Season 7 Top 10 – Performance Recap

Click song name for VIDEO!

thanks lawrence for the video

Season 7 Top 10 is a total rock-fest, with Michael Johns and David Cook turning in energetic, passionate performances.   Clearly the best of the night.   Michael puts himself back in the game, at last, and David   truly turns into the Dark Horse who could possibly sneak up past ‘lil David Archuleta to take it all.

The Idols sing songs from the year they were born.   Y’all ready for another 80’s night? Eight of the remaining contestants were born in the 80’s (with Michael Johns and David Archuleta bookending the crew on the cusp, 1979 and 1990 respectively).   The pool of songs looks similar to 80’s week from Top 20.  At least it’s not the Beatles, again. Thank Jeebus.

Tonight’s pre-performance video packages feature the kids when they really were kids.   Awww. So cute.

More after the Jump…

Ramiele Malubay– 1987 …Alone by Heart – Eep.   Ramiele is really off-key on the big notes. Once she starts the chorus it falls apart.   Randy notices her pitchiness, but Simon doesn’t hear it.   Paula makes a point of noting that  Ramiele isn’t  feeling well.   Is that the excuse of the week?   Ramiele hasn’t had a good performance since “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” during the Top 24.   I dunno, Ramiele has people.   She may be in the Bottom 3 this week, but I don’t think she’s going anywhere.   She’s cute as a button, but she doesn’t have a musical identity or a handle on her own instrument.   She’s Jasmine Trias, redux. Way more adorable than Jasmine, but still…

By the way, what  thee HELL was up with  Paula Abdul’s  outfit?   The long  black fingerless gloves and sparkly dress  were like a cross between a dominatrix and a prom queen.   She and Simon must have a date later.

Jason Castro– 1987 …Fragile by Sting –   Such a lovely, lovely song to choose   And on his 21st birthday, Jason chooses a song that reflects his Spanish heritage.   Unfortunately, Jason’s performance doesn’t pop.   He sounds breathy and the band and background vocalists drown him out.   The whole effect is rather meh and indistinct. Randy and Paula think it’s nice, but not a “wow” performance.   Simon  says it’s horrible. He gives  Jason a big lecture.  Like a stern dad, Simon says Jason needs to start taking things more seriously.   When Ryan asks  Jason what he thinks,  he shuffles his feet, shrugs his shoulders and says, “Yeah, I guess I could have practiced the guitar a little more.” It’s hard to tell if there’s really any drive behind  Jason’s laid back demeanor.   Maybe  he’s one of those contestants who  believes that 10th place is the new first.   Jason, don’t start coasting.  That would suck.

Syesha Mercado– 1987 …If I Were Your Woman by Stephanie Mills –   This is an old Gladys Knight song from the 70’s.   Nobody sounds like Gladys, she brings something special to every song she sings.   Syesha, a little wobbly in spots, gives a  decent technical performance here, but is very generic.   I ain’t feeling this.   Randy thinks she’s like, all back in the game dawg, and that it’s her best performance ever.   Paula tells her that people will remember this as the moment she flipped it, and became the dark horse.   Hm. I don’t think so. Simon  believes it is her best so far too, but that she has a limit to her vocals, and the song stretched it.   Simon may be on to something, there.

Chikezie– 1985 …If Only For One Night by Luther Vandross – Chickezie takes the leap.   He decides to go back to singing Adult Contemporary R&B and…Zzzzzzz…. Whoops. Sorry!   Yeah, he’s real boring. And corny. And yes, we’ve seen this performance a few times already in other rounds, and it nearly got him kicked off the show.   When Chikezie does upbeat he’s unique and exciting, with ballads, he’s a watered down  Luther,  as generic as Syesha.    Randy calls him old-fashioned. Paula likes it. Chickezie gets a little lippy with Simon when  he calls him cheesy.  He is bound for the Bottom 3 this week, and maybe home, I’m afraid.  

Brooke White – 1983 …Every Breath You Take by The Police – Brooke’s got the flat-ironed locks going.  Pretty! She’s at the piano, she begins, gets  tripped up and begins again.   Yikes.   She recovers to give a typically “Brooke” performance.   That is, she  subtly twists a familiar tune to her own  gentle style.   Even when the band comes in, it’s still lovely.  Randy and Simon think she should have kept it a solo piano performance, but I disagree.  I like the arrangement.  The band upped the ante, and I think she kept up with them beautifully.   Simon calls it old-fashioned.  I bet if she’d kept it simple, he’d call it boring. Bah.

