Ah, the classic “What Year Were You Born?” Episode. How I’ve missed thee. I actually really like these shows because you usually get a pretty good variety of song choices.
There’s the usual dithering about and then Seacrest throws right into the show. I miss the Ringo smiting already!
Singing: “Alone” by Heart (Fun Fact, Ramiele is the 953rd person to sing “Alone” on American Idol!) (1983)
This Week’s Fun Fact: She was a vampire as a child, but she grew out of it.
Performance: It’s funny, because the song choice is actually probably the right one, but if you perform the song on this show, you’ll be compared to Carrie Underwood, and she wasn’t nearly as good as Carrie. Or Carly, even, really. It wasn’t bad really, I’ll even forgive when her voice broke during the chorus (she’s sick), but you can’t sing this song on this show. It’s been ruined.
Judges Say: Not awful, so you’re probably safe.
I Say: You picked the right song for you, what can you do?
Change: +/- 0
Singing: “Fragile” by Sting (1987)
This Week’s Fun Fact: Duuude, you can tell he’s soooo pissed that, like, his brother got the keytar and he didn’t. No waaaaaay!
Performance: About halfway through the song he was so quiet and mush mouthed, I thought he was singing in French again this week. His guitar playing is kind of a mess this week too, so it’s a double whammy.
Judges Say: It’s time to put away the bong, maybe.
I Say: The keytar probably would’ve helped.
Singing: “If I Were Your Woman” by Gladys Knight and The Pips (1971…That can’t be right….)
This Week’s Fun Fact: She does the “Baby Cry” again which causes me to tune out everything else she says. I friggin’ hate that thing. No, no, no, no, no.
Performance: She doesn’t look as good as last week, which isn’t helping things. And…I’m forgetting this song WHILE she’s singing it. It’s like there’s a black hole in my brain, and it’s sucking the memory of anything she’s ever done out of my head (except the stupid baby cry). Technically, she was fine, but still…no. Paula (dressed as America’s Next Top Stripper this week), calls it “her moment.” Um…Carrie singing “Alone” and Blake singing “Shot Through The Heart” this was not.
Judges Say: Your best performance so far.
I Say: I can’t remember a thing about it.
Singing: “If Only for One Night” by Luther Vandross (1985)
This Week’s Fun Fact: Chikezie’s birthday is 9/11, which…I’m sorry, dude. His mom goes on and on about songs that Chikezie says she doesn’t know, and I kind of want her to stop talking.
Performance: It’s back to Balladeer Chikezie, which is not a good thing. After two weeks of really looking like he was having a great time with this, he looks bored again. And he doesn’t have an awesome orange suit to offset it, which makes the boredom even more apparent.
Other songs from 1985 I’d want to hear Chikezie sing?
-”I Wanna Know What Love Is” by Foreigner
-”That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick
-”Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News
Judges Say: You’re back to boring, stupid ballads.
I Say: You really have to do some more crazy crap to stay in.
Singing: “Every Breath You Take” by The Police (1983)
This Week’s Fun Fact: When she was a little girl, she learned how to play piano by ear, which is how she’s played from then on. That’s how you know you’re supposed to be a musician, I guess.
Performance: Hillariously, she starts on the complete wrong key and is just like, “Ok, we’re doing that one again.” Once she gets going, she’s really, really good. I mean, really really good in the sense that The Police are right in her range of songs that she can sing without sounding/looking like a doofus. Unfortunately, the chorus is way, way off the rails.
Judges Say: It started off good and went nowhere.
I Say: See Archuletta, *that’s* how you screw up on national TV.
Change: +/- 0
Singing: “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” by Queen (1978)
This Week’s Fun Fact: He used to dance around Australia and tell people how awesome he is. The great part is that after two solid months of reminding us how much he’s reppin’ Australia, his kid picture has him in T-Shirt advertising scenic Washington.
