Tuesday, February 26

AI7 Semifinals - Top 10 Men (2/26/08)

This week's theme is the 70's, and video clips are "what people might not know about me." Jumping right in...

is up first. He's a jock & especially likes tennis. He sang Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" and was pretty bad, really. Randy & Simon even admitted it wasn't his best (which translates to ghastly when it's one of their Chosen Ones). They of course all still love *him*, though.

Once again Ryan plugs the iTunes program right before introducing Jason Castro. From the reactions I've seen on the web after his performance last week, a lot of people really would like to be able to carry him around in their pocket. His video should increase that feeling; he talks about how he hates doing interviews! He said he loves music & didn't realize how much non-musical stuff Idol would involve, like the photo shoots & interviews, and he messes up a lot & they show cuts & do-overs & lots of adorkable facial expressions. He played his guitar again for the Bee Gees' "I Just Want to Be Your Everything," which was a very good choice for him. Randy didn't like it & said the vocals were weak; Simon agreed. They want him to do something without the guitar next week to show more variety & confidence.

Luke did "Killer Queen"! (I'm surprised it was even one of the choices, but, cool!) His video clip was about his a cappella group Chapter 6 and even showed a clip of them singing (Bohemian Rhapsody, actually). Killer was good in general; tons better than last week, though something about his style still doesn't hit me as being quite right for Idol. I will say it's a very hard song to sing & Randy echoed that. Randy & Paula liked it; Simon thought it was a bad choice since Luke can't measure up to Freddy's charisma/personality. (Which does imply that Simon thought he sang it well, at least!) Still hoping he sticks around.

Robbie like to drag race (& sticks in a psa for kids not to try this at home, lol!). He sang "Hot Blooded" which was a good choice for his voice, range-wise anyway. He still got the 'Is he a real rocker?' treatment and was blatant with his disdain for having to prove himself, saying there are many different types of rock. Randy specified that he doesn't have a "rock voice," i.e. it's too smooth (which I've heard online a lot), though there are plenty of successful rock singers with smooth, pretty voices, not the least of which is Steve Perry from Randy's own former band! Anyway, Simon at least said his vocals were good.

Danny was in a punk band when he was a freshman in high school. He admits they were terrible & said they disbanded after their first live show. He slowed things down this week with "Superstar" and was actually rather subdued. The vocals were good but I'd have enjoyed a bit more power (since I know he can belt & sounds great at it). Randy & Paula said he overthought it; Simon said it was much better than last week. Simon said he likes that Danny is interesting/stands out, and that he looks good on camera. Danny said in retrospect he realized last week's performance wasn't that great. Simon said, "So you're agreeing with me?!" And Danny replied, "Ish." Hee! LOVE.

David Hernandez was really into gymnastics as a kid, doing competitions & such. He sang "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" which seems popular on musical reality competition shows this year. He really put a lot of 'heart' into it, showed different vocal styles & included a couple glory notes, overall a great choice IMO. All of the judges loved it, a surprise & relief to David! Simon especially said that he appreciated how David took their criticism & "rose to the challenge" of improving his performance. He also said it was the best vocal so far tonight.

Jason Yeager taught himself how to play several instruments. He sang The Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Runnin' (Without Love)" which was a nice fit for his voice. The performance was a bit... cheesy perhaps? Randy & Paula said it wasn't "a singer's song" (ie didn't show off his vocals) and Simon said it was ordinary.

Chikieze explains that his name is Nigerian and people have mispronounced it all his life (you think?) so he gave up on using the original pronunciation. He sang Donny Hathaway's "I Believe to My Soul." The only other time I've heard this song was when Elliot did it, and Chikieze does it at least as well. His performance is worlds better than last week. Randy agrees & says "Chikieze is back!" All of the judges liked it. Chikieze says he lucked out w/the theme because he loves this song, and he also pointed out that one of their background singers is Donny Hathaway's daughter! Cool!

David Cook
is winning me over by both his personality (check the Contestant Q&A for his sense of humor) and his performances. He admits that he's a "word nerd" and loves crossword puzzles, vocab, word roots, etc. Simon later says the video will hurt him because he has no personality, but Paula defends him saying women like smart men. I agree! (as my husband sits and does Sudoko puzzles all through Idol....) He sang "All Right Now" and played electric guitar. He had a nice guitar solo, and his vocals were also strong. Great performance!! All the judges liked it; Randy & Paula called him a "real" rocker (I'm sure Robbie was cringing up on the balcony).

David Archuleta
is last & his video showed part of his YouTube clip singing "And I'm Telling You" to the Season 1 finalists several years ago! Apparently he'd come out to see the finals and 'ran into' them. He sang "Imagine" and I see why he got the 'pimp spot.' I detest this song but I liked his performance of it. It did help that he skipped verse 1 and slowed the whole thing down a bit, changing up some of the melody & really showing his vocal skill. The crowd loves him, especially the (obnoxiously screaming) girls. Randy said it was one of the best vocal performances ever on the show (all seasons); Paula said it was one of the most moving performances she's ever seen; and Simon said he's the one to beat. Whew! Kid was slightly overwhelmed. ;-)

My favorites were the last 2 Davids but I also really liked Danny & David H. I do hope Luke sticks around as well, but I didn't vote for anyone this week. My predictions to go are Jason Yeager and Robbie.


Kim said...

I'm ready for at least a few Davids to hit the road - it confuses me when half of the group is named David! (Also, half of my class in med school is named some version of Jon or Jonathan.)

What? Why am I the only person who liked Michael's performance? Oh well, maybe I have peanut butter in my ears.

Go read SarahK's recaps at http://www.snarkravingmad.com - if you like mine, you'll like hers. You might like her blog anyway - http://www.mountaineermusings.com.

PezKat said...

No, all Davids must stay! 3 Davids and a Danny & I'm happy. Plus the Luke and a Jason ideally, but I don't want to get greedy.

The rest of us though Michael sang poorly and sounded bad-to-terrible. Even some big fans, which I am definitely not.

Ok, off to write about the girls!