Erin: It’s Idols gone wild night on “American Idol” as the remaining four contestants get their chance to shine by picking songs we all expect them to sing. With the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame catalog at their disposal, the top four kids give viewers exactly what we’ve wanted to see. This is the reality TV version of “True Romance,” where every participant involved is playing up their typecast. The rocker Idol sings rock songs, the diva Idol sings soulful ditties, the Idol we all assumed listened to reggae sings Marley and the heartthrob Idol sings love songs that make the whole world sing.
Kathy: I was just sitting here trying to figure out who had the most difficult job in America on Tuesday night: Hillary Clinton’s spin doctor or Ryan Seacrest, who had to single-handedly piece contestants back together. I’m going with Seacrest.
The producers wisely decided to let the judges critique after each perf, and boy does Paula look relieved.
Song: “Hungry Like a Wolf” (Duran Duran)
Erin: David is really best when he reshapes (or borrows someone else’s reshaping) of an unconventional tune. But in this perf, he pretty much does it by the book. It’s fine, but because I’m a Durany and have a long-standing crush on Nick Rhodes (and a newly-formed crush on Mr. Cook), David gets a pass from me.
Kathy: For Erin it was Nick Rhodes, for me it was Simon LeBon. And David’s perf was so dull, so karaoke, that I spent the whole time thinking about how Simon LeBon could help David with his hair problem. But, as Erin said, David C. can do no wrong at this point so he gets a pass.
Song: “Proud Mary” (Ike & Tina)
Erin: Syesha looks like she’s been studying both archived performances of Miss Tina and the recent performance by Tina and Beyonce from the Grammys. Her gold dress, sweeping arm movements and twirls all smack of classic Tina, but it seems to me that she’s holding back a bit. But man, does she look damn good. Hardcore Syesha fan Phil Gallo is probably having a heart attack by now.
Kathy: Sparkly Syesha started off a bit slowly but then, whoa!, wow. You go girl! She’s got Tina’s dance moves down but can’t match the pipes. Still, she keeps on improving week to week and getting more comfortable on stage. I continue to be disappointed that Simon won’t give her a break.
Song: “I Shot the Sheriff” (Bob Marley)
Erin: I loved the way he cackled when talking about choosing a Marley song, like it’s an inside joke as to why he picked the reggae master. Sorry honey, it’s not really a mystery wrapped in an enigma here. I get it. The viewers get it. The producers get it. Hell, even people in comas who are watching “Idol” from their hospital beds because candy stripers left the TV for them so they won’t feel “lonely,” get it too.
And damn, it’s just horrible, but extremely amusing. The judges go for the jugular on this one, attacking Jason from all sides, which led the best exchange ever in the history of “Idol.”
Simon: “What were you thinking!”
Jason: “I was thinking, ‘Bob Marley!’”
I want to see this kid on more talkshows. He is apparently one of the great analytical minds of the century.
Kathy: The Bob Marley Society called. They want their dreadlocks back.
Poor, dumb Jason announced to the world that out of the 500 most influential rock songs, he recognized “a couple.” Oh boy. Jason took quite a beating from the judges. Simon basically told him that William Hung and Lady Morgue did a better job in their auditions than Jason did here, stripping him of all dignity and leaving Seacrest to try to soothe Jason’s ego. I was almost sad for him. Maybe he’ll save face with the second song.
Songs: “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King)
Erin: This is David A. showing off his chops in a big way. I love how he threw in a reference to Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” for the tween scene. If you listen closely, you can still hear the screams of 12-year-old girls declaring their love for the young crooner.
Kathy: This is hard for me to admit. Little David did a great job. And I, too, give him props for the Sean Kingston sample. He even made me laugh with his comment that the judges faces scare him. Hee.
Song:“Baba O’Riley” (The Who) – with guitar
Erin: Dave took the classic song, slowed it down, removed the bridge and gave it an emo edge. It’s nice to hear the song outside of the “CSI” franchise, which has been using the tunes of the classic band as an anthem for overacting and random autopsies. Anywho, Dave was off to a rocky start, but really pulled it together by the end.
Kathy: David worried me with the song choice but, you know, he made it work. It’s an awfully good thing he had two songs. Still, he seemed a bit off last night. Whatever’s going on in his personal life seems to be weighing on him. C’mon David just a couple more weeks. You’ve got to salvage this season for me by winning.
Song: “A Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
Erin: She did a much better job with the second song choice. For those of you playing the “Idol” drinking game at home, here is the tally:
1. Got Paula to stand up (1 shot)
2. Got Paula to cry (2 shots)
3. Simon liked it (1 shot)
4. Simon announces that he agrees with Paula (2 shots)
5. Randy makes an contestant cry (down the bottle and find a place to crash)
Kathy: Syesha ticked me off a little at the beginning by comparing her “Idol” journey to the civil rights movement of the ‘60s. Yes, Syesha, everything is about you. But I got over it quickly because she was wearing a fantastic dress and she did a really good job with the song. Then Randy did a terrible, terrible thing and made Sy cry and I immediately felt bad about being ticked off with her. And it’s not just a few tears, she’s really losing it. Even Simon looks sympathetic. Poor Ryan is left to hold the tissue box once again. Man, he’s really earning his pay tonight. Randy, I hope you’re happy. Meanie. It’s too bad Syesha couldn’t have saved the whole crying jag for next week when she’ll really need it.
Song: “Mr. Tambourine Man” (Bob Dylan)
Erin: Remember that scene from “Animal House” where Belushi bashes the guitar after hearing the first few lines of “I Gave My Love a Cherry”?
Man, Jason is just a’ train wreck tonight. Jason flubs on the lyrics once again, but his version of the song is so terrible, this mistake is barely even mentioned. At this point, Jason is so bad that even if an alien parasite broke loose from his chest during the performance and began devouring members of the audience and a few of the producers, it would still take a backseat to his dreadful version of the song.
Kathy: In Jason’s video clip he says “I picked Bob Dylan because how can you go wrong with Bob Dylan?” Oh, let me count the ways…. Seriously, how do you forget the lyric “Jingle jangle morning”?! Erin, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the third time this season that words have been forgotten by “the best top 12 in ‘Idol’ history”? The only positive thing I can say about this perf by Jason is that I guess Syesha is safe tonight.
Erin: Since Jason is responsible for 2/3rds of the lyric mishaps, I don’t know if it’s fair to blame the group.
Song: Love Me Tender (Elvis)
Erin: Teen girls everywhere are spontaneously combusting at this point. Yes folks, we have a winner. Behold the glory of David A. It’s been said if you stare too long at his magnificence, you’ll eventually go blind from the cuteness.
d announces that he hasn’t yet sung a love song on the big stage. Really? All you’ve done is ballads. But the kid sure does know how to play to his strengths. He may just have wrapped it up tonight. David Cook is now destined to join the ranks of Clay and Daughtry as a runner up who outsells the winner.
Erin: David A.
Kathy: Hate to say it, but Little David