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TV Review: American Idol – Top Twelve

American Idol plus Lennon and McCartney – it can’t get any better than this. Or can it? The evening started off promising enough with the new set, huge stage, and sparkly lights. I’ve been waiting for this particular show for a very long time. I can honestly say that I was almost giddy with excitement. While I definitely have a Love/Hate relationship with the final 12 countdown (love seeing who’s going to win, hate seeing people go), it’s the songs of this night I was totally caught up in. I couldn’t wait to see who sang what.

Syesha Mercado“Got To Get You Into My Life”
As Randy said, “It was alright for me.” I couldn’t agree more. I liked it enough, but I didn’t love it. And this, actually, seems to be an ongoing thing for me and Syesha. It’s obvious she can sing, but I keep waiting for something more. You know, that something that keeps your eyes riveted to the screen. I like her; I enjoy her singing. I just don’t love her singing, but something tells me that I could.

Chikezie – “She’s A Woman”
Several weeks ago, I wasn’t enjoying Chikezie so much and never thought he’d make it this far. I am so glad to say I was wrong. His performance was fun and energetic and his voice was right on. He started with, as Paula said, “An O Brother, Where Art Thou? vibe that then became a rock vibe.” All the judges gave Chikezie a Thumbs-Up, and I have to agree – it was a rockin’ performance.

Ramiele Malubay – “In My Life”
While I enjoyed Ramiele’s version of “In My Life,” it didn’t have my eyes glued to the screen. It was okay. She has a pretty voice and the song was sung, for the most part, decently enough. Even though I wasn’t “bored to tears” like Simon stated he was, it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat either. All in all, I think Ramiele is going to have to take it up a notch to stay in the competition.

Jason Castro – “If I Fell”

I really like Jason and I definitely think he sang well enough to stay in the competition, but I have to agree with Randy with the “I liked it. I didn’t love it.” That being said, at this point in the evening, this performance was my second favorite of the night. He has a sweet, clear voice that I find very appealing. I think Jason will be around for a little while yet. Let’s hope I’m right.

Carly Smithson – “Come Together”
Can you say “WOW!” I did more than once during Carly’s performance of this amazing song. She truly rocked it and made the song her own, while keeping it true to the original. I’ve been a fan of Carly’s since the beginning and I love that she’s doing so well. As Paula said, “I felt I was already watching a star.” Carly’s stage presence was strong, confident, and energetic.

David Cook – “Eleanor Rigby”
I have to admit, each and every week I like David Cook a little more than I did before. I loved every moment of his performance of “Eleanor Rigby.” The judges loved it too, and all three had glowing things to say. Randy: “You can definitely rock out on Idol.” Paula: “I’ve been telling everyone you’re the dark horse.” And Simon: “It was brilliant.” I’ll be keeping my eye on David Cook as the weeks continue. He’ll be around for awhile. He’s got star written all over him.

Brooke White – “Let It Be”
I loved Brooke on the piano singing this song. While it didn’t make my top-three favorites for the night, it was definitely in the top five. I like her and I think she might surprise people. She has a strong but sweet voice and a personality that I think resonates well with viewers. There’s something about her singing that just makes you want to listen more. It was a very positive evening for Brooke. And I agree with Paula here, too. Paula said, “This is your niche.”

David Hernandez – “I Saw Her Standing There”
Aw, David, what happened? In Simon’s words, “It was like a rabbit in the headlights.” Weird animal choice, but the message was clear. While I always cringe when one of the judges say, “It was too much karaoke,” in this case I think David Hernandez’s performance was very karaoke-ish. Now, this isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not a “Win American Idol” thing. I like David Hernandez and I hope he has another chance to pull it together, because the guy can definitely sing.

Amanda Overmyer – “You Can’t Do That”Not everyone gets Amanda, but I love her style. She had a solid, fun performance and she looked like she had a blast. Randy said “You took a Beatles' song and took it to a southern bar and rocked it out.” And that she did.

Michael Johns – “Across the Universe”
Michael is one of my favorites and I believe he has an excellent chance of going quite far in this competition. That being said, I have to agree with Randy who said the song was a little “sleepy.” While it was strong, it was also a little quiet, a little sleepy. Unlike Randy, I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Michael sang the song well, and I enjoyed his performance.

Kristy Lee Cook – “Eight Days A Week”
I normally really like Kristy Lee Cook, but her country version of “Eight Days A Week” had me cringing. While I don’t agree with Simon’s statement that she “sounded like Dolly Parton on helium,” I do think the arrangement didn’t do the song justice. While I have a feeling Kristy Lee has a strong enough group of supporters to beat the cut this week, she is number 12 on my ranking of performances for the week.

David Archuleta – “We Can Work It Out”
David Archuleta can sing; he’s proven that week after week. Unfortunately,this week he didn’t do that well, to the point he forgot some of the words in his song (not just once, but twice). This could be the kiss of death to someone else, but with David’s strong past performances, I think he’ll be safe this week.

All in all, it was a terrific show with a lot of great songs sung.

My Ranking for the Week:

  1. David Cook
  2. Carly Smithson
  3. Amanda Overmyer
  4. Chikezie
  5. Brooke White
  6. Michael Johns
  7. Jason Castro
  8. Syesha Mercado
  9. David Archuleta
  10. Ramiele Malubay
  11. David Hernandez
  12. Kristy Lee Cook

About Tracy Leigh Ritts

  • http://www.tambrakendall.com Tambra Kendall

    Tracy,

    You’re accounting of American Idol contestants was balanced and fair, your writing smooth and clear.

    Great job!

    All my best,

    Tambra

  • http://natureshows.blogspot.com/ JJLoch

    Thanks for the great review, Tracy. I missed Idol last week.

    Hugs, JJ

  • Kim Snowden

    Right on, Tracy. It is my belief that America votes according to the comments of the judges. I believe voters are extremely influenced by all three, but Simon’s opinions seem to carry the most clout. Has anyone else noticed this trend?

  • http://www.tracyleighwrites.com Tracy Leigh Ritts

    Kim – I think the same, for the most part. Remember Sanjaya last year? Week after week, Simon’s usually not-nice comments didn’t budge him from the safe zone. It was an interesting twist for Simon, I think. But yes – the judge’s comments carry weight in most circumstances, imo.