Welcome to Cheesefest 2008! That’s what I thought of this week’s Neil Diamond performance show. Each contestant sang two songs. There wasn’t much to like, but here are my thoughts:
ROUND ONE OF SONGS:
- Jason Castro – “Forever in Blue Jeans” – This isn’t a very exciting song, but the style suits Jason okay. It was pretty boring, though.
- David Cook “I’m Alive” – This song is really cheesy, so much so that even David Cook can’t make it sound cool. I was bored again.
- Brooke White – “I’m a Believer” – I wasn’t a fan of the frantic pacing of the song, and something about Brooke’s super happy demeanor reminded me of The Brady Bunch. For me, it’s been three strikes so far in my search for a performance to love.
- David Arculeta – “Sweet Caroline” – I’m sorry, I’m just not digging Neil Diamond night. During this number I kept flashing back to that old show Kids, Inc.
- Syesha Mercado- “Hello Again” – It helped to hear a female version of a Neil Diamond song. She was able to make it “her own.” Plus, I don’t know this song, so I didn’t have any preconceived notions.
How awkward was it when Paula started talking about Jason’s second song that he hadn’t sung yet? Where was she for the first half of the show?!
ROUND TWO OF SONGS
- Jason Castro – “September Morn” – Even Jason looked bored while he was singing this one. It didn’t suit him.
- David Cook – “All I Really Need Is You” – This is the first performance that I actually enjoyed tonight. David’s voice was great, the instrumentals were nice, and the song wasn’t bad. Simon made a good observation that David made this song sound like it was written this year. That’s what was missing from most of the other performances. The songs seemed dated. Everyone should have taken some risks to make their songs more interesting.
- Brooke White – “I Am, I Said” – I liked this one. I always like Brooke better playing piano instead of guitar. Plus, this song brought her back to the Brooke I liked in the early weeks, with that 70s vibe. Welcome back, Brooke!
- David Archuleta – “America” – So this is one of the cheesiest songs I know, so I already had that bias going in. But for me, David’s performance was just a continuation of his “inspirational message of the week.” I wasn’t wowed in the least. All the networks might as well go ahead and sign David A. up for their 4th of July specials. He’d be perfect. Simon is right about it being a perfect song choice, based on David’s fan base. Kristy Lee Cook knows about that, too, since she’s “Proud to Be an American.” (Don’t get me wrong. I love America. But that doesn’t mean patriotic songs have to be my favorite. Actually, I just wrote something about American music…).
- Syesha Mercado- “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime” – Syesha’s performance was part Kids, Inc. (the background drum beat) and part Sunday gospel hour (her vocals). These are two things that don’t mix, though, so I was very distracted.
I agree with Simon that this was the strangest show they’ve ever done. At least of the ones I have seen. It seems like they should have done the Neil Diamond episode earlier in the season, and done some of the more current artists here at the end of the season. Oh well.
- David Cook’s “All I Really Need Is You”
- Brooke White’s “I Am, I Said”
- Syesha Mercado’s “Hello Again”
Bottom Two: Jason and Syesha
Going Home? – Syesha