"American Idol": The Guys Have It

In a suspicious show of collegiality and generosity, our real TV columnist once again has given the keys to "American Idol" blogdom this week to Tamara Jones, auxiliary backup Designated Idol Watcher.

Yep, Simon and Randy were right all along: These girls are no Mariah Carey.

The boys are.

With the herd culled to seven Idolettes, the guys may be outnumbered now but they aren't about to be outsung as the five-time Grammy winner stops by to play guest mentor on "American Idol."

The pop diva brings along her little white dog, and apparently the two of them have divvied up the coaching tasks, which would explain some of the yelping and howling during the ladies' numbers.

David Archuleta launches the Mariah tribute with "When You Believe," a duet that sadly does not come with Whitney Houston singing her half. Baby Elmo does his usual professional job and the judges offer their usual pats on the head. We can't help but notice that Baby Elmo and judge Paula Abdul appear to be wearing the same peach lip gloss.

Judge Simon Cowell boasts that "I had a Number One with that record at Christmastime in the U.K.," and we make a note to search iTunes later. Simon singing? We could've sworn Alvin and the Chipmunks broke up years ago!

While Simon continues to sip from Paula's magic Coke cup, Carly Smithson gives us our own rush when she appears with actual sleeves on a not-ugly dress. Spared the distraction of the tattoo mural known as her right arm, we can focus entirely on Carly's performance of "I Can't Live (If Living Is Without You)."

Judge Randy Jackson thinks the middle "power parts" are cool, but her low notes are too "loosey-goosey." Paula likes Carly's restraint, and Simon doesn't think she pulled it off.

Our advice is to get rid of the sleeves again and wait for "Memento: The Musical" to debut on Broadway.

Syesha Mercado takes on a song Mariah wrote as a teenager, called "Vanishing," which should have been her fate weeks ago. Is she mocking us? Since no one is likely to recognize the song, who knows whether she mangled it?

Paula thinks it was smart and "unbelievably magical for you," and Simon decides it was "technically very, very good," but what does he know, he's a singing chipmunk.

Brooke White, the nanny whose spoonfuls of sugar never help the medicine go down, tries to lock-in some pity points by revealing she had to miss her sister's wedding last weekend and it made her cry. She's wearing a sparkly dove-gray dress, and we're tempted to throw in some free pretty points, too. But then she starts singing "Hero," and somewhere in the Arizona desert, a pack of coyotes is answering back.

Simon compares her performance to ordering a hamburger and "only getting the bun," and Randy interrupts to say there was meat in the bun but "no condiments, no mustard and mayo," and Paula talks over him to point out Brooke and host Ryan Seacrest "look great together on stage right now."

We're alarmed that Paula is the only one who has just made actual sense, and fret that we may be missing a pickle of our own by now.

Mariah Carey, who manages to exude both sincerity and class, offers each Idolette a bit of actual coaching instead of mere hugs, and we're admittedly excited that a Moment is going to occur when she tells pony pawner Kristy Lee Cook that her version of "Forever" is better than her own and gave her goosebumps. In case anyone missed that on the video clip, Kristy Lee helpfully repeats the praise in her own video-clip interview.

Randy quickly rains on that little parade by harrumphing that he didn't think it was amazing. Paula is blown away, and Simon says Kristy Lee was whiny and didn't give him chills.

David Cook wows Mariah with his "pretty and haunting" take on "Always Be My Baby," which proves to be an understatement. David C. is looking and sounding more and more like a possible hit-maker.

Randy declares him ready to make an album, and lumbers to his feet to offer his first standing ovation of the season, an act so momentous, evidently, that it requires an announcement first, which sort of defeats the whole spontaneous, blown-away effect of a standing O.

Paula runs her giraffe tongue across her lips in a disturbing way, and says, "you're it, you're it!" with the kind of conviction that suggests it's time for David C. to get a new cellphone number.

Simon declares that "this is sort of like coming out of karaoke hell into a breath of fresh air," and praises David C. for being daring: "You stood out by a mile."

Jason Castro wraps up the evening with "I Don't Wanna Cry," which may be a not-so-subliminal message for voters likely to put him in the bottom three again tonight.

Randy thinks it sounded like "some weird beach luau with someone playing music in the distance." Paula disagrees, and Simon sides with her.

"The guys completely won the night," Simon says.

Theodore and Alvin couldn't agree more.

One of the remaining Idolettes has got to go tonight. Who do you think will be eliminated?

David Archuleta
Jason Castro
David Cook
Kristy Lee Cook
Syesha Mercado
Carly Smithson
Brooke White

By Lisa de Moraes  |  April 16, 2008; 8:15 AM ET "American Idol"
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Comments

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Brooke White should be the one to go based strictly on the performances from last night. I would say in general the three guys were better than the four girls although I don't think Carly's was as bad as the judges seemed to think.

Posted by: Babs | April 16, 2008 8:33 AM

It's "Without You," not "I Can't Live..."

