Tonight's American Idol began with a blast from the past in a memory-filled montage of The Beatles' impressive career. While not quite as excited about the contestants singing from the Lennon/McCartney songbook as I was last week, I was still curious to see who would sing what and how well they would do. After the montage, Ryan introduced the judges, and off we went. The first singer of the night was…
Amanda Overmyer – "Back in the U.S.S.R"
I love this song! What a great way to begin the night. I thought Amanda did a great job and that it was a terrific song choice. Unfortunately, Simon's statement, "It was what it was. Predictable," was right on the money. As much as I like Amanda, I've been waiting to see a different side of her. Maybe not a ballad like Paula suggested, but definitely something a little softer than we've yet seen.
Kristy Lee Cook – "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
Okay. What can I say? Positives — it wasn't nearly as bad as last week. It was mellow without the crazy twang she brought to "Eight Days A Week." That being said, there was nothing to Kristy's performance that stood out for me. It was a little blah. It was a little pitchy. So, for me, Kristy is at the bottom of the list this week — again. Simon's critique of Kristy: "The problem is you're not a good performer." Ouch.
David Archuleta – "The Long and Winding Road"
Ahh, David, you're back! It was obvious from the first few notes that David Archuleta had regained his footing. The song was sung beautifully. And all three judges agreed he was amazing. My only concern is that this song is a ballad, and he's already proven he can bring his "A" game for ballads. Where's the fun side of Mr. Archuleta? Don't get me wrong, he's a top favorite for me, but I want to see what else he can do.
Michael Johns – "A Day in the Life"
The judges weren't really all that impressed with Michael this week. Randy: "It wasn't one of your good ones, baby." Paula: "You need to raise the game." And Simon: "It was a mess." I liked it though! I thought it was much better than last week and Michael remains one of my favorites. I hope he pulls off a great week before he runs out of time.
Brooke White – "Here Comes the Sun"
Okay. Well. It wasn't a bad performance at all! But it was slow and even a little boring. Brooke usually is on top, but I think this week's performance puts her solidly in the lower half. I agree with Paula though, who said, "You can't help but smile when you watch you and listen to you sing." Brooke's demeanor and personality made me smile, even if her performance didn't. Better luck next week, Brooke!
David Cook – "Day Tripper"
It's official. After tonight's performance, I'm loving David Cook. He tried something a bit different with a voice box, which I thought was kind of cool. Mostly, though, I just like how he delivers something every single week I really like. Randy liked it. So did Paula. Simon said, "I don't think that was as good as you thought it was." Personally, I can't wait to see what David C. brings to the table next week.
Carly Smithson – "Blackbird"
It was so great to hear Carly do something a little different than she's done in the past. She's also a consistent performer, which is another plus for Carly. So, while I appreciated her performance, and I liked it quite a bit, it didn't measure up to last week, in my opinion. Randy said, "Another great performance for Carly Smithson." My guess is Carly will stick around for awhile.
Jason Castro – "Michelle"
Isn't he just adorable? It's the eyes… it's the smile. And Simon agrees! Check out what he said: "Your face sold that. What you have is that you're very charming." I am forever a fan of Jason's, but I don't think this was his best week by far. I liked the song, though, and he did okay with it. But what I keep coming back to is — isn't he adorable?
Syesha Mercado – "Yesterday"
Oh! Last week I stated that I thought I could love Syesha's singing. This week brought it home. I've been wanting someone to take on "Yesterday," and Syesha did a really nice job with it. I'd say it was her best performance so far, and one of the best of the night overall. Sweet comeback from last week! The judges all liked it too, so a home run for Syesha.
Chikezie Eze – "I've Just Seen A Face"
So, I haven't been able to decide exactly what I think of Chikezie's performance overall. I loved parts of it, and other parts – not so much. What I DO like, though, is that he's mixing it up and bringing something different to the stage. Mixed reviews from the judges. Paula was the only one who liked all of it. "When you sing a ballad, it's so pure and on pitch, I love it. You did it again."
Ramiele Malubay – "I Should Have Known Better"
Randy's statement — "You did your thing. It was alright" — is right on target. I thought Ramiele was better than last week, but it wasn't the best song choice for her. I'd like to see her try something different, but she might be running out of chances. While Ramiele is not my pick for leaving this week, she is in my bottom three.
Overall, I thought it was a good show – thought not as good as last week. There were too many mediocre performances and too few really great ones. I'm sticking to my guess for last week – I think Kristy Lee Cook's time on American Idol is up. We'll find out for sure Wednesday night, so check back then for the results. Until then, here's my ranking for the week:
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1. David Archuleta
2. David Cook
3. Carly Smithson
4. Syesha Mercado
5. Jason Castro
6. Amanda Overmyer
7. Michael Johns
8. Brooke White
9. Chikezie Eze
10. Ramiele Malubay
11. Kristy Lee Cook