'American Idol': Best 12 Ever

We're down to the top 12, folks, on The Very Best "American Idol" Ever.

For the occasion, they've built a spectacular "Star Trek"-cum-Vegas set. The audience gives the set a standing ovation. Yes, they really do.


Syesha Mercado (Ray Mickshaw - Fox)

The new set includes, host Ryan Seacrest says excitedly, the very first "American Idol" Mosh Pit. It's filled entirely with young chicks.

In honor of this very special occasion, the producers have declared this John Lennon-Paul McCartney week, having finally cleared Beatles songs for this TV season's round of "Idol" after years of trying.

And, each Idolette is supposed to give viewers a mini-autobiography.

Syesha Mercado, student and "actress," gets the short straw and goes first. Her "Got to Get You Into My Life" is bland, but they've clearly stepped up the wardrobe budget going into the final 12.

Judge Randaula thinks she started pitchy and then got a'ight. Judge Simon Cowell thinks it was better than a'ight, but Syesha looked very nervous.

Chikezie Eze, former airport security guy at LAX, says he thought he was a goner last week when it got down to him and Danny Noriega because, he says, Danny was such a lovable guy. He's clearly unaware of Danny's Santa issues.

Chikezie is the night's revelation, getting raves from Paula for his whole "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" version of "She's a Woman." Randy calls it "dope" -- says Chikezie "smashed it." Simon thinks he was "terrific," particularly the part where he looked completely drunk. Even Seacrest raves: "That's what it's about, man!"

Ramiele Malubay gives the most boring autobiography in the history of "American Idol." How boring? I-pour-soy-sauce-into-little-plastic-cups-and-then-put-the-tops-on-the-cups-for-a-living boring. She sings "In My Life" as a ballad to the recently booted Danny Noriega, with whom she shares a hairstyle. The Mosh Pit Girls are doing the Wave. We resist the urge to club them with a bat. If you close your eyes, Ramiele sounds just like Michael Jackson singing that ballad to the rat. Randy calls it "kind of pretty but kind of boring." Paula calls it "safe." Simon was bored to tears.

Jason Castro has taken to wearing a flower in his hair during photo shoots. He sings "If I Fell." The Mosh Pit Girls are squealing. He has very blue eyes and very long lashes, and he plays the guitar, which makes him virtually irresistible to girls. He's guaranteed a spot in the top six.

Randy calls it one of his favorite songs, though he can't recall having ever recorded it with Mariah. Paula says she feels Jason's heart. The American Idol Decency Police send up a flare. Simon calls it all too "student in a bedroom at midnight." Seacrest advises Simon that when the sun goes down he should leave that student's room, once again demonstrating why Seacrest will walk away with that very first Primetime Emmy Award for Best Performance by a Reality Series Host when it's handed out this fall.

Seacrest discusses with Carly Smithson the Shiny Tractor Seats of Finalist-dom they have brought over from the old set, and on which they are sitting, uncomfortably. Carly says she must have celery and orange juice. She works seven days a week, including Saturday night, when she sings at the Irish bar where she bartends, and every Saturday she sings the Beatles tune "Come Together." Having rehearsed it for years, she wisely chooses to sing it tonight, though this version is a sort of death match with the "American Idol" backup singers. Carly wins, but barely. Randaula loves it, while Simon is reminded of Kelly Clarkson the very same week in the first season of the show.

David Cook is a "drink slinger" in Tulsa. We see him smashing a guitar for a photographer, which is code for "serious rocker." In addition to upping the wardrobe budget, they've upgraded the hairstylist, who has done wonders with Cook's demi-combover. His new hair and the black leather jacket with the collar up make him look rather Eddie Izzard pre-"The Riches." He attempts to turn "Eleanor Rigby" into a hard rock tune but is happily drowned out by the band. Randaula likes it; Simon declares it "brilliant."


Brooke White (Ray Mickshaw - Fox)

Brooke White, Virgin Nanny, moved to Los Angeles to work in her music and wound up as a nanny. She chooses to sing "Let It Be" because, she says, she "really connected with the story . . . the whole idea that in the end you've got to let it be." This week she's playing the piano. She remembers how to play it through the whole song, unlike her unfortunate run-in with a guitar an earlier week, but she seems to have to concentrate really hard. It's a contemplative song, which is the producers' cue to dim the lights, which, in turn, is the Mosh Pit Girls' cue to begin doing the Wave. Virgin Nanny gets up from the piano; she's moved to tears by her own performance.

