Inspirational songs were the theme of the top eight American Idol show. I'm sure this particular theme was chosen with Idol Gives Back in mind, which airs on Wednesday night. There's an unsubstantiated rumor floating around that several of the contestants already let go will be on stage at some point during Idol Gives Back. We'll have to wait and see, but if it's true, it could be interesting.
Ryan chatted a bit about tomorrow's show, along with a reminder that the results show would air on Thursday this week, and then introduced the judges. I couldn't wait for the show to get started because the theme intrigued me. After all, what's inspirational to one person isn't necessarily inspirational to another. I was curious to hear why the contestants chose the songs they did. Of course, in pure AI style, we learned why via video before each contestant began their performance, so my curiosity was satisfied.
The first Idol on stage tonight was…
Michael Johns – "Dream On"
Michael's performance, in my opinion, was one of the top ones of the evening. It's also one of his best personal performances. I thought he did a great job with a great song. Randy said, "Pretty good song choice." Paula said, "You sound as good as you look." Simon said, "It was a pretty good performance."
Syesha Mercado – "I Believe"
Syesha's take on Fantasia's song was pretty good. Unfortunately, it was missing some of the emotion I'm used to hearing in the song. All in all, though, it was a decent performance and nothing for Syesha to feel bad about. I'm feeling she should be safe this week. Randy said, "It was just okay." Paula said, "I think hands down this is one of your shining moments." Simon said, "I think you sang it very well."
Jason Castro – "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
Okay — I LOVED this version of the song. While he sang, I closed my eyes and realized that, as adorable as I think the guy is, he sounds better to me when I'm not looking at him. Maybe I just get too distracted. His performance was awesome, simple as that. Randy said, "That was blazing!" Paula said, "Perfect song and I love that version." Simon said, "The first time I heard that version, I wasn't sure. The second time, loved it. The third time, fantastic!"
Kristy Lee Cook – "Anyway"
I enjoyed Kristy's performance tonight. Really. I'm a little amazed myself, but there you have it. It was a great song choice for her, but I don't think it will be enough to keep her out of the bottom three. Randy said, "There were a couple of pitchy moments, but it was really good." Paula said, "This was your best." Simon said, "I thought you were very good, indeed."
David Cook – "Innocent"
Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. I love David Cook and am a huge, mega-fan, but this week was bad. Really bad. As in, he's in my bottom three. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but it was definitely not a good night for David C. I guess it has to happen to everybody, but I hope he makes it this week. Randy said, "I'm not sure this was one of your strongest weeks." Paula said, "You are the full package." Simon said, "This was your weakest performance."
Carly Smithson – "The Show Must Go On"
I liked this performance even less than David Cook's. Carly could be in trouble this week. So, to be fair, I'd have to say her performance was really, really bad. I'm not liking the affected voice thing at all. Randy said, "It was just okay for me." Paula said, "Didn't feel engaged with you." Simon said, "You over-sang it and lost control of the song near the end."
David Archuleta – "Angels"
Oooh, David A. does it again. He sang an absolutely beautiful rendition of this song. I really loved his performance tonight, and I won't even harp on the ballad thing this week. Besides, when I think of inspirational songs, I think of ballads. Randy: "That was your hottest moment all season!" Paula said, "Fantastic!" Simon said, "Best song choice of the night. Not your best vocal. You are going to sail through to the next round."
Brooke White – "You've Got a Friend"
I thoroughly enjoyed Brooke's performance of this song. The emotion was there and she sang it well. I think she did well enough to definitely not be in the bottom three, but we'll find out what actually happens on Thursday. Randy said, "I don't think it was your best. It was alright." Paula said, "I think it's the perfect way to close the evening." Simon said, "It was like a pleasant walk in the park."
That's the end of the top eight show. We won't find out until Thursday this week who's staying and who's going, because Wednesday is the second annual showing of Idol Gives Back. Who do you think had the best performance of the week? Who do you think had the worst? Let me know!
Here are my personal rankings for the week:
- Jason Castro
- David Archuleta
- Michael Johns
- Kristy Lee Cook
- Brooke White
- Syesha Mercado
- David Cook
- Carly Smithson