Ryan starts the show by reminding us that the glare of the spotlight has already taken its toll on some (Brooke!). He then recaps the "shocking" elimination of Carly (not Brooke!). Ryan's tree house says "No Brookes Allowed."
Tonight's celebrity mentor is the reanimated corpse of Neil Diamond. Yes, tonight's Idolers will be coached by a man whose presence was left in the 70s and 80s. Because The Show is always telling the Idolers how to be contemporary and revelant. Except when it's not. Do as we say, not as we do, says The Show. Please keep up, bitches.
The celebrity biovid talks about the legend(wait for it)ary Diamond. How he wrote "I'm A Believer" for the Monkees, starred in "The Jazz Singer" and caused a bunch of geriatrics to sprain their hips by swaying at his concerts. And anyone under the age of 30 leaves that recap thinking, "Hey, he wrote that song from "Shrek.""
Jason Castro "Forever In Blue Jeans"
Perpetually High Jason mixes up the lyrics for the whopping TWO songs he's performing tonight. How does he even manage to put on his socks everyday? (Does he own socks?) Anyways, this is sorta Neil Diamond by way of David Cassiday. A pleasant enough distraction, but fairly forgettable.
David Cook "I'm Alive"
Ryan takes up David's couch time to recount how when he was little he used sing Neil Diamond in his hairbrush and ride in the "wayback" seat of his mom's station wagon and listen to his mom playing Diamond. First, that was last week, Ryan. And second, Ryan Seacrest's mom was a Neil Diamond fan.... but stay relevant, kids! The Show does not want old fashioned music. Except now. You confuse and confound me, Show.
David rocks it up in his typical fashion. It's ok, if a little off-key in spots. There's a lot of flashing lights to confuse us. "This is legit rock," say the lights. "This is a fair to middling performance", says I.
Brooke "I'm A Believer"
Brooke is fairly brave to tackle "I'm A Believer", since it's the one song everyone in America will know. It doesn't get anywhere near as good as The Monkees... or even Smashmouth for that matter. It's OK in a sorta amusement park level way. Brooke, I'm afraid Marsha Brady would never ask you to sing at her high school dance.
Back from commercial, Ryan talks as he breezes through the front row... or sorority row, as we now know where the blond-bots originate. The uggos and fatties are Rosa Parking it 15 rows back.
David Archuletta "Sweet Caroline"
Ah, so David is the one to tackle "Sweet Caroline." This song only has relevance after 12 Jagermeister shots, so it'll be interesting to see David's interpretation. Maybe it's the fact that I've only had 6 Jager shots tonight (don't judge me), but this is... well, it's good vocally, I'll give it that. But because of the song choice, it comes across as very novelty act.
Sayesha "Hello Again"
The very weave-alicious Sayesha is sitting quietly at the edge of the stage. This will be soulful and introspective, peeps. Lots of camera cooing ensues. It's pretty pitch-perfect tho. Probably the best vocal of the night so far, if I must be honest.
There's some weird mad-dash super-password-rushy judging format tonight. Paula mistakenly thinks David Cook sang twice. Paula, you need to pay better attention between blackouts.
Jason Castro "September Morn"
You've seen Jason perform before? This is just like that, with different words. The judges harsh it up a bit, because they want Jason to either put up or shut up. Jason is probably getting the Sanjaya constitutes of voters... and that makes the judges nervous.
David Cook "All I Really Need Is You"
It starts off a little slow, but when the music swells up, David hits his stride. And in the end, he brings it home. Overall, a pretty nuanced performance. Paul says she feels like she is already looking at the next Idol. Simon mentions that it was brilliant and the song worked because he made it relevant. So, again, the point of Neil Diamond night is....?
So the worm has turned. It's official. Judges (and iTunes) say Cook is the dude. L'il Archuletta, The Show is breaking up with you now. You will be alone on prom night crying in the corsage you spent $35 on.
Brooke "I Am I Said"
Brooke, with her piano crutch, does better with this song. It's really quite lovely. Of course, this song suits her much better. The judges order Brooke to stay in her piano-singing box.
David Archuletta "Coming To America"
Hm, this has the same unfortunate up-with-people vibe as L'il Archie's previous "Angels." He nails the song ok vocally, but David never does much of anything different. He really hasn't progresses one iota since the show began. I sense PapArchuletta's greasy and devious hand in this song choice. Hey, if Kristy Lee Cook could be saved with a Red State Serenade... it should buy Little David some insurance.
Sayesha "Thank The Lord For The Nightime"
This song is a good choice for Sayesha. She's good at those soulful and sassy numbers. She's 43% less sassy than last week, which is a blessing. Last week's sass explosion was a bit much. It shocks me to say this, but Sayesha is the only one who is 2 for 2 tonight. This is one weird-ass season. Simon puts a hex on her, saying he thinks she may be going home. That's some dirty pool there, Cowell. Objectively, Brooke or Jason should be in greater danger than Sayesha.
So who's going home? Jason should be packing his bong, but I doubt he's going anywhere.
Brooke, I don't think America is a Believer. I think you'll be taking the last train to homesville.