The American Idol top eleven took the stage last night and we viewers were provided, what amounted to, overall, one of the worst performance nights ever. Describing the reality of the night escapes me, so I'll simply provide a run-down in order of performance of what and how it happened. I'll not over bore you with word for word judge panel comments, you'll have to look else where for that. It's a sad thought, but I wonder if the show is now regretting having The Beatles songbook available.
In the unlucky first spot was Amanda Overmyer. Rocker biker chick performed The Beatles tune, "Back in the USSR". I admit to being surprised that she uttered not one "chile" in the entire performance - that was almost a disappointment. I did get a kick out of Amanda for finally speaking out instead of just standing there as the trio of judges picked her performance a part. She sassed the judges when it was suggested she come out with a "nice ballad" sometime in the competition, replying, "ballads are boring". Seriously, I wonder if she could get up and do something from The Silver Bullet Band collection like "Turn the Page"? Overmyer carries a sort of Bob Seger as a chick vibe. I think it's one ballad she'd turn out well.
I also appreciated that she clarified why she's even on this show. Sounding very much like Taylor Hicks, Amanda let it be known she'd be happy performing in full bars and clubs. What Overmyer made apparent, she's there not for the Star Maker Machinery to use her, rather the other way around. No matter the outcome in the end with this show, I see Overmyer making this experience work the most satisfactorily for what she wants, out of everybody in this group. Of all the contestants, she seems to know herself the most.
Kristy Lee "Cowgirl" Cook blows through "You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away". At least at the end of her forgettable performance, she provided one of the most entertaining moments. Following Simon Cowell's reference to her being like "wallpaper" (I'm thinking the kind you find in houses from the '80's with the silver and gold accents, much like her dress last night.) Kristy followed up telling dear Mr. Cowell 'you know I could blow you out of your socks'. That nearly "R" rated moment, encouraged by voluble host Ryan Seacrest as he blushed up and let America know 'it was hot in there'. Yeah, we 'got it' Ryan. (Insert sigh.)
David Archuleta began almost tentatively with "Long and Winding Road". Of course he reminded the viewers about his forgetting the lyrics last week in his 'Most Memorable Moment' film segment prior to his performance. Certainly the producers encouraged him with confession being good for the soul and all of that nonsense. He seemed to be keeping the lip-licking to a minimum although he can't stop entirely, and he's still quite gaspy. Saving Grace for him this week, he did not try and walk and sing at the same time, kept it simple. Why is he reminding me of Forrest Gump? "Sing Archie, Sing" rather than, well, you get the idea. He brought the glory notes this show loves, ala Clay Aiken and so of course the judges loved him.
Michael Johns sings "A Day in the Life" and he is absolutely awful. Simon should have saved the wallpaper comment for him although it wasn't even as good as Kristy's performance. One line he sang made me laugh out loud, "Dragged a comb across my head". His grizzled drab muffed up hair looked like it could have used just that prior to the performance. He was abysmally out of tune, anyone with any musical knowledge could hear this wanna be Eddie Veddar is simply not good. He goes through the same karaoke motions song after song. His self assessment in the prior to performance film when he brags about his "Bohemian Rhapsody" performance is nauseating.
His smug mug following his performance proved how highly he thinks of himself. Randy said Johns still hadn't found the right song yet to showcase his vocals. That's ridiculous in itself, the man's in the top eleven for heaven's sake, still not finding the right song? Face it this is as good as he gets, pal.
Paula finally showed her coherence and lucidity of late can falter. She valiantly tried to make excuses for him by bringing up some of the difficulty in performing with an ear piece (which most of them were wearing). Michael Johns, who happened to not be wearing an ear piece, stood there seemingly going along with the moment. Ryan brought the honesty, revealing Johns wasn't wearing an ear piece. It's embarrassing for the fact Michael Johns was going to go along with the lie. I said to Darling Man, "Wow, that's awkward". Granted Paula is what looks like 50 feet from the stage, but Michael Johns should have immediately manned up and revealed her excuse for his dismal performance wasn't valid. Likely if Ryan hadn't pointed it out, Michael would have taken the excuse. Johns should go home this week, but likely he'll make tour.
