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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Cook Country

dcook2.jpgAll I can say is, thank goodness this wasn't Beatles Week: Part Three. For the first time in months, the audience was treated to music from sometime in the last twenty years. Albeit, it was a song from 1990 courtesy of David Archuleta, but hey, it's a start. This week's theme on "Idol" was songs from the year each contestant was born. I appreciate themes like these, because they give the singers a chance to perform all sorts of different songs: rock, country, ballads, hair metal, whatever. In the case of some of these singers (this means you Jason Castro) variety wasn't enough to nudge them out of neutral. And for one contestant (what's up David Cook!), it may be time to start celebrating.

But before I address how so-so almost everyone was tonight, I'd like to get a few things off my chest. So, without further ado, here are the Top 5 Things I Wish I'd Never See Again on "American Idol":
5. Those morons waving their arms back and forth in the mosh pit near the stage. How much do the producers pay these people to sway like imbeciles? Just put your arms down and no one will get hurt.
4. Those weird fingerless arm gloves that Paula was wearing. Her outfit, much like her comments, makes no sense to regular human beings.
3. Loud backup singers. During many of tonight's performances, Syesha's primarily, the backup singers had their mics cranked to eleven. Turn the volume down ladies, this ain't your show.
2. Mean Randy. I like Mr. Jackson when he says stuff like "Dawg, that was pitchy" but he irks me when he flat-out tells the poor kids they're no good. Geez, when did you become a British judge?
1. Ramiele's sad face. I think the whole "I'll pout so I can earn some votes" routine is growing a bit tired.

Now, since tonight's theme has to do with birth years, let's examine our crooning contestants in chronological order, saving the youngest for last.

Michael Johns, DOB: 10/20/78 (sang 6th)

Our oldest contestant, the Shouter from Down Under, revealed in his pre-performance interview that he's a really competitive guy. Too bad he just hasn't shown that competitive edge yet during the competition. That's not to say he didn't try tonight with his most showy performance this season. He was obviously trying to reclaim his former glory from singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" during Hollywood week (a place where even he admits he peaked).But despite the praise heaped on him by the judges tonight (Randy and Simon both agreed it was his best performance to date), I still felt he was shouting all the big notes during a mash-up of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions." Not to worry, though, everyone's favorite Aussie will return to sing again.

David Cook, DOB: 12/20/82 (sang 10th)

He was the last singer of the night, and man did he end the show on a remarkable note. For weeks he's been mowing his fellow competitors down with an awesome array of rawkin songs. In the prize fight that is "American Idol" he threw his first punch with a cover of "Hello," another jab with "Eleanor Rigby," a hit to the gut with "Daytripper" and finally, a sucker punch to the other nine contestants with an incredibly professional and fun version of "Billie Jean." From the completely slowed down tempo to the amazing long note at the end, he had the best performance of the night. If he keeps this up, he's guaranteed a spot in the Final Two. That's why this competition is Cook Country, and we're just living in it.

Brooke White, DOB: 6/2/83 (sang 5th)

We found out some interesting things about our girl Brooke tonight. First, she can play any song on the piano by ear. We also learned that she's a perfectionist, judging by her stop-and-start beginning to "Every Breath You Take." She began to play on the piano, didn't like the note she was singing in, and quickly started over. Now while I consider that a bad thing, both Randy and Paula loved it because it showed that she demands perfection from herself. Besides the strange start, I thought the first part of the song was awesome. She's really cool when playing the piano and was wowing me with the way she changed the song into a folksy ballad. Then, about halfway through, the band kicked in and ruined it. Other than that, I think she's a great singer and will remain through to the Top 6.

Carly Smithson, DOB: 9/12/83 (sang 7th)

I think one of Dante's nine circles of Hell probably involves Ryan Seacrest asking "did you flush?" Why the strange little man felt the need to continue the conversation when Carly said she wasn't nervous, she was just flustered because she ran from the bathroom to the stage, is beyond me. And if you looked closely, you could see poor Carly recoiling in disgust. Unfortunately, this wasn't the only problem plaguing her performance. A look of intense fear/determination has been gradually dawning on her face for weeks now, and tonight it was worse than ever. She doesn't look like she's having any fun, and Simon mentioned how tense she looked. I liked her song choice of "Total Eclipse of the Heart," though, and can see her getting better every week. Let's hope America votes for her this week, or she might be flushed out of the competition.