Randy says he can imagine her at home practicing the piano. Paula feels her heart. The American Idol Decency Police look at one another, confused. Simon, who has been irresistibly attracted to Brooke's no drinkin', no cussin, no swearin' thing from the day he met her, continues to be besotted with her Virgin Nanniness, calling her performance "brilliant" and "one of the night's best." Seacrest notes she's not wearing her shoes -- her actual shoes. Which brings us to this season's traditional American Idol Homophobic Exchange: Seacrest bends down to pick up Virgin Nanny's shoes. Randy and Simon taunt him: "I know you like them!" says Simon. "They're hers!" adds Randy.

This segues nicely to David Hernandez, whose been much in the news lately for his previous work as a stripper at a club with a "mostly male" clientele, according to last week's scoop by the Associated Press's Prude Bureau. Sadly, Hernandez chooses instead to focus on how he got fired from Pizza Bistro, triggering an Internet frenzy of pepperoni jokes. He says he took a class in Beatles in college, but he flunks his performance of "I Saw Her Standing There," according to Randaulamon.

Amanda Overmyer, now in candy-stripe pants though still wearing her brown hair over her blond hair, says everyone in her family rides a Harley. She sings "You Can't Do That," which Randaula likes as does Simon except he only understood a third of the lyrics. We like her a lot this week, too, until she does her tongue-homage to Gene Simmons.

Michael Johns has worked as a day laborer and a tennis coach. He sings "Across the Universe" because the song helped him through a "family experience." The Mosh Pit Girls love him but Randy calls it "sleepy." Paula says it takes "inner strength and quiet confidence" not to make a hash of the song. Simon says Michael should have done what "what's the Irish girl's name?" did with her song.

Kristy Lee Cook takes Simon's earlier advice to go "country" a little too seriously, turning "Eight Days a Week" into a "Hee Haw" number. Randy half likes it. Paula does not. Simon says she sounded like Dolly Parton on helium.

And, finally, David Archuleta, who was gonna win this thing, flubs the lyrics to "We Can Work It Out" more than once, and gets scolded by the judges. Randaula does it nicely. Simon calls it "a mess." David says he "gave it my best . . . and I had fun" but he's not fooling anyone.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  March 12, 2008; 7:12 AM ET "American Idol"
Previous: 'American Idol': Your 12 Finalists | Next: 'American Idol': First Finalist to Go

Comments

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Wow - based on the intro apparently these Beedles chaps were popular back in the day - I guess I should check them out...

Anyway, great show, even if Paula was reasonably coherent (though what was up with her whole "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" schtick re feeling hearts?):
- Was it just me, or did Syesha's mom look like a zombie?
- Chikezie! Too bad he'll be knocked out in the next couple of weeks.
- How does Jason not channel his inner Shatner and sing Lucy in the Sky w/Diamonds? Song was made for him...
- So if Carly were to get a tattoo on her double chin and then went on a diet, would it disappear?
- David H. Pizza Bistro. Riigggghttt. Let's hope he's rooming w/David A. (and his mom).
- Speaking of David A - where was Mommy dearest when he forgot the lyrics? Wasn't she supposed to jump on stage and finish the verse?

Looking forward to tonight's Ford commercial with the 12...

Posted by: Rob Iola | March 12, 2008 8:14 AM

Note that little David A. had never heard of Lennon & McCartney.

Posted by: Tom T. | March 12, 2008 8:18 AM

First!

Posted by: idol-ette | March 12, 2008 8:23 AM

Uh, first dearie? Me thinks not.

Posted by: idol-ette can't count! | March 12, 2008 8:27 AM

Nah, idol-ette was in fact first, but apparently had counting issues Sunday when resetting the idol-ette clocks...

Posted by: Fifth! | March 12, 2008 8:31 AM

Brilliant as usual, Lisa! I wish I knew this blog was here earlier!

Sometimes I like the teasing Ryan and the judges do back and forth, but last night it was over the top for me. Paula and Simon interrupting each other is really annoying. And what was that with Ryan whispering to Simon when the camera coming back to him? Just weird.

So Carly's husband. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it said on the screen he was there last night. But in previous shows, we know him to be some scary tattoo freak with ink on his face. There was no one there like that on camera last night. She gets hotter and hotter to me each week. And each week she's on the show, it's one less month that marriage is lasting. By the end of the year it's done, and much sooner if she wins.

Kristy is hot and I love everything about her. Then she went country and ruined it for me. And last night was about as painful as it gets. Still, there is some cruft that can go before she does. David Hernandez, I'm looking in your direction.

I love rocker chicks, but Amanda has lost me. She's one DUI away from getting canned anyway.

Posted by: mdg | March 12, 2008 8:43 AM

Ramiele has to go. That is one of my top 50 favorite songs, and I was waiting for it to end. And she screwed up the lyrics. Perhaps I'm the only one, but I thought the hee-haw 8 Days a Week worked. I've hated Ms. Cook since the beginning of the season, but last night was the first time I think she was actually decent. The band was a little quick. In any case, Ramiele or stripper boy need to go.

