American Idol: Top 5 Revealed

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 23rd 2008 8:45PM
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Simon Cowell(S07E34) That was a bit of a departure from typical American Idol fare wasn't it? There were a couple of really great performances and a couple of really not-so-great performances on Andrew Lloyd Webber. And if the comments to that post tell us anything it's that you guys are passionate about who you like and who you don't like. That's what makes shows like this fun, and chatting about them online live as they happen even more fun. So feel free to stop in tonight to the hottest live chat on the 'net, starting just before 9:00pm ET. And let's try and be nice to one another.

You can join the chat by following this link. Look for the full episode review right here later tonight.


This week we had over 38 million votes split among the six contestants. The show started with the Top 6 butchering "All I Ask of You" while Andrew Lloyd Webber cringed behind the piano. Okay, maybe butchered is strong but there at the beginning when the guys all started in different keys it was a derailing train on the fast track to a wreck. The girls chimed in and improved things. But can someone tell the hired mosh pit girls that there are appropriate times to wave your hands back and forth and times where you just look dumb. I really hope they do away with the fake pit next year.

Ryan chatted Webber up for quite a bit at the beginning of the show and while he didn't have anything really new to say, I found it very candid of him to again say that he felt Jason's song choice wasn't right and that even after the performance it still wasn't the right choice. He avoided directly commenting on whether or not Brooke should have stopped and restarted her performance but gave her much praise for her talent in general. Getting harder to fill that hour with fewer contestants, isn't it guys?

Ford Commercial - "Tainted Love"
I don't know if I could get past Brooke's hair in this very punk gothic Mad Max-esque commercial. But while they were able to cyberpunk most of the contestants, David Archuleta still looked pure and innocent no matter what they did.

Presidential Address
We got a statement from Mr. and Mrs. Bush on their appreciation of the monies raised during "Idol Gives Back." Was it just me or did they look like they were really straining to hold those smiles while the other was talking.

Idols on Broadway
A lot of Idols have wound up on Broadway. LaKisha Jones, Fantasia and Diana DeGarmo all wound up on Broadway. We checked in with Tamyra Gray, who was one of the strongest voices in the first season. She's currently performing in RENT. Clay, who was sporting a horrible hairstyle that works for Sir Robin in Spamalot but not otherwise. His new album, On My Way Here, drops May 6, 2008 and sports his new blonde Sir Robin locks.

Leona Lewis - "Bleeding Love"
Simon discovered the number one selling new artist in the world on his British show The X Factor in 2006. Now, with a debut album and single, Leona Lewis has been toppling sales records in her native UK, the US and across the world. She gave a simple and straightforward performance, but sounded and looked fantastic. I know Simon has said that America has a wider depth of talent in our pool, but kudos to the British Isles as this particular find is an absolutely amazing discovery. And at only 23 years old, she's got such a stage presence.

Building the Bottom Two
Since there's only six left, rather than cut them in half and build a "Bottom Three," this week we'll just make a "Bottom Two." Ryan started us off by bringing out David Cook and David Archuleta together. Is this going to be the Final Two? They certainly are nothing alike visually or style-wise. David Cook said he kept the original arrangement to try and be unpredictable by not going with a new or lesser-known arrangement. In a no-brainer of the night, the Davids are safe ... and then there were four.

The next pairing to hit the stage was Syesha Mercado and Brooke White. Well, I'm not sure if it was sympathy that saved Brooke's ass tonight, but Syesha dropped into the Bottom Two just as I suspected. Know that I didn't put here there because I thought she deserved to be there but rather because I felt that having gone first (you've heard of the curse of the first, right?) and having been in the bottom before despite amazing performances, she'd probably find herself there again.

I'm impressed that Brooke wasn't even in the Bottom Two. I wonder if there was a sympathy factor in that or if it was, as Paula said, just large fan-bases for these contestants regardless of what they do in any given week. Hey, it worked for Taylor Hicks all the way to the finals.

Finally, Carly Smithson and Jason Castro came out together. So if it was to go like the prior pair, Carly would find herself in the Bottom Two and Jason, mobilized by his own fan-base, would be safe. Carly has struggled with popularity throughout the competition while Jason has "those eyes." My wife certainly thinks he's incredibly handsome. And so it went.

Clearly, based on these results, we've moved more into the realm of a popularity contest than voting based on the given performances in any week. After all, the consensus seems to be that Jason and Brooke had the weakest performances last night and yet it's Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson in the Bottom Two.

Going Home
Well, I was none too pleased with this "Bottom Two." Randy concurred with my assessment that it's become a popularity contest. So now after two really strong runs on the show, it was time to say goodbye to Carly Smithson. It's hard to say how much of her problems on the show in gathering a fan-base is due to a backlash from her failed pop career years ago, but clearly something wasn't working for Carly. She's taken a lot of flack on this site for her tattoos but it would be incredibly narrow-minded to say she wasn't a worthy contender because she has a sleeve of tattoos, but then again this is America and we do some crazy things around here.

The biggest surprise of the night, though, wasn't the elimination of Carly. Paula told her that this was only the beginning for her. Paula never says that to anyone.

My Picks
And I was doing so well. I got half of the Bottom Two right with Syesha, but I had Brooke eliminated and she wasn't even in harm's way. I knew Carly wasn't popular but I didn't realize Brooke had such a following. Maybe it's a reaction to her being second-to-last in the voting last week. Fans tend to rally around their singer the week after a low showing like that. Nevertheless, I got it wrong and slipped to 8-11.

Your Picks
You didn't see this one coming either, agreeing with me that Brooke should have been in the lowest spot. You fleshed out your Bottom Two with Jason. Carly came in only behind the Davids in your voting. You slipped to 11-8 on the year.

