American Idol Season 8 Hollywood Week Day 1 (2009)

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I think Barry Manilow is really a nice guy who cares about these kids and wants them to do well.

I get frustrated every time the contestants get to Hollywood.  I just don’t understand the agenda of the show’s producers or the judges.

First of all, I do not understand why the producers decide to spend several minutes of the show rehashing stories about from people that they have already given time to such as that rat-haired blonde Rose who really can sing.  Why do we need to spend 3 minutes following her around at the expense of four other contestants in the same line with her that we barely got to even see much less hear from?  And, why would they spend extra time on the ones who got kicked off after they have already been sent packing?  I want to hear the singers.  This is nothing new, but realizing that the top 24 have already been decided before the shows air this week, I will find it unacceptable and unfair if there are any of the top 24 that have not been shown singing by the time that they announce who has made that cut.  This has happened in the past, and there is no excuse for it.

Second, it was clear that if you can sing at all, a bit will get you through.  That was proved by the idiot, Norman Gentle and Bikini Girl who were not that good at all.  Jackie Tone and her Janis Joplin impersonation were painfully bad.  They got through to the group sing where they will effectively destroy the dreams of up to a half dozen other young people with their antics and lack of talent. 

Third, just for the record, I for one am not sorry that they sent Dennis the Ingrate home.

Fourth, Why do I feel like the judges expect me to think some people are great when they really are not that good just because they, the judges, say so?  I use Lil’ who yelled and sang off pitch and Jackie Tone as a couple of examples.  This has happened in the past, but I usually do not notice it until they get into the final 24.

And fifth, David Osmond may just win this competition.

Google Crawls into Bed with Al Gore (Yuck!)

Thank goodness for Google!

It seems Google has teamed up with Algore to make the world safe for everyone.  They have decided to add the ocean floor and Mars to Google Earth.  That’s cool.  I’ll probably poke around a little and try to learn something from this.

But wait!  What was Algore  doing there?  Oh yeah, he was there to show his support for their new ‘Global Warming Add-on’ feature.  It seems they will use mounds and mounds of satellite data (sometimes dating back as far as a decade) to us how we are destroying the Earth.  This is a new low in the shallow-data scientific propaganda that is the favorite weapon of the Greenies.  Maybe, they drove up and down my street last week to get updated maps of how Global Warming was effecting the ice from the storm we had last Wednesday.  I do live in Texas so the effects of Global Warming were pretty apparent the next day on that ice.

They intend to focus on ‘evidence’ that will support their view.  For instance, they will show the melt off of the biggest glacier in Glacier National Park over the last decade.  They probably will not focus on the glaciers that are growing in Norway, the Himalayas, on Mount Logan in Canada, on Mount Shasta and other places.  This would not be good for their agenda.  Just in case, however, people are not able to interpret disaster from the images, Google will provide videos ‘contributed by scientists and organizations around the world.’   By doing so, they will explain how the images support their Global Warming contentions.

I find it irresponsible and disingenuous for Google and a group of people who claim to be scientists (Al Gore and Jimmy Buffett are definitely not scientists) to put this out as if it will educate people about global warming.  There cannot be enough data at Google’s disposal, at this point, to allow anyone, even a scientist to draw a conclusion about Global Warming, Earth warming trends or the possible effects of either.

The clincher was at the end of the FoxNews article where Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, “What it really is… is a platform for science and research and literally understanding the future of the world.”  Isn’t that statement a little much?  I buy that having this data as a repository for future study could be beneficial down the road, but a good scientist does not draw a conclusion, or ‘predict the future’ when only 1% of the data is available to study.  Truly, you might as well use the melt off from my lawn last week to predict the future.

I’m Closing Gitmo!

It seemed that the White House doors had barely closed behind him, before Obama was claiming that Gitmo would be shut down, and the military tribunals halted.  There was an immediacy to the reporting that had me questioning, “What are we going to do with the detainees?”  I firmly believe that most, and probably all, of the prisoners there have been put there for a good reason, and that they would be trying to harm the U.S. and its citizens if they were not sitting in Gitmo.

It took one day before I saw another story that said (and I paraphrase), “Gitmo was definitely going to be closed…, by the end of the year.”  Nice, business as usual.

I see a good strategy in this for the Obama camp.  Throw a bone to your supporters claiming to be following up quickly on promises, and then begin to stall the process.  It’s a win-win.  You get to have your supporters actually believe that you are doing what you said you would do, while at the same time not doing it  And in this case you are able to continue to keep America safe from bad guys.  I don’t think we even need to speculate about what would happen to Obama politically if one of the detainees were released, and then was later confirmed to be involved in an attack on the U.S. or its citizens.

