Friday, April 11, 2008


Aussie sent home and other Idolatry

There are too many headlines today calling Michael Johns being sent home on American Idol a "shocker". As much as I liked his voice, he had too many weeks of bland performances not to see the writing on the wall.

Of course, the entire group of singers presented nothing but bland performances this week so sending any of them home this week wouldn't have shocked me. "Idol Gives Back" week was a dud (and I am NOT referring to the Idol-Aid show on Wednesday night).

As for the remaining singers:

Cook is the clear frontrunner at this point, thanks to several weeks of kickass performances, not the least of which was his innovative take on Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", which is already being lauded as one of the greatest Idol performances in the history of the show.

On the downside, he has set the bar pretty high.

Watching Castro, and the judges' glowing assessments of him, and the fact he has only made the bottom three once that I can recall, makes me feel like I am not from this universe. This guy is LAME!

Take his ukelele version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow from Tuesday night. The judges, including Simon Cowell, gushed over him for it. Taking one of the most beautiful slow songs of all time, increasing the tempo, and adding a ukelele, is NOT a great idea, and Castro's performance showed it. No one can come close to Judy Garland's version of it.

As for Castro, all I can figure is that he is a pretty boy with decent vocal abilities. Simon described my feelings about Castro best earlier this season: If I heard him on the radio, I would change the station.

Kristy is no Carrie Underwood. However, as the only remaining country presence in the show, Kristy could go far if she doesn't stumble.

David could sing the phone book and it would sound good. But Idol's wunderkind is not flawless.

In recent weeks, I have noticed him singing more than enunciating song words. That's wonderful if you're doing opera, where no one expects to understand the words. Not so good for American Idol.

That said, his version of John Lennon's Imagine earlier this season still stands out for me as the best version of the song ever done, including Lennon's version.

But David has had trouble with uptempo songs after his disastrous version of Shop Around earlier this season.

Whether Carly wins or not, I am a fan. She had me when she did Shadow of Your Smile back in the beginning. That is one of my favorite songs, and she nailed it.

She has done some good songs since then, although this week's rendition of Queen's The Show Must Go On was a bit of a head scratcher for me. Undoubtedly it was the reason she ended up in the bottom three in the voting.

I still believe she is capable of winning the whole contest, but she will need a huge performance next week.

One thing I have to give Syesha credit for is guts. She doesn't back down from any challenging song. Some people think she is too cocky, but I find her to be refreshing, especially because she has the pipes to take on just about any song.

Two songs she's done this season stand out for me: The Beatles Yesterday, which she performed flawlessly, and Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You, which I absolutely despise, but she nailed it.

But she is in the same boat as Carly Smithson. She will need a strong performance next week to stick around. This week, Syesha's performance of Fantasia's I Believe was forgettable, mostly because the song itself is forgettable. Her bottom three finish was testament to that.

Brooke can be very good, and she tends to be consistent, but she never quite outshines her competition.

Take her rendition of The Beatle's Let It Be. While it was outstanding, David Archuleta's Imagine outshines it. That's basically her story: Every week a bridesmaid, never the bride.

She is the only Idol contestant I can look at and say she will definitely not win.


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