A diva known for her power ballads mentored the Top 7 on American Idol tonight. What can we expect from Mariah Carey’s efforts – second-rate versions of her hits or just karaoke hell?
At the thought of watching tonight’s episode of the competition, a quote from my two-year-old son comes to mind – “I’m scared.” Of course, his purpose is to avoid bedtime. Mine is to avoid a boring night of mediocre ballads.
And for the most part, my fears were confirmed with a night of performances that will be – thankfully – quickly forgotten.
Only one performance stood out. Let’s just say that I can’t wait for David Cook to have an album out so I can buy it. The man just rocked Mariah Carey with a version of “Always Be My Baby” that stood out tonight as the only truly original performance. Cook definitely has the makings of a star.
It became clear early on that the women were at a disadvantage tonight. The men were forced to personalize songs normally sung and/or penned by a female; whereas, the ladies were doomed to a direct comparison to the legend that is Mariah. So I’ll continue with my review by gender.
Also adding a bit of originality to his performance was Jason Castro who put a little reggae twist to “I Want to Cry.” The version had a cool, funky little feel to it, but it wasn’t anything that left me wanting more. The question is whether it was enough to keep Jason alive for another week.
David Archuleta’s rendition of “When You Believe” was very pretty, but as with most of his performances I’m just not taken with it. But since Archuleta is a favorite, I doubt even the dreaded first up spot tonight will diminish his standings with the powers that be. As for me, I’m no bigger a fan of Archuleta after this performance.
Topping my list for the ladies is Kristy Lee Cook, not because she blew me away, but because she was really the only female to personalize her performance. I didn’t expect Kristy Lee to do well on Mariah Carey night, but she’s proving to be a pretty smart girl. She put a nice country twist to “Forever” and it worked pretty well for her.
I’ve come to the conclusion that instruments are a crutch for Brooke White. Whether it’s to combat stage fright or something else, I’m not sure. But what I can’t decide is if it’s helping her or not. Brookie is another one who I didn’t expect to stand out with these power ballads. However, I think she did the best she could with “Hero.”
Parts of Carly Smithson’s “Without You” stood out because I think we got to see a little bit of her personality – or maybe her potential – in them. But these glimpses were few and far in between. Overall, the performance was average. It would have been fine if we were listening to Carly at the local pub, but it lacked star quality.
I like Syesha Mercado when she does songs that let us see something besides the power of her voice. For that reason, I liked the beginning of “Vanishing” the best. Then she went into her runs and the big notes which are technically well done, but aren’t impressive anymore because she does them every week.
Except for David C., I wasn’t overly impressed with anyone tonight (not that I actually expected to be with this theme). I would be okay with anyone but David C. in the bottom three based on tonight’s performances.
If I had to choose, my picks would be Archuleta (I know, I dreaming), Syesha and Carly. I really want Archuleta to go home, but realistically I think it’ll be Syesha.
What about you? Who should go home on Wednesday?