Archive for the 'American Idol' Category

American Idol Season 10: Top 5

Season 10

It’s been a while since I posted one of Dixie’s famous American Idol recaps. BUT, we are down to the wire, and these updates are too good to miss! A lot has happened since I last posted a Dixie-recap. For example, Casey was voted off, Casey was saved, and Casey was voted off again!

Enjoy Dixie’s recap (and commentary) from last night’s show. Whether you agree with Dixie or not, take a read and talk amongst yourselves!

AI TOP 5, DIXIE SAYS:

What a screech fest tonight!! Some truly cringe-worthy performances, and unfortunately, they were from my favorites. And what was up with the Wardrobe Department? JLo was dressed for a remake of “Somewhere in Time” audition and Lauren was resurrecting Tammy Wynette on her second number. So much for “Now and Then” night. Here are my reviews:

James Durbin

James Durbin

James “Closer to the Edge” and  “Without You”

Dang, James! What was that? I have been a solid James fan all season, and every week, he has made smart song choices which rendered great, creative performances. Tonight, however, was majorly disappointing.  His first vocal was an ear-splitting, out of tune, awful mess! How the judges found anything positive to say about it is beyond me.  He sounded so much better in rehearsal singing it with Sheryl Crow (whom I thought was an excellent mentor for everyone). And while I appreciate the emotion he put into “Without You“, I am no fan of this song.  If you’ve been reading my reviews in years’ past, you know I’ve coined it “The Co-Dependent’s Theme Song”. Regardless of my feelings for the song, it was obvious from the rehearsal footage that James wasn’t going to be able to hold it together for the performance.  I suspect he was pushed into it for the “entertainment” factor. So, we get an awful vocal, but American Idol gets the emotional story package.  I know that James is a sensitive guy, and I feel for his situation, but really… its not like he’s going off to war in Iraq where his wife and son can’t visit him.  He’s in Hollyweird! Even though neither performance was passable, I’m going to give him a pass just this one time and hopefully he will get enough sympathy votes to stay in the game.

Jacob Lusk

Jacob Lusk

Jacob “No Air” and “Love Hurts”

What JLo? What Steven Tyler? That “No Air” performance was easily one of the worst things I’ve heard all season, and of course, only faint criticism. Randy was the only judge giving Jacob good advice, but did he have to throw Jordin Sparks under the bus to do it? And as most of you know, I am no fan of Jordin Barks. Jacob sang about five out of tune words the entire song and thankfully, let the back up singers do the rest. Horrible performance and one of the worst song choices to date on this show.  “Love Hurts” was much better and I love that he took a rock song and did his Lusky, gospel thing with it.  Still, I think Jacob is in grave danger of going home tomorrow night, but I would have to agree that it might be his time.

Lauren Alaina

Lauren Alaina

Lauren “Flat On The Floor” and ”Unchained Melody”

Thank you Sheryl Crow for bringing up Lauren’s breathing issues. Note to Lauren: Not a bright idea to invite comparisons to Carrie Underwood, especially when you are not even close vocally and sound so out-of-breath.  And this particular Carrie Underwood song was especially a bad song choice because its not very well known and its too wordy and fast-paced for Lauren. She was skipping about every fourth word and swallowing great gulps of air just to get through it.  While it started out okay, she just doesn’t have the big voice or the big range to finish it off. Lauren’s second performance went horribly awry and it sounded as though she was making up the lyrics as she went along.  Besides going badly off-key, delivering a dull performance, and forgetting the lyrics, JLo and Steven Tyler took the “nothing to judge” approach. Nothing to judge? You’ve just declared yourselves officially useless.  Lauren, looking more orange than ever, is incapable of delivering a dynamic performance and/or vocal.  As usual, I put her in the middle of the pack.

Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery

Scotty “Gone” and “You Were Always On My Mind”

LOVED Scotty singing “Gone”! Best Performance of the Night by a million miles!! That song happens to be one of my favorite country songs of all time, and believe it or not, I even find it worthy of a Zumba routine! I’ve kicked around the idea several times, so you never know.  Okay- back to Scotty… I thought he had absolutely incredible vocals on both songs tonight. “Gone” was energetic and exciting and “You Were Always On My Mind” had all the tenderness of a typical smooth Scotty ballad.  On a night of ear bleeding performances, Scotty took over the stage and blew the first three contestants away. If he keeps this up, I just may become a fan. I always knew he would be in at the finale with James, but after tonight, he may just win this thing.

Haley Reinhart

Haley Reinhart

Haley “You and I” and “House Of The Rising Sun”

What is going on in the universe that I disliked James’ performances and liked Haley’s? Don’t get me wrong- she still bugs me as much as ever, but vocally, I thought she was pretty darn good.  So, Jimmy Iovine ‘offers up’ some unreleased Lady Gaga number that no one has ever heard of, Haley sings it perfectly, and then the judges rip her up and down for taking a risk? Is it just me, or was that Gaga critique infuriating? Not a single criticism for James or Jacob or Lauren, yet Haley gets an entire panel of downers? My husband, who is also not a Haley fan, thinks that the judges’ critiques on the first song was a set up so that she could have the big redemption moment at the end in the pimp spot, which she also had last week. As it would be, I also disagree with the judges on the second song.  While I think Haley sang it fairly well, it was definitely not Standing Ovation worthy.  Siobhan slayed this song last year, and Haley did not. She tried too hard to do all those vocal tricks (growling, runs, etc) and then didn’t nail the basics of singing the song.  I’m a little confused about how TPTB feel about Haley; they go from straight up bussing her out to crowing her the winner.  For the first time ever this season, I am declaring Haley as safe.

Going home: Jacob… unfortunately, our preacher man’s time has come.  Stay tuned!

Top 11 review HERE.

Top 12 review HERE.

Dixie is a contributor to Laptop TV Mom. The words and opinions are hers and are unedited by me.

Photo credits: American Idol official Web site

American Idol Season 10: Top 11

AI Season 10: Top 11

AI Season 10: Top 11

Another great show by the “kids” of American Idol, and another great recap by LTV Mom contributor Dixie. I personally think Stefano should go home, Haley needs a standing microphone, and Scotty looks young enough to be my child. I digress, Dixie’s recap is much better than mine.

DIXIE SAYS:

Motown saves the season, once again!! Now that’s what I call a show!! Randy didn’t need to use the word ‘pitchy’ tonight because frankly, nobody was. Even though the contestants were a zillion times better than last week, my dislike of Jimmy Iovine continues to grow. He gets at least four times longer to spout off clichés than the contestants get to sing. And he completely takes out the element of surprise when he summarizes their performances BEFORE we see them; he really robbed Naima of a mini-moment with her African Dance.

