Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ranking the American Idol Top 8: Archuleta Returns to the Top, Johns and White Hug the Bottom

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For a night that featured "inspirational songs," last night's American Idol wasn't particularly inspiring.

Something funny happened, though -- several frontrunners stumbled, and a couple of has-beens stepped up their games. Will it matter when it comes time to figuring out who will be eliminated? Perhaps not. But when I take a look at my rankings for the week, I can't help but be surprised. David Cook plummeting to #6? Jason Castro at #2? What's going on here?

Let's dig in ...here are my rankings from last night's show:

1. David Archuleta
You just had to know that little Archie was looking forward to singing a "message" song -- he's done it practically every week since the show started! He made a wise choice with Robbie Williams' "Angel," and got to show himself off to excellent effect. This kind of song is his bread-and-butter, and he nailed it.

2. Jason Castro
The dreadlocked one has a range that is about 2 inches wide, but when he finds a song that fits inside of it, he's golden. This version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was perfect for Jason, and he appeared relaxed and sounded (relatively) great. Those familiar with the arrangement he did know that it was pretty much a carbon copy, but I'm guessing he gave a David Cook-esque jolt to those who had not previously heard this particular version.

3. Syesha Mercado
Okay, first things first -- this is the absolute worst song choice she could have made, and it will very likely put her in danger of being eliminated. I mean, do not sing a song sung by a former winner (as the coronation song, no less), and do not sing a song that LaKisha Jones got lambasted for attempting during Idol Gives Back week last year. Terrible, terrible, terrible. Having said that, I do have to give Syesha some props -- she sang the hell out of the song (even if it did pale in comparison to Fantasia), sounding better than she has all season. Still -- terrible, terrible, terrible song choice.

4. Kristy Lee Cook
I can't believe Kristy is still alive in the competition (and neither can Kristy!), but if she keeps nailing country tunes like Martina McBride's "Anyways," she may be around for a while longer. This is a tough song to sing -- Martina doesn't always sound great wailing it -- and Kristy pulled it off with aplomb. She's still boring as hell, but there's no doubt the girl has found her niche and is stepping it up.

5. Carly Smithson
Oh, Carly. This is a great song -- Paris Bennett tore it up back in Season 5 -- and Carly, as always, hit the notes with panache, but why doesn't she look like she's having more fun? Relax girl! Simon is right -- she came off angry, which didn't fit the tone of the evening. If she doesn't start picking songs that she (and the viewers) can really relate to, she's gonna go way before she should, which would be a true shame.

6. David Cook
After weeks of topping my rankings, David took a major stumble this week, choosing an obscure song and not sounding very good singing it. And as much as it kills me, I'm gonna have to agree with Simon that the performance came off a bit arrogant. He's got tons of goodwill loaded up from his previous triumphs, however, so he shouldn't be in too much danger of elimination.

7. Brooke White
This was a genius song choice from Brooke, and evoking Carole King in her 60's-esque dress was a smart move. The problem is, when she's not sitting behind the piano, the absolute average-ness of her voice comes shining through. She was fine last night, but as I said to my companion, if you had never seen her perform before and this is what she brought to the table, it'd be hard to get what all the fuss is about.

8. Michael Johns
Definitely not the weakest singer of the night, Michael's problem is that he was the most forgettable. Writing nearly 12 hours after his performance, I can't for the life of me remember what he sang! (Oh yeah, it was Aerosmith's "Dream On" -- cliche!) And what's the deal with the ascots? Um, no. After two strong weeks, the Aussie could be in a bit of trouble.

So, there's my rankings -- thoughts? Make sure to vote in the poll of who was the best and who should go home, and check back later today for my thoughts on who will be eliminated (hint -- it's not the #7 or 8 person on this list).

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4 comments:

Drew said...

Hmmm. I must say that I disagree with your order a bit this week. I thought David Cook was the worst of the night. I am a big fan of his, having really enjoyed his other performances, but this was terrible. I do not think he will be eliminated, but he was awful. A terrible song choice sung poorly.

Second worst for me would be Syesha. I agree that it was a terrible song choice. I also thought that she had more than one "cringe" moment. Also, listen to the disconnect between her and the back-up vocalists. She was out of pitch in a big way on several "big" notes.

Next would be Carly. Horrible song choice. While her voice was a strong as ever, I don't think she understood what the week was all about and she did not connect with the audience at all. Unfortunately, I think she will be going home on Thursday (much to my disappointment).

Also, I thought Michael Johns was okay up until the last half. He cannot hit those high notes and he should have stayed away from them or the song as a whole. I think he could have done a modified arrangement in his range and it would have been much better. He is definitely in danger, though.

I agree with you about Brooke. If she is going to have a piano on stage, why was she not behind it?

My guess for the bottom three are: Syesha, David C., and Carly. I think that they will send Syesha to the couch first, leaving David C. and Carly on stage for the dramatic elimination of Carly.

Gingy said...

I totally agree with Drew, but HOPE it's Syesha who goes. She does nothing for me, talked back to the judges, and constantly gives the "what? you didn't like moi?!" look.

Anonymous said...

I AGREE WITH YOUR ORDER EXCEPT FOR THE LAST THREE. I WOULD DEFINITELY RANK DAVID COOK LAST. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!

MICHAEL & BROOKE, IN MY OPINION, WERE A TIE. MICHAEL DIDN'T SOUND BAD (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ENDING), BUT HE DIDN'T SHOW US WHAT WE KNOW HE'S CAPABLE OF. AND I AGREE WITH THE JUDGES THAT IT SEEMED KIND OF "WANNA-BE-ISH".

BROOKE HAS HAD QUITE A FEW BAD WEEKS!! SHE GOES FLAT IN JUST ABOUT EVERY SONG SHE SINGS, YET THE JUDGES NEVER ADDRESS IT. I THINK IT'S ABOUT TIME FOR HER DEPARTURE!!

Lisa said...

I think you need to clean your ears out a bit.

Syesha made a dumb song choice AND she sounded awful. It got SO screechy in the high parts. She was, by far, the worst of the night. Carly (who I normally love) was also pretty terrible.

Brooke was a lot better than you are giving her credit for, IMO.

I hope Syesha goes home, I'm sick of her smug phoniness and her talking back to Randy and claiming Fantasia as her "idol" (which I don't believe) was just flat out annoying.