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American Idol Season 7 (2008)


April 22 -  Feel it, hear it, closing in around you (Andrew Lloyd Webber songs) 


Tonight we have a show that has nothing at all to do with what any of these contestants will record if and when they get a contract.  I guess Idol wants to give us a taste of culture with the songs of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber...hahahahahahahahahaha.  I crack myself up sometimes.

Ooooo - David Duchovny is in the audience.  Does that mean that aliens will come and finally take Paula home?

Syesha Mercado (sings "One Rock & Roll Too Many" from Starlight Express): She wants to be theatrical, so of course she decides to sing something that maybe a handful of theater aficionados know.  Okay, then.  Sir Andrew (hereinafter referred to as "ALW") thinks she could bring the house down.  I wouldn't say she did that for me, but she definitely showed that she's more suited for musical theater than pop music.  She flirts with both Rickey Minor and the guitarist, and she finally shows some genuine sassiness.  It's a mini-show, and Rickey gets the best supporting actor award for the night.  Randy calls the performance Syesha's best to date and claims that she could be a huge Broadway star.  Like he'd know.  Paula believes she indeed brought the house down.  Simon calls the performance very sexy and agrees that musical theater is Syesha's element.

Jason Castro (sings "Memory" from Cats): ALW is surprised to see a man with dreadlocks singing this song and thinks that Jason will ignore everything he's told him.  Rumor is that Jason was sick this week, and...well...he sounds like it.  I don't think he got it at all (he admitted he had no idea of the context of the song in the pre-taped interview), and he looks like he's in pain throughout.  But he's got an impressive fan base, so while he may end up in the bottom 3 this week, I suspect he won't be going home.  Randy feels the voice was a trainwreck and the song had too much melody for Jason.  Um...right.  Don't sing songs with melody, Jason, okay?  Paula believes his choice was a wise one because it allowed Jason to put his spin on it.  Simon says it came across like a young guy being forced to sing a song by his parents at a wedding and probably the longest two minutes of Jason's life.  Yep, pretty much.

Brooke White (sings "You Must Love Me" from the film adaptation of Evita): ALW tells her what the song was really about, and then Brooke gets it, and he thinks she'll do really well.  But when it comes to the performance...ten seconds into it, Brooke forgets the words and has to start over.  Oops.  That sort of ruins the mood for the first thirty seconds or so.  And then it ruins her voice, to the point where all I can think is, "I wish Madonna was up there singing this song right now."  Randy says it wasn't great, but he likes that she listened to ALW and showed some vulnerability.  Paula tells her never to start and stop like that but liked that she didn't overact.  Simon says it became uncomfortable and that Brooke will be disappointed when she watches her performance.  Brooke looks like she's about to cry, and I have no idea how many sympathy votes will come her way because of it.  But I definitely think she's bottom 3 fodder this week.  Ugh - it would suck to have a death scene song be what you get voted out with, you know?

David Archuleta (sings "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera): All these young girls come on stage to hug David; I'm presuming it's because he's useless in an interview situation with Ryan.  ALW is surprised that a boy is singing a song written for a woman, as well as how differently the song is arranged.  He tells David to open his eyes, because he can't stand watching someone close his eyes all the time.  And yes, David does manage to keep his eyes open - to the point where he almost never blinks, which is so distracting to me that I don't really pay attention to the song, other than to think that this is a really boring pop rendition.  Dang it, boy, blink already!  Randy says that David is exactly what this show is about and he's the one to beat.  Paula calls the performance absolutely perfect.  Simon, on the other hand, believes it was one of David's weakest performances and rather forgettable, although he's certainly safe for next week.  Now David will run backstage to put some Visine in his eyes.  Sheesh.

Carly Smithson (sings "Jesus Christ Superstar" from...well, you know): ALW has her change to this song from her previous choice because it's better suited for her.  Carly gets a big, flashy light show which blinds me for the first few seconds.  As for the song...while it's probably better for her voice than the Phantom of the Opera song she was originally going to do, she just basically shouts her way through it, and she looks more like she's interested in having a good time than in thinking about the lyrics of the song.  But she's woken up the judges, so they rave over her.  Randy says that while it wasn't her best performance, it was definitely good - oh, and her outfit is fly.  Paula loves what she did with the chorus.  Simon feels it was little shouty in the middle, but it was one of his favorite performances of the night.  Carly then holds up a T-shirt that says something like "Simon Loves Me (This Week)."  Gah.  Quit obsessing over Simon on national TV, girl.  Please?

David Cook (sings "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera): ALW says this is the most sensual song he's ever written and tells David to pretend that he (ALW) is a gorgeous 17-year-old girl as he sings this song for him.  Eeeuw.  It starts off rough, and since David is singing this as a straightforward rendition instead of rocking it up, I'm thinking it's going to be another near-trainwreck.  But when he hits those big notes, he gets into his stride, and then he becomes...well, almost as sexy as ALW wanted him to be.  When I'm not feeling creepy about that, I'm impressed.  Randy calls it an amazing vocal performance.  Paula says it proves he's well-rounded as a performer.  Simon doesn't like this side of David but believes he made the most of the song.

My rankings:

1. David Cook - He seemed to get into character the most appropriately.  I stopped typing for half the song.
2. Syesha - Musical theater is her thang, dawg.  Being in the number 1 slot and choosing a more obscure tune is probably dooming her to the bottom 3 this week, though.
3. Carly - I'm not a fan of her performance, but it certainly wasn't boring.
4. David Archuleta - He tried to be different (sing a girl's song and "pop" it up), and his voice was fine on it, but his deer-in-the-headlights rendition just leached all the color out of it.
5. Brooke & Jason - This is a tie for the bottom because, well, it was like nails on a chalkboard for both of them.  ALW's music is not for folk-music types.  At.  All.

Bottom 2 (in order announced on April 23 Results Show):  Syesha Mercado, Carly Smithson

Eliminated:  Carly Smithson (!)


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


April 15 Review | Season 7 Index | April 29 Review