TMZ is reporting who-sang-what at the guys dress rehearsal here. thanks metta!
Discuss! I’ll be back with a recap later…
Click the links for Video and Artist versions! …thanks rockers94 for the vids!
- Luke Menard – …Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham iTunes
- David Archuletta – …Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins iTunes
- Danny Noriega – …Tainted Love by Soft Cell iTunes
- David Hernandez – …It All Coming Back to Me Now by Meatloaf iTunes
- Michael Johns – …Dont You Forget About Me by Simple Minds iTunes
- David Cook – …Hello by Lionel Richie iTunes
- Jason Castro – …Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen iTunes
- Chikezie – …All the Man (woman) that I Need by Whitney Houston iTunes
Tonight’s show–short, sweet and thoroughly enjoyable. For the most part, the guys really step it up. I can tell you right now who I want in the Top 12: Jason Castro, David Cook, Danny Noriega and David Hernandez. It’s time for Luke Menard to go home. I’m not even going to bother speculating about Michael Johns and David Archuletta. TPTB love them. They were destined for the Top 12 from the very beginning of this competition.
The show goes live tonight for the first time–at last. When the show goes live, it truly feels as if the contestants are performing a high-wire act. Anything can happen, and it’s thrilling. The pressure is finally ON for everybody.
Love, love love the hour long show. No time for lame chit-chat or boring time-wasters. Barely two minutes in, and Ryan is introducing the first contestant, Luke Menard.Ryan says that many of us wore our most embarrassing outfits during the 80’s, so the contestants were asked: What were their most embarrassing moments?
Luke Menard – “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” by Wham! – Luke’s most embarrassing moment is his older sister dressing him up in a tutu when he was eight year’s old. PERFECT segue-way to one of the gayest performances I’ve ever seen on the Idol stage. And I don’t mean that in a good way. I can’t even imagine the thought process that Luke went through deciding to sing this song. Don’t get me wrong, I, love me some Wham! They make me giggle. “Wake Me Up…” is one of my 80’s guilty pleasures. However, Luke’s literal interpretation of the song is just…baffling. Randy says, “It started off a little rough for me…you couldn’t quite find the pitch…you were rushing…you were a little ahead of the band timing-wise…surprising song choice for you…a little bit corny for me, but it was alright.” Paula says, “I was kinda surprised you picked that song…” Paula decides to pull a “Randy” and drop names, “I have to do Randy…I choreographed George Michaels tour…” Paula is all tongue tied. She’s awesome. “What I love about you…is that you have such a great instrument…” Simon is impatient, “Did you like it or not?” After more incoherent babbling, Paula says she loved it. Simon cuts right to the chase, “I didn’t like it, I thought it was weak, a bit girly. There is no chance you’re going to make it through to the final 12…it wasn’t very good, Luke, sorry.” Luke looks crestfallen. He can barely smile through his numbers.
David Archuletta – “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins – In David’s most embarrassing moment, David’s MOTHER runs up on stage to finish a song for him when his voice gives out. Stage mama? Doesn’t even begin to cover that behavior. David begins his performance without the band, seated at the piano. The band kicks in on the second verse, and David stands up to take the stage. It’s a pleasant enough performance, but I’m just not feeling it. I’m not buying into the hype, y’all. Randy says, a little unimpressed, “I thought it was good. Interesting song choice…it didn’t show off all your vocal prowess…there were a couple little pitch problems…it was nice.” Paula says, and this kills me, “I love that there were a couple of notes that were off because it proved to me that you’re not this make-believe person, this hologram, who can do everything perfect…in that imperfection you are still perfect.” Paula, in her own crazy way, hits on why David is so boring. His performances are so rehearsed, so studied, the soul is processed right out of them. A few bum notes here and there don’t improve the situation any. Simon says, “It wasn’t as good as last week, you should have stayed at the piano….you’ve got to be careful…you’re 17 years old…it’s all becoming a bit gloomy. You’ve got to lighten up a little bit.” Then Simon prognosticates, “There’s no question you’re going to make it to the final 12, you are probably going to be in the Final 2.” Great. Does that mean I should stop watching now? The judges back off on the gushing praise tonight. Got to be careful the Chosen One doesn’t peak to early. Ugh. Chatting with Ryan, David tells us that gasp he wanted to gasp sing the song because gasp it brought attention gasp to those who needed help GASP. Somebody get this boy an inhaler. STAT!