Michael Johns – 1978 …We Are the Champions by Queen – Michael finally performs like he’s in this to win.   I’m glad, because he has yet to showcase his raw, raspy vocals to  best effect on the big stage. Until now.   “No time for losers…, ” Michael sings, almost defiantly.   It’s like he suddenly woke up and realized he is in a competition.   Tenth place is not the new first! Yay Micheal! The judges are ecstatic. Randy says it  is the best performance since he’s been on the show.   Paula says  tonight is  his moment to shine. Simon says it’s the first time he’s seen  star potential, and that he “just got it right.”   Indeed.

Carly Smithson– 1983 …Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler – Carly’s trip to the Bottom 3 must be weighing on her mind as she performs–she comes off a bit tense and desperate.   Her high notes are a bit shrieky.   I wish she’d sing in her lower register more, she has a real nice velvety tone down there.   It feels like the tempo was speeded up a bit. I kept waiting for the dramatic payoff this song is meant to deliver, but it never came.   It all went by too fast.   Randy likes it, but he doesn’t love it.   He  thinks she went sharp at the end, and  doesn’t like the “rock thing” on her.   Paula doesn’t think hitting the note is important, only that she’s willing to put herself out there.   Simon thinks something “didn’t  quite work there”  and that she needs to “lighten up.”  There’s no doubt Carly can sing.   Like Simon says, she needs to relax.

David Archuleta– 1990 …Youre the Voice by David Foster – David takes a chance on a relatively unknown song. I listened to the version he’s covering, from a David Foster album, and  wasn’t impressed–icky late 80s/early 90s synth schlock.  Ew.  However, in David’s  youthful hands, I am moved  by his earnest appeal to “make a noise and make it clear…we’re not going to sit in silence, living in fear.” His voice cracks at one point, and I find myself getting a bit chilled.   Can you say guilty pleasure?   So, kill me now, OK?   David is a sweet kid, with a really, really good voice.   For once, It felt, to me, like he connected to the message of the song. Randy says David’s got “Mad skillz.” Paula says David could sing the phone book and “we’d fall in love with you.” Simon doesn’t like the performance “at all”.   He felt it was reminiscent of a theme park performance. I disagree.   I think David took a corny song and managed to transcend the schmaltz.

Kristy Lee Cook– 1984 …God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood – Kill me now.   No, I mean it. Kill me, please.   What a switch–from David’s innocence, to Kristy’s calculated drawing of the patriotic card.   Ugh.   First, I hate this jingoistic piece of crap of a song.   Second, Kristy is still singing like she’s having an out of body experience.   Not only are her vocals mediocre, she just does not connect to the emotion of a song.   It’s like there’s this huge wall between Kristy and the audience.   Randy thinks it’s very nice.   Paula thinks it’s a “respectful” song choice, but that she’s had better performances. Simon says it’s her best performance “by a mile.” Simon adds, “that was the most clever song choice I’ve heard in years.”   No doubt.   With that choice, Kristy will probably keep herself out of the Bottom 3 this week. I guess Kristy Lee must have knocked Simon’s socks off. Heh.

David Cook– 1983 …Billie Jean by Michael Jackson – I think everybody needs to STFU about David Cook “stealing” covers from other artists (I’m looking at you, Doxology.   Charging that David “stole” their arrangement of Eleanor Rigby was a  cheap ploy for publicity). Ryan Seacrest credits Chris Cornell in his intro as the inspiration for the arrangement, and still, people are bitching.   Whatevah.  David not only has great rock chops, he’s also  a genius when it comes to picking the perfect song for the competition.  He’s  one of the best performers that’s ever been seen on the Idol stage.  And at this point, he deserves to win it all. Randy says he’s “the most original, the most bold contestant we’ve ever had.” And, “You might be the one to win the whole lot.”   Paula can’t sit down–she thinks he’s smart and brave.   Simon also thinks  he’s brave, ” It could have either been insane or amazing, and I have to tell you, it was amazing.” David leaps for joy! So do I.

About mj santilli 34526 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!