Doesn't it seem like the American Idol guys just performed? I guess a whole week has gone by already. Let's see how they do tonight -- and whether they'll reference the David Hernandez as stripper situation.
Tonight's theme: the 1980s. Tonight's question: most embarrassing moments.
Luke Menard is first, and his moment is that his sister dressed him up as a girl when he was 8. Then, BOOM, time to sing. He sings "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," and he is so-so bad. (Sorry.) So bad that one of my cats goes crazy during his last high note. Randy Jackson asks him if he was having a good time. He says yes. Randy says it was all right, a little corny. Paula Abdul says she is surprised he picked that song, but that he has a "great instrument" and she loved his interpretation. If he has a "great instrument," I think it must be a guitar or oboe or some other thing he failed to bring with him on stage. Maybe Simon Cowell will bring us back to earth. Please? "I didn't like it, I thought it was weak, a bit girly. ... There is no chance you're going to make it through, not even to the Top 12." Yay!
David Archuleta is next. His embarrassing moment was when he was singing at a concert and his voice gave out, so his mom came up on stage to finish for him. Hopefully that won't happen ever during this show! On stage, he takes on Phil Collins' "Another Day in Paradise," and he's playing the piano at the start. His voice is clear and lovely as usual, although this song isn't really as touching as last week's "Imagine." But that would be a tough one to follow no matter what. Randy says it was an interesting song choice, but didn't show off his vocal prowess. Still, "it was nice." Paula says she was glad there were a couple of off notes because it proved he is human. Simon says it wasn't as good as last week and that he should have stayed at the piano. He adds that David should make sure to watch to mood and avoid so much gloominess.
Danny Noriega says his moment was when a friend tripped him going up the stairs at the movies, and he fell in front of his crush. He sings "Tainted Love," and I don't really even know what to say. Perhaps cue up the chorus of OK Go's "Good Idea at the Time"? Randy says there is good stuff and bad stuff. He says it started rough, but his arrangement was great, and then he was greatly confident at the end. "Come on with the vocals, you can do this." Paula: "You are this bright light in this competition. ... You've got great vocals." The she talks about his purple streaks in his hair for a while. Simon: "I thought it was horrible, the whole thing, absolutely useless." Danny responds "whatever," making the one-handed moose sign that Simon kept doing last week.
David Hernandez says he did a whole photo shoot with a giant booger hanging out of his nose and had to reshoot the whole thing. His worst moment wasn't the AP story today? I guess the show isn't talking about it. Anyway, back to the show. He sings "It's All Coming Back to Me Now." Many of his big notes are pretty good, but some of the lesser ones are a little rough. Simon says something off-mike but almost audible that sounds either like, "I like the way you stripped that back," or, "I like the way you scripted that." Not sure. Randy says it was a nice song choice, though a little sharp here and there. Paula says he is getting into his groove and becoming a really good performer. She adds that he has some of the best vocals. Simon says it wasn't as good as last week, and that he sounds better on soul songs, but he still "100 percent" secured himself a place in next week's show.
Going into the break, they tell us that David Cook is next, but after the break there is some kind of a snag with a guitar, so Ryan talks to Michael Johns. Michael says his moment was being dressed as a kangaroo for a rugby match and getting beaten up in front of 20,000 people. On stage, he sings "Don't You (Forget About Me)." It's pretty good, but so far on the live show, I haven't seen anything quite as good as the footage of him from Hollywood week. Am I off on that? Randy says "the Aussie boy goes home for '80s week" and compares him to Michael Hutchence. Uhh, I believe that was a Simple Minds song, and per Wikipedia, that band is from Scotland. Paula says, "You are the kind of artist who is defining who you are. ... This season, you all are unique and different, and you are no different." Well, OK, then. Simon says he liked it but didn't love it. He tells Michael he has "huge talent, but you haven't quite connected with the right song. ... But I really, really like you, and I think you're going to do very well in this competition."
David Cook shows Ryan that his guitar is now working. Whew. His moment was realizing in the middle of a talent show performance that he didn't know the second verse of the song and turning into a statue in response. On stage, he sings a rock version of Lionel Richie's "Hello." That's an unexpected choice, but it works better than I would have thought. Randy says he made an emo version of a very pop song, and he thinks it could be a hit. Paula says she loves seeing him on stage because she knows she will be in for a surprise. Then she repeats Randy's "hit" line. Simon: "That was a very brave thing to do, and I loved it. I like people who go out there and take a few risks. ... I really, really hope we're going to see you next week."
Jason Castro says his worst moment was in the middle of a date, he was trying to tie his dreads back when their food showed up, when one of the dreads broke off. Yikes. He takes on "Hallelujah," Leonard Cohen's song that is also widely known for Jeff Buckley's cover. It's a pleasant-enough rendition, but I guess for me it lacks some of the heft that the song can deliver. That song has had me in tears at other times, but not this time. Still, not bad. Randy says he did a pretty good job with it and gives him props for coming out without the guitar. Paula says he made it sound "so effortless with ease." Simon says Jeff Buckley's version of that song is one of his favorite songs of all time and that what Jason did with it was "brilliant." He calls it one of the best performances of the night and Jason's best so far.
Chikezie is last tonight. His moment was starting high school and going to the same bathroom all time and finally realizing it was the women's bathroom. He sings Whitney Houston's "All the Man That I Need," but changed to "Woman." (Apparently, Luther Vandross did a version of this song with the lyrics similarly changed, but for most people, this is all Whitney.) There's Simon off-mike again, saying something like, "It was good." This happened last week, too. Seems like a technical issue they might want to think about fixing. Randy says it was an interesting song choice, but Chikezie did a good job with it. Paula says his "vocals sound really good tonight." Simon says if it was a Whitney song it didn't work at all. He says it was "much more cabaret than last week. ... I don't think that was a very smart move." So what was that off-mike business?
Anyway, that's all, folks. What did you think about the evening's performances?