American Idol Top Five, April 29

Find my latest American Idol article here.

It was Neil Diamond Night, and this allowed the contestants a wide variety of song choices.
Oddly the judges did not judge the first song right after they sang it, but waited until after all had sung their first songs to comment. I did not like this tweak to the format, but I assume it was done to keep the show under two hours, and so we would not have to hear Paula babble as many times or for as long. However, this proved to be a big mistake, as Paula (I’m sure her head was clouded by a variety of pills) could not keep the contestants or their songs straight. She thought Jason had sung two songs when he had only sung one, and roundly criticized him for doing badly on both of them. She then proceeded to tell us how hard it is to actually pay attention to the songs and remember important points about the performances, even though she took notes. I am sure this is a first because it forced her to keep her ridiculous ass in her seat. Simon was good and succinct.
Jason Castro:
“Forever in Blue Jeans”- This song was right in his wheelhouse. It was like all of is early season music. I thought it was good, but boring.
Randy thought it was OK.
Simon thought it was forgettable.
“September Morn”- I thought this song started out much better than the first one. The little bit of inflection in his voice made all of the difference. I liked it much better. It seems a little late in the competition for the judges to start criticizing him for being unoriginal and singing ‘safe’ songs, but they did.
Randy thought dogged him pretty on both songs. It may have been the harshest that I’ve ever heard someone told that they sang OK.
Simon thought they were both forgettable, among other harsh words.
David Cook:
“I’m Alive”- Once again he sings a song that sounds like something you would hear on the radio. Usually when a contestant sings a song that is not as well known, I think it is a mistake. However, when David does this it just seems as if he is preparing another hit to be released from his next album.
Randy thought it was very good and very strong.
Simon thought it was just above average.
“All I Really Need is You”- This was just another great performance, and the things I said about the first song go double for this one.
Randy thought he rocked the house with this one.
Simon thought this song was brilliant, and that he actually made the song seem contemporary.
Brooke White:
“I’m a Believer” This song was too low for her in the verses, but beyond that it was just awful. This was one of the worst vocals of the season by any contestant.
Randy thought Brook was better than last week, but a little karaoke.
Simon correctly thought it was a nightmare.
“I am I Said”- This song started much better than the first one. I think she could have gone a little more country with it and would have even been better. Still, it was her best performance in weeks and may be what keeps her around for another week (assuming that her fan-base would not have voted for her if she had done as bad as she did on the first song). It’s better to be strong on the last performance.
Randy thought it was a nice job on a tough song.
Simon thought this was the Brooke that we like.
David Archuleta:
“Sweet Caroline”- This song was just weird at the beginning for me, and his voice sounded a little shaky. Once he got to the chorus it got much better. For me, it was just alright.
Rand thought it was brilliant.
Simon thought it was amateurish.
“America”- Could he not have found a Neil Diamond ballad to sing? That being said, he did a good job of it, but it was a little forgettable.
Randy thought it was another good performance.
Simon thought it was a smart choice of song, but for some reason I felt as if he were taking a shot at the American people when he said it.
Syesha Mercado:
“Hello Again”- She looked pretty again, and her voice sounded good. The nice high note that she sang softly at the end of the first verse was a very good departure from her usual power style on the high notes. I liked the ‘Whitney-like’ version of this song. It was one of my favorite songs by her, and sounded radio worthy. I thought it was the best vocal of the first round.
Randy thought it was strong.
Simon thought it was old-fashioned, but I really think he just decided to beat them all up at the end of the first round. She did not deserve to be lumped in with the others on this song.
“Thank the Lord for the Nightitme”- I liked first song much better. The vocal was good, but I thought overall, it was just OK.
Randy thought liked the Broadway style of the song.
Simon thought she was a very good actress/singer. He dealt her the death blow by saying she could be in trouble, and correctly saying that her second song was forgettable compared with some of the others.

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