Leading off the night and topping my list was David Cook. I was very interested to see what he could would do with “Hungry Like the Wolf.” But I was a little let down. I was expecting more originality. While Cook’s version was a bit edgier that Duran Duran’s, it didn’t stand out as being unique. With the catalogue of music available, I have to admit that Duran Duran wouldn’t have been my first choice for Cook.
The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” Cook’s second song, was more like what I’d come to expect from him. What else can I say? When Cook is in his element he can rock any song.
And proving she’s still in the contest is Syesha Mercado. She is at her best when she adds some personality to her performances. So I was really happy that she picked a song like “Proud Mary” where she could let loose. Even if Syesha’s vocals aren’t top notch, she compels you to enjoy her performance when she looks likes she’s having a good time like she did with this song.
If she highlighted her performance skills with the first song, she showcased her voice with Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” and reminded us of her flair for ballads. And when she doesn’t sing them every week, I can enjoy a good one from her. But if I’m honest, I liked the first performance better.
David Archuleta was deemed the winner of the night by the judges, but I was not so impressed. I love the song “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. But Archuleta took a simple song and ruined it with all of his typical Archuletaisms – the outreached hand, the unnecessary runs and the campy mic moves. Seriously, the vocals weren’t that bad, but the performance was marred with his signature moves that are not only trite, but boring and a sign of his immaturity on stage.
That said, I have to admit that Archuleta’s version of “Love Me Tender” wasn’t that bad. Of course, he’ll never compare to Elvis, but it was one of his better performances. My complaint is that every Archuleta performance looks and sounds alike – just insert different lyrics.
And finally, I have so lost patience with Jason Castro. Not only did he prove that he was absolutely no originality with a really poor imitation of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.” But he also performed rock and roll blasphemy during his interview. When he talked about choosing a song from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame repertoire, he said “There’s a few songs on the list that I knew.” A few songs? Seriously? This guy has no business being in the Top 4.
And his second song was further proof. Oh. My. God! Did Jason really forget the lyrics to “Mr. Tambourine Man?” And it was one of the few songs he knew. What else can Jason do to get himself sent home?
Obviously my pick to go home is Jason. And apparently, it’s Jason’s wish too. I think Archuleta should join Jason in the bottom two. But given the unconditional praise rained on him by judges, I’m guessing that Syesha will keep Jason company.
Who do you think had the best night? Is there anyone (actually listening to his performances, not just looking at his face) out there that doesn’t think Jason should get sent home?