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Haterade's Idol Anal-ysis (Round of 9) - 4/1/08

Haterade once again selects the person eliminated in the form of Chikezie (3 for 3 with the person selected in the bottom two or out) - and that's no fooling. Who will look like a fool tomorrow night?

Ryan Seacrest tells us that Idol is pre-empted for The Moment of Truth featuring Simon Cowell. Being that this week's theme is country, and that those shows have had a history of being ugly, we may actually prefer Cowell strapped to a lie detector than the dreaded country show. The mentor is Dolly Parton, who wrote over 3,000 songs and had over 110 Top 40 hits, including 25 number ones. Nice.

Brooke White decides to tackle 'Jolene'. It's a great song, and I only hope that Brooke can do that song justice. She's had 2 straight misses, and she can't afford a third.

The Good - She uses the guitar in the right place. She also hits the notes melodically and passionately. Nice job.

The Bad - Did not take as many risks vocally, as I feel that she could have - and should have. She consistently looks to the right when she's singing and not to us. What's to the right to her offstage? Simon Cowell in a dress waiting to corrupt her?

The Verdict - Technically a step upwards. Musically a step downwards. Competent, and usually competent is good enough in country, which has been an Idol killer...but we'll see what everyone else does.

David Cook tells us that he's been lucky to find people's arrangements of other songs. This week, hes doing his own arrangement of 'Little Sparrow'. I'm scurred....

The Good - He takes another arrangement and makes it risky. I'll give him points for the risk....

The Bad - ...but not the reward this time. Unlike the other arrangements, this one exposed his vocals, which were pitchy. And selecting a song about birds that no one knows can be a huge error - just ask Carly Smithson and her 'Blackbird'. What's up with birds?

The Verdict - Not nearly as good as he's been the past few weeks. I don't think that hurts him because of the resume that he's obtained over the past month.

Ramiele Malubay has had a month to forget. t least I've forgotten what she has sung, and most of America probably has, too. Can she make us remember who she is with 'Do I Ever Cross Your Mind'?

The Good - The spunk is back - and so is the confidence. It's a better vocal that we've heard from her in awhile.

The Bad - She's still got that chicken pecking for grain movements. And the chicken lost her cock-a-doodle-doo near the end, when she was pitchy, which made the end note sound like cock-a-doo-doo.

The Verdict - This is a dangerous performance. The song is not well known and it's sung 'ok', which means that she won't get new voters to pick her and it wasn't bad enough to mobilize a fan base to save her. That, plus the fact that she hasn't had many memorable moments so far, and that the Jason Castro fans will be voting for him instead of her, could spell trouble this week. We're going to find out just how strong her fan base is.

Jason Castro gets tons of postcards - from the same person. If Jason doesn't show up this evening, he better hope that postcard lady votes 30 million times. He selects 'Travelling Through' - which I hope is a good performance.

The Good - The guitar is back, and he can country it up. He provides the emotional and confident showing that he severely lacked last week.

The Bad - A little pitchy to start the song. This is a 'Jesus' song. 'Jesus' songs are dangerous creatures. It helped propel Taylor Hicks to win Idol - but it also helped eliminate Mandisa when she buried herself in them.

The Verdict - We go back to safe, happy Jason Castro. Sure his fans will be mobilized and he'll be safe this week - but if he continues these songs, he's looking at 6th place.

Carly Smithson takes 'Here You Come Again' - and slows it down. Does it slow down enough for her to pick up more votes?

The Good - Takes a musical chance by slowing down the song and it pays off. Also is the first person tonight to attempt - and nail - a money note.

The Bad - She was so focused on the money note that she slipped into patches of pitchiness during the second half of the song. The black shirt and red pants looked like she was foraging through the wardrobe of the deposed Amanda Overmyer.

The Verdict - Best performance of the night so far. A nice song to build up on as she throws the gauntlet down to Kristy Lee - who may need to do the same.

David Archuleta goes back to the ballad with 'Smoky Mountain Memories'. Can we hear the memory of a good performance?

