"American Idol": Holly Holy! It's Neil Diamond Night!

"American Idol" comes unhinged on Neil Diamond Night.

For starters, each of the remaining five Idolettes gets to sing not one but two Diamond tunes. Then, to save time, the show's judges -- Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, won't get to critique the Idolettes until each has performed both tunes.

"Bring those perky contestants in," Diamond says in a taped bit, giving us hope this week might be as good as last week's Andrew Lloyd Webber night, if only Diamond's being sarcastic.
Sadly, he's not, which becomes apparent as he prattles on about his songs being written to be joyful.


David Archuleta performs. (Frank Micelotta/FOX)

ROUND 1

Jason Castro rehearses "Forever in Blue Jeans" with Diamond, only he's brought along the lyrics to his second tune, "September Morn." Even so, Diamond thinks Jason will "do great."
Diamond is overly optimistic, as befits a guy whose songs are written to be joyful. Jason does well enough, though he sounds and looks like he's been eating those flowers he used to put in his dreadlocks. The Mosh Pit Sorority Sisters are so unable to pick up the beat they don't even try to do The Wave.

Show host Ryan Seacrest asks David Cook how he has prepared to sing "I'm Alive." David C. says he was going to ask Seacrest the same thing. Oh snap! But Seacrest, presumptive winner of the Very First Primetime Emmy Award for Best Reality Series Host, misses nary a beat and says he uses his hairbrush for a mike and sings in front of the mirror, teaching David C. that he messes with The Seacrest at his own peril. Diamond is seen predicting in a taped bit that David C. will "do great."

Once again -- too joyful in his prediction, though David C. is pretty good.

When Nanny Brooke meets Diamond in the taped bit, she asks whether he's a hugger or a handshaker. He thinks it's a trick question and doesn't want to commit, saying he's both. Nanny Brooke will first sing "I'm a Believer" like a Junior Leaguer at a hootenanny, followed by a more introspective "I Am ... I Said" at the piano with some of the more difficult lyrics -- something about palm trees grow and the rents are low -- written on the palm of her hand lest she forget the words to a song for the third time this season. Diamond suggests that for the second song, she change the reference to being New York born and raised to Arizona, since that's where she's from, which will make it more "genuine" -- which is an interesting word to use in connection with a song that includes such lyrics as "and no one heard at all, not even the chair."

David "Baby Elmo" Archuleta has picked "Sweet Caroline" for his first tune. Diamond says he's "kind of a prodigy" and with a little guidance "I think he will do great."

We're sensing a trend. Or some senility setting in. Anyway, Baby Elmo's performance is the same as ever because he can't seem to do otherwise, whether he's singing a goofy tune like this one or the heavy-message song he favors. Oh, and David A. already has forgotten Andrew Lloyd Webber's advice about not shutting his eyes.

Syesha Mercado picks "Hello Again," on which, Diamond says, she did a "wonderful job" during rehearsals. He predicts she will -- wait for it -- "do great" on "Idol" night. If she could just add skating, she would make an excellent star of Idols on Ice. Instead, she performs barefooted for reasons that are never explained, which is kinda like introducing a knife in Act 1 without having used it by the final curtain. The audience feels cheated.

First round over, all the Idolettes are brought back onstage so the judges can do some speed-critiquing. Randy calls Jason "okay," David C. good, Brooke "better than last week" but still "karaoke" and David A. "the bomb," while Syesha was "in the zone."

What happens next is the Very Best Paula Moment. Ever. She has hallucinated an entire second song performance by Jason before he's given it. She says she loves hearing his lower register in his first song, but feels he did not do enough with his second song or something. Everyone looks confused -- including Paula, who says, "Oh, I thought you sang twice."

"You're seeing the future, baby -- come back!" Seacrest says.

Simon jumps in while Paula tries to swat the bats out of her brain. Jason was "forgettable," David C. "just above average," Nanny Brooke "a nightmare," David A. "amateurish" and Syesha "old fashioned," he says, telling the Idolettes they'd better pull off the "performances of a lifetime" the next go-round.

He's apparently forgotten they're stuck with Neil Diamond tunes.

ROUND 2

Jason faces the biggest challenge any "American Idol" contestant has ever faced. He has to deliver a performance that's already been panned by one of the judges before he even sings a note. Cleverly, he picks "September Morn," which he sings in a register that can be heard only by prepubescent girls, who are voting for him by the millions, but not by any of the judges. Understandably, neither Randaula nor Simon is impressed. Frustrated, Simon even predicts Jason will look back at his performance tonight and "not know who this person is." Which is undoubtedly true, but for a different reason than Simon thinks and having mostly to do with those flowers we think he's been pulling out of his hair and eating.

David C., who sadly no longer bears any resemblance to the Coroner Munchkin -- a pox upon those "Idol" makeover artists! -- does "All I Really Need Is You." Randaula and Simon seem convinced they are looking at the next American Idol. David C. simpers.