Posted by: Ben | March 12, 2008 8:46 AM

Kristy Cook and David Hernandez- please report for duty at the Osmond Theater, Branson, MO.

Posted by: Branson? | March 12, 2008 8:53 AM

Who would have thought the Beatles were only made up of Lennon and McCartney. Why no respect for Harrison and Starr?

And finally David A shows his true colors? How could you claim to not know much about the songs of Lennon an McCartney after singing 'Imagine' a few weeks earlier? Dude is a fraud.

Posted by: Willis | March 12, 2008 9:10 AM

So every single one of them, including Kristy, and the boy that doesn't know the lyrics, are all better then Danny Noriega?
I'd rather see more of Danny and the Boy-that-lives-in-a-car then most of them! Especially the gay male prostitute.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 12, 2008 9:20 AM

It was Lennon/McCartney night, not the Beatles night. If they'd called it the Beatles night, then yes, you'd have seen one or maybe two Starr or Harrison songs.

Also, Imagine is a John Lennon song (not Lennon/McCartney). That being said, since Archuleta knew "We Can Work It Out" from Stevie Wonder, my guess is he knew "Imagine" from somewhere else too (high school choir maybe?).

Posted by: To Willis: | March 12, 2008 9:27 AM

IMO - David A will not win AI, most likely Disney will pick him up tho (thats where he belongs). So far, got stage presence, but does not get out of his comfort zone.
Col. Lisa de Moraes re Amanda...'she does her tongue-homage to Gene Simmons.' FYI, what Amanda did was what rockers use to do.
U sound like Simon who does not know anything about rock music, not even the standards.

Posted by: teri | March 12, 2008 9:27 AM

Thanks for explaining the guitar smash - I did not get it. We waited most of the night for the David Hernandez job description -lame!! Last night clearly showed that the formerly annointed David Archuletta is just too young. Wow, Chikeze!

Posted by: Kirsten | March 12, 2008 9:36 AM

Paul McCartney in hell? I can't "imagine." I hope that was not a decent guitar David Cook smashed. That would be wrong.

Posted by: phil | March 12, 2008 9:40 AM

Heather Mills just bought the rights to Kristy Lee Cook's version/arrangement of "Eight Days a Week." She's been prank-calling Paul in the middle of the night to play it to him over the phone before hanging up.

Talk about a nightmare.

Seriously, if Paul ends up in Hell, that country-fied version of "Eight Days" is going to be playing on a continuous loop.

Posted by: con-e | March 12, 2008 9:43 AM

Thank you, con-e, for giving me a good laugh. I couldn't figure out if the drummer, Kristy, or the violins were out of sync, but it sounded just awful.

That having been said . . . Ramiele's hokey, Star Search version of In My Life was even worse. Far be it for Idol to ever suggest subtlety, but that song is beautiful in its simplicity, which she completely plowed over. Thank goodness I had DVR'd it and could hit the fast forward!

I'm still humming "She's a Woman" with a smile on my face. Thanks, Chikezie!

Posted by: the anti-Celine | March 12, 2008 9:45 AM

Based purely on performances last night the clear winners were Chikezie, David C, Carly, and Brooke. The middle group was Syesha, Michael, and Jason. And the bottom group was Amanda, David H, David A, Kristy, and Remiele. "Breakout performance" has to go to Chikezie. Assuming no premeditated favorites or biases against anyone, his performance was the best. The song treatment, his vocals, and his exuberance all worked. Whether one liked him before or not, he shined last night. Carly's vocals were spot-on but I still struggle to see her as an AI - I still see her as a contract singer (Disney princess movie, etc.) or Broadway chanteuse, and not a pop star. David C's rendition of Eleanor Rigby was very strong, and for the first time, he looked the part of a star (high collar jacket, stylist, staging and backdrop) and not like he just rolled out of bed. Brooke's piano take on Let it Be was also strong. She has a husky tone that adds some depth - she is not just singing words. She sings as if she owns the songs. And her humility is believable. Syesha was strong but not as-strong as others. I still think she is a comer when you combine looks, poise, voice and understated performances. Michael was also second-tier good but the song did not give him much opportunity to get into it. The rest ranged from forgettable (Remiele) to awful. David H looked like any performer at a Six Flags revue. Jason was very good but his performance/rendition was repeatable by many other persons. Kristy's country version of Eight Days a Week was the poorest song-take of the night. What a mess! I did not recognize that as a Beatles song! Amanda's slurring and growling gave me a different reason not to recognize You Can't do That. Painful! And finally, little David A completely botched his song. Aside from the lyrics meltdown, his pre-performance tape only confirmed his "smily gator" immaturity. I simply cannot see him beyond the giddy boy-next-door who has been asked to sit at the grown up table.
Bottom line: for all the reasons AI exists; i.e., to discover an unknown, marketable talent who is not an egomaniac, off-putting, or eccentric, here are my picks based on last night only.
Potential AI's: Brooke and David C.
Broadway: Carly and Chikezie, maybe Syesha
Coffeehouse: Jason, Michael
HSM: David H, Kristy, Remiele
Roadhouse: Amanda
Outhouse: David A

