Tuesday, May 27, 2008

an idol-free tuesday. ACK!!...

It's Tuesday. Do you know where your Idol is?

Oh the first Tuesday after the last Wednesday is so melancholy. On one hand, it's a relief that the competition is over and a winner has been crowned, but on the other hand I'm always left with the feeling: What the hell am I gonna do on Tuesdays now??

So, I'm hauling back out a custom that I abandoned last season - because I prefer to think season six was just a nightmare that I've long forgotten.

Yes, that's right. I'm gonna count down my fave performances of the year. Remember, they're my favorites, not necessarily the "best." And while I could easily fill all ten spots with David Cook, I'm going to impose a limit of three performances per contestant in the top ten. Otherwise it would be all David Cook. With honorable mentions going to, well, David Cook.

Here we go.

Honorable Mentions:
We Are the Champions (Michael Johns). And So It Goes (David Archuleta). One Rock & Roll Too Many (Syesha Mercado). Superstar (Carly Smithson). The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (David Cook). You Don't Have to Say You Love Me (Ramiele Malubay).

Come Together (Carly Smithson). At the time I wasn't real thrilled with the idea of the top 12 diving into the Beatles songbook, and half of them proved me right, but the other half of the field saved the day, most especially Carly who, for the first time, actually wowed me with this rousing and gritty performance. I never ended up being a "fan" of Carly, but after three disappointing performances in the semi-finals, this was the first time I saw how much talent and potential the girl had.

Let it Be (Brooke White). This was Brooke's defining moment. I heard it described elsewhere as "organic." That word fits this performance perfectly, as it was raw, but restrained, performed simply as it should be and, most importantly, she remembered the words!

Imagine (David Archuleta). In his semi-final performance, Archie made his first step in proving that he was capable of living up to the pre-show hype about him. Yeah, he got hammered for skipping over the first verse and yeah he got skewered for the runs and the riffs (moreso during his finale reprise), but, surprisingly, until his final performance night, this performance was his best and carried him through some of the pitfalls he was yet to encounter.

She's a Woman (Chikezie). Who knew the one-named Eze guy had it in him? Despite flashes of true talent in the semi-finals, no one really gave Chikezie much of a chance to make the tour, and many were shocked he had made it into the finals. But this performance made it clear that the man was a lock for top ten. I still smile watching it. It was his finest moment (and one of Ryan's weirdest). It's just too bad that two weeks later he would venture back into ballad-ville and get drop-kicked in 10th place.

God Bless the USA (Kristy Lee Cook). This performance will not go down in the annals of showstoppers, but after the horrid thing she did to Eight Days a Week, and having homesteaded one of the bottom three stools, Kristy showed her mettle by playing the game as strategically brilliant as any other contestant in history, pulling out the apple pie, the flag and Mother's Day all in one, securing her a vacation from the stools and buying her a few more weeks than she probably deserved. And it was a turning point for her, a transition between her time as season seven's punching bag to become the contestant people began rooting for, however reluctantly.

Hallelujah (Jason Castro). The dreadheaded surfer dude was certainly one of the most unique semi-finalists this show had ever produced, but with this beautiful performance, he also became one of this season's early favorites, at least to make it deep into the field. It was so memorable, in fact, that he was asked to reprise it, alone, on the big finale stage.

Eleanor Rigby (David Cook). I battled with myself whether to choose this performance or Hello, the one that immediately preceded it, but what tipped the scales on the Beatles side was the end. I knew by final 20 week that Cook was my favorite contestant of the season. By top 16 week when he remastered Lionel Ritchie, I thought that Cook might be, potentially, my favorite contestant ever. But Rigby sealed the deal. Perfectly performed, exquisitely directed and lighted, watching David #2's pure glee at the end of the performance, as the lights went up on the big stage after weeks of the tiny studio, is a moment that will live in my mind for a very long time.

