Two weeks of Beatles. Like milk for Ron Burgundy, it was a bad choice.
For this particular group of Idols, I'm making a plea to the producers of the show to limit the candor, both during intros and critique retorts. It's become increasing obvious that this is not American Idol - MENSA edition. Between Jason Castro's stoner interpretation of what he thought were the lyrics to "Michelle" to Brooke White's surprisingly weird antics to Carly Smithson's metaphorical rant about "Blackbird" to David Archuleta's general demeanor, I'm beginning to have reservations about the mental fortitude of this band of kids to withstand the rigors of the competition as the stakes are risen. Carly Smithson, if not pregnant (kudos to Stephen P for this observation), must be a stress eater because she took a helium dart to the arms and her face is starting to look like Wilson from "Cast Away". Her sense of urgency could result in serious implosion pretty soon here and I dread the day she gets voted off. I'm anticipating her face to melt off like the villains who opened the Ark in the first Indiana Jones.
As for the breakdown of performances, I have to agree that Amanda Overmyers' schtick is getting tiresome, from a singing viewpoint. I wouldn't have expected her to last much longer until she rallied during her post performance speech. Yes, I just chastised the AI'ers for their critique retorts but I have to think her snubbing her nose at the judges won her some fans. "Hey, if I people are buying tickets to my show at a bar in Lafayette, I want them to know what they're getting." Shoot for the stars, Amanda. Shoot for the stars.
I'm back to loving Kristy Lee Cook because I feel bad for her now. Any time Paula says, "well, at least you look beautiful tonight", you're probably in hot water. She was marginally better than last week but her confidence is shattered and her chops weren't that good to begin with so here's to hoping voters do the right thing by her and have her look off at the bunnies while they tacitly put a bullet in her Idol career.
I bet a whole system of jokes could be birthed around Michael Johns' sweating problem. Michael Johns is so sweaty, kids skate on his forehead in the winter time. Shit like that. I still like his voice and though he was certainly off and pitchy at times last night, I am really, really, really sick of the Jim Morrison thing. His whole duck back, bounce over, duck back, hand to the sky like the sun's too bright, grab the mic with both hands routine is grinding on me. Just stand in there and belt out a tune, mate.
David Archuleta, the illegimate son of Josh Groban and Goofy, took another step toward stardom last night. Another little thing about him that drives me nuts? His incessant lip-licking. That guy must go through ten cylinders of chapstick a day. He was the bee's knees last night though, and I didn't even like the song. It's hard for me to denigrate his talents much more than picking away at his idiosynchracies so I'm moving on.
Brooke White freaked me out. I never like "Here Comes the Sun" anyways but I dug her opening and started thinking, here comes another winner. And then she moved. And then she said woo. And like when Big Earl made Starsky and Hutch act out a TWO dragon scene, it got a little weird. Somebody give that girl an accordion or something because her arms need to be occupied. Who knew it would come out so late in the game. Motion is her kryptonite. She looked like one of those crazy inflatable guys you see at a car wash. And her post performance meltdown? It was downright frightening. I thought she was going to put her fingers in her ears and spin in circles to avoid negativity. What a drop off from last week. Wow.
Simon has a point on David Cook and I hope his comments bring him back to Earth a little. He's still by far my favorite of this season and last night was very good but he's doing what Daughtry did a few seasons ago in that because he's rejiggering every song, he's become predictable. It's a common and easy to fall into Idol paradox. I expect he'll do better next week.
Carly Smithson's Blackbird was indulgent, per Simon's comments. However, if you don't go indulgent on it, it's a soft little song that doesn't do anything for you in the competition. And it's such a good Beatles song that someone had to sing it. So suck it, Simon. I didn't like it much myself but your rationale is hypocritical. Her little post performance meltdown about the contestants all being like Blackbirds with broken wings trying to get into the music business was so bad I had to fast forward through it like a Paula review. Enough of the stumping, people. Just take your medicine and exit stage left.
Jason Castro is admittedly, a moron. I think. Either that or he's the Kaiser Soze of this competition, because he looks like a stoned idiot whenever he speaks but when he sings he looks like he channels the soul of a person with a brain, if but for a minute forty. I thought his performance was great and I was surprised the judges didn't like it very much because he's really fluid when he sings and it comes out very sincere and professional sounding, even if you can't hear it from a mountain top.
Syesha Mercado sang sweet and soulful but I'm still not buying it. Maybe it's because I think most people with a better than average voice can perform a passable version of "Yesterday". I don't really know. I do know she doesn't do much for me, even in a very down episode. She'll last this week but I don't think she's here for the long run.
Chikezie fell into the trap of trying to reproduce the magic that was last week. I dig when he gets out of velvet ballad mode because I think he does have a very cool bluegrass voice but it was very sloppy last night and came across as very forced and as a result, desperate, even though he shouldn't be given last week's performance.
I still love little Ramiele and I really hope she sticks around. She has one of the best pure voices on the show and she sporadically showed it last night. Some of the notes she blasted out were tremendous. However, many were not that great and the arrangement was non-existent to piss poor and her outfit selection made her look like a centaur. I'm hoping and thinking she will make it through this week because I really think she hasn't come close to hitting her stride. I only hope her confidence isn't shot.
I guess that's it for now. If voters have any decency, they'll put Kristy Lee out of her misery but I think she might have won some sympathy votes with the intro montage about being in the bottom two every week. Syesha is always in trouble in my book because she doesn't stand out like the others. Chikezie's smile in the face of criticism makes me think he's safe. Amanda Overmyer could be in trouble but again, I think she may have won enough votes with her post performance rebellion. Other than that, I don't know. From here on out it could be tough to guess who's going. We'll see.