After several weeks of theatrical and soulful themes, this week's round of performances on "American Idol
" arrived like a breath of fresh air. Heading into Tuesday night's show, I was hoping for an upbeat night and that is exactly what I got. It was Rock and Roll Hall of Fame night. If only Michael Johns could have been there, I thought. But nonetheless, each performer brought something exciting and unique to the stage.
David Cook kicked off the show with his rock n' roll version of Duran Duran's
"Hungry Like the Wolf." For me, this song was featured in a made for television movie back in the day, so if David was able to get me to forget about that, then he succeeded. Sadly, as much as the vocals were satisfactory, where was his usual hunger and passion for the theme? Where was the rockin' roller who turned a sweet and innocent Mariah Carey
song into something so transcendent? Looking back, Randy was right. It was "Just Okay." While I didn't forget about the movie, I still supported the rocker in the end.
After his second performance covering The Who's
"Baba O'Riley," the judges had little words to say. "Great," "humbling" and from the man himself, "David Cook, welcome back." (Has he ever been gone?)
Oh, David Archuleta. Honestly, the more he gets better, the less I have to say about him. I've officially got my "American Idol" critiques down to a science. If you move me, inspire me or get me out of my chair, you've done a good job. If I end up purchasing your song on iTunes, you've done a fantastic job. Take a peek at my iTunes collection and you'll see mainly David Archuleta studio recorded songs. Next up on the list: River Phoenix's
"Stand By Me" and Elvis Presley's
"Love Me Tender" - all of course sung by the one and only David A. With him moving on to next week's show, I expect him to live within the the words of Simon Cowell
and not just beat the competition, but also crush them.
I think Syesha Mercado took whatever David Cook takes before his performances each week. Her wild and crazy performance of Tina Turner's
"Proud Mary" had her shaking her hips, twirling on stage and shrieking at the top of her lungs. While I actually agree with Randy and Paula that Syesha emerged as an important contender, it did happen to contain many screaming moments. Could we have seen this at any local karaoke bar or bar mitzvahs? Probably. But like Syesha said, at least she had fun with it. And that was pretty evident on TV.
I have never seen Syesha more gorgeous than during her second performance of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," where she donned a yellow silk dress. Referencing the Civil War and her own personal growth, Syesha grew emotional during the judge's critiques. With tears streaming down her face, she gracefully took each comment the best way she could. Did her breakdown buy her a few votes? Probably. But in the end, who was shocked too see Syesha and Jason in the bottom two? After last night's performances, she deserved to move on to the next round.
Jason Castro's rendition of Bob Marley's
"I Shot the Sheriff" had me out of the room before he even reached his second verse. Was he honestly singing that song or just making words up? His unimpressive performance received harsh critiques from all three judges, including Paula. Although she didn't outright insult him, her tone of voice and frequent pauses left many to wonder what she really thought. Simon's critique left me crying in laughter and pumping my fists in the air. Was it harsh for Simon to call it "atrocious"? Yes. Was it surprising to see Simon on the verge or anger? No. Maybe Jason would make up for it with his second performance.
Wrong. Jason's version of Bob Dylan's
"Hey Mr. Tambourine Man" left not only America speechless, but Jason himself after his minor lyric slip-up. Again, I haven't been a fan of Jason from the very beginning, but even I seemed to notice his lack of confidence Tuesday night. Were the song choices the culprit? Maybe. Nerves? Probably. His lackluster night caught up to him. After admitting to already packing his bags, the cute, blue-eyed, dreadlocked boy was sent home.
Last night's results show featured the usual contestant reviews, band performances and fan question round. Maroon 5
won over the crowd with their hit single "If I Never See Your Face Again." Bo Bice
brought back nostalgic memories of "American Idol" season four when he strutted out on stage with his long hair (Is this really necessary?) and guitar. From his new album, "See the Light," Bo Bice performed his first single, "Witness." While he didn't have me out of my chair, he definitely had Paula out of hers. Go figure.
Might I add that I am super jealous of "Emily" who may have scored a date in Pittsburgh with David Cook. Why didn't I think of that? (David, if you read this, I'm just as interested!) On another note, having the Queen knight Simon Cowell would be a nightmare. He's top dog at the "American Idol" judging table; I think he's fine just where he's at.
The final three, David Archuleta, David Cook and Syesha Mercado, are heading home next week for a warm welcome by their hometown. David Archuleta to Murray, Utah, David Cook to Blue Springs, Missouri and Syesha Mercado to Sarasota, Florida. Next week's show will feature amazing stories and fond moments. The contestants will also be required to sing three songs for America. This is it - the race to the finale. My motto? Go big or go home. My predictions? It is, has and always was a David vs. David finale. What are your thoughts?
-Check out this huge American Idol photo gallery!
Story by Kathryn Sparks
Starpulse contributing writer