On to my reviews:

Casey “Heard It through the Grapevine”

It’s official. I’m over the Werewolf in a suit. His growls just aren’t melodic enough for me, and for whatever reason, he can’t re-create the magic he possessed during Hollywood week. The song did make me want to grab a handful of raisins, but that’s about all it did for me. I was relieved that he actually knows the girl he vocally assaulted in the crowd.

Thia “Heat Wave”

Unfortunately, there’s nothing less credible than a 12 year old singing about a ‘burning flame inside’, but at least she picked up the pace and broke out of her shell a bit more. Thia’s tone is gorgeous and I truly love her voice, but why didn’t the judges call her out on the butchered lyrics? I was happy that she mentioned it in the after clip, but WOW, that was one of the worst fumbles to date on this show. Definite improvement over last week, but if she doesn’t work out her kinks, Thia will not last much longer.

Jacob “You’re All I Need”

When he said he was singing Marvin Gaye and Tammie Terrell, I was so sure he was going to add, “And I’ll be singing both parts.” Now THIS is the Jacob I fell in love with in Hollywood. Perfect pitch, pleasing tone, unbelievable control, and even his skin looked flawless tonight. Motown is definitely Jacob’s lane and this week, he gets my vote for Best of the Night. The only thing wrong with this performance was his ill-fitting jacket. Bravo Lusky Stank!!

Lauren “You Keep Me Hanging On”

Do I see shades of the great one, Kelly Clarkston? That was awesome! Lauren’s confidence is finally back and she nailed her performance tonight. The little twang in her voice sounded great, and the little sashay behind the judges wasn’t bad either. Not very smart to knock the online community; they are voters too, ya know. With her stick straight hair and flowy dress, she looked like Kristy Alley’s younger sister.

Stefano “Hello”

Note to Stefano: You seem like a nice boy, but please step away from the “Hello.” After David Cook’s rendition, it only sets you and anyone else up for failure. Never heard the song before, huh? I thought he’s been an avid watcher of the show for nine years… something isn’t quite adding up. Regardless, all of Stefano’s performances sound the same and look the same and he just cannot connect. I now realize that he is physically incapable of keeping his eyes open when he sings; so much for promises! And does this song really qualify for Motown? Maybe it follows the letter of the theme, but definitely not the spirit of it.

Haley “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me”

It’s the American Idol stylists who’ve really got a hold on Haley: perfectly straight hair, 8 inch heels, exposed belly, and Haley Svarnato’s old short-shorts. Someone needs to tell her that the AI audience doesn’t go for sexy; it’s a waste of energy. Haley’s vocals were an improvement from last week, but that isn’t saying much. Stomping about the stage while singing seems so unnatural and lame, but she earns points for not breaking an ankle. Bye-Bye Haley…

Scotty “For Once In My Life”

Tough card to be dealt for Mr. Country, you’d think… but naaaawww… Scotty countrified Motown and did it like a true professional. It’s strange, but I really enjoy the physicality of his performances- the way he moves and throws himself into each song. It’s almost like a cartoon, but highly entertaining. Scotty is in this competition for the long haul.

Pia “All In Love Is Fair”

And she power ballads Motown. Pia has an incredible voice and she looks amazing, but YAWN CITY… her performances are musical Ambien. I also feel she’s edging closer and closer to McPhee Territory. Hopefully next week she will stop being passive aggressive with the ballads and go up-tempo, maybe break free from the robot she has become.

Paul “Tracks of My Tears”

Mad props to Paul’s guitar for keeping him in one spot. The flailing around the stage was cute at first, but I’m so happy I didn’t have to watch it again. Loved the song choice, the arrangement, and the performance. But to be perfectly honest, Paul doesn’t actually sing, so it’s hard to judge what he does. To paraphrase Woody from Toy Story, “He’s not singing. He’s whispering in style.” That would be Paul.

Naima “Dancing In the Streets”

Let’s face it; Naima is in some alternate universe competition and it really has nothing to do with this competition. She just gets up there and does whatever the heck she wants to do, and I love that about her. Pia could take a few lessons from her. Naima’s vocals were SO much better tonight; she really did work on the pitchiness! She really wants to bring that African vibe to the stage and in my opinion, she is successful at it. Once again, Naima may be in danger of going, but hopefully, she gets to stick around to surprise us for one more week.

James “Living For The City”

Finally in the coveted Spot de Pimpage, and he was all kinds of awesome!! Loved the prolonged acknowledgement/encouragement from the crowd. James has incredible stage presence, terrific vocals, and the boy can dance! I do that little ‘rear step ball change’ move in my class, so I appreciate the choreography. When I decided that he was my favorite, I didn’t realize he had such a cute personality, but now he’s bordering on over the top/showoff, which I do not dig. Tone it down, James. Regardless, he is a star and I believe this competition is his to lose. Who would have thought??

Overall, no obvious clunkers tonight, except Haley in those heels. Bottom 3? I’m thinking Stefano, Haley, Naima… with Haley going home. Stay tuned.

Top 12 recap can be found HERE.

Dixie is a contributor to Laptop TV Mom. The words and opinions are hers and are unedited by me.

Photo Credit: American Idol Homepage

American Idol Season 10: Top 12

Season Ten

Season Ten

I am excited to welcome another “roving reporter” to the LTV Mom family. Everyone, meet Dixie who will be providing weekly American Idol recaps from her living room in Florida. This TV-watching mama loves American Idol, but Dixie is way funnier (and much more clever) than I. You might not always agree with Dixie’s take on the American Idol performances, but I promise you will laugh each and every week!

AI Top 12, DIXIE SAYS:

Tonight, the role of JLo’s hair will be played by Cousin It from The Addams Family. Maybe I am just tired and grumpy, but not one performance wowed me tonight. Just about everyone sounded either off key, screamy, or both. James’ “Another Thing Coming” and Stefano’s Sing for Your Life Wildcard performance are the only performances so far this season that made the hair stand up on my arms.

Also, I’m already so sick of this Iovine guy… and by the way, was he on Seinfield or another sit com? He rubs me the wrong way- he’s weirdly oily, slightly predatory, and he’s certainly giving off the impression that he’s a world class jackel. Anyone? The way he shrinks down into his seat with the baseball hat and glasses makes me think he is hiding something. Besides, he’s not adding anything to the show; in fact, I think he may be making the contestents worse.

On to my reviews:

Naima “What’s Love Got To Do With It” (The Staccato Stomp Remix)

Even though she has more stage presence than the other girls, Naima’s vocals are shakey at best. And I’m glad they finally addressed her pitch problems. If only her voice was as strong as her charisma. I think she could be in danger of going home, but personally, I hope she gets to stay a little longer.

Paul “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”

Tonight Paul looked like a cleaned up homeless man, aimlessly wondering about the stage. He improved from last week and hit most of the notes, but he has a tendency to fall off a bit at the end of each phrase. Perhaps he is out of breath, or maybe he just needs more training. He’s unique if nothing else.

