Idol Blogging

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Not one, but two scandals this week. Be interesting to see how it affects the voting for David Hernandez or Amanda Overmeyer. On to the show. It was 80s night last night. My live-ish review:

Luke Menard — Never sing a song that sent a contestant home early in previous years, particularly if you’re hanging by a thread yourself. Sang Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” a really awful song that’s somehow fitting for this guy’s milquetoast on-stage persona. He should have gone home three weeks ago. I’d be shocked if he’s around for next week. He seems nice enough. But he’s really out of his league at this point.

David Archuletta – This kid wasn’t even alive in the 80s. Yikes, that makes me feel old. He’s trying to project gravitas again this week, with Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise,” a presumptuous song about homelessness that, weirdly, became a regular rotation at slow dances when I was in high school. Also, the piano oddly kept playing after Archuletta dramatically stood up and walked away from it. Odd, that. Look, the kid is really, really good. But it was a really crappy choice of songs. He’ll be fine. But he needs to be more creative. And a bit more light-hearted. A seventeen-year-old who sings about socially-conscious issues every week will get annoying real fast.

Danny Norriega — Sang Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love.” Gimmicky, and pretty crappy all around. Very little singing. He spoke most of it. It’s a fun song, but when it comes to actual singing, it’s almost completely void of substance. I was really ready for Norriega to tackle Culture Club this week. He would’ve knocked Karma Chamelon out of the park. He could be gone this week.

David Hernandez — I’m not wild about the song choice, because I hate Celine Dion. But the guy’s got some serious pipes. I’m curious to see what the gay strip club scandal does to his vote count this week. Will red America Idol recoil? All of that aside, he’s really one of the better singers in the competition. I’m just not sure he has the personality to go that far.

Michael Johns — First truly excellent song choice tonight. Simple Minds rocks. Fantastic all around. Great interpretation. Great stage presence. Brilliant performance. Also, I’m as ready for Johns to tackle Michael Hutchence as anyone else (see my post from last week), but what the hell is Randy Jackson talking about? “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” is Simple Minds, not INXS. And Simple Minds is an Scottish band, not an Australian band (that’s off by, what, two hemispheres?) Johns is my favorite among the men. He’s safe for several weeks. Just hope he doesn’t fall victim to Daughtry syndrome, where the rock guy gets tossed for weaker, more mainstream tastes.

David Cook — Ballsy. Took Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and rocked it up. I think it worked really well. He put in the best of both worlds–he kept the song’s strong vocals, and added some guitar and tempo to make it more Idol-friendly. Really nice. I want this guy to go far, too. He’s fun to watch.

Jason Castro — Holy shit. Leonard Cohen? Really? Fucking great for him. “Hallelujah” is one of the greatest songs ever written. And he did it justice. He ain’t Jeff Buckley, or for that matter even Rufus Wainwright, but I think he did very, very well. Contra Randy, I think he would have actually done even better if he’d brought the guitar and sang the song sans band. Also, he should have slowed it down just a bit. Though the tempo may have been dictated by time constraints. Still a gutsy choice, pulled off with aplomb. The men are really strong tonight.

Chickezie — I was really hoping for some Commodores. Oh well. Sang a gender-modified version of the song Whitney Houston made famous, “He Fills Me Up.” I wasn’t crazy about it. I think all the songs tonight were hurt by the really tight window of time they gave each performer, due I guess to the move to a one-hour format. I think he’ll be okay this week, but only because there were two men this week who made a really strong case for elimination.

Ranking the men:

8. Luke Menard. He’s way outclassed at this point. Gotta’ go.

7. Danny Norriega. Also out of his league, now. Fun kid. But he’s done. If he beats out Chickezie this week, he risks turnign into this season’s Sanjaya Malakar.

6. Chickezie. He’s much bettern than Norriega and Menard, but a clear notch below the top five. Outside chance he goes home this week.

5. David Hernandez. Great voice, but there’s something really unlikeable about him. Once the also-rans get thinned out, he’ll be in trouble.

4. David Cook. If this were a who should win list, I’d move the next three men up and put Archuletta here. But since this is a who will win list, he’s probably fourth among the men. I actually like him much better than Archuletta. But Archuletta’s building a huge base of supporters right now. Good news is, Cook has a few weeks to build up his own base before he’ll need to worry.

3. Jason Castro. This guy has probably already earned himself a record deal.

2. Michael Johns. Him too. I actually hope he doesn’t win. He’s got the chops to actually do something interesting with his voice, and not sing the dreck the Idol producers generally turn out for the winner’s first album.

1. David Archuletta. If you’re wagering, at this point he’s probably even money against the rest of the field.

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14 Responses to “Idol Blogging”

  1. #1 |  Eric | 

    Spot on, Radley. I was ready to right off David Cook a couple of weeks ago as the token “rocker” that will be out quickly, but his version of Hello was really good and he’s a likeable fellow.

    David Archuletta has a great voice, and I liked his performance, but his goofy “people without homes” reference at the end was out of place and forced.

    Luke Menard boasted about his a capella group last week; he sounded like an a capella group member without his backup guys last night.

  2. #2 |  Greg N. | 

    Each week I get more confident that Archuleta is going to burn out. If I could vote AGAINST someone, it would be that guy, if only because the idea of having a 17 year old lecture me about homelessness and private property is nauseating. Plus, while he can sing, he’s overrated.

