TV-AI-TOP 12-one eliminated

The Bottom Three: Syesha Mercado, Kristi Cook, David Hernandez.

ELIMINATED ON THE NIGHT OF 3/12/08- David Hernandez

"American Idol" 2008 is now down to the final 12 and there will be some changes in the review posts. The performance round will now air on Tuesday nights with the elimination round on Wednesday nights following. Thus the Wednesday post will be the American Idol review post but it will NOT be posted until after the elimination on Wednesday night. The same as before the final 12, the American Idol post will include the name of the contender eliminated so West Coasters can tune in around 10pm EST to find out who got the boot, if of a mind. If West Coasters don't want to know, do NOT read the Blog post until a few hours after it's posted, depending on your time zone. This post will also include my review of the performance round from Tuesday night as well as my guesses as to who would be eliminated. My guesses might be wrong for I will have written the review and guess before I knew who would be voted off.

I'll risk it and you may judge my critiquing skills accordingly.

All with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.


St. Patrick's Day by the Numbers

  • Population Distribution 34.5 million
    Number of U.S. residents who claim Irish ancestry. This number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself (4.1 million). Irish is the nation's second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only those of German ancestry. (The ancestry estimates exclude people living in group quarters.)
  • 24%
    Percentage of Massachusetts residents of Irish ancestry-about double the national percentage. (The estimate of people of Irish ancestry excludes people living in group quarters.)
  • 3
    Number of states in which Irish is the leading ancestry group: Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Irish is among the top-five ancestries in every state but two (Hawaii and New Mexico).
  • 54
    Number of counties where Irish is the largest observed ancestry group. Forty-four of these counties are in the Northeast, with 14 in New York, 11 in Massachusetts and five in New Jersey. (The number of people of Irish ancestry in a county may not be significantly different from the number of people of other ancestries in the county.)
  • 348,978
    Number of Middlesex County, Mass., residents who are of Irish ancestry. Among the 54 counties where Irish is the largest observed ancestry group, Middlesex had the highest population of Irish-Americans, with Norfolk County, Mass., second, with 203,285.
  • 31%
    Percentage of the population of Plymouth County, Mass., and Norfolk County, Mass., that is of Irish ancestry. Among the 54 counties where Irish is the largest observed ancestry group, these two counties had the highest rate.
  • The Mother Tongue-25,870
    The number of U.S. residents who speak Irish Gaelic at home.
  • Coming to America -128,000
    Number of U.S. residents born in Ireland. (The estimate excludes people living in group quarters.)
  • 4.8 million
    Total number of immigrants from Ireland lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence since fiscal year 1820, the earliest year for which official immigration records exist. By fiscal year 1870, about half of these immigrants were admitted for lawful permanent residence. Only Germany, Mexico, Italy, and the United Kingdom have had more immigrants admitted for permanent residence to the United States than Ireland.
  • 1,518
    Total number of immigrants from Ireland lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence in the 2004 fiscal year.
  • Trade With the "Old Sod"-$24.0 billion
    The value of U.S. imports from the Republic of Ireland during a recent 10-month period (January-October 2005). Meanwhile, the United States exported $7.5 billion worth of goods to Ireland.

    Proud to be Irish graphic

  • Places to Spend the Day-4
    Number of places in the United States named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland. Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va., and Shamrock, Texas, were the most populous, with 2,623 and 1,821 residents, respectively. Shamrock Lakes, Ind., had 162 residents and Shamrock, Okla., 126.
  • 9
    Number of places in the United States that share the name of Ireland's capital, Dublin. Since Census 2000, Dublin, Calif., has surpassed Dublin, Ohio, as the most populous of these places (36,995 compared with 34,301, respectively, as of July 1, 2004).

    If you're still not into the spirit of St. Patty's Day after stopping by one of the places named "Shamrock" or "Dublin," then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, N.C., with 3,648 residents, of which a ratio of 1-in-6 are of Irish descent.

  • The Celebration-41.5 billion & 2.5 billion
    U.S. beef and cabbage production, respectively, in pounds, in 2004. Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick's Day dish. The corned beef celebrants dine on may very well have originated in Texas, which produced 7.3 billion pounds worth of beef, while the cabbage most likely came from California, which produced 558 million pounds worth.
  • 21.6
    The number of gallons of beer consumed per capita by Americans annually in 2003. On St. Patrick's Day, you may be able to order green-dyed beer at one of the nation's 48,050 drinking places, some of which may be Irish pubs.
  • 389
    Number of breweries in 2003. The nation's breweries are the source for the domestic beer that is often an integral part of St. Patty's Day celebrations.
  • $75 million
    Value of potted florist chrysanthemum sales at wholesale in 2004. Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
  • 8 million
    Number of St. Patrick's Day cards Americans exchanged last year, making this observance the ninth-largest card-sending occasion in the United States.
  • 93.3 million
    Number of people who reportedly planned to wear green last St. Patrick's Day.

