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TV Review: American Idol – Top Six

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Tuesday's American Idol felt like a walk through Broadway. With the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber showcased, and the man himself mentoring, it proved to be an interesting and fun evening. Idol's top six did their thing; some hit their mark, some didn't, and some missed by a long-shot. Lloyd Webber was a terrific mentor – giving each contestant personalized advice, as well as pointing out possible issues. The first singer of the night was…

Syesha Mercado – "One Rock 'n' Roll Too Many" from Starlight Express
Wow! I mean…really, wow! Syesha's singing skills were rock solid, and she had a lot more fun on stage than I've seen before. For me, this performance is Syesha's personal best. This type of music seems to be a good fit for her. Still – as good as it was, I have to wonder if it's too late in the competition to sway many of the voters over to her. Randy said, "I think this was your best performance to date." Paula said, "This is your happy place." Simon said, "That was very sexy."

Jason Castro – "Memory" from Cats
Not Jason's best performance, but not his worst either. I liked many portions of his performance, but as a whole, it just wasn't as good as it should have been. His voice was too soft to really carry the song properly. Jason could very possibly be in trouble this week. While I really hope he can hang on another week or two, I'm kinda doubting it at the moment. Randy said, "Vocally, it was a train wreck." Paula said, "That's not who you are." Simon said, "I was miserable."

Brooke White – "You Must Love Me" from Evita
This performance marks the second time Brooke White has re-started a song on stage. She was honest and said she'd forgotten the lyrics, so kudos to her for wanting to sing it correctly. I just wish she'd been able to carry it off the first time. There are too few contestants left, so mistakes like this could mean the end. It also colored the rest of the performance, which was actually quite nice. Randy said, "This wasn't great." Paula said, "You must never start and stop." Simon said, "You will be disappointed when you watch this back."

David Archuleta – "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera
I'm really excited about David A's performance this week. He listened to Lloyd Webber and kept his eyes open as he sang, but even more important – he sold a song that is usually sung by a female, and he did so in a big way. I've given up hope on expecting to see anything radically different from David A, but he is a fantastic singer. Randy said, "It was the bomb." Paula said, "It was absolutely perfect." Simon said, "It was pleasant, but one of your weakest performances."

Carly Smithson – "Jesus Christ Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar
After having her first song choice nixed by Lloyd Webber, she performed this song quite well, but not high enough to keep her out of the bottom three. And honestly, I really liked what she did. She seemed more relaxed than normal, as if she was having a lot of fun. Randy said, "It was definitely good." Paula said, "I loved what you did in the chorus." Simon said, "One of my favorite performances of the night."

David Cook – "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera
We saw a very different version of the David Cook we've grown to love in the last many weeks. I love this side of him too. He hit his high note and all his other notes, too. A terrific performance, from beginning to end. My favorite for the night! Randy said, "Dude, that was an amazing vocal performance." Paula said, "You are so well rounded as a performer." Simon said, "You made the most of the song."

I enjoyed the top six show and thought that most of the contestants brought their "A" games to the table. Unfortunately, someone has to go. We'll find out who Wednesday night, so check back then for the results. Who's your pick?

My ranking for the week is:

1. David Cook
2. Syesha Mercado
3. David Archuleta
4. Carly Smithson
5. Jason Castro
6. Brooke White

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About Tracy Leigh Ritts

  • I think if I were to rank last night’s performances I’d swap Carly and Syesha. Syesha has a nice voice, but no stage presence.

    I didn’t think Carly shouted the song as another commenter said. I thought it was a nice delivery of one of the few Loyd Webber songs that truly fit her.

    I think the judges were unfair with Jason Castro and based their critique on the fact it’s a song you most often hear a women sing. I liked his interpretation of “Memories” much better than David A’s arrangement of “Think of Me.”

    David Cook was the shining star of the night once again though. I think it should be Brooke to go, but could see it being Jason or Syesha.

  • steve san diego

    Even though Jason is nice looking, please, he just is so cruise ship……lol……. he is not someone I could listen to for a long time. He has to go. Brooke, is nice to look at and more she has a voice that calms and makes one smile.

  • Mike

    Your rankings are correct again. I think he delivers the emotion of the song better than anyone, and despite the fact he tried a well known power song with his gentle voice, I truly felt his performance and didn’t think it was all that bad.

  • Singing loud and shouting are two different things. Carly belted it, she didn’t shout it.

  • Your rankings are correct again. David Cook shocked me, because he did an incredible job by just singing a song well and putting some intense emotion into it. There were no fancy arrangements or modernizing the performance, just straight singing. He really is the real deal.

    Jason is still my favorite, but he did have a rough night. Still, I think he delivers the emotion of the song better than anyone, and despite the fact he tried a well known power song with his gentle voice, I truly felt his performance and didn’t think it was all that bad. I prefer his heartfelt performances over David A’s bland yet technically perfect ones.

    At least Carly had fun this time, but she still shouted the song.

  • Cook was the man this week, yet again. I kept waiting for “that note” in Music of the Night and when it came the Cooker didn’t disappoint. Great delivery, great tone, didn’t overdo it. Real professional singer, he is.

    As for the rest, I found the majority of the night rather forgettable except for maybe Syesha. As is always the case with the other David, I just can’t get into what he’s singing. It’s way to mediocre in terms of performance for me, as he just stands there with his hand out or sways around in one spot. There’s no character to him and I find him immensely bland. His vocals are decent, but I’m still not seeing this amazing talent many talk about.

    Castro should be eliminated, but I doubt he will be because there’s too many squealies voting. My money is on a Brooke elimination.

  • Jason and Brooke for lackluster performances. David A was okay, David Cook was better.

  • I think Jason in the bootm three simply because he has never been really good vocally. Carly rocked! She and Syesha proved their worth, and David Cook hit just the right notes. My bottom two? Brooke (for forgetting) Jason because he stank. David A was okay, Cook far better.