Thursday, March 27, 2008

Idol's Top 10: Elimination

Chikezie just knew his time was up. You could see it in his face the moment he stepped on stage to have one of those painful, drawn out center stage conversations with Seacrest. His face fell even further when Syesha Mercado joined him, and by the time Jason Castro (somewhat surprisingly) rounded out the bottom three, all hope was gone.

I'll miss you, Chikezie. No one's name is as fun to say.

Jason’s presence in the bottom three was akin to a slap on the wrist for his uninspired, lazy take on “Fragile.” Syesha, despite continuing to come off as uninteresting and slightly false, was coming off one of her strongest performances. With those two as company, there was just no saving Chikezie…and he knew it.

With the elimination of Chikezie (at least two weeks too early in my opinion), season seven lost one of its richest, most beautiful voices. After David Cook, Chikezie was easily my favorite Idol. I loved his infectious energy, the way he worked a stage, his brilliant smile and…the kid can sing. I’m really disappointed that I won’t get to see him take the Idol stage anymore, because you never knew what to expect.

Case in point:

Top 16 Week = the softer, beautiful ballad side of Chikezie

Top 12 Week = the stage-stompin’, rockin’ side of Chikezie

He was arguably the most versatile performer left in the Top 10. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to console myself with the knowledge that he’ll be on the tour this summer and I’ll get to see him again.

So, who dodged a bullet (because if I had my way, that’s not what the bottom three would’ve looked like)?

How on earth Ramiele Malubay didn’t go home last night is absolutely beyond me. I can’t remember a single performance of hers that was more than “just pretty good.” The judges have called her “karaoke” more times than I can count. Her song choices are boring and overdone, and she’s shown me absolutely nothing that proves she belongs on that big stage. I know she was sick this week and she’s a good singer, but if you haven’t wowed us at least once by now…

Kristy Lee Cook is on borrowed time. She knows it, we know it. As such, she responded with the shrewdest song choice I’ve seen all year. Who’s going to vote out someone singing “God Bless the USA”? I rolled my eyes skyward when I found out what she was performing and was instantly annoyed that I’d have to listen to her sing another week…but it was a freakin’ brilliant move on her part. And, as much as I hate to admit it, it didn’t suck. Definitely her strongest performance on the big stage. Idol is turning into Dollywood next week, and Kristy Lee’s country twang would suggest that she’ll coast through next week as well. Will no one put me out of my misery? Please? I will give you a cookie.

I was only wowed by two people last night: Michael Johns and my rocker boy David Cook (who is now the desktop background on my work computer, by the way).

Welcome to the big stage, Michael! You finally made it. After starting on a suicide slide way back in the semis (and, let’s face it, pretty much coasting through on your dreaminess) you busted out a “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions” medley that brought your plummet to a screeching halt. The song choice was perfect, the performance was busting with charisma (I don’t find him particularly attractive and I have to admit, he made me a little weak in the knees) and your vocals were strong and clear with just a hint of roughness around the edges. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME. If you can keep this momentum going into next week, you might climb back in to my Top 5.

When Simon Cowell calls your performance “amazing,” I don’t honestly know what else there is to say…but I’ll do my best.

I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it: David Cook is the smartest Idol contestant this year by far. He knows what he’s capable of and he obviously has musical intelligence in spades. As a result, his arrangements - borrowed or not, he knows where to find them and how to make them work - are fantastic, often surprising, and yet still work comfortably with his slightly raw, emo-rock voice. His song choices, though not always what you’d expect (I was worried when I found out he’d be doing “Billie Jean”) are spot on and his voice, though it sometimes takes him a line or two to really get going, is strong and absolutely gorgeous.

Woo gratuitous shot of the pretty!

He’s a bit of a smug bastard, but not so much that it makes him unappealing. Indeed, if you want to be a rock star I think you have to be a bit cocky…it’s part of the persona. Overall, I think he’s the strongest “complete package” in the Idol crop this year. With this performance of “Billie Jean,” (on top of “Hello” in the semis) and his two Beatles Week songs, he’s made himself the singer to beat.


danielletbd said...

If when you called into IDOL to vote, you were doing so for the person to go home, I most certainly would have called in for Kristy Lee Cook this week. "God Bless The USA" makes me hate her MORE. But sadly, that is not how the show works, and I didn't think I had the energy to sit on the phone all night and call in for everyone else a couple thousand times just to drive my point home that anyone but her should stay/win.

DC said...

And.... I'm PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!!! Where at least I know I'm freeeeeeeee....

Such a smart song choice by KLC, bc who could ever boo that??

Cook is smug, but who cares at this point :)