American Idol Top 4, May 6th

Find my latest American Idol article here.

The theme was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one of the lamest halls of fame there is.  And, the safest bet in Vegas would have been that they judges would be back to their usual format of judging after each song, and this, of course, and was thankfully the case.


David Cook

“Hungry Like the Wolf”- I will say first that I am not a big Duran Duran fan, and he sang a pretty straight up cover version of the song.  It did not have a lot of the Emo qualities of the music he has been singing, but he had a little bit of a growl in his voice for the whole song which actually added a little to a song with ‘wolf’ in the chorus.  It was a good, upbeat song to start the show with, but for me, it was just alright, especially compared to what he has done in past weeks.

Randy agreed with me saying it was just OK.

Simon said it was good enough, but a little copycat.

“Baba O’Reilly”- I did not know the song, so I did not have a very good frame of reference.  It was alright, but I am sure it was not his best.  He should sail on through, but all of the ‘x’ factors are working against him, from going first, to not singing standards, to not doing his best stuff.

Randy thought it was great.

Simon said, “Welcome back.”


Syesha Mercado

“Proud Mary”- She looked nice tonight, but she talked about her ‘fans’ which was a little weird.  The stage performance seemed really detached and forced.  The vocal was spot on, but it was back to seeming fake.  I think the judges have created a monster.  By praising her for her ‘Broadway’ like performances, they have unintentionally allowed her to become too performance oriented.

Randy thought she was in the zone again.

Simon thought it was a bad ‘shrieky’ version of a Tina Turner song.

“A Change is Gonna Come”- She held her notes too long.  This song embodied everything I do not like about some of her performances.  It was not her style at all, and she sang the song as if she did not know what it was about.  Once again she got to the end, and it seemed like the only thing she was worried about was the big, ‘runny’ note at the end.  Other than that, it was an extremely boring song and performance.

Randy thought it was not a good arrangement, that she pushed for things the song did not need, and that it felt disconnected.

Paula was a sycophantic idiot on this song.

Simon, for some reason, agreed with Paula.


Jason Castro-

“I Shot the Sherriff”- I thought this song was OK also.  The problem with Jason is that his songs are usually good enough to keep him in the competition over someone that does not do as well every week.  However, he is never the best or the ‘stand out’ from week to week, and eventually, as there are fewer and better people left in the competition, he will not be able to outshine the rest of the contestants.

Randy thought it was a really Karaoke version of a Bob Marley song.

Simon hated it.

“Mr. Tambourine Man”- The first thing I thought when he announced the song was that this would be another song that would sound like all the rest of the stuff he has hung this season.  He forgot the lyrics in a big and terrible way.  At least he did not start over, but this should be his ticket home.  The last note was bad also.

Randy thought he was not in the zone.

Simon correctly said that he should pack his suitcase.


David Archuleta-

“Stand By Me”- The first thing I thought was that he should do well on this, because it is a really safe song.  He changed it up just enough to keep it from being boring, and it was pretty good.

Randy liked it a lot.

Simon thought it was a good song choice and the best performance so far.

“Love Me Tender”- When I heard that he was singing this, I thought he was walking into a minefield.  Elvis is one of the most iconic and affected singers ever, and this is one of his most iconic and affected songs.  You could never sing it as good as he did.  If you change it you mess with a classic, and if you sing it the same, you will sound goofy trying to get the same affectation in your voice.  This being said, I really liked what he did with it.  It was a very ‘Archuleta’ performance.  The only real criticism I had was that it was a little boring.

Randy loved it.

Simon thought he ‘crushed the competition tonight.’  I thought this was a little much.


Where’s the beef?

I have eaten a lot of fish and chicken on this diet.  I like them both, so that is OK with me.  However, I really like beef also, especially steak.  I have been getting my beef through soup and an occasional taco salad, both of which are great ways to get the great flavor of beef into your meal, but to also stretch it so that you are not ruining you diet.

This week, however, when my wife and I went to Cosco, we bought something besides the usual fish and chicken.  We bought a whole beef tenderloin.  They are expensive (I saw them anywhere from $50.00 to $75.00), but if you cut them into 6-8 oz portions, they go along way.  I got 15 fillets and a pound of stew meat off one tenderloin.  When you break it down, I only paid about $3.70 per fillet (not counting the stew meat.  That’s not bad at all.  It is important to note that if you do this you will have to trim a good bit of fat and silver-skin off the tenderloin.

The tenderloin can be used just like the chicken or fish in a meal (though it does have more calories).  For 6 oz. fillet, you only take in around 400 calories.

So, last night I got out one of the fillets, coated it with fresh cacked pepper and Kosher salt, and grilled it up.  I also grilled some mushrooms (almost no calories in these if you avoid butter and oil) and caramelized a little onion.  On the side I had a can on green beans seasoned with a few Bacos.  The steak cut like butter, and I have to say it was easily the best meal I’ve had since I began the diet, and probably for a good while before that.  This is not to say that I have not eaten well.  This meal was just especially good, and I will probably work it in about once a week from now on.

Week 16 Update:  This week I lost four pounds for a toal of 91 lbs. lost so far.  I am at 268, and am only nine pounds away from losing 100 lbs.  I am 65% of the way to my reevaluation goal at this time.