Season 7 Top 5 Performance – Recap

Bring those perky contestants in! Ha ha!

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Paula is wasted! – Paula becomes very confused in this clip…By the way, I had no idea Paula Abdul was psychic! Slamming Jason Castro’s 2nd performance before he even had a chance to f*cking sing it! That woman is brilliant! Feh. What a disaster.

I hope everyone enjoyed tonight’s edition of “Speed Idol”. I didn’t exactly…

Poor Neil Diamond. He got left in the dust amidst the speed, confusion and controversy that characterized Tuesday’s Top 5 performance show. Packing 10 performances into 1 hour had each one whizzing by so fast, they barely registered. The performances ranged from horrifying to just pretty good. Not a stellar night at CBS studios. And Paula. OMG Paula. Snap out of it. Pay attention. Do your job, and I hope you apologized to Jason Castro for your major f*ck up. Also, nice attempt at throwing Syesha Mercardo under the bus Simon. You suck.

Here’s how it went down: The first performance featured video clips of Neil Diamond working with the contestants. After the second performance, the judges critiqued the first and second performance. At least that’s how it was supposed to go down. Instead, after the first round, the kids were hurriedly assembled back on stage for an impromptu judges critique. That’s when it all went horribly, horribly, wrong…

More after the Jump…

Jason Castro – …Forever in Blue Jeans – Jason is treated to the “idiot edit” again during his Neil Diamond vid as he admits having the wrong song notes in front of him. He slaps his head and then Neil says that he thinks Jason will feel more comfortable once he hits the stage. Jason Castro-Special Needs Idol! Blech. The curse of the mid-tempo song is that it’s neither dramatic nor exciting. Nevertheless, Jason delivers a solid performance of a song that’s pretty lame to begin with.

David Cook – …Im Alive – This week, David picks two unknown songs from the Neil catalog. The original version of “I’m Alive” is an obscure tune from 1983, and is pretty dreadful. David roughs it up with some electric guitar to make it palatable. It’s short and sweet, but there’s not much else to say about it. Out of Neil’s vast catalog of music, David couldn’t find a song that would not only suit his talents, but have the potential to leave a lasting impression with the audience? I’m confuzzled.

Brooke White – …I’m a Believer – Hm. No. Brooke whoops her way through this 60’s classic. Did she learn nothing from her silly rendition of “Here Comes the Sun”? At least she isn’t dancing around. The song doesn’t suit her vocal style at all. In fact, the song is a bit out of her range on the lower end, making her sound wobbly and flat. She breezes through the song with a big grin on her face, but nothing she sings really registers. The whole performance comes off like some campfire sing-along. Unfortunately, at this point, Brooke really can’t afford a bad performance.

David Archuleta – …Sweet Caroline – It’s tough to pick such a well-known song out of a singer’s catalog. Not only is “Sweet Caroline” a karaoke staple, it’s a theme song for several sports teams. Finally–David’s outstretched hand has found its perfect song! Ha. Having said that, his performance is serviceable. But in order for this song to rise above it’s familiarity and really pop, David needs to bring something fresh to the table. He doesn’t. The result is total dullsville.

Syesha Mercado – …Hello Again – Syesha Mercado, keeping herself in the game. She’s got the best performance so far. Her “Hello Again” is beautiful, heartfelt–not oversung. Her confident performance is very very pretty. She also looks fabulous in a cute little blue dress, although I’m missing the crazy hair. Perhaps Syesha’s performance required a little damage control from the judges? Perhaps that’s why the kids are rushed out onto the stage for a little mid-show critique.

Randy starts off the mini-critique, with pretty much what you’d expect from Randy at this point: Jason–just OK, David C– in the “zone”, Brooke–better than last week, still a little karaoke, David A–the “bomb” Syesha–nice vocals, strong. See what I mean? Pretty useless.

Paula is next. Looking frazzled, she launches into Jason’s critique. Reading off some notes, she says that she enjoyed hearing his lower register…on the first song. “On the second song…” she begins. Earth to Paula! Jason hasn’t sung his second song yet. She begins blathering on about how disappointing his performance was and that his two songs made her feel like he wasn’t fighting hard enough to get into the Top 4. The audience begins to titter. Randy reminds her that she was only supposed to talk about the first song.

Oops! Paula read more than she was supposed to off that cue card the helpful Idol production assistant handed to her! Are her critiques written for her ahead of time by someone else? Interesting that the once incoherent Paula has been speaking in complete sentences the last couple of years isn’t it? Even if she managed to take notes during the dress rehearsal, shouldn’t her, and the other judges, final reaction be to the live performance? It appears that a curtain has been pulled back on a dirty little secret we Idol watchers have always suspected–the critiques are scripted ahead of time rather than spontaneous. Even putting that problem aside, the gaffe itself is inexcusable. The least Paula can do for the money is to–you know–stay awake and maybe pay attention. Really, it’s not too much to ask.

