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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The top three as I critique, in order of best at top, were:
The bottom three as I critique, in order or worst at top, were:
Below a video montage of the above lists. Judge for yourself.