Real men watch Idol

Aaahh! Idol season once again.  I have been a faithful viewer of American Idol over the past few seasons, and have really enjoyed the show.  A few guys at work and I have weekly “Idol Talk” where we talk about the show and make predictions.  Usually, we pick out top four (two guys and two girls) after the first week of the top 24.  This year, however, the talent seems to be a little better.

Yesterday, in the first installment of “the guys”, there was no one who stood out as terrible, as in past years, and there was also no one who stood out as great such as Melinda or Blake did early on last year.  For the most part they were all on pitch, and performed passable renditions of their songs.

Most of the time I like what Simon has to say and agree with him, but he needs to realize that when the contestants do a 1960’s episode, the songs are not necessarily going to sound contemporary.  It’s good to change a song and make it your own, but a contestant that does this is always running the risk of having the judges hate the version because it does not sound like the original.  At this point in the competition, it is best to sing a popular upbeat song, sing it well, and be as personable as possible while those who do not sing well, choose their songs poorly and/or argue with the judges fall by the wayside.

Watch out for David Hernandez.  His voice has been consistently the best of the guys so far, showing a refinement that most of the others do not have. If he survives the curse of going first, and singing a forgettable song this week, he could be a force to be reckoned with.  He also needs to improve his stage presence greatly.

Chikezie, who I will now refer to as Jacuzzi (thank you, Simon) performed a decent Motown song, but Simon hated his appearance.

If Danny Noriega’s singing ever drops off, it will be easy to hate him.  He definitely has a good voice, but his “Hound Dog” rendition was weird, and his arrogant expressions were extremely off-putting.  He will probably be this season’s Sanjaya or Kevin Covais except that he can sing.  All the little girls will love him and vote for him, and I will not be happy until he is gone.

David Archiletta was good, as expected, but it would not hurt him to sing something a little less effeminate than “Shop Around.”  With his talent, looks and “Aw-shucks” attitude, he should go far into the competition.

David Cook’s version of “Happy Together” was the highlight of the evening.  The alternative style of the song was unexpected and good.  After hearing him in Hollywood, I thought that he did not have much of a chance, but I may have to rethink that idea.

I will put Colton Berry in the forgettable category with his well sung, but lame version of “Suspicious Minds”.  He could be in trouble.

When I said before that no one stood out as terrible, I was, of course, not including the performance of Garrett Haley which was awful.   There was really nothing good about his performance of “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” and Simon’s criticism, though mean-spirited, was absolutely accurate right down to his pasty, dead looks.  He should be the first to go.

I don’t know if I just didn’t get it, but it seems everyone liked Jason Castro’s “Daydream” but me.  When I find myself out on a limb like this, I generally back up and give it one more try before passing judgment, and this is what I choose to do today.  I will say, however, that he is the perfect example of why humans should not get hair extensions from muskoxen.  Someone, please take a curry-comb to that young man.  Jason, this next bit is for you.  Your stupid hair-do does not cover up that goofy look on your face, and together they make you almost unwatchable.  Haircuts are cheap, and a beard might cover that s— eating grin nicely.

In the “What the hell was he thinking?” category, Jason Yeager attempted to single-handedly destroy the show’s perennial #1 rating with his yawner of a rendition of “Moon River.”  Has this guy never watched Idol before?  And, his vocals would have been the worst if not for Garrett.  He will probably be the other one to go this week, and I will be sad to lose “skunk-boy” as a good companion to the “skunk-girl” who we will see tonight. 

Luke Menard, who has a good voice, sang “Everybody’s talking.’”  He did a good job on the song, but as Simon correctly pointed out, it was forgettable.  He could be in trouble for this very reason.

Michael John’s ended the show with “Light My Fire” by the Doors.  He sang it well, but in contrast to what the Judges were saying, it was not an original version.  He sang it straight up, but it sounded good, and was a good, upbeat choice.  I had him slotted as not-that-good after he sang a bunch of easy songs in Hollywood, but I may have to reevaluate him also.  His stage presence was one of the best of the night.

Tonight we get the girls.  So far, there has only been one who has impressed me, Asia’h Epperson, but of course there are several that they never bothered to show us in Hollywood so that they could squeeze another 15 minutes of that crying bastard with the fake British accent in on the previous shows.