Nanny Brooke's "I Am ... I Said" makes no sense when she changes "New York" to "Arizona" -- at the suggestion of Diamond -- because then she can't be "lost between two shores" living in Los Angeles. Sadly, this geographic blooper is lost on the judges who seem mostly relieved she remembers all the lyrics -- even the one about the deaf chair.

News Flash: Carly Simon has told the Associated Press Nanny Brooke should win "Idol" this year because a few weeks back when she sang Simon's "You're So Vain" she sang the song "so much better than I ever did or ever could." Then again, Carly Simon also says she doubts Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell or her ex, James Taylor, would have gone far on "Idol" because they had untrained voices. She's clearly senile.

Baby Elmo plays the Kristy Lee Cook Patriot Card, singing "Coming to America" while a U.S. flag waves in the background. He sounds like a performer at Disneyland. We resist the urge to imagine Disney cash cow Hannah Montana deflowering him in a Scary-Stage-Parent-arranged sex scandal. Randaula calls the patriot card his "zone" and Simon calls it "a smart choice of songs ... it ticked all the boxes."

Syesha's back to sing "Thank the Lord for the Nighttime" and once again she's barefoot, causing Randaula to begin blathering about her wonderful Broadway/theatrical place.

"This is officially the strangest show we've ever done," Simon says. Getting back to Syesha, he says she's demonstrated she's a very good "actress-singer" but predicts she's getting the hook this week. Safe bet given her frequent visits to the Stools of the Bottom 2 or 3.

-- LISA DE MORAES

By Rose Jacobius  |  April 30, 2008; 6:37 AM ET "American Idol"
Previous: "American Idol": Survival of the Weakest | Next: "American Idol": "I Am," Nanny Brooke Said. "Nuh-uh," We Replied.

Comments

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paula is an embarrassment to the show (which is saying a LOT) and should be removed. once again, david C. was my favorite this week.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 30, 2008 7:22 AM

Can anyone here recommend a good ear doctor because I'm pretty sure I sustained some damage to my hearing last night. That first round was painful!

And then Paula hit. Wow. Part of me loved it, but most of me thought it was awkward. I keep hearing about changes to the show and the first one would be to let Paula go. Then she can go do DWTS.

David C. has pretty much sealed the deal. He cannot win this show. He is simply too good. We all know the best person gets second, third, or fourth. David A. will join the ranks of Ruben and Soul Patrol. You win, but you lose.

Posted by: mdg | April 30, 2008 7:34 AM

Oh Lord....where to start- just too painful for words. Last night simply obliterated any appearance of relevance this show ever had.

Posted by: Sharon | April 30, 2008 7:48 AM

pleasepleaseplease get rid of Castro.

Lisa/Rose - you owe me a screen-cleaning for the We resist the urge to imagine "Disney cash cow Hannah Montana deflowering him in a Scary-Stage-Parent-arranged sex scandal" bit. Hi lar i ous

Posted by: con-e | April 30, 2008 7:59 AM

What the hell was that??? It was like a bad evening of speed-dating. Were their songs actually shorter than the previous 1:30 renditions they'd been doing the past several weeks?

Priceless Paula must have been reviewing her notes from the dress rehearsal. Bad. So Bad. And Sooooo Delicious.

Between Jeremiah Wright yesterday and David Archuleta's rendition of God Bless America/America The Beautiful/We're Coming to America, I must apply for a visa to Canada.

Loved David Cook on the second song. I'm sorry but he is HOT!

Posted by: trishrosenthall | April 30, 2008 8:05 AM

"Priceless Paula must have been reviewing her notes from the dress rehearsal. Bad. So Bad. And Sooooo Delicious."

Or the producers feed her her lines. neither option is very conducive to the integrity of the show (whatever it had left).

Posted by: mark | April 30, 2008 8:13 AM

"American Idol" comes unhinged on Neil Diamond Night. The Understatement of.the.Year.

OMG. So, so many "WTF?" moments last night ...

I do hope they start making Paula pee in that Coke cup before and after each show. I defy anyone to say that woman is coherent on any given day. Seriously.

Seabiscuit is a total tool. Real nice to slam Carly in the opening by saying "she's watching the show from home this week." Jack*ss.

Maybe it's the baby blues, but I thought Jason did a decent job on Forever in Bluejeans. Brooke butchered (that could be her new nickname, Brooke the Butcher!) I'm A Believer. She needs to go away. Now.

Could someone please teach the Mosh Pit Sorority Girls to wave in the same direction? It felt like I had vertigo by the end of the show.

"If she could just add skating, she would make an excellent star of Idols on Ice." LMAO!!!

Posted by: jpstang | April 30, 2008 8:33 AM

People, the songs are taped ahead of time. It is not live except for when the judges are judging. That is why Paula was confused.

