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Haterade's Idol Anal-ysis (Round of 12 Men) - 3/18/08

Last week, we had out first finalist casualty as David Hernandez was stripped of his chances to win American Idol. Haterade checks up on the performances of the remaining 11 and let's you know who he thinks is checking out.

By popular demand (from the producers and probably the negotiations of the people who had the Lennon / McCartney Songbook) we get to hear the Beatles for a second straight week. Hopefully, we'll hear different songs (because it would be bring otherwise) and we'll see the audience move their hands in time better. No Jason Block this week - just me and 11 singers. Randy Jackson yawns before the performance (and gets a cheap single plug in) and I hope I'm not yawning during the performances.

Amanda Overmyer starts us off with 'Back in the U.S.S.R.'. Will we wish that she was shipped there after the performance?

The Good -She finally picks a song that most of us have heard of. The ridiculous luau beads are gone and she looks like a performer. She seems much more comfortable up there and is actually performing instead of looking like a clay pigeon ready to be shot off of a fence.

The Bad - The pitch was terrible. I wasn't too thrilled with the arrangement and the timing was off. If she sang this in the U.S.S.R., the Russians may shove her in a crate and send her back to the States.

The Verdict - She did sing a nice southern rock song, but how many southern rockers vote? She's turning into a one trick pony, and if Carly outsings her, she could be in trouble.

Kristy Lee Cook is trying to get '8 Days a Week' out of my head by showing us photographs of her horse. My eardrums wanted to puke for 8 hours a day. Hopefully 'You;ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.

The Good - She countrifies the song. The speed and tempo is something that she should have done on last week's performance. And she nails the money note at the end.

The Bad - The key register was way too low for her - she should have moved it upwards. As a result, she selected a song with a boring melody line which was consistently pitchy until the end. My eardrums wanted to hide themselves away.

The Verdict - 1. You're selecting a song by the title and 2. you want Randy to go away? Unless she gets a ton of help from someone else, I think Kristy will be going away.

David Archuleta reminds us for the 80th time that he screwed up last week. He hopes 'The Long And Winding Road', will lead him to success, and not to the exit off the show this week.

The Good - David takes the song and makes it a nice poppy arrangement. Much better than last week. David is back.

The Bad - Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was good. BUT - it was once again another slow song. Yes, he can show us he can sing the Beatles. Now show us that you can sing a quick poppy happy song. And the head moving side to side made him look like a fish bobbing upwards for food.

The Verdict - Now THAT'S how you take a song and make it emotional. He vocally charged the audience. I want to see him do something out of that element though, but it was a terrific performance.

Michael Johns selects 'A Day in The Life'. He's hoping to capture the magic he sang in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. I hope so, because I haven't like him since then.

The Good - This is the perfect song to sing for his sort of voice. And its a change of pace from what he's been doing gives him the potential for a nice vocal...

The Bad - ...until he opened his mouth. He suffered from Arculeta-itis. Consistently off-pitch, mangled or just forgot the lyrics. And he brutalized the money note. My ear drums just ran off to do the Macarena in the toilet.

The Verdict - Telling Paula that he didn't use his monitor like everyone else did was a huge error. He comes across as arrogant, and America doesn't like arrogant. It was so bad that I don't think him dedicating it to a deceased friend is going to help much. Kristy Lee needed some help, and she may have gotten it.

Brooke White is wearing yellow and letting her hair out for 'Here Comes the Sun'. After witnessing the Michael Johns mess, I'll take any form of sunshine right about now.

The Good - She's in pitch for the most paert, and she emotionally vests herself into the song. That's pretty good...

The Bad - ...because the song itself is horrifically boring. Rotten choice of song in that aspect because although it's very well known, it's not vocally challenging and there's no chance for her to display any sort of vocal range. Her voice and personality did not gel with the song.

The Verdict - It was technically ok, but musically, it was a huge step backwards. I think that she'll get away with it because of her last 2 excellent performances, but she can't do THAT again for awhile.

David Cook decides to hard rock it up - again - and sing 'Daytripper'. Let's hope he doesn't trip it up.

The Good - He rocks the song out and the guitar actually fits. The vocals were nice and it was a great song selection.

The Bad - Do these guys check the monitors for instrument feedback? The guitar sounds terrible on the feedback and the guitar solos sounded like a mess of blared out guitar notes.

The Verdict - The voice sounded very mature and the performance was ok. I agree that the performance was not as good as what the judged did and he's starting to be one dimensional. Drop the guitar. He sounds a lot better with no guitar, which allows him to concentrate more on the vocals.

Carly Smithson looked quite evil last week - but quite good as well. Can she recreate the magic with ''Blackbird', which is her first ballad?