Thia “Colors of the Wind” (Watching the Paint Dry Remix)

Thia was, like, born yesterday. One of my cats is three years older than her. Her parents remark, “We’ve rarely see her cry.” Really? Because we see her cry all the time! This young girl has very impressive pipes and a beautiful tone, but she really, REALLY needs to pick it up. Her performances are too calm and Zen-like… read boring.

James “I’ll Be There For You” (Rock Out with My Tail Remix)

The Tail Returneth!!! A rich inner vein of crazy? Yeah, it’s called Tourettes, and James didn’t chose it… it kind of chose him. What a cute video of his childhood ABC’s- and he did have perfect pitch! James’ vocals were reminiscent of Jon Bon Jovi himself, but even my favorite sounded wobbly tonight. I wasn’t nearly as impressed with James as I normally am. And Steven Tyler was correct: don’t go too poppy! His backstage scream was the most entertaining thing of the entire show for me this week. Sooo Jacob is not in the band, huh? Wonder what that’s all about.

Haley “I’m Your Baby Tonight” (The Baby Voice Edit)

Very jazzy which I like, but very mush mouth which I dislike. Seriously, I couldn’t understand a single word she sang! All I can say is that she got through it and I wouldn’t doubt it if she is hitting the seal. Very cute how Peaches helped her out with the red lipstick on her chin.

Stefano “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (Forehead Vein Popping Remix)

Best performance of the night? What? If anything, Stefano makes me miss Elliott Yamin! He did a decent job, but his voice isn’t nearly as limber as he thinks it is. Plus, his performances, minus his Wildcard Performance, always remind me of a high school musical where the soloist is trying way too hard.

Pia “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” (Trying to Win This Thang Version)

The only way to calm her down as a child was to video tape her singing? Dad should have dipped her pacifier in NyQuil and called it a night. The grandfather moment was very touching. Pia has a strong voice, but her performances do not have one single ounce of surprise. She seems like a very nice person, but she has zero personality, zero originality. Also, the arrangement kind of stunk; this is supposed to be a sad song, not a dance number. Despite the yawn factor and the lame arrangement, Pia did have the best vocals of the evening.

Scotty “Can I Trust You With My Heart” (Leanin’ Side ta Side Remix)

Daddy and Mommy can sing pruty well, thankyewverramuch. Very good performance and the ending was an awesome surprise! Now even the country kid is glory-noting the ending! Maybe the one trick Pony is learning a few more tricks. Not that he needs to; Scotty is safe for at least 11 more weeks.

Karen “Love Will Lead You Back” (The Bilingual Remix)

Subtitles por Madre? ‘This is the Oscar in my life.’ Sniff, sniff. Te amo too, Madre!! Despite the follicular disaster and looking like an extra in an Austin Powers movie, Karen was WAY better than last week. She hit all the notes, but without a great deal of power. I think she sings too timidly. She says she doesn’t want to be known as the contestant who always sings in Spanish… and then she seques into Spanish. This song sent Mikalah packing in Season 4,and I have a strong feeling that it may do the same for Karen in Season 10.

Casey “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

LOVE his parents; perhaps the reason he is such an old soul is because of his older parents. “I like to take risks,” Casey says. This was the musical version of cutting yourself. Besides the fact that he got many of the lyrics wrong, he just didn’t pull this off. Wish James would have sang this song. Disappointed to say the least.

Lauren “I’m The Only One”

Lauren’s parents look younger than she does! Pretty good performance considering she is sick; maybe the codine is loosening her up a bit. Definitely better than last week’s forgetful number. This song still reminds me of Pickler.

Jacob “Alone” (The Idol Magic Maker Remix)

Although it was better than last week’s pitchy performance, Jacob is yet another one who is disappointing me. Where is the guy who sang “God Bless the Child” during Hollywood Week? I think he started out too high and once again encountered pitch problems, just not as severe as last week. I will give him points for being original while singing one of the go-to songs for AI- it was half gospel, half diva, and he certainly knew how to gay it up with the Lusky Stank. I’m not saying he’s gay- I don’t know- I’m just saying that he gayed up the song.

Overall, not a very good night for the contestants. I say get rid of the Iovine guy. Bottom 3? I predict Karen, Haley, and Naima… with Karen going home. Stay tuned!

Dixie is a contributor to Laptop TV Mom. The words and opinions are hers and are unedited by me.

Photo Credit: American Idol

American Idol Season 7: Season Finale

LTV Mom actually watched the show real-time, and thought it was one of the best finales to date.  Both Davids were spectacular.  But you don’t care what I think… you want to hear from Dixie, who is calling this her "goodbye blog."

DIXIE SAYS:

Poor
Ryan! Michael Buffer stole his moment! He LIVES for “This… is American Idol!”
And on this, the eve of the holiest of all Idoldays. The whole boxing analogy
was kind of lame, although David Cook looked very cool in his robe and gloves,
and even moved like a real boxer. What cracked me up was the little montage at
the beginning which explained what they were battling it out for… they showed
Kelly, Carrie… and Daughtry? DAUGHTRY DID NOT WIN
, TPTB. You can say
that it happened, but it totally didn’t. Get over it. And don’t make the same
mistake again.

Randy
thinks its 2007? I guess he’s too far up David Archuleta’s butt to find a
calendar. Once again, he mentions the phone book… could he be any more
pointless? And what was Paula wearing? She looked like a drugged out Barbie in
her finest pink bedazzled couture.

At
the beginning of the show, Ryan asked the judges what it would take for a
contestant to win, and they replied that it would take “stepping out of the
box, stepping out of the comfort zone”. Archuleta never left this little box,
yet they eagerly handed the night over to him. I’m not sure if the judges are
trying to sway the vote OR if Archuleta has been getting such an overwhelming
number of votes that the judges just want to be on the winning side. I can’t
recall Simon ever getting a winner prediction wrong.

The
amount of “bus-throwing” tonight was incredibly disgusting. I think that Cook
both out sang and out performed Archuleta. All of Cook’s songs, including his
“non-winning” coronation song, floored me! With as much gaspy potential as
Archie has, he sang nothing but ballad-y type songs all season long. And he
feels he “connects” with every single one of them? Sorry boy, there’s
absolutely no way you could connect with just about every song you’ve sang in
your short life, let alone “Imagine”. Besides being a better vocalist, Cook has
shown versatility, and has a thesaurus so he doesn’t have to say “he connected
with” every song.

Cook
David
Cook

“Still
Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

Great
opening song and Cook sang it to the hilt!