Posted by: RedRocket | March 12, 2008 9:47 AM

Last night was a good show even though I wasn't thrilled with the idea of them singing Beatles songs. My bottom three are Kristy, David H. and Brooke (I don't get her - nice girl, I'm sure but I don't think I've ever liked any of her performances). Carly was the best last night in my opionion.

Posted by: WI | March 12, 2008 9:51 AM

Re: David Cook - Does the world really need another "Chris Daughtery"? With the exception of the Turtle's "Happy Together" (which Brooke did better) every performance from this guy is the same droning exercise in tedium.

My guess to go tonight is Kristy - Seriously, when Paula doesn't even comment on how cute you or your outfit looks, you know it's time to pack the bags.

However, given that Haley from a season or two back managed to survive beyond her talent level just by showing more and more skin each week Kristy may very will stick around a bit more.

Posted by: Mike | March 12, 2008 9:58 AM

Lisa, I can't believe you think Jason's a sure thing for top 6. You've got to be kidding me! He's so boring, and his voice is really thin and weak. Blah! I'd like to see him, screechy Amanda and trainwreck Kristy in the bottom 3 this week. I felt bad for David H. and did not think he deserved to be so thoroughly trashed by the judges last night. It wasn't his best vocal, but there were definitely worse last night, and at least he was entertaining. Carly, Michael and Chikeze were my faves of the night.

Posted by: Amanda | March 12, 2008 10:01 AM

Relative tame for you Lisa...I'm impressed. You could drop the whole virgin nanny thing...it's getting old. She is married now, and not as nanny anymore...you do the math!!

Posted by: idolonfox | March 12, 2008 10:06 AM

I have to say last night I finally figured it out: AI must be approached as high, Baroque Theatre/Romanesque spectacle, not as a talent show. It has gotten to where it worships itself too much. I realize that it is a huge hit and that it has revealed some real, lasting talents: Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia. But frankly I liked it better on seasons 1 and 2 when it wasn't quite so slick and overproduced.

I think Kristy last night was behind the beat, not that that would've helped much for her to be "on point" as Randaula likes to say. It was a hideous rendition of Eight Days a Week. Just painful.

I can't get past David Cook's North-South combover. Hate to be so petty but the hair totally distracts me and it's hard to judge the quality of his performances.

I'm rooting for Jason Castro. Or Chikezie.

Not surprising that the younguns don't know who the Beatles are. Did you notice the film intro explaining the history of Lennon/McCartney? That was for all the tweeners in the audience, who don't know who they are, either. It was like one of those old educational film strips you got back in elementary school.

Eventually, AI will collapse under the weight of its own pretentiousness; until then, sit back and enjoy the spectacle.

Posted by: NW DC | March 12, 2008 10:23 AM

Lisa, favorite line today:"Virgin Nanny gets up from the piano; she's moved to tears by her own performance."
I know Paula always says silly things, but did anyone notice when she said "the reward is paying off"? I think she meant to say "the risk is paying off." Not that it matters.

Posted by: Mary | March 12, 2008 10:28 AM

Kristy SHOULD go tonight, but I have a feeling it'll be Syesha. David A will be safe, he has too many fans. But he can't afford to blow it again.

Posted by: Steve M | March 12, 2008 10:29 AM

I think none of htem are that great. Chikezie's was the only performance I enjoyed the whole night. I mean after all those auditions, this is what they come up with? I think they spend too much time letting all the crazies in at the beginning for ratings, but they probably miss out on a lot of talent that way.

Posted by: Barb in NC | March 12, 2008 10:32 AM

So I'm curious.... in her video, the Horse Pawner is shown riding some horse. Who's horse is this? Obviously it cannot be her own since she so had to pawn the thing to get to AI. So is this like a loaner or a sister's or something? Lisa, we need some good investigative reporting done on this. If she been lyin' 'bout her tha'r horse, she need to leave.

Posted by: Horsey | March 12, 2008 10:38 AM

Seriously, how lame are the waving hands? Last night's show was 30 minutes of entertainment interrupted by 90 minutes of commercials, AI self promotion, and stupid school child antics between Paula and Simon and Ryan. Thank god for DVR. And I'm glad David A. screwed up and Chikezie rocked..now its a real competition.

