David Cook was amazing tonight. Chris Cornell’s version of Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” had an even likelihood of bombing horrifically or being even more powerful than Cook’s performance of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” a few weeks ago. Cook masterfully worked the arrangement and stole the show and possibly the competition with his performance. Here’s the video, turn it up if you can.
Michael Johns also had an incredibly strong performance but he may have peaked. I've been waiting for him to sing “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” as it so clearly suits him and I don’t know what he can perform that will be better but I am interested in seeing if he can out do himself. He also gave an outstanding performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody" during Hollywood Week so maybe he'd like to be Queen's lead singer but I believe that they turned down RockStar: Queen.
Syesha Mercado (Stephanie Mills “If I Were Your Woman”) was much improved this week. She was much better at hitting the softer notes as she’s got a big voice and can really belt but has demonstrated some control issues in previous performances. If she keeps it up she’ll do well and could have a career in music.
Carly Smithson (Bonnie Tyler “Total Eclipse of the Heart”) wasn't in top form tonight but she's a performer through and through. She’s poised onstage, has excellent vocal control and should advance unless the American Idol popularity contest is now in full swing (she was in the bottom three last week). As a side note for those of you who haven’t heard, Carly was signed to MCA under her maiden name Carly Hennessy for four years and released the album Ultimate High in 2001. Despite two million dollars in label support the record bombed and Hennesy was released from MCA. She tried out for season 5 of American Idol and made it to Hollywood but because her visa had expired she was unable to compete. She has since married and resides in San Diego, California. Clearly all this experience seems contributing to her success.
David Archuleta (Jeff Pescetto “You’re the Voice”) started poorly and though he carried it off, he's becoming boring because of his song choices; he may be too immature to navigate a win (he's 17). He offered a brilliant “Imagine” but that was three weeks ago and he’s failing to connect with both the audience and another knockout performance.
Case in point, compare tonight's performances by David Cook and David Archuleta; there's no contest, David Cook wins by a mile. Additionally Cook’s “Hello” was a brilliant interpretation of Lionel Richie’s classic and his performance of “Eleanor Rigby” two weeks ago was also a standout. Week in and week out it’s Cook who’s leading the way.
Kristy Lee Cook (Lee Greenwood “God Bless the USA”) Much better this week with a completely unexpected but successful song choice but she should go soon for destroying The Beatles “Eight Days a Week”. I may never recover from that performance.
Ramiele Malubay (Heart “Alone”) She gave a good performance but not great.
Jason Castro (Sting “Fragile”) I’m really not impressed. Yes he’s got pretty eyes, a big toothy smile and comes off bashful and a little goofy but he consistently shows limited range and style. His performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was touching but he reminds me more of a wandering troubadour than an American Idol.
Brooke White (The Police “Every Breath You Take”) She’s middle of the pack but stumbled this week after bombing in yellow last week with “Here Comes the Sun”. She’s got a lot of potential but really needs to step it up to get back into this competition.
Chikezie (Luther Vandross “If Only for One Night”) This may be his swan song.
Rock is reborn, on American Idol!?! Who ever would have thought?