American Idol Season 7: David Archuleta And 11 GeeksMar 11, 2008 Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line David Hernandez should probably pull his speedo out of the basement.
It is that time again. Considering I have a child who is 7 years old, it's hard to believe that this show has been around for just as long as he has. But it's the one reality TV show (or game show, whatever you want to call it) that I still get into. While you can argue that it's cheesy and overproduced, what they have done is pretty much kept a format that works in tact. Whereas Survivor and Big Brother have had to reinvent themselves every season, AI only makes subtle changes and everything feels familiar.
So far this season, if you listen to the media, it's David Archuleta and 11 geeks. While the kid is good, I find it hard to believe that he's going to hold up all season long. Who does that leave? Well, it leaves a bunch of pretty good contestants, though we're waiting for a few of them to leap out of the pack. Rather than do the hot list already, I'll just list the competitors because other than Archuleta, no one stands out just yet. But that should change tonight. The hot list will be back next week.
Kristy Lee Cook
Joining me tonight is the Online CL Tag Team of Patty Therre and Joubert (George). Patty is a wrestling journalist by trade, but mother, wife, and overall master of the web when not on the job. George is a music expert (and hyoooooge Beatles fan) who has also made a living in the internet world. I couldn't ask for two better folks to help me kick off the first week.
Ryno is getting the show started by showing everyone the new stage, which looks pretty spectacular in HD. George is already cracking on Ryno's hair and says it looks like Cameron Diaz's from There's Something About Mary. Too much cream gel in my opinion. Looks like they're opening up the Lennon/McCartney song book tonight. I wonder how long they've been working on that one.
Syesha Mercado is up first and I guess she can't do Whitney Houston this week. She's singing Got To Get You Into My Life. If you look at her straight on, she has the Grace Jones tilted flat top, but really, her curly hair is just in a pony tail. It's a decent start, though no one will really remember the performance at the end. She looked a bit nervous, but hey, she deserves to be. Randall says it started rough, but she had fun with it. Paula says it started off pitchy, but she found her zone midway through. Simon says it was a great song choice, but she looked nervous. George says she sounded a tad flat and then sharp and that he hated the big note at the end. Patty says Syesha is one her two favorite girls but she didn't love the way she sang the song. She says it was better at the end than at the start, and channeled her inner Randall with an "it was alright dawg". Song one, and we're already in mid season form.
Looks like Chikezie baby is up. Early on, dude looked like half of Ruben Studdard. Now, he's close to 1/3 of Big Rube. Dude must be slowing down on the carbs. He's singing She's A Woman and says he's going to put a funk stain on it. Ok, he didn't really say that. He just said he'd put his own funk on it. I just saw a banjo and a fiddle. This is going to be great. This is an odd one. It started country, then 'Kezie started rockin' out. Very fun performance with great energy, but I can see some folks thinking it was corny. Randall says he loved the arrangement and that 'Kezie smashed it. Paula says something about reward being greater with risk, but it wasn't very coherent. Simon says he looked drunk, but terrific. Terrificly drunk. George says it was a tough song choice, but it had a wicked cool arrangement. Patty says she liked the funky version of the song. Her husband thinks 'Kezie looks like a big Gary Coleman. Where's Willis?
Ramiele Malubay is next with In My Life. This one's odd as she started shaky, seemed to find it, then lost it again, only to find it near the end. It wasn't consistent, but you can hear the promise in her voice. Randall says it was kind of pretty, but also pretty boring. Paula says it was safe and she needs to take advantage of her voice. Simon says he was bored to tears throughout the entire song. George says she showed great control although the phrasing was a little odd. He also hated the big note at the end. Patty says it was also boring, and she started chanting, "Boring, boring, boring," like she was watching a Ken Kennedy match.
Jason Castro's dreadlocks is next. He's singing If I Fell. He's busted out the guitar. The guitar endears him to the crowd, but it also keeps him sitting in the chair, which might not be a good thing week after week. Very solid vocal and he does the big blue puppy dog eyes very well which keeps the female vote in his corner. George agrees with me on this and says he may be the favorite of every 14 year old girl in America. Though he needs to stop making those goofy faces. Randall says he liked it but the switches in the melody caused him to tune out. Paula says she feels his heart through his singing. At least I think through his singing. Simon says it was boring and he needs to choose better songs to suit his style. George says he showed range and is the best stylist of the guy crew. Patty says that she's in love with him, though she says it was kind of boring and she wants to cut his hair. I think the hair is terrible too, but he needs to keep it or else he'll fall in with everyone else. He stands out.
My favorite girl, Carly Smithson is up next and she's dressed in blue, except for her tattoos. She's singing Come Together which she says she sings every week at the restaurant she waitresses at. She definitely has stage presence and looks like she knows what she's doing. It's a powerful song and while I liked it, it was definitely odd hearing it out of her voice. She's the closest thing to a ready made professional though. Randall says it was strong and confident and called it stellar. Paula says it was strange because she thought she was already watching a star. Simon says she chose the right song for once and it reminded him of Kelly Clarkson from 6 years ago. George is smitten. He says she may have the clearest vocal tone in the Top 12 and he would pay serious money to hear her duet with Melissa Etheridge. Patty says she is clearly one of the best female singers this year. She screamed in places and was slightly annoying, but Patty says it might've been annoying because she has a headache.