Posted by: hahaha | March 12, 2008 11:07 AM

Chikezie was the best last night, mostly because it was a shock--all I remembered about him before was his name. But honestly, his version of that song is stuck in my head! He was great. The next several competitors suffered in comparison to him--why didn't the judges realize that?

Jason, David Cook, and Amanda gave the runner up performances last night--totally engaging and entertaining. I thought Carly's vocal was flawless, but the performance was boring. Michael also had a good vocal, but I think at this point, you gotta step it up to be memorable. Why are the judges praising Brook? She's pretty, blond, thin, and straight-edge. She has some songs she can do well, but I thought her vocal was really really off last night. I can't believe no one told her that.

Everyone else was forgettable, except for Archuletta who is memorable for the wrong reasons.

Lisa--I love the re-cap you give, and your opinions about the judges and Ryan are obvious through your commentary, but I often wonder what you thought of the performances themselves.

Posted by: Sam | March 12, 2008 11:08 AM

1. does anyone else think that Ryan running around the stage like a overzealous hip hop star was ridiculous? (If I was Chikezie Izie I would have sat down and watched him for a bit)

2. Saying David A is officially done after last night would be like saying Obama was done after New Hampshire.

3. why are the judges so kind to Syesha? She hasn't had a performance since Hollywood that has left any impression whatsoever.

Posted by: atworkreally | March 12, 2008 11:21 AM

Note to David Cook: It's "DARNING his socks in the night when there's nobody there," not "wearing his socks"! Did he just not know what the word meant?

Posted by: Tom | March 12, 2008 11:39 AM

There was some buzz last week about David A being at risk because he was too good to show development, that he would lose interest with Idol fans. Something like that. Perhaps David actually did himself a favor by forgetting some lyrics. He is once again human, a bright and talented 17 year old deserving of our votes, not a seasoned professional disguised as a teen. He is free to really wow us again next week. Chikese thought he was toast last week and came back with a come from behind super performance this week. Did his near death experience allow him to get past fear of failure, relax, and just go out there and perform? David could do the same thing. Hopefully, David will garner the sympathy vote and be allowed to shine again. It would be a real shame if he was voted off the stage when Kristy, David H., and Amanda bombed in my opinion. I also hope Brooke and Jason are not voted off the stage any time soon. Their quiet, thoughtful approach to song is refreshing, as different from the standardized Idol competitor as the rockers are. Brooke and Jason, along with David A., who combines their musical sensibilities with the stronger voice of a standardized Idol competitor, add needed texture to the show.

Posted by: Paul G | March 12, 2008 11:40 AM

Despite some really bad performances including bad performances by two of my favorites (David H and Ramielle), I say that we keep all 12 for one more week and vote off Ryan.

Between the chicken-with-the-head-cut-off run after Chikeze's number to the snarkiness with Simon to the stupid "Oops--am I on camera?" whispering to Simon, this man is just too pianful to watch. And I am really tired of his overuse of the old radio trick glottal punch "th*IS IS a*MER*i*CAN I*dol" Gag. It's worse than when I was in radio broadcasting in high school.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | March 12, 2008 11:50 AM

Brooke moves up and moves on inexorably toward the final 2. Not-so-Virgin Nanny is just awesome every week. Simon loves her and so do we. Who could resist such "pure" and inimitable charms? One of these days Brooke will get the chance to sing "Both Sides Now". She'll nail it somewhere between the Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins versions and "will make the song her own", blowing everyone else away. After which time she'll be established as the clear favorite. Just show a little Dark Side, please please please. And it will help keep Simon on your side; he might start getting bored or frustrated otherwise.

Tattoo Girl has good vocals but still needs Sleeves desperately. Otherwise, visual revulsion will catch up with her some night and she'll be gone despite singing well.

I'm getting to like Amanda from Mulberry. Bet she'll last longer than Gina did last year.

The patina on insufferably cute little David A. is starting to tarnish. Thank Goodness! Hope David Cook outlasts him and goes to Finale with Nanny Brooke.

"Forgettable" Kristi or Stripper should be the next to go.

Posted by: Christin | March 12, 2008 11:51 AM

You could drop the whole virgin nanny thing...it's getting old. She is married now, and not as nanny anymore...you do the math!!

Posted by: idolonfox | March 12, 2008 10:06 AM

=====

Yeah, but after last night when someone held up a sign to the camera that said something like "We love American Idol...but we want our nanny back!" you can imagine that the nanny jokes still have some life left.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | March 12, 2008 11:52 AM

AMEN Willis! "And finally David A shows his true colors? How could you claim to not know much about the songs of Lennon an McCartney after singing 'Imagine' a few weeks earlier? DUDE IS A FRAUD. "

and how can anyone in the english speaking word not have heard the Beatles? and the best Beatles songs are George's, so they weren't even sung this week - how sad.

