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American Idol Season 7 (2008)


March 4 - (Semi-Finals: Men) Wake me up after you've gone-gone

We're live tonight, performing songs from the 1980s. I want someone to come out wearing big hair and lacy underthings...oh, right, we're on the guys tonight. Well, same thing.

Luke Menard (sings Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"): I remember the video for this song: George and Andrew bouncing around in oversized T-shirts that proclaimed "Choose Life."  Luke, on the other hand, performed as if he had "Choose Death" on his shirt.  Yeah.  Way to make a perfectly good cheesefest song boring, dude.  Wake me up already.  Zzzzzzz.  Randy says it started out rough and was a little corny, but it was aigght.  Paula gets incoherent and ends up telling us that she choreographed Wham's tour, which is probably not something George Michael wants to be reminded of.  Simon thinks the performance was weak and a bit girly, and he doesn't think Luke will make the top 12.

David Archuleta (sings Phil Collins' "Another Day in Paradise"): Oh, lookee - little David plays piano, and he sings Phil Collins much better than Phil, albeit with a couple of uncharacteristic pitch issues.  I just want to squeeze him.  And then I want him to switch songs with Luke, because the boy needs to lighten up a little, and the thought of him singing Wham! makes me giggle.  Randy thinks the performance was nice.  Paula likes the fact that he wasn't perfect, but he's still perfect.  Yeah, she's on a roll tonight.  Simon agrees with me that David needs to lighten up now.  And now I think that David also needs an inhaler, because he sounds like he's perpetually out of breath every time he talks to Ryan.

Danny Noriega (sings Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"): Oh.  My.  Eyes.  The tight pants, the wiggling hips, the feminine crossing of the legs as he struts across the stage, the girly tossing of the hair.  Oh, Danny, Danny.  I love you for no other reason than that you bring the drag queen this year, and you're totally unashamed about it.  Flame on, girl.  Randy loves the arrangement and Danny's confidence.  Paula calls him a bright light in the competition, spicy and sensitive.  Simon is appalled and says that the arrangement and performance were useless.  Heh.

David Hernandez (sings Meatloaf's/Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me Now"): This seemed like it would be good, but his pitch left him somewhere after the verse.  Yikes.  Those notes hurt my ears.  But you're cool overall, dude, and I like the tone of your voice.  I hope you get to the next round.  Randy calls it a good song choice except for the pitch problems.  Paula says he's getting into his groove.  Simon doesn't like it as much as last week but says he's going to be in the top 12, anyway.

Michael Johns (sings Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)"): Having failed at Jim Morrison and Lindsey Buckingham, he now tries Jim Kerr.  I'm still not impressed with his vocals, although performance-wise he's okay.  Very rock-ish, and more comfortable with it than last week.  Randy thinks Michael was "going home" (to Australia) with this song - never mind that Simple Minds is from Scotland - and keeps comparing him to Michael Hutchence.  Grrrr.  Paula says Michael is defining who he is (that would be boring, right?).  Simon prefers him singing more soul-oriented stuff, but he really, really likes him and thinks he'll go far.

David Cook (sings Lionel Richie's "Hello"): He accompanies himself on electric guitar, trying to make this sappy song some sort of rock piece.  IMO, this does nothing for the song until he starts wailing, at which point it becomes creepy.  No, man, it's not you I'm looking for.  Randy likes the "emo" version and thinks it could be a hit.  Paula calls it fabulous.  Simon loves it because he likes people who take chances.  Okay, folks, if you like creepy, then go for it.  Me, I'll sit over in the corner and shudder.

Jason Castro (sings Leonard Cohen's/various artists' "Hallelujah"): This is supposedly a classic song that I don't remember from the 80s at all.  Its most famous incarnation was recorded by Jeff Buckley in 1994.  So it's sort of pushing the theme, and I don't know how well it will go over with the audience.  I like the emotion Jason brings to this song, though, and he showed that yes, he can perform without holding a guitar.  He's so laid back in his interviews, too.  What a cool dude.  Randy says he did a pretty good job of it.  Paula likes that he showed some vulnerability and then praise for all the guys just froths from her mouth.  Someone get her a new prescription, please.  Simon calls it brilliant and one of his favorite performances of the whole night.

Chikezie (sings Whitney Houston's "All the (Wo)Man That I Need," which he helpfully points out was recorded by someone else in the 80s): Well, that was...uninspired.  Really, if you're going to do a song that Whitney touched, then you'd better blow.  He just sort of whimpers it.  And this is how we close out the night?  Ugh.  Randy says he did a good job.  Paula thinks his vocals are really, really good.  Really.  Simon doesn't think it worked at all and was too cabaret.  And I'm thinking that puts him in trouble tonight.

Top two guys for me: David Archuleta and Jason Castro.  Bottom dwellers: Luke and Chikezie.  I hope those two are going home.  And I hope Danny stays for two more weeks, knocking out a couple of the other girls, because The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is one of my favorite films.

Eliminated on March 6 Results Show (in order announced):  Luke Menard and Danny Noriega


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


February 27 Review | Season 7 Index | March 5 Review