Tuesday, May 13, 2008

three singers, two openings...

It was a chance to take on songs handed to them, rather than chosen by them. It was a chance to sing on the last show of the seventh season. It was a night when the judges and I were on (almost) complete opposite sides.

But the bus was all gassed up and aiming for the stage. And pieces of Syesha are hanging from the rear view mirror.

The ballad-heavy episode certainly wasn't the best final three episode ever. It was, though, safe. If your name is David.

But anyway, here are my impressions, subject to review and revision, but as always, from worst to first:

David Archuleta (Producer's choice: Longer): Yes, this was a crapper of a song choice, but he didn't have much say in the matter. Again, he does what he can with the song, but sitting squarely again on a stool midstage does not help sell it. The judges assure him he'll be in the finals. Because they know the bus is getting ready to back up and make sure Syesha is under it.

Syesha Mercado (Randy's choice: If I Ain't Got You): Syesha looks stunning in a sequined gown and delivers a well-sung, but unoriginal version of this Alicia Keys song. She gets tepid reviews, and I'm so unmoved that I can't think of anything more to say.

David Cook (Personal choice: Dare You to Move): Paula finally recognizes that sometimes songs just don't work in the split-second allowed for the live performance, and never was there better proof than this. David is just "off" in the first part of the song, but once he's back in comfortable range, the song ends.

David Archuleta (Personal choice: With You): David Archuleta said "my boo." If you had told me that six weeks ago, I would have laughed. The judges applaud his attempt at a song about a hundred miles out of his comfort zone, but make it clear that his choice was a bad one. Okay, so he missed some notes, and the song fit him like mittens fit a dog, but, and maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there, it looked as though he was actually having fun for the first time in weeks. And that made me smile.

Syesha Mercado (Producer's choice: Hit Me Up): Finally something upbeat! Too bad she seems to be chasing the beat, never quite able to catch it. The judges, expectedly but inexplicably tell her she's toast, either in an attempt to spur her voters to dial harder or to convince them it's not in their interest to try.

David Archuleta (Paula's choice: And So It Goes): First a disclaimer. I do not like this song, even sung by Billy Joel. It's bland, and it's boring. But David does the best he can with it. Randy slobbers all over him, like usual. Simon though, is right: it was predictable, nothing spellbinding, but pleasantly fine.

David Cook (Producer's choice: I Don't Want to Miss a Thing): After an awesome open, David closes the show - with composer Diane Warren in the audience - a bit out of tune in the front part, but wraps it up in true David Cook style. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good, and it was better than most of the others on this night, but I guess I was hoping for more. Simon calls the night for him anyway.

Syesha Mercado (Personal choice: Fever): I knew that somewhere in the judges' critiques we would hear cabaret the minute I saw the chair on stage. This is another song that I've grown tired of, but, for possibly the first time ever, I got it. The judges have apparently been sucking out of Paula's cup, or they've been told who to praise and who, umm, not to, but this was Syesha's performance of the season, despite the universal panning that she received from the scoring table.

David Cook (Simon's choice: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face): Okay, does it make me a nerd to say I had tears? If so, then I'm a nerd. With wet eyes. The only downside to this performance was that it's a tough song to condense into the alloted 60 seconds, but David sings the first verse flawlessly before powering into the ending, hitting high notes I don't think he's hit all year. Simon tells him it's one of his best performances to date. I just hope it's the studio selection on iTunes.

I hate the final three results show. I always cry, even if I don't really like the third-place finisher. My brain is telling me that the David fans X 2 will be seeking emergency finger care in the morning, leaving Syesha the odd-woman out. In fairness, she deserves a spot in next week's show, as do both of the Davids, but realistically she hasn't much of a chance.

Or will we be treated to that shocker that has eluded us this season? Will the glowing David reviews leave one David in the lurch. Oh hell, I don't know.

As much as I want to call for an unexpected Archuleta boot, I am expecting Syesha to hear Ruben singing.