On another note, are these the 5 worst finalists ever? My ears were bleeding by the end of it.

Posted by: Babs | April 30, 2008 8:36 AM

I knew Paula was spacey but last night took the cake. To make it worse she said that she thought that they had already sang the second song.

Please send Jason or Brooke home. Somehow though I think Syesha will be bidding adieu.

Posted by: NYC | April 30, 2008 8:37 AM

-I agree with Babs. These finalists are the worst. Watch "AI Rewind' and you'll see how bad these finalists are.

- Jason Castro must go; last night was just painful as ALW night. He must be stop.

Posted by: Brooklyn | April 30, 2008 8:50 AM

They seemed to be totally clueless about how the show was going to run. Seacrest says the judges will comment after both songs are done, but they are asked to race through comments after they all do their first song. The performances were clipped to sound bites, although for some that was more than enough time. Get the weed whackers out for those waving hands already!

Posted by: Rob | April 30, 2008 8:53 AM

Posted by: Babs | April 30, 2008 8:36 AM :

"People, the songs are taped ahead of time. It is not live except for when the judges are judging. That is why Paula was confused."

Actually, Babs, the show is completely live. They do a filmed dress rehearsal 2 hours before the show, which is done without the judges (they use stand-ins). That is the content they use to put the snippet together at the end. Paula and Randy normally do not watch, but Simon watches from a tv in his dressing room.

Posted by: Jen | April 30, 2008 8:59 AM

And out of 10,000+ auditions - THESE are the BEST? David A. is all set for a Disney job...but in the chorus...and in a costume.

Posted by: Walt | April 30, 2008 9:02 AM

Baby Elmo's 'Sweet Caroline' and Nanny Brooke's 'I'm a Believer' are two of the worst things I've ever heard on Idol. Had these been their initial auditions we would not be watching them now.

Posted by: jmom | April 30, 2008 9:13 AM

Sad...Sad..Sad...Pitifully sad.I have lost all interest in this show.Paula,someone needs to intervene.Has anyone seen her hanging out with space cadet ?

Posted by: I love Pookie | April 30, 2008 9:16 AM

I maliciously said last week that we should keep Paula because of the entertainment she supplies when she flubs. Well I will admit I am wrong. Last night was embarrassingly painful to watch for her. I feel completely sorry for her. I hope she gets help. I noticed that Simon must have felt the same otherwise he would have said something stinging and disrespectful as he usually does. Maybe it was the time constraint.
Agree with most of the bloggers. Jason was horrible. Brooke was a disaster on "I'm a Believer". I truly think I could have done a better job on that one and trust me, you do not want to hear me sing. Baby Elmo, the Boy Wonder, both songs were terrible. David Cook was excellent per usual, the second better than the first. Sayesha I would say was second best last night but I worry Simon was right. Tried to vote for her to save her (first time I ever tried to vote--not that my one vote would matter) but couldn't get through. Its not that important that I sit there for longer than 5min trying. Oh well, see ya Sayesha. We will definitely miss you when we have to endure Jason and Brooke and gak! Baby Elmo, next week.

Posted by: hodie | April 30, 2008 9:31 AM

David A's gonna be great in dinner theater as a singing waiter serving a tray of hors d'oeuvres...

Posted by: Rob Iola | April 30, 2008 9:33 AM

"I agree with Babs. These finalists are the worst."

I have two words for you: Jasmine Trias

Posted by: Raysmom | April 30, 2008 9:39 AM

Last night clinched it for me-Syesha is my favorite. Which means she'll definitely be voted off tonight.

Her performances weren't that great, but I pretty much wanted to shoot myself during the rest of the performances. Brooke looks like a muppet with her facial expressions, and what the hell was with the pants?? Yack!

Paula, honey. Lay off the vicodin as soon as possible.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | April 30, 2008 9:41 AM

Can someone please explain the extreme popularity of David Archuleta? Is it all based on votes of pre-pubescent girls? The guy has absolutley no stage presence. His "Sweet Caroline" seemed fit for Disney World.

Posted by: Joe | April 30, 2008 9:46 AM

Archuleta was a disaster on "Sweet Caroline". What should be a fun and rousing romp of a song was emasculated by his disneyesque "interpretation". Brooke ruined "I'm a Believer" - another song that should be fun to sing and to listen to - and it wasn't. At least she (somewhat) redeemed herself with her second song.

Agree that Castro should go, but Archuleta needs to stop reading his press clippings. He actually has a voice, but is embarrassing himself with his interpretation of songs. Maybe it is his "handlers", but he is being led down the wrong path to success - watered down, disneyfied, crust removed from the PB & J -where is his "edge", his "personality", is he completely manufactured? It seems like it!

Posted by: rammy | April 30, 2008 9:48 AM

What I wouldn't have given to see Brooke forget the lyrics to "I Am, I Said" and, even more deliciously, forced to consult the notes she cribbed onto her hand -- while she's playing the piano!

