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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Five Alive

csmithson.jpgIt's official, Season 7 of "American Idol" is now the Season of Shockers. Whether it was Kristy Lee Cook's staying power or Michael Johns' surprise early exit, this year is all about defying expectations. I guess it also has to do with the fact that an overwhelming amount of this year's crop of singers are actually pretty good, so it's a little disappointing no matter who goes home each week. Heading into this episode I was sure that the Bottom Two would be Brooke and Jason, but "Idol" likes to keep me on my toes. Here's how this week's shocker went down.

It all started out calmly enough with a group performance of "All I Ask of You" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera." In fact, Mr. Webber himself was sitting at the grand piano, accompanying the Top 6. Usually the group songs are a wild ride full of crazy choreography, but tonight's routine was incredibly sedate. The boys sang first, then the girls sang, then they all stood like robots behind Lord Webber's piano and watched the fools in the mosh pit wave their arms. I know the group songs are supposed to be cheesy, but they sure as heck aren't supposed to be boring. Yawn.

Most often the guest mentor gets their own time to shine later on in the episode, performing a song from their most recent CD. But Andrew Lloyd Webber instead sat on stage and chatted with Ryan Seacrest, discussing the singers' performances. Ryan decided that Brooke didn't feel bad enough about stopping and starting her song, so he had to ask Webber what he thought about it. The composer was extremely kind, saying Brooke is very talented and he wished she had done as well as she had during the dress rehearsal (during which she was apparently "flawless"). In regards to Jason's performance, he still looked flabbergasted that the dread-head would choose that song. Then, in an effort to shoehorn the topic of Paula and Simon into any conversation, Ryan asked Webber to name a song about their ‘love.' Without missing a beat he responded, ‘Time to Say Goodbye.'

After a quick commercial, it was time for this week's Ford music video. This one was actually pretty cool, showcasing our Top 6 as they sang "Tainted Love." I laughed my head off when I saw that everyone (minus David Archuleta) looked like a reject from a Mad Max movie. David Cook looked at ease with his highlighter red hair and Jason just looked scary, but it was Brooke that had the biggest transformation. I'm betting this is the first time Brooke had ever worn leather or teased her hair out Whitesnake-style.

Then it was finally down to business. The first contestants out on stage to find out if they had been eliminated were the two Davids- Cook and Archuleta. When asked why he performed the way he did last night, David C. said "what could be more unpredictable than singing the song the way it was written." Well put Mr. Cook! Ryan finally revealed their fates, and (no surprise here) both were safe. Unless something drastic happens, these guys are sailing to the finals.

As an intermission between elimination news, the producers put together a nice video package about past "Idol" contestants that are now starring on Broadway. We got to see Season 1's Tamyra Gray as she performed in "Rent," and Clay Aiken (creepy blond hair and all) as he sang in "Spamalot." Neither one of these is a real surprise, since both were very expressive singers with giant voices. And speaking of giant voices, the musical guest tonight was Simon Cowell's newest sensation, Leona Lewis, who sang her number one hit "Bleeding Love." If you don't know this girl yet, then you haven't been watching morning news shows, late night talk shows or listening to the radio, because she's everywhere! It was only a matter of time before she graced the "Idol" stage, seeing as how Simon discovered her on the British version of "Idol," "The X Factor." I'll go so far as to compare her to Mariah Carey, because she seems to have a very similar range. (Just a side note, but how much do you think it cost to install those four flamethrowers on the stage behind Leona Lewis and then fire those puppies near the end of the song? My guess, it was equal to one of Randy Jackson's paychecks.)

Pretty soon it was time to head back into the eliminations. Up next were Syesha Mercado and Brooke White. They made an interesting pair; one was last night's most confident singer (Syesha), while the other was the least (Brooke). I thought I knew where this was going. I figured Brooke would get some sympathy votes, but that she'd still land in the bottom. It was funny then that Syesha instead graced the first Stool of Doom. I guess it pays to screw up sometimes, because maybe the audience votes for you even more! I feel bad for Syesha though. She just can't catch a break!

As Ryan brought out the last pair of contestants, Carly Smithson and Jason Castro, I thought Slacker Jason would be joining Syesha. (And I've never been more convinced that Castro doesn't take the show seriously as he stared out into space and started mumbling to himself.) But it turned out that Carly was in the bottom again, unfortunately.

So now we had two of the best performers from Webber night, Carly and Syesha, sitting in the Bottom Two. As usual Simon summed it up when he said the show had switched into a popularity contest. His reasoning for why Brooke and Jason were safe this week? In Brooke's case he said she made herself seem more human, while for Jason he said it's because he's charming.

After making both Carly and Syesha sing their respective songs again, it was time for the moment of truth. No, not that obnoxious lie detector show on Fox! I'm talking about the results! After more than 30 million votes, America decided to keep Syesha for another week and send Carly packing. Sheesh, I felt bad for her. No one has worked harder to get this far than she has, and let's hope she gets some sort of record deal out of this. This was a wild elimination, especially if you look at how things stood a few months ago, when I was sure it would be David A. and Carly in the finals. Oh well, I guess all good things come to an end. So raise a glass of Guinness to our favorite former bar maid Carly, the girl with a big voice, a good sense of humor and a husband with a giant tattoo on his face.

What did you think of this week's elimination? Do you see big things in Carly's future? Was it time for her to go, or have Syesha, Jason or Brooke worn out their welcome? How would you predict the next four eliminations? My pick is 5) Syesha, 4) Jason 3) Brooke, 2)David Cook and 1) David Archuleta. Well, that's all for this week, but make sure you tune in next Tuesday for Neil Diamond night on "American Idol!" –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on April 24, 2008 12:29 AM
Permalink |

Although I am a big fan of Carly, I do not feel sorry for her. In fact, she has already released an album prior to AI, and there is no doubt in my mind that there will be big things awaiting for her after AI. Your predictions for the next four eliminations look about right. I think it would be great to a have a young kid like Archuleta, earning the Season 7 Crown. However, Cook is a much more consistent and innovative performer, and I think he deserves to be the true American Idol of this season.

-- 1. Posted by: Elvine Valladolid at April 24, 2008 1:08 PM

Thank goodness the homely woman with the big nose and the tattoos has been booted off IDOL...Carly Smithson did not sing---she screamed at you....She should have been eliminated weeks ago...I found it both difficult looking at, and listening to Carly Smithson...I am sure other viewers found the tattoos
repugnant too....This is how I think AMERICAN IDOL will conclude....The Winner will definitely be David Cook.....2...David Archuleta......3. Jason Castro.....4. Brooke White....5, Syesha Mercado.......

-- 2. Posted by: Logan at April 24, 2008 1:41 PM

Wow, shocking! I was very pleased that Brooke survived, but still shocked. I've thought Syesha should be on the block now for weeks, but Carly going instead was another shocker.

I would love it if David Cook won, but I just don't see a rocker ever winning this show. Bo Bice came close, and we all know Daughtry should have won. If Chris can't I just don't see Cook doing it either. Prove me wrong America.

My favs in order:
David A

My predicted order of finish:
David A
David C

-- 3. Posted by: Andy at April 24, 2008 2:08 PM

it doesn't matter to us who will win this season's AI. the remaining contestants lack the personality and charisma previous AIs have. our favorites had been voted off early in the competition.

-- 4. Posted by: marie at April 25, 2008 12:25 AM

she is a good singer

she should sing with more reverence
like the original singer of
'jesus christ superstar'
i think she may have turned off a lot of voters shouting His name like that
It sounded like she sang
with little respect

-- 5. Posted by: francene at April 25, 2008 1:08 PM

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