Thursday morning: Next week is Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Original Wednesday post:
Because I missed last night's "Idol" telecast (at the Indians game, see below) and today got away from me, I am going try to do a quick rip through last night's Mariah Carey homage and then the results show. ...
(Kristy Lee Cook is out. Bottom three are Syesha, Kristy Lee, Brooke.)
OK, this is going to seem weird but, since the results show is in progress now, I'm posting notes about it at the top. My notes from speed-watching the performance show are below. (Lots of time-shifting here. Think of it as an episode of "How I Met Your Mother," only not as good.)
Intro, judges, group sing of "One Sweet Day." JC gets the first solo, then KLC. Both extensive solos. Big build-up for those two before the rest join in. BW seems to be reduced to single notes. Hype for this year's songwriting competition. Recap.
Jason Castro summoned. They're doing the two-group thing. Jason forms one.
David Cook. He is to start a separate group.
Carly Smithson. Goes with Castro.
Kristy Lee Cook. With DC. I think the Cooks are the safe group.
Performance by Elliott Yamin. Not impressed. Chats with Ryan.
Syesha Mercado summoned. Sent to Jason and Carly.
Brooke White. She's with the Cooks.
Archuleta is apparently going to be told which group to pick. An "Idol" tradition. A ridiculous tradition, but one nonetheless.
Phone calls from viewers. I still hate this part. Mariah Carey performs. Dull. Bye-bye. Yet another Ryan reference to the Mariah-Randy connection.
David Archuleta is summoned. Ryan tells him he is safe. Then tells DC to swap with Syesha -- shifting the safe dynamic toward the group DC is joining -- and asks DA to join the group he thinks is safe. He does the traditional sitting on the floor. But Ryan urges him over to the group with DC, JC and Carly. DC goes to sit with DA.
The bottom three: Brooke, KLC, Syesha.
Syesha is safe. Randy says he can't call this one. Paula again avoids the did-America-get-it-right question. Simon says no surprises, but KLC's time may be up.
Brooke stays, KLC is out. Video journey. She starts her sing-off on the judges' desk, singing directly to Simon. She'll do all right. Decent voice, and country music has been very good to "Idol" singers.
Now I'm done with this part. More notes below.
Seacrest blah blah, introducing the judges, introducing the idols, tape of Mariah. Acknowledgement of her Randy connection. She tells the contestants to look at her, like, whatever, a friend.
Ryan braces the judges about their previous cautioning of singers for taking on Mariah songs -- and notes that "production" picked the theme. Laughter and squirming.
Mariah with David Archuleta. Song: "When You Believe." She urges him to go into his falsetto "for two seconds." Big string section for his performance. Big Archuleta voice. But I'm not taken by the song, so my admiration is largely academic. B? And I can't help thinking that having him lead off is a stunt to maybe get him into the bottom three. Not that I can see that happening. Randy says he was worried about "boys singing girls' songs" but "you can sing anything." Paula says it must be great for Mariah to hear DA. OK. Simon says he just knew that was the right song, and it was "very, very good." And that DA set the benchmark.
Carly Smithson. Tats covered. I said tats. Ryan brings up Michael Johns's departure (not for the first time), as if he wants every viewer to go oh, my, who might go this week? Not sweet Carly? Mariah says she's been loving what Carly has been doing. Song: "Without You." Which to many of us is a Harry Nilsson song. And not done especially well by Carly. She's weak at the start and then screaming too much. C. Randy likes that she challenged herself but wanted her to trust her lower range more. Paula liked that she showed vocal restraint and then soared. Simon said he wanted her to sing this song, but he doesn't think she pulled it off.
Syesha Mercado. Song: "Vanishing." Mariah remembers writing it as a teenager. Syesha is impressed that Mariah took her time to help make the song her own. OK but tinny when she goes big. And she goes big a lot. Many whoa-oa-oas. C plus. Randy thinks it's the toughest song of the night and "you did a good job on it, all things considered." Paula rambles but manages to say again how brilliant she thinks MC is, and gets around to a "magical" about the performance. Simon praises it "technically" but questioned choosing a song not many people know (which Paula had thought was a smart move).
Ryan pushes the Randy issue again. Simon says that so far DA has stolen the show.
Brooke White. The missed-wedding bummer issue is brought up by Ryan. "Hero." Mariah says she loved Brooke. Brooke says MC told her to sing how she's feeling and to be real. Brooke is firmly planted at the piano. Decent start, although her "yea, yea" feels contrived instead of soulful. And there's more attempted soulfulness to come along. And this really calls for a big instrumental backing to help her build. No big climax as a result. C plus, I suppose. Maybe a C. Brooke liked the singer-songwriter look until the bridge. Paula calls her authentic and says this "unplugged version" was brave. Simon says she didn't much choice about the way she did it, but it was "like ordering a hamburger and only getting the bun" -- that she wasn't strong enough for that song. Food comparisons ensue.
Kristy Lee Cook. Mariah says she gave her goosebumps on "Forever." She does with this song what Brooke should have done with "Hero" -- making it big, lots of backup. And she's got a big pop voice that fits reasonably well with it. B minus. Randy didn't think it was amazing but she definitely started stepping up toward the end. Paula thinks she's a very smart girl and Paula was blown away; she thinks it would be a country-western hit, then devolves into a ramble again. Simon says KLC didn't give him chills and that it was a little bit whiny at times.
David Cook. "Always Be My Baby." Mariah thinks it sounds pretty and haunting. Wobbly start. Monotonous bump-bump beat for a long stretch, then he amps it up at the end, which I thought was pretty freakin' good. Shot of DC's friends and family, including his ill brother. B minus. Randy calls it the most brilliant performance yet. Paula calls it awesome. Simon says it was like coming out of karaoke hell into a breath of fresh air -- and it stood out by a mile. DC has tears at the end -- which Ryan points out, followed by another shot of brother.
Jason Castro to close. "I Don't Wanna Cry." Oh, wait, the audio switched to a smooth-jazz station. No, that's JC. He actually seems to wake up midway through the song, which shows how limited his vocal range is -- he's very Justin Guarini at times, and he muffs the falsetto. C. Randy didn't really love it. Felt like he was in "a weird beach luau." Paula says she would love to be at the luau. Simon agrees with Paula. Says it wasn't the best vocal of the night but "it was a cool version." And says "the guys completely won the night."
I'm out. Gotta deal with tonight's show.