The Good - Very nice arrangement of the song. Carly takes a nice rendition of it. The orchestration behind her really makes the songs. The emotional build up from soft at the beginning to loud at the end was a nice professional touch - and those touches embellish a song.

The Bad - The pitch was off. It was consistently flat. It's also not a well-known song and I agree with Simon that it could have been more on the indulgent side than a smart choice for the audience.

The Verdict - Not as good of a performance as they thought it was and a clear step backwards from last week. It won't hurt her, because she was good, but it wasn't as great as perceived.

Jason Castro sings 'Michelle', because he doesn't know French....wha? Has that Ricky Williams emporium been open all this time?

The Good - Good choice of song. I like the fact that he took a risk on the song. He was able to emotionally emote to the camera. And it's a great romance song that his audience of screaming women will eat up.

The Bad - Whats up with everybody being flat on the pitch tonight? Is the monitors making them all be flat? And the pacing is way too fast. It sounds like Jason wants to run up to Michelle's room, do the horizontal Macarena and quickly run downstairs for a nightcap with her sister.

The Verdict - The more he sings, the more I'm convinced that he has that same sort of social anxiety that Ricky Williams has. It's good for nbow, but he's going to be exploited on it later. However, he's safe now.

Syesha Mercado knows she has to sing well tonight or she's gone. She picks 'Yesterday', which once again changes the song from a male genre to a female genre'd song.

The Good - She sang like she was going to be eaten by the audience if she screwed up. Fortunately, she didn't screw up, complete with nice, yet refined money note hits. And the arrangement was nice.

The Bad - Everyone knows I have issues with guys singing women songs. I'll say the same thing with women singing guy songs. With her head down, it also looked like she was trying to woo the floor to vote for her.

The Verdict - She needed a good performance - and she got it. Now can we have more of that next time instead of you singing like you were mailing it in, please? We already have one Michael Johns in this competition; we don't need two.

Chikezie is trying to shed being cheesy by singing 'I've Just Seen a Face'. He says that he's going to pick up an instrument that he has no idea how to play - the harmonica. Uh oh...

The Good - Very nice balanced first half of the song. He keeps his voice restrained and he nailed a couple of money notes, and I was about to say how great a performance it was...

The Bad - ...until the second half of the song started. he just tried to put too much into the song. He couldn't decide if he wanted to sing a balled or a fast-paced song, and we got a mess instead. And the choice of song reeked of self-indulgence.

The Cheesy - Horrible idea to use the harmonica, which brought nothing to the song and made him appear to be more of a hack than a singer. An additional cheesy award goes to the audience, who have been screaming all night like mice on prozac, regardless of what the singers were doing. You could have had Big Bird on stage singing 'Hail Britannic' and the audience would have been screaming at that.

The Verdict - Chikezie needed a good performance to escape the backlash he was going to be getting when the voters come out to save Syesha. He didn't get it.

Ramiele Malubay sings 'I Should Have Known Better', which is what I should have said about last week's performance.

The Good - Much better selection of song and performance this week than last week. She incorporated the money note hits that she should have been hitting last week.

The Bad - She's still pitchy and flat when she's not hitting the money notes. And I couldn't stand her movements during the song. The way she moved back and forth during the song made her look like a Harajuku cyber-chicken searching for grain to eat. There's no way she should have gotten the last spot this evening,

The Verdict - It was bubble gum synth Karaoke music, which won't get her any new voters, but it will get her contingency to vote for her - which is what the whole point of the show is.

The Final Verdict - Once to the well - good. Twice to the well...not so much. Idol should have never gone back to the Songbook, money be damned. Not nearly as good as last week, and people who probably shouldn't have had to be concerned now need to do so.

SHOULD be in Trouble - Michael Johns, Brooke White, Ramiele Malubay

They had the 3 worst performances of the evening. Nonetheless, they will be safe because their fan base will bail them out due to their previous performances (though in the case of Michael Johns, ou have to wonder just how far Hollywood Week will carry him). So who will wind up being called into the center stage?

TROUBLE - Kristy Lee Cook, Chikezie, Amanda Overmyer

Chikezie should have enough of a fan base left to keep him around in the competition, so he'll be sent to the happy couch (Though this could easily be Michael Johns in this spot, but I think enough housewives will vote for him to stay in). This leaves us Amanda and Kristy Lee Cook. So who leaves? The person who arguably is the worst rocker in the group? Or the woman who has yet to sing anything well besides Amazing Grace? I'll go with the person who sang like she knew she wasn't going to make the American Idol tour and gave up.

OUT - Kristy Lee Cook

Join us in 24 hours for the results.
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