Posted by: JD | April 30, 2008 9:50 AM

I totally agree with many of the posters - yes, either Jason or Brooke need to go. They were horrible last night - especially Jason. I lost a great deal of interest after Carly was booted and, after last night's pretty much disaster show, squarely blamed the judges that picked Brooke and Jason to be on AI in the first place.

Posted by: WI | April 30, 2008 10:01 AM

Why would Brooke write lyrics on the PALM of her hand while playing the piano? Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!

Posted by: Sharon | April 30, 2008 10:04 AM

Syesha was clearly the best last night, but I have to say this is the worst top five idol has had thus far. I cannot believe these kids were hyped as being the best idol group ever. Maybe everyone involved with idol is drinking out of Paula's cup!

Posted by: Cdevil | April 30, 2008 10:07 AM

Was it just my imagination, or did David Archuleta's voice totally crack while he sang America? I was so surprised that none of the judges mentioned it!

Posted by: Amanda | April 30, 2008 10:07 AM

Jason seems like he can't be bothered and should go sing at Starbucks
Sayesha sings fine but I'd rather hear her than see her..she comes off phoney
Cook was decent but his voice can get annoying after a while
Brooke was embarrasing on IAB and average on her 2nd song
David A was fun and entertaining and his voice is beautiful even singing corny songs.

Posted by: Evelyn | April 30, 2008 10:15 AM

Conspiracy Theorist (aka EW's Michael Slezak) need to take a nice relaxing sip from Paula's cup. If this season has shown anything it's that terrible flubs (Kristy Lee Cook's 8 days... Archuleta's first lyrical meltdown, Brooke's good morning dancing) have been immediately addressed by the judges. And while Paula's extremely uncomfortable prereview of Castro might seem like she was reading notes from producers/dress rehearsel that does not suggest that the previous commentary of the season was prompted.

Two things about last night. For everyone complaining about how bad the top 5 finalist are and how poorly they did- it was Neil Diamond night. if anyone has seen Saving Silverman, the post cold war world has not been good to his songs. They're cheesy and slightly ridiculous.

The other thing: Ryan Seacrest is a wonderful (albeit intensely tooly) but wonderful host. Like a chipper drill sergeant.

Posted by: Repricer | April 30, 2008 10:31 AM

The judges keep asking Jason to knock their socks off, and he just isn't CAPABLE of that. He's like Sanjaya in the sense that he has a gentle voice. Pleasant, but it seems Jason simply can't do any pyrotechnics with his vocals.

I fail to grasp why the judges are gaga over David A. He can sing, but to me all his songs are just a blur - nothing stands out as memorable. He's just disgustingly wholesome. I hope when he's older and gets away from the clutches of his stage dad that he gets a chance to figure out who he is. Right now, I see him as cruise ship singer material.

I predict Syesha will go, not for any good reason, but because she was barefoot and there was never any explanation. I predict that the voters will perceive that as some kind of disrespect or as an overly casual attitude toward the 'sanctity' of AI. Remember last season the Asian contestant who Simon sniped at because he didn't like wearing shoes?

David C. should win based on stage presence, ability and talent, but I hope that he doesn't because I think his career will go forward regardless and if he doesn't win AI, then he won't be locked into putting out the obligatory treacle AI power ballad as his first single.

Brooke. Has more of a vocal range than I thought, but still, compare her to - oh I don't know - Kelly Clarkson or Fantasia Barrino. THIS is supposed to be the best female singer out of 100,000s of contestants? She needs to work on her stage presence, and she needs to get to where she connects the words of the song with the emotions they convey. I don't know if she has the emotional depth of an artist: everything she does just is "pretty and nice." She needs some edge to her, some soul. I don't understand what motivates her to want to perform. It just seems like a trained seal act.

Posted by: NW DC | April 30, 2008 10:41 AM

I just wanna b**chslap Brooke from here to next week. That girl's got some mouth on her, and really, she should stick to coffeehouse performances. Neither Jason nor David A have shown ANY versatility whatsoever this year. They both sound the same week in and week out. Makes me miss the likes of David H and Chakieze. I'd hate to see the curse of "winning" slapped on David C as I think he's better than all this, and Syesha should find her way On Broadway. Worst. Season. Ever.

Posted by: cxj | April 30, 2008 10:57 AM

The waving hands -- please, AI, make them stop! I have to look away from the television when there is a shot that largely features the waving hands. As someone else has pointed out, they don't wave in the same direction. Nor do they all wave on the beat. In addition, they tend to wave double-time, even on the slow ballads. I could even tolerate a slow wave -- a sort of dreamy half-time wave -- on the ballads. But no matter now legato a singer is singing, they do their back-and-forth in sort of quick-time/double-time -- kind of like a ballet dancer breaking into an Irish jig in the middle of a slow section of "Swan Lake," and not even doing the jig on the beat. I think if I were one of the
singers, I would find it quite distracting to have those girls waving in all directions in my face -- especially when the singer is sitting on the stage. I wish they would stop that!

