Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Where the boys are...(Amy Davis gets this pun)

Last week the girls outperformed the guys, yet based on the rules of Idol, two girls and two guys went home; given the choice America would have probably sent home 4 guys. In past seasons when one gender shows up the other, the less talented crew normally returns with a singing vengeance. If history holds true we can look forward to an outstanding night from the guys. Unfortunately, I have a feeling (yes Jason and Luke I’m specifically referring to you) that despite their best efforts many of the guys will fall flat, on their notes, and their faces. The theme is the 70s tonight (does that mean next week is the 80s), which means the songs are all from before most of the contestants were born and their lack of musical knowledge of the era could create some horrible song choices (see for example Jason and Danny from last week). Hopefully someone will deliver a ‘moment.’ Maybe it will be young David A.; I am betting he gets the pimp spot tonight, since he is Barack (‘the chosen one’).

From this simple stage a super star will emerge Ryan says right before promising another outstanding show. Wow Robbie has nothing covering his hair, Chik is wearing a basic and plain outfit, and David A. is wearing a leather jacket. Paula has a hit song? People are buying that crap? Ryan actually gives a friendly, albeit sarcastic, introduction for Simon. Randy says they need to be, “in it to win it.” Paula thinks the nerves will be less severe this week. Simon says guys need to be better this week.

Michael Johns

Michael likes to play tennis a lot; it’s his main sport, since he was 9 years old. Tennis plays a big part of his life. In fact, he says his best songs come from playing tennis. Doesn’t he realize to be a real musician he needs to use drugs and alcohol to take his mind off the whole crazy idol world, not tennis! Michael did well with 60s week and with all the rock and roll available to select, he should be able to find a hard enough hitting rock song capable of bringing down the house. Ok, he decided on a different approach, going instead with a less than hard-hitting Fleetwood Mac song. In fact with this arragnment it starts off like a Christian Rock song. Missing a note pretty badly right before he comes to the chorus, where he sounds pretty good. However, he sounds like he is straining a little to hit the higher notes. Since the rest of the song has about 3 notes, the chorus is the only time for his voice to shine, but it seems a little out of his comfortable range. Rickey Minor is getting down during this song, no doubt still frustrated that he had to play Moon River last week. Michael finishes the song accapella for a nice effect, but this is far less than I expect from the 48-year-old rocker. After giving maybe the best performance last week he opens the show, the toughest position, with an ‘ok’ performance. The judges have been pimping him hard all season. Will they be willing to give a less than ‘dawg that was hot’ critique tonight? Simon looks incredibly bored, maybe he will give us a little truth with his comments. Randy says ‘nice way to start off man’ but doesn’t know if this was Michael’s best stuff. Even though he liked it he isn’t sure it was the best he has seen Michael. Paula compliments him for getting “the whole crowd working!” Did you hear that Hillary and Barack, Michael got the whole crowd working, he gets people jobs baby, let’s see your economic stimulus packages accomplish a similar feat. Paula says he is a seasoned performer; just call him old Paula. Simon says it was coasting along, only ok, and Michael’s worst performance. He thinks it was a weak song choice. Ryan asks Michael what he thinks of the judges comments and he says, “it happens.” Good job Aussie, he realizes he did not hit a home run and is not willing to argue with Simon. However, he supports his song choice because he has always wanted to sing a Fleetwood Mac song. Couldn’t you just sing it in the shower instead Michael? He should be safe tonight. His vocals were pretty good and he is one of the chosen few.

Jason Castro

The long hair Travolta is next, and we learn he really hates doing interviews. He is surprised how much time the Idols devote to non-music related activities. They are letting him play the guitar again this week. Is he the only one that can play an instrument, or just the only one allowed by the producers? After doing so well last week Jason is under a lot of pressure to avoid a let down. The song starts off featuring him on his acoustic guitar. He sounds ok, but the song overpowers his thin voice. There is more backing noise this week than last, including three back up singers and I can’t help but think he is swallowed by their sound. He sings all the right notes, but this is a far less gripping performance than last week. He selected a boring, not well known song that gives him no chance to display his shy yet fun personality. Tonight, Jason is like a movie you pay 8 dollars for and when you leave you think, “why did I pay 8 dollars to see this movie.” Right now I am thinking, “wow I really wish I could have those two minutes of my life back.” If Simon gives him positive reinforcement after this I will be shocked. A laughing Randy says the guitar is all cool as an act, but as a vocalist, the vocals weren’t that great dude. He says this is a vocal competition. Upon hearing this Kady runs up on stage and screams, “ARE YOU ****ING KIDDING ME RANDY! LAST WEEK YOU DIDN’T EVEN TALK ABOUT MY VOCALS AND JUST SAID I DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH FUN ON STAGE.” Ok she didn’t, but I bet she wished she could and not get throw off the show. Randy even invokes the dreaded “K” word when he calls it just “ok.” Paula says Jason wasn’t quite that bad. She thinks he made a clever choice with the song by bringing the band in and out, but next week she wants to see him without the guitar. Let in a little vulnerability she says. Simon says it was horrible, he had weak vocals, and nothing went together this week. He wonders why he selected such an average song with all the songs he had at his disposal. Ryan, pressed for time, does not even try to rehabilitate Jason. Despite his less than stellar performance, Jason should be fine this week.

