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