AI7 – Round of 4 – Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

Four contestants.  Two songs.  ONE American Idol.I should write reality TV show scripts.

Ryan leaks out a bit of interesting info, right at the top of the show: Only one of the remaining contestants has never been a #1 vote getter.  I’m guessing Syesha, sadly.  She’s doomed to be the Kimberley Locke of Season Seven.

What’s up with that wig they stuck on Paula’s head tonight?  Weird.

It’s a bit of a reach to think that one of the Idols might one day land in the RnR HOF.

Thankfully, the judges will critique the contestants after each song.  Is this due to the time saved by only needing to do eight songs this week?  Or are we trying to save Paula any more embarrassment after last week’s debacle?  You make the call.

David Cook – “Hungry Like the Wolf” –  The “doo doo doo doo” moments seem forced.  Maybe he should have left those to the background singers.  His voice sounds fine, but the song has lost all of the rhythm and the melody that make it great.  It’s just David Cook doing his thing over the song.  He even looks bored as he sings the song.  He’s not getting into the song.  He seems distant from it.  I’m not a fan.

Syesha Mercado – “Proud Mary” – Seems like a natural fit.  She’s doing choreography with it, which means the judges will scream “Broadway” again.  She’s being “Elvised” — the camera is avoiding her hips when she’s rolling them.

Yeah, the song did her no favors in the “Broadway” department.  But she’s very comfortable on the stage.  The vocal is lost to the manic choreography. I don’t know if I’d follow Simon calling it “bad” and “shrieky,” but I don’t think it showed her at her best.

Jason Castro – “I Shot the Sheriff” – Oh, my. The dreadlocks are let loose!  The kid has done this show for how many weeks now?  He still hasn’t figured out how not to blow air into the mic.  UGH.  At least he seems comfortable on the stage.  He’s alive during the song for the first time in a month. Sadly, it’s a piss poor performance. Wait, that’s it?  The song seemed about 20 seconds long.  Strange.  And karaoke.  Crash and burn.

Oh, Randy beat Simon to the karaoke comment.

Paula is right — he’s never performed more to the audience.  But it doesn’t matter.  It’s crap.

I’m getting tired and cranky.

David Archuleta – “Stand By Me” – Of course he’s doing this song.  It fits perfectly into his wheel house.  (I can’t believe it took me this long to get to that cliched phrase tonight.)  He did it well.  Maybe the bar has been set so low this week, but I really liked it. Best song of the night so far, though he have his usual bit of breathiness in the second half.

And I swear I wrote the preceding paragraph before Simon said it nearly word for word.  Wow.

For the second half of the show, I promise to be much more succinct.

David Cook – “Baba O’Riley” –  I really liked it, though it nailed the problem with the night: this show’s format doesn’t give the contestants enough room to work a song. Give the song another minute to breathe and I think he could REALLY recreate the song into something new.  This was just the trailer for Cook’s cinematic recreation of The Who.  Good job.

Syesha Mercado – “A Change Is Gonna Come” – (I was really hoping she’d sing Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” a la Nadia Turner.)  Give her a mic and let her pure voice come out. Beautiful, though again the need to shorten the song up to a minute and a half means she needs to go from power to slightness to power.

Randy hated it.  Paula stands to applaud. Syesha cries. Simon agrees with Paula and says Randy got it completely wrong. Syesha brings up the Civil Right aspect of the song twice.  Boy, they’re bringing out all the tricks to save her tonight, aren’t they?  GOOD.  Or is it just that they want to get rid of Castro so badly that they’ll praise everyone else to the hilt?  Don’t they realize that reverse logic works better on Idol voters?  Uh oh.

“Randy, thanks for the buzz kill…  Randy, we’re running out of time.  Hell’s Kitchen’s gonna start. – Ryan

Jason Castro – “Mr. Tambourine Man” – I hear William Shatner already.  Crap, then he goes and forgets the lyrics. Why doesn’t he just crucify himself on the Simon Cross now?  Why bother with the show, really?  Welcome to Jason’s Very Very Bad Night.