Brooke White was a complete disappointment last night following the charming take of last week's, "Let it Be". I saw the drab potential soon to be heard when she appeared on stage to perform "Here Comes the Sun" dressed in a layered fluffy yellow dress. I was not wrong. Without guitar or piano she was not entertaining and her vocal abilities certainly not Sun caliber. Her take on "Here Comes the Sun" was like our Dallas weather yesterday, a soggy, dreary, and in her words, a 'dootadoodoo' mess. Almost irritating during critique, she couldn't shut up she was so busy agreeing with the judges' negative comments about her. Shadows of Melinda Doolittle from last season ran through my mind. Is she safe for Top Ten? Most definitely; 19E will want that performance of "Let it Be" on the Pop-Tart Tour.
David Cook 'Peter Frampton'ed' "Day Tripper" utilizing for the first time on Idol the Vox box. That was really the only part I found entertaining. Lest dear readers you think this an original version of the song take a listen to Whitesnake's take on it - add touch of Frampton. Simon's right Cook, do something different next week, I'm getting bored. That said, his voice still sounds better than The Daughtry's even as he strives with the forces inherent in his Les Paul guitar to be The Daughtry. Dude, just don't ever, for the love of Rock, tattoo your own name on your back.
Carly Smithson performed, "Blackbird". She took this song and personified it to mean her struggle to make it in the music business and how she perceives the outcome of her time on this show to become. Chick looks like she's forty years old and she glorified the ending singing it in an inappropriately overly emotional yet typical American Idol way. She's not going anywhere though, she's in this for the top tier spots.
video c/o Idolfanatic4:
This is the version The Beatles wrote if you're interested to compare.
Dreadlocked Darling, Jason Castro drew "Michelle" as his song of the night. He came out without his guitar and while he has a distinctive, gorgeous tone to his voice, and manages to deliver the French lyrics in a girl-pleasing way, it's not what he's completely capable of regarding performance. Jason delivers a disappointing Vanilla-Idol performance and while he's adorable and charming and I love him, he's got to change it up or he's doomed for an earlier than perhaps he should, exit. Too if Castro is looking at a viable career in music he needs let go of the image of the Teen Heart throb with Dreads and just be a musician next week. He's capable of that and is shorting himself if he doesn't. At least he brought the affable goofiness that is the real Jason. Being brutally honest, this is his worst performance to date, on this show.
Another video c/o Idolfanatic4 (they do a great job)
Syesha Mercado was singing for her life last night to stay on the show and did "Yesterday", it was okay, she certainly was better than some tonight, and it was one of her better performances.
Chikezie once again brought the shades of Taylor Hicks to the show and even attempted the harmonica in his version of "I’ve Just Seen A Face". It starts out pretty good then he brings out the mouth harp, followed by jug band in a way that just misses the intention. Not last week's stroke of genius but I could sort of see where he was trying to go, sadly he doesn't get there. Big mistake, such a drastic change up and altering of his vocals. Simon called it "Achy Breaky" and that insults Billy Ray Cyrus, because it wasn't even that good.
Ramiele Malubay does "I Should Have Known Better". She's off tempo, vocally uninspiring shaking her little stuff in a strange outfit that looks part blues-chick part Victoria Secret.
video c/o casezille108
Judges praised her and obviously think she's a needed addition for the Tour. Their comments might save her.
Simon's assessment regarding 'mediocre' on target for most of the performances this week. Overall with the exception of Little Archie, their worst endeavors yet. That said, only positive to say about Archuleta, he remembered the lyrics and did not disrepect The Beatles.
My pick for going home this week, Kristy Lee Cook.