Posted by: abigail | April 30, 2008 11:00 AM

Show stunk. Singers stunk. Randy beyond useless. Paula interesting only when wasted like the girls on Spring Break DVDs. Simon clearly bored. Jason wants off. David A ugly and vapid. Brooke condescending. Syesha pretty and dull. David C out of place. Train wreck and ratings falling.

TIVO to avoid commercials and myriad sponsor segments. 5-minute show -- tops.

Isn't it time for someone to tell Lisa she hates Idol and should be writing positive pieces about important TV?

Posted by: Doorknob | April 30, 2008 11:01 AM

REPLACE PAULA WITH ALW!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Raquel | April 30, 2008 11:18 AM

"Isn't it time for someone to tell Lisa she hates Idol and should be writing positive pieces about important TV?"

=========================

Important TV? Well now kids, that's today's lesson in oxymorons.

Posted by: yeah, right ... | April 30, 2008 11:30 AM

When you're actually hoping the HooteNanny WILL forget the lyrics just to spare you a few moments of discordant noise - you know the show has officially jumped the shark.

For me, the only saving grace was Paula's diabolical flub. I was still chuckling about it this morning. Yes - it was all so awful it was like deja vu all over again!

Who would I rather be seeing/hearing at this point? I'd keep David C. but immediately substitute for the other 4 - Michael Johns, Carly Smithson, Chikeze - and heck - even Kristy Lee Cook.

The only thing that will now save this awful fare is the actual gong from the Gong Show.

I will say one thing surprised me: the orchestration on "September Morn" was truly beautiful. Just too bad there wasn't someone singing it who could actually sing.

Posted by: Jean | April 30, 2008 11:42 AM

When Brooke sang IAB, spouse and dog danced around the room as per the closing song in Shrek 1. Could she be Theona in disguise?

None of the singers (save maybe David C) has the voice depth that Neil Diamond has.

At least David A picked songs with a faster tempo than his usual ballads.

Wished DC had sung familiar songs.

Brooke's a twit - b**chslap - LMAO - and Jason's a mumbling stoner. Bye bye soon, PLEASE!

Syesha looked great and sang well. She and DC did the best.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | April 30, 2008 11:52 AM

I was disappointed that no one sang "Turn On Your Heart Light," the song from E.T. Maybe that's what Neil himself will sing tonight.

Posted by: Tom T. | April 30, 2008 11:55 AM

Yes the show was terrible.

I can't blame Paula for her flub, I was confused too. Tuned in after show had started, when Brooke was saying she would sing two songs -- thought it meant back to back. Then I got bored with everyone's songs and didn't watch more than a few seconds of each performance. So for all I knew they had sang two songs lol. Though it was only 8:30 after the first round which meant another half hour, which kinda clued me in.

But if they explained it in the beginning then Paula needs to stop sipping on that 'Coke.'

And I admit, all of Neil's songs sound the same to me so I could've been easily convinced they had sang two in one performance...

Posted by: vw | April 30, 2008 11:56 AM

Darn, I missed this week due to car-related drama, and forgot to Tivo it. Sounds like I missed a Doozy. Oh well.

FWIW, DialIdol has Nanny Cry Cry and Dr. Cuddy as the bottom two with Syesha and David C. safe. Again, FWIW, but the only time they were way off was when KLC got the (cowgirl) boot.

Posted by: Duffman | April 30, 2008 11:56 AM

Take Paula off??? Are you crazy?

TOP 5 Reasons to Watch American Idol

5) Still waiting for the off chance someone will sing a Smiths tune.

4) Drinking games: ie a take a shot every time there is a shameless plug

3) Simon's dead on commentary

2) What will Paula do next? Everyone loves watching a train wreck right?

1) Pookies Blog (really the only reason, but I had to think of 5).

Posted by: Ed | April 30, 2008 11:59 AM

LOL Jean! I can see it now....Simon trying to GONG a contestant and Paula and Randy trying to wrestle the hammer from him. Again we show our age....

Posted by: hodie | April 30, 2008 12:09 PM

Agree with so much posted. Neil Diamond was a useless mentor and his music (or at least that performed last night) HAS NOT stood the test of time. My DVR made it bearable to fast forward. Simply could not believe that Brooke and Jason could be SO AWFUL. And David A., too - completely forgettable and cruise ship. He has a nice voice, but you wouldn't know it last night with his warbling destruction of "Sweet Caroline" (a fun oldie) and cheesy singing of "America" (a cheesy song which requires a big, bold, deeper voice to make remotely okay). It was so manipulative, and I LOL at Simon's calling it a "smart choice" not because he liked it, but he recognized the exploitation.

