Week four of American Idol live performances finds the men and women finally combined into one group of twelve – the Top 6 Men and the Top 6 Women. After three weeks of especially strong performances by the men and increasingly strong performances by the women we expected this to be the best Top 12 performance show in American Idol history. Boy were we wrong.
I don’t know if the pressure of the contest and their nerves got to them or they just had a hard time with the song selections, but last night’s performances were just terrible for the most part. I never dreamed that I would have a harder time trying to figure out who was the worst than I had trying to figure out who was the best. Disappointing barely describes how I feel about last night’s show.
It’s my job, however, to make some sort of delineating between the performances and attempt to choose who I thought was the best and who I thought performed the worst. Now that we’re in the Top 12 I will do it differently than I normally would and will actually put all 12 performers in order from Best to Worst (in my opinion) and will then name the person I believe will be sent home this week (not necessarily who I thought was the worst).
The American Idol 2008 Top 12
- Chikezie – From beginning to end, Chikezie owned this song and owned the stage. His arrangement was definitely the most creative of the 12. He took a big chance, but he pulled it off. I absolutely loved how the song started almost bluegrass and then went into rock. I couldn’t have imagined a week ago that I’d be putting Chikezie in the top spot but he earned it. Fantastic.
Chikezie ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? She’s A Woman
- David Cook – Once again David proved that he’s in the competition to win. If you heard this song on the radio you wouldn’t even know that it’s 30 or 40 years old. He did his rock thing and worked it out perfectly. His sound is definitely coming together. If he can keep choosing the right songs, he’s going to be here for a long while. Almost good enough to beat Chikezie for the top spot.
David Cook ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? Eleanor Rigby
- Brooke White – I don’t know that Brooke is ever going to just blow us away, but every week she comes out and does her thing and she’s fantastic. She has a knack for picking songs that I don’t care for, but every week she turns me into a believer by the time she finishes performing. Just a simple performance that works because she didn’t do anything fancy.
Brooke White – Let It Be
- Jason Castro – Like Brooke, Jason never does anything fancy with the songs he sings. I think you probably either like him or you don’t. I happen to like him. Jason keeps it simple, but his voice is good enough and unique enough to draw you in and sell the song. Plus, my wife says he’s an Aggie (from Texas A&M) so that has to be good for top five easy.
Jason Castro – If I Fell
- Carly Smithson – I still don’t care for her and I didn’t really think she was nearly as good on this song as the judges did. There’s something about her voice that irritates me. Too high or something. I know, I’m being awfully picky about someone I put in the top five… The thing is, I know she’s good. At least, I feel she should be good. I still don’t think she’s really shown us enough to crown her the next Kelly Clarkson.
Carly Smithson – Come Together
- Michael Johns – I’m not altogether sure this was the best pick for Michael especially since so many people will associate with the movie of the same title (and featuring Beatles’ songs) that just came out on DVD. I really didn’t care for the song, but, like Simon, I really like Michael. He just keeps picking songs that aren’t good enough. I think he could be really something in this contest, but he needs to do some spying on David Cook and still a few songs from his playbook.
Michael Johns ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? Across the Universe
- Kristy Lee Cook – Kristy took Simon’s advice and turned a Beatles’ song into a country song. No, it didn’t really work out. No, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the judges said. Paula must have really hated it, though, because she actually told Kristi that she didn’t like it – something Paula never does. Still, Kristy has a great country voice and she gave it a good shot. If the song had worked we’d all be singing her praises. I’m not sure how much of the arrangement we can pin on her and how much is the band’s fault. I’ll split the difference.
Kristy Lee Cook ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? Eight Days A Week
- Syesha Mercado – Syesha had the rotten luck to be the first name drawn out of the hat and had to go first. Historically, that’s been a pretty bad position to be in on this particular show (the Top 12). Syesha didn’t help herself much. After hearing her perform, I immediately thought she was in the bottom three and probably on her way out. Of course, then the others sang and Syesha moved up a few notches on my list. Still, not very good.
Syesha Mercado ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? Got To Get You Into My Life
- David Archuleta – How incredibly ironic that I would write an article entitled Has David Archuleta Already Won American Idol 2008, Season 7 on the same day he has maybe one of the worst public performances of his life (I’m guessing – seriously, there’s videos of him singing at weddings that are better than this). You could tell from the interview that David was nervous, but he must have been beside himself. Nothing of what we’ve seen of David was present in this performance. He forgot words, missed notes, and just generally stumbled through the whole performance. He narrowly missed making my bottom three. I was right about the judges not holding back on him, but then there’s no way they couldn’t tell him he didn’t do well. Just a horrible song choice and a really bad performance.
David Archuleta ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? We Can Work It Out
- David Hernandez – I don’t even know what David was trying to accomplish with this song. It was an awful choice. Just corny. I could easily understand if someone wanted to put him in last place. I think he’s performed well in the past and might be able to redeem himself if he can get the right theme, but he’s gotta do better than this.
David Hernandez ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? I Saw Her Standing There
- Ramiele Malubay – Simon was completely right about this song. It was so completely boring. I understand wanting to sing a beautiful song and wanting to showcase your voice, but that’s not going to win you many votes…especially when you go second in the night. People forgot what she sang by the time the commercial break came.
Ramiele Malubay ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? In My Life
- Amanda Overmyer – Look, I really hate to keep beating a dead horse here, but I just don’t get it. Why do the judges think she’s good? If any other contestant screamed their way through a song like she did and missed as many notes as she did they would crucify them. Amanda practically gets a standing ovation. She’s not good. This was horrible. It’s not even in the same league as most of the other contestants of the show. I don’t even know what else to say.
Amanda Overmyer ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? You Can’t Do That
Who’s Going Home?
Despite the fact that I absolutely hated Amanda this week (and every week), I doubt she’ll be the one to go. We’ll actually have a much better idea how things are going to turn out over the next few weeks once we see who’s in the bottom three this week. Right now there’s no real way of knowing what kind of support each contestant has.
Since I do have to make a rather blind choice, however, I’ll just have to go by what I’ve seen from each contestant and by what I can deduce.
I actually think that Syesha and Ramiele are in the most danger this week. Ramiele put on an incredibly boring performance and hasn’t really wowed us at all. Syesha suffered from almost the same thing. Her performance wasn’t much better than Ramiele’s. They were two of the first three contestants to peform which isn’t good if you want to be remembered.
I’m going out on a limb here, though, and saying that Ramiele Malubay will be the contestant voted out this week.
The American Idol Top 12
- David Archuleta, 17, Murray, UT
- Jason Castro, 20, Rockwall, TX
- David Cook, 25, Tulsa, OK
- Kristy Lee Cook, 24, Selma, OR
- Chikezie Eze, 22, Inglewood, CA
- David Hernandez, 24, Glendale, AZ
- Michael Johns, 29, Los Angeles, CA
- Ramiele Malubay, 20, Miramar, FL
- Syesha Mercado, 21, Miami, FL
- Amanda Overmyer, 23, Mulberry, IN
- Carly Smithson, San Diego, CA
- Brooke White, 24, Van Nuys, CA
For a quick recap of each contestant from a slightly different perspective and to see who Jeff’s picks are, swing by Static ThinkBox and see what Jeff has to say about last night’s episode. As always, please remember that we make our picks independently and without knowing who the other is picking as the best and worst.