder right now? (Carly ain’t much better.) David Archuleta - “Think of Me” – PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. He attempted a remix and failed. He lost the melody and the song completely for me. Very distracting. Archuleta might be the single most highly overrated contestant in this show’s history. If he’s not powering through, he’s lost. Try listening to him in the lower parts, or the verses where he doesn’t have the chance to scream a note. It’s not terribly exciting.
Having said that, Randy called him the boy to beat, and Paula thought the song was “absolutely perfect.”
They really are stuck in some other aural world up there on set, aren’t they?
Simon, at least, called it one of David’s weaker performances.
Carly Smithson – “Superstar” – That JC musical. Ricky Minor is back and dancing. This is Carly’s attempt to recreate what Syesha had at the beginning of the show. It works for her, in large part because it’s so different and so sure. It’s not her best vocal performance on the show, but it’s her best “performance” for a song. She looked comfortable on stage.
Now, let’s get to that t-shirt she held up after the song. “Simon Loves Me,” it said. In all-caps. Problem One: It’s in Comic Sans. Problem two: It uses the wrong “I” in Simon’s name. The crossbar-I should never be used in the middle of a word. It’s wrong. It’s ugly. It’s distracting. UGH
Whoever made that shirt should be voted off the show tomorrow night for crimes against typography.
David Cook – “Music of the Night” – PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. I like the tone of his voice paired with this song. It’s great for him. I just don’t think he sold it. Maybe I shouldn’t judge — this is an intense love song, and I’m the wrong audience for it. I just didn’t think he sold it as well as he could have, from a performance point of view. Still, I liked the vocal.
Said Paula to David, “You have a beautiful instrument.” Isn’t that what she told Corey Clark, too?
Syesha, Brooke, and Jason will be in the bottom three. Who will go home? Eh, who knows? I think Brooke’s stumble will get her people voting for her in mass quantities. Syesha excited the small fanbase she has. Jason finally goes home.
(Since I didn’t pick Syesha, I fear it’s curtains for her now.)
De Blieck Out!