The ‘throw them a hollow bone’ ploy seems pretty sound as a political strategy.  It’s hard to find any holes in it.  A year from now when Gitmo is still open, Obama can sympathetically say that he too “does not want this horrible place to stay open”, and that they are shutting it down as quickly as possible.  Then he will say how unfortunate it is that it has to remain open for the time being, and by doing so, will by himself another year.

This idea works for almost anything.  Try this one.  Day one: “I have ordered the removal of all U.S. troops from Iraq.”  Day two:  “A schedule is now in place for the removal of all U.S. troops from the Iraqi theatre.  The joint chiefs have now been tasked to come up with a feasible removal plan for all U.S. troops in Iraq.  This, of course, will be gradual and will be accelerated or slowed down as we monitor the stability within the region.”  Wow.  This stuff sounds great.  Why, I think Obama could even increase the size of the force while appeasing his supporters.  Try this one.  Day one: “I have ordered the removal of all U.S. troops from Iraq.”  Day two:  “In order to facilitate the orderly withdrawal of our troops from the Iraqi theatre, and to promote the continued stability of the democratically elected Iraqi government, we will be committing 60,000 additional support personnel to the region for the next twelve months to augment the withdrawal efforts.”  This stuff almost writes itself!

I’m depressed now.

Obama’s Short Honeymoon

Today’s inauguration went off with pomp and circumstance which has not been seen in the world since the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  Just as when these two were married, the sky seems to be the limit.  How could anything ever go wrong?  Everyone, it seems, is smashing themselves together with the sole aim of showing their support for a new messiah…, I mean president.

I, as most good Americans that voted for someone other then Obama (I am not saying you are a bad American I you voted for Obama), will support him as the elected leader of our country, and hope that he leads us well as a nation.  I am struck with the fear that he will appoint several young, liberal Supreme Court justices in his first year, and then follow in Clinton’s footsteps and expand the use of executive orders, thus legislating from the desk (oval office).

As far as the honeymoon goes, I hope Obama is ready.  Of course, the Republicans in Congress will be looking for anything and everything to criticize.  I look back on Clinton’s presidency and remember how ashamed I was when Republicans refused to support the use of force to stop the genocide that was happening in Bosnia.  If Obama looks to the right for support, he will get none.  This, I think, is expected.

What will be unexpected will be that the first shots will come from his own supporters.  In a few months, as he begins to face the reality of what withdrawal from an instable Iraq means to international peace, he will stall the withdrawal, and former supporters like Cindy Sheehan will draw first blood.  This, however, will only be the beginning.

Guantanamo will be another place where former supporters will turn on him.  It cannot be shut down.  Even if we decide to put all the detainees on trial, it will take years perhaps even a decade to hear them all.

The environmental movement will be even worse.  These people have lived their lives blaming the U.S. and lack of government intervention for every problem that they can conceive (and I do mean conceive).  The point is that in these economic times, it will not benefit Obama to hop on board with a bunch of wealth sapping green ideas, and he won’t.  Their expectations will be through the roof, and he will be able to deliver even less than he probably wants to.

Eventually, all of these and other special interest groups will realize that they are getting little more with Obama than they had with Bush, and then they will re-arm themselves with the only real weapon that they have, blame.  Unfortunately, for Obama, the there will be no one else to blame but him.

Things I have noticed so far about this season’s American Idol (2009)

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I have decided, once again, to blog on this season’s American Idol. So that there will be no confusion, I will include 2009 in the titles of all of my posts. There really isn’t anything new about the show this season. Of course there is an extra judge, Kara DioGuardi, but all she brings to the show is a better looking female judge. She may be more lucid than Paul (who oddly seems to be more on her game this year), but so far, Kara’s only contribution has been to allow more mediocre talent through to Hollywood than in the past. She is nice, encouraging and rarely has anything bad to say. When she does, even that is encouraging, and very Paul-like. Simon seems to have left his critical ear and insensitive attitude back in England this year. He is much nicer, less discerning, less condescending and seems to be more motivated by the production value, personality and back-story of the contestants than their talent. Randy seems like he is just along for the ride. It may be that the program’s editors have chosen not to show the judges savaging undeserving applicants as much, and to concentrate on the ones that have an interesting story for a hook instead of the contestants who are really good, but I for one, am beginning to worry about the talent level of the contestants this season. The only other remarkable thing from this week was Ryan’s unfortunate episode with the blind contestant. He attempted to give the guy a ‘high-five’ and realized, only too late, that the guy had no idea what was going on. He then holds the guy’s hand up so that he can complete his own humiliation. I hear he will be teaching the guy to drive next.

