I must confess: I’m intrigued by the theme of inspirational songs. But so help me, if somebody tries to break out Whitney’s “One Moment In Time” from the 1988 Olympic Games, I’m out, people. Done. Nothing left to give.
Oh, I kid.
And here we go.
Michael Johns – “Dream On” – ROCKIN’ THE ASCOT for the second week in a row! And I think he did a great job, even though I thought the end of it was a little shrill. Also, DON’T TALK BACK TO THE JUDGES, POR FAVOR. Still, it seems like he’s confident and on a bit of a roll – especially with the audience. I didn’t love it like I loved last week’s performance, but I think it’s good enough to keep him around for another week. Like Simon, though, I really prefer to hear Michael sing more bluesy / R&B stuff.
Syesha Mercado – “I Believe” – I really don’t understand why Syesha keeps picking these songs that are SO identifiable with the person who recorded them. I just think she’s singing such straightforward arrangements that she’s not putting her own spin on stuff. And I wanted to like it. I did. But it was just a’ight for me. And again: DON’T TALK BACK TO THE JUDGES. It’s an evaluation, not a conversation, thank you.
Jason Castro – “Over the Rainbow” – Oh bless heart – did he just get the lyrics messed up? I think he just got the lyrics all confused. Maybe I’m wrong. As far as his performance, I thought the whole ukulele thing was perfect for him, and he sounded great. I don’t think I loved it quite as much as the judges did, but I thought it was really good.
Kristy Leigh Cook – “Anyway” – So at the beginning of this performance I couldn’t help but think that a Martina song was verrrry ambitious. But you know what? That was actually pretty good – the best she’s ever done, I think. Good for her. I feel strangely proud.
David Cook – “Innocent” – It was a little rough at the beginning, but about midway through I thought he found his groove. It wasn’t his best performance by any stretch, but he was still good. And I have to say this or I’ll start to twitch: the jacket was a little weird for me. But the hair is SO much better. I think we can all rest easier now.
Carly Smithson – “The Show Must Go On” – I just think this song was wrong, all wrong. Her voice is beautiful, but she has a tendency to pick these Pat Benatar / Heart / Bonnie Tyler-ish songs, and it’s difficult to connect to those kinds of songs in a minute and a half, ESPECIALLY when she’s supposed to be singing an inspirational song. I think it would’ve been great if she had done something like Faith Hill’s “There Will Come A Day” – and it seems like that’s much more in her range. Anyhoo.
David Archuleta – “Angels” – I really, really love the original version of this song by Robbie Williams. And David A. did a nice job – but the mama in me is worried about him because it seems like he is just worn down and worn out. That being said, I don’t think he’s in any danger of being voted off this week – plus, it was fun to hear him sing something a little bit more contemporary than what he’s been doing.
Brooke White – “You’ve Got A Friend” – PERFECT song for her. My only “issue” is that she didn’t do anything different than the original version – not that she’s required to do that, of course – but there was nothing about the arrangement that made it uniquely Brooke. So in that sense it felt a little bit like a talent show. With a different arrangement, it could’ve been special. But with the arrangement she used, it was just good.
Should go: Either Carly or Syesha – both of them have had about six weeks now to show us what makes them “tick” musically – and so far I don’t feel like either one of them has really set themselves apart from the pack. And I mean that in the nicest possible way, because it makes me a little disappointed for them.
Will go: I don’t think anybody will go because during “Idol Gives Back” don’t they do that whole thing where nobody goes home this week and then they eliminate two people the next week? So I think everyone is safe for the time being.
Best of the night: To be honest, I really don’t have a favorite – it was sort of an “eh” night for me. But if I had to pick anybody, I’d probably pick Michael Johns – up until he did the whole falsetto thing.
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