Thursday, March 6, 2008

American Idol Rundown

This week was 80's week on Idol, and in about half an hour the top 12 American Idol finalists will be announced!

Just to recap the performances from the guys on Tuesday night:

Previously forgettable Luke Menard started the show with Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go". Now, I'll be the first to admit that this fun, catchy song is one I have decided to sing and dance to many times, but I don't understand how the man can sing this, especially considering he wasn't hitting any of the notes.

The flamboyant Danny Noriega sang "Tainted Love," (Soft Cell) which I found to be surprisingly decent. He isn't the best voice in the group, but his performances never fail to entertain, and his pants always seem to defy logic and the basic human need for breathing.

The stoner guy with dreads, Jason Castro, did "Hallelujah", by Leonard Cohen. I would have to say that he is one of the better voices in the competition, but his cutesy face and hippie attitude are, well, interesting. The song was rather bland, but vocally, he delivered.

A season of American Idol would be incomplete without the contestant with some sort of scandalous sex related skeleton in their closet, and this year the ex male dancer, David Hernandez, plays this part. He sang "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Pandora's Box). It was unspectacular, but I suspect the interest in his past will possibly carry him through to the top 12.

David Cook, one of my favorites on the show, performed Lionel Richie's "Hello". I thought it sounded great, and he put on an excellent show. This guy shows true musical knowledge and talent, not just the ability to hit a few notes.

Chikezie Ezie (really, that's his name?) did "All the Woman That I Need" (Luther Vandross). I haven't liked this guy much in the past few weeks, but I think he's stepping it up to get back into the competition. This week was actually pretty good.

The early favorite is undisputably David Archuleta, and for good reason. This kid truly has it. He has an amazing voice, he can play an instrument, as he brilliantly demonstrated with Phil Collins's "Another Day in Paradise". Though very talented he may struggle with keeping his songs upbeat and contemporary enough for the judges' tastes, but he'll lead the group into the top 12.

Michael Johns, the cute Aussie with the voice sang "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds. I really do like this guy, but like many of the contestants I had to question his song choice. Still, he gave us a solid performance with solid vocals. Hopefully next week he will do something a little more daring that will really show off his voice.

Now for the girls:

I hate to sound like Paula here, but Asia'h Eppherson, you're a cute girl. The thing is, there was a good reason that the waistline of those pants you were wearing last night died in the 80's. Really, though.... the outfit did detract from her performance. I admire her guts for taking on Whitney Houston, but there is also something to be said for knowing your limits, and unfortunately, her voice was just not big enough to carry "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)". It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great. Good enough? Probably. Hopefully. I like her voice.

Kady Malloy is one who I would much rather see leave. Her version of Queen's "Who Wants to Live Forever" was a failure, and really, her voice isn't good. I have a feeling her looks got her this far, and I'm hoping that they won't be enough to get her through to the top 12. As Simon pointed out, her personality isn't really winning any votes, so she's my pick to be going home tonight.

Ramiele Malubay, the cute Filipina, sang "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by Phil Collins. I love this song, and while she fell short of what it could be, it was good. She has some potential.

The judges loved Kristie Lee Cook. Maybe it could be a country hit... who knows. I personally don't like her, and didn't like her song choice (can't stand Journey), and disliked her rendition of Faithfully. Also, the eye makeup was way too heavy.

Speaking of which, Amanda Overmyer's song, Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You" was, well, interesting. I think she's talented and has a strong, powerful voice, but I can't say she's one of my favorites. Still, she did a good job, and I love me some Joan Jett.

Brooke White. She sang Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield", changing it from a powerful and passionate song to a lackluster soft thing. I didn't like it at all. Honestly, I really can't stand anything about this chick, but whatever. That doesn't mean she won't be making it through to the top 12. I believe she will.

One of my favorites from the girls would have to be Carly Smithson. This is another one on the show that I truly see as having the "whole package." Not only is she amazing vocally, but she has a sweet personality that shines through all of her performances. When she sang Celine's version of Cyndi Lauper's "I Drove All Night" it was genuine and pure, while keeping the needed passion. She sounded very good, but again, I'm hoping she will pick songs that will better showcase her talents in the future episodes.

The judges had nothing but praise for Syesha Mercado, who dared to sing Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love for You". It was a big song, but her voice managed to somehow be big enough, and almost gave me goose bumps. This girl has a great voice, I'd just like to see more of her personality so we can gauge if she's true 'idol' material.

So, my guess is that Kady and Luke will not make it to the top 12. The other two who will be going home aren't so easy to predict. I'd like to see it be David H. and Kristy, which both seem like reasonable guesses.