Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Neil Diamond Night AI

Neil Diamond! One of the most recognizable voices in the industry --honestly, how many of you can tell it's him immediately just from the sound of his voice? And it's a good voice, that. He was great with the contestants and I loved his advice to them all. I was kind of pleased to see that Neil Diamond Night wasn't too shabby. He's a fabulous song writer and I think the contestants chose good songs. Here's my take:

Paula was what? Drunk? Seriously, how could she assume Jason sang twice? She was so confused and it was so embarrassing. And awkward. Worse? She called Syesha "Brooke" after Syesha's second song. We rewound the show twice just to make sure...poor Paula. She really is a ditz!

Jason Castro:
First song -- Not bad at the chorus. I felt the vibe. But the verses were awful. He looked good, though. The only thing I kept thinking is this "Jason, Jason, Jason. Where are you, man?"
Second song -- Closer, but no dice. He had the vulnerability back, but the notes weren't great --and his ending? Not good. He shouldn't have sung it. But this was still better than the first song.

David Cook:
First song --Wasn't as great as I thought it was going to be...he was kind of boring, actually.
Second song --Awesome. I loved this one! I told Brandon I would buy that single, but Brandon didn't think it was much better than the first song. I liked it, though and loved his falsetto transition into the soft "main theme" again (did that make sense?). I even found myself thinking he was pretty rock-starish/hot stuff, too. Spot on, David!

Brooke White:
First song --Way too low of a key. I understand she did that so she could go crazy at the end and sing higher, but...I was disappointed. I wanted her to sing the crazy stuff more --I wish she would have sung the chorus 3 times and just done 1 quick verse. But I know that doesn't really work in a song. I was proud of her confidence, though! She seemed happier. Much happier. And that's the Brooke I love!
Second song --I don't care what Simon said, it was fabulous!! It was the Carly-Simon-Carol-King Brooke that was back and I was so impressed. That song was perfect for her and she sang it so well. Brooke is back! Hooray!

David Archuleta:
First song -- Pretty darned good, I'd say. It wasn't my favorite rendition of that song, but he still did a good job. I sang along with him (or was it just the back-up singer and the brass I was singing with), but that mostly had to do with the song itself.
Second song -- He cracked on a couple of notes, but he did great! In fact, he's consistently great, which solidifies my thoughts that he's gonna win the whole enchilada. I'll say it again: David is young, good-looking, boyish/innocent, and reaches every demographic. He's gonna win, people.

Syesha Mercado:
(First of all, how is it that I could have been spelling her name wrong for 12 weeks?! And nobody told me!? I feel dumb now.)
First song -- Incredible. I loved it! She did such a good job and I had two thoughts: One --David A. has now got himself some real competition! and Two --She is the only one that has consistently improved with each passing week. She just keeps getting better and better; something that Kristy Lee Cook actually did, too. The other contestants have been consistently good, but I wouldn't say they've improved like Syesha has...
Second Song --Very "Broadway" (of course!), but that her strength now, and she knows it. I thought the song was very fun and she did a great job on it, but it wasn't as memorable or strong as her first song.

Last thoughts:
It was a weird format, not judging the first song and then going right into the second songs --like when Brooke ran from her "interview" with Ryan over to the piano to sing. It was kind of disconcerting, but at the same time, I liked that fresh/raw/realistic part to it. I think the producers were wise in choosing this type of format because it makes the TV audience feel like they are at the show and not just watching it from home, you know? And aside from Paula's total lack of brains, I liked how the judges popped off their thoughts after the first songs. Simon was hilarious! He didn't have one good thing to say after that first round and I just laughed so hard. Didn't necessarily agree with him, but I still thought it was funny.

Who should go home?
Jason. Sorry, buddy! But it's time.

Who will go home?
David A., because I am positive he will win. And the universe is always against me.

What did you think?


Jamie J said...

Ahhh, Blogger ate my comment! Anyway in a nutshell: I agree with you. Paula was drunk. That woman needs help. AI was good. LOL

bythelbs said...

I actually thought Jason did better on his first song, than the second. It was not his night.

