For those of you familiar with my So You Think You Can Dance recaps, don’t expect the same kind of detail about Idol. Although I am enjoying Idol this season more than any other, my enthusiasm for it pales in comparison to the, in my opinion, superior Dance. Speaking of which, I was excited to see the fun promo for SYTYCD during last night’s Idol. Back to the topic of this post, here are my thoughts on last night’s performances:
Michael Johns’ “Dream On” – This was my favorite performance of the night. A few weeks ago I commented that Michael had the potential to be one of the last contestants standing, but that he needed to step up his game if he wanted to survive. I’ve been pleased that he has done just that the past two weeks. Last week his “It’s So Wrong, But It’s So Right” was my fave, and while I like him better with the blues feel, I still enjoyed his rocker vibe this week. He has found the charisma and stage presence that he was lacking in earlier episodes. For now, he is my favorite.
Syesha Mercado’s “I Believe” – Honestly, I lost interest before the song began, when Syesha informed us that she had chosen Fantasia’s “I Believe.” I’ve always thought it’s a bad idea for Idol wannabes to perform a previous Idol winner’s song. First of all, it’s difficult to compete with a previous winner, and second of all, these songs are almost always cheesy (except for Kelly Clarkson’s songs, but no contestant should try to top her version of these hits). I was bored during this performance, although the choir singing background vocals was a nice touch. Syesha is just never very interesting to me.
Jason Castro’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – This was my second favorite performance of the night. I also liked Jason’s “Travelin'” last week. In the early weeks of the season, I was concerned that Jason was limiting himself to too small a niche with his Jack Johnson style performances, but now I am glad that he has chosen this strategy, because he has continued to grow on me each week. I’ve always loved this version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” whether it was on a commercial, an episode of Scrubs (that Wizard of Oz episode was my favorite of that show, by the way), or my Ipod. Jason’s version of it was well done in every way.
Kristy Lee Cook’s “Anyway” – She’s still on the show? Seriously, I’m sure she’s a nice person, and she has a decent voice, and she always looks fantastic, but she is nowhere near the level of all-around talent that most of the remaining contestants are. That being said, I agree with Paula that this was her best performance of the season. I’m afraid that might keep her around another week. She is very good at song selection, as Simon pointed out. I am sure there is a large cross section of the population who will vote for her simply based on this song.
David Cook’s “Innocent” – I hate to say it, since David is one of my favorite contestants, but this was his worst performance of the season. It wasn’t so much his singing or stage presence as it was the song arrangement that was the problem. Everything just seemed off. He probably has a large enough fan base that this little bump in the road won’t hurt him too much.
Carly Smithson’s “The Show Must Go On” – Lighten up, Carly! She’s always so angry when she performs, and that attitude simply didn’t fit with this song. I also wasn’t loving the high-waisted pants, the flashy gold belt, and the vertically striped top. I agree with Simon that she may be in trouble after this performance, even though she has one of the most powerful voices this season.
David Archuleta’s “Angel” – Simon thinks that this song is one of the greatest pop songs of all time. While I agree that it’s catchy, I think he’s overstating things a bit. Besides, the song makes no sense: “I’m loving angels instead.” Huh? Despite my concerns about the song, David A. gave a spot on performance, as usual, although I think the piano playing threw off his vocals a bit. I still just can’t see David as a pop singer. He should follow Clay Aiken to Broadway, where his talents could truly soar.
Brooke White’s “You’ve Got a Friend” – How appropriate for Brooke to sing a Carole King classic, since I’ve been saying all season that Brooke is a throwback to the 70s. I agree with Simon that this was pleasant (“like a walk in the park” is how he put it), but not great. Brooke was once my favorite, and while I still really like her voice, she needs to get back to the great song selections and performances of the early weeks to make it back to the top of my list. Cute dress, though!
My Top Picks: Michael Johns, Jason Castro, Brooke White
Predicting the Bottom Three: Syesha, Kristy Lee, Carly
Going Home: Syesha
Do you agree with me, or do you have a different take on these inspirational performances? We’ll have to wait an extra day to find out the results, since this is the very special Idol Gives Back week. Look for several SYTYCD contestants to perform on Idol Gives Back. That’s enough reason for me to tune in!