Big surprise: Check out DialIdol.com which has them ranked: 1-Syesha, 2-David C., 3-David. 1, 4- Jason, and 5- Brooke. I thought Carly's base would break for David C. and Syesha, which may help explain some of it. Maybe fresh viewers w/o favorites, watched for first time and gagged WTF over the bottom 3. Tonight should be VERY INTERESTING.

Something is seriously wrong with Paula. She is more than a ditz. People with alcohol and/or drug problems usually exhibit problems with concentration and disorganized thinking. She reminds me of a relative who is alcoholic. Not falling down drunk, just incapable of focus. Anyone else tired of seeing her standing up and dancing to some of idolettes' singing? I think it is disrespectful, unprofessional, and exhibitionist. It is time for her to go - she is an embarrassing joke in every way.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 30, 2008 12:09 PM

Nanny looked like she was just trying not to drop the guitar. She is just so annoying. Even before she opens her mouth. Changing the lyrics was so stupid. She's making me embarrassed to be from Arizona.

David C. is definitely the best of who's left, but I still don't like him much. He'd be a better voice on the radio than someone I have to look at on TV. The combover just ain't working for me.

David A. needs to just go away for about 10 years, If he sticks around now, he'll just end up one of those guys who nobody takes seriously, because he'll be a has been former teen singer. I bet if he went away, experienced some life away from daddy, gets a clue about what music is relevant to this century, etc., by his late 20s he could come back and do something impressive. He should go hang with the Spears sisters for a while or something in the meantime.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 30, 2008 12:09 PM

friends and i watched this on DVR last night - no one else seems to have noticed that at one point, paula called syesha "brooke" (at the very very start of one of her critiques) ... it was quick, but we rewound the video several times and she definitely used the wrong name.

whoops.

Posted by: ffx | April 30, 2008 12:13 PM

just please, whomever gets booted, don't make them sing both songs!!!

Posted by: hodie | April 30, 2008 12:26 PM

Lisa, you buried the lead! Who cares about how badly the Idolettes damaged those innocent Neil Diamond songs? You've got to check into Paula's mental state. Apparently, she's having an acid kick-back from the 60s, and is seeing things that aren't there, like that second set of songs. Maybe she was just dreaming she didn't have to sit there and listen to it all. Maybe Paula's mind works like Tivo, and she was just fast-forwarding through the bad stuff.

Posted by: chick | April 30, 2008 12:31 PM

Clearly the judges had discussed earlier who they would pump up, so Paula had her lines ready, she just wasn't prepared for the unexpected extra minute of time that Seacrest needed to fill in the first half of the show. Conspiracy alert!

Aimed at Jason, who, I can't help it!, he's my favorite. I LIKE his soft voice and delivery.

Archuleta is sooooo boring! Gak!!

Syesha has never worn shoes, as far as I can tell, surprised you haven't noticed earlier. Remember, when she climbed off the piano? Was that last week? Geez, I am almost as blurry as Paula. Oh wait, that's not possible.

Posted by: Ellen705 | April 30, 2008 12:36 PM

Lisa,

You finally hit it. Archuletta SOUNDS THE SAME NO MATTER WHAT HE SINGS. He has NO range. That is all.

Posted by: Final, LY | April 30, 2008 12:39 PM

If the polls are right, then Simon did Syesha a big favor by predicting her doom.

Posted by: Doorknob | April 30, 2008 12:40 PM

If Brooke is Nanny and Archuletta is Baby Elmo, why isn't Jason at least Dreadlock Boy? Why the sarcastic names for just two of the contestants? Let's see, what could we call David Cook and Syesha Mercado? Hmmm. And David Archuletta HAS great range and will beat the other David. No doubt.

Posted by: utebear@verizon.net | April 30, 2008 1:09 PM

If Brooke is Nanny and Archuletta is Baby Elmo, why isn't Jason at least Dreadlock Boy? Why the sarcastic names for just two of the contestants? Let's see, what could we call David Cook and Syesha Mercado? Hmmm. And David Archuletta HAS great range and will beat the other David. No doubt.

Posted by: utebear@verizon.net | April 30, 2008 1:10 PM

utebear, most everyone has had a nickname. David C was the coronor munchkin referring back to his inital hairdoo and weird wardrobe. Jason was Pull Off Dreds, Brooke has had many names, I don't think Sayesha has ever had one.... Can anyone remember?

Posted by: hodie | April 30, 2008 1:21 PM

I forgot to mention this, but it deserves its own standalone rant.

Those DAMN mosh-pit, hand-waving girls.

Idol producers are apparently conducting surveys to determine why ratings are down this year. Producers, if you surf this blog, hear me now: you have got to make the overhead hand-wave GO AWAY AND NEVER COME BACK.