The Good - He hits the money notes - again. He's good like that. Give him a ballad, and he'll crank it out. It's also a non-preachy song, which is a nice change...

The Bad - ...to a point. We get more 'Jesus' music. I'm not putting down Jesus. I'm sure he's a nice guy, probably got up to make eggs and some mimosa for breakfast, probably created some champagne from the drawing water in the pm - but if you're not Christian, you won't be endorsing the performance.

The Verdict - THAT was the best performance of the night. It's going to put one of the poppers in trouble - and I'm guessing that popper will be Ramiele.

Kristy Lee Cook goes for the 'Coat of Many Colors'. She may need many pitches to continue to get out of the deep hole she dug for herself.

The Good - It's not as bad as she has been over the past few weeks. And she has nice shiny golden hair. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it?

The Bad - Pitchy all over the place. I have no clue what the song is, and that won't help the non-country voters. And what's up with performing barefoot? Maybe someone put broken glass or little sharp pebbles on the stage for her feet to step on and that caused the awkward pitch. And the outfit looks like someone created it by killing a living teepee.

The Verdict - This is country night. The country singer is supposed to pick out a well known song to shine on. Instead, she picks an obscure one and mangles it. I don't think there's enough country fans to bail her out from the bottom three this time.

Syesha Mercado decides to sing 'I Will Always Love You'. It's a great song, if you can nail it - but if you can't, you're usually gone. Ask Asia'h Epperson.

The Good - She bails out the song in the second half, which is good, because she needed it. She went for the money note in her song, and she gets props for it.

The Bad - Hated the arrangement. The money note is only good if you keep it in pitch - and she was flat on that and most of the other notes. This reminds me of how good Whitney sang the song - and that's not a compliment.

The Verdict - Syesha is not as good as she thinks she is. The problem is that she is picking out these vocally demanding songs that her voice is not good enough to cover. She needs to be less ambitious and select songs she can cover and nail them out. She'll be safe this week because she will pick up the Chikezie vote, but she needs to perform better.

We finish the evening with Michael Johns , who gives us 'It's all Wrong, but it's Alright'. Can he make us feel alright as the show comes to a close?

The Good - He's got a perfect voice for this sort of song. It was a nice bluesy-rocky performance. It sort of reminded me of 'At This Moment' by Billy Vera.

The Bad - It made me interested in a song that I've never heard of. Eventually, the singers will learn that you have to sing songs the general commonplace are familiar with in order to get a fanbase.

The Verdict - It was good, but I didnt think it was the best of the night - or even second best of the night. Middle of the pack at best, but that will get him through easy.

Overall Verdict - There was nothing mindblowing, but you had 3 good performances. You also didn't have anything east-shatteringly painful, you did have enough mediocrity to determine who the bottom three will be. David Cook, Michael Johns, and David Archuleta all sang well and will be safe. Syesha Mercado and Jason Castro deserve to be in the bottom three, but the swing of fans will keep them out. That means that someone who sang well will wind up in the bottom three, so we'll play it this way...

Trouble - Kristy Lee Cook, Ramiele Malubay, Carly Smithson

I think the swing of Jason Castro fans will show Ramiele the unhappy chairs for the first time. And I think she'll stay there when Carly Smithson goes back to the safety couch. So who leaves? The forgettable pop performance? Or the forgettable country performance? I'll go with the person who has given us nothing for the first 4 weeks of the finals...oh wait, that's both of them. I'll say the person who doesn't have a musical night in her wheelhouse - and no, 'Karaoke Night' doesn't count.

OUT - Ramiele Malubay (or Kristy Lee Cook, but I'm sticking with Ramiele because I can't be Dial Idol and make everyone who isn't David Archuleta and David Cook safe).

We'll see later on tonight who'll have tears in their beer...or soda pop.
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Props on another fine prediction. Care to hazard this far out a winner? Because that would be a true crowning achievement.

said Scaramouch on April 3, 2008 1:23 AM.

Well, my primer said David Archuleta - and that was before the round of 24. So I'm staying with that until proven otherwise.


said Haterade on April 3, 2008 6:56 AM.
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