Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"We Can Work It Out," but David Archuleta doesn't

Michael Johns is originally from Australia, but he's been living in America for 10 years now and he lived in Georgia for about 6 years and he's been in Los Angeles for 4 years. He says when you're a musician, you have to find a way to make ends meet, so he's done everything from hard labor to tennis coaching on the side. Other than that, he's done everything he can to keep music in his life.

He sings "Across the Universe" and I'm not sure what to say about it, to be honest. I think Michael Johns is great - I love his voice, and he's really entertaining to watch. But his performance tonight was neither terrible nor spectacular. I can't think of anything to criticize or poke fun at, but at the same time, I can't think of anything to gush about either. And I suppose if he were anyone else, that would be OK, but he's Michael Johns, who has a certain sexiness about him, who has impressed us all in the past, whom we keep waiting to be impressed by again. But it's been a few weeks since he's knocked me over and I'm beginning to wonder if he's got anything left in there. I'm going to hope that next week he comes out and just blows us away - I mean, isn't that what we're all waiting for? He's not in any danger this week, I don't think, but he will be soon if he doesn't do something different next time around.

Randy tells him it wasn't his best performance, that he was waiting for something big to happen. he says he could have taken a little liberty and changed a couple of notes. he was OK for him, a little sleepy, but it was all right. Paula disagrees and says it takes an inner strength and an inner confidence to be able to stand center stage and do nothing but sing. Simon agrees with Randy and says he should have done... and then stops to ask what the Irish girl's name is. Seriously? The show's been on now for like 2 months now and he honestly can't remember the name of a contestant he praises each week? Ridiculous. Anyway, he says Carly did something brilliant with her song and that's what he should have done. He says it was a little bit monotonous, that it was solid, it was good, but now is the point where he has to let himself go because he's a big fan of his but he's frustrated because he still hasn't heard what he's capable of doing.

Kristy Lee Cook is from Selma, Ore., a really small town with maybe 500 people. She says if you blink your eyes, you're already through the town. She says the "Idol" experience is totally opposite of what she's used to. She says making the top 12 in her town is like a news flash.

She's singing "Eight Days a Week," and she's changing it up to make it a country song. Oh.... my.... God. It sounds like a polka - I heard like maybe one line and had to pause it... I'm not sure I can go on - I feel humiliated for her. And to be honest, I'm kind of annoyed because she has butchered a classic. I feel like it's OK to change a song to suit your voice or your style, but I think you always have to maintain a certain respect for the original song. I think she completely disrespected this song - turned it into a joke. I mean, maybe country fans out there will love it, I don't know. But I just think it's terrible. They just showed her up close and it looks like she's looking at the judges and she looks worried. I wonder if they hate it and she knows it.

To be fair, her voice sounds great - she's totally suited to this kind of music, but it's just unfortunate because this may be her best performance so far this season (I think it is, anyway) and it's totally overshadowed by this horrible arrangement.

Randy says he actually liked the arrangement and the idea of the song, but he says vocally, she kept trying to force some runs and it would have been cool if she had left it as a country jig. He says he's kind of torn - that half of him likes it, the other half didn't. Paula says she didn't enjoy it, that she shouldn't take what they say too much to heart, that she should be to infuse her own thing - she says she didn't get it. Simon says it was horrendous, that she sounded like Dolly Parton on helium. He says it was a very brave but probably foolish thing to do because that song just doesn't work in that style - that it was like being at some ghastly country fair or something.

David Archuleta is from Murray, Utah, which is right outside of Salt Lake City and he's a junior at Murray High. He says he's the second oldest - he has one brother and three sisters. His mom is from Honduras and his father grew up in Utah. He says his mom likes listening to salsa and merengue and his dad is a jazz musician, so he likes jazz. He says he didn't like jazz when he was little and he didn't like the older music, like from the 60s and stuff, so when he found out this week's theme, he was a little nervous because he wasn't familiar with the songs.