A.) It blocks the cameramen who are shooting from the audience. I got a chuckle last night when they abruptly switched from "behind mosh pit" to "overhead" view -- you could practically hear the cameraman losing it with the exec producer in the control room about how he was fed up trying to get good coverage from the floor and was going to shut his camera off and head straight to the pub.
B.) It is hugely distracting.
C.) It is disconcerting to see (presumably) teenage girls doing this - showing this level of adulation - for unproven, uneven talent. In other words, I don't think the Idolettes are mosh-pit worthy.

If AI keeps the mosh pit, then I say hand all the little tweeners the Bic lighters, rocket launchers, high-powered water guns, tomatoes, you name it, at least THAT would be interesting to watch.

Posted by: NW DC | April 30, 2008 1:23 PM

Perhaps this explains Paula's stranger-than-usual behavior last night - she's in mourning ...

(from Yahoo! News): Albert Hofmann, the father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery inspired -- and arguably corrupted -- millions in the 1960s hippie generation, has died. He was 102.

Posted by: jpstang | April 30, 2008 1:37 PM

utebear, you can't have forgotten David C as "Coroner Munchkin"! although the improved comb-over would now upgrade him somewhat, say, to "CSI Munchkin" (imagine him with the shades from that *other* David C). Jason Castro has the sweet blue-eyed stoner vibe down pat; it just doesn't condense easily into a name. Syesha hasn't exhibited sufficient personality to warrant her own nickname.

Posted by: aafci | April 30, 2008 1:50 PM

Man! such a cacophany of comments for a show that many wrote has jumped the shark.

Nothing left to say about Paula. I don't care (if) the songs were/are taped ahead -- regardless, whatever, there is NO excuse, production or editing wise for Paula's moronic comment. She should donate her judge's salary to Idols Give Back to make amends to the show.

David C's second song could be a movie track for Kate Hudon's next flick. Great! Syesha was terrific. My girl clicked again (see: ALW-night also)-- only to see her get the most unjust boot tonight because Simon can't/won't endorse her, and Randy is skewing everybody's vote that she is only worthy of Broadway. No way. She can headline a concert AI style. Watching David A is like looking at a Hoover upright stand still for two minutes. Maybe Jason can carry a tune but so can an iPod. He is irrelevant. His ignorant comments to the mentors and about music in general don't begin to warrant his continuance. And Brookie? I was once in her camp very early on but not for a while. Her two songs were derivitive and too safe, and ultimately boring and of no consequence.

Jason and Brooke in B2.
Smiley Gator -- wish he would go to.
David C and Syesha deserve to stay safe until the final.

Posted by: RedRocket | April 30, 2008 2:19 PM

Ellen705: Jason is your favorite? I can't even comment. Wait, yes I can. Wow. The guy can't sing - this is a singing contest. Or, it's supposed to be. Maybe they should have a TV show for popularity and the idiots that vote for no-talent singers can vote their tiny little heads off. Not that I like nasties but AI is supposed to be a talent show for those that can actually sing. Makes me sad that's not the case anymore or, at least this season.

Posted by: WI | April 30, 2008 2:21 PM

I liked Jason's song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". But, he's gone downhill from there, in my opinion. He seems like he doesn't care if he wins or not. After Paula's comments about his last song before he sang it, I don't think he put his heart into it. He had already been criticized for it anyway. He's not my favorite but I think it will be a shame if he leaves tonight after Paula's goof. I think Brooke should leave.

Posted by: Doris | April 30, 2008 3:14 PM

In defense of Paula - I think most of the tunes were so awful she probably did feel she had been forced to listen to them . . . twice.

Hodie - you are right on. Don't torture the rest of us with that "treat" tonight. Pleaaaase!

Posted by: Jean | April 30, 2008 3:22 PM

Red Rocket - I completely agree with you. I was not an early fan of either D.C. or Syesha, but they have won me over with their consistency of talent and style. They are the only ones now who have any professionalism or poise. The other 3 are sooo amateurish that it's become embarrassing to watch or listen to them sing or speak in interviews. Syesha and Dave Cook can play a state. The other three belong in small coffee houses, high school auditoriums, or amusement park stages (Disneyesque indeed).

Posted by: Idle fan | April 30, 2008 3:23 PM

When Brooke sang her second song, I was changing the toilet paper on the little TP holder thingy, and we still had about 25% of a roll left.

I wish I had vacummed the crumbs out of my toaster during Castro's "Forever in Blue Jeans"

Posted by: Charmin | April 30, 2008 3:32 PM

You hit it, WI, it is sooo not *just* a singing contest, so we don't need to be righteous about that. And I never vote. Except for on this blog.

I like Jason cuz I like emo-alternative shoe-gazing music. I couldn't recognize a Mariah Carey song (even after watching her on the show!), so I am immune to the corporate-pop, cruise-ship stuff. Rather, the busking-at-the-beach-bonfire sound appeals. Or the rocker dudes, if I have to.