  • American Idol logo

    The Top 12 Perform and the Best Really Screws Up

    "American Idol" 2008 is now down to the top twelve and those not already paying attention will now tune in. Effective now, only one contender will be eliminated each week.

    On the night of 3/11/08 the dozen best sang Lennon/McCartney tunes. Ryan seemed real excited about this and hey, I hadn't noticed that no Beatles' songs had never been performed before on "American Idol". I can't shake the feeling that this might have something to do with Michael Jackson and his former hold on the Beatles' song catalogue.

    Lennon McCartney for AI 08

    At any rate, Syesha Mercado began the night's song fest with the tune "Gotta Get You Into My Life". Syesha looked cute although I have a note that asks if there wasn't some bad timing in her performance? Which, this day after the performance round, I have no idea what I meant.

    I'd give Syesha a solid B for her performance and the judges mostly liked her. Syesha will likely be around for a bit longer.

    We move on to Chikezie who sang "She's a Woman". I thought Chikezie did a lot of screaming with little melody. The judges, however, loved Chickezie's rendition of the tune so take my reaction with a couple of grains of salt.

    I do try to not let my perception of how a tune SHOULD sound cloud my reaction to how the performer RENDERS his or her interpretation of the tune. I agree whole-heartedly that these talented contenders need to take a song, add his or her own slant to the tune and offer their own uniqueness for the American audience to ponder.

    Chikezie made this song sound like a country/western jug band and I didn't like it. Further down, there was one performer who did the same thing and I loved it. The judges in that instance were off the mark with me also.

    Ramiele Malubay performed "In My Life" and by both MY account and the judges', Ramiele performed poorly.

    All of the judges complained of boredom with Ramiele's rendition of the tune. As I've complained every week of this contender's singing style, I thought she sounded entirely too breathy and that sudden loud ending was just too much and sounded fake.

    I predict Ramiele will get booted this week.

    Jason Castro and his dreadlocks came up next and sang "If I Fell". Jason sang, not his dreadlocks.

    I understand that Jason brings a different brand of singing to this contest, a sort of folksy roadhouse kind of sing-song. Jason generally offers a bit of falsetto in his tunes and hey, it sounds great. If I stopped at a blues type of joint along the highway and Jason sang a tune as I sipped some white wine, I'd walk away delighted, even a bit enchanted.

    I'm not at all sure the singing style of Jason Castro will ever win an American Idol contest but with the exposure his singing in this national contest will give him I think Jason might well be picked up by a record label specializing in his type of singing style.

    But Jason is not a singer of American Idol proportions.

    The very best performance of the night came from Carly Smithson. Carly sang "Come Together" and bar nothing, she was terrific. Carly put her own touch on that song and managed to maintain the integrity of the tune right along.

    An audience member could readily see that Carly was being Carly as she belted out that tune and on this performance at any rate, the judges and I are in total agreement.

    I envision Carly as the second likely contender to win this thing but after this performance, and the screw up of her main opposition, more on this later, I can see Carly easily being the next American Idol.

    David Cook up next with his plastered hair singing the tune "Eleanor Rigby".

    I didn't like it at all. I thought the beginning was very pitchy and the entire performance, while not dreadful, was in no way outstanding, at least as I saw it.

    In this case the judges disagreed with my assessment completely and Simon surprised me all to hell.

    Lookit, David's a good singer, heck by this point they ALL are. And he has an appeal to that demographic that likes pointy, plaster hair. I understand this and in a stretch I can see David making the top five.

    Hair montage from AI 08 3/11/08

    But Simon not only thought David's performance was "brilliant", Simon also commented enthusiastically that David could win this thing.

    Well hey, Simon Cowell knows far more about music than The Wise I although I'd argue I'm a typical American middle-aged woman, an impressive demographic, and there's simply no way David Cook will beat either Carly Smithson or David Archuleta.

    Not. Going. To. Happen.

    I don't know if Simon was trying to give David Cook a boost or uttered this insane prediction in his joy at David's performance, but allow me to disabuse yon reader of any such possibility.

    Brooke White, that most beautiful of all the contenders in this year of our Lord 2008, sang "Let It Be" while playing the piano.

    First, I hated Brooke's dress. What the hell was she thinking putting on what was essentially a head scarf tucked here and there and belted in the middle? Brooke is beautiful and she should dress beautifully.

    But I did love Brooke's performance and consider her rendition to have been the second best of the night. Brooke sang that melodic tune with feeling although she could have lessened all that head-shaking a little.

    Singers tend to shake their head at times in the heat of the passion of their song. I thought Brooke went a bit overboard but not by much and perhaps I'm nit picking.

    The judges all thought Brooke's performance to be quite "heartfelt".

    I don't especially like David Hernandez and last night I thought his silly "50's" fashion look of a shirt with the tails hanging out of his pants, topped by a vest and an unknotted tie to be hopelessly wrong. Yes I know that fashion shouldn't be a part of this talent contest and yet, it is. David was dressed to sing a fifties tune and with a Chubby Checker song David might have looked snappy and happening.