Written by Badfinger, made famous by Harry Nilsson, covered by just about everybody before and after Mariah.

Posted by: mark | April 16, 2008 8:38 AM

Who should go tonight? Carly, Syesha, Brooke, take your pick.

Carly - When she started singing I thought, ok here is the perfect song for her to hit one out of the park. But what does she do? She screws with the melody and made me go WTF.

Syesha - Did she sing, I've already forgotten. Cute woman, nice voice, completely forgettable singer.

Brooke - Didn't have the voice for any Marah song and probably did as well as she possibly could have. You always know what she's going to do, some folksed down version of whatever she is singing. Don't know if she's going home but she sure isn't winning this thing.

Kristy - Am I the only one who thought she was clearly the best last night? It was definitely her best week in my opinion. It must sound a whole lot different in the theater because I though she sounded good and was really surprised that Randy and Simon talked her performance down.

David A - Same old, same old. You're always going to get a good ballad out of him, but would you pay to see him sing? Unless your a teenage girl, I don't think so. Showed his age and maturity because he was the only one who tried some of that stupid Marah falsetto crap she ruins each of her songs with. All the other contestants were smart and confident enough not to even try that stuff.

David C - One of my favorites since the beginning (except for last week's disaster). Good but not great. I didn't get why the judges almost peed themselves over this performance. It really must sound different live.

Jason - Same old, same old. One trick pony. Does a good job with what he has but I don't think he's going to win this thing either.

Final two will probably be David A and David C. It would probably be better for all concerned if David A wins since winning AI would actually lose David C some credibility and would give the powers that be too much control over his first album which they'd probably screw up like Bo's. With David A. they'll probably get his first album right and have a bunch of teenybopper crooning tracks.

Posted by: Ron | April 16, 2008 9:09 AM

My thoughts:

1. David A was fine. I was already bored of him a while ago, but now I'm starting to get annoyed. He sings the "Same Song" every week - a slow ballad that no one has ever heard of that is technically proficient but easily forgettable. He's a 40 year old easy listening singer trapped in a 17 year old boy's body.

2. I was all excited when I heard Carly was going to sing this song...until she actually started singing it. Kelly Clarkson did this song in season 1, and it (no surprise) blew Carly's version out of the water. The "Power" parts weren't even that great; and the slow, low parts were cringe-worthy. I think it was telling that halfway through the show I had already forgotten who had gone 2nd and what they sang.

3. Syesha sang her song that no one had ever heard of fine. You would think that she should be safe, but I'm not so sure. She gave the audience no reason not to vote for her, but I'm not sure that she gave them any reason to vote for her.

4. Brooke, yikes. For anyone who's wondering, this is what all of us "Brooke lacks range" people have been talking about. Even when re-arranging the song and key changing the entire thing into her range, she still couldn't pull it off.

5. KLC was another one who was "fine," she wasn't terrible, but she wasn't great. The end of the song was impressive, the chorus was good, and the verse was wobbly. I would put her in the same boat as Syesha, but think that she had a larger installed fan base to be more safe (relatively).

6. David Cook continutes to be the only person on this show who I think can have any sort of significant commercial success on the next level. His arrangement was amazing, the song was well executed, and the performance lacked any of that pretentiousness or ego he has been accused of having the last couple of weeks.

7. Jason C was also "fine." I've already forgotten what he sang. He will be safe because he in in the same boat as KLC and Syesha but has a MUCH larger fan base (I think he leeched the majority of MJ's base).

Your bottom 3: Carly, Brooke, Syesha/KLC (toss-up)

Gone: Carly 60%, Brooke 25%, Syesha 15%

Posted by: Duffman | April 16, 2008 9:20 AM

Another hilarious recap! This show can be enjoyable if you don't take it the least bit seriously.

Thanks to the demise of top 40 radio, Mariah has 18 #1 songs and the only one I knew was a cover - Without You. A number one single doesn't mean much these days since most of them never reach a mass audience. I've heard her sing before but they always sound more like vocal exercises than actual songs so they're instantly forgetable.

Mariah, Dolly, Paula - it's been "shoes" on parade the past few weeks!

Posted by: Rob | April 16, 2008 9:22 AM

"Spared the distraction of the tattoo mural known as her right arm, we can focus entirely on Carly's performance."

Really? I was blinded by the decolletage. So much for no white shoes before Memorial Day.

I don't really care anymore who wins, instead I just say a little prayer every week that Simon will tell David A. to knock it off with the faux-inspirational Disney ballads. He sounds like he's auditioning for a company that tours churches in Florida.

Posted by: Anon | April 16, 2008 10:05 AM

Like Rob said above, it has been "shoes" on parade these past few weeks. Actually thought I was at DSW what with all the shoes on display last night.

And Carly with sleeves? She wasn't half bad, but they ruined it when they showed her husband after her performance. Is it just me, or does anyone else want to play "Connect the Dots" on his face?

