Tonight’s theme: the songs of Neil Diamond. I’ve been a fan of Neil Diamond for a million years it seems.
I know some of you think that makes me completely uncool.
Jason Castro is up first with “Forever in Blue Jeans.” This is a great choice for him. It suits his personality quite well. I would have rather heard him be a bit more powerful on the chorus. It was just a bit weaker than I wanted. The judges don’t get the chance to speak until after the contestant’s second number.
David Cook chose “I’m Alive” which is a lesser known Diamond song. David’s spin on it, making it faster and grungy was a great interpretation. His voice was great, the performance was energetic and I’m sure he’ll sail through.
Brooke White picked “I’m A Believer” for her first song. She’s playing the guitar and looks like she’s having a much better time this week than last. She was dealt a pretty heavy blow with the past two weeks theme. Neil Diamond is right up her alley. I really like seeing her have fun. She sounded great and looked comfortable again.
David Archuleta‘s first song is “Sweet Caroline.” I hate what he’s done to the melody right off the bat. He cut out the minor chords in the chorus. He left out the signature melody line and replaced it with a generic Stevie Wonder run.
Syesha Mercado selected “Hello Again” for her first song. This was from “The Jazz Singer.” I’m really not feeling this at all. Besides the fact that she had several flat notes, the fact that she had to alter the melody to hit all the notes really bugs me.
Randy’s notes on the first song: Jason was just ok. David Cook was strong. Brooke better than last week. Archuleta was the bomb. Syesha was strong.
Paula’s notes on the first song: Jason “loved the lower register” (she thought he did both songs already); David was fantastic. Brooke was great. (Simon cut her off)
Simon’s notes on the first song: Jason forgettable, Cook above average, Brooke nightmare, Archuleta amateurish, Syesha old fashioned.
Ok I really hate the judges not getting to say their piece. How can they expect the contestants to take advice they don’t get?
Jason’s second song is “September Morn.” This is a much better performance than his first song. He stuck closer to the melody and the song allowed him to really play up his sexy eye stare into the camera. Randy thought it was just “ok.” Paula thought it was too safe. Simon thought it was forgettable and didn’t like that he stuck so closely to the original arrangement.
David Cook’s second song is “All I Really Need is You.” This song totally sounds like it was something he wrote. It was perfect for his style. This could totally be a hit right now for David. I think it will sell well tomorrow on iTunes. This performance might have won him the whole show. Randy called it “blazing.” Paula loved that he picked two songs that were lesser known and said she’s already looking at the American Idol. Simon said the first song was “ok” but the second song was “brilliant.”
Brooke’s second song “I Am I Said.” She’s at the piano this time. I hate the lyric change, since Arizona is not on a different shore than LA. That was terrible advice from Neil. I liked the performance. Randy said, “Nice job!” Paula loved the vulnerability. Simon really hated the first song, but the second song is the “Brooke we like. Well done.”
David Archuleta picked “America” for his second song. I don’t really care for the song choice. It’s kind of manipulative, much like Kristy Lee Cook’s “God Bless The USA” fiasco earlier this season. His voice is cracking a bit. I don’t think he’s in the best voice this week. I hated it. Randy thought he is “in the zone.” Paula thought it was the perfect song choice for him. Simon called it a smart choice of song.
Syesha is closing the show with “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime.” She’s trying to channel Beyonce from Dreamgirls. It’s not working for me. Her pitch is all over the place. It always has been problematic for her. This was a lot like a commercial jingle. Randy thought it was in the zone. Paula thought her first song was beautiful. The second song she compared to Minnie Riperton. Simon thought she was a very good actress/singer but that she may be in trouble tonight.
Here’s the recap:
I’m so disappointed in tonight’s show. I hated the format. These are some great songs and outside of David Cook, I don’t think anyone really connected with their songs. What do you think?