It’s Inspiration Week on American Idol. You can count on an extra night for a special episode, Idol Gives Back, tonight at 8PM EST and an effort to raise $100 million dollars for charity.
Michael Johns “Dream On” Aerosmith
Johns kicked off the evening with good solid rock vocals until the end when at one point it sounded like he was screaming; and unfortunately he’s trying to rock an ascot for the second week in a row and that’s just kinda unforgivable but he’ll be back.
Syesha Mercado “I Believe” Fantasia
A good song for her big voice but again she struggled a little with the soft parts and though she was yelling at one point, she hit a very big note at the end. Overall it was a good performance and should be enough for her to stick around.
Jason Castro “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harbur, arrangement by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole)
Once again Castro gives a nice performance that does not seem to challenge him in any way. He’s still a wandering troubadour without a care in the world that demonstrates little depth. Overall, his performances are generic and forgettable and if tonight's performance stands out it's because of Kamakawiwoʻole's unique arrangement (featuring a ukulele) but Castro will be back next week.
Kristi Lee Cook “Anyway” (Martina McBride)
Kristi Lee Cook looked a little bit sultry in her performance of “Anyway” and though I can’t believe that she’s stuck around this long she was solid tonight and if we’re still voting based on merit deserves to be back next week.
David Cook “Innocent” Our Lady Peace
David Cook introduced the masses to Our Lady Peace via “Innocent” and was successful but not great. He revealed a message in his left palm to the camera that said “give back” to encourage viewers to donate to Idol Gives Back an effort to raise $100 million dollars.
Carly Smithson “The Show Must Go On” Queen
Carly showed off her powerful voice and vocal range but didn’t quite connect with this overly dramatic and somewhat dark performance. She likely landed in the bottom three.
David Archuleta “Angels” (Robbie Williams)
Did David Archuleta look comfortable onstage tonight? I thought so too and that might be because at age twelve, Archuleta was the Junior Vocal Champion on Star Search 2. He performed on the syndicated show more than ten times during the 2003 season before winning the $100,000 grand prize.
Tonight’s performance by Archuleta was nice and showed off the beautiful tone in his voice but but it wasn’t very exciting. Archuleta needs to learn to trust his instincts and his voice but at 17 and at this stage of the American Idol competition it may be difficult for him to pull off.
I also read several reports about his father Jeff Archuleta this week but I’ll leave that to your own research <Link to Google search Jeff Archuleta>
Brooke White “You’ve Got a Friend” (Carole King)
Brooke was boring tonight and didn’t do herself any favors with a mellow and uninspired version of a classic that Simon described as “nice.”
Randy Jackson once again came out with his best review (bestowed last week on soon to be booted Ramiele Malubay) “I wasn’t like jumpin up and down but I wasn’t mad at you either.” We’ll have to wait and see if this will become the kiss of death for another Idol wannabe.