Wednesday, May 7, 2008

American Idol Watch 2008

First up, I have some overdue comments about last week's "Idol" shows.

As much as I enjoy Neil Diamond's music, I don't think he was the best mentor to the contestants. That honor would have to go Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who I anticipated being a boring mentor. Yet he actually gave the performers some good advice (telling David Archuleta to open his eyes more while singing, for example) instead of just "I think they'll do just great."

Jason Castro
should have been cut last week (actually this mediocre singer deserved to go home several weeks ago and is skating by on looks and some kind of charm alone). I must be the only one who thinks white guys looks ridiculous in dreadlocks (the bassist in Nada Surf, Mike Campbell of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers).

Brooke White was iffy on "I'm a Believer" and her take on "I Am, I Said" didn't fare much better. So she was justfiably cut. Why everyone is so down on Syesha Mercado is beyond me. I think she has a good voice and stage presence.

Now onto this week.

Having the contestants choose songs from the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame was a little vague. Obviously they weren't relegated to inductees. I'm a huge Duran Duran fan, but they haven't been inducted yet (they were eligible in 2005 and I feel will have to wait a long time considering most members' disdain for New Wave).

So David Cook choosing Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" was a bit puzzling. I loved the subtle edge he brought to it though. Tackling The Who's "Baba O'Riley" was more of a challenge (especially whittling down the original's 5:00+ running time down to 1:30) and he did it well.

Syesha also aquitted herself fine on Sam Cooke and John Fogerty (via Tina Turner) covers.

Archuleta did a good job on his Ben E. King and Elvis Presley songs.

Castro flubbed the lyrics on Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" and Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" was awkward at best. He NEEDS to go home this week.

Finally, a pet peeve of mine: Ryan Seacrest wouldn't have to rush things so much when everyone does two songs in an hour if there weren't so many darn commercials.

Last night, the judges bantered more than usual when Syesha strangely started crying over the sentiment in "Change is Gonna Come." Then Ryan said, "guys, we need to wrap it up, 'Hell's Kitchen' is about to start." I got a good laugh out of that. Going to a break after each singer is totally unnecessary. And if there were fewer commercials, maybe they could actually sing an entire song. Imagine that - a 4:00 song on "Idol"!

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