Next Week
It's Neil Diamond week on the Idol. I think we're done with the mentors after that, and I couldn't be happier. It's not that the mentors are bad but that the producers force us to limit specifically to the works the mentor worked on. Why couldn't Andrew Lloyd Webber be the mentor on musical theater night, so the contestants can choose from all musical theater. Dolly Parton could have done country night and not just Dolly night.

Did America get it right?
Should have been David A.111 (2.7%)
Shoudl have been David C.35 (0.9%)
Should have been Brooke1920 (46.7%)
Should have been Jason1328 (32.3%)
Should have been Syesha361 (8.8%)
Carly was the right choice355 (8.6%)

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96 Comments

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candy19

i think jason and david a should of been the bottom two and carly should never been booted off she's great and has a alot of talent and will go far so will brooke and i hope they get a contract from somewhere out there they deserve it! syesha is fantastic too and she will be great on broadway! as for david cook he's good but not all that!!!!!!!

April 26 2008 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
krazikate

There is something definitely wrong with this contest. Syeshia and Carly gave their strongest performances the other night and they were the bottom two?!?!?! Jason and Brooke should have been the people to be sitting in those silver chairs. Jason looked completely bored the other night. By the way, is he high all the time or is that just his "look"?

April 25 2008 at 12:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kat

The only reason why Brooke didn't get voted off is because she's the VFTW girl.

April 24 2008 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jesjem

I have not been a fan of Carly's. Something about her bothered me. I still do not know what, but I think Simon hit the nail on the head yesterday when he said his compliment was the kiss of death. I think because of Simon's comment, people who liked Carly pretty much thought she was safe and did not vote at all or decided to vote for someone else who they thought might not be safe. I think that is what happened with Kristy (who had a couple of good weeks in a row, even though I didn't like her) and Michael John.

April 24 2008 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ging54

Gina

It's hard to believe what happened with Carly Smithson. She was the best voice and performance in The America Idol Contest. She was the reason for myself to watch the show and now it's over. I hopefully that someone give her a second chance and I'm sure she will go far and she will be very successful singer. I will be the first one to buy her sons.

April 24 2008 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fran

I don't watch American Idol, because I think that the judges are too cruel and have little or no taste in tallent. I am a big fan of Paula Abdul, but now I know that she really is a total nutcase. The girl this week who forgot her lines did not deserve harsh criticism. She just got nervous. Even Elvis forgot the words. Don't get me started on Simon. I looked him up on Wikipedia to see who he backed in the past, and I didn't recognize anybody. I bet Paula and Simon almost passed out, when Jennifer Hudson won an Academy Award for Dream Girls. Lighten up you guys. The singers have feelings too.

April 24 2008 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

By the way, this is NOT a singing competition. It is an entertainment/performance competition which encompasses a great many things. You look, your personality, your ability to connect with the audience are at LEAST as important as the ability to sing.

Britney Spears is certainly no vocal talent, but she had the look and the marketing behind her to make millions. That is what they are looking for.

Carly can sing. She didn't sing on this last show; she shouted. But she CAN sing. However, as evidenced by her last attempt, there are other aspects of her performance and personality that just do not work for people.

This is a recording INDUSTRY which means, like a lot of things, it is about money. And I don't say that as a criticism. Ultimately this show is a business and despite the claims of never watching again, and even with the raitings down, they are making money!

April 24 2008 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ging54

Gina
I couldn't believe what happen with Carly Smithson. She was the reason for me to watch The American Idol. She was the most beautiful voice and performance in the contest. Could imagine Carly Smithson singing Neil Diamond sons? The show it's over now...Even though, There still very good singers, but, Carly Smithson won't be in the American idol contest anymore.

April 24 2008 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shawn

Me and my friend got every single elimination right, up until whoever left after Ramiele, because after that we just stopped guessing because we were kind of intimidated that we got all of them right before that.

I stopped watching the show after Ramiele left out of lack of interest, however when I heard of the night's theme I decided to watch it again.

I LOVED Carly's performance (and Syesha's). And there's obviously no question that Brooke should have been the one to go...or David A. Let's face it, he's cute, but he has one of the most boring sounds I've ever heard. In my opinion I think he was better on Star Search.

What was the name of the song Carly had said that she always used to sing at her bar/restaurant/whatever it was???

April 24 2008 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Shawn's comment
kate

it was come together, the beatles

April 24 2008 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JC

I've been surprised at Carly's popularity all along. She hollers every song at full blast, after, of course, assuming that eyebrow-down angry look and starting to bob up and down. And if I had to look at that mouth wide open screaming the final note of some song...ARG!

Also amazed at Brooke's popularity. She has a vocal range of about an octave, tops, and can only do pop/rock songs that stay within that range. No audience connection, ever. I think it's just because she's pretty and she pouts! Wah, wah wah!

Jason is cool on some songs, on others (such as the ALW night), you think, WTF! But, AI's fan base is teeny-bobby white girls, so, his pretty eyes will continue to get votes.

Sayesha has been consistently good throughout the competition. Plus, she has a great stage presence and personality. No mention from the judges of her early start on her ALW song - because she quickly covered it up, as pros do!

People need to remember that David A. is a mere teen - he is a great talent and has a great stage presence for that age!

When it comes down to it, though, I hope David Cook wins. Funny, I was unimpressed by him at first, but after the rocker version of "Hello" he has blown me out of the water almost every time.

But hell - give them all credit! They are very young, talented, and getting up and performing LIVE in front of thousands of people on a weekly basis - I sure couldn't do that. Good luck to all!

April 24 2008 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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