David Cook and his soul patch are next. He's doing Eleanor Rigby. I think the hip hop dudes have been sampling this one like crazy. Even though he looks like he was on a bender last night with Dave Batista and Rich Franklin, he has the females eating out of his hand. A little too much screaming and shouting near the end, but he definitely believes he can win this thing. His confidence shows through. Randall says once it hit the chorus, it was rockin'. Paula says he's fantastic. Simon says it was brilliant. George says that if Chad Kroeger disappears, Cook is ready to step in. Patty says didn't love "Comb Over" Cook, but definitely liked his performance.
Brooke White is next. Is she going curly or straight tonight? She's singing Let It Be. It's going to be hard to follow Carly and Soul Patch Cook. She's at the piano and her vocal is pretty, but it's also a little hoarse at times. Randall says it wasn't her strongest performance but it was heartfelt. Paula says it's the emotional connection that makes people fall in love with you. I think she means, cry more. Simon says it was one of the best performances of the night. George doesn't like it at all. He says it's like listening to Faith Hill or Carole King reaching for notes. Patty pretty much agrees with Paula and says she loves her because she's real. Again, Brooke, keep crying. Slightly curly by the way, if anyone was wondering.
David "The Stripper" Hernandez is next. Tom Cruise, George Michael, and Danny Noreiga are in the front row making it rain. Ok, Danny Noreiga isn't really there. The Stripper is performing I Saw Her Standing Her There. The dude might have to go back to stripping. I'm not exactly sure what he's trying to do, but it's pretty painful watching him. He's out of his league compared to the better performers tonight. Randall says he was lost from the jump. Paula says he needed to scale back. Simon says it was corny and verging on desperate. George says it was an awful song choice, its out of his natural range, and he missed the minor notes. Patty didn't like it either. She says it was ok, but it wasn't anywhere near as good as his previous songs.
Amanda Overmyer is next and she'll try and out shout Soul Patch Cook. She's performing You Can't Do That. She's my least favorite of the final 12. Maybe it's because she has a deeper voice than I do. Her performance is fun, even if she went for fun over strong vocals. Randall says she took a Beatles song and brought it to a Southern bar and rocked it out. Paula loves it. Simon says it wasn't as good as last week and he only understood about 30% of the words. George says he doesn't think he can do an entire CD of her. I'm just going to quote Patty here. I don't think I could do it justice. She says, "I can't stand her. She's got an attitude that ticks me off. She's a screamer and it's getting old for me." Wow!
Michael Johns and his chest hair are next. He's doing Across The Universe. He's getting into the song, and after having to hear Amanda's raspy vocal, this is a breath of fresh air. It's nice. Randall says it was good, but he was waiting for something big. Paula likes his quiet confidence and says it was brilliant. Simon says it was too safe. George thinks Johns could go top 6. Patty says he's her guy and whatever he sings is fine with her. What if he sings Rainbow Connection?
Kristy Lee Cook says she's trying so hard to make this song her own, that she called her mom for advice. Um, ok. Make it your mom's then. Is it sad if I want KL Cook to do well simply because she trains for MMA? She chooses Eight Days A Week. She tries to put a fun, country slant on it, but it kind of comes off as a parody. She and David Hernandez probably won't sleep much tonight. Randall says he liked parts of it but it felt vocally forced. Paula says she didn't enjoy it. Simon says it was horrendous and she sounded like Dolly Parton on helium. George thinks the country contingent will likely keep a cute blonde in the running, but thinks she'll be in the bottom two. Patty says she's not a bad singer but she just killed a Beatles song. She thinks she's in trouble.
One more to go and oh, what a surprise. Big Dave Archuleta goes on last. Here's my thing about Big Dave. When you're such a prodigy, you've heard people give you praise thousands of times. So I don't buy the reaction that he gives when he hears that he does well. It seems a little rehearsed to me. I will give you an out of left field analogy. Hulk Hogan ruled the 80s and 90s as a wrestler. He's heard the biggest roars of applause that you can imagine. Yet, whenever he hears the crowd cheer him today, he seems surprised, maybe even a bit thankful that after all these years, people still cheer him. Well, that's bull. The reason he does it is because the crowd eats out of his hand. He can wave his hand at them as if to say, "Oh stop it, I'm not that special," and all it does is make them cheer more loudly. I think that's what Big Dave is doing. While it might not be a genuine reaction from him, it's brilliant. Egg them on young man. He's signing We Can Work It Out. He forgets the lyrics. Yikes. This is the major reason I don't think he wins. Most of these folks have been performing for many years, honing their skills at bars and gigs. He's special, but he might not be ready. Pretty average performance. Randall says it wasn't on point. Paula says to never let it show on your face. Simon says it was a mess. George simply says, "I hate this." Patty says its good that he's vulnerable because people need to be reminded to vote for him or he'll be gone too soon. She does think he'll bounce back next week though.
If I were to guess the bottom three, I'd guess KL Cook, Stripper Hernandez, and probably Syesha, but in any other year, Syesha's probably a top 5 performer. That's how deep this field is. This year is going to be tough. Carly, Soul Patch, and 'Kezie showed that it's not simply the Big Dave Archuleta show.
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