Denise Richards is in the audience. Ryan Seacrest is
helping Denise exploit her kids producing Denise’s upcoming reality show. Charlie Sheen is waiting outside the CBS studios to punch him out.
Ryan tells us that Danny Noriega and David Hernandez will “battle it out” after the break. For what? The Big Gay Award? Tee Hee!
Danny Noriega – “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell – Danny has this innocence about him that’s very appealing–like the way he describes turning as “red as a cute little tomato” when he trips in front of his crush. That’s his most embarrassing moment. Like Luke, Danny’s performance tonight is TOTALLY gay. But, in Danny’s case, it’s in a really good way. He isn’t the best singer of this bunch by a long shot, but I so enjoy his youthful swagger as he vamps it up on the Idol stage. For that reason, I’m hoping Danny at least makes the Top 10 so he can be his fabulous self on the Idol tour. Randy says, ” It started out a little rough, a little pitchy… but I loved the arrangement.” Then Randy lectures Danny about singing with confidence. “You can do this!” he says. Paula says, “You are like this bright light in this competition…” Then, much to Simon’s amusement, Paula begins to Paulaspeak, “You’ve got this sensitive side of you, you’ve got this spicy side of you….” I love incoherent Paula! She continues, “you are the real deal…you got great vocals…you have to be true to yourself…blah blah blah…take the purple things out of your hair.” Ha ha. Simon says, “I thought it was horrible, the whole thing. Absolutely useless. Hated the arrangement, hated the vocals, didn’t like anything about it.” When Ryan asks Danny for a reaction, Danny brushes the dirt of his shoulders, prompting Paula and Randy to do the half-moose thing with their hands, mocking Simon. Paula babbles about Simon liking chicken wings. Tonight’s show is totally awesome.
David Hernandez – “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” by Meatloaf – David’s most embarrassing moment hadn’t happened yet when he taped his bit. Yeah, today’s big AP wire story–David used to be a male stripper in a gay club. He did Live! Nude! Dancing! and lap dances according to the sleazy club owner who outed him. Eh. Big Effing Deal. All I know, is that David’s performance tonight is very, very good. He performs this song with just the right amount of heartfelt emotion. There’s no need for glory notes or big moments here. I think it’s one of David’s best vocals. He earned his spot in the Top 12 tonight. During the audience applause, is Simon mumbling something about stripping? Whatever. The judges soft-pedal his performance. Randy says, “Nice song choice for you…there was some little pitch problems…” Last week, Asia’h butchered a song, but Randy forgave her, because she hit the high note. I’d rather forgive someone who hits the right emotional notes–it makes everything else superfluous. Paula says, “I really feel like you are getting into your groove here…I think you have some of the best vocals…” Simon says, “It wasn’t as good as last week, ” but then, ” You’ve 100 % secured a place in the finals with that.” I hope so.
Ryan says that David Cook is next, after the break. At least I think he said that. The commercials finish, and Ryan introduces Micheal Johns instead. Am I having a senior moment?