Posted by: jpstang | April 16, 2008 10:06 AM

Lisa we love you, but if you aren't available to write your blogs, your substitite is hilarious. I almost spit up my water laughing while reading this.

Posted by: Bonnie | April 16, 2008 10:07 AM

Is it really considered covering Mariah, if you're covering a song she covered?

Posted by: just a lurker | April 16, 2008 10:07 AM

P.S. Paula was an absolute babbling fool last night. Way worse than most show nights.

Posted by: jpstang | April 16, 2008 10:08 AM

Brooke, the nanny virgin, is in a got's-to-go situation.

Posted by: Kornheiser | April 16, 2008 10:49 AM

When will Simon quit pushing David A on us??? I've said it before and I still think he sounds as though he has phlegm stuck in his throat! Not a pleasant voice at all. He can carry a tune and he is good with interpretation but that is all I'll give him credit for. Would never buy his records.

Carly disappointed me again like she did last week. I am really sorry about this b/c she used to be one of my favorites. I think she should go home.

Syesha, agreed with Tamara, was probably coached by Mariah's pooch. Sounded like howling. I also think Mariah is coached by her pooch. Have never been a fan. Just because one can sing 5 octaves, doesn't mean one should.

Brooke's version of Hero was as Paula said an ok unplugged version and she did the most with what she could do with her very limited range. I wasn't offended by it.

Ron, I did agree with you. I actually liked KLC for the second week in a row. I also disagreed with the judges (Randy and Simon) about her last night. I hope she keeps this up. Was glad she quit with the deep knee bends.

I liked David Cook per usual but thought the song was a bit weird. Again I actually agreed with Paul (what is happening to me?) and thought the version would do well as a movie soundtrack.

Jason's song was ok, again not offended by it, but just ok. Simon apparently liked it or did he run out of time?

Everyone seemed to step it up on their appearance last night. Carly looked good. Was anyone else bothered by David A in leather pants???

Posted by: hodie | April 16, 2008 10:54 AM

Caveat: I don't particularly like Mariah's genre of trilling and singing words against the melodies of songs. Singing runs of notes is a crutch -- sing a bunch of notes and the right one must be in there somewhere. She may have 18 #1's but other than "Hero" I couldn't name them. Her singing is so much vocal exercising and showing off, and less about the songs. I wouldn't hold her songwriting ability too high either. (How many others REALLY cover her stuff?) Even "Hero" was co-written, and was also accused of being plagerized. Okay. 'nuff said. Sorry.

Simon said (and I agree) that Syesha "technically sang very, very good" with his emphasis on VERY! His rub on the song choice was just his way of nicking her like he always finds a way to do. This is a SINGING competion, right? Singing a "Mariah" song technically good should count for something. And don't tell me she "didn't connect." She deserves to stay based on the performance. What's really to criticize about that performance?

I am no doubt swimming upstream on this one based on the judges and all the lemmings following them, but I didn't like Captain Cook's song. He slurred and/or mumbled most of it. His low register was only a half-step up from his speaking voice and those wordless notes at the end did nothing for me. It was not his best (see: Bille Jean, Eleanor Rigby) so Dawg 'ought to just sit down. Is anyone else brave enough to be in this camp? But he does make one want to watch, at least.

Jason -- more whitebread and coffehouse.
Carly -- no sleeves (finally! good!) but not a great version of an endlessly covered song (not even Mariah's, BTW)
Smiley Gator - Stop! I simply can't take him 'live'. Perhaps on CD, but he is the least exciting person to watch sing. Also to watch him in converstation.
Brooke -- ugh! The cardboard cutout she supposedly ordered must've been at the piano. Her low register? Ugh! Her pacing? Ugh! She was battling the piano all song and forgetting to sing it.
Kristy -- a fine performance. I reran it to listen only, and it sounded much like a LeAnn Rimes song or such. I could easily see that song on the country charts.

B3 should be Carly, Jason and Brooke, with Brooke leaving. Safe (based on last night) should be Syesha, David C and Kristy. That leaves L'il David A on the bubble.


Posted by: RedRocket | April 16, 2008 10:54 AM

and by bothered I don't mean in a good way!

Posted by: hodie | April 16, 2008 10:56 AM

Why can't I vote at the bottom of the blog?

Posted by: Ryan | April 16, 2008 11:07 AM

Hodie - right on.
I agree -- Simon is pushing Smiley Gator on us, but I presume he sees a young fan base and many CD sales.
I agree -- my 10:54 comments reflect your same sentiment on Mariah re: the oversinging diva herself.
I agree -- too with you on David C, perhaps me more-so even than you. It WAS weird, and did not deserve the raves the judges gave it.

For all the crap Syesha took here and elsewhere for allegedly trying to duplicate Whitney and then Mariah earlier, folks ought to reflect. She was the #1 target when Mariah week was announced, but she pulled it off. Please don't dismiss that only the guys sang Mariah well last night. Syesha and Kristy both sang well.