“Dream
Big”

For
the first time in seven seasons, I actually thoroughly enjoyed a coronation
song! Simon said it didn’t sound like a winning song- has he HEARD the past
seasons’ songs? They were dreary and dreadful. This song has life, the lyrical
content was inspiring, and the pop/rock arrangement was ALL
THAT! I did notice
that he flubbed a lyric in the final chorus, singing the “have faith” line
instead of the “dream big” one, but if the song hadn’t have been so catchy, I
wouldn’t have noticed. I still haven’t got the song out of my head. LOVED IT!
Can’t wait to download it! If this wasn’t stepping out of the box, then what
is?

“The
World I Know”

Cook
singing a completely new song was pretty cool, and I thought it was really
unfair of Simon to slam him for not singing “Billie Jean” or “Hello”. “Yeah, I
know we changed it this year and said you could pick anything you wanted… but
what we really meant was we want you to reprise something you already sang,
like we’ve always done.” Cook’s final performance was beautiful, heartfelt, and
moving. I was even touched by his tears at the end, whatever the reason for
them- happiness in getting this far, seeing his brother in the audience,
knowing that the bus was about to run him over…

Archuleta_2David
Archuleta

“Don’t
Let The Sun Go Down On Me”

Although
it didn’t hold a candle to Clay’s version in Season 2, I do agree that it was
Archie’s best performance on this show. What ruined it for me was the way he
stood there quivering as he listened to the judges. I can’t even put into words
the way he acts during the judges’ critique. It’s like they starve him or
deprive him of water until after the show is over. He looked like he was about
to pass out.

“In
This Moment”

In
a word: painful. This coronation song was more wretched than “My Destiny.” It’s
like Simon is just used to crappy, boring, ballad-y coronation songs.

“Imagine”

LOVED
that David Cook basically called Archuleta out by saying “I didn’t want to sing
something I had already sang”. Songs never have the same impact the second time
around. I didn’t like Archuleta’s performance of this song the first time, and
I basically hated it tonight. I’m no Beatles/Lennon fanatic, but besides
leaving out most of the verses, I’m pretty sure Archie flubbed many, many
lines. Am I right? He should be ashamed!

If
Cook hadn’t delivered, I am woman enough to admit it. But he did… and I hope
and pray that he wins! Even if Archie pulls off a win, what kind of album would
he have? Either way, Cook will definitely sell more albums have a long,
successful career. Let’s all say it together: DAUGH. TRY
.

Like
all good things, this too must come to an end. It’s been a pleasure blogging
“American Idol” for the past three seasons, and I appreciate all of your
positive comments…

Dixie out!

 

American Idol Season 7: Top 3

We are getting down to the wire, and it looks like my prediction for a David-David finale is about to come true.  We’ll know in short order.  In the meantime, here is the much-anticipated recap from LTV guest-blogger Dixie!

DIXIE SAYS: If
there was any doubt about who TPTB are pulling for, look at the last song aka
Producer’s Choice: Little David gets a mournful funeral hymn. Syesha gets a
penguin cartoon song. And David Cook gets one of the biggest hit songs ever,
complete with string arrangement and back up orchestra. Obvious much?

David_archuletaDavid
Archuleta “And So It Goes” “With You” “Longer”

Little
David was his usual boring self, although I really liked the Billy Joel number
that Paula chose for him. He sang it rather flawlessly and it was probably my
favorite performance by him to date. Watching Monchichi destroy “With You” sent
me outside on the back porch to play with the cats until it was over. I
actually ran out of the room Monty Python-style. His awkward dancing and saying
things like “Boo” and “Stunna” was just too much for my brain. Did I mention
hip gyrations? GACK!!! It had a very Jon-Benet feel to the whole thing and it
creeped me out! Okay, the last time I heard “Longer” it was three in the
morning on one of those CD collection infomercials. Let’s keep it there. They
did him no favors with such a gooey song choice. He sang it well, but it
reminded me of the “Lite FM” station that is played in an insurance office.
Despite all of this, Little David will be in the finals.

Syesha_mercadoSyesha
Mercado “If I Ain’t Got You” “Fever” “Hit Me Up”

Syesha
looked great (in the first two costumes at least), but overall, her singing was
kind of average. Why did you pick the Alicia Keys song, Randy? “Dawg, because I
know that Syesha already sang it on another TV show and I am the most
unoriginal, uncreative dawg on the planet.” She sounded pretty good on the
judges’ pick, but as Simon pointed out, she didn’t really change it up or add
anything special to the song. As much as Randy loves her, how obvious can Simon
be about wanting her to go home? Seriously, I was waiting for Simon to
physically pack Syesha’s suitcase and schlep it up onto the stage for her.
Although I love “Fever”, I don’t understand why Syesha chose it. For once,
Paula made sense about not being able to see who Syesha is as an artist. And
finally, the producer’s pick for Syesha was their way of making sure she
doesn’t make it to the finals. What was she supposed to do with that rappy,
fast, vocally-impossible tune? Was Syesha trying to dress like a penguin? It’s
hard to believe she was the last girl standing… but her time is so up.

David_cookDavid
Cook “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” “Dare You To Move” “I Don’t Want To
Miss A Thing”

Yes,
Randy, Roberta Flack is predictable for David Cook. Is he stealing Paula’s pain
pills or what? And I wish he’d quit talking about the phonebook. I loved
Simon’s pick for David and I thought he did an amazingly awesome job with it.
Round one definitely goes to the Cookster. He didn’t sound all that great on
his second song, but I think it could have been better if he had more time to
build up to the chorus. David just seemed a little flat on many of his notes.
Not that it has anything to do with his singing, but the red flower on the end
of his guitar was a sweet touch! His final number was in a word… beautiful. The
violins were lovely and made it just a teeny bit different from the original.
David was given the ultimate pimp spot with a smokin’ hawt light show and the
song writer (Diane Warren) in attendance! Now tell me that isn’t a total
“Chosen One” move by TPTB. Yeah, yeah, I’m headed to the grassy knoll… but this
year,

TCO happens to be my
favorite, so let it ride!

Best
of the night: Simon, for the most spot on judging I’ve ever seen

Going
Home: Randy, for being a worthless waste of a front row seat

(Ok,
Ok… best of the night is David Cook by a 100 miles… buh-bye Syesha!)

American Idol Season 7: Top 4

Wow, I think my prediction of a David vs. David finale is coming true! Yes, even I — LTV Mom — loved David Archuleta this week.   But you don’t care what I think, you want to hear from Dixie (especially after last week’s hiatus!)

DIXIE SAYS:  Tonight’s
show was thoroughly underwhelming, especially considering how many excellent
songs they had to choose from. This seems as good a time as any to announce
that this will be my last year blogging for American Idol. The love loss for
the show really started last year with Jordin Barks and Blake Lewis in the
finale. I was hoping Season 7 would renew my passion, but it hasn’t. Although
each week has become increasingly more excruciating to watch, I’m committed to
see this train wreck to the end. I’d never quit mid-season!