Luke Menard

He is part of an acapella group called “Chapter 6.” They travel all over the world singing, mostly to college crowds; they have been doing so for the last 6 years. He is trying a Queen song…good luck dude. I’m not really liking the upper register on this song. He goes a little sharp every time he gets up too high. When he comes back down he doesn’t have the breath support to sustain the lowest notes. To his credit he is singing a different arrangement than the original, but his arrangement is horrible. Maybe if he grew a mustache and paraded around the stage in skimpy shorts I would have found his performance more believable. The back up singers sound really good, but he is so bad not even they can save this song. Randy commends him for choosing a really tough song and likes him better this week than last, but notes some pitch problems. Paula is so glad this week was great for him. She thinks he picked the perfect song and she is glad she fights for people like him to get into the top 24. Simon says Luke made a mistake because he will always be judged against he original and the singer of that song had charisma and personality and you do not. He thinks it was verging on whiny. Luke says last week he was 0-3 and this week he is 2-3, so he likes the improvement. Ryan says if you want to vote for Dawson’s Creek here, vote for Luke. Maybe Luke should change his name to Dawson or Pacey. Bye bye Luke.


Robbie and Ryan are sitting in the Coke room when Ryan asks him about his authenticity. Robbie says he has to be me because he is me, because there are so many levels of rock with different styles, and tells Simon to get used to it! Robbie, the former boy/girl member likes to drag race cars, but warns kids to avoid doing it on the street. Robbie is so hot blooded he is holding the microphone stand Bo Bice style. If he wants to be taken seriously as a rocker he needs to not have such a nicely groomed beard. He his a big note halfway through the song; I would not have guessed he could get his voice so large. I’m still not sure if I buy the whole ‘rocker’ thing, but his vocals were good tonight. Really good in fact, better than the three before him, even if his performance feels a little fake, he probably is the best of the night. Randy says he thinks the different forms of rock comment was interesting, but he kinda agrees with Simon that he isn’t sure this guy is really rock. He wanted more from him, he wanted him to “kill him.” Paula understands why Robbie is frustrated with the whole ‘fake rocker’ thing, but she thinks he played it a little too safe. Robbie wonders why he has to prove he is a ‘real rocker.’ Simon, arms folded, tells Robbie not to be so defensive and actually praises his vocals, saying they were, “ok” tonight. Remember an ‘ok’ from Simon is really good, but an ‘ok’ from Randy means you pretty much sucked. An ‘ok’ from Paula means, well it all depends on the night and what pills she took that day. Robbie, who closed his eyes when Randy was talking, tells Ryan he doesn’t know what he was thinking about during his little lights out moment. He knows he has to step it up every week. Robbie has no chance of winning Idol, but he could stay around far longer than most people expect. It is not impossible Robbie could go home this week, but I think he will be safe.

Danny N.

Ryan says if we want to say anything about Idol we can blog on their site. Danny then tells us America would be surprised to know he likes girls. Ok I made that up. He actually says he was in a punk rock band in the 9th grade. They played one show, but were so bad the band broke up soon after. The song starts off a little too low for Danny, although he is almost getting the notes. I’m not saying this song is a cliché now, but this is the 458 time someone sang this song in only seven Idol seasons. Near the end of the song he opens up a little and shows off his voice, but that brief display of talent does not atone for the beginning and middle, which featured some extremely boring moments. Danny can sing, I know this, but he really has not shown his ability. Randy is a fan of Danny, but says there were some problems with the vocals. He thinks Danny should have sped up the song a little. Randy advised him to just ‘let it go.” Paula says Randy was right and Danny needs to just perform. She loves his magical vibrato. Simon says this week was better than last, but he thinks Danny was trying way too hard. What? Simon just told Danny he looks great on camera. Isn’t that Paula’s job to completely ignore the vocals and focus on how the person looks? Maybe Simon is trying to become a compassionate critiquer. Ryan asks Danny if he agrees with the judges, and Danny says he agrees last week was a disaster. Danny is more likeable this week, with less attitude, which should help him pull in more votes and ensure his safety.