Brooke did great on her second song--the first song pained me a bit.

David C.'s second song was great, first OK.

I totally did not like what David A. did with Sweet Caroline, but America was pretty good. I love his voice, but with his song choices and the band backup I keep getting that cheesy theme park feel Simon mentioned that one time. I just can't imagine wanting to buy a CD of anything he's sung lately. I'm starting to feel like he peaked with Imagine.

I didn't like what Syesha did with Hello Again either--she should have just kept it simple, I thought. She did great on the second song, but I think it's just proving that she really belongs on a theater stage. She'd be awesome on Broadway.

Jill said...

I'm not an AI expert, but here's my two cents. I loved Brooke's second song. It was fantastic. I'm really not a fan of Jason, I don't know if it's the nappy hair or the quiet singing voice or what. I'm not sure who pointed out he does well on the songs he brought with him, but can't do much more than that, and I agree. I thought he was to quiet, almost timid, last night. Neil Diamond is such a strong voice, and I don't think that Jason had that quality at all.

Amber- aka kanga5 said...

I'm having fun hashing over AI with you! Ok- I would not have been supprised to hear Jason say he'd never heard a Neil Diamond song. I agree with Jill, he just doesn't seem to do well with new stuff. He just doesn't seem to care anymore.
David C.- I think he should win. I think he's got the most talent and musical ability. Maybe not singing but I like what he has done.
Brooke- I couldn't agree with you more. Her songs seem to be SO LOW!! I understand alto but it just makes for such a rough begining. I did not like her first song. The second one was much better, and I agree that she seemed more comfortable tonight.
David A.- I still like him. I liked what he did last night.
Syesha- I agree that she is improving! I loved Hello. She's deffinately trying.

I'd like to see Jason go, then Brooke or Syesha. There ya go- sorry about the post in a comment. :)

Cheryl said...

You can always do a post in my comments. As long as it's relevant. And what you wrote, my dear, was very relevant. :)

Susan M said...

Neil Diamond night wasn't the trainwreck I was hoping for, but it definitely wasn't a stellar night, either.

David Cook, to me, represents everything that is wrong with rock'n'roll radio right now (and for the last 10-15 years).

I think Jason's been trying to throw the competition all along. I still like him though. I like that he doesn't seem to care and just does his thing. (I also happen to like his thing.)

I want to see a performance that will knock my socks off. Hasn't happened since Brooke's "Let it Be" and David A.'s "Imagine."

Julie said...

Well, I can't agree on your assessment of Jason. I thought his second song was much weaker than his first. And I really really loved his first song. I don't think he's gonna win this thing, but I do think he'll have a great career post-Idol. I mean, can you imagine Jack Johnson winning American Idol? I didn't think so. This may be his week to go. I won't be surprised, but I will be sad.
I agree on Cook. His second song was totally a top 10 single. Loved it. But not his 1st. That was boring to me.
Syesha, I wish she'd hit this stride sooner. She was just fantastic last night.
Brooke, I agree.
Archuletta - I agree with Jamie. He was very high school musical (not the movie, although sort of) to me last night. I still think he'll win, of course, but this was not an awesome night for him. It was the fact that he chose 2 songs that get used in theme park/high school musicals a LOT. David C. was super smart in the song choice arena.
Oh, and I think Paula needs help.

Julie said...

I think my comment here is longer than my AI post on my blog! Ha! I wasn't in the mood to analyze idol this week till I read yours and Jamie's reviews! Good Job!

Lizzie said...

I agree with Susan, it's been a while since we've heard anything that's been a big wow. For me, at least (oh, and susan!).

Jason really needs them to do a Jack Johnson night, cuz he just can't do stuff that's outside of his comfort zone.

I love me some "Carol King" Brooke, and I finally got some more! But her outfit... gag! Whichever stylist did her wardrobe should resgn immediately. And go back to color-coordinating school, at the very least.

Can anyone listent to "Sweet Caroline" without belting out "Bum Bum BUM!" in the chorus? Didn't think so...

I remember last year feeling bad for Paula with all the drunk rumors going around because of her odd behavior, but after so many strange antics, and again last night... I don't know, if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, I think I need start breaking up pieces of stale bread...

