American Idol: Then there were 12 men, 'Sixties' night
By M&C Smallscreen Feb 20, 2008, 19:44 GMT
American Idol Season 7 -Jason Castro on right © Inez Lewis / PR Photos
Last night's show featuring the male talent side of the pool was surprisingly entertaining and full of top drawer performances.
A few clinkers too, but more on that later.
"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest opens Guys Night and hips us to the music we will be in for, an amalgamation of Sixties, ballads, R&B and rock classics.
The panel is the same, an affable Randy Jackson, a pained looking Paula Abdul and good ol' cold water doused in your face, Mr. Simon Cowell.
Contestant David Hernandez sang "In the Midnight Hour" -- not great and not bad.
The judges were effusive, save for fish-eye Cowell who refused to blow smoke up anyone's knickers.
Next up was rust suit wearing (orange perhaps?) Chikezie whose name is as annoying as his overly mugged facial expressions.
He croons "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday."
The judges were nice, and Paula noted his weight-loss. But Simon threw it down: "Here's my problem, Chakeezy . . . I absolutely hated the whole performance and I'll tell you why. The suit is hideous . . . the wink was hideous, the 'woo!' was hideous. It was all old-fashioned, corny, cheesy" and not "current."
Then the flat-ironed coiffed David Cook did a rendition of the Turtles' "Happy Together"- his stage performance was energetic.
The judges all gave him good feedback.
Jason Yeager came up next an put everyone to sleep with a lethargic Andy Williams version of "Moon River."
The judges hem and haw over telling the nice young dad he stunk on ice, but trusty Simon mocks Paula's sappy, "first recital" comments with, "I bought my first puppy to that song," adding more canine insults, "you're like a dependable old dog," adding that a lot of young viewers watched that performance with question marks floating over their heads.
Awesome rocker dude Robbie Carrico came out and sang the first 45 record I ever had, Three Dog Night's "One" with an edge to it.
Randy and Paula gave him props, but Simon thinks Carrico is a herring and he's not convinced he is a rocker but perhaps a pop singer in disguise. Note: This guy was a pro and toured in a band with Britney Spears years back, so much for amateur talent getting a real break.
Next was prodigy teen David Archuleta who sang "Shop Around."
The kid has it, all of "it".
Randy is over the moon, says the performance was "brilliant." Paula calls it a brave, bold choice of songs and says she forgets he's only 17 when he is onstage. "When you've got it, you've got it," Simon says, adding that it was, "by a comfortable mile," the best performance of the night so far.
Archuleta's incredulous, "aw shucks all this praise for ME" act may wear me out through the season. Regardless, the kid has the goods.
This season's Dramz queen and Sanjaya replacement is Danny Noriega; he must go away. Please make him go away. He does Elvis' standard, "Jailhouse Rock."
Talk amongst yourselves now.
Simon was the only one with the stones to call it right: Saying his performance "verged on the grotesque."
Vanilla ice-cream cone Luke Menard did a limp, lifeless version of Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'."
Snoresville and next.
Another annoying contestant is Colton Berry, who claims he resembles Ellen DeGeneres, "from the left, the right and the front" cementing a sure-fire invite from Ellen's bookers, as we can only imagine the scripted hilarity that will ensue as Ellen has split cameras comparing their mugs. Then, an impromptu free-style dance will break out. Aren't you already bored?
Berry sings another Elvis song, "Suspicious Minds."
Judges are Switzerland on this one.
Gender bender delicate contestant Garrett Haley sings "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" and while he was singing, certain camera shots had me musing what he would look like if I applied some eyeshadow, contour blush and lipstick to his ferally feminine classic features. He'd be gorgeous!
The best Simon could come up with was to urge him to go out and play, perhaps catch some sun.
The interesting man award goes to dreadlocked Jason Castro, who plays guitar and sings "What a Day for a Daydream" and has me wondering: Is he Mexican? Is he Black-White? Is he Indian-Mexican-Black-White? I want to know his diabolically delicious genetic mixture-he is a looker for sure.
The judges love him too.
The king of the night was an Aussie native who has been here for a decade, sex machine Michael Johns growls out The Doors "Light My Fire."
He was great, had charisma, and made the song his. He is a very good-looking guy which will make the inevitable show down with the other scrummy contestant Jason Castro even tougher.
The judges also had nothing but love for him.
See you after the women are up.