David Hernandez

Before the break we see David putting on some type of rocker face. You know, I am not looking forward to hearing David sing, I wonder if anyone not related to him thought ‘wow I can’t wait to hear David Hernandez sing tonight’ during the day. David says we would be surprised to learn he used to do gymnastics when he was younger. He won several medals when he was a younging. But can he win Idol. He actually sounds good when the song starts, but he has such annoying facial expressions it’s hard to focus on his vocals. I cannot believe I am thinking this, but David might be singing really well tonight. He crackled a little bit on the final note, which might be on purpose, but otherwise had no real mistakes. In fact, gulp, David is awesome. He even threw in some big power notes. I did not see this coming and I’m curious if the judges will give him his proper due or find some way to downplay his moment. The girls give him a standing ovation. Randy says this is the David they feel in love with, and says it was hot. Paula loves his pure heart piercing voice and thinks he was great. He was perfect she says. Simon says this was the best vocal of the night so far. David looks like he just won the lottery. Simon likes the fact David accepts criticism as a challenge and admits he was wrong to not want him in the top 24. Simon is now a fan. David is so happy he almost knocks Ryan over grabbing him around the shoulder. Remember, Ryan is so small he was once knocked over when he was hit in the back with a pencil thrown by a 5 year old. If he goes home this week I think I might cry.

Jason Yeager

Jason is next. Can he deliver an unexpected incredible performance like David, or will he suck like last week? My guess – the latter. We learn he plays multiple instruments, the piano, drums, and guitar. After all this talk about his talents, will they let him play one of his instruments? He says he is saving his guitar abilities for a monster song, apparently that monster song is not tonight, because he is guitar less. I wonder what time we dock? What? I am not on a cruise ship? It is so hard to tell listening to Jason. The only worse than his vocals is his awful attempt to dance. Is it dancing or does he just have a cramp? Everything about Jason is corny, ESPECAILLY the ending where he does some weird jabbing thing with his hands three times. His vocals are not actually that bad, but I cannot take this guy seriously. If the judges like this I’ll be more surprised than Barack when he found out people are allowed to say mean things about the ‘chosen one.’ Randy says ‘check it out,’ whenever he says that you know he did not like your singing. He continues, “oh god dude,” wondering why he picked this song, and of course, he thinks Jason was pitchy. Paula says the song does not show his vocal range and he should pick singer songs instead. Simon says the simple truth is last week was boring and this week was awkward and ordinary. He did not understand the horrific ending with the hand motions. He says even though Jason can sing he is not a good performer. Ryan asks him about song selection and Jason says ‘we are all killer singers’ so song choice is key. He says he tried to dance and be lively, but he guesses the judges were not feeling it. Jason says he will have to come out with something straight from the heart next week and show his wide range. Jason is just rambling on and on, until Simon says this is not the Oscars with never ending speeches; he wants the music cued up to get Jason off the stage. As they go to commercial Ryan gives Jason a ‘you have no chance of staying this week’ handshake. Jason will be back to singing and server any day now.


When they come back from commercial Ryan and all the guys are standing along the Coke room’s railing. Ryan gives a shout out to the girls and Kady busts a serious move. Chikezie tells us where his crazy name came from – Nigeria. His name means ‘well made by god.’ He shows off the good side of his personality, unlike his arguing last week. He sounds really good this week; in fact I want to hear him sing Jesus Christ Superstar. This is what I thought he would do last week – not suck. His lower notes are strong and he throws in a falsetto scream. This is not a well-known song so he can ‘make it his own’ pretty easily. Step aside David, I think Chikezie is out singing you tonight. I have no complaints about Chikezie tonight and I’m feeling much better about my prediction he advances into the top 12. Wow he is hot tonight. Randy welcomes Chikezie back. He says this is the guy they all feel in love with and was hot. See I’m talking like Randy now. Paula thinks he was clever and brilliant tonight. Simon almost misprounces his name, then says he looks better, sounds better, and was a million times better than last week. Simon asks Chik if he regrets last week, and Chikezie says no he loved his suit, but he will not wear it on TV again because you can’t wear things twice on TV. Then he adds only Simon does that, he realizes he is being arrogant again and laughingly says, “I’m sorry” over and over and over. Ryan, a fan of anyone that makes fun of Simon, high-fives Chikezie when he joins him on stage. Simon says just when he is beginning to like him again he turns obnoxious, then points out how horrified Chik’s mother is at the insult to Simon. Chik’s mother is holding her hand over her heart like a Super Fan. Chik should be safe this week, unless people are turned off by his arrogance.