Posted by: RedRocket | April 16, 2008 11:18 AM

I completely agree with Ron, hodie, and RedRocket about KLC and DC.

KLC was awesome last night--for two weeks in a row, not only did she pick the right song, but she really sang it well. The judges don't want to see another female as the winner so they are continuing to bash her, either that or they can't admit they were wrong about her.

I was bracing for the judges to whack all over DC. That version was very cool, but the singing quality was less then we've heard form him before. After the judges praised him, I re-watched his performance, and it did seem better on second listen, but not to the extent they praised him. But perhaps I was still mad about them not recognizing how good KLC was.

He did with that song what Tori Amos has done to some other songs. She took some stuff sung by men and when sung slower, with ominous music by a woman, you can really ere how creepy the lyrics are, the album is called "Strange Little Girls."

DC needs to wow us again with his voice AND the performance. That's what gives him the edge.

And I am standing by what I said, KLC will make it to the end.

Posted by: Sam | April 16, 2008 11:46 AM

Yes, jpstang, the shoes were on display last night. I thought I was in Corazon Aquino's closet. Unfortunately, as Lisa points out, "these girls are no Mariah Carey."

Posted by: Xopher G. | April 16, 2008 11:48 AM

I think everyone agrees, David A is not going to be a good singer, although he will probably get a lot of airplay at the assisted living centers and bingo nights.

Posted by: Ugh! | April 16, 2008 11:48 AM

I agree with Hodie about little David A's choice of wardrobe. Interesting that for all the ribbing Carly gets for her clothing nothing was said (by the judges) about David's wardrobe last night.

Syesha sang well. Both Carly and Kristi were not bad. I wouldn't be surprised if Kristi outlasted the other ladies and be the last woman standing on the show. Lets face it, she should have been gone a long time ago but smart songs choices over the past 3 weeks have kept her in the competition.

I don't think David Cook was as stellar as he has been, but he still is one of the better performers on the show.

Jason is Jason (same old same old). David A sang well enough but bored me too tears.

Brooke was just terrible last night. Go home Brooke.

Posted by: NYC | April 16, 2008 11:55 AM

To me, David A. is just so forgettable. I am sure that Mr. Record Producer is pushing him because he thinks he can make money off him - but honestly - he wouldn't have been my "type" when I was 13. Entire too "Up With People" for my taste - even way back when.

Give me a bad boy - and a 20 year advantage - and I might give David C. a run for his money. Somehow his tears were cool whereas David A. always looks as if he's about to cry BEFORE he gets "criticized".

I think it's Brooke's time. She sings too many songs off-key - and I am tired of her piano bar "stylings".

Carly looked great - well the stylists need to get hold of her hair - but couldn't deliver on the signature Mariah song. And that's a great pity.

Kristy Lee continues to show growth and a savvy that, at this point, I think should keep her in the Top 3.

Since only David A. can be imagined singing the treacly Idol theme they are bound to burden the winner with - maybe David C. should be thankful if he does NOT get stuck with it. Perhaps he'll become another in the string of runners up-more-successful-than-winners on Idol.

He has charisma - a big part of the "package". And that's a factor I largely see missing from anyone else - with the possible exception of Kristy Lee's feistiness, which has somewhat won me over. I don't think Carrie Underwood actually had so much charisma - but she proves that if you can really sing well and look good - you'll do just fine - and I think Kristy Lee is on a par with her on those scores.

Posted by: Jean | April 16, 2008 12:03 PM

Ryan - I couldn't vote either.

jpstang - connect the dots - LMAO.

Paula is a blathering idiot.

I'm surprised that there are alot of posters who agree with me re Mariah Carey. Ugh! Really not much in the way of songs to choose from.

David C is definitely growing on me, but last night wasn't great.

David A was okay.

Kristi was the best, IMHO.

Syesha was okay.

Carly's neckline went to her belly button. She's about the pastiest white girl I've ever seen. Get out of the tat parlor and get some sun! But first, go home!

BaNanny - terrible. Go home!

Jason - Doesn't he sing the same song every week? Go home!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | April 16, 2008 12:29 PM

I agree with many of previous posts.

Though I've not been a fan of KLC or Syesha, they convinced me they should stay. Smart, quality performances.

Brooke, please go now. It's so over for you.

Carly's voice is one of my favorites, but she seems suicidally incapable of using it well. Simon had it right. I did appreciate the long sleeves - she, as did all ladies looked good. I think her problem is thinking that she must have a bunch of big power sung notes to prove her ability. I like her voice (and others) best when they just sing. Otherwise it sounds like yelling to music. She so needs a vocal coach/manager.

Yes, the leather pants on David A. were weird. It's an edgy look that only works if you have a similar style and secure sexuality. DC and MJ of the guys could pull-off this look. But David A. in them is creepy - he is so androgynous. I also can't bear to watch him sing or listen to his interviews.

