Another week of the Beatles. And we’re down to the final 11.
Amanda Overmeyer. Sang “Back in the U.S.S.R.” It was a great choice for her, but as the judges said, she seemed a little off-key and off-beat for the first half of the song. I thought it really picked up from there though. And the ending had some punch. Simon has a point, though. She needs to slow it down just a bit and sing a little. She can do that without losing the edge that’s clearly winning her some fans. The other weird thing in this performance was that the camera kept cutting to the show’s guitar player, who’s this staid black guy in glasses who plays sitting down. Sorta’ distracted from the rock vibe Overmeyer was trying to create onstage.
Kristy Lee Cook. Sang “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.” How can these people be even amateur singers and not have heard the major Beatles songs before? She slowed the song way down and sang it in a nasally, Stevie Nicks kinda’ way. I liked the start, but it got boring real quick. I’d say she’s gone, but she should have been gone weeks ago.
David Archuleta. So now that I know the kid’s got a bad case of stage dad syndrome, I find him more likable. Sang “The Long and Winding Road,” and he sang it very well. He has such a rich voice. Easily back among the top two or three favorites. If not the favorite. When the pre-teen girls screamed his name after the song, I really wanted the smiling squeaky-clean Mormon kid to grab the mic, wink at the camera, and say, “Dem’s my bitches.”
Michael Johns. Sang “A Day in the Life,” one of my favorite Beatles songs. It was pretty ambitious to try to squeeze a six-minute, multi-part song into 1:40. I don’t really think it worked. I like this guy’s voice a lot. But he keeps coming up short in finding a good vehicle for it. There was just way too much going on with the song. He spent a lot of time trying to keep up, and not enough time singing. I hope he gets a few more cracks at it. But he’s gotta’ get his shit together soon.
Brook White. Sang “Here Comes the Sun.” And she dressed like the sun. It started well, but kinda’ stalled after the first few bars. She tried to play up the sex appeal, which may well help her. But it was her worst showing thus far. But I can’t imagine it hurting her much. The net effect was probably to give David Archuletta the top slot again. She also got a little mouthy with Simon after her performance. Best approach is to keep quiet and let him tell you how to get better.
David Cook. Sang “Day Tripper.” But, um, the Whitesnake version. And I’ll be damned. He does a pretty good David Coverdale. He does not, however, do a very good Peter Frampton. He was fine until the weird talk box thing. He’s not in any trouble. But that was really weird. I’m not as big a fan of this guy as some people. I’m still not entirely sure he’s legit. And that was really bush-league and gimmicky.
Carly Smithson. Sang “Blackbird.” She’s a great singer, and hit some big notes she didn’t need to try. I thought the arrangement should have been more spare. Fewer strings. But it’s hard to complain too much. She has an amazing voice. And I think Simon got it wrong for once. It’s a beautiful song.
Jason Castro. Sang “Michelle.” Not my favorite Beatles song. But I disagree with the judges. I thought he he was one of the better contestants tonight. Even the French was convincing. I thought the stoner ethos would get old, but he’s just a really likable guy, and seems authentic.
Syesha Mercado. Sang “Yesterday.” Strong recovery from last week. Took some liberties with melody, sang with a light and fragile tone, and really delivered. Should be safe from the bottom three this week.
Chickezie. Sang “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” I’m not really sure what I think. I definitely liked the second half more than the first. And I’m not sure the two halves really fit together. The harmonica didn’t really do it for me, either. The instruments this year have been distracting more than they’ve worked.
Ramiele Malubay Sang “I Should Have Known Better.” Pretty bland. I like her, and she has a big, thick voice. She just hasn’t really used it the last few weeks. She could be in some trouble.
11. Kristy Lee Cook.
10. Ramiele Malubay
09. Amanda Overmeyer
07. Michael Johns
06. David Cook
05. Syesha Mercado
04. Jason Castro
03. Brooke White
02. Carly Smithson
01. David Archuleta