American Idol sure loves to try and fix what ain’t broke, don’t they? Nigel Lythgoe should run for President. Adding theme nights this early in the competition could unfairly spell disaster for some of our more talented (and really good looking) contestants, I fear. I always enjoy the process of whittling the Top 24 down to 12. It gives us a glimpse inside the artistry (if any) of the contestant, and how they see themselves as a performer. The window has been closed on the preview of what could be, and I verily regret that the audience will miss this insight on what makes each contestant tick.
And what really teed me off was Simon’s befuddled argument that so many of the guy’s performances sounded dated and should have been made more current… It was frikking 60′s night! All aboard the Simey Express Bullet Train to Crazy Town? You’s talkin’ rubbish, Mr. Cowell.
The collective body of performances last night was not impressive, considering this is OUR MOST TALENTED TOP 24 EVER!! I didn’t hear any glaringly awful voices in the bunch - so I think we can safely blame the theme for this. The performance factor did, however, make crystal clear who should be in the front running for the top 12. Here is my take on the doods’ performances:
DAVID HERNANDEZ – First, I gotta say who in the bloody heck is dressing these kids? David’s shirt looked like it was covered in ‘pit stains… or maybe used to dry Jason Castro’s hair. It made me feel all oogie, and I cannot believe that look was intentional! I think David is probably in the Top 3 guys as far as talent is concerned, but there is no joy in his performance. His enthusiasm is equal to mine as I do laundry – an activity I suggest David participate in posthaste, should he be left standing after the cut on Thursday. Going first is generally the kiss of death – and I would not be shocked to see David voted off - like a dirty shirt!
CHIKEZIE EZE – I am sorry, I just can’t refer to him as Chikezie Sans Ezie. You have got to earn the single name moniker, dude. Again, I really had a problem with the entire look – and from what I am reading, I am not the only one! The suit was very Isaac the Bartender, and from the neck up he resembled Mr. TMI Gary Coleman (Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Simon?) I could not get past the shaky start of his performance, and the song choice was chikcheesey. Mayor McKaCheesey Eze is not gonna be safey-safe tomorrow night, especially after his senseless rambling about genre swapping and backtalk to the judges – a BIG NO-NO on your first performance, dude. He made about as much sense as Chris Richardson defending his nasally singing last season.
DAVID COOK – While I give the man respect for rocking up the decidedly unrockable “Happy Together”, I still cannot bring myself to gush over this guy. His sneer at the camera was menacing, and his performance only resembled Alice In Chains in the aspect that his pasty white appearance is often seen on residents of the rainy Seattle area. I guess to sum it up in David’s own words – “Hey, you don’t suck.”
JASON YEAGER – I was happy to see that my Moon River-singing huckleberry friend had the good sense to tone down the skunk stripe in his hair. I am gonna get such heat for this, but I actually enjoyed Jason’s performance, and hope he gets another chance. Nothing makes this American Girl swoon more than a clean cut All-American Boy-Next-Door that dedicates his performance to Grandma. It was subtle, it was sweet – and have a heart – this guy needs to make it so he can buy his kid a haircut. Holy wow. Mr. Jovi says he heard mouthwash jingles in his head as Jason sang, so that probably can’t bode well for the guy, though.
ROBBIE CARRICO – Paula needs to stop drinking her special punch through a straw… because she seemed to be sitting at the front of the sucker bus when she christened Robbie as “The Real Deal”. I would never step out and say that right off the bat about a boy band singer turned rocker that appears to hold his hair onto his head with doo-rags and beanies. Come on, you only see a hairline like that on primates. I am attracted to Robbie’s 80′s melodic rocker voice, but this song choice was not good for him, for me.
DAVID ARCHULETA – Now this is a guy who knows how to pick a song. Not my favorite song by a mile, but he was so effortless in the way he performed, there seemed to be no doubt that he was 100% comfortable in his song choice. And that works. Cupid must shoot me in the butt everytime this kid performs, because I just can’t find fault with him. His goofy modesty is just perfectly endearing in every way.
DANNY NORIEGA – When it was announced pre-performance that Danny was taking on The King, my expectations instantly fell, as I could not see where my precious little DannyDiva might be hiding some rock n’ roll “swagger and attitude”. Drooping skinny jeans and ties aside, I was pleasantly surprised. While Noriega was not as good as our other Idol Dictator Contestant (Jason Castro), I enjoyed the performance. Danny is fearless if nothing else, and I respect him for that. And, his voice really is good. Give the kid a break, Simon… look for the colors – see the vocals.
LUKE MENARD – I am going to put on my genetic scientist lab coat and say that Luke is a dreamy pairing of Orlando Bloom and Andy Gibb – the first man to ever hang on my wall (that sounds more criminal than it was, I assure you). But, Luke’s lukewarm performance transformed him into OrBlando Who? Just not good enough, and his falsetto was pitchy. I would love me some Kenny Loggins vocal stylings, so I say we keep him around another week. I have been dying to hear one of the greatest pop songs EVER – “Nobody’s Fool” – performed on Idol, baby! Side note: Paula, why the hatin’ on the colors black and gray? Al Shaprton is so knocking on your door soon. Hope you have shakedown insurance!
COLTON BERRY – Dude, you lost me at mental rehearsals of the Teletubbies theme. Jeepers, that incognito Simon suck-up was too goofy, even for me. Colton made the wise decision to de-Casperize his pale blond locks, but keep the Clay Bangs. And I guess hanging suspenders are back in – gnarly to the max! He also opted to make his first impression in the competition with his version of the Chris Daughtry swan song, Suspicious Minds. My opinion? Don’t mix Elvis with show tunes, kiddies… that Idol cocktail could be lethal.
GARRETT HALEY – I whole-heartedly recommend that the young mens shave, wax, laser or taser any scant traces of facial pubes before they encounter the hi-definition close-up. One should NEVER take their fashion cues from Sanjaya. Garrett sang a very cookie-cutter performance of Neil Sedaka’s Breaking Up Is Hard to Do. In fairness, I think it was a fitting song choice for his prepubescent voice, and I got quite a nostalgic kick out of his impersonation of Garth Algar as he mouthed the words appearing on the teleprompter while Ryan read them. I hope he sticks around long enough so that we get to witness his Peter Brady “Time To Change” moment on stage.
JASON CASTRO – He’s a drummer, ladies and gentleman! Smart move on going with the guitar over the drums. Well played, Idol Dictator Castro! I am getting a crush on Jason, and that concerns me because he is Danny Zuko plus dreadlocks minus butt chin. His version of “Daydream” was, in fact, dreamy. It was the most authentic performance of the night, and it reminded me a little of Blind Melon - somehow in a good way, as I am by no means a Blind Melon fan. I love that Jason appears to be walking a fine line between stoner and nerd – who woulda thought that combination would ever work?
MICHAEL JOHNS – Yay, fire screensaver background is back! The fire was rather redundant, as Michael is so hot, I am en el fuego. This boy is my horse, and I think he is innit to winnit. Is February to early for air conditioning?
Speak up and let me know what YOU thought of last night’s show – were you happy to see The ‘Crest pretending to care again (blazer instead of threadbare t-shirt)? Do you anticipate that scarves must be the Idol must-have fashion accessory of the season? Do you wonder why we never see the Red Room anymore?
I’ll be back later with my song suggestions for the girls, if you are into that sorta thing.