DC and Jason made smart vocal moves - not my favorite performances of either of them, but good enough to stay, and certainly better than last week.

I think having major artists as mentors is a problem format, because the contestants are going to be compared to them if they simply sing song or must take a huge risk if they change it for their style/range. BaNanny did the only thing she could do, but it exposed her weaknesses anyway.

It is also a disadvantage to be the same gender as the star - it seals the comparison aspect. Well, duh, you're not Mariah (or Dolly, etc.). And btw, neither am I fan of Mariah's tryout all the notes approach. 5 octaves? But are they good?


Bottom 3: Carly, Syesha, Brooke - should be Brooke going home. Syesha should stay. Given last week's surprise, it will be hard to predict, except that the bottom 3 will be all female.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 16, 2008 12:29 PM

David C. sucks -- he is WAY to studied and pretentious. He's a poor man's Eddie Vedder.

Go Brooke.

Posted by: Steve Bennett | April 16, 2008 1:05 PM

I'm picking Brooke to go home tonight, since the vote at the end of the article isn't up and running. That being said, I was not impressed by Jason or Kristy. My favorites were Carly and Dave C.

Posted by: WI | April 16, 2008 1:08 PM

I agree with most posters, particularly Idle Fan's assessment of Carly's musical-suicidal tendencies. IMHO she and Brooke are the top two losers...

I also want to note that I miss the marvelous wit of Lisa De Moraes....Tamara's writing--while entertaining--is a mere shadow of the hilarity/brilliance of LDM....

Posted by: Jules | April 16, 2008 1:34 PM

I thought Jason and KLC were the best and most enjoyable last night. Little David Avocado sang nicely and was boring as usual. Admittedly a minority view, but I didn't think David Cook sang well at all. Syesha OK but so forgettable I've already forgotten her performance. Carly was mediocre and in the "death" position, singing early (second) after teeny David Avocado. Mariah Carey Week was destined to be BaNanny's Waterloo. Maybe her fan base will allow her to skate by as the Bottom Two survivor , and live to sing better another day.

SHOULD be Bottom 3: 3. Syesha, 2. Carly, 1. Brooke (eliminated)

WILL be Bottom 3: 3. Syesha, 2. Brooke, 1. Carly (eliminated)

Posted by: Christin | April 16, 2008 1:46 PM

Wow...a lot of my thoughts are already posted above. But here are my 3 cent ramblings (gas surcharge added):

David A--does anyone else think that voice sounds like a teenage Bryan Adams? I know that he sings the same thing every week, but he's clearly a much better singer AND performer than the women, so he deserves to stay.

Carly--ok, as the best vocalist amongst the women, she should have been able to kill this week, but again, a mediocre performance. I agree with Idol fan that she so definitely needs a vocal coach/manager to help her with song choice and arrangements. And when they flashed her hubby on the screen, I thought that he looked like he was a guest star on "Charmed" So that makes her the Mrs. Balthazar?

Sayesha--one of her better performances because, as has been noted, no one knew the song well enough to know if she did a pale imitation of the original. MomWannaBe likes her because she knows very few of the originals that Sayesha is covering. I definitely think that big-diva songs that no one knows is where she needs to stay.

Brooke--Nanny nanny cry cry definitely needs to go. I understand her coffee shop singer-songwriter stylings, but this week showed how weak her singing voice is and she just couldn't cover it up. And as much as people are complaining about everything the Boy Wonder singing sounding the same, same goes for Nanny nanny cry cry. Her schtick is definitely old and her time has come.

Kristy Lee--Well, three good song choices in a row should save her. She's the Kellie Pickler of this year, attractive non-descript unmemorable wedding singer (although country instead of pop). Except for the two Beatles weeks, never bad enough to get eliminated, but not good enough to be appreciated. She did save herself from another visit to the bottom-3, IMHO.

David C--not my style, but I definitely appreciate his style and originality. He's a rocker, but he isn't just going for "same old" like Michael did. He's fresh and different. I think we are headed for a David v David final but really hope that David A wins because I think that David C just needs the exposure but not the contract and he'll be another Daughtry or Clay. David A needs the handler and the AI machine. David C needs it like Kellie Pickler needs another pair of shoes.

Jason--well, I just don't get the whole Jason thing. Obviously he's got many fans, but he comes across as another Brooke. He's got style and a signature, but he's got a weak voice (relative to the top-12) and everything is starting to sound the same, like a drug induced luau. When they announced his name, I broke MomWannaBe up by saying I just didn't think I could take Mariah Carey on a ukelele.

Anyway. I agree with Red ROcket that the bottom-3 should be Jason, Carly and Brooke (eliminated).

But I expect it to be Carly, Sayesha and Brooke (eliminated).

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 16, 2008 1:47 PM

Imelda Marcos was (and still is, I think!) the Phillipine shoe hoarder.