 

With
that said, I am very excited to announce that I will once again be blogging “So
You Think You Can Dance”. Season Four premieres on May 22nd, and I
will start my blog with the live Top 20. I watch many other competition reality
shows, so if you have any other blog ideas, I’m definitely open to them. Just
please, no more American Idol!!!

 

Here
are my reviews of the Top 4:

 

David_cook

David Cook “Hungry Like The Wolf” and “Baba O’Reilly”

Is this the same guy who knocked my socks off with “Billie Jean”?
The magic has definitely vanished. I still think he has a great voice, but
there’s something missing. On the Duran, Duran song, the audio mix was so
screwed up, he sounded like he was singing acapella. Sound issues aside, it was
a decent performance, but far from his best. Even on The Who song, I was
expecting a lot more from him. His falsetto was awesome, but he didn’t do
anything special with the performance. The ending had no energy and it felt
unfinished. I’m sure he’s safe, but I kind of get the feeling that he wants to
go home. Perhaps his brother has taken a turn for the worse and he wants to
spend some time with him before the tour starts. Personally, I’d like to see
him win this thing. You know, a little Daughtry retribution!

 

Syesha_mercado

Syesha Mercado “Proud Mary” and “A Change Is Going To Come”

SyMEsha
is excited about the tour because she’ll be able to meet her fans. So, what is
she going to do for all those weeks after she meets both of them? Just kidding.
I want SyMEsha to go home solely for the fact that she referred to herself in
the 3rd person in her first video package. Then, I had to watch her second
video package three times to make sure I actually heard her compare her
American Idol journey to the Civil Rights Movement. And yeah, she did. The
mind, it boggles. The fact that she was totally AMAZING on her second song was
utterly ruined by her asinine video package. That said, Randy dissing her made
absolutely no sense. It had to be because the producers told him to. I thought
her vocals during the Sam Cooke song were darn near perfect, but ouch, “Proud
Mary” was high and screechy. The slow intro was great and attempting the
choreography was a nice touch, but she ain’t no Tina. At the beginning of the
show when Ryan announced that three of the top four contestants have
consistently been the top vote getters, you know Syesha is the odd man out.
Because of that, she might be leaving this week.

 

Jason_castro

Jason
Castro “I Shot The Sheriff” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”

You
see, if America
would have booted
Jason off when they should have, we wouldn’t have had the pleasure of hearing
these amazingly awful, cringe worthy performances. Pack your suitcase, indeed!
When Paula says, “It is what it is”, you know it’s the end of the road! Bob
Marley was choking on his dreads during the first song and Jar Jar was choking
on the words during the second. I expected a train wreck after what he’s been
bringing to the table for the past several weeks, but this was even worse than
I expected. Thanks for exceeding my expectations! As nice and funny as he
seems, Jason is definitely not worthy of being in the Top Four. Either someone
smuggled some serious bud into this boy on Monday or he’s over it and trying to
get eliminated.

 

David_archuleta_2David Archuleta “Stand By Me” and “Love Me Tender”

The
season is nearing the end and I finally agree with the judges in regards to
little David; he definitely sang the best in Round 1 and I absolutely loved his
version of Elvis. He is still closing his eyes and adding new bad habits every
time he performs, but he definitely out sang the elders this week (with the
exception of Syesha’s second song). Of course, Randy’s comments were still over
the top pimping, but he’s obviously just sticking to the script.

 

Worst
of the Night: Jason, who threw himself under the bus.

 

Going
Home: Syesha (just because I don’t think she gets many votes). Of course I
think it should be Jason, but then again, I thought Kat McPhake should have
left when Chris Daughtry was voted off and that was the Top 4.

 

American Idol Season 7: Top 6

Ai_top_6

Blogging from Florida, heading to Graceland shortly.  Still watched AI…

DIXIE SAYS: I love Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber! He really helped the contestants with their musicality and the ability to sell the song. Actually knowing what you’re singing about and feeling it? What a concept! Most mentors are not in the audience on performance night, but I figured he would be since he is into live theater. Too bad the guy next to him took up half of his seat. On with the show:

Syesha Mercado "One Rock and Roll Too Many"

Well now! That was unexpected! This year more than ever, just when someone is long over due to get the boot, they suddenly become professional vocalists and performers. We finally got to see Syesha in her element; she stopped pretending to be a power belter, and revealed herself as a showgirl… and a good one at that! She showed tons of personality, and it was definitely her best performance and vocal to date! Syesha obviously had fun with it and brought some charisma which has been lacking up until now. Because there were so many ballads, she should stand out, but it will be interesting to see what happens tonight. She’s not very popular compared to the other contestants, she went first, and she performed a song that is nowhere near as well known as “Memories” or “Music of the Night.” In my humble opinion, she shouldn’t be in trouble this week.

Jason Castro “Memories”

“I didn’t know a cat sang this song.” That is and will always be a classic line for me. Thank you Lord Weber for explaining the intense emotions behind the lyrics, that an old cat, who used to be so beautiful and agile, is on her death bed and she’s replaying her life one more time before she dies. Unfortunately, I don’t think Jason “got it”. He didn’t sound as bad as a dying cat, but he was still ridiculously bad. For a minute there, I thought he was going to pass out. Second train wreck in two weeks. I heard that three of the contestants wanted this song- Jason, Carly, and David Archuleta- and Jason, unfortunately for us, drew the long straw. Someone should have introduced this boy to Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. He’s definitely in danger this week.

Brooke White “You Must Love Me”

A song written for a thin-voiced actress, sung by a thin-voiced girl with a weepy persona. Except for the “stop and start” at the beginning, which made me gasp, it was dull. We finally have our first Idol Meltdown. With all they put these kids through, I’m surprised it has taken seven seasons! Kind of strange how Paula praised Brooke for starting and stopping her piano playing several weeks ago, but critiqued her for the same thing last night. And then Simon essentially excused it. So, okay… I don’t know how you don’t start over if you’ve lost the lyrics and your mind is drawing a blank. The obvious answer is to stay focused and don’t forget the lyrics! No one has ever stopped and started on this show before, have they? The only positive about Brooke tonight is that she kept quiet long enough to let the judges speak. Wardrobe-wise, I wish she had picked something with a little more gravitas. Evita and butterflies really do not go together. Brooke would be a really obvious choice for the boot, but her breakdown will galvanize her fan base, as well as earn her some pity votes.

David Archuleta “Think of Me”

Did they really bring tweens up on stage to hug little David? Ick. The pimp machine was really in overdrive tonight, until Simon finally told the truth. This was a forgettable snore, and he forgot the words again. Someone get this kid some cue cards! When Lord Weber told him to keep his eyes open, I almost fell off the sofa! The best part is that he listened to his mentor! I could feel his concentration to keep those eyes open and stare into the camera. Now if we could just get rid of his new bad habit, the “Boy Band Reaching Hand of Tenderness”. I don’t deny that he has a decent voice, especially for his age, but I just find him devoid of all personality. As usual, it doesn’t matter. He is safe.