Jason sang the Lovin' Spoonful song the first night and I've been with him ever since. I actually liked the way he did the Cats song. (I know, I know.)

So he's not a no-talent, he just isn't defined by the AI standard. Yet he remains. What will he be defined by? Who knows. Does he write his own stuff? Does he play with a band? He's kind of a mystery.

Now, the dreads are annoying. Thought the stylists would have cut them off by now. That could really increase his popularity. He'd look even more charming than he already does, happy-go -lucky smiley guy that he is. So much more appealing to me than the angst-ridden Baby Elmo.

I really don't have anything invested in it. It's just a fun show to watch. And talk about. I think one of the girls goes again tonight.

Posted by: Ellen705 | April 30, 2008 6:46 PM

Idle Fan: thanks for the props. You stated it eloquently -- about D.C's and Syesha (The Teflon finalist) Mercado's professionalism and poise. That is the most appropriate description that sets them apart. That and the fact that they put some thought into their outfits (and Sy's hair, etc.) to at least LOOK the part of AI. Jason "one pair of jeans" Castro and David "must wear jacket -- shops at Gap" Archuleta should take a hint.

Charmin: I like your idea of housework! I'll ask my wife and kids to consider it should JC or Brookie survive til next week. But r-e-a-l-l-y! One of them must GO! Above all, I hope Syesha is rewarded for her effort. Simon needs to eat his words. He refuses to ever say something like "that should get you thru to the next round" to her. What is his bias?

Posted by: RedRocket | April 30, 2008 7:04 PM

"Brooke looks like a muppet with her facial expressions..."

AsinMoCo, you are so right! Her exaggeratedly heartbroken, traumatized "sad" face has been annoying the heck out of me from Day 1, and I just realized why when you said that--it's such a ridiculously unnatural, comic expression--like a muppet's! @_@; I mean, is this woman for real? Yeah, life is hard and all that, but if she has to sob for the constant tragedy of it all, at least maintain a stiff upper lip for when you're on national television, for god's sake! @_@;;; I feel both embarrassed for her with that ridiculous expression on and annoyed--please, if you're a nanny, don't be a crybaby yourself! (and pleeeease let her leave the show already! She's turning it from a fun event to a freaking funeral!!)

Posted by: Cy | April 30, 2008 8:47 PM

Maybe it says more about my tastes than I'd like known, but I was kinda hoping someone (preferably Coroner Munchkin) would do "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show." Yeah, yeah, I know. But it could have been unabashedly Cheez-Whizzy guilty-pleasure-ish. Kinda like "American Awful" itself.

Posted by: Sam | April 30, 2008 9:18 PM

Okay - yay! BaNanny is gone, though I did kind of feel sorry for her. She's a good lounge singer, but that's it.

I loved Jason's Memories; and I liked him on Rainbow and both ND songs. Look, you can't look at him when he's singing. You have to close your eyes and just listen to his sweet voice. I'd buy a Jason Blue-Eyes CD. But he shouldn't be a finalist.

Love David Cook. Would definitely buy his CD. And I don't know what Pookie has against him. He's got a brother dying from cancer, he tries to be polite to the judges and thank them, and when they're mean to him he seems genuinely upset. What's wrong with acknowledging his fans, for heaven's sake?

Like Syesha a lot. She's a totally different style, obviously, but she's got personality. Would be great on stage. I'd buy a ticket to see her on some Broadway show, not sure if I'd buy her CD.

David A -- have NEVER liked him. Pookie initially thought he was the presumptive winner, and I'm glad that's over with. Way too much Aww-shucks-golly-gee poop on stage, all songs sound exactly alike, and now Simon is finally on to his boring presentation and conniving presence.

I'm surprised to hear myself type it, but I think it might be David C and Syesha as the final two. If not, then I predict David C will get dumped next week (which will be VERY good for him, and he'll need to immediately hook up with Rocker Boy from two seasons ago).

How putrid would it be to see David A and Jason in the final two. Then the show really would jump the shark.

One last thing -- why does everyone think the show is going downhill? Yeah, their ratings are down, but so are ALL broadcast shows, partly because of the strike. They're #1 in the ratings each week, so I don't know why the producers would screw around with the format.

Though I agree that dropping all those weeks of auditions would not be a bad thing.

Cheers!

Posted by: Lane | May 1, 2008 12:24 AM

well... its all very hard to digest... now that carly and brooke and chickeze are gone...

i disagree that this is the worst season ever... but neil diamond was the worst choice of songwriter ever... none of these contestants was alive when the last of his songs was a hit...

i want jason castro to GO AWAY... i despise his baby emo sctick

which probably means he'll win...

david cook just scares me... i can't look at him... dunno how anyone finds him attractive...

but have to give him props for turning all of his performances into songs that would sell today...

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