Well, last night wasn't as bad as I thought it would be--my moniker could just as easily been the anti-Mariah. I did note, though, that almost always her advice involved adding a trill, a short run, or jumping up a few notes on the register. To me, when singers roll through run after run, I begin to suspect that they could never actually hold a note for more than two seconds. I don't think that's the case with Mariah Carey, but I think it's the case with a lot of people who try to imitate her style.

The only ouster tonight that would totally surprise me would be David C's.

Posted by: the anti-Celine | April 16, 2008 1:55 PM

thanks, anti-celine, I was a lazy googler and only went from my shaky memory of former Phillipine woman leaders.

Posted by: Xopher G. | April 16, 2008 2:27 PM

Agree with most of what has been said.

As a previous critic of Syesha's, she convinced me last nigh she should stay. She was a class act. Well sung, and very gracious. Simon was unnecessarily snipey commenting that she wisely chose a "lesser known" Mariah song. So, does this make her a coward? No, a wise performer. And besides, I don't think the voting public cares that much about familiarity, which can be a curse. Unless you are a babyboomer, you wouldn't have recognized the Beatle's "She's A Woman" either. But Chickezie saved himself on that one.

I think a lot of Mariah's fan base may now be cocooning, making babies, and singing "Twinkle, twinkle Little Star." And the many boomers, like myself, who are now watching this with our teen children, missesd the Mariah phenomenon because in 90's we were hatching chicks and humming Sesame Street when not playing the music of our youth. So her "album" is not what the judges/producers think it is in terms of impact for this show.

In addition to her terrible performance, Brooke gagged me further with the "I missed my sister's wedding" sacrifice for idol. I'm sorry, you can't tell me that she couldn't have negotiated a few hours off and a quick flight (an hour) from LA to Arizona. Easy shuttle flight or corporate jet. It actually was a missed Fox opportunity: Brooke crooning to the newlyweds at beginning of reception and then whisked off. But that would have been even more annoying than the blather we listened to.

Far more touching, and tasteful, were DC's teariness, but NO MENTION that his cancer victim brother was there to see him. Yes, there was a brief shot of him, chemo treatment-bald, clapping. But unless you read about it on the Internet, most AI voters were unaware of it. That alone boosts my opinion of DC's performance - just a bit of personal stress there.

Oh, Carly, I love your voice, but you keep failing to use it well. Happy to not have to stare at your arm mural, BUT, you managed to both over and under sing this song. However, I am not the fan that others are of it. Was it Simon that called it a bit whiney? Well, in defense of Carly and any other singer, it happens to be a VERY WHINEY song. My kids jeer at it: "EMO!"
Bottom 3 on that one.

KLC is proving herself to be the tenacious cowgirl/kickboxer of her early video interviews. She is actually much better than Kelli Pickler, and look at her current success. And KLC doesn't need new shoes - just go buy back the damn horse! She has won me over with her poise under withering criticism from the judges. Actually, she and Syesha are now the most professional about listening to the criticism. Very mature graciousness, w/o the near obsequiousness of DavidA.

And yeah, I'm troubled by the Jesus music of last week. For the record, I'm a weekly-church-going Christian, HOWEVER, I think explicitly religious music should be banned from AI. I was a little nervous about Dolly, but let it ride, because she is Dolly, though I thought it was inappropriate. But the group number last week was bizarre. I thought I had dropped into the CMA show, where this would be the norm. I think it was actually manipulative by FOX. A blatant appeal to a particular Christian audience to bring them into the show. I think it may also have been influenced by the Billy Ray/Miley Cyrus tandem who are fairly explicit about their religion. Strange too, because previous outstanding contestants (Melinda DoLittle, Mandisa come to mind) who were upfront about their faiths did not indulge in explicitly religious music.

I don't think it will necessarily become a pattern, however, David A. seems headed that way.

What's annoying too about this is that there is religiously inspired music that is fairly transcendent of particular beliefs which is popularly sung. Even music from Jesus Christ, Superstar (Andrew Lloyd Weber)falls in this category. So the Jesus music seems gratuitous to me.

Posted by: Holly | April 16, 2008 3:00 PM

I personally wonder how good the sessions really are with the mentors. I think that the clip editors really don't know much about singing based on what they seem to edit out. Either that or they prefer to make the mentors look like vacuous idiots. They spend more time showing views of the dogs, the hungs, the comments about "how adorable" or "what a nice voice" than about the actual mentoring. Over the last several seasons, there have been assorted random comments from former idolettes who talk about who was good and who was not, but we the public have very little idea based on what the editors show. I wish they'd spend 15-20 seconds of showing real mentoring (like Season 5 when they showed, David Foster mentoring Eliot Yamin).

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 16, 2008 3:05 PM

"hungs" should be "hugs"

(although clips of William Hung would probably be something these editors would like to show more than actual mentoring).