So what do you think?

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Blogger Jenna said...

::::ducking:::: (only because I'm a bigger nerd)... Longer and And So It Goes are songs I love and I think David did them very well! I do agree that Syesha did a great Fever! The Davidx2 finale is pretty inevitable. Although I'd probably never by Archie CD, I just love his voice! David C. is great, but I don't think he's a rocker I can see do well long run. My prediction?...another wasted year with no real star.

9:36 PM, May 13, 2008  
Anonymous Cookiemonster said...

Thanks Jennifer.. I don't feel quite as uninformed now that I've read your blog. I actually believe (almost ashamed to admit) I've not missed a single performance episode all season.. I've missed a couple of results shows but no performances!!

9:43 PM, May 13, 2008  
Blogger Kristi Mantoni said...

I would LOOOVE to have David A. go home tomorrow but I believe that Syesha is under the bus already.

10:12 PM, May 13, 2008  
Anonymous Melissa in TN said...

I am not a Syesha fan, but I did think "Fever" was really good. I love that song anyway.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Arch go home either. Everything sounds the same with him.

With an hour show you would think they have more than 90 seconds to sing their song. 4.5 minutes each is not enough.

10:51 PM, May 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't think tonight was too thrilling!


11:07 PM, May 13, 2008  
Anonymous Chris(Daughtry)rocks said...

Amidst several performances that I liked, there's only ONE that stood out that I'll remember it for years to come. Read on...

Worst to first:

David A. - "With You." The judges were right. It just wasn't "him."

Syesha - "Hit Me Up." I think the producers threw her under the bus with that song choice.

David C. - "Dare You to Move." I hate to invoke the "P" word, but he really was pitchy all throughout the song. Very uncharacteristic. I love this song, but would've preferred to hear him sing "The World I Know."

Syesha - "If I Ain't Got You." An okay performance, but Randy threw her under the bus by choosing a predictable song that will only be compared to the original. And Syesha is no Alisha Keys.

David A. - "Longer." I absolutely love this song. When Dan Fogelberg sings it. And while the Arch did a creditable job singing it, it really was too old for him. Not his fault, of course.

David C. - "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Way too predictable, but he's DC. He can sing the monthly bills. (Get away from the phone book.)

Syesha - "Fever." I don't care what Simon says, I loved this song on her. I thought she sounded great. And I loved the theatrical twist. She really is destined for Broadway.

David A. - "And So it Goes." I know a lot of people think this is a boring song, and I know those same people are sick if DA predictably singing the ballads. But I closed my eyes and just listened to his voice. The boy can truly sing. And I would buy this single by him in a New York heartbeat.

But you can forget all of these performances because there's only one that stood out. It completely blew everything else out of the water!

David C. - "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." I had goosebumps sprout all over my body from the first note. Then both me AND my husband actually cried. It was that moving. I didn't know David had such a lovely falsetto (reminded me of Art Garfunkel). I didn't know he could sing so sensitively. I was completely blown away. Completely!

David Cook wins the night for me.
David A. takes 2nd.
Syesha will be going home.

1:29 AM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Chris(Daughtry)ROCKS said...

P.S. Jennifer, if you're a nerd for having tears in your eyes when DC sang, then you're in good company, my dear. ;)

1:38 AM, May 14, 2008  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Did anyone else hear what I heard when Syesha sang her first song? I heard him say that he knew she's come in third. Talk about a Freudian slip.

5:20 AM, May 14, 2008  
Blogger Kathryn said...

make that did anyone else hear what RANDY said when Syesha sang her first song? (sue me, it's early.. lol)

5:22 AM, May 14, 2008  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

If you all are nerds for crying during DC's first song, then you're in good company. I loved his rendition of that song and couldn't help but get a little misty-eyed. I'll admit that I'd had my doubts when I heard he'd be singing Roberta Flack, but wow. He did a great job. Did you catch what Ryan said, that the stage manager cried, too?

