American Idol 7: Ranking the Top 10 Male Performances
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Last week on American Idol, there were a whole lot of bad male performances, so many I could only narrow down my list of potential losers to five. This week, the men almost all stepped it up. Many of last week's worst are now at the top of my list. It's much harder this week to predict who the second person going home on the American Idol results show will be (since we all know Jason Yeager is a lock to be voted out).

Anyway, here are my instant, visceral reactions to the Top 10 male performances. This isn't a list of who I think will win it all or even who will be eliminated. It's a list of my favorite performances. And this week, it's very good to be named David.

1. David Cook – “All Right Now” by Free

Maybe I'm biased because David Cook confessed to being a word nerd, and I've been doing crossword puzzles since middle school and I even wrote the Jumbles for my college newspaper. That doesn't change the fact that David Cook rocked hard. Busting out the electric guitar, he killed it, blowing away every other faux rocker in this competition. This was the kind of performance he needed to get a place in the Top 12, and now I think he'll get there.

2. David Archuleta – “Imagine” by John Lennon

Ugh. Yes, it was very good, but many good singers, given the magic of this song, could also deliver an amazing performance. My bias comes in because the judges were so obvious with the way they were shilling for this kid, not like he needs it. Even though it's not David Archuleta's fault, the fact that the show is actively campaigning for him makes me like him less.

3. David Hernandez – “Papa Was a Rollin' Stone” by The Temptations

I hate to do this, because I still see no appeal or “wow” factor in this guy. Like Oscar Dahl said, he's Phil Stacey – good voice, no personality. Sadly, that combination has proven to take people very far. Much as I'm bored by him, I'll admit, he did an amazing job singing this song.

4. Chikezie Eze – “I Believe” by Donny Hathaway

Last week, I ranked Chikezie Eze dead last, and rightfully so. His outfit, song choice and performance were all terrible. This week, he found his wheelhouse, delivering a fun, energetic, great vocal performance. The problem is, with more guys stepping it up, if he has another week like last week, he could easily be gone.

5. Jason Castro – “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” by The BeeGees

I still really like this kid, but with the guitar, it felt a lot like last week, only not as entertaining. I understand that he was so great last week he wanted to keep doing the same thing, but he'll have to show a few different tricks before he can rely solely on charm. For example, see Blake Lewis' beatboxing.

6. Luke Menard – “Killer Queen” by Queen

I predicted him to be out in week one, and I'm kind of surprised he made it. I'm also surprised he did a decent job with a near impossibly complicated song. Queen is hard, especially when you actually get into the adventurous songs. His a cappella background helped, as he has a lot of control and range. If he stays around for a while longer, I may grow to like him.

7. Michael Johns – “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac

Unlike last week, there was nothing really memorable about this performance. It was a guy in a t-shirt and jeans singing about average. I suspect this Australian thinks he can coast to the Top 12 based solely on his “Bohemian Rhapsody” from the Hollywood round. Maybe he's right.

8. Danny Noriega – “Superstar” by The Carpenters

Poor Danny, I understand you want to sing and be taken seriously, but that's not why people vote for you. They do because you're fun and entertaining, a fierce and fabulous showman who just so happens to have a good voice. If you get through to next week, please stick to up-tempo tunes.

9. Robbie Carrico – “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner

Is Robbie Carrico a rocker? No. That was easy. He insists he is and that there are many kinds of rockers. I suppose if “total wuss” is a category, then yes, he is a rocker. The song itself was just so dull, and when compared to David Cook, this former boy bander doesn't stand a chance.

10. Jason Yeager – “Long Train Runnin'” by The Doobie Brothers

The only truly awful performance of the night in my book, I doubt even David Cook could find the words to describe how bad this was. Simon Cowell always compares performances to karaoke or cruise ships, and usually, I don't have a clue what he's saying. This time, I did, because this performance was torture.

That does it for the men. Who's going home? Jason Yeager for sure, but I'm not sure on who else. Maybe Robbie Carrico, since Cook just stole every single rocker vote. Maybe Luke Menard's time has finally come. Maybe voters haven't forgiven Chikezie for last week and he'll be gone despite a great performance. The only way to find out for sure is to tune in Thursday for the American Idol results show.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Images courtesy of FOX)