Kellyry said...

I felt so embarrassed for Paula last night, her behavior was astonishing. I thought it was interesting and rather heartwarming that Simon seemed to be trying to help her out when he asked her a question, as if to get her back on track rather than just express frustration at her ramblings.

So now that my feelings on Paul have taken up several lines, I'll get to the actual contestants (in random order:

Jason-Love him usually but last night he lacked any passion. It seemed he was up there because he had to be, not from true motivation.

David C--The first song was ok, the second song much better and more entertaining. Definitely a rock-star in the making, if not already made.

David A--Charming, likeable, decent performances both times.

Brooke--I actually winced at her first performance, finding it cheesy and awkward. Loved her second performance though! She always gets me when she's vulnerable at the piano.

Syesha--She sings well, yes, but I'm never a fan of her style of singing or song choice. Except for the Dolly/Whitney song she did a few weeks ago, though I wished that she'd stuck with Dolly's more soulful version.

Julie said...

I want to be the super commentor of the day!!!
I like your new background color much better than the yellow. It makes my eyes happy.

Never A True Aggie said...

I have mixed feelings. AI is getting to me. It was pretty boring last night I think, other than David C. I wish they would do something new with the arrangements. I love Neil. I don't want to hear people doing Neil. I liked Brooke's paired down version the best. She needs to stick with that. David A. I like him. He has a golden voice, but super cheesy, you know. I just fear he will go the way of Clay Akin and not really have a very sustainable fan base. I need some ingenuity here people! I think Brooke or Jason is on the chopping block.

Never A True Aggie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cheryl said...

katie (nata), I deleted your second comment because it was a copy. I hope that's okay!

I have always been a Simon fan, and last night was why. I said this over at Julie's blog, but I'll repeat it here: Simon may be blunt, but he really is a good guy! He has a very kind heart, no doubt about it.

I've been singin' "Sweet Caroline" all morning and the "Bum, bum, bum" part is the loudest! :)

I love this people! We all have such differing (sort of) opinions at this stage in AI, and that's they way it should be! When there are 20 bad people, it's easy to agree who stands out. But when there's 5 left? We gotta nit-pick, you know? I'm glad to see that we don't all think the same, although my assessment is the best, of course. :)

Ann said...

I think Jason needs to go. It's time. I keep waiting for him to really use his voice and he keeps squeaking/whispering the songs. I can't stand it anymore.

Brooke obviously did much better on her second song.

David A. - didn't like either of his renditions. Would've been better for me if he'd kept them plain and simple instead of feeling like he had to take each note and turn it into 50 notes.

David C. - I think he deserves to win the competition. His voice isn't my favorite, but he's by far the most talented. I hate to even say that "out loud" because I love Brooke and David A.,too. David C. just knows how to pick songs and how to turn them into something people want to hear without copying the original artist....hard to do.

Syesha. She's got a great voice, but I don't love her. I agree that she would do well on Broadway, though.

Stephen said...

I've always enjoyed Neil Diamond.

Kelly A. said...

Not an AI watcher, but I always love reading your comments and I really love me some Neil Diamond.

Leslie said... primary meetings always fall on tuesday nights...but the good news is...I can get all the good stuff here and I don't even have to watch crazy Paula!

P.S. I love the photo up top. Writer, photographer, weight loss there anything you can't do?

Cheryl said...

"turn it into 50 notes" --Ha! I actually agree with this on some levels. :)

Me, too.

kelly a.-
I'm glad you like my take on a show you don't watch. No, seriously! I meant that sincerely. :)

I can't garden (everything I touch usually dies) and I can't sew. Oh, how I can. not. sew. I promise, I'm not all that!

Julie said...

Leslie -- Cheryl's all that plus a bag of Baked Tostitos with low-sodium salsa!

bythelbs said...

I was going to say plus a bag of Cheetos (because they're my favorite) but I think Julie's is more fitting. :)

Cheryl said...

Aww, you guys! Stop! (well, you don't have to stop if you don't want to...) :)