While Syesha did a pretty good rendition of "Fever", I still felt that she was fighting a losing battle all night. Just in case, though, I did some power voting for DC. It never hurts.

8:38 AM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathryn, I heard Randy say that too, about Syesha coming in 3rd place.

Randy just got on my nerves last night, actually they all did.

Usually by the end of the season I'm so excited. I don't know if its just me or the show, but I'm about ready to find a new past time.


8:53 AM, May 14, 2008  
Blogger Kristi Mantoni said...

Hey Dori - Me too! I'm struggling to write my recaps every week. The only problem is that there is nothing else on! Maybe I'll have to read a book next year.

9:03 AM, May 14, 2008  
Blogger jennifer said...

He Dori and Kristi, me too. This season started so promising, especially after last year, but it's grown tired, and so have I. I'm grateful that we're down to 8 days.

9:21 AM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Cookiemonster said...

Hi folks, I finally got to watch the show about midnight last night.
I have to agree with you all that David C's version of The First Time was moving and wonderful!! I just knew he was going to do a great job on that. I wasn't too impressed with his own choice.. I agree with Chris (Daughtry)Rocks that The World I know would have been a better choice for him. I wasn't hugely impressed with the producers choice either. As Simon said, as far as song choices go Cowell and Cook took the night.
I'm going to duck here too, hi Jenna :-) but I quite liked all of David A's songs last night. His choice, though it didn't fit him particularly well, at least shows us that he's willing to step out of the ballad box. He did appear more relaxed singing it than in other performances and I enjoyed it. I was pleasantly surprised by his Billy Joel rendition, so Paula didn't do him too much of a disservice there. Finally, he did the best he could with Longer and again, I was pleasantly surprised.
Syesha, I did not like Randy's choice, though she did a good job with it. The producers choice was fun and again, she did well but Fever was fantastic.
All in all, I think they all did very well last night. In summary:
David A. 1 very good 2 good
Syesha. 1 very good 1 good 1 ok
David C. 1 amazing, 1 v good 1 ok

9:39 AM, May 14, 2008  
Blogger MP said...

David A needs to go..

Syesha will go and it's not fair. She was thrown under the bus in a big way and it was obvious..

11:01 AM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the majority of you - that David A needs to be the one to go - he is just too young and needs more maturity and experience. His voice is beautiful but boring and uninspired. I think David Cook will have a very good career, a la Daughtry. And Syesha will be yet another AI Loser who gets in a Broadway musical.

This season definitely started with a bang and then fizzled out. I'm glad there's only one week to go, too.

11:11 AM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Cookiemonster said...

It's so strange that so many of us feel that way.. I roll my eyes when Ryan tries to make this season sound so "great and exciting" it just hasn't been. We had so many performers with so much potential and they just didn't bring it. Michael Johns, Carly, Brooke, heck even Ramielle and the other little one who got sent home earlier on.. what the heck happened???? In the past I used to be relieved but still a little sad when the show ended.. this year, it'll be just relief!!!

11:34 AM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous JessiJames said...

I've got to agree with many of you, this year has been a let down of sorts. Especially since some of the better contestants got booted early, like MJ, and some like Jason stayed around way beyond their talent and desire should have taken them.

And for me, it's really the judges that are messing the show up. I have to think, in the beginning, those were the only judges they could find to do the job (minus Simon, since he was already involved with the British version). And now, it's like Paula and Randy are treated as some kind of experts, when much more often than not, it's Simon's critiques that are most on the mark, and Paula's are nothing more than water cooler fooder, and even the contestants know by now that nothing she says is useful to them on the show. ugh.

I vote for blowing up the judging panel next year, along with fixing the obvious problem that the judges have no say after getting to 20. I think the judges should either give scores like DWtS or should save their preferred person from the bottom 2, ala how Grease did it. There have been too many cases of a deserving contestant getting the boot too early, while someone annoying, Sanjaya anyone?, screws the show up. Also, that type of move needs to be done to thwart the VFTW crowd.