Performance: Heath Ledger Tribute Night! Ok, so remember last week when he was, like, “Yeah, so I guess Bohemian Rhapsody a month and a half ago was pretty good?” Well, when they told him that it was “Year You Were Born Night” he was, like, “YES! I can get away with another Queen song! No…Wait! TWO QUEEN SONGS!” And…It totally works. He’s not nearly as good as he was in the early rounds, but he’s totally at home being a second rate Gavin Rosdale in a third-rate Freddie Mercury tribute band.
Judges Say: You may actually have a career after this show.
I Say: The week’s theme rolled right into his favor.
Singing: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler (1983)
This Week’s Fun Fact: She was named “Carly” because her mom heard a Carly Simon song on the way to the hospital. Her mom gets in this week’s requisite “Carly was unfairly treated by the industry” dig and Carly name checks Madonna and Kylie Minogue.
Performance: She actually had a chance to do something really amazing here, because, vocally, she’s absolutely perfect for this song, with its shouty sections and power notes, but the problem is…she starts, like, a key and a half too low, and it ends up sounding really awkward. Which sucks, because I think she had a chance to be really fantastic.
Judges Say: You picked the wrong song, but you’re safe.
I Say: You picked the right song, but you sang it really poorly.
Singing: “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham
This Week’s Fun Fact: He was always squinty and awkward even in his youth. He’s sad because he’s going to miss prom, but that doesn’t stop him from hitting on some girl in the audience. I just made that sound way more awesome than it was, though.
Performance: Wow…How very…Up with People of him. Seriously, is anybody going to buy an album of this right now? What he needs is a chorus of dancers, and the audience to hold up signs which, when the audience holds them all up together spells the word “Hope.” And…Jazz Hands! Simon takes me one further by suggesting a career singing with The Bearenstein Bears on the A Stage at Six Flags which…HAHAHAHAHA!
Judges Say: Vocally, you’re great.
I Say: If I can imagine you serenading Pocahontas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? That’s not a good thing.
Kristy Lee Cook
Singing: “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood (1984)
This Week’s Fun Fact: You know, advertising the fact that your brothers and sisters wanted you to shut the hell up whenever you sang as a kid is probably not the best endorsement for yourself.
Performance: You know what *is* the best endorsement? Appealing to the American Redneck sense of PATRIOTISM~! that you can totally cash in on in few years during your USO tour. Seriously, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more desperate and effective vote grab on this show before. She should’ve worn and American flag dress with “America – Fuck Yeah!” sewed on the back. She’d win the whole show in one night. Simon practically gives her a standing ovation for the balls that took. Once her Country Jamboree tour with Chikezie is over, she and Archuletta should hook up for an “Up With People Presents America – Land of the Free Home of the Brave” arena tour.
Judges Say: You’re smarter than you look.
I Say: A million Sanjayas and Danny Noriegas combined don’t have the crazy brilliance to pull this off.
Singing: “Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson (by Way of Chris Daughtry) (1983)
This Week’s Fun Fact: David Cook had the world’s largest forehead when he was younger, and even he realized that he was sporting the Herman Munster a little bit. That at least partially excuses the emo haircut.
Performance: This is actually really where his “I’m Going to Be Daughtry” act completely and totally works. Grab the closest, most 80s pop jam on your list, turn it into a slow rock jam, and let it ride. It’s all overdone, over effected, it even sounds stupid, but it’s totally awesome in exactly the right way. This and Brooke’s performance of “Let It Be” are the only two songs so far this year that I could totally buy as being “concert” songs. I could see people paying to see them play. Tons better than his (way similar if you think about it) “Elenor Rigby.”
Judges Say: You may very well save this show.
I Say: For the first time in his run, he completely nailed it.
That’s what you get when you loosen the chains a little bit. Let them pick their own songs, and tthey’re going to get something they can totally nail. Except for a handful of really boring performances, I think tonight’s was the best overal “show” of the season so far. I’d love love love for them to open up a more “modern” songbook now, though. A Billboard Hot 200 show would really let these guys sink or swim.
Sayesha Mercado, mostly because I just don’t think she’s holding up personality-wise with any of the rest of these people.