Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Well I certainly wish I had put money on a Vegas bookie for David Cook to be the winner for American Idol 2008 (as I had predicted) a few weeks ago. Now it's too late. After tonight, in the words of the immortal Randy Jackson, "that performance tonight on that joint you just did...dude, you might be the one to win the whole lot". David Cook was the final performance of the final ten on tonight's episode of American Idol. His captivating, powerful, and (thank God) couldn't be more different from the original version of "Billie Jean" blew the socks off of anyone who had been on the stage before him. The judges were all appropriately ferklemp, if I may use and misspell a fine Yiddish word meaning at an emotional loss for appropriate words.
I have located the video so please take a look (above) and judge for yourself. This mid-west rocker has it all. In fact, he has more than many of the past AI winners, since his singular sound, commanding stage presence and complete composure in the face of absolutely anything has put him light years ahead of the pack. I'm not sure what he should do next. Maybe U2 has an opening. He has already won this year's contest as far as I'm concerned.
As for the rest:
Ramiele:Always hard to be first out of the box, but "Hearts Alone" was not a noteworthy choice for this contestant. Big voice, terrible camping shorts and spiked boots outfit. 2 Stars on the Jane-o-Meter
Jason Castro: "Fragile" was too fragile and he should have started this Sting classic in a higher key. Weak vocals, but who cares? He will have a huge TV or movie career afterwards if he wants one, the camera loves him. 2.5 stars on the meter.
Syesha: Probably one of her best performances, but I'm going on record that if she gets voted off tomorrow it is because America will not tolerate one more week of hearing her baby cry impression. Great vocals though, 3.5 on the JOM.
Chikezie: You have to love this guy....and his Nigerian mother. The judges thought he needed more energy tonight (they were right), but I'm here to tell you that he is one of the few AI in the Top Ten that stands the "close your eyes" test. If you just listen to the Chik...and imagine how he would sound as a download or CD, he passes the test big time. This guy has the best pipes in the whole competition. Nobody can beat his voice. I give him a 3.5 for vocals, a bit less for total performance.
Brooke White: I think she is a disaster. I thought this was the worst arrangement of a Sting/Police song (Every Breath you Take) that I have ever heard. I think the judges have all been bewitched by her long blond hair and enormous white teeth. Maybe somebody can clue me in, but I say two thumbs down and only 2 stars on the meter.
Michael Johns: I really hoped I could have loved this performance as much as I wanted too. Looked great doing a Queen/Freddy Mercury medley, but it just made me wish that the unforgettable Freddy was still alive. A reluctant 2.75.
Carly Smithson: If I write what I really think, all my Irish ancestors will roll over in their graves. Hated the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" too. Her tattoos are nice. Not even something I can rate anymore, I'm outside of the loop on Carly.
David Archuleta: Conventional wisdom sure has taken a beating these past few months hasn't it? David is the front runner, right up there with Obama and Hilary. Well...maybe. Nothing is certain and this performance is proof. An unknown song (even the judges couldn't place it) and a mild rendition makes David's rising sun sink faster than the Titanic. But he's so young and adorable, it feels like kicking a puppy just to mention it.
Kristi Lee Cook: What are the odds that two top 10 finalists are unrelated Cooks? It's like a headline writer's wet dream if they make it beyond tonight. And one of them certainly will. I'm betting that both will, because I've been a Kristi fan from the beginning. Her rendition of "God Bless the USA!" was lovely, if not inspired (as Simon hinted). There are plenty in the country world that could have given it more passion, but Kristi did a fine job.