Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mariah Carey week on American Idol

Mariah Carey was the guest mentor this week and she seemed to enjoy her time with each Idol Wannabe. Her new album E=MC2 dropped today and she’ll perform on the results show tomorrow night.

David Archuleta “When You Believe” (Mariah Carey Whitney Houston)
Josh Groban, I mean David Archuleta was on point and on pitch again tonight. He connected with the camera and the song with this emotional performance.

Randy took this week off from not being mad at anyone, but Mariah picked up the torch as she told Archuleta, “If you wanted to go up in to your falsetto for two seconds I wouldn’t be mad at you.” He did and I’m not mad at him either; it was perfect.

This kid reminds me of Clay Aiken and though not one of my favorites he’ll be back next week.

Carly Smithson “Without You” (Bad Finger, Mariah Carey)
Smithson has a great voice and she demonstrated amazing control on this Bad Finger classic. She started softly and allowed the song to build and swell in a natural way that showed off a real and emotional connection. For the most part, she nailed the soft parts and hit clean notes all the way through.

She should be back but as we saw last week at this stage of the game anything can happen and after landing in the bottom three more than once she needs every vote that she can get.

Syesha Mercado “Vanishing” (Mariah Carey)

Again this week Mercado chose an extremely difficult song and sang it very well. She worked out the soft parts that plagued her in early weeks and knocked the big notes out of the park. She was smoldering in gold and her performance matched her outfit. If this truly is a singing competition, she should be back.

Brooke White “Hero” (Mariah Carey)
It was clearly a tough week for Brooke White not only because her voice isn’t strong enough for this repertoire but because she missed her sister’s wedding on Saturday. She played piano and unfortunately it started poorly and never recovered; White never connected with the sensitive ballad and seemed to know it as she rushed through the song.

Kristi Lee Cook “Forever” (Mariah Carey)
Kristi Lee said that her goal this week was to connect with this song and she did just that. She hit several big notes and though not even close to the best of the night, it may have been have been her best performance yet as she chose well with a country version of “Forever”.

It wasn’t great but it was very good and with the help of she has a good shot at sticking around.

David Cook “Always Be My Baby” (Mariah Carey)
HOT! Mariah said she thought that his version was pretty and haunting but I thought that it was hot and sultry. He looked like a seasoned rocker in his necktie and vest and commanded the stage with aplomb.

“It was original, it was daring, it stood out by a mile.” Simon Cowell said of Cook’s performance and I agree 100%.

Cook then shed a few tears and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was Simon’s kind words or something that Ryan Seacrest didn’t mention: David’s brother Adam Cook, a lawyer from Terra Haute, Indiana who is fighting his second bout with brain cancer was in the audience after special arrangements were made by Cook supporters to bring him to California.

Best wishes for good health Adam.

Jason Castro “I Don’t Want to Cry” (Mariah Carey)
The AI Troubador went Latin this week with a successful version of “I Don’t Want to Cry” that was evocative and original. I see his niche; I just don’t see it as that of an American Idol.

This kid has gotten tremendous mileage out of his hair, teeth and expressive eyebrows and they should carry him another week.

Simon keeps saying that this is a singing competition but I don’t believe him. The name of the show is the American Idol not American Singer and they are looking for a complete package that goes far beyond singing to include personality, looks, and style.

If it really were a singing competition they wouldn’t let America vote; instead they would let Simon, a singing teacher and a critic decide but they’re looking to see which artist America responds to the most. Why can’t they just admit it?

If all’s right in the world White will get to go home and watch her sister’s wedding video tonight.

More Later,


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