He chooses "We Can Work It Out" because he recognized it as a Stevie Wonder song and my guess is he's chosen to sing that arrangement because what he's singing is certainly not the version the Beatles sung.

Whoa... did he just forget the words? Well, look how the mighty have fallen. I don't mean for that to come out mean because I actually really like David Archuleta, but I think he needed something like this to happen. I think he needed to completely bomb, which is what he's doing right now - it only gets worse after the forgotten lyrics. He needs to see that it's OK to screw up, it's OK to not be perfect. He needs to fall off the horse, so he can get back on it next week.

Having said that, I feel so bad for him - this is by far his worst performance, and honestly, one of the worst tonight - the arrangement is weird...

Holy cow... he just did it again - he forgot the words again... he's just falling apart.

Anyway, the arrangement is weird, he looks uncomfortable and nervous and his voice is just nothing at like what we've heard it to be in the past. Something like this to a 17-year-old can be devastating. I hope he can come back strong next week.

Unbelievable... three times... it's not as noticeable this time, but he definitely slurs a couple of words that he's clearly forgotten. What a shame... but tomorrow is another day and even though tonight is a complete disaster, I am sure his fans will vote like crazy to keep him safe. He's not going anywhere any time soon.

Randy tell him he's a fan of his, but that this week, it was not on point, this kind of vibe is not his vibe, that it felt very forced and that it really didn't work. Paula says it wasn't his best week, but he's a front runner. She tells him to never let it show on his face that he forgot the lyrics, but it's OK, that they all love him. Simon says there are 12 people in the competition trying to win, so he's going to treat everyone fairly. He then tells Davis that it was a mess - he stumbled over the lyrics, that he shouldn't have done the Stevie Wonder version, that it was all over the place and at this point in the competition, he expects incredible performances and this wasn't, that it was his weakest performance so far.

Boy, this week is tough to pick just one person to go home. Last week, I only got 2 out 4, bringing my total to 7 out 12. Clearly, my guessing is getting worse, so let's go through this for a minute. Syesha Mercado was not great and she hasn't been great since maybe the first week, so she's on my list. Ramiele Malubay was terrible today, very cheesy and very dull. David Hernandez was pretty bad, too. Kristy Lee Cook sounded great, but her arrangement was so bad, it completely overshadowed anything good she may have done. David may have been bad tonight, but he was wonderful last week, so I think he's got another week left in him... Syesha hasn't impressed me since the first week, but she also hasn't disgusted me either, so I think she may be OK, too. Ramiele has been disappointing, but since we've seen what she can do, I think America will give her another chance - plus I think Randy saying she may not make it to next week will get her fans calling in like crazy to save her. So, even though I think Kristy Lee Cook actually improved this week, the arrangement was just awful - plus she was in the bottom two last week, so my vote is for Kristy Lee Cook - I think she goes home tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I am a big country music fan, but I am also a huge fan of The Beatles. Kristy Lee's rendition of "8 Days a Week" was absolutely awful. Few country fans will like it. She must go home.

Whomever is giving Kristy professional advice out thre in LA must be asleep at the wheel. Here is an absolutely gorgeous girl with a potentially fabulous country music career ahead of her, and it has fallen completely apart.

I agree with your choice.

Anonymous said...

I want to give you a big shout out, Eileen. I absolutely love your blog. Thank you so much for giving us your thoughts and impressions.

Question: why does it take so long for the blog to appear? I look for it right after the broadcast of AI but I never see it posted until the next day. Just curious.

Eileen Fredes said...

First off, thanks so much for reading our blog - I'm glad you enjoy it. In regards to your question, the reason the blog doesn't show up right after the show is because I am not blogging from work like I did last season - it just couldn't be done this year. So, I'm watching and blogging after I get home from work. The posts go up as soon as I write them, but it's always after midnight. Thanks again for reading!!

Anonymous said...

poor david a, i think hes doing wonderful, he has an absolutely great voice and hes only 17.... im 22 and i could never in a million years sing like that. So what he forgot a couple of words get over it.... hes the next american idol.