Carly Smithson “Superstar”

More sleeves!! Her stylist earned his paycheck this week- that dress was gorgeous! Carly, girlfriend, just leave the ballads alone and dork out while you’re rockin’ (when the themes allow). It was obvious she was having fun, and she got to be a goofball afterwards. Not sure who had the idea for the T-shirt, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they had two of them made- a Simon likes me and a Simon doesn’t like me. Vocally, I thought it was screechy and mega-shouty. At one point, I thought she was yelling just so we could hear her over Bandzilla. They were out of control on this one! Also, the theme of this song might not play well in middle America. I know I didn’t especially dig it! How crazy would it be if Carly got eliminated for following ALW’s advice?

David Cook “Music of the Night”

This wasn’t DC’s greatest performance, but I think it showed he can do something besides angst. It was great to hear him sing something straight and that high note in the middle was to die for. Honestly, I don’t think Chris Daughtry could have pulled this one off. David Cook has such naturally commanding stage presence- being trained in musical theater comes in handy, huh Dave? A black tuxedo and a mask would have added to the performance- okay, maybe just the tux. Definitely my favorite of the night.

Going home? Mmmmm… Syesha, Jason, or Brooke…. Possibly Carly but probably not. The only contestants that I know are safe are David and David.

American Idol Season 7: Top 7

Ai_top_7I have to admit: Mariah Carey week was better than I expected.  I also have to admit that Mariah Carey is uber-talented, even though she is equally annoying.  But, enough from me, I know you want to hear from Dixie.  Here is this week’s recap.

DIXIE SAYS: This was
it? Really? Where were all the fun Mariah songs? You know, “Fantasy”,
“Dreamlover”, “Someday”, “Emotions”? I realize the up-tempo songs are harder to
sing, but the top seven should be able to pull it off. Tonight was a
ballad-ridden snorefest. And to make matters worse, rumor has it that Michael
Johns was intending to sing a bluesy, soulful rendition of “Vision of Love”,
which would have been awesome.

 

David Archuleta “When You Believe”

I still
have many issues with his singing abilities. Even though he nailed the glory
notes, the verses were either breathy or nasally. He even fell behind the beat
for a few seconds and had to catch up. Of course, he did the ending proud and
once again, received lavish over-praise that I will never understand. He will
be completely safe for many weeks to come no matter how he sings. Performance
wise, I don’t like looking at him. He reminds me of a smurf and he just isn’t
credible. Wardrobe wise, in spite of the switch from blazers to leather pants;
he’s still a dorky 17 year old boy with a sheepish personality. I’m not sure
what Simon meant by “not a lot of laughs tonight”. I don’t think Archie knew
what he meant either. Are there normally a lot of laughs?

Carly Smithson “Without You”

Sleeves!!
Sleeves!! Beautiful three-quarter length sleeves! Thank you, stylists!! Unfortunately, that’s the most positive thing
I have to say about this performance. First of all, “Without You”, which is a
song about loneliness and suicide, isn’t technically a Mariah song; it was
written by a guy who actually killed himself! Mariah covered it and turned it
into a vapid love song, complete with back up singers and choreography.
Honestly, the video is the most emotionally tone-deaf, repulsive thing I’ve
ever seen on MTV. Not kidding. Secondly, this had to be Carly’s flattest, most
unaffected performance to date. Rather than sounding like she couldn’t go on
living, Carly sounded like she might be bummed for awhile, but with some Ben
& Jerry’s and a few chick flicks, she’d actually be okay. Technically,
Carly is always pretty close to perfect, but I think she started too low and
screeched too high. I really wanted Carly in the top three, so hopefully,
she’ll squeak by.

Syesha Mercado “Vanishing”

Although
Syesha was pretty good technically, she has no soul and that’s why she
continues to fail to connect with the audience and her song choice. She just
sings the notes. Personally, I thought she was smart to choose a song we don’t
really know. She has obviously learned from her mistakes! Syesha probably did
enough to stay on for another week, although I’d like to see her or Brooke get
the boot tomorrow night.

Brooke White “Hero”

Pre. Dict.
Able. At the piano, stripped down, and a little slow, pretty much like all of
her other performances. This setting makes Brooke dependent on the passion in
her voice and how she handles the bridge, and unfortunately, there are too many
bland parts to keep me entertained. Per usual, Randy criticizes Brooke for
‘speeding up” parts of the song. How dare she crawl out of her slow, draggy
“Brooke Box” and actually add some pace to her songs! Meanwhile, Burger King,
Mayor McCheese, and Jack in the Box decide to use fast food/hamburger analogies
with the frailest, skinniest contestant to ever grace the AI stage! Are they trying
to tell her something?

Kristy Lee Cook“Forever”

KLC is on a
streak! Once again, I enjoyed the performance and I adore her in a dress. In
the last few weeks, she has come into her style and it seems like the audience
loves her more than they used to. She sang the song straight-ahead, hit the big
notes, and got a little bit of her country tone in there without coming off as
cartoon-y. It wasn’t flawless, but on a night of a thousand ballads (or so it
seems), it was one of my favorites.

David Cook “Always Be My Baby”

I thought
for sure David would sing “Bringing on the Heartbreak” by Def Leopard (Mariah
covered it, just like she did “Without You”.) He could have really rocked out
and boy, it would have been a relief from all the slow sap. So when they showed
him with Mariah working on an alternative, stalker sounding version of “Always
Be My Baby”, I settled in for the train wreck. Okay, it wasn’t a total wreck,
but he just didn’t sound right. He was slightly sharp for the entire song and
he never corrected it. Combine that with the fact that he was overpowered by
the backup singers on the chorus, and technically, I’d say it was the worst of
the night once again. Two weeks in a row I am unhappy with my favorite
contestant! However, I still think he is the most talented! I love the way he
interprets songs and I loved his one shouty note. Not sure why the judges
didn’t mention that he was off key for every single note of the performance,
minus the glory note; perhaps they want an all-David Finale? In case you
haven’t heard, his brother Adam was in the audience. He is currently undergoing
treatment for brain cancer and unfortunately, the disease has spread to his
spine. No doubt that his presence brought on a lot of emotion.

