AMERICAN IDOL 7: TOP 9 ANALYSIS

It’s Dolly Parton night, which made for one of the more mediocre evenings of “American Idol” I’ve seen. Of course, I might just be disappointed because no one was smart enough to take on “But You Know I Love You.” Let’s see what we’ve got…

BROOKE WHITE – “Jolene”

O.K., I admit that I thought this would be the perfect song for Carly tonight, but somehow Brooke ended up with it. Brooke shows she has a good voice for country music, and sings the song with force. But as usual, Brooke picks a song that showcases an emotion she doesn’t possess. In this case, it’s desperation.  Afterward, Brooke thanks the judges every chance she gets, echoing the scene in “Animal House” where the pledges are spanked and still ask, “Thank you sir. May I have another?” As many of the other contestants also go overboard thanking the judges for their sometimes harsh opinions, I have to ask, did they all go to charm school this week or do they just want to escape Chikeze’s fate?

DAVID COOK – “Little Sparrow”

Here’s where we see how good David Cook is. No tricks with the arrangement, just plain good singing of a catchy song. David beats Jason Castro at his own game, giving a Sting-like vocal. I’ll be interested in finding out what David has to say when “Idol” is over. Is he really this humble and happy when he gets a good critique from the judges or is he just very smart at playing the game?

RAMIELE MALUBAY – “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind”

One of Ramiele’s better performances. While not a great song, it gives her something fun to play with, unlike the boring, more stately ballads she usually does.

JASON CASTRO – “Travellin’ Thru”

He shows a little bit more of a pulse this week, but he’s still the opposite of dynamic. What’s funny is this is probably the type of music he’ll be doing when he eventually records an album.

CARLY SMITHSON – “Here You Come Again”

Somehow it’s hard to see her becoming a MOR balladeer with all those tattoos. Still, the best performance of the night so far if only because the rest have been so undistinguished. Things go downhill during the judges’ portion, as Carly feels like she has to point out she’s smiling, and Paula thinks she has to shout over Simon to leave things on an up note.

DAVID ARCHULETA – “Smokey Mountain Memories”

I wasn’t as excited about this as the judges, mainly because there’s nothing Southern about him, so I didn’t think he was able to deliver the lyrics that well. All the great ballads Dolly wrote and this is the one he chose?

KRISTY LEE COOK – “Coat Of Many Colors”

Kristy shows a good emotional connection with the song, and then ruins it by bookending her performance with totally obnoxious comments. First in the opening package, she says she’d rather impress Dolly than her mother, Sure, Dolly’s great but mom’s mom and belittling her mother won’t win over the “Idol” faithful. Then in response to Simon’s comments, she cynically thanks him, just dripping smarm. Does she want to go home?

SYESHA MERCADO – “I Will Always Love You”

Poor Syesha! She looked great and sang great (well, maybe she lost it a bit in the middle, but what about that ending?), and it’s all for naught as she chooses the one song most identified with Whitney Houston. If she had done the very same performance with a less well known song (did someone say “But You Know I Love You”?), she might have finally broken through as a contender.

MICHAEL JOHNS – “It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right”

I thought this was a bit lyrically repetitious, but at least the song was about something real and down to earth (unlike some of his previous misses like “Across The Universe”). Michael could make it as a bluesy Bob Seger/Bryan Adams rocker, but he has to keep choosing songs about everyday concerns.

Finally on a personal note, to everyone who’s been asking why I haven’t been posting much, right now a lot of the big movie junkets are happening in New York, plus I got rather involved in re-watching the first three seasons of “Lost” on DVD the past week. I’m all through now, so I’ll spend a little more of my brain power on thinking of things to write about.

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2 Responses to “AMERICAN IDOL 7: TOP 9 ANALYSIS”

  1. Flash Says:

    Thanks for another great Idol update – Did you see the news re: David Cook and a trip to the hospital?? You think he will be back?

  2. Sophie Says:

    Someone tell Jason Castro (and/or his stylist) he cannot wear boots ever again unless he chops off those luscious dreads.

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