First, let me just say that, had the contestants listened to me, the week would have been way better. But, alas, they did not. Shame. I picked out way better songs for them to sing, overall, than they chose for themselves. Oh well. Too late now.
And let me just get a couple of things off my chest, before I move on....
1. By far, the worst performances (yes, two) of the week were from David Archuleta. Horrible. Especially "America". He couldn't even stay on key. And what's the deal with him always changing the melody to songs? Stop it! It's time for him to just go home. Not that he will.
2. Apparently, I am in the minority when it comes to Jason Castro. Because I thought both of his songs were fine, and "September Morn" was very, very good. I enjoyed it. I would watch it again. You know, the one that Paula didn't like before he even performed it.
I haven't actually watched the episodes yet, but I have found that YouTube is an excellent resource. I was able to watch all the performances, without the filler. I was also able to watch the elimination segment.
I even got to watch Paula being utterly confused.
I'm not sure how she or the producers have tried to talk their way out of that, but whatever they said, I don't believe it. Either:
(a) she's nuts; or
(b) she does her "critiques" prior to the performances. Or
(c) I guess ~ she watched the dress rehearsal. However, I don't think they are supposed to judge, based on a rehearsal. If so, geez, better not mess up in rehearsal, guys (and gals)!
So, in retribution, Jason's fans rallied to make sure that he got enough votes to remain in the competition.
But back to the songs.......
I found an interesting article on ew.com, that talks about how the contestants went about choosing their songs for Neil Diamond week.
Apparently, there is a lot of angst and arm-wrestling going on. And in an arm wrestling match between Brooke and Archie, I'm picking Brooke to win.
For Little Archie, "he initially wanted to perform ''I'm a Believer,'' only to see Brooke pull the song title out of the hat..." Of course, I had picked that song for Archie to perform, so it was unfortunate (for both of them) that Brooke "won".
It seems that Syesha agonizes over her song choices. "She's settled on ''Hello Again,'' a slow number for a big voice. (David Cook initially chose it but let it go when he found out Mercado wanted it.) But that second song? The ever-patient Orland (the band leader) asks if she's heard ''Love on the Rocks.'' ''I don't like the chorus,'' Mercado responds. What about ''Thank the Lord for the Night Time''? ''Kind of boring,'' she replies.
Kind of boring, indeed! Exactly what I thought as I was listening to it. Mind you, the song, when done by Neil himself is far from boring, but boy, did Syesha ever make it boring! She should have gone with, "Love On The Rocks", as I (and Orland) recommended.
As for Brooke, "'Here's the problem with Neil Diamond songs,'' Brooke White tells Byrd and associate musical director Matt Rohde Thursday afternoon. ''Every song is about a woman or alcohol. And I can't sing about either.''
"After debating ''Cracklin' Rosie'' and ''Cherry, Cherry,'' she settles on ''I Am...I Said'' and ''I'm a Believer,'' which she won in the hat pick (arm wrestling match)."
Okay, no "woman songs" and "no alcohol". Yet she debated "Cherry Cherry" and "Cracklin' Rosie". What does she think "Cracklin' Rosie" is about? It's about wine, Brooke. And maybe I'm goofy, but I always thought "Cherry Cherry" was about a woman. Maybe she thinks it's about fruit.
As for Cookie and Jason, I thought they had the best song selections of the evening. I knew that David Cook wouldn't take my (or anyone's) advice, but that's what makes him a STAR! And Jason knows what works for him.
Anyway, Brooke went home and it was a blessing, really. She was, it seemed, on the edge of a nervous breakdown, so she needs to have some R&R time. But, to be serious for a moment, how many people would dare to get up on that stage even once, much less week after week? I wouldn't. Neither would you, I bet. It's easy for us to sit home with some hot cocoa (ha!) on our sofa with our jammies on, and critique these guys, but they've got some courage! So, kudos!
Next week is Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Week. I have no idea what that means. You know, that kind of cuts a wide swath. Why don't they just call it, "Sing Whatever You Want Week"?
I hope the pace is a little bit slower next week, because this week was ridiculous.
And to save us all some time and trouble, let's ask Paula to critique next week's performances now; how about it?
I leave you with Jason's performance of "September Morn", just because I liked it, and because it's going to annoy the holier-than-thou people who apparently want a pack of wolves to rip Jason's dreadlocks to shreds.