American Idol Top Five, April 29

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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.

American Idol Results Show, April 23rd

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The group songs have been a mess pretty much all season, and tonight was no exception.  The whole thing was a train wreck, but the girls were especially horrible in it.

I could not have liked Leona Lewis’ song any less.  Simon usually describes that kind of performance as ‘indulgent.’

I have a problem with Brooke not being in the bottom two.  As Simon often says, “It’s a singing competition.”  She did the worst job last night, and it’s not the first time that it has happened.  She has been getting consistently worse every week, and it’s tine for the house-fraus that insist on voting for her to let her go.  She seems like a nice person, but this is not ‘American Sweetie.’  It’s American Idol.  If you can’t let her go because of her lack of ability, then let her go before she has the inevitable breakdown that is coming.

The same goes for Jason Castro, except of course, for the breakdown part.  I doubt that anything could rattle him except seeing his supplier arrested or forgetting where he put his stash.

In the end, it was Carly who left the show.  I think she was the most talented female left on the show, but as Randy said, tonight’s vote was all about popularity.  Brooke and Jason have developed a strong fan base, and honestly, I do not think Carly ever overcame that atrocious tattoo that covers her right arm.  I said early in the season, that tattoos do not go over well in a lot of places in the country, and I guess her early exit proved it.

This week’s results do not bode well for Syesha.  She was below everyone but Carly, even after giving a great performance.  I will be surprised if Jason and Brooke do not do better next week, and I will be equally surprised if Syesha shows nearly as much personality as she did this week.  If she goes next week, get ready for the racist conspiracy theories to once again raise their ugly heads regardless of the reason she actually leaves the show.

American Idol Top Six, April 22

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Isn’t it wonderful to know that Idol is using green power at the finale?  I’m so sick of television self righteously pushing the green agenda while using copious amounts of energy on a medium that’s sole purpose is individual entertainment and gratification.  It would kind of be like McDonalds endorsing and promoting Jenny Craig in the same store where they sell the double meat quarter pounder.  Let’s just be honest, and stop acting as if we care.

This week Andrew Lloyd Webber was the theme and mentor.  He is a weird looking guy.  I was surprised by the fact that, though he never brought himself completely down to the level of the contestants, I thought he related (and made a sincere effort to relate) to contestants on the program.

I was really worried about last night (as apparently so was Ryan) that Simon would once again not be able to handle it.  The last few weeks of the season have been a real test for the show’s most honest judge.  He had to deal with Dolly week, though he admittedly does not ‘get’ country music.  Then he had to make it through Mariah Carey week after 6½ years of roundly criticizing anyone who attempted to sing one of her songs.  And last night he was forced to sit through a complete evening of Broadway performances after using the words ‘Broadway’ and ‘theatrical’ as a bat with which to beat contestants for the entire history of the show.  That being said, I’ll say that Simon dealt with the subject matter surprisingly well, and adjusted himself for once to the spirit of the evening.

Randy said it would be the toughest night of the season filled with “really tough songs.”  I will agree with this to an extent, but last night made it apparent that some of these songs are definitely more difficult than others.  The more melodious the song the easier it seemed, and the more theatrical content in the song, the more difficult it seemed to sing.

Syesha Mercado: ‘One Rock-n-Roll Too Many’- She said that tonight she wanted to be more animated.  Singing a song that had built in theatrics worked well for her.  She has so little personality on her own, that a show-tune seemed to let her ‘be something’ while she was on stage.  She sang it well, and the presentation was good.  It was one of her best performances, and she looked nice again.  She definitely belongs on Broadway, and I mean that as a compliment.  I’m sure she could do worse.

Randy: Thought it was her element, and that she could be a huge Broadway star.  He said that it was her best to date.

Simon: found her very sexy.  It was one of her strongest performances so far, and she showed masses of personality.

Jason Castro: ‘Memories’- The first thing I thought was, this song is way too big for him.  It started nicely, and his voice was better supported than usual.  It was a little breathy at times, but overall I liked it.

Randy: thought it was a little bit of a vocal train wreck, and it had too much melody for him.

Simon: thought that it felt too long, and sounded like a song he did not want to sing.

Brooke White: ‘You Must Love Me’- She started over after messing up the words.  How does she keep surviving these terrible mistakes on Idol.  She did not do a bad job after that, but it is only fair that she should go home now.  The judges were very easy on her, and I do not understand why.  Simon even supported the mistake.