    David sang "I Saw Her Standing There" and I thought David needed a guitar, different clothes and he didn't need to be running all over the place like a wild man.

    The judges all said he "overdid" the song and, heh, I'd have to agree.

    Amanda Overmyer is another contender this year, like Jason Castro, who is just a bit too different to win the coveted title of American Idol. Although I could be wrong and hey, I love Amanda's edgy singing and think she's an entertainer who knows what she likes and intends to keep on doing it.

    Amanda evidently was never a great Beatles' fan because she'd never heard of the tune she sang-"You Can't Do That". I think that since Amanda had no preconceived notions about how that song SHOULD sound, it helped her put her own stamp on the tune and myself and the judges enjoyed her performance.

    Hey, I understand the messy haired look is de rigueur for fellows nowadays but Michael Johns' hair looks like someone put some hair gel in it and then whipped it up with an egg beater. Which is not to say he shouldn't keep the look but what say we tone it down a bit? Michael is no youngster and that silly hairstyle looks like he just got out of bed, not cool at all.

    Michael sang "Across the Universe", the only song of the night that I'd never heard before. I thought the tune displayed Michael's pretty tenor voice nicely although the judges thought the performance to be a bit "sleepy".

    Kristi Cook is the performer who put a country/western slant on a Beatles' tune that I quite liked. Kristi sang "8 Days a Week" and I thought it sounded cool. For effect I must suppose, Kristi wore jeans with ripped legs and hey, I could have done without that.

    It's no matter whether I liked the song or not. All of the judges, including Paula!...disliked the rendition with its country twang.

    So just like with Chikezie, I'm 180 degrees from the judges' assessment.

    Fashion Montage AI 08 3/11/08

    I almost cried at David Archuleta's performance.

    This is the young man that any American currently following this reality series will name, first thing, at any question at who will win this year.

    David is young, cute, personable and very, talented. He was born to sing and whatever happens in this contest, there's no doubt David will sing for his supper his entire life.

    David forgot the lyrics of his song-"We Can Work It Out".

    Couple of things here. First, David knew very few Beatles' tunes and this surprises me, one who grew up on the Beatles and one who thought every American born knew all the famous Beatles' tunes. David only heard Stevie Wonder's rendition of this song and just to show you what I know, I didn't even know Stevie Wonder ever did a cover of this song.

    Second thing, I've always said, each and every year that I critique this reality series, that forgetting the lyrics of your song is totally and completely inexcusable. For while the fashion is subjective, the ears might hear the sound differently, the moves might delight some and repulse others...the words of the song are the words of the damn song and there's no excuse for not knowing them. No one, not even Paula, is likely to say "it was really cool how you forgot those lyrics" is what I'm saying here.

    I doubt this major faux pas will kill David's chances and if God smiles sweetly on David, it might serve to make him look a bit more human and give him some humility lest he think the American Idol title will be his given the passage of time.

    He better not do it again of I predict it WILL cost him the title.

    In summary:
    The top three as I critique, in order of best at top, were:
    Carly Smithson
    Brooke White
    Amanda Overmyer

    The bottom three as I critique, in order or worst at top, were:
    Ramiele Malubay
    David Archuleta
    David Hernandez

    Below a video montage of the above lists. Judge for yourself.

    "American Idol" 2008 Contenders

    CLICK HERE FOR Pics of Top 24 American Idol 2008 Finalists

    Top 24 "American Idol" 2008
    Brooke White-
    Carly Smithson-
    David Cook-
    Amanda Overmyer-
    David Archuleta-
    Kristy Lee Cook-
    Danny Noriega-Sent Home 3/6/08
    Jason Castro-
    Luke Menard-Sent Home 3/6/08
    Alexandra Lushington-Sent Home 2/28/08
    Ramiele Malubay-
    Michael Johns-
    Syesha Mercado-
    Robbie Carrico-Sent Home 2/28/08
    Garrett Haley-Sent Home 2/21/08
    Kady Malloy-Sent Home 3/6/08
    Chikezie Eze-
    Amy Davis-Sent Home 2/21/08
    Alaina Whitaker-Sent Home 2/28/08
    Jason Yeager-Sent Home 2/28/08
    Asia'H Epperson-Sent Home 3/6/08
    David Hernandez-Sent Home 3/11/08
    Colton Berry-Sent Home 2/21/08
    Joanne Borgella-Sent Home 2/21/08

    Prior Links to Posts for "American Idol" 2008

    Premiere Show 2008-Philly and Dallas
    San Diego and Charleston
    Miami and Omaha Tryouts AI2008
    Atlanta and Various Tryouts -the last AI2008
    TOP 24 American Idol 2008
    From 24 at the top-Four Go Home
    Twenty Down to 16
    Elimination Thursday 2/28/08
    Elimination Thursday 3/6/08-The Top Twelve!
    Lennon McCartney Night 3/11/08

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