Fier Thy Words

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And then there were 12…

3/12/08

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American Idol (get over it, I watch it and I love it…and now I blog about it) has entered the big show now, down to the final 12.

This is where the competition heats up, one person goes home every week, and I plan on not only recapping my thoughts on the performances from Tuesday night but also predicting the bottom 3 and who will be going home before the results on Wednesday night.

So far, there seems to be a clear divide between the top tier of talent this season and the lower tier, and last night, it was very, very apparent.

Adding to the fact that this was the first time the top 12 performed on stage, for the first time ever, the Lennon-McCartney song book was released, meaning that after 6 years, contestants were finally able to perform The Beatles.

Check out this highlight package if you’re interested…

In honor of the NCAA tournament starting next week, I decided to break down the top 12 the same way ESPN has broken down the teams contending for Tournament invitations.

And so, without further adieu…

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Locks (they’ll be around awhile)

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David Archuleta17– (my pick to win it all) Last night, he sang “We Can Work It Out”, and for the first time since we met him, he looked like a 17 year old a bit out of his league. He forgot lyrics and way off key, however he has been so good early on that his popularity will help him sail through. Talent wise, he is undoubtedly in the top tier of this season.

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Brook White-24- one of the best performances went to Brooke the Nanny, who was brilliant with her rendition of “Let it Be”. Her voice might not be the post powerful in the competition, but she is without question one of the most consistent singers every week. Not only can she sing, but she nailed her song vocally and on the piano last night, so expect to be seeing lots of her as the weeks roll on.

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Carly Smithson-24- maybe the most polished singer among the final dozen, Carly had arguably the most memorable performance of the night, belting out “Come Together” like a true pro. She already sounds like a professional, and last night was no exception. Would not be surprised if she winds up in the final 4 or even final 2.

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David Cook-25- this season’s “authentic rocker” according to the judges, sang “Eleanor Rigby” and nailed it. He put his rocker spin on this Beatles classic, and the risk was worth the reward. The theme this season might be “Davids” vs. Goliath, even though the Davids (Archuleta and Cook) are the powerhouses. Cook reminds me a little of season five star Chris Daughtry, however what makes him different makes him great. Definitely a dark horse in this race, and could make some noise down the stretch with consistent vocals.

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Michael Johns-29- you could make the case that Michael Johns, from down under, will end up on top when all is said and done. He has the talent, hes good looking and hes likable. Last night, he sang “Across the Universe”, and while his performance was definitely not his best (amazingly it might be hard for him to top his performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” during Hollywood week), but he plans on hanging around a while, and could easily be a final four contestant.

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Jason Castro-20- hard to miss with those luscious locks, the dreadlocks aren’t needed to help Jason stand out. His vocals are great, and while he continues to be awkward and sort of shy both in his video packages and on stage when he isn’t singing, he is another one to keep your eye on. Last night he sang “I Fell”, which for him wasn’t his best performance but was more than good enough to stick around another week, with many more to follow. He along with David Cook and Brooke White seem to be the only three making good use out of their instruments, Jason and David with guitars and Brooke on the piano. A nice addition by Idol this year.

Should Be In (good enough to survive another week)

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Chikezie-22- I was among those who felt as though Chikezie didn’t belong in the top 12, however last night he showed up a new man. He sang “She’s a Woman” and while his vocals are not up to par with the top 6 I listed, he did a solid job using the whole stage and being legitimately entertaining for his 3 minutes on stage. He’ll live to sing another week, but I wouldn’t get used to seeing him.

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Syesha Mercado-21-I really thought Syesha was among the best singers in the top 24 when they were all annoucnced a few weeks ago, however whlie shes been decent, she hasn’t lived up to my expectations, and has been out-sung by at least half of her top 12 contemporaries. Last night, she sang “Got To Get You Into My Life” and was OK. Not bad, not great, just good enough to probably keep her around another week. She has to step up next week to give herself a chance against the top talent this season.

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David Hernandez- 24- hey Ryan?…what did you mean when you were referring to the tough week David Hernandez had? Could it have anything to do with the fact he was a male stripper back home in Arizona, and was spotted giving a number of lap dances to other men? Interestingly, the most memorable part of David’s night was when he spoke of losing his job….at the pizza place. Nothing juicy, however his rendition of “Saw Her Standing There” was ironic in the sense that among the lines in the song was “I’ll never dance with another…when I saw her standing there”. Hmmm. He over-sang the song, and was much better than he showed, and should survive results night.

This Weeks Bottom Three (as far as I’m concerned)

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Amanda Overmyer- 23I really cannot stand her voice after weeks and weeks of the same thing, and while she can definitely sing, hearing her put her self-proclaimed Amanda spin on “You Can’t Do That” didn’t work for me as well as it did for the judges. I can only hope America feels the same way about her voice as I do, as I actually muted the television during her performance. Belongs in the bottom 3, but of course with America voting (remember Sanjaya?), who knows.

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Ramiele Malubay-20- another one I am getting somewhat tired of, we get the whole big voice in a small package. Ramiele has the potential with her powerful voice, but didn’t show it off in what the judges seemed to agree was a rather boring performance. My attention was lost midway through her singing of “In My Life”, which if it was up to me would have her among the bottom 3 this week.

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Kristy Lee Cook-24- you know you had a bad week when Paula, who loves every performance she sees, openly admits on national television she didn’t like it. Kristy completely slaughtered the arrangement to “Eight Days a Week”. Despite my boy Archuleta forgetting his lyrics, his poor showing was not bad enough to dethrone Kristy as worst performance of the night. I didn’t think her voice was all that bad, but the arrangement was awful with her attempt to “countrify” this Beatles great.

And so, As Ryan likes to say at the end of every episode, after the nationwide vote of (I would imagine) over 30 million people, the person going home tonight will be…

Kristy Lee Cook

..shes very pretty, and has a great country voice, but her rendition of 8 days a week was dreadful. The arrangement she used made it sound like she was playing in a barn with two old guys on banjo’s, and although her voice didn’t sound half bad, the overall performance should ending her Idol run tonight.

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March 12, 2008 - Posted by | American Idol

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