Kristy Lee Cook, DOB: 1/18/84 (sang 9th)

As Simon told her, "that was the most clever song choice I've ever heard." The song he's referring to is "God Bless the USA" and is sure to have all the flag-wavin' fans voting in earnest. I agreed with all the judges when they said it was one of her best performances and that she's grown a lot in the last few weeks. I'm not sure if America will keep her around for another week, and I'm not going to predict that she's leaving either because I always get it wrong, but her time on the "Idol" stage is growing shorter by the day.

Chikezie, DOB: 9/11/85 (sang 4th)

When did I accidentally walk in on the Luther Vandross concert? Oh wait, that's Chikezie! The ever-smiling singer actually sang a Luther song tonight, with "If Only For One Night," and he channeled the guy pretty effectively. He can definitely sing ballads and I thought his vocals were pretty smooth. I'm also impressed with him because he's one of only a handful of contestants actually enjoying this competition! But to stick around, he needs to be more original and break it down with the banjos like he did a few weeks ago.

Syesha Mercado, DOB: 1/2/87 (sang 3rd)

If David Cook was tonight's best performer, then Syesha wasn't far behind. Where did she come from? Only weeks ago I was accusing her of being boring and forgettable, and for two straight weeks she's blown everyone away! Tonight she sang "If I Were Your Woman," and she not only hit all the big notes but showed plenty of emotion. What a cool performance! Paula said it right when she declared Syesha the new Dark Horse of the competition. If she can keep this streak going, I predict she'll be in the Final Three with the two Davids.

Jason Castro, DOB: 3/25/87 (sang 2nd)

I'm finding it hard to even write words about this guy. I'm just so bored with him. My mind is boggled by how big a fan base he has (judging by the audience screams). He never quite hits all of his notes, he never makes eye contact with anyone but his guitar strings, and I have yet to see him do anything up-tempo. He earns a place at the bottom of the pack tonight for his weak rendition of Sting's "Fragile." But what do I know? Apparently kids with dreads are all the rage with tweens this year. Have fun coasting Jason!

Ramiele Malubay, DOB: 9/6/87 (sang 1st)

Aside from Ramiele telling Ryan that her big problem this week was her voice going "bye bye," I thought she did a good job. She did her best while singing with a cold, but in the end the song was still a little too big for her. Of course, I'm a little biased having been blown away by Carrie Underwood's take on Heart's "Alone" a few seasons ago. Despite all that, I think the judges were too harsh on her and unfortunately she may be heading home this week.

David Archuleta, DOB: 12/28/90 (sang 8th)

The youngest contestant of the competition, Mr. David Archuleta, won plenty of votes tonight, but only some of them because of his singing. I'd say about 50 percent of people who voted for him tonight (oh, who am I kidding, replace the word "people" with "teen girls"), did so because they loved his reaction to Seacrest's question regarding his choice for prom date. Then there are the fans, who much like Paula, want to dangle his face from their rear view mirrors so they can look at him all day long. Then finally there are those, like me, who think the guy is a contender because of his vocal skills. None of these voters, however, will be basing their votes on his song choice. Yikes, who picked that? I have to admit I had to do some research on this one. After consulting the Internet and iTunes, I finally figured out what it was called. The song, titled "You're the Voice," has apparently been sung by several artists, including John Farnham, David Foster and even Heart. I'm guessing Michael Johns probably recognized it, seeing as how John Farnham is a singer from Australia. Anyways, to sum up his performance, I'm going to quote my girlfriend on this one: "Wow, when did we start the opening ceremony for this year's Olympics?" Even Simon said it was like something out of a theme park show. Despite all these things, Archuleta is a great singer and will be in this competition for a long, long time.