Randy: thought it was not great, and vocally it was tough.

Paula: said, “You must never start and stop” (notice I included a relevant opinion from Paula).

Simon: thought that the mistake completely threw her.

David Archuleta: ‘Think of Me’- I did not know the song, so I did not know how he changed it.  That being said, it sounded like a legitimate pop song, and he sounded great on it.  I liked it a lot.

Randy: said if you can sing, you can sing anything.  It was the bomb.  This boy is the one to beat.

Simon:  thought it was pleasant, but one of his weakest performances.  It was forgettable.

Carly Smithson: ‘Jesus Christ, Superstar’- She sounded great at the beginning.  The chorus was kind of weird, and she did not match well with the back-up singers.  Her stage performance was good.  All in all, I would say it was good.

Randy:  thought it was definitely good.

Simon:  said that other than the fact that it was a little shouty in the middle it was one of his favorite performances of the night.

David Cook: ‘Music of the Night’- I knew he would be singing something from Phantom of the Opera.  His voice always sounds good when he softens it, and this night was no exception.  This song was by far the most difficult of the evening, but that being said, he sang it better than flawlessly.  It really sounded great, and was far above the rest of the contestants.  He also proved he has a great range and great control of his voice.

Randy:  thought it was an amazing vocal performance (which it was).

Simon:  thought he made the most of the song.  This is not the side of him Simon likes, but he thought it was good.

 

American Idol Tuesday, April 15

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I have never been the biggest Mariah Carey fan, but in recent years, I have had to amend my attitude toward her.  She has had several mainstream hits that are very good.  However, I can’t stand some of her music, you know, the diarrhea stuff.  It has so many runs that you think you are on a roller coaster listening to her voice track and down.  Her passing of Elvis in #1 hits is another ludicrous example of the problems in the music industry and its inability to turn out a palatable product.

She is legendary for her many paged concert riders requiring specially colored M&Ms and toilets that have never been used, among other things.  That all being said, I thought she was a good choice for ‘Idol Mentor’ this week.  The contestants were able to choose good songs that would work for them, she seemed personable with the contestants and only rarely came across as if she had a high opinion of herself (saying, “What I do is tough…” and referring to her own song as a ‘classic’ were two good examples).

The main problem with this show as with ‘country’ week was Simon.  He had to know that it is unfair to compare the contestants with Mariah Carey.  Ryan even addressed this at the beginning of the show.  However, there was Simon telling Kristy Lee Cook, among others that she paled in comparison to Carey even though she did a song that was completely different to Carey, ‘made it her own’ as contestants are told to do, and sang it well.  The producers of this show need to sit down with the judges and have a heart to heart.  Each has areas where they could improve.  …on to the show.

David Archuleta “When You Believe”- Having him go first this week was hard on the other contestants because he was just great.  It sounded good at the beginning and got better as it went along.

Carly Smithson “Without You”- She sang this song with a stronger sound than the original at the beginning, but it still sounded good.  She has proven in the past that she is not very good at tricking up a song, and last night was no exception.  She changed up a run at the end of the first verse, and it turned out to be a pitchy mess for about three or four notes, but then got back on track.  When she went up into her higher voice, she was good for the rest of the song.  Randy thought it was pretty good, but Simon, comparing her with Carey, thought she did not pull it off.

Syesha Maecado “Vanishing”- She had the Scary Spice look last night, and that was unfortunate.  The performance had a little soul at the beginning, and the big notes were good.  Once again, it was technically perfect.  Randy commented that she did a good job on a tough song, and Simon thought it was good, but would not have picked the obscure song.

Brooke White “Hero”- It was the best vocal she has done in a couple of weeks.  I, unlike Randy, really liked the big notes after the bridge as well.  She was shaky (trembling) near the end of the song.  Does she have Parkinson’s Disease or something?  Randy liked the ‘singer/song writer’ vibe, but Simon, again comparing her to Carey, did not think she had the voice to carry the song.

Kristy Lee Cook “Forever”- I thought her voice sounded surprisingly good on the low notes, at the beginning, and overall, it was a nice country version.  She sounded like a legitimate Idol contestant again this week, with a Tammy Wynette quality to her voice.  The big notes were also good.  Randy was all over the place with his opinion, and Simon thought it was not great.  Of course, he hates country, and she was not Mariah Carey, so there was little chance of him liking it.

