It's "songs that inspired me" night. Or, "too tired to think of a legitimate theme" night. Potato, Pototoe...
Micahel Johns "Dream On"
On stage, Michael looks like Hugh Hefner on the way to the Renaissance Faire. Michael, what did I tell you about the ascots last week? This song should be all about distressed jeans, graphic tees and Jesus arms. Please raid the closet labelled "season five." Since Michael has not carved out a specific niche, I suspect he is gravitating toward some "foreigner that done made it in America" vibe.
The song itself is too big for Micahel. His reach (and he does literally reach...) exceeds his grasp. He does a serviceable job, but he can't hit those big "money" notes. In a vote-grab, Michael spouts some nonsense about "making it America." In Idolese, that translates as "Red States, commence dialing." Paula - in a moment of unintentional clarity - calls it when she says, "you sound as good as you look." Ascots are the devil's fashion accessory, Michael.
Sayesha "I Believe"
Sayesha sings a song that is originally from Fantasia. Last week, Sayesha disturbed The Force when she dared sing Whitney, and this week she decides to sing a song from a past Idol, which is usually frowned upon in these parts. Suddenly, I'm picturing Sayesha stepping on cracks and walking under ladders. She technically does a good job with the song, but the judges were looking for a "Sophie's Choice" level emotional journey. Faint praise ensues.
Jason "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"
Jason sings the more recent cover of this song, not the big Judy Garland number. It's actually a great choice for Jason, totally within his style. He does a very nice job with it, but to my ears, it's more or less a copycat performance of the cover. Jason gets rewarded for staying in his pre-defined Idol Box, though, and the judges love on it.
OK, there's a Go Phone commercial where Meatloaf is faux-arguing with his son to the tune of "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" - a song where a guy is trying to pressure a girl to have sex. Creepy-creeps. I am dialing Chris Hanson right now.
Kristy Lee Cook "Anyway"
A few weeks ago, Kristy weaved her Confederate Spell of Protection when she sang "God Bless The USA." Singing "Anyway," Kristy does a nice job laying down her musical wallpaper. The judges, including Simon (!), like it. Simon, disrupt the circle poured in salt to break this sinister spell!
David Cook "Innocent"
I'm not familiar with this song, but it sounds vaguely like it's from the same artist that did David Archuletta's "You're The Voice." It's full of eye-rolling platitudes that might have seemed deep in 6th grade. It aspires to reach the depth of White Lion's "When The Children Cry." 'Nuff said. Also, there's something off about this performance that's mumbly and too low tempo. And, I'm distracted by David's Captain EO jacket. The judges rightfully call it out as a below-par David Cook performance.
Carly "The Show Must Go On"
Carly tells us once again how she's been "bumped and knocked" in the road of life. What exactly happened in this girl's life? I'm imagining Carly seeing the starving kids on "Idol Gives Back" and wondering if they even know what it's like to sing in bars and remain unsigned for two years. Oh, the tragedy that is Carly.
She does a nice job with this song... but also, this is Freddie Mercury, peeps. Hard to take this on. The Show continues its awkward, uncomfortable break-up with Carly -- and the judges hate on it. Carly, there's a box of CDs and t-shirts on the lawn for you now. It's getting uncomfortable for all of us.
David Archuletta "Angels"
David assures us he chose his inspirational song this week (subtext: not PapArchuletta). The song is actually not a great choice for David, but the piano vibe helps him from looking like a glee club kid on solo night. Vocally, I think David's voice is too low for this song. In the audience, PapArchuletta thunderously applauds in one of his cabby hats. Randy and Simon love. Simon is the only one not drinking the Kool-Aid... but who are we kidding? The kid's going nowhere!
Brooke "You've Got A Friend"
With wardrobe on loan from "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In", Brooke sings the Carol King version of "You've Got a Friend." Maybe she should have sang "Thank You For Being a Friend" from the Golden Girls and grabbed all the gay votes. Brooke does a nice job with the song, but doesn't bring anything new to it. Randy and Paula mildly like it. Simon calls it "pleasant, like a walk in the park..." and suddenly Brooke looks like she ate some bad eggs. Not what she wanted to hear, I suppose, but a fair and accurate assessment nonetheless.
Tomorrow is "Idol Gives Back", from the fine people who brought you such slapdash logos as "Duncan Hines" and "Birds Eye Frozen Apple Pie." Ribbons convey both tasty desserts and devastating poverty, if I must tell you. The whole extravaganza is slightly shorter than the "Lord Of The Rings" Trilogy. And you wonder why Ellen sat this one out?
So who is going home? I'm guessing it's back to the Boar's Nest for Kristy Lee.