Week eleven of American Idol 2008 live performances kicked off last night with our top five American Idol finalists performing two songs each. This week’s theme was Neil Diamond songs. Last week we said goodbye to Carly Smithson who was an early favorite in the competition so the top five know they are down to the wire and in the home stretch. They each have a 20% shot at being named the next American Idol.
I have to admit, first of all, that I’m not a Neil Diamond fan. Having said that, I found this week’s episode to be only slightly less boring than last week’s Andrew Lloyd Webber debacle. Even having two songs each didn’t do much to improve the watchability of much of this show. And having the judges do a recap at the end of the round was bizarre. Apparently it was all a bit too much for Paula and whatever medication she’s taking this week as she critiqued both of Jason Castro’s songs after the end of round one – after he had only sang one song. Who knows what she was talking about. She later said she was mixing in David Cook’s notes with Jason’s but she didn’t tell David any of the things that she told Jason (the things that would have been in David’s “notes”).
How about this for an idea. How about you just let the contestants sing whatever the heck they want to sing from whenever and whoever they want and let American judge them based on whether or not they sing their chosen style well. Who cares if Jason Castro can sing Andrew Lloyd Webber or if David Cook can sing Neil Diamond if they’re never going to be asked to do it again for the rest of their lives? What is the point of these silly theme weeks?
Anyway, I’m on a soap box this week because last night disheartened me and had me wondering if I could continue to write this article anymore. Yeah, I thought it was that bad. It’s not that the Idols didn’t sing well or perform well so much as I didn’t really care how well they did with those songs. I want to see them bust out with their own styles and their own unique personalities.
Okay, I’m done ranting. I’ve decided to just rank the contestants in overall performance and not do a song by song ranking. I figure America will judge them based on the quality of both of the songs and both of the performances so I may as well do the same.
This is how I felt the performances this week ranked:
The Top 5 Performers For April 29, 2008
- David Cook – “I’m Alive” and “All I Really Need Is You”
- David Archuleta – “Sweet Caroline” and “America”
- Syesha Mercado – “Hello Again” and “Thank the Lord for the Night Time”
- Brooke White – “I’m A Believer” and “I Am, I Said”
- Jason Castro – “Forever In Blue Jeans” and “September Morn”
The American Idol 2008 Top 5
- David Cook – “I’m Alive” and “All I Really Need Is You” – None of the first round of songs were very impressive. I thought David’s low notes on “I’m Alive” sounded really flat or something. It sounded like what we can now call classic David Cook, but I didn’t care for it that much. his second song was much better and was probably the best song of the night. Like all of the contestants, he didn’t have what I would consider a top 5 kind of night, but I thought he was the best of the bunch once again.
David Cook – I’m Alive
David Cook – All I Really Need Is You
- David Archuleta – “Sweet Caroline” and “America” – Does Neil Diamond night get any more corny than David A singing these two songs? No. Still, who can we say sang better on the night (other than David C)? No, really, I’m asking. Please. Give me someone. I didn’t care for either song especially, but they were good enough.
David Archuleta – Sweet Caroline
David Archuleta – America
- Syesha Mercado – “Hello Again” and “Thank the Lord for the Night Time” – What I like about Syesha is that I don’t even think she’s trying to win anymore. I think she’s really just auditioning for Broadway. I’m cool with that. They can’t all be American Idols. Her first audition was kind of boring but I really enjoyed what she did on the second song. Overall, I actually enjoy watching Syesha much more than I do David A. I think she has the voice to be a contender, but we all know she won’t be.
Syesha Mercado – Hello Again
Syesha Mercado – Thank the Lord for the Night Time
- Brooke White – “I’m A Believer” and “I Am, I Said” – Simon got it right when he said the first song was a disaster. Total cheese. About halfway though the song I feared she was going to either start laughing hysterically, start crying hysterically, or spontaneously burst into flames. The second song was much better and a lot closer to the Brooke we saw early in the season, but still far too close to the Brooke we’ve been seeing for the past month. My wife liked her pants. I remain ambivalent.
Brooke White – I’m A Believer
Brooke White – I Am, I Said
- Jason Castro – “Forever In Blue Jeans” and “September Morn” – I’m not sure if Jason has just given up or doesn’t care or what the deal is, but instead of trying to improve from week to week I actually think he’s regressing. I like the guy, but I was bored to tears by both of these songs. Admittedly, the second song might have been bad because the all knowing Paula had already foretold it, but what’s his excuse for the first song?
Jason Castro – Forever In Blue Jeans
Jason Castro – September Morn
Who’s Going Home?
Well I’m going to go out on a limb and say that both Davids will be safe once again. Although, a thought briefly crossed my mind last night and had my giddy with daydream excitement about how cool it would be if David A were to somehow make the bottom two. Could you imagine the drama that would ensue? What if he got voted off. OMG! The world would end for so many tweens it’s not even funny.
That’s probably not going to happen even if we are due a really big upset at some point.
We all know that Brooke White and Jason Castro were the weakest of the five contestants. Well, I know and I’m projecting my knowledge onto you. One could argue that Syesha was weaker than one of them, but I don’t know which one you could make that argument for.
Out of all of them I think Jason was the weakest and it should be his turn to go. However, I don’t even think he’ll make the bottom two. I think Syesha Mercado and Brooke White will be our bottom two this week. Syesha simply doesn’t have a fan base. No matter how well she sings she doesn’t have a chance of winning this thing. She was in the bottom two last week so I think it’s a safe bet to say she’ll be in it this week. Brooke has a fan base, apparently, but she’s been struggling for so long that it’s hard to remember when she was really good. I think her nervousness and weak vocals will finally catch up to her and put her in the bottom two this week. But, I think she gets one more shot.
My prediction to get voted out this week: Syesha Mercado.
The American Idol Top 5
- David Archuleta, 17, Murray, UT
- Jason Castro, 20, Rockwall, TX
- David Cook, 25, Tulsa, OK
- Syesha Mercado, 21, Miami, FL
- Brooke White, 24, Van Nuys, CA
Carly Smithson, San Diego, CA(Top 6) Kristy Lee Cook, 24, Selma, OR(Top 7) Michael Johns, 29, Los Angeles, CA(Top 8) Ramiele Malubay, 20, Miramar, FL(Top 9) Chikezie Eze, 22, Inglewood, CA(Top 10) Amanda Overmyer, 23, Mulberry, IN(Top 11) David Hernandez, 24, Glendale, AZ(Top 12)