Oh, and I recall from the past that to make the top 10/12, they used to pick the top 2 vote getters from a small group of like 6, then the Judges got to save someone as well. It may be harder to do that way, but I'd much rather the Top 12 be the 12 kids WE most voted for, rather than the 12 we didn't vote the least for. I think in the cutdown to 12, it'd be better to have 4 6 person groups, take 2 from each, them have the judges each pick a person, for 11, and either then take the 6 remaining highest vote getters, and let them do a sing in like in the past, then we vote on.

Anyway, I'm glad it's almost over too, not sure I'll care much about this group, then ones with interesting stories left too early, and I feel nothing for any of these 3, though I like Cook's style the best, and his personality, at least what we see of it.


12:11 PM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the end of this performance, I'm really, REALLY thinking to myself "THIS is supposedly the most talented group they've ever had?" Not by a long shot if you ask me (they didn't). Of the three, I'd still pick Cook to win it, but he's no Daughtry or even Clay. Archuleta's like a little wind-up toy and I'd really prefer he walk the plank tonight. It will probably be Syesha, who again ain't no Fantasia or Jennifer Hudson or Carrie or Kelly. Sorry, none of these are stellar in my book. In seven seasons, I've seen better. Just my unbiased, unsolicited opinions. :-)

2:23 PM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous tracyintpa said...

Season 5 is still the best season ever. I think anything else is destined to be a let down. There was the perfect mix of talent and personality in that group, and a record # of people that succeeded after the show. Mandisa has a good career in gospel, even Bucky has success in country music for gosh sakes, and Ace in TV, Daughtry, Pickler, Elliott, McPhee. Season 5 was THE MOST entertaining season of all in my opinion.... I bought 4 of the albums put out by Idol alums that year. I've never done that before. This season started out great and just nose dived. Even the stylists didn't seem to work their magic with the kids as in years past. I still enjoy the show and will still watch, but its not the obsession it once was with me.

I wish and hope upon hope Archie would go home tonight... and in any case that DC takes the whole thing.

3:20 PM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DEFINITELY agree with the comment about the judges panel - they have been so annoying this year. They never make any useful, lucid criticisms that the kids can learn something from. Just "that was great" or "that was atrocious". (or "you look lovely tonight.") etc. And for them to say last night that the Aerosmith song was one of the greatest songs of all time? Just shows how musically illiterate they are.

Also agree that Season Five FAR surpasses any other season as the most talented and most entertaining.

3:31 PM, May 14, 2008  
Blogger jennifer said...

I swear if I hear Randy say "the zone" or "singing the phone book" one more time, I'll scream. And for all of Simon's blusterings, he is a suck up - Diane Warren was in the audience and is his friend, otherwise he would not have said that about Miss a Thing being one of the greatest songs in the history of time. I am sure.

3:43 PM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree that Season Five was the best!!!

4:25 PM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous tracyintpa said...

Jennifer, I agree about Randy and his "isms" for this year... "in the zone", "the phone book", "another molten hot performance" (usually for a lukewarm performance by Archie). He has been THE MOST annoying of all of the judges, really. I actually have respected and admired Simon's comments the most. They are the most articulate.

6:10 PM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a way I hope David Cook does NOT win. Don't get me wrong, I love him and have been voting for him all along. I would rather David C. make an album that HE wants to make after AI and the confetti drops rather than him winning and having to do a sucky album that the producers want him to do. I also want to go and see David C. on his own concert tour rather than on the AI tour. Guess I will just have to be patient.

P.S.: I cried too when he sang First Time last night.

7:19 PM, May 14, 2008  
Anonymous Chris(Daughtry)ROCKS said...

What anonymous said above. ^

7:25 PM, May 14, 2008  

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