Michael Johns – “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds – Back in Australia, Michael did “Mascot work” Har. He was “Boomer the Roo” and some dudes took him down. During couch chit chat, Michael tells Ryan that his “game plan” for the competition is to show everyone what kind of artist he’ll be, regardless of whether he makes it, or not. Hm. I don’t think Micheal is in this to win. He certainly performs like he’s just going through the motions. On paper, “Don’t You Forget About Me” is the perfect song choice for Michael. But, when he takes the stage, his heart does not seem to be into it. His vocals are fine, but it’s like…the lights are on, and nobody is home. Doesn’t he want to at least make the tour? I hear the money is great. Randy sounds confused, “The Aussie boy goes home for 80’s!” Huh? Simple Minds are Scottish. Randy compares Michael to Michael Hutchence of INXS. It’s a useless comparison, but it gives Randy an angle from which to pimp Michael’s performance. Don’t talk about his vocals, just compare him to another Aussie. Bleah. Paula says, “I’m really glad you are the kind of artist who is defining who you are…you picked the perfect song…you picked the perfect song.” Paula adds, “I loved hearing the strength in your lower range…” Because his upper range kinda sucks? Simon says, “I liked it, I didn’t love it. I still think you…have a huge talent, but haven’t quite connected with the right song that has your moment yet…I actually prefer you when you’re…like a soul singer…but, I really really REALLY like you, and I think your going to do very well in this competition. ” There’s some BIG PIMPIN’ goin’ on right here…
Back from commercial, Ryan explains that there have been problems with David Cook’s guitar. Ok, I’m not losing it. At the moment.
David Cook – “Hello” by Lionel Richie – First, let me say, that I DESPISE this song with the fiery white-hot heat of a BILLION blazing suns. Just…can’t STAND this song. The crappy video featuring the creepiest sculpture ever doesn’t help. Somebody in comments mentioned that the rock band Incubus covered this song. So, I hope there’s no Chris Daughtry-like Incubus-gate in the wake of the judges effusive praise of David’s “original” arrangement of this song. Having said that, David did manage to make this song palatable. And that’s saying something. Vocally, he kills on this song. It is a great arrangement, whether it’s really original or not. THIS is how to play the game and play it well. If he’s not advanced to the Top 12, I’m going to be very very VERY disappointed. Randy says, ” You made an emo version out of a very pop song…great arrangement…I think that could be a single, it could be a hit…I thought it was brilliant.” More Paulaspeak, “I love when you come up on that stage, because I know I’m in for a great surprise…you make perfect choices…I believe you are going to be a great, shining star.” Simon says, “That was a very brave thing to do, and I loved it…I like people who go out there and take a few risks…I really really hope we’re going to see you next week.”
Jason Castro – “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen – Last week, the judges threw down the gauntlet. They challenged Jason to perform without his guitar. To anybody who was expecting Jason to fail miserably without his guitar: Ha Ha! Jason pwned, mothah effers! Bandzilla took a break, allowing Jason to showcase his lovely, imperfect vocals with only the backdrop of an acoustic guitar. Yay for emotional prowess over the vocal kind–it’s so good to see this kind of raw performance finally showcased on Idol. Jason is the real deal, peeps. Randy says, “Great degree of difficulty…you did a pretty good job of it…I give you props for it…nice.” Paula says, “You made it sound so effortless…I’m so glad you showed a beautiful vulnerability…your phrasing is what makes you great.” Simon says, “I thought it was absolutely brilliant what you just did…arguably one of my favorite performances of the whole night…definitely your strongest so far…you are getting better and better and better.”
Chikezie – “All the Man (woman) that I Need” by Whitney Houston – Jason Castro had the show stopping performance tonight–it should have been last. Having said that, Chickezie’s performance is a little dull, especially in comparison to some of tonight’s stellar turns. The vibe is a little cheesy and dated. And, who the hell is dressing him? Yikes. That pink shirt-light brown pinstripe combo isn’t doing much for him. Randy says, “Interesting song choice, you did a good job of it, man.” Paula says, “Your personality, your vocals sound really good tonight…Chikezie, I’m proud of you.” Simon says, “I don’t think that worked at all. I thought you were OK in bits, it was much more cabaret than last week. I don’t think that was a very smart move, personally.” While Simon isn’t impressed, Randy stresses that he thinks Chikezie deserves a spot in the Top 12. Good for Chickezie knowing the entire history of all the artists who covered that song. Simon didn’t care. Whitney did it, so Chickezie shouldn’t have.