Tuesday, May 6

AI7 - Top 4 (5/6/08)

Tonight's theme is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, so it's a pretty wide category. Ryan tells us that 3 of these 4 contestants have been top vote-getters at least once this season! (I'm guessing it's the 3 guys....)

David Cook
starts us off with "Hungry Like the Wolf." I love this song! He doesn't 'do' much with it, but it's a good, fun performance. Though I can already hear buzz about doing another 'stalker' song! The judges liked it though would have preferred he did more with it to personalize it (and later he agreed).

Syesha chose "Proud Mary," despite the fact (she tells us) that it's had over 100 covers and has intimidating choreography. She chose wrong. The slow beginning was ok, even good (not great), but when she went into the fast section and attempted the typical choreo... just. no. Made me miss Nadia!! (Not that she did this song, but she performed with the abandon and confidence in movement - done because she *felt* it in the song, not because it was staged - that Syesha lacks). Randy & Paula loved it, but Simon said it was a bad, shrieky impersonation of Tina Turner (and I agree).

Jason: Bob Marley's version of "I Shot the Sheriff" - I wasn't familiar w/this version but it's a perfect pick for Jason. He also seemed really into it & is obviously a big fan of Marley. Nothing 'wow,' but decent. Randy said it was too karaoke; Paula said he did a good job of performing "to the audience" but didn't really like the choice or performance; Simon said the arrangement was "atrocious" (which makes me wonder if he knows the Marley version? I don't, so I don't know how similar it was, but I can totally see Simon saying something like that if he only knows Clapton's....).

David A. closes the first half with "Stand by Me," a predictable though fitting choice. He sang it well and had a really impressive vocal on the high part at the end; he's had a good two weeks, reminiscent of his performances in the semifinals. The crowd loved it as did the judges (Randy acted like it was the best thing since sliced bread though, which was a bit much).

Round 2...

David C: "Baba O'Reilly"! He changed it up a bit, but it's a really difficult song to shorten and still pull off well. The soft build-up and then jump into the loud part... and all of a sudden it's over! So I don't know... it was very good, but still not up to par w/his best. Randy & Paula agree; Randy said he still seemed restrained; but Simon said "welcome back!"

Syesha picks "A Change is Gonna Come" and talks about how the song was done during the Civil Rights Movement, which was a very important time in our history (yes, she actually said that as if to enlighten us). Then she goes on to say that after last week's results show (i.e. finding herself in the top 4) her thinking about the song took on a new meaning because she had changed so much herself during this Idol journey. Yep, you got it - being a contestant making it to the finals of American Idol is like facing violent racism and bigotry. She's alluded similarly to her own self-importance before and I didn't take it seriously, but this is just too much. Will be interesting to see what the internet buzz about it is.... Ok, back to the performance. Well, I actually haven't watched the whole thing yet as Dancing w/the Stars was more interesting at the time, but what I did see was good! However, Randy - Mr. "If you can't show off vocals like Whitney/Celine/Mariah then don't sing a diva song" - said she OVER-embellished it! Ok, it was a different style, but still. Be consistent, dawg (oh, right, this is Idol! never mind). Simon and Paula disagreed though, and Paula gave her a standing ovation, calling it a "superstar performance." Syesha was all emotional over the song & Ryan pressed her as to why & she went into the whole 'new meaning' spiel again and Paula even alluded to agreeing with her. Time to move on!

Jason's 2nd choice is "Mr. Tambourine Man" and he plays guitar while sitting in a chair (as opposed to on a stool). He forgot the words!! Sigh. He recovered fairly well, but didn't even make anything up, just hummed/la-la'd through that section. Not good. I've heard VFTW has picked him up and with his continually motivated fan base he might not suffer; we'll see. The judges didn't have anything good to say and Simon said "pack your suitcase."

David A
closes with a very smart choice, "Love Me Tender." Accompanied only by a grand piano, he has changed up the melody a bit (or perhaps not - I heard someone suggest this is Norah Jones' arrangement?) and had very strong vocals. Either way, the crowd and judges loved it. Simon said he "crushed" the competition tonight.

Anyone not named David could be going home. ;-) I'd rather it be Jason at this point but would be fine w/either.

(And I just learned I have some more lurkers... post a comment & introduce yourselves, why don't you?! ;-) )


SusanD said...

Great recap, Pez!

PezKat said...

Thanks Susan!

Kim said...

Syesha made me barf with both songs - what a ridiculous comparison with that second one. Sheesh. And why, why does everybody insist on doing Proud Mary EXACTLY the way Tina did it? You know, the slow beginning, then faster, with the same choreography? I like the song a lot, and would like to see someone do something original with it one of these days.

I was tickled to death with Baba O'Reilly - I love that song anyway and thought David's version was very good (but I'm biased, because he's my favorite.)

I think Jason may have sparked up a doobie backstage before each performance. Just a guess. He seemed to have that characteristic, "Whatever, dude!" attitude, and I thought he picked horrible songs and basically talked his way through them (when he remembered the words.) I got the feeling that he was messing up on purpose and wanted to go home, even though he says otherwise on talk shows.

David A - eh. He does sing flawlessly, for the most part, I'll give him that. But I can't imagine myself buying an album of his stuff - his music lacks emotion, or something. I get no goosebumps like with Clay or Kelly - I don't know. I can't explain it. A David Cook CD, though - I'd download that one at midnight from iTunes on the day it's released. Can't wait! I wouldn't mind him coming in second so that he's not so tied to 19Evil. Or is the runner-up signed by them? Clay was, wasn't he? Hmmm. Maybe they changed it - I hope so.