Dude! Chikezie, man! Wow. He impressed me. he won't win though.

Here's how it's going to go down:

4. David A (although he SUCKS, but people like him)
3. Brooke
2. David Cook
1. Carly

that's your top 4 ... called it here first.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 12, 2008 12:06 PM

did someone at WaPo forget to set the clocks ahead last Sunday? The timing of all these comments are off. Makes my head hurt. Where's my 7 year old when I need him?

Posted by: Big Ben | March 12, 2008 12:21 PM

The idea that these guys are musicians and haven't heard the Beatles - Amanda said she'd never heard "Can't Do That" before last week. Ugh. I mean, give me a break! Not impressed with the Idolettes' music knowledge this week.

Kristy Lee turned "8 Days a Week" into a Dollywood hoe-down - she could've gone country without going hee-haw.

If we stop calling Brooke the Virgin Nanny, can we start calling her Carole Simon or Carly King?

Chikezie rocked the house - that was awesome! He did a little bit of the down-home without going hee-haw, Kristy Lee should've talked to him before putting her arrangement together.

Posted by: melissa | March 12, 2008 12:27 PM

Rob Iola wrote - So if Carly were to get a tattoo on her double chin and then went on a diet, would it disappear?

Meow!!! You are my evil twin!!

Tattoo girl needs to go. Pepe le Pew needs to go. Virgin Nanny needs to go. But that doesn't leave us much on the girls' side.

Can't believe David A. forgot the words. But then again he's only 17; and has probably heard very little, if any, Lennon and McCarthy. Too bad.

Chikezie rocked. Wow!

Had high hopes for Lennon and McCarthy week, but mostly the songs were butchered, especially by Kristy.

They are missing one prop on the Idol set - a roll of duct tape for Paula's mouth after she's done babbling her critique. She's incredibly rude to Simon. Actually put a piece of tape over her mouth for the whole show. I wouldn't miss her.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | March 12, 2008 12:27 PM

Count me in among those who don't understand Simon's love for the blond -- or at least her singing. I know it's unfair, but compare her "Let It Be" to McCartney's just for a minute. When you realize she basically sang the same notes as he did on the original, you understand that her vocal range is about an octave.

It's also time to wonder about David A's mommy. How in the world did she rear him to be a singer, to the point of replacing him on stage, and not expose him to the Beatles? The "too young" thing goes only so far. I wasn't around when Sinatra was at his height or when "Happy Birthday to You" was written, but I can least hum a few bars.

Posted by: JD | March 12, 2008 12:36 PM

I cannot figure out how anyone can think that Carly is so great - she is very average for someone who had a record out - Brooke is far better for where she is at in her musical development. David Cook - needs to figure out that hair and he will go far. Oh - and Carly is not very attractive - and its not just the tattoos. She was prettier in her video last night than what she was on TV. I can't figure out what the judges like so much about her - she would not be a successful AI winner - she doesn't have the whole package. Last night was the first time I actually liked the Aussie's voice - others may have thought it was boring, and it may have been, but I actually enjoyed the VOICE last night. AS far as Kristy Lee goes - I can understand how one of the posters above thought that it almost worked - we thought the same thing, but the problem is that in the end, it didn't. I will agree, though, that it ALMOST did.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 12, 2008 12:49 PM

Next week, on "Don't Forget the Lyrics"-- David Archuleta!

Posted by: J-Man | March 12, 2008 1:32 PM

Hmm, not sure I get the love for David C (we've seen his act done infinitely better by Chris Daughtry) or Brooke (where you see sincerity, I see calculation and playacting. Just despise her). For sheer vocal ability, I don't think anyone can top Carly or David A, but I don't know that they'd be very compelling recording artists either. Still, people castigate them as Disney, as if that's a slam - Miley Cyrus seems to be doing okay with that label (and I don't mean to imply she's making great music, just successful, which is what Idol is all about).

Having said that, I was struck by two things last night. I don't get how anyone with the amount of musical ability these contestants have can honestly have no idea who Lennon & McCartney were and how important they are to the history of Pop music. My 11-year old, a jock with a smattering of musical talent, has an iPod full of Beatles tunes. What exactly are these parents having their kids listen to if it's NOT L&M and their ilk?

