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29 Apr

American Idol does a speedy Neil Diamond x2

OK, I’m officially bored of Season 7 of American Idol. But more on that later. This week the group had to sing two songs, both by mentor Neil Diamond. Instead of making the show half an hour longer or something, they chose to cram 10 songs into an hour, which gave the show a very rushed and hurried pace. Ryan Seacrest constantly hinted to “rush rush rush”, the judges didn’t have time to make anything but brief sound-byte commentary, and I don’t think it helped the contestants performances any.

Of course, I’m not a huge Neil Diamond fan, so I’m not sure anything would’ve helped the performances as far as I was concerned. There’s a few of Neil’s early hits that I like quite a bit - iconic pop songs - but I’m not overly familiar with his career or songbook.

In the weekly “make fun of Paula Abdul” bit, she outdid herself tonight. Again, I’ll get to that later.

Jason Castro was up first. The two songs he picked were “Forever in Blue Jeans” and “September Morn.” The first was one of the few Neil songs I kinda like, and Jason performed it poorly. No vim and vigor to it. The second song was a better performance, but bored me.

David Cook picked “I’m Alive” and “All I Really Need is You”. The first performance was mediocre and boring. The second was much better, and while not my personal thing, was a very good performance from The Cookster.

Brooke White chose “I’m a Believer” and “I Am, I Said.” - Now, I absolutely loved the Monkees as a kid, and I loved “I’m a Believer.” Brooke did the song no justice - she doesn’t have the power to keep it a ‘rock’ song, and she didn’t really do anything interesting with the arrangement. I thought it might’ve been better if she’d slowed the pace of the song down a lot, perhaps. My husband said she shouldn’t have played the guitar because it seemed to throw her off. Simon thought it was “a disaster.” For her second song, however, Brooke bounced back, sitting behind the piano once again and crooning out a pleasant and pleasing performance.

David Archuleta picked “Sweet Caroline” and “America.” If the latter choice surprises you, it shouldn’t. In fact, both songs made me think “Yeah, I knew he’d pick those….” His performance of the first song was the usual David (as of late anyway) - fine but bland and dull. I thought it was a little pitchy, but maybe that’s because I find his nasal quality a bit wearing by now. David’s version of “America” was better, with more vigorous inspiration, but still … kinda flat for me.

Syesha Mercado picked “Hello Again” and “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime.” I can sum up both her performances as being the best of the evening. She was polished and still displaying her stage-presence persona, which made her seem much more interesting compared to the other four. At least on this night.

I’ve been wrong on the “who’s going home” the last couple weeks, so I don’t even want to make a prediction this week. It’s anyone’s game, really. But I do think Jason, Brooke, and Syesha will be in the bottom 3.

So, on to a few other commentary points about American Idol tonight:

On Paula Abdul: When Ryan told the judges they could briefly sum up their thoughts on all 5 contestants, after they had all performed their first song choices, Paula started to comment on Jason’s second performance….after several seconds, Ryan and Simon reminded Paula that they were supposed to comment only on the first performance and no one had actually sung their 2nd song yet. Paula backpedaled and said “I thought you performed twice!” - in other words, the judges viewed the pre-show rehearsals, and then Paula spaced out during the actual show…I believe Paula’s brain resides in a place called PaulaLand, filled with moonbeams and fluffy clouds.

On my being bored with Season 7: The mentor-weeks aren’t my favorite part of American idol. And honestly - none of the 5 that are left make me feel anything. I think a few of them are very accomplished and certainly have a lot of talent, but they don’t strike any emotional chord with me at this point. In other words, I don’t have anyone I’m “rooting” for anymore. Carly’s gone, Michael’s gone…and the horse-girl is gone. At least she was fun to make fun of. At the moment, the show is simply boring the pants off of me … not because I hate anyone, or hate the show … I just don’t find any of the contestants exciting. I don’t know if I’ll be writing many more of these entries this season - except perhaps for the last winner-result episode. I will be curious if David A. will actually win, or if it’ll be David C. - who will have the bigger, more fanatic fan-base? Battle of the David’s, indeed.

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