February 20 Review | Season 7 Index | February 27 Review

 

American Idol Season 7 (2008)

 

February 26 - (Semi-Finals: Men) Come on, baby, do you do more than stand?

Ryan tells us that a superstar will emerge from this stage.  Or did he say stupor-star?  I'm not sure.

It's music of the 1970s tonight - the decade of bell bottoms, disco, and the Brady Bunch.  Let me plaster on my smiley face and get started.

Michael Johns (sings Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way"): It's okay, but it doesn't really go anywhere dynamics-wise.  I mean, this really needs Lindsey Buckingham's quirky voice to work for me.  So I'm still bored, and I'm still waiting for Michael to live up to the hype.  Zzzzzzzz.  Randy doesn't think it's his best but he liked it.  Paula thinks he's consistent, charismatic, and charming.  Simon calls it his weakest performance so far, as well as a weak song choice.  Michael thinks it was the best song choice for him because he always wanted to sing Fleetwood Mac.  Someone needs to remind him that it's a competition, not the "gosh, finally I get to sing something inappropriate for me" show.

Jason Castro (sings Andy Gibb's "I Just Want To Be Your Everything"): Poor Jason.  I knew that if he played the guitar again, the judges would get on his case, because, after all, this is a popularity contest...er...singing competition.  So even though it's an interesting arrangement with its acoustic, folksy vibe, and between this week and last he's definitely established the style of music he'd do as an artist, it was kind of a boring performance.  He just stood there playing the guitar.  Randy thinks it's cool as an act, but the vocals weren't that great.  Paula thinks the song choice was clever, but she wants him to be more vulnerable and sing without the guitar.  Simon calls it too schmaltzy and thought he looked uncomfortable.

Luke Menard (sings Queen's "Killer Queen"): Okay, why choose this song?  Yes, it's more difficult than it sounds, and maybe it works with the group he normally sings with, but really.  He needs to perform like a solo artist, not the front man of his a cappella group singing in a little Disney theater.  And he needs to pick a song that won't have him being compared to Freddy Mercury.  I.  Am.  Falling.  Asleep.  Randy likes him better this week and thought it was pretty good.  Paula thinks he picked the perfect song.  Simon believes that he didn't show the charisma and personality of the original singer.  Exactly.

Robbie Carrico (sings Foreigner's "Hot Blooded"): Dude.  Wash your hair.  He wants to shed his boy band past, but his voice just isn't raw enough for this song.  And please, move in relation to the song.  Get excited.  Jump into the audience.  Flirt with someone.  Come ON.  Randy still doesn't think this is his niche and says it's just okay.  Paula felt he played it a little safe.  Giving faint praise, Simon thinks the vocal was okay tonight.

Danny Noriega (sings The Carpenters' "Superstar"): I'm looking for my cheesefest here, but all I've got is limburger.  The vocals go off-pitch on every other note, and the theatrical facial contortions become really annoying after a while.  Danny, Danny, Danny...give me something to hoot about.  Randy tells him to speed up the vibrato and stop thinking about his performance so much.  Paula says he has amazing vocal skill and then just basically agrees with Randy.  Simon thinks it was better than last week (uh, really?) and says that he stands out from the crowd.  He then has to hint to him that he shouldn't act so effeminate in his mannerisms, because we don't want him to stand out that much.  And this kid once played in a punk band?  Really?

David Hernandez (sings The Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"): Now this is what I'm talking about: solid vocals with some real energy behind them.  Finally.  And it doesn't matter that once he gets to the center of the stage, he doesn't move much from it, because there's an intensity there that keeps me looking at him instead of writing this review.  If I could reach through the television set, I'd shake his hand.  Thank you.  Randy says it was hot.  Paula says his voice pierces to the heart and his personality came out tonight.  Simon calls it the best vocal of the night so far, and he's absolutely right.

Jason Yeager (sings The Doobie Brothers' "Without Love"): It suits his voice (even though there are a couple of bum notes when he sings with the backup singers), and he definitely looks like he's having fun up there,  but there's not much of a range to this song to show off anything, so of course the judges don't like it.  Randy thinks the performance was karaoke and pitchy.  Paula wants him to pick a song with a better vocal range.  Simon feels it was awkward and ordinary and thought he acted drunk.  I don't know.  It was a better performance than some of the earlier ones.  At least I wasn't totally bored.

Chikezie (sings Donny Hathaway's "I Believe To My Soul"): I truly thought this guy was going to be gone last week.  Now I'm glad he stayed, because this is night and day compared to last week's train wreck.  He's relaxed, he lets it go, and he's great.  One of my favorite performances of the night, even if I don't recognize the song.  Randy says that Chikezie is back, America.  Paula agrees.  Simon thinks it was a million times better than last week.  Hopefully, Chikezie will pick up enough votes tonight to stay in the game despite a poor showing last week, because I'd like to hear some more.

David Cook (sings Free's "All Right Now"): Oh, looky, he plays the electric guitar!  Well, he exudes more of a true rocker vibe than Robbie - he's got the right voice for this.  And he works the audience a bit, even behind the instrument.  So yeah, he's standing out right now, even though he won't win.  Randy liked him throwing his pick out to the crowd and says he's the real rocker of the boys this year.  Paula praises the band and calls the performance smart, fun, etc., etc.  Simon says it was a solid performance, but he doesn't think he has charisma.  He then gets into a snit because David points out that he has to prove to the audience, not Simon, that he has charisma.  Oh, Simon.  Real rockers have attitudes.  Deal with it.  And then Ryan announces that David Archuleta is next, and David Cook has to stand there looking uncomfortable while all the girls in the audience forget about him and scream for his rival.  Poor guy.

David Archuleta (sings John Lennon's "Imagine"): Wow.  Okay, he just blew everyone else out of the water, and I loathe this song.  The arrangement was beautiful, and the vocals were smooth, controlled, and heartfelt.  Just amazing.  Randy says it's one of the best vocals he's ever heard on this show.  A tearful Paula is so moved that she wants to squish David's head and dangle him from her rearview window.  Seriously.  Simon calls him the one to beat.  And yeah, based on his great voice and the tremendous amount of squealing from the audience, I'm almost positive he's going to win this thing.  So the game's over.  Can we just skip ahead to the finale now?  Please?

My top three of the evening (in order) would be David Archuleta, David Hernandez, and Chikezie.  I'll say that Luke and the two Jasons are in the most danger of being voted off, although I'd probably send Danny and either Luke or Robbie packing at this point if I had my way.

Eliminated on February 28 Results Show (in order announced):  Jason Yeager and Robbie Carrico

 

Review 2008 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail tricia@lowhorn.org.

 

February 20 Review | Season 7 Index | February 27 Review