Review: ‘‘American Idol’: Where the boys are’

'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'

They rolled out the themes early this year with "The '60s." And of course the folks at Fox couldn't wrestle the rights to any Beatles or Rolling Stones songs away from their owners, so the boys are left with a bunch of songs that do little to represent the spirit of the '60s in any way, shape or form.

They rolled out the themes early this year with “The ‘60s.” And of course the folks at Fox couldn’t wrestle the rights to any Beatles or Rolling Stones songs away from their owners, so the boys are left with a bunch of songs that do little to represent the spirit of the ‘60s in any way, shape or form. The thing is I didn’t even know there was a theme until the second contestant said so. Is Ryan falling down on the job or did I doze off momentarily. The latter actually almost happened a couple of times — more on that later.

Before we get to the boys, I’d just like to say this is a nice bunch of boys. This may be the first time in seven seasons I haven’t actively disliked at least one of the top 12 boys. It’s also a very white group.

And here we go…

David Hernandez
Song: The Midnight Hour
Pre-’Idol’ career:: Worked at Cheesecake Factory.
Erin: His past actually makes me like him more since we share the same dubious past. I was a booth bitch in my early twenties. Performance was not bad. Nothing I haven’t heard before at a really nice Bar Mitzvah. Honestly, it wasn’t very risky.
Kathy: David bored me. He just isn’t good enough to win.

Chikeze Eze (You just can’t say that first name without the last name)
Song: I Love You More Today Than Yesterday
Pre-’Idol’ career::
Erin: If David had the Bar Mitzvah voice, than Chikeze brought the suit. Which he defends! To Simon! Man, talk about picking your battles. The first note fell flat, and the rest of the performance was the same. It was just painful. You know, it is inevitable that when you bring a bunch of twentysomethings to H’wood, give them posh surroundings and a makeover, there is a good chance it will go to their head. But who knew it would happen to Chikeze. He seemed to laid back, so positive, and it seemed he managed to triumph over a terrible moniker.
Kathy: He’s got a great smile but that’s the end of the positive things I have to say. The orange leisure suit was more ‘70s than ‘60s. And it damaged my retinas.

David Cook
Song: So Happy Together
Pre-’Idol’ career:: Slacker
Erin: Am I the only one to be distracted by his odd combover? The emperor has no hair, people. A solid performance that will keep him out the bottom three, but there no way he can win this.
Kathy: No, you’re not alone. I, too noticed the combover and immediately thought of you, Erin. Because last week you gave his hair as a reason to like him. What’s happened to him between Hollywood and this week?! David wasn’t my favorite but he did get better by the end of the song. He’s safe for a while.

Jason Yeager
Song: Moon River
Pre-’Idol’ career:: Finalist on ‘Making the Bad’
From: The Producers
To: The Top 12 Boys
Congratulations. You have made it to the top 24 on “American Idol.” Please choose one of the following songs:
Moon River
You’re the Only One For Me
Moon River
Somewhere Only We know
Night And Day
Moon River
Moon River
I Could Not Ask For More
Moon River
Maria Maria
Moon River
Moon River

After the first few notes, I left the couch and wandered around the apartment looking for something to clean.
Kathy: It is difficult to make “Moon River” your own but that music teacher from a few seasons back managed to do it. Jason, however, did not. But Jason has an adorable little boy who will succeed in getting Jason more votes than he deserves. Plus he dedicated the song to his dead granny so he’s safe this week.
Also Simon used the dreaded “cruise ship singer” insult and it got me wondering. Has Simon ever been on a cruise? Maybe he shouldn’t because I’m pretty sure the ship’s entertainer would shove him overboard or poison his Baked Alaska.

Robbie Carrico
Song: One
Pre-’Idol’ career:: Member of Boyz N Girlz United and rumored to have once dated Britney.
Erin: I know nothing of Robbie, but I assumed he was a rocker. My bad. It was the bandana. Damn you, Bret Micheals.
Kathy: Simon called him out on the fake rocker thing and he deserved it. He was, you know, fine but nothing special.

David Archuletta
Song: Shop Around
Pre-’Idol’ career:: Won a kiddie version of “Star Search”
Erin: Thank God. Seriously. This is what I was waiting for. I needed a good performance at this point like Ginsberg needs an angry fix (See? I read. I don’t only watch reality TV.) David’s perf has inspired me to change my “I Heart Aussies” shirt into a “WWDAD” design.
Kathy: Before little David sang, I was thinking “I need someone to give me chills. I need a Fantasia or LaKisha knock-my-socks-off perf.” This wasn’t quite it but it was miles better than the ones that came before it. Thank you adorable little boy. David’s been part of the whole controversy over contestants who previously had record contracts. So I will ask this — Just how seasoned a pro is he? And how much of an act is the whole wide-eyed innocent thing?