    Also, while I think Johns will go far, I don’t think he’s got the chops to make it all the way. I’m sick of the Michael Hutchence comparisons, too, because that’s exactly what he wants to hear. It’s like walking up to a local furniture dealer who calls himself the “furniture king” and saying, “Hey, furniture king!” You know that’s what he wants, so don’t give it to him.

    The leader, at the moment, is Castro (and not just because he’s my fave). Take a look at the Idol forums. The guy has over 261,000 views on “his” thread. The nearest after that is Archuleta’s 121,000. Johns is stuck at around 60. Judging from years past, the forum hits are a pretty good indication of current standing (e.g., Taylor Hicks was always well in front of everyone on that score, as were other winners).

    Menard will lose big this week, but the second loser is unclear. It’s either going to be Noriega, who was bad, or Hernandez (due to lack of personality/scandal more than on-stage talent).

  3. #3 |  Michael Pack | 

    You can see this kind of talent in a bar.I’d rather watch NCIS to see ‘Ziva’.Cote De Pablo rules.

  4. #4 |  Highway | 

    Archuletta acts like the ‘socially concious high school kid’. And you’re right, he’s gotta tone it down or it’ll turn people off.

    Danny Noriega struck me last night as a girl who thought it would be easier to get into the final 12 by posing as a guy. He’s creepy, has terrible hair, and just doesn’t sing very well (for this level of competition).

  5. #5 |  Chris M | 

    “David Archuletta. If you’re wagering, at this point he’s probably even money against the rest of the field.”

    I’ve only seen half an episode this session, so I scoffed at this statement, with there being 16 people still in it. However, Pinnacle confirms it:

    http://www.pinnaclesports.com/ContestCategory/American+Idol/101~2A~Odds+to+Win+Season+7/Who+will+Win~3F~/Lines.aspx

    With 16 people left, this is like WOWOWOWOWWOWOW. I have a hard time believing the field isn’t a great spot…guess I’ll have to watch the show now.

  6. #6 |  Buck | 

    You nailed it this week Radley. Nothing there that I can disagree with.

    I would figure Luke Menard and Chickezie will go this week (if they are still chucking 2 at a time) Norriega will make it one more week.

    There is so much more talent in the guys group this year than there is in the girls group.

    My wife must have voted for Castro 25 times last night and never got a busy signal. She tried to vote for Archuletta but the line was always busy.

    My favorite is Castro but I have a strong feeling that Archuletta is going to win it all.

  7. #7 |  Matt Moore | 

    Dialidol says Menard and Hernandez at the bottom, and that’s exactly what I thought watching the show. Especially with the male-on-male lapdance junk.

  8. #8 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Didn’t think Michael John’s redentition was any good. He seemed lost within the song. Was hoping he might have dipped into the INXS bin.

    Jason Castro is like a lot of white college schmucks with dreds: overrated and undercool. Surprised he isn’t wearing Birkenstocks and a Marley T-shirt. His song couldn’t have been more Karaoke.

    With you Radley on the other contestants. Daniella Noriega is melting down. If (s)he is not gone this week, expect a more horrid performance next, then to hear “I wanted to quit, so I just tried to get voted off” excuse from him.

    We were kind of hoping that Eze would have jumped onto the stage singing 1989!! The number, another summer ….
    Not a good singing choice but would have been hilarious and entertaining….

  9. #9 |  witless chum | 

    Doesn’t anyone like the Leonard Cohen version best?

  10. #10 |  Danno49 | 

    RE: Amanda Overmeyer nude photos

    DO NOT WANT
    DO NOT WANT
    DO NOT WANT

  11. #11 |  Jethro | 

    More a fan of the John Cale version myself. But that could be because it’s the first I heard.

  12. #12 |  JSB | 

    Keeping in mind that Vote For The Worst (VTFW) will be voting for Noriega, I’m predicting that he’ll be staying in the competition. Castro was my favorite last night, and I thought that keeping in simple with the arrangement was key. Cook (while a good singer) does lack a little bit of stage presence…of course he could easily fix that with practice.

    The prediction this week is a little tougher for me…so I’ll be as specific as possible: I think Menard is gone…and the other will be Chikezie or Hernandez (I agree with you, Radley…something is really sort of creepy/unlikeable about him) Remember that Noriega is being supported by VTFW, therefore probably keeping him in at LEAST one more week (VTFW was the same reason Sanjaya made is so far).

  13. #13 |  Jeff S. | 

    Speaking of VFTW, I wouldn’t get my hopes up for a non-Idol Michael Johns album just yet. Back in January, there was a post on VFTW (via Joe’s Place) from Shaun Barrowes, who made it to the top 48, but not the top 24. Here was his comment:

    “I caught a glimpse at the contract the top 24 has to sign, and i’m glad i didn’t have to sign it. If I made it to the top 24, they would own me for 3 years no matter how far i made it, and if I had won, they would make big changes to my music. I got a pretty good feel for what they’re looking for, and they don’t want artists who already have an established sound–all my favorite contestants who I thought were great songwriters with a unique artisticsound were also cut today. I’m once again in full control of my music career, and I’m very relieved I’m out.”

  14. #14 |  TBOTCOTW » Blog Archive » Gimme Gimme American Idol | 

    [...] commentsMusic, Teevee I enjoy reading the roundups of American Idol from Dave, Idolator, and Balko, but I was surprised that no one (not even commenters, I think) noticed that David Cook’s [...]

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