Performance Videos! with very special thanks to rockers94…awesome ripping…
- Michael Johns – “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac
- Jason Castro – “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” by Andy Gibb
- Luke Menard – “Killer Queen” by Queen
- Robbie Carrico – “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner
- Danny Noriega – “Superstar” by Leon Russell – Danny’s video package.
- David Hernandez – “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by The Undisputed Truth
- Jason Yeager – “Long Train Running” by the Doobie Brothers
- Chickezie – “I Believe to My Soul” by Donny Hathaway
- David Cook – “All Right Now” by Free
- David Archuleta – “Imagine” by John Lennon
Tonight, the guys take on the 70’s with mixed results. A few of the contestants improved on their performance from last week, perhaps buying them another week (Chikezie, Luke Menard). Others disappointed (Michael Johns). Others brought it (David Cook, David Hernandez). There were also those who could have taken a giant dump on the stage and it would not have mattered (OK, only one–David Archuleta who apparently has already been crowned winner. Should I bother watching the rest of this shiz?)
Tonight’s video packages feature a theme, “What People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me” Or not.
Randy tells the contestants, “Dude (as in the royal DUDE) make sure you’re in it to win it!” Paula seems coherent tonight. Unfortunately. And Simon is as cranky as ever.
Michael Johns – “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac – Mid tempo songs are always a gamble on Idol, where the glory note reigns supreme. If a contestant chooses a mid-tempo song, the vocal needs to be impeccable, and unique. Unfortunately, Micheal chooses a song that not only doesn’t show off his voice, but reveals his vocal limitations. Those high notes are rough, man. Lucky for Michael, he’s got so much momentum at this point, his fan base will sustain him to the next round. Randy says, “Nice way to start off…I was ready for you to let go, you didn’t quite go there…I liked it, you’re a good singer.” Paula said, “You’re consistent, got the whole crowd working, you’re charismatic….I think you’re already there.” Simon tells it like it is, “It was by far your weakest performance of the entire competition. It’s what I call, coasting along, a song like that. And it was a very weak choice of song for you.” Michael becomes a little flustered by Simon’s bad critique and nearly mows down Ryan when he misses his cue to leave the stage. I like Micheal’s voice, I hope he steps it up and picks a better song next week. Fun fact: Micheal is a jock. He plays tennis!
I want a Mac book Air. That is all.
Jason Castro – “I Just Wanna Be Your Everything” by Andy Gibb – I think the song choice is clever. It starts off well, with Jason on guitar, but unfortunately, bandzilla joins in and completely overwhelms his vocals. This would have been an awesome acoustic performance. Nevertheless, I’m still firmly on the Jason bandwagon. Of course, the judges critique him for playing the guitar, as if it’s a crutch. Randy says, “Singing with the guitar, it’s cool as an act. The vocals just weren’t that great.” Paula says, “I don’t think it was as bad as you heard it, Randy. I think you made a clever choice with the song…I liked your musical interpretation…next week I would like to see you without the guitar and be more vulnerable as an artist.” Simon says, “I thought the song was horrible, because it was too schmaltzy, it didn’t suit your voice, it didn’t go together this week. You looked very uncomfortable with that song.” Simon then goes on about “all the song choices”–and you know, the truth is, the contestants have a very small pool to choose from–STFU Simon. He adds, “You didn’t do yourself any favors tonight.” Fun Fact: Jason has no facts. He hates doing interviews. Is his charming lack of affect a put on? I don’t think so.
Luke Menard – “Killer Queen” by Queen – Luke has an unusual falsetto voice, and I think he picked a great song for his vocals. It’s too bad contestants don’t get points for singing a difficult song. Queen is difficult, and I think Luke handled the challenge very well. Luke is unpimped, but I think his decent performance and good looks could buy him another week. Randy says, “You chose a very tough, tough song. I like you better this week than last week…this seems to be a little more your wheelhouse. I thought it was pretty good.” Paula says, “I’m so glad this week was a great week for you…I think you picked the perfect song…” Simon says, “I think it was a mistake. You’re always going to be judged by the original. The singer of that song had originality and charisma. You didn’t…you suffered by comparison.” Fun Fact: Luke was part of an a’cappella group, Chapter 6. But, we knew that.
Ryan chats with Robbie. A discussion ensues about Robbie’s “authenticity”, or lack thereof. Ryan mentions Simon’s remarks from last week. Robbie rolls his eyes and tells Simon, “Get used to it!” He’s here’s he’s….whatever.
Robbie Carrico – “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner – This is perfect. A fake rock singer singing fake 70’s rock! Ok, sorry, but in my book, Foreigner is just one of the many reasons why 70’s mainstream rock is so effing lame. Not a great choice for Robbie to prove his rock cred. And, still, with the cheesy hand gestures. The song is about being super-horny, but his vocal lacks the urgency to be convincing. I’d like him better if he actually embraced the cheese. Randy says, “I don’t know if the rock thing is really, really your thing. It doesn’t have enough ahhhh! to be a rock voice.” Paula says, “I think that you played it a little safe this week.” Robbie seems annoyed by the criticisms. Simon says, “You don’t have to get so defensive about it, it’s only an opinion. Actually, I thought the vocal was OK tonight.” Fun Fact: Robbie
used to bang Britney Spears likes drag racing.
