AI season 7 episode 20.
1. Syesha Mercado – “Got to Get You Into My Life.” She’s a student and a working actress. She aspires to be a waitress. OK, I made that up. She has a brass-heavy arrangement that sounds like something off of a cruise ship. Or from an elevator. The low notes have no support. It’s on key but very very very boring. I think you need to do more than this on the big stage. And it will take more than one big glory note to win the judges. Randy said it was alright (in a so-so way). Paul said something. Simon thought it was a great choice of song and said that she looked nervous, but it was better than last week. I don’t think that’s enough. I think she’s in trouble.
2. Chikezie – “She’s A Woman.” He used to work security at LAX. From his background story, we learn that he’s still Nigerian. Banjo? Fiddle? OK, so far this is great. This is a little Ray Charles, a little Buddy Holly, a little The Who. He is rocking the stage and hitting a home run! By far his best performance ever. Randy was thoroughly entertained, said he smashed it (that’s good). Paula was sitting in the middle spot at the table. Simon agrees with the other judges, said he has changed, took control of the stage, and was terrific. He is safe.
3. Ramiele Malubay – “In My Life.” She smells like soy sauce at night. She is singing a snoozy ballad. The arrangement is dragging. I keep waiting for the song to start. I think it will end before it starts. She is on key, but you need to be more than on key at this stage in the competition. One big note at the end. Meh. Randy said it was pretty, but pretty boring. Paula is drinking something from a Coke cup. Simon was bored to tears, said it was forgettable, boring. She is is trouble big time.
4. Jason Castro – “If I Fell.” He failed music at Texas A&M. He has cousins in Columbia. He loves “Yesterday” (which is one of the only pop songs to use seven-measure phrases, but I digress). But he’s singing something else. He’s singing with just an acoustic guitar. OK, some synth strings are added later. Why the heck does the audience feel compelled to clap? What’s wrong with you people? Jason keeps getting better every week. He transitions smoothly in and out of falsetto, and this is a smooth and sexy arrangement. The girls will love it. Randy liked it, didn’t love it. Paula is still short. Simon thought it was boring, thought it was not as good as last week, thought it was good enough to stay in another week. I liked it a lot more than the judges did. I think he’s safe.
5. Carly Smithson – “Come Together.” She’s from Ireland. Duh. It’s more of a Janice-style arrangement. This is working. For the fist time, she looks authentic on stage. She glossed over the high notes but made up for it with a soulful spin on the low notes. Has a “Spinning Wheel” (by Blood, Sweat and Tears) feel to it. It was great. Randy: stellar. Paula: it is Tuesday. Simon: right song (finally), reminds him of Kelly Clarkson in the round of 12, Season One. She is safe by a mile.
6. David Cook – “Eleanor Rigby.” He’s from MO. He has colored fingernails. He looks really annoyed to be on American Idol and on stage. Beginning is off key. He’s trying to Daughtry-up this song. I don’t think it’s really working. At least not yet. By the time he hits the chorus, it starts to work. I think if you close your eyes, it’s not nearly as good. But the judges will drool over it. Randy said it was pitchy but rocking by the chorus. Paula drooled. Simon thought it was brilliant. The judges like him a lot more than I do. But I think he’s safe.
7. Brooke White – “Let It Be.” She’s from AZ and she’s grateful to be here. The last single from The Beatles. She’s playing the piano again. Barefoot it appears. Has a country twang to it. True to the original melody. Unlike the other girls, she can actually sing the low notes. Very emotional, very strong, very nice. I loved it. Randy said it was heartfelt. Paula is still short. Simon thought it one of the best performances of the night, a brilliant choice of song. Said she is believable, great. Brooke is crying. The voters will eat this up. She is shaking and safe. Yes, she was barefoot, and Ryan fetches/fondles her shoes.
8. David Hernandez – “I Saw Her Standing There.” Got fired from his pizza job. No mention of the stripping gig. It’s one of his favorite songs (warning sign). He is prancing around the stage and running into the audience. This is cheap karaoke. Except without the breath support. I can’t wait for it to end. He brings nothing new to this song. Sort of a Taylor Hicks ending (in a bad way). Randy said it was overdone. Paula had a hit song in the 1980s. Simon called it corny verging on desperate, rabbit in the headlights. I think he is in trouble big time.
9. Amanda Overmyer – “You Can’t Do That.” She’s a nurse (oh yeah). She rides a motorcycle (oh yeah). This is a blues-based rock tune that is perfect for her 1960s-style of singing. I am enjoying it although not understanding a word of it. Solid from beginning to end. Randy said she rocked it out. Paula is a judge on American Idol. Simon didn’t think it was as good as last week, understood about 30% of the words, said she was a breath of fresh air. I think she is safe.
10. Michael Johns – “Across The Universe.” He’s from Australia and Georgia (the state). He coaches tennis. One of Lennon’s favorites. One acoustic guitar. He is sticking to the melody but making the song his own. Reminds me of an Eddie Vedder cover from the “I Love Sam” soundtrack. He can also sing the low notes convincingly. And the high notes. A bit safe but good. Randy was waiting for something big, thought it was sleepy but OK. Paula was not sleeping. Simon thought it was solid, good, but monotonous. He is on the fence.
11. Kristy Lee Cook – “Eight Days A Week.” She’s from OR. She asked for input from her mom (not always a good idea). She doing it country style, which is her chance to stand out. She gets ahead of the band at the start. And is off key. Terrible arrangement. Painful. Sounds like someone trying to sing country music instead of somebody singing country music. Completely off tempo at the chorus. This is as close to a train wreck as we’ve seen tonight. The yodel at the end didn’t help. Yuck. Randy thought it felt forced. Paula is currently in a country. Simon thought it was horrendous, like Dolly Parton on helium. I think she is in trouble big time.
12. David Archuleta – “We Can Work It Out.” He is safe. Oh wait, he has to sing first. He is safe. He is from Utah, and his dad is a jazz musician. He is safe. He is nervous. He is safe. The Stevie Wonder version. He is safe. He just forgot the words. He is safe. A very forced rough rendition. He is safe. By far his worst performance to date. He is safe. Randy thought it was not on point, felt forced. He is safe. Paula is still awake. He is safe. Simon said it was a mess, stumbled over the lyrics. He is safe.
3. Ramiele Malubay
8. David Hernandez
11. Kristy Lee Cook
3. Ramiele Malubay