Tuesday, February 19, 2008

American Idol 02/19/2008, Top 24 (Men)

I have a confession to make--I put Cathryn to bed at 7:30 tonight so that I would be sure that I wouldn't miss any of tonight's episode. I'm practically shaking with excitement! I've even given Richie a job--as I'm typing this recap, he's being the sweetest husband ever and voting for the contestants I want to go forward.

Ryan tells us first off what a wonderful group the judges have put together for us this season, so that WE can choose the Top 12. THIS is American Idol!

Ryan introduces the guys, and I immediately notice that Chikezie Eze is dressed like a pimp, in a bright orange suit, which might rate him even higher in my book. I've also noticed that Robbie Carrico needs a shave and haircut. And a shower. Also, there is someone named Garrett something-or-other who looks suspiciously like Leif Garrett. Has Leif Garrett invented the time machine, then forced his teenage self to compete on American Idol? It boggles the mind, really.

Ryan introduces the judges, and Randy is already building his Dog Pound. Thankfully, Paula is completely the opposite of lucid (and will remain so for the rest of the night) and Simon and Ryan have their first spat as a couple.

Ryan tells us tonight that there is a theme--all the contestants are singing songs from the 1960s. This is new to the competition, and I like this change. It helps to compare the performances this way--you have a body of work, some scope to work with, instead of their being a complete hodgepodge of songs. This way, the contestants will get a better feel for the competition, instead of just singing all Rat Pack songs, or all Country music.

Onto the performances!

First up is David Hernandez, who chose "Midnight Hour". This guy seems pretty likeable, and he has a nice voice from his intro video. I love that he started off acapella. That showcases a strong vocal. The first thing I notice is how nervous and stiff he seems during the performance. Those ending notes were a little wrong for me, though. I think the major problem with him sticking around is that he's performing first, and he's a little bland. I fear for David.

Second to sing is Chikezie Eze, who is singing a different arrangement of "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday". I will admit, he's one of my early favorites. I feel bad that he didn't make it last season, but I'm glad he made it though this season, because he has an incredible voice. Ha. And as soon as I type that, the whole first part of the performance is wrong, but begins to really pick up at the chorus. Thank goodness. I thought I was on a sinking ship. Oh...but then he loses major points by fighting with Simon. DON'T FIGHT WITH SIMON. It's the first rule of American Idol.

David Cook was one of my early favorites, but then killed me in auditions, so he'd better do something special to earn my vote tonight. I will tell you that I don't like his hair. It's like plastered to his head, like maybe he's forgotten to wash it in a few days. Another new arrangement, this time of "Happy Together", which started off kinda draggy but then got much, much better. My confidence is restored. A good performance.

JASON YEAGER: "Moon River" He's sitting on a stool, which either means he's singing about serious subject matter or he's going to serenade us. I'm sorry. This is boring. It's like Potsie from Happy Days has come back to haunt us and frosted his bangs.

Alright, I admit that Robbie Carrico already has three strikes against him. Number One: He's dated Britney Spears. Number Two: He was in a boy band. I guess I really shouldn't come down too hard on boy-banders, because Justin Timberlake has done pretty well for himself. But on the other hand, there's Lance Bass and Joey Fatone. Number three: He's wearing some sort of bandana on his head, and he's ressed like a grease monkey. Seriously, wasn't this Fonzie's work uniform on Happy Days? However, since his performance is really, really good, I have to forgive the bandana. His song choice was spot-on. However, he's going to have to pull out something MAJOR to forgive the whole Britney thing.

There is no denying that David Archuleta has a good voice. He even has presence. But I don't know how sold on him am I yet. Maybe it's because of his age, and I know that's a particular bias of mine. I did hear some pitch issues, but he ended "Shop Around" strongly. He's definitely worth another try next week. I feel really bad about not being sold on him when he's all goofy and puppy like with Ryan. I hate being conflicted.

Danny Noriega's version of "Jailhouse Rock" has really gotten polarized reactions from the judges, as well as in the Thames household. Richie thought it was too over the top, but I enjoyed it despite myself. I think turning 30 has softened me. I hope this trend will not continue. Oh--there was a kid on stage! This kid seems pretty full of himself. Like a less interesting version of Christian from Project Runway. I hate to say this, but he has the prettiest, shiniest hair. I think this is what David Cook is going for, and failed miserably.

Poor, poor Luke Menard. He seems like such a nice, sweet guy. And he has a pretty voice, I just wish he hadn't turned "Echoes In My Mind" into a boy-band song. It's a folk song--I remember it from Forrest Gump. Also? He looks like you just rolled out of bed and decided to come down to the studio for a couple of hours. He's got a pretty falsetto, though.

Colton Berry's version of "Suspicious Minds" also caused a split decision between myself and Richie. Colton has a nice voice, but you really shouldn't dance and smile during this song. When you hear Elvis sing it, you can hear the heartbreak and disappointment in his voice. This performance was totally devoid of that. And I think the judges earlier assessment of him as being too theatrical is correct. He's got a good voice, I just think it belongs on Broadway.

I feel like I have to talk about Garrett Haley's hair first. It's like Spiccoli from Fast Times mated with Jon Bon Jovi, and they decided to make their kid wear his hair this way. I love to hear this kid talk--everytime he opens his mouth, it's like he's high. He chose to sing "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" and let's face it--he's not very good, is he? He's just funny to listen to. I guess every season needs one. I will be very surprised at how long this kid will stick around.

Jason Castro is the dude with the dreadlocks. He's playing guitar, too, and I have to say, I enjoyed his performance of "What A Day For A Daydream". He seems like a nice guy, not stuck on himself. I don't know why the judges and I just don't agree tonight. I didn't see where this was such a groundbreaking performance, but the judges wet their pants over it. It was good, yes, but how was it different from what they play on the Oldies station.

Michael Johns gets the pimp spot! Right before the show went to commercial, I looked at Richie and said, "He's totally going to sing The Doors." Lo and behold...I was right. Dudes, I so love love love being right! Anyway, he sang "Light My Fire" tonight and he was exceptionally good. Easily, my very favorite of the night. Richie's already called him as this season's winner. I'm being a little more tentative as I want to hear the ladies sing tomorrow. I think it could be dead heat between him and Carly Smithson.

In conclusion, I'd like to see Garrett Haley and Jason Yeager go home. However, I think it's going to be David Hernandez and Luke Menard.



stacy o. said...

What an awesome post! David A. sort of gave me the creeps, though. He seemed almost...disturbed. He can sing, though.


Josie Thames said...

Thank you so much! I really enjoy writing about American Idol, because it's so deliciously corny. Yeah, like I said, David A. has completely sold me on himself yet. But then, my musical leanings tend toward the David Cooks, Jason Castros, and Michael Johns of the music industry.