Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Is Jason Castro just a "Memory?" I hope not

It's Andrew Lloyd Webber night and I'm so not enthused - I am not a fan of musicals or Broadway plays in general. I find that by intermission, I'm usually ready to go home. However, the few songs of his that I've heard happen to be beautiful, so I am a bit curious to see what the contestants will choose tonight.

This week is a bit different and totally nerve-wracking, I would think... Andrew Lloyd Webber is actually in the audience tonight to hear how the contestants do - Ugh... I would be shaking in my boots...

Anyway, Syesha Mercado is up first - she's singing "One Rock and Roll Too Many," which is from "Starlight Express." She says that when she found out they were doing Andrew Lloyd Webber, she was like, "Yay! Finally something where I can show some personality and be theatrical." Webber tells her to have a laugh with it and she asks him if she can be animated and stuff, noting that it's "American Idol," not musical theater. He makes her do it once with a straight face and once with an animated face and I have to say, the only difference I noted was that she cocked one of her eyebrows and tossed her head a bit - not really what I call animated, but whatever. He tells her to do it that way, though. He then says that he thinks she can bring the house down, be very funny, very witty and be a completely different ingredient to the rest of the program.

Well, with the exception of her hair, which doesn't look the best it's ever looked, she looks beautiful - the dress is gorgeous and fits her perfectly. Is she barefoot? Oh no... that totally takes away from the whole look - how can you wear such a pretty dress and have your hair all fixed and then not even bother to put on a pair of shoes...tsk tsk. Total no-no in my book. But let's talk about her voice for a minute - she sounds good, better than she has in the past and she actually gets Ricky Miner, the bandleader, involved, dancing with him for a bit. I have to admit that while I've been bored to tears by her the past month or so, this week was semi-interesting. For once, she didn't sing a ballad and for once, she used the stage, moving around, really performing. It was pretty good and may actually keep her out of the bottom three this week.

Randy tells her that this may surprise her, but tonight, he feels that not only is this her element, but he thinks she could be a huge Broadway star. He says it was her best performance to date. Paula says it isn't surprising because this is a part of Syesha's love, that it's her happy place. Simon says it was very sexy, the whole kind of Michelle Pfeiffer, lying on the piano thing. He agrees with Randy, that it was one of her strongest performances so far, that she showed masses of personality, which we haven't seen before and that she is definitely more comfortable in this area.

Jason Castro is next and I must say, I much prefer when he just sits there and looks pretty. There's something about the way he speaks that makes him come off kind of goofy. Ryan asks him what reaction he had in the moment when he heard they'd be doing Andrew Lloyd Webber. He answers with, "Well, um, I saw the list of, you know, all the work and I recognized it all. I'm embarrassed to say I had never seen any of the musicals so I was, you know, I got kind of nervous, and I was like ugh, and uh, and uh, yeah, it was kind of ugh up until now."

Webber says he never thought he'd see a man singing "Memory" with dreadlocks - that it was a little bit of a jolt for him. He tells Jason that the song is sung in the musical, "Cats," by an extremely ancient old glamour puss and then says in the interview that Jason kind of understood it, he thinks. Then they show Jason saying, "I didn't even know it was about...I didn't know a cat was singing it." Oh, why are pretty boys always so dense? Anyway, Webber tells Jason that he really has to let himself go in a way that he probably hasn't before. Back to his interview, Webber says he thinks Jason is making a very brave choice by singing this song and he's not sure he would have done it. He says he wouldn't be surprised if Jason ignored every single thing he told him and as a result, does it rather better than he could have, just because he's him.

Well, as always Jason looks great - he's all dressed up with a nice blazer. And he starts off really great, I think. But then something happens in the bridge... I'm not really sure what, but it sounds like he's off beat, or not really with the music. He picks it up again pretty quick, but the second half isn't as good as the beginning. It's definitely not his best performance, but I wouldn't say it's his worst either.

Randy tells him that vocally, it was a little bit of a train wreck. He says that with the dreads singing that kind of song, that it's just not the kind of song for him, that's it's not his thing. He says it's too much melody for him. Paula says that people are so used to hearing this song by a female power balladeer, but that she thinks it was a wise choice for him to do this song because it allows him to put his influence into it and it further identifies his unique being. She then compares it to Joe Cocker singing "You Are So Beautiful." Randy disagrees but says that Jason is a beautiful guy... see? I'm not the only who thinks so. Even Randy can see it. Anyway, Simon says it felt to him and he's sure to Jason as well, like the longest two minutes of his life. He says it came over like a young guy being forced by his parents to sing a song at wedding that he didn't want to sing. He says he was miserable throughout and that it's not his style of music, that it was a struggle.


Anonymous said...

What most people do not know is Jason was extremely ill and had been given an IV just an hour or so before the show.

I loved his performance, despite the illness. He ignored the dumb advice of ALW, who only knows Broadway theatrics and not the kind of musical sound that jives with most listeners, IMO. He did listen to ALW when it comes to "feeling the story" behind the song, and I felt it when Jason sang.

Randy just doesn't get Jason and he never will. Paula gets him. Simon usually gets him, but not so much tonight.

RE Syesha -- yes, this is her kind of music and style. She should definitely be on the theatrical stage. She was the hottest performance of the night. Much better than Carly.

Anonymous said...

Jason deserves to stay. True.

But can he beat either of the Davids????