Danny Noriega – “Superstar” by Leon Russell – I can hear a really good voice underneath all the posturing, I really can. Danny needs to just sing, and forget everything else. Tonight, he tones down the facial ticks and the dramatics, but he’s now a little tentative. He needs to find a way to let his vocals, and the meaning of the song, shine through. He’s not quite there yet. Again, bandzilla drowns out the vocals. Could somebody please turn down the band? Randy says, “I felt like you were thinking while you were singing…let it go.” Paula says, “You’ve got amazing vocal skill…don’t over think it…just perform.” Simon, “This was better, not a fantastic vocal…but you stand out in the crowd, you’re interesting…you look great on camera.” Danny admits that Simon was right about last week’s performance, and he kinda apologizes for giving him the snaps. Heh. I agree with Simon. Danny’s likability is going to advance him to next week, and maybe the Top 12. Fun fact: Danny used to be in a crappy punk rock band when he was a freshman in high school.
David Hernandez – “Papa was a Rolling Stone” by the Undisputed Truth – David ditches the nerves this week. He gets loose, starting from the top of the stairs, working the camera as he makes his way down to the stage. He’s picked a showy song that allows him to bust out some fancy vocal chops, including a great big glory note at the end. Paula gives him a standing ovation. So far, it’s the best vocal of the night. Randy says, “Now this is the David Hernandez we fell in love with. That was hot right there.” Paula says, “Your voice is so pure, it pierces right to the heart…your personality came out this week…perfect.” Simon adds, “This may surprise you…this was the best vocal of the night so far…I like the fact that when you are given some criticism, you don’t sulk, you take it as a challenge.” David looks like he’s going to pass out, he’s so happy. David is definitely still in the game. Fun Fact: David did gymnastics when he was a little kid. He won medals, and stuff.
Jason Yeager – “Long Train Running” by the Doobie Brothers – This performance is so much better than last week. Yeah, the dancing is a little corny, but there is no denying Jason can sing. He brought a credible soulful vibe to his performance this week, a few little pitchy things here and there, but a solid performance. However, the judges rip him to shreds. Randy says, “…It’s not a singer’s kind of song…pitchy and karaoke, I didn’t get it.” Paula, says, “It was fun to see this side of you…it’s a song that doesn’t have that many notes in it…be careful to pick singer songs.” Simon says, “Last week was boring, this week it was just awkward and ordinary…and that horrific ending, I don’t know what you were doing there…it was like you were drunk at a party…I’m quite disappointed.” Poor Jason looks so confused about what he should do next. He’s got a big ole’ target on his back–there might not be a next time. Fun Fact: Jason is self-taught on the guitar and piano.
Chikezie – “I Believe to My Soul” by Donny Hathaway – Chikezie steps it up from last week. Not only does he ditch the fugly suit, but he steps out of the ballad box to prove he can bring grit and soul to an uptempo number. Chikezie introduces Donny Hathaway’s daughter from the background vocal group. Season 5 fans know all about Donny’s daughter–Elliott Yamin introduced her back then. Randy says, “Chikezie is back America…this is the guy we fell in love with.” Paula says, “Very clever to pick a song and a story…brilliant, it was fun.” Simon, “You look better, you sounded better, clever choice of song, a million times better than last week.” Chikezie confesses, “I let you get to me, that’s what messed me up.” and then, “I’d wear that suit [from last week] again, but not on TV, you can’t do that, only you would do that.” Simon says, “Just when I’ve begun to like you again, you’ve become obnoxious.” The banter is cheeky. All is forgiven. Fun Fact: Chikezie, and his name are both Nigerian. The true pronunciation of his name is beautiful.
David Cook – “All Right Now” by Free – David accompanies himself on electric guitar tonight. David knows just how to tweak his raspy rock vocals to get the most out of a song. Tonight, he plays to the crowd rather than the camera, and it works. Visually, it looks like concert footage. I like the song arrangement–at one point, David stops playing, grabs the mic off the stand, sings part of the chorus, and then it’s back to the guitar. Randy says, “… You got the Marshal, the Les Paul, the whole 9 yards…you are the real rocker of the boys this year.” Paula says, “The band is on fire tonight…David you are the real deal…very smart very fun.” Simon, “It was solid, it was sort of believable. I don’t think the film helped you…from tennis, to drag racing to crosswords. It’s boring. I don’t think you have a lot of charisma….” David interrupts Simon at this point to say, “Fortunately, I don’t have to win you over with my charisma, I’ve got to win these people over.” Simon’s eyes bug out. He’s visibly pissed. Note to David, no matter how well you sing, you undermine yourself when you behave like a whiny douche bag. Just shut up and take the criticism. The audience is on your side. Fun fact: David is a self-confessed “Huge word-nerd”. He loves crossword puzzles and word searches. Obviously Simon thinks it’s boring, but Paula sez women like smart men.
David Archuleta – “Imagine” by John Lennon – YAY communism! YAY atheism! Does David really understand what this song is about? I don’t think so. He only sings the non-controversial verse that’s all about peace, love and understanding, and he’s able to imbue some real feeling into the song. Don’t get me wrong, I know David can sing. But the judges hyperbole and outrageous pimping of David is a big turn-off. Randy starts the whole OMG!!! He’s Only 17!!! crap again this week, and I despair when I realize Randy will be pulling that one out again, week after week. He really should just play tape recordings of his Jordin Sparks critiques from last year and be done with it. Randy says, “…one of the best vocals I’ve ever heard on this show. That was brilliant!” Paula is crying, “One of the most beautiful performances I’ve ever heard…you are destined for super stardom.” Simon says, “You are the one to beat…there are 19 very miserable contestants tonight.” UGH. Enough already. Fun Fact:
David won Star Search when he was 13. David met the Season 1 finalists when he was 11 years old. He sang for them, and impressed Kelly Clarkson. In the grainy video footage, David gets big kudos from Kelly. I imagine this is supposed to be significant–Kelly, the current AI, at the time, meeting the future AI…
Oh, how perfect that footage will work in the finale night winners montage! Sigh.