The song that I would have loved to hear on tonight’s “Inspirational Songs” show: “Reach” by the band Orleans. It would have been a home run for David Cook. Oh well, at least no one tonight was out and out awful. Let’s see what we got…


Here’s a song I never thought of as inspirational before, but it was a good choice for Michael. Unfortunately, I think he’s hurt once again trying to cut down an epic rock song to fit the time alloted (Aerosmith’s version is 4:28 long), plus he didn’t bring anything new to it (except for the cravat… why, Michael, why?). Still, even though being first may put him in the bottom three, there’s no way he’s going home.


This sounds like it could be an “American Idol” finale song… oh wait, it was. A good performance, although I didn’t like her big note at the end because it didn’t fit the emotion of the song. Unfortunately, the judges compare her rendition to Fantasia and she pales in comparison (and let’s not forget Diana DeGarmo also did an excellent job on “I Believe” during her final week duel with Fantasia as well). If Syesha had given this same level of performance on a song that wasn’t so identified with another performer, she would have blown the roof off the place. But after trying on Whitney for size last week and Fantasia this week, she’ll be going home.

JASON CASTRO – “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”

I admit it, the ukulele made me laugh. And while every lounge singer in Hawaii is saying, “Why not me?,” Jason was the one who did it and gets points for originality (well, at least as original as copying an arrangement can be…). A good vocal brings it home.


Martina McBride’s version of this song almost made my Ipod when I listened to her album, and now thanks to Kristy, I may have to reconsider my decision. An excellent song choice and a powerful performance. When she grabbed the mike off the stand, you could hear Syesha’s heart breaking, as a bad night for Kristy Lee was the only thing that would have saved Syesha on results night.

DAVID COOK – “Innocent”

At first I thought he was about to go down the path of Chris Daughtry with a song that only metalheads could appreciate, as this is a song that most viewers wouldn’t recognize (which is the real reason the judges came down on him: they didn’t know the song). But David sounded a lot better once he got to the catchy chorus and got to sing out a bit. I couldn’t help but notice that the lyric mentioned cancer, making the song extra personal to David, although he didn’t bat us over the head with it like other contestants might have. As for the message on his hand, a great idea worthy of Bono.

CARLY SMITHSON – “The Show Must Go On”

This is another example of how smart Simon is, pointing out that the song didn’t have the giving, hopeful quality of the other inspirational songs. I too thought it was a bit too serious and pretentious. Yes, Carly’s good, but I never find myself enjoying her performances or rooting for her.


David’s voice sounded a little too soft in the beginning, but he got stronger as the song went on, and he really brought it home in the end. You know when the judges say that could be a number one hit if it was released tomorrow? Well, here’s one that would be. Somewhere Robbie Williams, who has sold 75 million records worldwide but is barely known in the U.S. and didn’t even manage to get his original version of “Angels” into the U.S. Top 40, is thanking his lucky stars.

BROOKE WHITE – “You Got A Friend”

For once, Brooke picks a song that has a feel good lyric she’s more than capable of conveying the proper emotion for… and she does (check out the moment she sings, “Don’t you let them…”). That said, unfortunately this is a simple song that can be kind of boring. While I’ve seen Carole King sing it live and been spellbound, Brooke’s performance doesn’t get there. I can’t help but think it would have been more impressive if she performed at the piano. But going last means she won’t be going home quite yet.



  1. Terri Says:

    Brian – you said there’s no way Michael Johns is going home ! I am very surprised, as well. I think his music style is similar to David Cook’s and David is a bit better and more original then Michael. I’m still so surprised – sure he was shocked.

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