Secondly, I don't know who will get voted off tonight, but it SHOULD be the set designer. It may look snazzy, but it's a musical trainwreck. First off, separating the band members, by in some cases what looks like about 100 ft, is a terrible idea. I don't care if these guys are all wearing headphones, a good band also needs visual queues to play in sync, and it's awfully hard to know what the bass player (the backbone of the band) is doing when he's in a turret out of sight stage left. The band was sloppier than normal last night, and I'd be willing to bet this is why. Even worse, they put the band about 30 feet ABOVE the singers. Is it any wonder they were consistently off-key and behind the beat? I didn't notice anyone wearing earpieces, and it sure seemed to me like no one could hear the band, leading to some pretty poor performances. For a show that's supposedly all about music, sacrificing musicality for glitz is pretty lame.

Posted by: JB | March 12, 2008 1:39 PM

to JD - Simon's preference is to market artists who look good, but I think he & the judges like Brooke's voice too. There is a husky, Carly Simon tone. She is not just reciting her scales when she sings. BTW, your comment about appreciating music history is right on.

to waterfrontproperty -- it's "McCartney" unless McCarthy is some inside stab of joke we don't get.

to 12:49 poster -- put Carly behind a screen and just listen. She has a very good, trained voice. That's what the judges see/hear. But agreed, she is not the "package" yet. There is something that is too plebeian about her.

I'm wondering if Simon's "you know" retort to Ryan is a veiled warning that he can influence overseeing RS's contract; i.e., Simon's way of saying "know your place."

Glad to see that many of you are rethinking handing David A the crown now. His immaturity is showing.

Some very good posts, including Lisa's recap, which seems more on-point this week about the songs and the show, and less seeking to find new words to disparage the contestants. Remember, half of what they present is necessary show fodder, at the behest of the producers. The rest is them just trying to be fish in a fishbowl. I can't say any one of us would do worse or better in the same circumstances.

Posted by: RedRocket | March 12, 2008 1:40 PM

waterfrontproperty - Virtuous Twin!! (unless you're actually "Kristen" from "Client-9" fame) - it's not hallucinating, it's swooning - very common with these hot Idolettes (best ever!!) - if only they could have a special Survivor series featuring the final 12...

Posted by: Rob Iola | March 12, 2008 1:43 PM

I can't believe David A's music teacher never brought his attention to the music of the Beatles. Cirque de Solei did an entire show that revolved around their music. A movie came out a few months ago based entirely on their music. He needs to get out of his bubble!

As for Kristy, there's country and then, there's country. Wow! She really fried that song!

Posted by: sannnva | March 12, 2008 1:54 PM

Re: Carly Smithson

The funny thing is that with all of the talk about David A being right for "Disney" (I assume as a cartoon voice), I think that Carly Smithson is the ultimate Disney voice to me. She could be on any one of the hundreds of stages throughout DisneyWorld doing just about any cover that they need for whatever random show is on. She also sounds like the type that would sing the "pop" version of the big song from an animated film (think AN AMERICAN TAIL, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, A WHOLE NEW WORLD, CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT or CIRCLE OF LIFE, etc). Generic big voiced girl pop singer. But she sounds like a recording studio type, not one that many people would pay to go and see. I think she's rather boring on stage and it all sounds very calculated not "live."

Posted by: DadWannaBe | March 12, 2008 1:57 PM

Wow Chiezie really out did himself last night. The performances (minus David A and Kristy Lee) were allright.

Posted by: NYC | March 12, 2008 2:06 PM

RedRocket -

You're right. I screwed up. Only explanation is I have a pollen induced stuffed head, runny eyes and clogged nose. I must have been hallucinating. Thank you for the smack-down.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | March 12, 2008 2:25 PM

According to all the comments, Jason, Brooke and Amanda, you either love'em or hate'em. Not much in between.

Anyone notice that Carly's tongue forks when she sings the really powerful notes?? It's very weird.....

My personal fav last night was David Cook, even if he doesn't know what darning socks means. Who does that nowadays anyway??

Agree, Kristi is finished. I think it was the drummers fault. Sounded like Benny Hill meets Hee Haw. Song was way too fast, Kristi couldn't keep up but her voice was ok. Too much for her.

Still don't get the David A craze.

Posted by: hodie | March 12, 2008 2:32 PM

love brooke. someone give Michael Johns a mop to clean up the sweat from his forehead. I agree with the others who say to give the "Virgin Nanny" nickname a rest -- it is lame.

Posted by: yawbus | March 12, 2008 2:44 PM

Wow, what's up with the time stamps on these comments? Is it the Post's system, or are some folks running LINUX OS's that for whatever reason didn't auto-update their system clocks last Sunday?