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 16, 2008 3:06 PM

Syesha will be eliminated. She is the most forgettable, although she is more talented than some of her fellow competitors.

Brooke is by far the least talented SINGER in the competition - I honestly don't know how she has made it this far. Personality? I thought American Idol was supposed to be a singing competition? She seems like a sweet person, but she is perfect proof of how this season seems to be more of a popularity contest.

Posted by: Raquel | April 16, 2008 3:06 PM

Raquel - Why did you ever think this was singing competition? Because Simon and Randy said so? It always has been more popularity than singing. If it were truly singing, then Melissa Dolittle would have won last year, and Elliot Yamin the season before, etc.

The final contestants (top 24)seem selected for a combination of talent, singing/performing potential, and MARKETABILITY. All of these are of course influenced by the target audience. Obviously, there are a lot of target audiences at work here, which have been discussed over the weeks in all of the comments.

Most of the posts, mine included, have rants over the continued presence of weaker singers, but I think we all recognize their appeal to various fan niches. I am hoping Brooke's niche will be out voted, because she has clearly exposed her limitations.

Posted by: Holly | April 16, 2008 3:18 PM

Agree with others that David C was overrated. I like what he did with the song, but it was too low for his range. Wish he'd done it in a higher key and made it less brooding & Creed-esque.

Don't care much for KLC, but she got screwed by the judges. She really stepped up and wasn't any more "pitchy" than David A, but the reviews were like night & day.

Posted by: bp | April 16, 2008 4:02 PM

Holly, very well said. Agree to a point. Although Melinda Doolittle could sing like a diva, she did not have the personality to go with it and found to be boring by AI viewers, hence her untimely demise. In the end, however the voters were right. If she had been marketable, we would still be hearing from her with a record contract.
On the other hand, the viewers were wrong in chosing Taylor Hicks who was neither that talented as a singer or marketable. Proves the popularity theory. Elliot Yamin has proved to be more marketable and even the McVee girl had more success than he. And we don't have to mention Daughtry's success. What were the viewers thinking??

Posted by: hodie | April 16, 2008 4:04 PM

I find your referral to David Archuleta's talent as Baby Elmo extremely unprofessional and childish. Obviously you could not understand or relate on how talented a young man at 17 can be. I am sure you had absolutely no talents at that age, not that you appear to have any now. Get over it folks, he is the one to beat with his vocals and youth. He did an excellent job last night. Let's leave the name calling to something a little more meaningful such as BAD written reviews. We can now start calling YOU, the CONSISTENT NO TALENT writer, LOSER WRITER, and I am sure you are a lot older than 17. No, I am not a teenager, but a mature woman who respects young talent with incredible vocal talent and new role models. I wonder what some of you will have to write about when he is the winner of 2008 American Idol? Go pick on someone your own age. Show us YOUR Talents and we can write about your lack of such soon.

Posted by: Susane | April 16, 2008 4:18 PM

Some of you are so ridiculous making fun of David Archuleta's style. He looked great last night. If you cannot bear to watch him, that is because you appear to have "issues" with young talent that is a lot more mature than you ever was probably at 17. Get over it. This young man's vocals are incredible. Go pick on someone your age. How many of you at 17 or now are this talented or even had positive goals as trying out for American Idol. Any idiot can get on these boards and write mean things about talented people. I can tell most of the name bashers are total losers with no talent to show but mean comments. go figure :)

Posted by: Adam | April 16, 2008 4:27 PM

Susane, I take you are new to this blog. Each contestant has been given nicknames. Its all in fun, get over it.

Posted by: hodie | April 16, 2008 4:27 PM

same to you Adam (see comment to Susane). Also everyone is entitled to their opinions. David A seems mostly to appeal to tweeners and the motherly. That's ok. There are some who like Brooke and Jason and others who don't. That's ok too. Baby Elmo is not a particularly bad nickname, others on this blog have had worse. His other nickname by the regular writer is actually "this year's winner". So please, lighten up.

Posted by: hodie | April 16, 2008 4:32 PM

Wow.

"Susane" and "Adam" are either the same person, come from the same Baby Elmo fan website, or are his parents. Those two posts were so consistent that they almost read like a talking points memo.

Posted by: Duffman | April 16, 2008 4:37 PM

Hey - I like David A (and I'm not a teenybopper). I could easily see him selling records (ever hear of the Jonas Brothers?). All this criticism that he just appeals to teenyboppers just makes you seem old.

Posted by: Blake Blake | April 16, 2008 5:14 PM

Although Melinda Doolittle could sing like a diva, she did not have the personality to go with it and found to be boring by AI viewers, hence her untimely demise. In the end, however the voters were right. If she had been marketable, we would still be hearing from her with a record contract.