In the meantime, Jason gets a negative critique on a song he hasn’t even performed yet. That’s some effed up sh*te right there, no matter how you try to slice it. And slice it, Paula tries, babbling on about how she read David Cook’s critique by mistake. Huh? She was about to give David a negative critique? That’s believable. She ends by saying it’s hard, so hard, the job she does. Feh.

After that debacle ends, Simon proceeds to slam everyone, going so far as to call Brooke’s performance a “nightmare”. Brooke starts arguing with him. Ugh. Just STFU Brooke. She can be so shrill and annoying. She really isn’t doing herself any favors here. Simon lectures the 5–he expects to hear the performance of a lifetime coming up.

The next round…

Jason Castro – …September Morn – Sooo…after a short break, Jason is now expected to perform a song that’s already been blasted by Paula. It’s a good thing nobody pays attention to her opinion anyway. But still. “September Morn” is straight out of the sappy section of Neil Diamond’s catalog. Ugh. While Jason performs this dreck reasonably well, it’s true that the light seems to have gone out of his eyes. Randy says that it’s just a “whatever” performance. Paula practically repeats her botched critique from before the break. so paula, really, you can’t talk your way out of this one Simon says that he doesn’t recognize the contestant that he put into the competition. When Jason is on, he’s on. I’m hoping that he gets another week to regroup and get back his mojo. As Ryan attempts to give out Jason’s number, David Cook walks out onto the darkened stage to set up his next number. The squealing fangirls threaten to drown out Jason’s numbers. I’m getting kinda pissed off right here.

David Cook – …All I Ever Really Need is You – I’m liking this MUCH better than David’s first performance. Sweet, melodic, nicely phrased. I love the use of his falsetto there in the middle. Not one of David’s memorable performances, though. I can’t help thinking I’ve heard this before. At this point in the competition, I’m setting the bar very high for David. He’s that good. A solid performance, even if it wasn’t exactly worthy of the tongue bath the judges gave him at the end. Simon calls it brilliant. Not quite, but still very good. Typical Simon MO: Using David’s critique to bash Jason Castro one last time. Yuck.

Brooke White – …I Am…I Said – Brooke also improves on her second performance. But seriously, the only way was up after that horrible rendition of “I’m a Believer”. Neil suggests she change the words “I’m New York City born and raised” to Arizona, but then the next line, “I’m lost between two shores” makes no sense. Still, Brooke is back in her comfort zone. Sitting at the piano, she seems at ease. Finally, after weeks, an effortless performance from Brooke. I’m glad she’s off the crazy-train this week. Randy gives Brooke props for pulling off a difficult song and says, “Nice job, baby.” Paula feels that she connected to the audience. Simon says, “This is the Brooke we like…well done.”

David Archuleta – …America – David’s got some vocal troubles tonight. At one point during “America” he has a major Peter Brady moment, and he seems to struggle a little when he has to hold a note. Is the stress wearing on his vocals? Still, the second performance is better than his first. This is David’s comfort zone–being all inspirational…and stuff. Singing the word “America” over and over again and ending with a big ole’ “Let freedom RIIING” can only keep a contestant in the game. Not that little David needs any help in that area. Unlike Kristy Lee Cook, he’s got his peeps to back him up. For like, the third time, Randy tells a contestant that he’s “in the zone”, and then, “Another good performance.” Paula blathers on about joy and spirit and prodigies and little savants. I’m so mad at her right now, I really don’t care. Simon echoes what he told Kristy Lee when she pulled the patriotic card, “That was a smart choice.” Simon never comments on his vocal performance.

Syesha Mercado – …Thank the Lord for the Night Time – Rather than go all gospely and super-upbeat like she could have with this song, the arrangement she choses is a slowed-down rhythm and blues. The song has a 60’s Motown feel–it gets my vote for most creative arrangement of the night. Groovy horns and backbeat! Love it. She works the stage with ease and the band and backup singers look like they are having a blast. She’s a little screachy-mcscreachy at the end, but that’s a quibble. Good job Syesha. Randy thinks she’s finally finding herself. Paula compares Syesha to Minnie Ripperton and Corrine Baily Rae. Simon. OMG Simon. He cuts her off at the knees. Without really critiquing her in any meaningful way, he tells her that he thinks she’s in trouble this week. WTF?? Syesha was one of the better performers tonight and she’s in trouble? Simon, just because you say it, doesn’t make it so. Talk about a blatant and obvious attempt to throw Syesha under the bus. Her fans will rally, and I suspect she’ll get a lot of casual votes tonight. She’s not going anywhere this week.

About mj santilli 34525 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!