Posted by: System Clock? | March 12, 2008 2:45 PM

The scripted and unscripted banter between the judges and with the host must stop. I'm even getting sick of Randy, and he's usually the least offensive of Randy. Does anyone really buy the judges dissing each other? Its not even good entertainment, its just lame. Ryan:Put a post it on your dressing room mirror. "This show is not about me."

Hitch up the horses, Paw, Kristy Lee's goin home tonight!

Posted by: cj | March 12, 2008 2:50 PM

Hey, don't blame the Linux OS's. We have NTP running against a verified network system atomic clock. WaPo's server has already shuffled my time stamps on 2 of my postings. I think the WaPo server is having a little Jessica/Nikki problem. (for those who don't watch Heroes, that is one character with multiple personalities).

Posted by: DadWannaBe | March 12, 2008 3:31 PM

How come the poll only adds up to 92%

Posted by: Justin | March 12, 2008 3:50 PM

RedRocket - You da man! Your post reads 04:17 PM and by my clock it's 03:50 PM. Since you're obviously a futurist, can you tell us who's off tonight for sure?

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | March 12, 2008 3:51 PM

waterfrontproperty -- all is forgiven. I'm sure your symptoms probably started about 9:45 EST last night following Kristy's, and then David's performances.

Dadwannabe -- You get it! Although, I'm taking credit for the Disneyfication of Carly (and some others -- Remiele?) but you explained it best for anyone who wasn't clued in. Yes, the singing voice of Ariel, Jasmine, Belle and the rest, but not cartoon voices. Some others could sing at Disney parks; I'm thinking David H (80's Land), Kristy (Country Bears Jamboree), Amanda (Rock'N Roll Revue) and Chikezie on a Disney cruise line (unless somehow he tops last night again and again).

cj -- great note to Ryan.

Posted by: RedRocket | March 12, 2008 4:17 PM

My sister picked up on a major cause of David A's meltdown last night: he kept looking for the camera, and the instant he found it, the director cut away to a long shot from the house. He finally got hold of his performance when he simply closed his eyes and stopped looking for the red camera light.

We have different theories as to Why: she thinks the director propositioned him and got rejected, thus the terrible camera treatment. My take is that his performance was sabotaged to level the playing field and increase viewership.

Familiarity with The Beatles for a 17-year-old has everything to do with the parents: if it's not a part of their life as he grows up, then there's no exposure. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would hazard that every indignant post about his musical ignorance ... came from someone older than his age bracket.

I like Brooke, but I'm at a loss to explain Simon's championing her: vocally, her range is unusually limited for an AI finalist.

Is it just me, or does David J. rarely make it all the way up to his intended note? I hear tons of flat notes.

Carly's performances have consistently left me nonplussed ... until "Come Together." Likewise, Chikesie for me was never terribly compelling ... until last night's very welcome surprise.

I've never posted on a blog before. But the spot-on analysis of the camera treatment of David A's performance needed to be shared.

Posted by: mongo | March 12, 2008 4:59 PM

If I recall, David A didn't say he never heard of the Beatles, he said he didn't like 60s music and didn't listen to it so he was not as familiar. That does not mean he didn't know their significance, it was just not his taste, like a lot of young people. Yes, it is a sign of our age that we believe that that is a darn shame!

Posted by: hodie | March 12, 2008 6:05 PM

When I saw David C's "rock" version of Eleanor Rigby, all I could think of was the far superior rock version of that song done a few years back by Godhead.

Check out their video on YouTube or someplace -- it's dark but weirdly compelling and puts an intriguing spin on the song. David C's version aspires to be a pale imitation of the Godhead version.

Posted by: Doc | March 12, 2008 8:28 PM

You don't acquire music taste only from your parents. It's mostly from people you hang out with, your older siblings; they all contribute to expose you to different influences. Not knowing much about the Beatles and songs from the 60's and 70's is absolute ignorance especially if you're studying to be a musician. I've known the Beatles for as long as I can remember because it's played on the radio since before I was born, and because I had cousins and friends who had the albums.

Posted by: Leila | March 12, 2008 9:04 PM

what does moraes have against brooke white? seriously, moraes cannot admit that brooke has done a good job....i guess everyone has their personal taste but it just seems a little biased.

Posted by: brooke fan | March 12, 2008 10:48 PM

Brooke fan--if you read her Idol chat's (like earlier this afternoon), you'll realize that she actually likes *ALL* of the contestants. She's just really snarky towards them and the Idol machine. She and a lot of her column fans like the nasty tone she has that tries to puncture the very full-of-itself Idol windbag. But she is a die-hard Idol fan and a fan of all the finalists. She's just sarcastic and nasty in how she comments about it/them.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | March 13, 2008 12:05 AM

DadWannaBe please post info on where to see/read the chats. Thanks.

Posted by: Sam | March 13, 2008 1:17 AM

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