American Idol: Top 4 Revealed
by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 30th 2008 8:45PM
(S07E36) What an underwhelming evening for the most part. In fact, I'd like to scrub that first round of songs from my memory banks completely. The contestants should be ashamed that they took a good catalog of songs (Neil Diamond's catalog) and made it so interminably boring. As Simon said, luckily they had second songs to redeem themselves, and a few of them even managed to do so. Only Syesha had two strong performances with true heart and emotion, so we'll see how that plays out. Is it the end of the road for Jason? Brooke? Neil Diamond and Natasha Bedingfield are performing. Won't you join our live chat and let us know what you think, starting just before 9:00 PM ET? There's virtual cookies and milk.
You can join the chat by following this link. Look for the full episode review right here later tonight.
Right off the bat, I have to disagree with Ryan. I don't think we necessarily know more about this batch of contestants than any other. Sure, we know more than last year's batch. What do you know about Jordin Sparks besides her gridiron father, really? 45 million total votes came in, 40 million came from 6,407 twelve year old girls.
Top 5 Medley - Tribute to Neil Diamond
Once again, Jason Castro started off a Neil Diamond song sounding horrible. Jason's given up. Remember when Chris Slight just gave up and didn't want to be there anymore. That's the vibe I get from him. David Archuleta struck the same pose he always does, one arm out with hand raised in an "I guess" gesture. My final judgment is that this was the worst medley performance of any season ever. Neil should have been allowed to get up on the stage and punch each and every one of them in the mouth for butchering his collection two nights in a row. Of course, when he got to Syesha he'd just hug her again and forget everything else.
Constantine Maroulis and Gina Glocksen were in the audience. They're the co-hosts of FOX Reality's American Idol Extra. Ace Young was smiling right in front of them but Ryan didn't have time for him. Instead he went up to cuddle with Simon and recap last night's show. I didn't need to relive last night actually, guys. Some things are better left in the past, like platform shoes, leisure suits and Paula predicting that she wouldn't enjoy Jason's second performance last night before he sang it.
So You Think You Can Dance Promo
As someone with ten years of classical dance training, I've been a huge fan of the talent and range SYTYCD brings us every year. The perfect summer complement to the Idol, this promo totally sold me that this would be another summer of amazing dancers and amazing performances. Whether you know dance or not, it's incredibly entertaining and at times awe-inspiring television. I am so there!
Natasha Bedingfield - "Pocket Full of Sunshine"
Natasha should be grateful that Simon refused to judge her when Ryan went to him. He would have certainly told her that she shouted through a lot of her performance. It had a few nice moments, but overall just wasn't very good at all. Is it possible for the actual singer of a song to sound like karaoke on her own song?
Proof the Results Show Should Only Be Thirty Minutes Long Viewer Question Segment
First, stop asking the callers to say their questions and display the question on the screen behind Ryan. Why does Paula always give contestants a break? Because what they do is hard. Will Paula and Randy do any more music videos? There was no real answer to this question. The woman who gave him his first kiss called in and asked if that kiss was more memorable than his kiss with Paula. Simon wouldn't let her get off the phone. He was really enjoying chatting with his first crush. It was a pretty neat thing actually. I still hate the segment though.
Ford Commercial - "Catch the Wind"
Hybrids are all the rage don't you know. Jason drove the car while the remaining contestants magically brought life back to an urban street. Did you know they had superpowers? Some have the ability to generate votes even when they suck while others have the ability to come in last in polls for months and not get eliminated. But is her time up tonight?
Neil Diamond - "Pretty Amazing Grace"
He needed Kristy Lee Cook on back-up for this one. She's pretty. It's weird that Jack Nicholson subbed in for Neil for this performance, like a stunt singer. What was up with those eyebrows? And why did he also not sound very good to me. He half-talked his way through the song. I know Neil is a legend and an amazing performer, but he wasn't on his A-game here. I did love it when he rocked out on his guitar bobbing his head back and forth! Neil Diamond's mom was there celebrating her bicentennial. When Ryan talked to Neil, Neil did perfect political doubletalk. He said the judges were right about the contestants but then turned around and said they were great last night. You can't have it both ways, Neil.
Building the Bottom Two
First out was Jason Castro, who wasn't great last night, but wasn't necessarily terrible either. But he smiled and batted those blue eyes. Remember those little girl power voters? Of course Jason was safe. Next out of the gate was David Archuleta who's really starting to lose his sparkle with a lot of the commenters on this site. He sings technically well but does so more and more like a grade school talent competition than a consummate performer. And those little girls like him, too. Do we have our all-male Top 3 already?
David Cook came out third, so the plan then was to declare him safe and by default have our Bottom Two be the remaining ladies? Of course. The writing has been on the wall for the ladies for awhile now. So it comes down to Brooke White and Syesha Mercado. But could Syesha skate by another week? She certainly had an overall stronger night than Brooke, though Brooke's second number was one of the strongest of the night.
[ADDENDUM--An interesting point was brought up that I hadn't considered or noticed in the comments. Ryan never declared a "Bottom Two" or bottom anything. We always just assume that he has. DialIdol had Syesha as their top vote getter. Certainly it would create more drama next week to lead America into thinking Syesha is vulnerable so that when she makes it into the Top 3 over Jason or a David it's more "shocking." Very interesting and a great notice from several of you!]
I don't think it's necessarily fair to Syesha that she was in the Bottom Two with Brooke this week, but it doesn't really matter as she's got no real shot of winning. But she does have another week to try and find a way to break that impenetrable wall of guys as Brooke White left us this week. Brooke is an amazing performer in her style and should do just fine. I love her when she does the vulnerable little girl behind the piano or guitar just singing from the heart.
Once again, I was half right in my Bottom Two with Brooke but underestimated the power of Jason's smile and deep blue eyes. Looks like .500 is going to be out of reach for me as it's 8-12 now.
You guys had Jason and Brooke in the Bottom Two as well (Syesha came in second only to the Cook) with Brooke going. Dammit if that doesn't raise you to 12-8. I demand a recount. I made my picks in Florida!
Next Week's Theme: The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame (whatever that means)
|Should have been Jason||1097 (46.4%)|
|Should have been David A||94 (4.0%)|
|Should have been David C||35 (1.5%)|
|Should have been Syesha||238 (10.1%)|
|Brooke was the right choice||902 (38.1%)|