American Idol: Top 11 – More Beatles, Less Filling

A second week of Beatles songs and more performers under-achieved, I thought. Personalities are starting to become more pronounced, and I’m not really liking some of them.

Here’s the scoop:

Amanda Overmeyer, Back In The USSR: My appreciation of her is in a severe free fall. Simon nailed it exactly right when he said her style was becoming boring. She’s terrifically boring, I think. Every song sounds the same, like a poor-man’s Tina Turner. Her emerging attitude is bugging me, too, as she obviously thinks she’s the bee’s knees. But she’s not. She’s the bee’s arsehole. Yeah, ballads may be boring, Amanda, but so is you singing exactly the same style and tempo and feel every single week, doing the same basic struts around stage. That’s boring, too. Since you fail to see that, I no longer have any interest in you. You’ll have to surprise me to win me back. (Amanda goes crying into her room after reading this review)

Kristy Lee Cook, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away: God, this was awful. Every word of every sentence that I write about it feels like a waste of time, because she was just so blandly boring. A terrible arrangement of the song, and a very desperate single power note at the end. Surely to non-existent god she’ll be going this week.

David Archuleta, The Long And Winding Road
: As everyone probably expected, young David would come out with a ballad and touchy-feely it to a rousing conclusion. That’s what happened, anyway. A pretty safe, safely-pretty version of the song. The kid can sing, no doubt. But now all his performances are going to, for me, be smudged by the news that he has a prick of a back-stage father. I guess it’s what it takes to nurture a talent like David’s into what it is now, but I don’t like thinking about all those yelling-sessions that his father likely has with everyone, trying to selfishly and arrogantly get the best out of and for his boy. Ugh.

Michael Johns, A Day In The Life
: It was a big, big mistake to try and fit that song into a minute and thirty or so seconds. Huge error. That said, you also performed it terribly. You goofed on a bunch of the lyrics, hit some really stinky notes. Michael *looks* like he should be better than he is. The judges are fooled by his Michael Hutchense-ness, I think, and have been setting him up as one of the contenders, when in fact, his performances thus far in the “real” competition haven’t shown anything other than him being a low-to-middle-of-the-pack type talent. And Paula’s “you screwed up because it can be difficult to sing when wearing ear-monitors, I understand” “but he’s not wearing ear-monitors” gaffe was awesome.

Brooke White, Here Comes The Sun: Brooke, you showed an ugly side to your personality with this performance. First off, your performance of the song was awful. On that there is no doubt. Absolutely lack-lustre arrangment and performance. But what really had me yelling at the television is your inability to just shut up and take your lumps from the judges. JUST SHUT UP, don’t try and talk yourself out of the whipping you’re getting. It was an awful performance, it was a worse performance after the song. Next time you sing poorly, just nod and say thank you when the judges tell you it sucked.

David Cook, Day Tripper: A good performance, but man I can’t stand that sound. I agree with Simon about it beginning to be a bit predictable and he’s no longer a surprise. He needs to do more, or else he’ll end up in the Overmeyer situation of sounding the same each and every time. And that vocoder gimmick totally failed to impress me. Dig deeper, David Cook. Dig deeper.

Carly Smithson, Blackbird: I don’t understand Simon’s “self-indulgent” comment at all. I thought this performance was pretty good, but I do think the arrangement was a bit too full of stuff. I would have liked to have heard a bit more simple version of the song. Still, she performed this version very well. She has a powerful voice, for sure.

Jason Castro, Michelle: I’ve reached that point. The point beyond where I’m forgiving Jason his lack of vocal talent in place of his charm and personality. This was another charming but flawed performance. Next week Jason really needs to nail a song. We need to see he’s more than just a cute David Cassidy (am I the only one who’s made that look-alike connection?) personality. Kind of a weak, carefully-tread vocal performance that didn’t quite work.

Syesha Mercado, Yesterday
: The last two weeks, Syesha has been trying to re-invent her look, fearing, I guess, that the Broadway girl with curly hair wasn’t doing it for the voters. I thought she looked stunning with that cleavage-filled green dress. Beautiful. Her singing, I thought, was missing a bit in the first quarter of the song, but found itself when she started tossing out those big notes. Paula is right, though, she needs to be better at making eye-contact with the audience (ie., the camera) and making me fall in love with her all over again.

Chikezie, I’ve Just Seen A Face: Taken separately, each end of the song worked wonderfully. The ballad-y kind of opening verse was really good, I thought, and had he continued in that vein, I think he would have had the performance of the night. Then that horrible, ill-conceived harmonica bit that was supposed to transition to the last half of the song. It totally didn’t work. However, once the ugliness of that bit got shaken away, I thought Chikezie kicked the ass out of the song for the remainder of the performance. Chikezie has become my favourite contestant, currently. I’m as surprised as anyone at the vocal chops he shows, and more surprised that I am saying I think, of all the contestants, he may be the one I’d most like to hang out with. I hope he stays around for a few more weeks, because if he does, his charms will likely continue to grow on the audience. As it stands now, though, I think he’s still one bad performance from being in the bottom three. This week, however, it was a really good performance (forgetting the harmonica, of course).

Ramiele Malubay, I Should Have Known Better
: I’ve never seen the show or movie or TV Show or whatever it is, called “High School Musical”, but this performance is what I’d expect to see and hear in a high school musical, or talent show. Whatever. Better than last week, but still so very very bland. She just doesn’t belong.

Best of the night: Chikezie, David Archuleta and Syesha

Bottom Three: Kristy Lee, Ramiele and Michael Johns. I suspect Kristy Lee will be leaving this week. I further suspect she’ll be happy she’s gone as she doesn’t seem to be enjoying the experience, or even seem like she wants to be involved any more.

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