Posted by: hodie | April 16, 2008 4:04 PM

=====

hodie,

Actually, Melinda has had a busy year. She did the AI tour, then in the fall, she participated in the Malaria No More tour and visits to Africa. In December, she joined Michael W. Smith on his Christmas tour. After the new year, she hit the studio and started recording. Her first single "My Funny Valentine" was released the week of Valentine's Day. Her album is reputed to be out around June. We'll have to wait and see how marketable she is after her album comes out. I personally think that she'll do better than Blake Lewis (his debut album released in Dec 2007 has currently sold 286K copies). We'll see if she does better than Jordan Sparks, since she has the backing of the AI machine behind her (and boy do they spend a ton of money promoting her).

All of the above info from Wikipedia. Only about 75% of it has sources, so some of it may be just conjecture.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 16, 2008 5:20 PM

Duffman, you are so correct.

Susanne/Adam - your attacks on the well-written critiques of this particular blog are out of sync with the shared discussion that has been developed over time. You (I too think you are one)write like the incoherent and outraged ranters on AOL. It is one thing to disagree with a post, but calling us talentless losers is an ad hominem attack that does nothing to further discussion.

I don't think anyone has called David A./aka Baby Elmo talentless. But we are certainly not losers for questioning his ability relative to his fellow competitors and previous contestants. And besides, you know nothing of our backgrounds because no one brags here. But it is clear that some posters have professional musical/entertainment background and/or knowledge, so be careful who you call talentless. You have no idea.

I'm glad you enjoy David A.'s singing. I'm confident he will record music, so you can look forward to that. In the meantime, I think I speak for others in saying that I don't look forward to any further comments from you. And, btw, your writing/grammar is way below par for this blog. You belong on AOL, where most sound like they never finished 8th grade.

Posted by: Holly | April 16, 2008 5:35 PM

Susanne/Adam

I smell a troll.

Posted by: Trogdor | April 16, 2008 5:57 PM

Oh snap, Holly,

Susane/Adam, or should I call you "Tootsie" - you probably don't get that.. oh well,

I offer my opinion/criticism on this blog as personal opinion, but since you decided to suggest that none of us have or know talent, I am wondering what qualifies you as an expert?

For the record (no pun intended), my father was a successful big band musician with Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. This was the music I studied. My mother was a stage actress who later worked as an assistant to a major Hollywood record producer. My siblings and I met and were subject to the music of a wide array of recording artists( country, rock, folk, ethnic,etc.)

My husband and many of our friends are well-trained, accomplished vocalists. One of our daughters(19) is currently studying musical theater in NYC, and will soon be debuting in an independent musical. Our 17 yr. old son is heading to NYC this weekend with his music group to perform.

I think have some context for judging the skill and potential for success of the AI contestants.

And btw, talent has less to do with commerical success than the marketing machine behind you - I think the bloggers here get that.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 16, 2008 5:59 PM

You said exactly what I was thinking. How dare these LdM wanna-be's ruin our salacious rants on AI!

Posted by: Thank you Holly! | April 16, 2008 5:59 PM

Tamara, I know Alvin, and Simon is no Alvin!

Posted by: Theodore | April 16, 2008 6:40 PM

Last week, the judges told Syesha to quit being Whitney/ Mariah/ Celine (can't remember which), and just be herself.

This week, she follows their advice - sings a unfamiliar song - and they criticize her for singing the unfamiliar.

In terms of voter demographics, Syesha has little competition in her niche - nobody to split votes with. She'll be around for a few more weeks, barring a disastrous performance.

Posted by: aiFan | April 16, 2008 7:31 PM

There are only 2 consistant performers in this compitition. KLC and Jason, KLC has managed each week to perform w/ the country atmosphere to it. Jason, everyone must admit, it not a rocker, screamer, I compare him to a Ricky Nelson type performer. Will always be smooth in his delivery and pleasant to the ears. I see these 2 being in the final 3.

Posted by: Rkmech11 | April 16, 2008 7:47 PM

I think that David A is going to be one of the two finalist, he's way up there, but David C is catching up, I like both of them.

Posted by: Rahzel | April 16, 2008 11:03 PM

NOT the first idol protest - LaKeisha Knight did exactly the same thing last year, and she refused to move also. I guess every year, it will be the same thing...Baby Elmo was just following.

Posted by: pwjl | April 17, 2008 8:45 AM

"Raquel - Why did you ever think this was singing competition? Because Simon and Randy said so? It always has been more popularity than singing. If it were truly singing, then Melissa Dolittle would have won last year, and Elliot Yamin the season before, etc."

Holly, you totally hit it on the head!! I 100% agree with you about Melinda and Elliot. Shameful that so much $$$$ would be spent on someone like Taylor Hicks, who has been obviously SOOOO successful. :) (kidding, of course.) I think Daughtry's success will keep someone like David C around for a while, although I think Fox will (predictably) still go for someone they can mold a little more into their money-making machine. :)

I LOVE THIS BLOG!!! :)

Posted by: Raquel | April 17, 2008 9:31 AM

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