Billie Jean (David Cook). I went into this episode knowing that Cook had chosen, for his birthyear night, this Michael Jackson classic and scratched my head wondering why on earth he had chosen such a strange selection. Of course, I had never heard of Chris Cornell or his version, which would have answered that question. It was one of those once-in-a-season moments, and proved that, by finding little-known arrangements of well-known songs, David was going to be the season's biggest risk taker. And he was going to be around for a very long time.

Over the Rainbow (Jason Castro). Jason was an enigma. When he was off, he was off. But when he was on, he was brilliant. And this was Jason at his finest. Of all of the iTunes purchases I downloaded over the course of the season, this is the one I listen to most often.

1. Always Be My Baby (David Cook). When observers of the show point to a contestant's defining moment, usually Cook's is measured by Billie Jean. But for me, this was the week that David proved to the naysayers that he was more than just a musician who ripped off covers of covers, taking this saccharine pop ballad and turning it, himself, into a smoky, sultry masterpiece, and he did it with his ailing brother in the front row, receiving rave reviews not only from Mariah Carey but the three judges, ending the evening teary-eyed. And that, to me, was a storybook moment, my favorite of the season.

So now it's your turn. What were your favorite moments?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer first off thanks again for this amazingly funny and accurate (I find you are usually echoing my sentiments) blog. I've been a faithful reader for more than a 3 or 4 seasons... I just wish I had found it in the first few seasons.

I like your list. Since I'm still in an AI daze and can't remember songs from the season, I'll just stick with what you've got.

And like you Always Be My Baby was my favorite David Cook moment. I think this was such an important turning point for him and he gained so many more fans. I absolutely love his version of this song.


4:20 PM, May 27, 2008  
Anonymous Robin said...

It's Not Wrong, but It's All Right - Michael Johns.


4:22 PM, May 27, 2008  
Anonymous sweeterrin said...

Jennifer..i remember reading your
blog when you were still on aol...
and even though i only first started watching Idol the year that
Bo was on,i pretty much agreed with
you on most of your picks,faves etc.Like you this year is the first
time EVER that my favorite from the
get go won and ill still thrilled
about it.I cried,i cheered my kids
thought i was nuts...hehe,but it was sooooo worth it.
It is sad...i wish that they would
repeat the whole season over the summer like they do with other TV
shows..lol.Even though i caught all
of them,i wanna see them again.
Regarding your top 10...i think id
have had to make it ALL DC...he just spoiled me for everyone else's
Thanks for the wonderful blog and i
was thinking..im not sure that i even want to watch next season cause there wont be another DC..lol.

5:50 PM, May 27, 2008  
Blogger Dave said...

My favourite performance this season was Carly's "Superstar". It was an out-of-the-park home run and it was only Randy's inability to praise other singers for fear of making his boy The Arch look mortal that made people not talk it up more. In fact, it's the only Idol iTunes download that I was willing to pay money for.

My second fave was David Cook with ZZ Top which has to be one of the all-time great performances at the finale.

6:10 PM, May 27, 2008  
Blogger jennifer said...

Ditto on DC w/ZZ. That was the best ever.

6:46 PM, May 27, 2008  
Anonymous tracyintpa said...

As they say on Dancing With The Stars, in no particular order(but of course, David Cook takes #1=3):

David C - Music of the Night (classic performance and controlled vocals and shows what a great talent he is)

David C - Always Be My Baby (agree with Jennifer on this one being "it")

Davic C - First Time Ever I Saw your face (I wish they had released this in a studio version on I Tunes, its one of my favorite songs and he did a beautiful job)

Jason C -Hallelujah

Jason C - Over the Rainbow

Carly - Here You Come Again (I thought this was a great vocal and a great revision of the original but she got very little love from the judges)

Brooke - Let It Be

Archie - Think of Me (I thought this was the only performance of Archie's that I was willing to pay .99 for!)

