I won't even go into detail about the debacle that was last night's show. From Paula's goof to the uninspired performances, last night's show was a disappointment, and I'm not blaming Neil Diamond. He and his songs rock. The Idols should have been able to do more with those songs, but either they were daunted by having to do two songs or their energies are flagging. Regardless, they need to do better.
I will rank the Idols in order of overall performance.
1. Syesha Mercado - She's #1 but I really thought she was going to be better than she was. Like the other Idols, she sounded much better performing in front of Neil Diamond than the actual show. Still, she's stepping it up. I think Simon's warning about her being in trouble is to encourage her fans to vote. I think he really wants her to stay longer.
2. David Cook - Yes, he's consistent but I don't get the praise of originality. There's nothing original about his performances. They're all Nickelback-ed renditions. Original for "Idol" maybe but in the bigger scheme of things it's the same treacle that you hear on the radio. I actually disliked the arrangements to the songs last night.
3. David Archuleta - I liked the arrangements of the songs but I didn't like the execution. There should have been more teenage exuberance on "Sweet Caroline." That was a song he should have hit out of the park. I also heard his voice squeak a couple of times, but I still believe in this kid. He needs polishing and a few more years of living before he can become an interesting singer.
4. Jason Cook - I liked his low register on "Forever in Blue Jeans" but then he shifted to his moaning voice, which I now realize turns me off. It's the sound of someone trying too hard to seduce the panties off a girl. He probably should have taken lessons from Michael Johns about how to really do it, but unfortunately Johns left too soon. "September Morn" was just a snoozer.
5. Brooke White - She's back to her annoying habit of cutting off the judges before they can criticize her. She points out the bum note at the end of "I Am I Said." "I'm A Believer" was fake joy. No amount of smiling while performing can hide the insecurity that permeates through her performance. At least it wasn't as creepy as when she smiled her way through "You Must Love Me" last week.