I think this might be the first ever Double Idol Crash and Burn!

Let’s cancel the vote and just kick him off the show now.  Why doesn’t he just go home and save us all the trouble?

Didn’t Josh Gracin blow a lyric in Season Two in the round of four, too?  No, that was the round of five?  He recovered, had a good week in the Round of 4, and went straight home.

David Archuleta – “Love Me Tender” – Another good song choice.  He didn’t know the song in advance. Uh oh. He’s visibly fighting to keep his eyes open, but he’s remembering the lyrics.

Whoa.  Stop the presses.  I thought he was brilliant on that.  He was subtle enough and subdued enough to eliminate all of his annoying traits.  He was in control of that song and made it work.

Clearly, Castro was the worst of the night and deserves to go home.  Archuleta won, with Cook in second and Syesha in a close third.  But does it matter?  Will America vote on talent?  Will Cook pull a Daughtry tomorrow night?  Will Syesha’s crying get her enough sympathy votes to trump the avalanche of pity votes that “I Forgot The Lyrics” Jason will be getting?

I think Jason will go home tonight.  Syesha goes home next week.  The finale is between the two Davids.  Cook wins it all.  I have to believe that, or my head will explode.

8 thoughts on “AI7 – Round of 4 – Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

  1. OK, I like reading your weekly reviews, but can you please, please, spell David Cook’s last name correctly? It’s not terribly difficult.

  2. Agree mostly with everything, but had one comment – while I do think that Syesha’s voice is amazing, and her performance on “A Change is gonna Come” was brilliant, I think that it was perhaps a wee bit arrogant to compare her being on Idol to the Civil Rights movement. I mean, LOVE her voice, not discounting the impact of the “journey” on her life and future, but Civil Rights? Seriously?

  3. Patricia, I do agree with you. As soon as she launched into the Civil Rights thing, I kind of rolled my eyes. I find it funny that the producers let her roll with that, yet the week David Cook had his dying brother there, he was forbidden to mention it until after the votes were cast.

    Augie, I will definitely agree with you on Baba O’Reilly. When it was over, I turned to my wife and said something how I wish they had let him perform the whole song, because shortening it just made the song sound awkward. But I thought he did and excellent job with it.

    It should be interesting to see how things work out for Jason tonight. On the one hand, his fanbase probably went nuts in the voting since he missed his lyric. But then again, in my opinion, how can you really vote for someone to stay when they flub that badly this close to the end?

    That being said, I think either Syesha or Jason will be going home tonight. The Davids are unstoppable at this point and are finale bound (with David Cook taking it all). I’ll pick Jason to go this week and Syesha next week.

  4. In the final “playback” of everyone’s performances tonight, David’s playback was a different performance than his first one. It is a mistake! There was another performance of “Love Me Tender” that they must’ve re-taped for some reason. Again, the “re-cap” at the end of the show, showed David Archuleta singing the end of “Love Me Tender” with different notes, different articulation…IT WAS A DIFFERENT EDIT! WHAT IS AMERICAN IDOL DOING? ISN’T IT A LIVE SHOW? WHAT’S WITH THE EDITING?

  5. Aimee: This is fairly common with the last performance of the night; they use rehearsal footage for the recap because they can’t cue up the final video in time.

  6. I liked how Seacrest mentioned that this is the week we lost Chris Daughtry before the show ended. So will it happen again to David Cook tonight? I don’t think so but you never know…I just hope it happens to Archuleta really. I’m tired of him looking like he’s gonna pass out everytime the judges say something good about him. Ugh. And at this point (as much as I hate to say), I don’t see any way he doesn’t win it all.

    If Jason doesn’t go home tonight, I’m not going to watch the rest of the season.

  7. What made Syesha’s second song so memorable for me (and why I think she was crying) was the uncommon degree to which she was able to step into the song and make a connection to the song’s history and context. I don’t think any Idol performer has done that so much since Fantasia’s amazing rendition of “Summertime.” (As an aside, if Melinda Doolittle had been able to find in herself what Syesha and Fantasia found, she’d have won almost unanimously.)

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