Believe it or not, but we’re already in week ten of American Idol 2008 live performances. After last week’s elimination of Kristy Lee Cook we’re down to only six performers. With only six people left in the competition and one of the top two spots already all but named after David Archuleta the performers didn’t have time to slack off even a little bit. This week’s theme: Andrew Lloyd Webber…?
Well, I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly celebrating the idea of Andrew Lloyd Webber night on American Idol. This year hasn’t exactly held the best theme nights for my tastes and Andrew Lloyd Webber, however talented, didn’t exactly put my excitement level on high. As it turned out, I was right to be apprehensive.
Whatever brilliant producer thought that Andrew Lloyd Webber night would be a fun theme should be fired immediately. Don’t get me wrong, Andrew Lloyd Webber is a musical theater genius, but his theme night on American Idol, as far as I’m concerned, was an unmitigated disaster. I can’t recall ever being so bored or unimpressed by a Top 6 in the history of American Idol.
I place the blame squarely on the style of music the Idols were forced to sing. While it may be true that most American Idol alums will eventually be forced to pursue a career in musical theater, I don’t feel that we, the viewers, should have to sit through their auditions. With one notable exception, this style fit none of the contestants and without a chorus line or backing dancers there was little any of them could do to jazz up the numbers enough to make them wholly interesting. What a mess.
If I had my choice we would declare last night a free night and have a do-over. Alas, this is unlikely to happen so I am forced to place the contestants in some sort of ordered ranking. With apologies to the contestants…
This is how I felt the performances this week ranked:
The Top 6 Performances For April 22, 2008
- David Archuleta – Think of Me
- David Cook – Music of the Night
- Syesha Mercado – One Rock And Roll Too Many
- Carly Smithson – All I Ask of You
- Brooke White – You Must Love Me
- Jason Castro – Memory
The American Idol 2008 Top 6
- David Archuleta – Think of Me – Well, David A finally changed a song to fit his style. I didn’t think that he’d change a diva song into an adult contemporary sounding song from the ’90s, but… I give him kudos for taking a song that even Andrew Lloyd Webber couldn’t imagine a man singing and turning into what sounding like a fairly modern pop ballad. David proved once again that he can sing like nobody’s business. I’m still not a fan of his style, but I respect his abilities. He’s back on top once again due largely to the theme this week.
David Archuleta – Think of Me
- David Cook – Music of the Night – I’m sure David probably could have found one of Webber’s songs that he could turn into a rock song that better suited his style, but I’m guessing that David’s musical theater past had something to do with his deciding to go a little more mainstream this week (let’s not forget this is still the rocker that does crossword puzzles for fun). Overall he proved Randy’s weekly statement that if you can sing, you can sing anything. He did a good, but not great job. I did like how he was able to add a little of his “rocker” voice into the song. He still proved himself as the second best performer of the week. But was anyone else just a little creeped out when Andrew Lloyd Webber insisted that David sing to him like Webber was a 17 year old chorus girl?
David Cook – Music of the Night
- Syesha Mercado – One Rock And Roll Too Many – As far as the actual genre that Andrew Lloyd Webber works in, musical theater, Syesha is the contestant who most closely performed her song as you might imagine it was meant to be performed. The only problem with that is that it looked like musical theater. She did a good job and sang the song well, but at the end of the day you have to wonder if people will think she should be an American Idol or if they would rather line up to buy tickets to see her on Broadway.
Syesha Mercado – One Rock And Roll Too Many
- Carly Smithson – All I Ask of You – Carly finally dressed nice for once which was a refreshing change. I thought she sang large portions of the song very well, but I felt that the song was really too high for her. Every time she tried to hit the high notes I cringed thinking she was going to blow a vocal cord or something. And the high notes really didn’t sound very good. I thought it was a decent performance, but she should be capable of much better.
Carly Smithson – All I Ask of You
- Brooke White – You Must Love Me – Brooke will get a free pass on the starting over thing because Simon said he would have done the same thing despite the fact that no contestant in the history of American Idol has, in my recollection, ever stopped and asked the band to start over. And this comes just a few weeks after having done the same thing when she was playing the piano for herself on a performance. The rough start really did hurt the rest of the song as well. Simon was correct in saying that she was so tense that it hurt the song. I felt that some of what she did with her vocals really was her trying to show the emotion of the song, but a couple of times when she sang, “you must love me,” it came out more like a crazy woman staring me down saying, “you MUST love me.” I’m not sure if she was going for heartbroken or pyscho.
Brooke White – You Must Love Me
- Jason Castro – Memory – I’m a fan of Jason’s and I’m a fan of his style, but even I have to admit that this song didn’t work. Jason clearly hasn’t been following my advice to branch out with his style a little. Instead, he sat right down in the middle of it and went nowhere. I realize he is unfamiliar with Webber’s music, but I think he should have spent more time trying to find a song that worked better for him – something he could have used more to his advantage. This song didn’t suit him and really didn’t fit his style very well.
Jason Castro – Memory
Who’s Going Home?
It’s always tough at this stage of the competition to try to name the “worst” of the performances. I mean, the bottom three contestants will represent half of those who remain. And, let’s face it, if you’re in the Top 6, you’re probably not really that bad. Also, the theme this week didn’t do favors for anyone really (well, it might have gotten Syesha a job on stage somewhere).
For my bottom three prediction this week I think I’m really going to have to go with the three contestants who I felt had the worst performances this week: Carly, Brooke, and Jason. I think the two Davids are as close to a sure safe as we can get. Prior to last night I thought Syesha was a goner. I just felt that this week was going to be her last. However, she did so much better last night than the other three that I think she probably saved herself for another week.
Out of the bottom three it’s going to be a tough call. I think Carly will probably skate by since her performance this week really wasn’t that bad, all things considered. Brooke has been flirting with the bottom a lot lately so my impulse is to say that she will be the one voted out this week. However, Jason had a terrible performance that I think really highlighted the fact that his style is unwavering and is not a style that elicits a lot of excitement. I think a lot of his fans watched him last night and realized that they’re backing a horse that doesn’t have a chance of winning the race and many of them may be jumping ship for a winner.
My prediction to get voted out this week: Jason Castro.
The American Idol Top 6
- David Archuleta, 17, Murray, UT
- Jason Castro, 20, Rockwall, TX
- David Cook, 25, Tulsa, OK
- Syesha Mercado, 21, Miami, FL
- Carly Smithson, San Diego, CA
- Brooke White, 24, Van Nuys, CA
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)
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.