Neil Diamond time! Are you excited? Yeah, me neither. Two songs a piece tonight, which means a lot of running around, and apparently Paula took her meds twice as well. Nobody seems too psyched about any of this. This? Is American Idol.
For his part, Neil Diamond seems pretty low key about the whole thing. Which isn’t suprising, considering, but it’s bordering on the point of not giving a crap about any of these kids. Also…not really suprising, actually. I do love Neil’s crazy shirt collection though. Jay Lethal should steal some of them.
Singing: “Forever in Blue Jeans” and “September Morn”
Neil Diamond Says: At least he’s not singing a song from “Cats” this week.
Forever in Blue Jeans: It’s a very Castro performance, which I think is wearing pretty thin on everybody right now. It’s not horrible or anything, but it’s just too mellow and boring for this stage of the competition. I do love that Paula thought this was two different songs (I actually think she was going off her notes from the rehersal, but still….)
September Morn: Here’s the funny thing. I think the song sounds really good with this arrangement, but it’s not different enough from anything else he’s done, which is what’s going to kill him in the end. Two really mediocre performances in the top five.
Judges Say: At least you’re not singing a song from “Cats” this week.
I Say: Jason Castro is too entrenched in Jason Castro for his own good.
David Lee Cook
Singing: “I’m Alive” and “All I Really Need Is You”
Neil Says: Did I really write those? Oookay.
I’m Alive: Yeah, this is one that I don’t really know. David Cook is still kind of the show’s great white hope, but this is pretty boring. I can’t figure out if the “AC” on his guitar and jacket is a shout out to his brother or AC/DC. It could be AC/DC and he’s the DC? Meh.
All I Really Need Is You: Hmm…Has he always sounded like he was gargling while he’s singing? I think he’s overDaughtrified these songs a little too much, and now instead of just singing in his low grumbly voice, he’s like…Hacking up the words from the back of his throat. Still, among the better performances of the night.
Judges Say: Second was better than the first, but it really doesn’t matter because you’re in the finals.
I Say: He really needs to stop trying to overdo these notes.
Change: +/- 0
Singing: “I’m a Believer” and “I Am, I Sad”
Neil Says: I really want to hug you.
I’m a Believer: Sadly, she doesn’t go for the Smash Mouth cover. That would be hillarious. She looks totally freaked out for the first verse. Poor Brooke. Once she gets to the chorus it levels out, but that first half was just insane.
I Am, I Said: Ah…Brooke back in her element. Behind the piano. She clearly struggles to remember a few lines, but she does a pretty good job. I have to admit, I listened to her pre-Idol CD this week and it all sounds a lot like this, and I really enjoyed it. So, yeah. I’m still worried about her mental health.
The Judges Say: The first song was a whirlwind of suck, but you kind of pulled off that second one.
I Say: Can she just sing piano songs until they send her home?
Score: +/- 0
Singing: “Sweet Caroline” and “Coming to America”
Neil Says: Your Dad says you’re a prodigy, so…There you go.
Sweet Caroline: Oh, my God! I do not need to hear Archuletta gasping “Touching you, touching me.” What a silly little song this is. Certainly not his best performance, technically or otherwise. And I wish he’d stop touching me.
Coming to America: Straight from the Kristie Lee Cook School of Vote Whoring: David Archuletta sings “Coming to America.” Badly. Seriously, straight out of Up With People again. Like…he’s at a really bad USO show or something. Simon applauds his balls, and somewhere, Kristie Lee strokes her imaginary horse approvingly.
Judges Say: You’re through to the finals, Trollie.
I Say: This reminds me why I never want to go to a USO show.
Singing: “Hello Again” and “Thank the Lord for the Night Time”
Neil Says: I want to hug you too. Where are all the chicks this year?
Hello Again: She’s doing this entirely from the stoop, which is an interesting choice. She’s also not wearing shoes, which is kind of distracting. She looks great though, with her hair like this, she kind of looks like Black Katherine McPhee. Unfortunately, Kat was a better singer.
Thank the Lord for the Night Time: She’s still not wearing shoes. Did she break a heel or something? Even she realizes that the little clap fest they’re doing is kind of ridiculous. Did we ever get a ruling on whether or not it’s ok to sing about the Lord this year? Is it only bad if you’re Irish? The performance itself isn’t bad. Certainly better than the first one, but still pretty boring. Randy continues to tell her to quit the show and go be on Broadway with Clay and Tamyra. Paula just calls her “Brooke.” Oh, Paula.
Judges Say: You’re probably going home, y’all.
I Say: Except that, confoundingly, she never does.
Change: +/- 0
Gotta love how they just rushed through everything tonight. “We only have an hour, so nobody move!” Paula was a special kind of drugged up too, talking about rehersals and calling everybody by the wrong name. So, this was pretty much a perfect night for Neil Diamond to be guesting. As for the performances? Pretty mediocre across the board, though Brooke sort of wins with her second. If only this thing weren’t killing her.
Syesha Mercado. Look, it kind of has to happen sooner or later, and the poor girl isn’t putting up much of a fight. I think she’s probably eager to get all her head shots out to all the musicals in New York and LA. Brooke’s second performance was strong enough to keep her around one more week, possibly two depending on how well Castro keeps up.