'American Idol' Recap: What to like (or not) about the guys
By M&C Smallscreen Feb 27, 2008, 21:52 GMT
American Idol Season 7 Top 24 Semi-Finalist Party Hosted by Garnier Fructis - Arrivals - The Day After Club - Los Angeles, CA, USA © Inez Lewis / PR Photos
"American Idol's" ten men left from last weeks' herd-winnowing crooned, serenaded and belted out some classic '70s songs while slick B-roll revealed the "One Thing America Might Not Know About Me" to either endear us, or steer us clear of the hopeful Idol.
First up was Aussie Michael Johns who digs tennis and can maintain a decent volley exchange.
Michael performs a Fleetwood Mac hit, "Go Your Own Way."
Randy Jackson makes his pained face and dubs it a nice performance, Paula likes him and calls it "charismatic" but Simon takes the piss out of everyone and says it was his weakest performance yet.
Dreadlocked man (he reminds me of Bob Marley, Minnie Driver and Lisa Bonet) Jason Castro's big reveal was he is absolutely awkward on film when he has to be himself. I'm not good at talking," he says. Ah, yeah.
Jason and his guitar sang, "I Just Want to Be Your Everything."
I wasn't impressed. Randy was lukewarm and said, "but the vocals weren't that great, dude." Paula in her pained face says he needs to lose the guitar. Simon agrees with both and tells Jason chose a "very average schmaltzy song."
Vanilla cone Luke Menard is in a professional singing a cappella group called Chapter Six that goes all over the world.
Luke sings "Killer Queen," which was technically right on but lacked in a huge way-he ain't no Freddie Mercury for sure.
Randy and Paula like it, but Simon tells Luke it was mistake. "You are always going to be judged with the original, and the trouble is that the singer of that song had charisma and personality and you don't."
Next was rocker/popster Robbie Carrico who shares he drag races green beaters with a missing headlight.
Randy and Paula hem and haw over his identity crisis. "I don't know if the rock thing is really your thing," Randy says. Paula tries to soften the blow: "How does anybody know who you are but you?" Simon actually liked the vocals this time. "Rock is like an attitude, not something you would have to prove," Randy finishes.
This year's Sanjaya and Jessica Alba clone Danny Noriega was a crappy talentless punk rocker.
Noreiga sings a Carpenters' song.
Randy points out problems with his vibrato, I tried not to snicker. Paula tells Danny to "just let it go." Simon said this week's song was better than last week and says the camera "loves him."
Surprise out of nowhere, David Hernandez was a bendy boy and can do a back flip and a vault jump.
Hernandez was electric singing, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone."
Randy loved it, "hot, very nice, dude." Paula loved it, and his pure voice "pierces right through the very heart" while every note was "in the right pocket," and Simon calls it the best vocal of the night so far and says what he likes about David is that "when you are given some criticism, rather than sulking, you treat it as a challenge. You are not being childish about it." Man did Hernandez turn it around with that performance.
Dad Jason Yeager taught himself how to play the guitar, the piano and the drums, though he says, "I'm not an accomplished musician."
Jason sings the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running."
No one had the love for him. Jason says he was just trying to have fun and not act like the "old dependable dog" Simon called him last week.
Orange suit man Chikezie Eze thinks the most surprising thing about himself is that his name is Nigerian.
Chikezie sings "I Believe" and saves his neck with a good performance.
"Chikezie is back!" Randy roars. Paula lovey-loves it and Simon says it was "a million times better" than last week.
David Cook confabulates his fecund mastery of the English language and vocabulary. he's a "huge word nerd" because he presumes to articulate "really big words" -- words like "juxtapose" and "vindicated" and "homage."
David belts out my favorite rock ditty by Free, "All Right Now."
"To me you're the real rocker from the boys this year," Randy says. Paula loves him Simon advises him to lose the whole word-nerd thing, and that that piece of B-Roll did nothing for him, he is but another charisma victim.
Simon's fave candidate the aw shucks ME? kid David Archuleta tells us he met the first season's "Idol" finalists when he watched the season finale and "ran into them" at their hotel and sang for them. He has video of his performance, in front of Kelly Clarkson! "It was so scary and exciting and they were so positive . . . it helped me raise my self-esteem," he says.
David sings John Lennon's "Imagine."
Paula tells David, "I want to squish you, squeeze your head, etc.." Randy calls it one of the best vocals he's ever heard, Simon says, "Right now, you're the one to beat and there are 19 very miserable contestants sitting here -- trust me -- after that,"
See you after the women sing.