This week the top four took on songs from rock ‘n roll. With all the rock songs out there, they couldn’t select songs any better than these? This is especially true of the first set of songs. Here are my thoughts…
FIRST SET OF SONGS:
- David Cook – “Hungry Like the Wolf” – I wasn’t impressed by this performance. It was very generic. But Simon’s right that it’s probably enough to put David through to the next round.
- Syesha Mercado – “Proud Mary” – She looked great, but it seemed kind of like going through the motions to me, and she shouted a lot.
Sidenote: The first two performances were marred by the sound – the instruments weren’t turned up loud enough.
- Jason Castro – “I Shot the Sheriff” – A Bob Marley song, obviously, suits him. He had more emotion in this performance than I had seen from him in a long time. The arrangement of the song, however, wasn’t very good, and once again the instruments weren’t loud enough.
- David Archuleta – “Stand by Me” – I really like this song, but as usual David over sang – too many runs and breathy notes. Somehow he turned this into an inspirational song in the middle. For once he messed up some notes, too. The ending of the song was quite pitchy and weak. Why do the judges never have anything bad to say to him?
- David Cook – “Baba O’Reilly” by the Who – I don’t know this song, but I really liked it. It was my favorite performance of the night. It showed off David’s voice and his stage presence.
- Syesha Mercado – “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cook – It was very clear that this was a heartfelt performance. Although, to compare Sam Cook’s involvement in the civil rights movement to Syesha making the top four on American Idol is a bit of a stretch. I’d like to think she was just moved by the historical context of the song. But I have to agree with Paula that Syesha has changed a lot this season, and in this performance she proved to me that she deserves to still be here. And it was touching to see her crying on stage. It made her seem very genuine, and it’s been hard to see who she is as a person much of this season.
- Jason Castro – “Mr. Tambourine Man” – This was a good song choice for him, but it was only a so-so performance. I really think that Jason doesn’t care whether he stays or goes. When he forgot the words he just la-la’d his was through it, and earlier in the show when they introduced the contestants, he was yawning.
- David Archuleta – “Love Me Tender” – All the preteen girls will love this performance, which David described as a “really romantic love song.” As usual, David overdid the facial expressions and vocals. I am sure that David is a super nice person, but during his performances he is what I can only describe as artificially sincere. Or, as my husband puts it, “He’s just wrong… he’s too polished, too rehearsed, too pageanty.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
- Syesha’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”
- David Cook’s “Baba O’Reilly”
- Jason Castro’s “I Shot the Sheriff”
- David Cook’s “Hungry Like the Wolf”