Michael Johns plays tennis and sings to relieve stress, and sings “Go Your Own Way”, the Fleetwood Mac jam, and really struggles through it. Its super pitchy in parts and it just doesn’t sound right sung by a feller. This was his worst by miles. He may want to go pick up his racquet, because his handsome charm may not save him after that disaster. Randy and Paula like it but Simon is inclined to give the straight dope and calls it his weakest performance yet.
Jason Castro is next and admits he hates interviews. Seems like a pretty shy guy, but he’s a fucking natural on stage. Again he has his guitar to accompany him on “I Just Wanna be Your Everything”. It’s good, but not great. Not nearly as good as he’s been in the past. The judges are not on board with that either. Simon thought he looked uncomfortable up there, maybe old Jason is having second thoughts about all the glitz and glamor.
Luke Menard sings in an a-capella group, which I really don’t understand. You would think that would mean he’s a fantastic singer but he is certainly not. “Killer Queen” is his song. Oh boy. Few people should attempt to sing like Freddie Mercury, and Luke Menard is not one of those people. It’s bad, and he may be on his way out. Randy and Paula somehow liked it but Simon calls it a mistake, because Freddie had charisma, and Luke Menard did not. Exactly.
Robbie Carrico drag races cars, legally, and inexplicably chooses “Hot Blooded”, one of about one thousand songs that forced me to swear off KQRS forever so many years ago. Ouch. It’ s absolutely brutal, but it would be absolutely comical if I didn’t like the guy. Even though Randy loves the song, he didn’t much care for the performance and questions the whole ‘rocker’ thing. We are then imparted with classic Abdulian wisdom: “Only you know who you really are” or some such sillyness. Simon lets him off easy and calls it ok.
Danny Noriega was once in a punk band until some people heard them play, and chooses a sleepy Carpenter’s song, full of baby’s and love. Not a very entertaining performance at all. Decent vocal, but where is all his crazy diva attitude?! The judges think he was trying too hard but cannot deny their love for him.
David Hernandez, the medal winning child gymnast, does “Papa was a Rolling Stone”, and I am quite surprised to find it enjoyable. That was, without question, the best I have ever heard him sing. He’s still not an outstanding performer, but that was pretty good. The judges love it and Simon says it’s the best of the night.
Jason Yeager taught himself how to play guitar, drums, and piano. Now if he could only teach himself to sing. He picks “Without Love”, in what may be the first time the Doobie Brothers have been sung on the American Idol stage. I suppose he’s not a horrible singer, but he just has no star power and is really uninteresting to watch. Randy is right on when he says it’s not a singer’s song, and I hope he’s one of the two to go this week.
Chekezie’s name is Nigerian, and he is bringing the funk tonight. He does a Ray Charles number “I Beleive to my Soul”. Damn that is one funky, soulful song, and Chekezie just rocks it perfectly. It’s a million times better than anything I’ve seen him do before, and now I like this guy.
David Cook calls himself a “word nerd” and a “geek for vocab” before he sings “Allright Now”, while strumming an electric guitar. Yet another of the songs that drove me away from 92.5 on your FM dial. Man this guy is lame. Randy and Paula love the “rock”, and Simon called it “solid”, but said he lacks charisma. I say he lacks charisma and that was not solid at all.
David Archuleta is up last, and he was lucky enough to meet the finalists of American Idol season one when he was but 11. They show a clip of that encounter, when young David sang “And I’m Telling You” for Kelly Clarkson and crew. When he’s through, K Clark gives him a hug and asks his name. Immediately I wonder if this is a moment we will see down the road, like a young Bill Clinton meeting President John F. Kennedy. David has chosen “Imagine”, and he has slowed it down and masterfully reworked it into even more of a love ballad to the world. I am astonished at the control this kid has over his voice, he really knows how to use it. This giggly little guy is going to go far. Really far. Randy says it is one of the best vocals ever on the show, and Paula is in tears as she proclaims David Archuleta to be “Destined for Superstardom”. Simon sees dollar signs. Big dollar signs. He is going to make a lot of money off David, and he can see that clearly now. Simon is pleased, and says there are 19 other contestants who are miserable because there’s a new frontrunner. I’d say he has the nomination pretty much locked up after that. Wow.
Wednesday night is the Ladies, and Thursday we lose Luke Menard, Jason Yeager, and/or David Cook.