Michael Johns - Its all wrong but its all right (a supremely sexy, bluesy, performance, for me, his best of the whole season, he should have stuck to this kind of style for the rest of the season)

Honorable Mention: Chikeze, I don't know the title, but its the "my name is Chikeze in the lyric" ? Elliott sang the song in Season 5.

7:06 PM, May 27, 2008  
Blogger jennifer said...

I Believe to my Soul.

7:11 PM, May 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved ZZ, it was great!


8:04 PM, May 27, 2008  
Blogger Kristi Mantoni said...

DC and ZZ was A1!!

I would like to add DC "Little Sparrow" and MJ "It's all wrong, but it's all right". Dolly week was one of my faves!

I would also remove all mention of Little Davy...but that's just me!! LOL

9:17 PM, May 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great list and according to Larry King Jason will be breaking out the ukelelee on tour, which I get to see in D.C. I'm psyched because that was my favorite performance from Jason. I agree with Brooke and Let it Be and since I heart DC anything he sings will be awesome, but I'm hoping for Hello and Billie Jean!!


P.S. if you check your blog through the summer, maybe you could make an entry for people who have seen the show to give reviews. I'd love to hear the stories from others who have gone to the show. Plus it would help with the idol and Jennifer withdrawls.

9:31 PM, May 27, 2008  
Blogger DrillerAA said...

Yeah, I gotta go with ZZ Top and the Cookie Monster.
Billie Jean was probably my other favorite of the season.
I kept wanting Kristi Lee Cook to light my fire, but it just never happened. I think she will turn into a viable country star, maybe bigger than Pickler.
Thanks for a great season. I haven't been here as often as last year. I'll do better next year. I promise.

10:45 PM, May 27, 2008  
Anonymous Tim said...

Here are my top 10 performances, pretty much in order (my two favorites are at the top). This was a really great season.

Love is a Battlefield (Brooke White)

She's a Woman (Chikezie)

Hallelujah (Jason Castro)

Let it Be (Brooke White)

Hello (David Cook)

It's All Wrong, But It's All Right (Michael Johns)

Here you Come Again (Carly Smithson)

Yesterday (Syesha Mercado)

Imagine (David Archuleta)

Little Sparrow (David Cook)

2:47 AM, May 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just rewatched David's performances of "Eleanor Rigby", "Always be my Baby" and "Hello" and it just proves to me that the right man won this year. During the moments of watching all the performances you don't get to realize just how GOOD he was. Thanks for the refresher. I am starting my morning the right way . . . with David Cook! :)

6:52 AM, May 28, 2008  
Anonymous Getting Curious said...

Jennifer, I think I listen to "Over the Rainbow" most as well...

Don't you just love when he says, "chim-uh-nee tops"??


1:15 AM, June 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer - check this out! if you could post this video on your site that would be cool - Cook is the smartest best Idol EVER!


9:15 PM, June 03, 2008  
Anonymous Best Mineral Makeup said...

Way to go David Cook.

3:00 AM, June 04, 2008  
Blogger Gaile said...

OK, ok, ok..... So I'm in Idol withdrawal, out here prowling the internet trying to find any info about my man, DAVID COOK (!) and just found your website. My favorite 'moment' was the Guys Top 16 episode. It was the first time I'd seen the guys (I'd been working that night of the week). When I turn on the tv, fresh faced Archuleta is telling us about his most embarrassing moment and I'm thinking 'My, he's a young one' then he starts to sing and he's got this fantastic voice. Then out comes Michael Johns singing 'Don't you forget about me' and wow, he's hot! Sssssstt! And he can sing!!. I'm really getting into Guys night and who should perform next? David Cook singing Lionel Richie's 'Hello, is it me you're looking for?' My heart melted, such a look he gives at the end of the song. Can it get any better than this? And along comes Jason Castro singing 'Hallelujah'. What a gem of a performance.

By this point, I realize how good the guys are this season, I've been spellbound by David Cook, and can't wait 'til the guys' next performance night. This was the episode that got me revved up for the season.

Such sweet memories.....

8:18 AM, June 13, 2008  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!