And we're back for another week of American Idol.
The top ten guys perform tonight, with the top ten girls performing tomorrow. On Thursday, two more men and two more women will be eliminated. Let's see if the guys can pick it up from last week. What follows are my quick thoughts while watching the episode.
- Ryan Seacrest gives a shout-out to Jennifer Hudson, giving the old “this really validates the quality of the talent”. I guess you could say that, I'd more call it an indictment of the American Idol voting system, which saw Hudson get voted out way too early. She's an incredible singer.
- Phil Stacey is up first. I don't know this song. It sounds like a Genesis song or something. He sounds really good, actually. Maybe not the most difficult song to perform, but he's nailing it. Well done, Phil. Randy and Paula really love him. Simon doesn't hear anything unique. Whatevs, Simon.
- Couch circle time. Sundance vows to “not be crappy”.
- Wait, are those coke bottles on the couch? Wow,
- Jared Cotter hits the stage next. He's going to be singing some Marvin Gaye. “Let's Get in On,” to be specific. This is a tough song choice. He;s singing it well, but it's pretty by-the-book, more or less an impersonation of Marvin. But Marvin was the best; no one can be Marvin. Jared is doing about the best he can with it, though.
- Oh, God, Paula is going nuts. She has to be cut off by Simon. Simon says the performance would have been at home on The Love Boat.
- Every performer is dedicating their performance to somebody, just so you know.
- A.J. Tabaldo performs next. I, again, don't know the song. It starts off slow, than kicks into this plodding, anthemic ballad thing. Okay, I guess. I'm not a big fan of A.J., but it wasn't bad. The judges all give mildly positive reviews.
- Sanjaya Malakar, wearing a somewhat offensive top hat, performs next. He singing out some Swing song and, again, it's kind of a train wreck. His voice is just way too weak at this point in his life. He also, for some reason, isn't completely singing into the mic. Wow, the judges are going to ream him. Simon and Randy give him a matter-of-fact smackdown, calling the performance really weak and weird.
- Chris Sligh is next on stage, and I'm really in-between on where I should judge him. He gives a great performance of a slower song, that allows him to show off his voice, not liked we've seen him before. Simon gives him love. The biggest story here is that Chris has a wife. I was not expecting that.
- Nick Pedro is going to dedicate his performance to girlfriend Caitlin. He's singing “Fever”, and I actually really like this performance. It's a female song, but Nick singing it gives it a different vibe. His voice is perfect for it. Actually, maybe my favorite performance of the show so far. Caitlin is pretty cute, by the way.
- Blake Lewis is next, performing the Jamiroquai classic “Virtual Insanity”. This is a really hard song to sing. Blake messes up the first yelling part, but the rest of the performance is really good. He even brings back his beat boxing skills for a little bit. Randy loves it. Paula does as well. Simon was disappointed, calling it a copycat performance. Then a fracas breaks out between Simon, Paula, Randy, and Seacrest. Silliness.
- Brandon Rogers sings Cyndi Lauper's “Time after Time”. Interesting song choice, he sings it well, but I'm not sure if it's the best he could've done. Randy thought it was boring. Paula needs her medicine! Simon is fed up and cranky.
- Chris Richardson, the JT wannabe, is up next. He really sings like JT. This song is a mouthful, and Chris performs it well, way better than last week. I'm guessing the judges will like it. Simon says it was the best performance of the night.
- Sundance Head is the last to perform, and he's dedicating his song to his son. He sings “Mustang Sally” and gets it off to a really good start, finally showing off his huge voice that he's got. Thank you, Sundance. Best male performance of the entire competition. No question about it.
Holy crap, that was about a million times better than last week. The voters are going to have a difficult time this week. One choice to be gone is obvious: Sanjaya. If he doesn't get eliminated, it will be a travesty of epic proportions. After that, the decision is tough. What did you all think?
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer