American Idol: Top Nine, Songs of Dolly Parton… or, From Breast To Worst

This week, I’m gonna do my recap a bit differently. I’m going to review them, as the title implies, from best to worst, rather than in the order they performed. I am only doing this so that my “Dolly Parton has big tits” quasi-joke in the title makes sense.

The theme was Dolly Parton songs.

Best: Michael Johns singing It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right: Yeah, I know. I’m surprised by this too. I’ve not really been a fan of Michael and kept waiting for him to do something other than perform poorly or perform well singing Queen. He’d been riding the coat-tails of his good looks and lead-singer posturing. Last night was the first time I saw him as being Michael Johns. His vocal was really, really strong, and he commanded the performance. Well done. Best of the night.

2nd Best: David Archuleta singing Smoky Mountain Memories: Like Randy said, David is back with this performance. Really good, but still a bit of careful measuredness to it. While the performance was very good, I’m finding that David is starting to bore me, and I think what it is is he’s a very safe performer. Yes, he nails the notes, and even takes risks in striving for trickier notes, but there’s something a bit boring about his whole package (that’s what she said). He always does seem to find the emotional connections to whatever he’s singing. That’s important. So, good performance, but watch out for becoming too safe and boring.

3rd Best: David Cook singing Little Sparrow: This is the first time I *liked* his performance. I’ve acknowledged some of them as being great performances, but I haven’t particularly enjoyed them. This one I dug. I liked him going for those falsetto notes. I liked him more for hitting them.

4th Best: Carly Smithson singing Here You Come Again: A really strong performance of this ballad. I disagree with Simon’s criticism. Actually, I found I disagreed a lot with Simon’s criticisms last night (he says he likes country, but he doesn’t). My only criticism of Carly’s performance was with the smiling (which she jokingly pointed out she made sure she did) through the song. The lyrics of the song don’t encourage smiling. Honestly, I only noticed a bit of smiling through the song, and it only slightly bugged me, but I mention it because she made a point of pointing it out.

5th Best: Syesha Mercado singing I Will Always Love You: Syesha came so close to having a capital G great performance. It started out really nice, soft and tender, and I had hopes. But she lost it when she went into the Whitney big notes. I’d have loved it if she kept it smaller and looked for other ways to convey the big emotion without the big notes. Because, you can’t beat Whitney on that song. You just can’t.

None of the rest of the performances I can consider “best” so I’ll countdown from least worst to worst.

4th Worst: Brooke White singing Jolene: It was okay, but mostly it was just boring. You need to bring more to the song, Brooke. And I’m still not digging your little interjections during judge’s comments.

3rd Worst: Kristy Lee Cook singing Coat of Many Colors: An okay country performance, but just too boring. You added nothing special to your performance. Just boring.

2nd Worst: Jason Castro singing Travelin’ Thru: I’ve fallen off the Castro Wagon. He really needs to dig deep and challenge himself to find the emotion within a song. He’s simply too casual in and cruising through his performances. There was one moment, near the end of his performance, where he actually looked like he was feeling it. We need much more of that, Jason. I’d like to like you again, but you gotta bring it brutha.

Worst: Ramiele Malubay singing Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?: No. No you don’t. Only when I use my mind to think who was the worst performer. Just a bland, boring, uninteresting, uninspired performance. Which is a bit of an improvement over many of your other performances.

Bottom Three should be Kristy Lee, Jason and Ramiele. Is it true Ramiele has never been bottom two? She deserves to go this week, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Jason.

Actually, I have no idea what the fan base is for these people, so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone who doesn’t deserve to go (like Chikezie last week) does go, so watch out Michael Johns and Syesha.

Leaving: Ramiele

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