David Cook

We learn David is a huge word nerd. He does a lot of cross word puzzles and then shows off his knowledge of big words. He is addicted to words, which is cheaper than a cocaine habit. David is the first with an electric guitar this season. I still do not like the instrument decision; this is a singing competition. Yet, the chance to hold a guitar lets average singers, like David Cook, escape behind their instrument. Walking around the stage as the big bad guitar player is a lot easier than standing ‘naked’ on stage and just singing. His vocals are just ok. David puts more time and effort into his guitar than his voice, and his vocals suffer. I wonder if he would sound better if he was fully focused on this singing and not busy being Eddie Van Halen. You can hear this is any bar in any city in America. Except in the bar you will probably be a little drunk, so David will actually sound like an accomplished vocalist. If the judges judge him on his vocals they will say he is not that good, but if they fall into the hype of the fun performance, they might just love him. Randy loves that David threw his pick out into the crowd like a real rock show. For Randy, David is the real rocker, and Randy liked his song choice. Paula compliments the band for being on fire and says David is the real deal and he has ‘it.’ Simon says it was solid and believable but he doesn’t think the film helped him. Crosswords are boring, which is partly his problem Simon says. He doesn’t think David has a lot of charisma. David says thankfully he doesn’t have to win over Simon, just the public. Paula disagrees with Simon regarding the word nerd segment, she thinks women love smart men. Of course to Paula smart men comprise almost 3 billion people. Let us not forget, she hooked up with Corey Clark, who has the intelligence of a slightly retarded mule. Ryan joins David on stage and asks Simon if he is annoyed. He say no, but he is slightly irritated with David, and insists his criticism is meant as constructive. Notice, none of the judges really comment on David’s singing. If he did not have the guitar with him the poor vocals would have been much more apparent and the judges would have lamented his inability to ‘bring it dawg.’ I think David Cook will be safe, but if he does not start singing better he will not make the top 12.

David A

The young wonder is in the official pimp spot, which means no matter how well he sings the judges will declare him the best singer in the history of the world. He is doing Imagine by John Lennon, which means I am predisposed to unfairly compare him to an all time great. We learn he met the season one Idol finalist in a hotel lobby shortly before the season finale. He even sang for them, overcoming his terror. Their overwhelming praised raised his self esteem (then why are you still so golly gee whenever you get a compliment). Kelly Clarkson likes him so much she even gives him an Elaine style slap. NO ONE THIS HUMBLE AND SHY WOULD SING IN A HOTEL LOBBY FOR THE SEASON ONE FINALST LIKE THAT - WHICH MEANS THE DAVID THING IS PROBABLY AN ACT. Why a leather jacket for this song? He has to take a quick breath into the first phrase, is that on purpose? I doubt it, but I know the judges will not mention his lack of breathing technique. He is definitely not doing the original version. The leather jacket is really bothering me, does he even hear the words he is singing? I know I will be in the minority as an anti-David person, but I do not like the way they altered the melody, the beginning guitar lick sounds more like “Tears in Heaven” than Imagine. Adding all the extra notes goes against the entire nature of the song, which is simplicity. His voice still sounds thin when he tries to go low, but he is really good on the soaring notes. I am conflicted with David tonight. His vocals are good, but I cannot stand this version of the song. Please do not take a classic song and rewrite it to fit your voice, instead pick a song you can sing without recreating the wheel. I know he sounded good, but no one as shy and humble as David portrays himself would have the courage to alter a timeless classic. Phony much David? The judges are going to eat this up and probably call this the best thing they have ever seen. Literally the second after David stops singing he goes into the Gomer Pyle face. Randy says he has been saying all this year it’s about the young ones, and he thinks David just gave one of the best vocals he ever heard on this show. David says he only sang the third verse because of time constraints. Paula says David is ridiculous and she wants to dangle him from her rear view mirror. She calls it one of the most moving performances she has ever heard. Good lord stop with the hyperbole judges, it was not that good. Can we rely on Simon to inject a little reality into the comments? Paula thinks David is destined for superstardom. Simon says David’s performance worked, despite being risky. He believes there are 19 very worried contestants now. Seriously, someone needs to slap that grin off of David’s face. I think if Chikezie makes it into the top 12 he will eventually give David a serious beat down to remove that grin from his face. I bet a lot of people at home fall prey to the ‘David just sang so well’ fallacy and vote their little hearts out for Gomer, but he is not as good as the judges claim and I refuse to believe he is as humble as he appears. If he really is this humble he has at least a mild form of retardation. Paula is crying and David A. says the comments from the judges mean so much to him and make it all worthwhile. I know I am being too tough on David. He is a good vocalist, maybe better than anyone else on the show, but he is NOT the best singer of all time. I haven’t seen someone pimped this hard since Daughtry. He is safe.

Final Thoughts
It’s been nice knowing you Luke and Jason.


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