Final 3: Spoilers and musings.

Spoilers from MJ’s, with a few of my own predictions:

David Cook
Simon chose: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack
Nigel chose: “Dont’ Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith (blech)
David C. chose: “The World I Know” by Collective Soul “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot
Musings: Assuming that Nigel chose wisely, I think this is going to be a great night for Cookie. Simon’s choice of Roberta Flack’s classic (last heard in those stirring yet creepy 4D sonogram commercials) is right up Cook’s alley, in that it’s been covered by about a bajillion artists, leaving Cook plenty of room to browse the ol’ iTunes, lift an arrangement from a better artist, and have Randy rave about his originality and how he’s “in the zone.” It’s also a nice cross-marketing opportunity for Simon, seeing as how his little pet Leona Lewis included the song on her album. So who’s cover work should inspire Cook this week? Elvis has done this song, but not particularly well, in my opinion. So has George Michael, but the arrangement is more Archuleta-like. Then there’s the haunting Johnny Cash version, but really, who wants to be compared to that? If Cook wants to earn points for stepping out of the box (and what better night to do so when you’ve got three chances?), he might do well to adopt this arrangement by Anthony Arizaga — the contrast of the lovely Latin-influenced instrumental with David’s gruff voice would result in some interesting texture indeed. But if I had to put money on it, I’d wager that Cook goes with the Jeffrey Gaines version.

The World I Know” was a radio hit some years back, if my memory serves me correctly, during the era where it was very popular to splice quasi-rock with classical accompaniment, as if soaring violins automatically add a degree of legitimacy. Eh, maybe, maybe not. The song is quite Goo Goo Dolls-ish, very reminiscent of “Iris,” but then again I tend to think all those songs sound alike anyway, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about and, in reality, they are nothing alike at all. But I guess where I come down on this choice is here: really, Cook? The one opportunity you have all season where you pretty much get free reign — the time where you get to choose the song that most embodies who you are and sell that to the audience — and you pick mid-1990s soft rock? Sigh. I see this ending up much like last week’s “Hungry Like the Wolf,” in that it’ll be serviceable, but hardly inspiring. Apparently, David changed his song, swapping out “The World I Know” for the dirge-like “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot, the crossover Christian band. The song is more modern than the Collective Soul number, and perhaps a bit more well-known. It’s also more along the lines of the kind of music I expected David to make, though I’d prefer he travel a route more like his performance of “Little Sparrow.” Ah well. Oh, and Nigel — “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing?” WTF?? This song is soon approaching official “needs to be retired from American Idol forever” territory. And if I’ve got this backwards and this is Cook’s pick for himself, well, then I’ve lost all hope for him.

David Archueta
Paula chose: “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel
Nigel chose: “Longer” by Dan Fogelberg
David A. chose: “With You” by Chris Brown
Musings: “And So It Goes” plays to all of little Archie’s strengths, save perhaps the most important one: selling the emotion behind a song. It’s not something most seventeen-year-olds are good at, which is ultimately what makes Archuleta such a boring competitor in my eyes. “Longer” is more classic Archuleta, sure to please the kid’s base and induce eye-rolling among the rest of us. The more interesting choice here is Chris Brown’s “Without You,” an ultra-current hit. I guess that answers the question of whether Archie, when left to his own devices, favors modern, radio-friendly releases, or whether he prefers sappy, “We Are the World”-type ballads. True, we’re not breaking shocking ground here — “Without You” is bland, inoffensive, and sounds like it could have been released any time within the past fifteen years — but it’ll be interesting, at the very least, to hear little David sing about how he doesn’t need money or cars because he has his best girl by his side, won’t it?

Syesha Mercado
Randy chose: “If I Ain’t Got You”
Nigel chose: “Hit Me Up” by Gia Farrell (!?)
Syesha chose: “Fever” by Peggy Lee
Musings: This won’t be the first time around for Syesha and Alicia Keys; Syesha unimpressively performedIf I Ain’t Got You” during her tenure while competing (surprise, surprise) on ABC’s flop “The One.” Assuming first position atop the piano, Syesha is all Vaseline-toothed smiles and scrunchy faces at the right moments. Acting! You know, Syesha is often compared to other so-called “divas” of seasons past, such as LaKisha Jones, Melinda Doolittle, LaToya London, Trenyce, etc. Aside from the fact that I don’t think it’s kosher to consistently lump all the African American female singers on this show together, Syesha’s strong but whiny voice lacks the raw power that propelled LaKisha’s and Melinda’s vocals or the smooth finesse of LaToya’s singing. She hits the notes…but that’s about it. I will say one thing for Syesha, though — despite her obnoxious pandering, she’s never once acted like she was entitled to win this thing, which I admire. But back to tonight — Syesha could do very well with the Keys song so long as she’s improved upon her shaky past rendition, but on the other hand, Randy could give her another lukewarm critique.

As for “Fever,” well, does anyone doubt why Syesha chose this song? Simple — it’ll allow her to vamp and prance across the stage as has been her wont ever since Andrew Lloyd Webber descended from high and revealed unto Syesha that Broadway is the way to go. Syesha will have to live up to a fabulous performance of this song by Paris Bennett in Season Five, another diminutive singer who has a depth to her voice that Syesha does not. But to the judges — at least to Randy and Paula — sequins and short skirts often compensate for actually hitting notes and conveying emotion. I don’t see Simon being impressed with this one, especially after he raked Sy’s Tina Turner knockoff over the coals. Syesha’s personal choice is “Hit Me Up” by Gia Farrell, a synthesized monstrosity that made it onto the “Happy Feet” soundtrack. Unless she dramatically changes the arrangement, it won’t do much to show off her voice, though it will give her more chances to dance. And it begs the same question as Cook’s song choice: is this really the kind of music Syesha wants to make? I mean, it’s not like I expected the girl to have impeccable musical taste or anything like that, but going with something that sounds like a rejected cut from Ashley Tisdale’s album is surprising.


1 Response to “Final 3: Spoilers and musings.”

  1. 1 weezzy January 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    First i want to thank you for all the wonderful articles you post. Thanks again for let us spread the love we have for our’s favorites one. Melinda Doolittle are really a talented singer with a big heart of Gold! Without website will be really difficult for any fans to share the great news about them. Thanks.
    FREE SONG FROM AMERICAN IDOL’S MELINDA DOOLITTLE! GO TO and get it NOW – FREE! New album released on February 3, 2009! Don’t miss it!

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May 2008
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What the kids are sayin’

"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."

"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."

"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "

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