Jason Castro “Only If I Cry”

My expected
train wreck arrived at 8:58 EST.
He may not want to cry, but I
almost did. During the clip with Mariah, it’s pretty obvious that she doesn’t
like the idea of Jar Jar even singing this song. She called the idea
“interesting and different” rather than “exciting” or “good.” Then she told us
that she gave him a lot of musical ideas, and if he doesn’t use her ideas,
well, then, whatever, hopefully he’ll do great. Interpretation: She hated his
first attempt so much that she basically tried to rewrite the song for him. And
even though she hopes he does well on his own, she really can’t see how that
could happen. With that intro, I’m very curious as to how he got the pimp spot,
unless TPTB knew it was going to stink and tried to save him. Jason was “okay’
on the soft, soulful verses, but those big notes were unbearable. Strained, off
key, and obviously what Mariah was worried about. Randy needs the big notes; if
you’re not a diva, you don’t exist, dawg. My favorite from last week tanked, as
far as I’m concerned. Now, what’s this about Paula loving the idea of being at
Jason’s luau? Unfortunately, she would drain the keg and then someone would
have to watch her to make sure she doesn’t fall into the pig-roasting pit. And
then she’d pass out before Jason started to sing. Hard to believe Simon
actually liked this performance, but his positive endorsement, along with the
pimp spot, should keep Jason safe for another week.

 

After last
week’s shocking elimination, I haven’t a clue who is leaving this week, and
honestly, I don’t think I care. Normally, Ryan puts six of the contestants into
two groups and then makes the seventh person pick the winning side. I could be
totally off, but just for kicks, I think it may end up like this:

  • Group One:
    David A, David C, Jason
  • Group Two:
    Syesha, Carly, Kristy

(If Kristy
has power-voters out there, then Kristy and Jason might be switched around.)

And then
Brooke will be told that she is safe and to pick the safe side. Of course,
she’ll say “Come on guys” and work her frail act. She may even pick the three
girls even though she knows in her heart they are the Bottom Three. And Carly
may get the boot, or even Kristy, even though I think it should be Syesha or
Brooke. I definitely put my money on a female to leave. Stay tuned!

 

American Idol Season 7: Top 8

CastroAfter last night’s disappointing show, I was hoping for a super-sarcastic report from Dixie.  As usual, she did not disappoint! 

DIXIE SAYS: Well that
was certainly uninspiring. Tonight’s “Songs of Inspiration” performances were
worthy of a really bad telethon held in your local mall. Jason and Kristy were
the best in show- that’s how bad the night was. I say we give hopelessness and
despair their own special night and see how that goes.

After all
those cheesy group sings and dance numbers, “our idols” apparently can’t figure
out how to get into a line. What a fitting beginning for what might possibly be
the worst AI episode to date.

Michael Johns
“Dream On”

“Pitch
problems” was a charitable remark; the Chihuahua
attack comment was probably more
accurate. Not to mention the fact that this Aerosmith song wasn’t exactly a
rousing song choice. Isn’t it more about how time has already passed us by so
our only option at this point is to sit around dreaming?  How motivating! A song such as “Higher Love”
by Steve Winwood would have allowed Michael to showcase the bluesy notes in his
voice and possibly stir up some emotion in the listeners.  I’m still a fan and will chalk this up to ‘too
much time spent on Idol Gives Back preparations and not enough time spent on
song selection and practice.”

Syesha
Mercado “I Believe”

Thou shalt
not sing past winners’ songs, particularly songs of triumph that only work for
overwrought winners who have that emotional edge.  Come on, Syesha! Fantasia’s coronation song?
The judges saw Fantasia sing it live, you dingbat! Her DNA
is practically infused into that
song; of course you’re going to suffer by comparison. Vocally, it started out
‘okay’ but she lost the key of the tune somewhere in the middle and hoped that
one sorry glory note at the end would make us all forget. Unfortunately, I remember and if someone was
going home this week, it would most likely be Syesha.

Jason
Castro   "Somewhere Over The Rainbow”

Best of the
night for me. Simple, heartfelt, and unique.  I’d take this over Kat McFake’s rendition any
day of the week. This version was
featured in “Meet Joe Black” and on an eToy commercial. I believe it’s on other
soundtracks, but I can’t place them at this late hour. Anyone? 

Kristy Lee
Cook  “Anyway”

Check for
flying pigs! I actually like Kristy’s performance three weeks in a row! Martina
McBride’s “Independence Day” would have been a better song choice and rendered
itself to a more exciting performance ( and more votes!) but this was once
again, a personal best for the Country Cookie. She just may be able to make
enough money to buy that horse back!

David Cook
“Innocent”

Okay, who
are you and what have you done with D-Cook? He’s lucky I’m a big fan and
therefore willing to give him my one “Get Out of Jail FREE
” card. What an utter
disappointment! I didn’t understand a single word until he switched to his
upper register and it still just wasn’t good. We’re innocent… we get it. Could
he have picked a shoddier song? At least
he didn’t choose “Sympathy for the Devil”, right? I wonder who talked him into
writing “Give Back” on his palm. Surely he didn’t do that on his own (wink,
wink).  Absolute worst of the night for
me.

Carly
Smithson “The Show Must Go On”

First of
all, what is she wearing? An 80’s trucker chick “stopping by 7-Eleven for some
Big Gulp and Beef Jerky” outfit? That getup was really, really bad… and yet it
was still better than her performance.  Ridiculously stupid song choice- would we or
would we have not all melted if she had sang Sarah McLachlan’s “Arms of An
Angel”? She has a beautiful voice and
amazing range, but this performance just fell flat.  Again, I chalk it up to insufficient time
allotted to the performances during “Give Back” week.

David
Archuleta “Angels”

Thanks
American Idol, give Archie a reason to preach at us. I mean, what 17 year old
boy doesn’t lie in bed at night thinking of angels? Okay, maybe Charlie’s
Angels or more like the skankier Victoria
’s angels! And what was with the
girl holding the “Lick Those Lips” sign? Creep.EEE
. His performance wasn’t as mangled
as Jessica Simpson’s take, but still no where near as great as the original.  Once again, David sounded like a frog having
an asthma attack and he still managed to receive sumptuous praise. I crown him
the Most Nasally Nasal that ever Nasalled!  Nice piano playing though.

Brooke
White “You’ve Got A Friend”

Cold and
pitchy, but a beautiful, moving song nonetheless. At least she didn’t talk back
during the judging, but she looked like she was going to start crying any
minute. Once again, Brooke worked her frailty. She reminds me so much of Karen
Carpenter, and not in a good way. 

Unless you
are new to Idol, you know that NO ONE
goes home this week. They can’t do
an entire show of love and compassion and then give someone the boot! But, they
will tally up the votes from this week and next week, and if my memory serves
me correctly, two people will gracefully exit next week.  My bet is that
Syesha will be one of them. She has the originality of a stick of gum and after
she spent such a long time talking back to not one, but two judges, I’d say her
days are numbered.

