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Idol Chatter

Posted Thursday, April 24, 2008, at 10:55 AM

Alright, I admit it. I'm a fan of American Idol.

This year, the hit FOX television series, which draws millions of viewers each week, has turned out one of the most talented group of singers and performers to grace the stage since the show began seven years ago. The group of contestants was recently narrowed down to the final five singers and so I am going to give a brief rundown on each and what I believe their chances are of becoming the next American Idol.

* David Cook- The rocker from Blue Springs, Mo., is considered by many to be the favorite to win this year's competition. While I admit that I wasn't a big fan of his at the start of the competition, mainly due to his cocky, arrogant attitude and snubbing of the judges, his style and uniqueness have kind of grown on me. I was blown away by his rendition of Michael Jackson's popular 1980s hit, "Billie Jean," and I think he has really only had a couple of down weeks. He is extremely talented, has a huge fan base, and his arrangements of songs are outstanding. Barring a complete downslide, Cook could very well be the next "Idol."

* David Archuleta- The 17-year-old with the golden voice has given some of the best vocal performances of the season so far, and I think he is very popular with young girls and "tweens." But there is something about the humble singer that just doesn't scream "star" to me. Now granted, I know he's only 17, but I think the "aw, shucks" attitude he gives whenever Ryan Seacrest puts a microphone in front of him is wearing a bit thin with viewers. But it's probably fine with his fans, who will probably vote the teen sensation into the finale for a battle of "The Two Davids."

* Jason Castro- The dreadlocked 20-year-old has slowly become my favorite contestant this year, although like Archuleta, he does not have much of a way with words when being interviewed. But when he takes the stage to perform, his mellow, folksy voice is nearly pitch-perfect, and like David Cook, he is amazingly talented at creating very listenable arrangements of famous songs. He makes older songs sound like you're hearing them for the first time, and gives them a more modern, contemporary feel. Castro could be in trouble in the next couple of weeks as he faces "The Two Davids" juggernaut, and because he has been toward the bottom in the voting once or twice, but I personally think he stands a good chance of getting into the show's finale next month. And when's the last time someone looked cool playing the yukelele? Oh yeah, and the ladies love him, too.

* Syesha Mercado- Syesha is a very good singer, but voters in recent weeks have placed her in the bottom two or three, and she has slipped through to the next week by the skin of her teeth. She has a nice voice but here again, there is just something about her, in my opinion, that does not say to me, "I'm a superstar." And while she has given a couple of fantastic performances, most of her versions of the songs sound typical of just about any female contemporary or pop singer's voice, and she really does not bring anything new, unique or different to the table like some of the other contestants (i.e. Cook, Castro) Syesha will be heading home in the next week or two.

* Brooke White- My wife's favorite contestant is also one of the most unique female performers in this year's competition. Yeah, she forgot some of her lyrics this week, but she made it through to the next round, and there is kind of a soulful, simplistic style to her voice. I'm not a huge fan of Brooke, but she can sing well, and apparently she has a nice fan base. Something about her voice and performance style says Carly Simon or Joan Baez to me. She is a talented musician who can sing while also playing the guitar or piano; a feat that I think helps her case. But her nervousness often shows during her performances, and it could hurt her soon. Fans should look for Brooke or Syesha to head home next week, and the other the following week.

Note to producers of the show: Get rid of Paula Abdul next season. She is annoying. She often cannot complete a thought or sentence. I am sick and tired of watching her dance and clap her hands during nearly EVERY performance, and afterward, she rambles on and on until the viewer is totally baffled about what she is saying. When she talks, I often find myself saying, "What? What?" I feel she is totally about the spotlight and "Me, Me, Me," when the show is not about her, or either of the other judges for that matter. It's not her time to shine. Her music career is already dead and buried. This is for the young contestants and aspiring recording artists who are performing on stage. Randy is a tolerable judge who obviously picks his favorites and stays with those for the entire season, usually praising them while not being so kind to the contestants whom he is not a fan of. But at least he wraps up his thoughts and comments quickly. And of course, Simon speaks the truth to the contestant nearly every time, and I think people truly listen to him more than either of the other judges. I think he is the smartest, most forthcoming, and most honest of the three, and I think he holds the most influence when it comes to fan voting.


Comments
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Hold up... wasn't it Simon who praised Carly's performance on the April 22 episode? And she got voted off the following day. I've noticed that Simon's comments carry little weight with the voting public.

I think I know why.

American Idol is nothing more than a popularity contest instead of what it should be: a singing competition. No way should Brooke White still be in the competition after she forgot the words to her song during the April 22 episode. In fact, she wasn't even in the bottom two during the results show the following day. If you forget the lryics, it should be game over. Automatic ejection from the show. These performers have a week to memorize the words. They don't even sing the whole song, so it's even less words they have to memorize. American Idol has run its course. I can't believe it's still on the air after the train wreck that WAS Taylor Hicks. I emphasis the word 'was' for a reason.

-- Posted by michaelglover on Thu, Apr 24, 2008, at 6:50 PM

Great Scott, you BOTH watch that show?!?

I can never speak to either of you again (granted this criticism is coming from a man who still watches fake pro rasslin' on Monday nights).

-- Posted by Nick Graham on Fri, Apr 25, 2008, at 1:32 PM

Glover- I can see your point with Simon, as the fans basically vote on their favorite with very little regard to what the judges say anymore. However, concerning Brooke White forgetting her lyrics. While I think it's not good for a prospective "American Idol" to forget the lyrics to a song, especially when she's in the top 5, I do think that people are still human...and we make mistakes, especially when we get nervous. And imagine the nerves these contestants are feeling at this point in the show. Now that doesn't give her an excuse for forgetting the words, because they are supposed to be professionals and giving their best each week, but we don't know for sure what's going on in their lives right now. Brooke said something about missing her sister's wedding a couple weeks ago....some contestants have even had deaths in their families. What I'm saying is that these contestants have been touring and away from families, loved ones and friends for weeks, if not months. It's possible that something may be going on in her family too and she was nervous because of it. I don't know, I just like the show because I enjoy watching talented singers perform each week and it still can be dramatic, engaging and entertaining, much like daytime dramas (soap operas) , and WWE, for example???

Nick- I must admit that I'm also a pro rasslin' fan as well, watching it nearly every Monday, Tuesday and Friday for it's pure entertainment value. We all have our guilty pleasures, right? So I may consider talking to you again sometime in the future since you are a WWE fan (he he)

-- Posted by Jason Silvers FST staff writer on Fri, Apr 25, 2008, at 1:59 PM

Your man cards have officially been revoked

-- Posted by kennyfelt on Fri, Apr 25, 2008, at 5:06 PM

Oiy!

I liked that Aussie chap but a bunch of bloody fools kicked his bum off!

gidday mates.

Kristy Cook was melting hot. She didn't even have to sing for me to watch the show. Just keep wearing those hip huggers and body shirts!

Kenny----I'm keepin my man card!

-- Posted by like2b_onree on Fri, Apr 25, 2008, at 9:50 PM

Hip huggers you say? Alright, man cards reinstated.

-- Posted by kennyfelt on Sat, Apr 26, 2008, at 1:25 PM


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