Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jason Castro improves, but judges think his status is "Fragile"

OK, so I just got home from work and before I start with tonight's show, I have to address something I saw on the news before I left the office. Now, I know no one out there will believe me, but I noticed this a few weeks ago and decided against writing about it, because I felt it was inappropriate - I didn't want to be the Perez Hilton of Newsday, spreading rumors without having them confirmed... But did any of you hear on the news tonight that Carly Smithson may be pregnant? I started to wonder two weeks ago when she wore this really ugly blue satiny dress and it was just really baggy on her... then last week she wore that mumu-like red top and I really started to question it. I spoke to some friends at work about it and I wasn't the only one to notice... but like I said, I didn't want to be spreading rumors, so I didn't mention it here, but now that it's on the news, what do you all think? I wonder how it will affect the tour. And did you notice how they put her in a rather snug dress tonight, perhaps to counter the speculation? Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest because I was so excited when I heard it - I was like, "I knew it!!!" It may still be just a rumor, but at least now I'm just repeating the rumor - I'm not actually creating it.

Another quick aside before we get to the singing... what is going on with Paula Abdul tonight? Fingerless gloves? Really? C'mon...

OK let's get to the singing... First up is Ramiele and tonight, we get to hear about the contestants' birthdays and a little bit about their childhoods. So Ramiele was born September 6, 1987 in Saudi Arabia. She says that when she was a little kid, she got into a lot of trouble. Then they show her parents and her mom says that she used to bite people when she was little, but after she turned three, she stopped and instead picked up a microphone. Ramiele says she used to take the microphone from her family when they did karaoke and would start singing. She ends the interview by saying that she has to step it up this week because she's lucky to be in the top 10 and she needs to prove that she deserves to be there.

She sings "Alone" by Heart and I immediately know it's not a good idea, for a couple of reasons. Reason No. 1... Carly already sang this song this season - I forget when - but you never want to find yourself compared directly to another competitor. Reason No. 2... Carrie Underwood sang this song a few seasons back and just killed it - I mean, it was probably the most memorable performance of that whole season. and Reason No. 3... this song kind of invites bad clothing, being an 80s song and all, and Ramiele has already proven that she cannot dress herself. Tonight is no different - she comes out wearing these high-waisted shorts (yes, I said shorts), an off-the shoulder top tucked into the shorts, and a pair of knee-length boots. It's like three different bad 80s fads thrown together - just awful.

The singing starts off bad, gets better in the chorus and then goes back to bad. The beginning is out of tune, then the first line of the chorus sounds promising, but she quickly begins to scream and doesn't quit until the end of the song, where she goes out of tune all over again. It's tough - she was my favorite girl the first week out - I thought her voice was huge, that she had so much potential, but every week, she sinks a little deeper into a hole I'm not sure she can dig out of anymore. I think she may be in danger this week.

Randy starts off by saying that he heard she was a little under the weather, but that it wasn't the right song choice for her, that it's too big of a song for her. He actually remembers and mentions that Carly did it before and that it was a rock thing, not really Ramiele's thing and that it was a little pitchy all over the place. I'd love to tell you what Paula said but she started like 5 sentences and only ended one, so the basic idea is that she wants her to stay because she thinks Ramiele can sing... Simon says it wasn't as bad as Randy said. He said the first part was OK, that the middle got a bit shrieky but the truth is that after last week, which he thought was atrocious and she survived, he think she'll get through on this performance.

It's time for Jason Castro!!! I'm so hoping he improves on last week because if he doesn't get it together, I may not be able to look at him for much longer... Have I mentioned how adorably delicious he is???

Anyway, he was born March 25, 1987... Happy birthday... in Dallas, Texas. He says when he was younger, he looked the same as now, except smaller and pudgier and cuter. He says he does remember people always telling him how cute his eyes were - he says he would get that every day. I'm sure he still gets that every day - his eyes are beautiful. He says he and his brother got some instruments when he was like 3 or 4. He got an electric guitar that had buttons and his brother got a key-tar. (keyboard with a strap like a guitar) Then they show his parents and his mom says that they were blessed with this annoying shrieking electronic-sounding guitar.

I love how they're showing the parents - it's nice to see who the contestants look like and getting to hear what they were like when they were little. The home videos and baby pictures are really cute, too.

Anyway, Jason sings Sting's "Fragile" and I'm glad to see that he's brought the guitar back out. I feel like he's more confident when he has the guitar with him and this week is no different - he appears more sure of himself, stronger in his vocals. I love that he sings in Spanish - very hot!!! His voice actually sounds a bit like Enrique Iglesias to me, at least on this song. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, but I find it difficult to find fault with Jason, so I think he's great this week, way better than last week. He's still not the best singer in the competition, but he's better a good number of them, I think, and I hope he's safe for another week. I hope you're all voting for him... I'm at work during voting hours, so someone's going to have to cast some votes for me. They just showed him close up and my God, could he be any hotter???

Randy says it's one of his favorite songs and he says it's a good choice for Jason, but he's not really sure Jason did anything different with it vocally. He says he liked the Spanish touch, that it was all right. He says he's still waiting for that jump-out vocal performance, but that it was nice. Paula say he's staying true to who he is and agrees that he didn't do anything to make them go "wow," that he's playing it a little safe. Simon says he thinks he's had two bad weeks and he thinks it's time that he start taking this a little more seriously because he says the performance was the equivalent of someone performing outside of a subway station. He says the way he played the guitar was clumsy, everything about it was too laid back, too much in his own world and he says that he is somebody, as proven when he sang "Hallelujah," who is potentially, even maybe a winner, but he's not going to win if he keeps doing this week after week. Ouch... I'm not sure why he chose this performance to unleash like that. Last week would have seemed a better time when he sang "Michelle" and kind of made it a bit of a joke. Jason does acknowledge that he could spend more time practicing, but that he is taking the competition seriously. I don't know - I hope it's not too late for him to come back and wow us next week.

Syesha Mercado was born in Bridgeport, Conn., on January 2, 1987. Syesha's mom says that when she was like 4 years old, she would throw herself on the floor and scream and holler and kick... Syesha says she was a cry-baby and that's probably where she got her baby cry from and then does her impersonation again. She says she was on a dance team and they used to have to wear sequined outfits and had pom-poms and she got a lot of gold medals, that they used to work very hard. She says she's still a kid, that she has her mental side, her adult, professional side, but most of the time, she's just goofy.

I sure wish she'd be more goofy with her song choices. She has a way of picking the most boring songs ever. This week she sings, "If I Were Your Woman," which was recorded by Stephanie Mills in 1987, the year of Syesha's birth. I have to admit, she sounds great tonight - she's perfectly in tune and it's the first time since Hollywood week where I've felt kind of blown away by the tone of her voice, but I have to be honest... it's still boring to me. It's all about song choice - I have nothing bad to say about her singing this week - it really was flawless, amazing. But the song was so slow and dull, it's like I couldn't wait for it to be over, despite the fact that she sounded so wonderful - does that make any sense? Regardless, I think it's enough to keep her safe another week, and maybe next week she'll do a song with some life in it.

Randy says it's a good moment for Syesha because it's the best he's heard her sing, including when she auditioned. He says it was stellar, unbelievable. Paula says this is going to be what people remember as the moment where Syesha flipped it and became the dark horse in the competition, that she was fantastic. Simon says he doesn't think the end part was as good as Randy thought and that he thinks there is a limit on her vocals and that this performance kind of stretched it.


Anonymous said...

Jason was much better than the judges let on. I was a little hurt for him, the way Simon was so negative, and nobody even said happy birthday to him. Anyway, on DVR replay the song sounded so beautiful -- the Spanish muy caliente, and I hope he gets to stick around a lot longer.
Cannot wait to download "Fragile" on I-Tunes -- all of Jason's songs sound absolutely wonderful on the MP-3.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree regarding Syesha. That was a boring song. Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought so.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Seacrest introduces David Cook by saying..."with Chris Cornell's version of Billie Jean here is David Cook"..

So how did he steal it?