 

 

American Idol Season 7: Top 9

RamieleYes, I am in NYC for BlogHer.  Yes, I am going to use that as my excuse for posting Dixie’s recap late in the game.  Regardless, I thought this week’s show was great, and I love Dolly Parton.  DIXIE SAYS:

Let’s
critique the judges’ performance:

Simon was
positively foul Tuesday night. Because he has yet to enjoy one Country Music
Night in the history of the show, I really think he should boycott that
particular night in the future. He hates country music so much that he is
incapable of being objective, which is normally his strength and why we put up
with him in the first place. And what does Simon have against songs with birds
in the title? First Blackbirds, now Sparrows…

Randy’s
critiques were, in the words of the judges themselves, “totally forgettable”.
He should really stop playing the role of Randy Jackson and start giving some
cohesive, cogent, helpful advice. I know he has it in him, but he can’t get
past the “yo yo yo baby, check it out, dawg” persona.

Paula was
incoherent as usual. I think they should boot her off the show and put Dolly
Parton in her slot. I adore Dolly, but I had no clue she was such an incredibly
prolific songwriter! 3,000 songs? Wow! And it seems like she ‘felt’ each and
every one of those songs- that’s what made her a star!  I’m looking
forward to her performance tonight.

Oh, let’s
not forget Ryan… he appreciates a French pedicure. Do I need to say more?

Brooke
White "Jolene"

Serviceable
job, but nothing special. The rhythm of the song was all wrong for the mood of
the song. Of course, the song is about a woman trying to steal the singer’s
man. What is squeaky clean Brooke going to know about that? She was off pitch
on many, many notes and definitely seemed to be rushing through the
performance. I agree with Simon about the accompanying musicians- what an odd,
incongruous quartet! Throw in some odd facial expressions and I think Brooke
may possibly hit the seal this week. Although they are probably saying
something meaningless, she really, really needs to shut up when the judges are
giving their critiques. It prolongs the nonsense and it grates.

 

David Cook
"Little Sparrow"

Ryan asking
David about his song choices was so incredibly lame. “How do you pick
arrangements?”  “Well Ryan, I find songs on the internet that have been
covered by rock bands whose style is similar to mine.” They have been giving
the artists/arrangers proper credit for the past two weeks. This issue doesn’t
need to be addressed AGAIN. We get it, okay?  That being said, I really
liked this arrangement and was glad to see that apparently, he can arrange his
own songs. David was very smart to change things up and not rock out with a
Dolly song. He sang with conviction and perfect pitch and sported a nice new
haircut to boot! I think he is brilliant and still my numero uno! The David
Cook Bandwagon is getting really crowded. Luckily, I boarded early on, so I
have a good seat! Note to Randy: “”False” is not short for “Falsetto”. If you
mean falsetto, then say falsetto. Quit trying to create your own shorthand.

 

Ramiele
Malubay "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind"

Apparently
not because I’ve forgotten you already. Another boring performance from The
Little Engine That Could. Seriously, what is keeping her on the show? Don’t say
the Filipino vote, because I can’t buy that. Please let this be her last week.
If we make a sacrifice at the altar of Jasmine Trias (most of you reading have
no idea how much I despised her and her voice), do you think the gods of
Mediocre Short Girls Who Outlive Their Usefulness will be appeased and we’ll
finally be set free? This performance was absolutely horrible- no stage skills,
awkward, off key, pitchy, inaudible at times, and a ridiculous outfit to boot.
Goodbye? I hope so!

 

Jason Castro
"Travelin’ Thru"

I’m not
sure about this performance. At least he didn’t look as high (allegedly!) as he
normally does. At first, I was afraid he was going to make this song ‘sing
songy’ but he didn’t! Great phrasing choices, as usual, and Jason seemed very
in touch with the lyrics. He pushed his voice a little bit, made it a little
gritty, and I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure that I am in the majority on this
one. I didn’t expect him to be in the Bottom 3 last week, and he was, so I have
a fear that he may be again.

 

Carly
Smithson "Here You Come Again"

Athough I
prefer this song to be little faster, and more peppy (Dolly style!), Carly’s
vocals absolutely floored me! It’s what I’ve been waiting to hear from her. I’m
not totally sold on the super high notes (or how strained she appears when
reaching for them), but Carly’s lower and middle registers are heavenly. Her
tone and flexibility is nothing short of amazing. Carly is THE best of the
girls and deserves to make Top 3. Okay, I agree that she doesn’t dress like a
star, but ouch, Simon! Note to Stylists: Sleeves would do wonders on this girl.
Cover up those white, un-toned, tattooed limbs.

 

David
Archuleta "Smoky Mountain Memories"

Believe it
or not, I’m beginning to feel sorry for the poor little tot because he seems to
be so SINCERE. Lighten up Archie, you’re only 17 years old! So far this season,
he has lectured us about War, Religion, Homelessness, Gun Violence, and now
Poverty in the Smokey Mountains
. Sing something happy and upbeat
and nonsensical. His performance wasn’t as good as I was expecting after his
clip with Dolly, but it was okay. Certainty not worthy of the lavish praise
bestowed upon him by the judges. At times, he was drowned out by the back up
singers, and he seems to have replaced licking his lips with shutting his eyes.
It doesn’t matter though- he’s safe.

 

Kristy Lee
Cook "Coat of Many Colors”

Will
someone please kill me now? I can’t believe I’m typing this, but tonight for
the first time, I actually liked her and her performance! I knew she would
excel on an evening dedicated to her wheelhouse, but this was definitely
Kristy’s personal best. Wearing a dress did wonders for her likeability- good
one, stylists! The only thing I didn’t like was the bare feet thing. Note to
Kristy: We’ve actually started wearing shoes in the south.   

 

Syesha
Mercado “I Will Always Love You”

Did anyone
NOT see this song choice coming from a universe away? Anyone? Didn’t think so.
Besides the fact that this was the least surprising song selection in the
history of song selections, Syesha is bound and determined to be Whitney’s
stand in, at least while she is still in rehab. Some of those notes made my
ears bleed, and I despise the forced attempt to create a moment. Had she stayed
with the sweet, mellow Dolly Parton version, I think it would have been a
homerun, but Syesha couldn’t resist the Whitney. Unfortunately, she has far
more ambition than she does talent.  Definitely a seal-making performance.

 

Michael
Johns "It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right”

Was Michael
wearing a neck-kerchief? Is he undercover to solve a mystery or what? Will we
find Shaggy working the lights and Velma disguised as Paula? Jason in the
corner eating a Scooby Snack? I love the smooth, bluesy, “Michael Bolton”
quality of his voice and until he started to move a little at the end of the
song, it was pretty close to perfect. David Cook is cream of the crop, but the
Aussie is running a very close second. Great way to end the show (even though I
didn’t get to see the end because they ran over and my DVR cut off while Paula
was blabbering on.)

Bottom 3:
Rami, Syesha, and either Brooke or Jason.  We know who I wish would go home.