What did you think of the Top 10? Can Ramiele ever catch a break? Does Castro actually care that he's in a singing competition? Will Kristy make it through another week and, if so, who's leaving tomorrow? Post your comments below and tune in for tomorrow's results show! –Chris Sardelli


Posted by Chris on March 26, 2008 12:37 AM
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we still hope that ramiele will still be safe this week. we like her very much.

-- 1. Posted by: marie at March 26, 2008 2:11 AM

For those of us who have heard the song 'You'er the Voice" David Archuleta did a great job. Loved his performance and really enjoyed it.

-- 2. Posted by: Margaret at March 26, 2008 5:26 AM

While David Cook sounded great, this wasnt his version of the song. Chris Cornell created this version not too long ago....

-- 3. Posted by: Sharon at March 26, 2008 7:03 AM

Your reviews were exactly those of the judges....The bottom three tonight will be: Carly, Ramiele, and Brooke.

-- 4. Posted by: Matt at March 26, 2008 7:10 AM

I totally agree with your Top 5 Never See Agains. I thought the back-up singers were off pitch in places. Tough to tell since they were singing louder than the contestant at times. And, Paula's gloves were not as bad as her ripped dress. I noticed it was asymmetric from the beginning, but there were actual loose threads over the left shoulder. As if Simon had reached over and pulled off her sleeve. Probably trying to steal another kiss.

-- 5. Posted by: iowaporter at March 26, 2008 10:00 AM

Are you freakin serious?

Before rambling on about how "original" Cook is let's not forget that he didn't create that version of BJ!
Another singer did & Cook COPIED it from him, yeah that is SO original! LMAO!

Johns is far & away a better singer than Cook could ever hope to be & to say that Johns shouted his performance & Cook didn't is beyond ridiculous!
Cook screamed the whole song & his vocals & nothing special at all!!

-- 6. Posted by: Lisa at March 26, 2008 11:47 AM

Quick set of comments:
David A - hurry up and get kicked off, Disney on Ice is melting awaiting you.
Ramiele - you will be great hosting karaoke nights around the country
Jason - even your dredlocks slept through that performance
Brooke - nobody is Whiter than you
Syesha - I know Aretha, you are NO Aretha
Chakese - don't take it so easy
Carly - Why am I the only one who loves you?
Kristy - Maybe next week you'll sing the National Anthem
David C - this Cook was smokin'

Bye Ramiele

-- 7. Posted by: Bill Chuck at March 26, 2008 2:08 PM

My guess is that chikezie's got some back up sympathies from the Beatles weeks. I really hoped Kristy Lee would have gone long ago, here in Europe (the Netherlands) those patriotic song don't make sense at all. It's coming of way to strong and makes us wanna hurl, i'm sorry to say it. But it's true. On with my prognoses. I predict Jason, Ramielle or Kristy Lee can pack their belongings and leave. Neither one will be missed. But if i had to choose who could stay my vote would be on Jason. Just because he's such a friendly soul.

I think the best performances came from David Cook and Syesha. They completely rocked the joint!

A bit dissapointed in Brooke, Carly and David A.

greetings from Holland

-- 8. Posted by: ReMMeZ at March 26, 2008 3:27 PM

PEOPLE! Why why why does everyone insist that David is ripping anyone off? Last week he said he was doing Whitesnake's cover of the Beatles song; last night Ryan DID introduce David performing "Chris Cornell's version" of Billy Jean. David is "original" and "bold" by taking the time and the risk of doing covers instead of the originals because they fit his style of music instead of just picking a song and singing it like everyone else seems to be doing. That is why he is brave. He IS thinking “outside the box”. If you don’t like his singing/performances, that’s one thing; rag him on that. But too continually accuse him of ripping off songs and passing them off as his own is ridiculous since he does NO such thing. This is American Idol for crying out loud. THEY ARE ALL COVERS!!

-- 9. Posted by: Jellybean at March 26, 2008 3:40 PM

so informative, thanks to tell us.

-- 10. Posted by: DedoVioheds at September 29, 2010 10:15 PM

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