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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Three Times an Idol

archuleta-5.13.jpgEven if the two Davids stayed home this week and Syesha sang all nine songs, I still think she'd be in the bottom slot tomorrow. Seriously, nothing short of locking Archuleta and Cook in a closet and throwing away the key will help Syesha now. So, knowing her impossible odds, I'm surprised she didn't pick a better song for her second performance tonight. I agree with Simon that it basically sealed her fate, but let's rewind and take a look at the whole show, shall we? Tonight's episode was that point in the competition when our contestants sing three songs, one chosen by the judges, one of their own choosing and one hand-picked by the producers. Here's how it went round by round.

ROUND 1: Judge's Choice

David Archuleta: Starting the show was little David, who sang Paula's choice of Billy Joel's "And So it Goes." Paula said she chose the song because of its difficult melodies, but really it was a snooze fest. There's no denying David sang the heck out of it, but it was still very boring. I did like the fact that he sang the first part a cappella, something he should've been doing a lot more. Randy and Paula loved it, but Simon said it was predictable.

Syesha Mercado: Randy chose Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" for the last woman standing. I thought she did a great job hitting both the high and low notes, and her last note was amazing. Unfortunately, she fell into the trap of singing a song by a very well-known singer, which just made her sound copycat. I'm not sure what Randy was thinking on this one. What really would have worked is if she had sung a song originally performed by a man, so as to ensure no comparisons, kind of like what David Cook did next.

David Cook: Simon picked the strange choice of "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack. He insisted it was to force Cook into doing something completely different. And different it was! This song strayed so far out of David's comfort level, I expected him to slap Simon once it was over. But he managed to push through, even though at points I cringed at how high his voice was going. I side with Randy on this one that it needed more rock.

VERDICT: Simon says David C. won the first round, but I'm going to say Syesha had the better performance.

ROUND 2: Contestant's Choice

David Archuleta: There were so many ways this could have gone. David A. could've picked yet another ballad and hit one out of the park, but he didn't. Instead, he decided to do a song that was not only current but showcased his younger side. And while I agree that this is the correct direction he should be moving in, since he'll eventually have to woo the masses of tween girls that vote for him and old-fashioned ballads aren't going to cut it, but he chose the wrong song. For some strange reason he went with Chris Brown's "With You," which you can currently hear 5,688 times a day on your local radio station. You've heard it, the one that says "boo" over and over. Talk about a song that doesn't match the singer. For awhile there it sounded like a Disney sing-along, but eventually he seemed to loosen up and start to work the audience. He seemed to struggle with the tempo a bit, probably because he was too busy bobbing up and down on stage. This one was Archuleta's only real misfire all season (except for those times he forgot the lyrics).

Syesha Mercado: Earning the "What the Heck Were You Thinking" Award is Syesha for her choice of "Fever" by Peggy Lee. Clad in a sparkly tube top with no matching pants (wait, you're trying to tell me that was a dress? Oh, all right, never mind!), Syesha sang her song and danced around a chair. And to show you how risque the performance was, even the chair was blushing! I can't fault her vocals, because they were spot-on, but this was the performance that sealed her fate. As Simon said, "you will probably regret that decision."

David Cook: David C.'s second performance seemed a little lackluster. He chose rock band Switchfoot's "Dare You to Move," which is a pretty cool song that I think Cook could've done well with. Unfortunately, he didn't. Instead, his performance never got going. I understand they have to cut the song down, but he played way too much of the beginning. By the time came for him to finish up, he was just getting started. I also felt his voice was gravelly tonight and missing some of his spark.

VERDICT: Simon said it was just an OK middle round for everyone. I'm calling Round 2 a three-way draw for bad performances.

ROUND 3: Producer's Choice

David Archuleta: For his last song, the producer's picked "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg. Because, apparently the producers are excited at the prospect of sinking David's chances by throwing him yet another sappy, old-fashioned ballad-esque song. That being said, I think this was his best performance of the night and his vocals were very pure. I think it proved this kid can sing anything he wants (except Chris Brown songs, please stay away from those.)

Syesha Mercado: Yikes, they chose Gia Farrell's "Hit Me Up." Really? A bazillion songs in existence and they choose this forgettable thing off the "Happy Feet" soundtrack? Maybe if there had been dancing penguins on stage with her, it would've been fun. Alas, there was no tap-dancing penguin and there was no fun. Even Syesha looked bored while she sang it.

David Cook: For the last song of the night, Cook was handed the keys to one of the most well-known rock songs ever to be featured in a movie about giant asteroids. Yup, you guessed it, Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." This was probably the best choice for any contestant tonight, and by far the best performance from the Top Three as well. And despite Cook slowly turning into Steven Tyler by the end of the song, I think it was pretty cool.

VERDICT: Paula told Cook she'd see him in the finals and Simon said Cook wins the night. I'm not so sure he won the night, but I'm pretty sure he won the final round.

What did you think of the Top 3? Did Syesha sing her swan song? Is there any doubt that the two Davids will be in the finals? And do you think the producers were freaking out over Syesha's "Fever" outfit? Post your comments below and make sure you tune in tomorrow night to find out who's going to the finals! --Chris Sardelli


Posted by Chris on May 14, 2008 1:17 AM
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For the first time all season, and perhaps in response to all of the issues with David A's father, I felt like the producers switched sides in the backing of a David to win it all. I liked David Cook's version of "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," but it seemed like the Idol producers were playing king maker with it, what with the orchestra, fancy lighting, etc.

-- 1. Posted by: Lisa at May 14, 2008 9:42 AM

I won't disagree with any of your comments, they seem about right to me. David A & David C in the finals, its been pretty obvious since about the Top 9.

Syesha should have gone home 4 weeks ago, but I will say she has done pretty good nevertheless.

I'm still predicting David A wins. Which is fine for me. I'd like to see David C win too, but I still don't think AI will ever see a rocker win.

-- 2. Posted by: Andy at May 14, 2008 4:19 PM

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