David Cook “Always Be My Baby”- I thought it was boring, but he sang it well with a nice soft tone to his voice.  The judges, however, loved it.  Randy gave him a standing O (not his first of the season), and Simon said that it was ‘original, daring and stood out  by a mile.’

Jason Castro “I Don’t Want to Cry”- In the beginning I thought it was OK, but the chorus sounded like a ‘radio quality’ recording.  This turned out to be my favorite thing he has done.  Randy did not love it, but Simon liked the ‘cool version’ of the song.

 

I would hate to have to pick someone to leave this week, as I thought they all did fairly well, but I fear that they show will be one female lighter after the results show.

Inspiration Week on American Idol, April 9th

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As Randy pointed out, the contestants could have chosen any inspirational song that they wanted to sing this week (that is, any song that the show has the rights to or has been allowed to use which is still a huge number of songs).  That being said, the song choices and performances left me feeling decidedly uninspired.

An inconsistency in the judging has bothered me for years.  They harp about the need to be original, but half the time when someone really sings a song differently, they savage it, whether it is a good vocal or not just because they hate the arrangement.  This makes singing a song as it was originally recorded a much safer option.  The only problem there is the judges’ selective criticism of some contestants for sounding like the original and giving others a pass who do the song just like it was first recorded.

You’ll notice that in the past few weeks I have simply begun to ignore Paula.  I have decided that if she is not going to give any more objective opinions than she has, then I am just going to act as if she does not even exist (except to take the occasional shot at her).

Michael Johns– “Dream On”- This was a good ‘straight up’ cover of the original.  He sang it well, and it was a great song to open the show with.  There was nothing original about it, and the falsetto, though like the original, was screechy and harsh.  The judges criticized some pitch problems and once again criticized him for drifting into the ‘rock’ genre even though he pulled it off pretty well.

Syesha Mercado– “I believe”- There was a nice bit of inflection at the beginning, but it seemed to only take her a few bars before she took all of the feeling out of this song too.  The high screech near the end was awful.  The judges were right to note the lack of connection with the meaning of the song, and Simon may have made the best observation of the season when he asked who she was.  I expect to see her in the bottom three if she does not go home this week.

Jason Castro– “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”- This was the fairly recent Hawaiian version of the song.  I thought it sounded like everything else he does.  I could just cut and paste what I right about him every week.  He sang it good, but he always does the same thing. As far as originality goes, there was none.  Israel Kamakawiwo Ole (say that name three times fast) is the one who made this version unique.  Castro did a straight cover of it.  For me it was OK, but not great.  The judges, however, loved it.

Kristy Lee Cook– “Anyway”- She was a little down in the mix at the beginning of the song, but by the end it was clearly her best vocal, and maybe her first ‘Idol worthy’ performance of the season.  She still has no stage presence, though, and I will be surprised if this one good performance allows her to cancel her season tickets to the bottom-three stools.

David Cook– “Innocent”- So, you have the entire Idol library to choose from, and you choose this?  It was a horrible song choice, and he made a mess of it on top of that.  He was also down in the mix for a lot of the song.  However, it was not absolutely terrible, but it was definitely his worst performance, and was possibly the worst of the night.  The “Give Back” thing on his hand made me throw up in my mouth.  The judges did not like the performance either.

Carly Smithson– “The Show Must Go On”- This was another bad song choice.  I was definitely not inspired by this angry performance, and neither were the judges.  That being said, her voice was strong throughout the song with her usual ‘Heart-like’ sound.  It did get a little pitchy toward the end, as Randy pointed out, and the judges did not like it in general.  Though I think she and the Davids have been the most consistently good performers in the competition, this was not a good week for her.  She could be in the bottom three, but I hope she makes it through for another week.

David Arculeta– “Angels”- While it was not a terrible song choice, I expected better from him.  This week should have been right in his wheelhouse, and I expected him to blow this performance away, which he did not do.  It was a little low for him in the beginning, but it got better as it went along.  It was definitely one of the best of the night, but it was nowhere near his best performance.  The judges liked it as well, with Simon being slightly critical.

Brooke White– “You’ve Got a Friend”- Her interpretation of this song was awful.  She succeeded in making a happy, inspirational song into a mournfully sad song.  Her problems were mostly in her facial expressions.  I don’t know why she did it, but either it or Cook’s song were the worst of the night.  Her vocals were not good either.  This was definitely her worst, and the judges did not like it either.  She he may be in the bottom three, but I will be surprised if she is.

Get ready, tomorrow is Idol Gives Back: the only way the producers could find to extend the torment of the results show even longer.