Wednesday, April 23, 2008

American Idol: Andrew Lloyd Webber (April 22)

All these songs demand big voice and stage presence. Predict success for Carly. White and Castro do not have the voice for this. A little worried about rock and roll David Cooke. And away they go.

Syesha Mercado. Webber is Geppetto: he breathed life into the wooden doll. Syesha argued with Andrew Lloyd Webber that "this is American Idol, not musical theater." (0:26) Her point: you can't let loose with personality on Idol. To date, mission accomplished. Still, wood-brained as she is for having ignored the judges' criticisms every week RE lack of stage presence, Idol's mannequin listened to the most successful billionaire musical writer of all time and abaracadabara: she's a real girl! Not only did she have personality, her voice was stronger. I wonder if she's smart enough to keep this up.

Jason Castro. He sang Memories. He'll be one after this week. He's got a quiet week voice so he picks...the song that requires the biggest voice. Even Webber knew it would be a disaster. Despite the Travolta suit, there'll be no Stayin' Alive for Castro this week. (ed. note to Letterman: sign me now while you can still afford me.)

Brooke White. Forgot the lyrics? Restarted a song again? What in the fuck? I like her voice but she's not cut out for Weber's songs. Even more absurd (and she wasn't the only singer who fell for this), she admitted not knowing the story behind the song. Fucking hell people. You're going to meet the composer, one of the most famous songwriters of all time. Don't you have Google? Look it up. You know you suck when Paula struggles to find something nice to say about you. Easily in the bottom 2 this week. Castro may have been so bad that she lasts until next week but only by a hair.

David Archuletta. He's bringing back the 80s with that skinny tie and the Members-Only-ish jacket. Webber must have been reading my comments on David: told him to keep his eyes open. (1:18) Sir Andrew (annoying), who came off as really likable throughout the show, was perturbed by the fake squints. Amen. Still, David can't help himself and squints right off the bat but overall struggles to keep his eyes open and performs a brave adaptation of a classic. Pretty good.

Carly Smithson. She was debating All I Ask of You vs. Jesus Christ Superstar. Webber saved her Irish tuckus. Has the composer/songwriter ever played such an important role in Idol? He did this night, giving great advice to them all, but this was the best call of the night. He challenged her big voice and encouraged her personality. She was very good and after Simon complimented her, the "Simon loves me. (This week)" T-shirt was funny.

David Cooke. I thought Music of the Night was a terrible song choice. But props to Cooke. He pulled it off. I expected rock-n-roll David, who's adapted so many songs to date, to style this as a rock and roll ballad. But he sang it straight and did surprisingly well. He should have left his trademark rock and roll scream at the end of the song on the tour bus. But by doing this song traditionally, he proves he's got the most musical range of everyone on Idol this season.

Top: Carly Smithson, Syesha Mercado
Bottom: Castro, White

Other thoughts. Webber came across as a great guy. Worth over a billion dollars, his love of his music shined through and where Mariah Carey gave annoying recommendations last week, Webber tried to help each contestant perform better and succeeded.

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