Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Idol Top 9 Performances

This week on American Idol, the theme was Dolly Parton’s songs with Miss Dollywood herself as the guest mentor. Dolly’s songbook is unique in that there are several classics that are simple enough for the contestants to inject their own style and personality. She was without a doubt one of the show’s most effective and likable mentors, enabling the contestants to give some truly memorable performances.

(Above: The Idols with mentor Dolly Parton).

Last week, Chikezie was voted off, keeping Syesha Mercado and Jason Castro safe. Personally, I am glad we didn’t have to sit through his warbling a Dolly Parton number.

· Brooke White- “Jolene”
At first it seemed like an odd song choice, but if fit her style. Brooke is consistent, but she needs to have another big moment to showcase and prove her strength again.The song choice
· David Cook- “Little Sparrow”
Spastic new haircut aside, David’s original arrangement and song choice were both impressive. It may not have been his best performance, but his voice still sounded great.
· Ramiele Maluby- “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?”
She has a good voice but even with decent song selections, Ramiele’s personality and presence on stage aren’t stacking up. In a such a strong season, she isn’t standing out among the bold and innovative competition.
· Jason Castro- “Traveling Through”
It was nice to hear Jason perform a bit more uptempo—and slightly less sleepy—song, but it still wasn’t different, memorable or strong enough. He needs a truly great song choice to return him to his “Hallelujah” glory.
· Carly Smithson- “Here You Come Again”
Carly picked one of the best songs of the evening, which is also a personal favorite of mine. Her arrangement (sounding eerily similar to former Idol Clay Aiken’s version), was silky and smart. Her vocals were great as always, but her performances are starting to wane.
· David Archuleta– “Smokey Mountain Memories”
David tends to choose mature songs, and while he is able to pull them off, it would be nice to hear him pick something younger. Despite that, he sounded ground and was committed to giving another good performance.
· Kristy Lee Cook- “The Coat of Many Colors”
This week’s theme was perfect for Kristy, but she didn’t make the most of it. Simon was spot on when he stated that it was “pleasant but forgettable.”
· Syesha Mercado- “I Will Always Love You”
The best song choice of the evening, though Randy and Simon insist on hating whenever contestants tackle Whitney renditions. Syesha showed great control and her voice was beautiful. It was a fantastic performance.
· Michael Johns- “It’s All Wrong But It’s Alright”
After last week’s high note, this was a great follow up to continue showing his versatility and style. His voice and tone were bluesy, raspy and beautiful. It was a very natural performance with great presence.

Who Stays & Who Goes
· The Best: David Cook, Carly Smithson, and David Archuleta proved to be strong and consistent competitors last night, while Syesha Mercado and Michael Johns treated audiences to the best performances of the evening.

· Middle Ground: Brooke White gave a good performance, but she’ll needs to step up her game like other contestants have. Kristy Lee Cook sounded and looked nice, but she may still be blooming too late.

· In Danger: Ramiele Maluby and Jason Castro were the weakest of the night. While Ramiele is forgettable with a good voice, Jason’s struggle is that despite being memorable and likable, he’s been giving mediocre performances.

Tune in tonight at 8:58pm for the results on FOX.

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