Danny Noriega
Song: Jailhouse Rock
Pre-’Idol’ career:: Also pretending to be straight last season when he got kicked off.
Erin: Oh, Danny. This performance broke my heart. Contestants need to learn to keep the Elvis songs for Elvis week. It’s only a few weeks away. Until then, you are supposed to do various power ballads. It just didn’t work for me. My guess is that the Danny is gonna make the bottom three. There is a tear-filled goodbye performance in this kid’s future.
Kathy: I’m sorry I can’t hear you over the sound of Elvis rolling around in his grave. Jeez this was bad. From the ‘80s punk outfit right down to the double-snap sass. Paula says we will see “many colors of David.” Yeah, like rainbow colors.

Luke Menard
Song: Everybody’s Talking At Me
Pre-’Idol’ career:: He never existed before ‘Idol.’ A creation by U.S. government agencies to create the ultimate singing sensation. Yes, I was too bored with the guy to do much research.
Erin: I was very interested in seeing Luke, because I know absolutely nothing about him. But a few notes into his song I slipped into a small coma. By the time I came to, I was still bored.
Kathy: Luke rivals Michael Johns in hotness. Too bad he doesn’t have the voice to back it up. He reminds me of the super-hot Matthew Metzger from a few seasons ago who ended up with a (non-singing) job on a soap. Perhaps there’s a future role for Luke as an amnesiac married to his sister who came back from the dead. (And yes, I had to look up Matthew Metzger’s name. I’m not that big of a nerd.)

Colton Berry
Song: Suspicious Minds
Pre-’Idol’ career:: Sang in church
Erin: Stop with the Elvis. You folks are using up all the good songs that could be held onto for King week!
Anywho, Colton is another under-the-radar top 24 player. He got absolutely no screen time, probably because he has the charisma of a kumquat. With the blond hair and black shirt, it was often difficult at times to distinguish him from the golden-hued background.
Kathy: Way to ruin another perfectly good Elvis song. I’m leaving the room if one of them attempts “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Even Colton’
s parents looked bored. Not a good sign. I did laugh when he said he looked like Ellen DeGeneres though.

Leif Garrett Haley (that’s what we’re calling him. Get used to it.)
Song: Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Pre-’Idol’ career:: Worked on his hair. A lot.
Erin: “Hi, I’m Garrett Haley. You might remember me from ‘American Idol.’ And if you liked my performances, you’ll love this CD of ‘Soft Sounds of the ‘60s’ brought to you by Time-Life…”
At this point, this is the most boring top 24 in the history of the universe. I mean, I knew with the lovely Shawn Cassidy-esque flowing locks that the kid was going to do a ballad, but why destroy a perfectly good pop song? He wrung the fun out of that tune like a wet paper towel.
Kathy: So boring that Paula collapsed onto the desk. Or maybe she collapsed for another reason. I think Garrett might be a little bit of a stoner. I think I’m going to have to take up that habit if I have to listen to him sing again next week.

Jason Castro
Song: Daydream
Pre- ‘Idol’ career: Once wore a fade. Ok, I made this up, but it would be awesome if these pictures surfaced.
Erin: This kid as a career in jingles. If you close your eyes, you can easily imagine him shilling a stay at the Days Inn or some sort of chocolate beverage. And he brought a guitar, which I’m still not used to, but I think I like it as an accessory.
Kathy: I didn’t know the instruments were an option in this portion of the competitions. Why isn’t Ryan telling us everything?! I loved this kid. Loved him. Why was this the first time we were hearing him?

Michael Johns
Song: Light My Fire
Pre-’Idol’ career:: Sang in a few bands. Hot with hot wife.
Erin: A top perf for the night. I know he’s married, but man, the guy is still pretty smokin’. Traditionally speaking, anyone who ends the night is usually safe ‘cause we’re still reeling from the suckfest that came before them. And after Colton, Garret and Luke, Michael could have gone up there and sang “Happy Birthday” and still win the night.
Kathy: Man, he’s hot. And consistent. He’ll be around well into April. Thank God. That will give me time to crack open my thesaurus to find new ways to describe his hotness.

Erin: Everyone who didn’t get camera time in the early audition parts of the show or Hollywood Week; Danny Noriega
Kathy: Say goodbye to Chikezie and Garrett.

Erin: David Archuletta, Michael Johns
Kathy: Michael Johns, Jason Castro

'American Idol': Where the boys are

Fox, Tues. 8 p.m


Taped in Los Angeles by 19 Prods. Executive producers, Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Simon Fuller; director, Bruce Gowers.




Related links: Season Pass
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