So here it is, the first real week of Idol and the first time we get to see all of the guys perform. As usual, I'm more than 2 hours delayed, but I'll stick with the liveblogging format anyway.
First up is David Hernandez, my Hollywood-round favorite, singing "Wait Till The Midnight Hour". He's good, but I'm not as impressed as past performances. It's fairly bland and he had one really flat note at the end. Simon got it right when he said he didn't hear anything distinct.
Oh, while I have a chance, I should remind you to go to DialIdol.com and download their American Idol auto-dialer! I find it more interesting to watch the stats than really using it to vote, because I know my votes really don't make THAT much difference.
Next up is Chickezie. Yeah, just Chickezie, like Cher or ... um... right. Wow, based on the first few notes, I wonder how he made it into the top 24. He's certainly not good enough to go by just one name. Maybe it just started too low, because it got a little better by the end. And the outfit is awful. (Oh, Simon just said that too.)
Next is rocker wanna-be David Cook. He's singing "Happy Together". He starts off pitchy and doesn't get much better. DialIdol puts him in the bottom 4 right now, and I'm not surprised. The ending got interesting, but then the arrangement ended on a major chord which was just WEIRD! Not David's fault in this case. The judges seemed to really like it, despite the shaky start, but I don't really agree. Hmm... he's managed to work his way up to the middle of the pack on DialIdol now (10:54pm EST).
Jason Yeager is up next. What's with the blonde patch? Is he a Blake Lewis wanna-be? Jason goes WAY back, singing "Moon River". Never would've picked him as a crooner, but he's actually good. Boring, but good. Which is why he's currently in the bottom 3 on DialIdol. He's got a really good voice, but he's totally forgettable.
Wait a second... is Moon River a 60's song?
Next is Robbie Carrico. I guess I vauguely remember him from the first-round auditions, but don't remember seeing him in Hollywood at all. He's good, but I'd love to see more power from him. His voice is somewhere between Bo Bice and Chris Daughtry, although he's not as good as either one... at least not yet. I'm sure he'll be around for a while.
David Archuleta is up next, singing "Better Shop Around". It's a bit low for him, but he does a fantastic job. Wow. It's absolutely amazing to think this kid is only 17. Unfortunately, he won't win, because he's TOO good. Just like Paris Bennett, who was also only 17 and fantastic, people will become acustomed to him being fantastic and one day he'll have a minor slip. He sure is funny, though.
Next is Danny Noriega. Bring that 'tude, girl... er, boy.... er, something. I'm not sure why he ever made the top 24 -- maybe to add diversity? He does an admirable job on Jailhouse Rock, although his dancing (if you can call it dancing) took a little bit away from the singing. I'm amazed, DialIdol puts him in the top 4 right now... although in these early weeks, the accuracy isn't very high and he could still end up anywhere in the bottom 10.
Luke "pretty-boy" Menard is up next. I don't think we've seen him at all this season. If we did, he's totally forgettable. And apparently he's totally forgettable this time too, as he's in last place on DialIdol (and has been all night) -- and I haven't heard a note yet. Maybe the fact that he looks a little like Orlando Bloom will save him? Yep, it's a boring, forgettable performance. What's with all the ballads tonight? Haven't these guys ever seen this show before? (Hey, there goes Simon stealing my lines again!)
Self-professed Ellen look-alike Colton Berry is our ninth performer of the night, singing another Elvis song. His pitch is all over the place, and overall his tone is just dull. He shows some hints here and there of having some power in his voice, but he needs to grow FAST in order to stay around for more than a few weeks. I think Randy was generous with his comments, but as always Simon is spot on -- he's a good singer, but not good enough to be a star.
Next up is Garrett Haley, another one I don't remember ever seeing in the early rounds... and I think I'd remember this freak. Ryan even made a point of mentioning the lack of camera-time. He has a very high voice and a good vocal range, but picks a ballad that doesn't showcase that at all. Yet another very forgettable ballad. Actually, it was worse than forgettable -- it was downright bad. Which is why he's currently in the bottom two on the DialIdol stats.
Next is Jason Castro, another contestant I don't remember seeing before tonight. He's actually gonna let him play guitar on stage, which I think is awsome, even if this is a "singing" competition. Not only is he a decent guitar player (not that he's playing anything difficult), but he sounds good too, plus he makes an effort to make the song his own. That was actually a very good performance -- possibly the second-best of the night after David A. Now I see why he's currently 3rd in DialIdol voting... and I haven't seen Michael Johns yet. Hmmm... Randy doesn't like the changes he made to the vocal line... and Simon's repeating me again! (Fox 5, if you want to hire me for Idol Chatter, I'm available!!! And I certainly know what I'm talking about more than Jack Diamond does!)
Aussie Michael Johns is the last performer tonight. He's certainly gotten a lot of airtime already this year. Michael sings Light My Fire, complete with flame backdrop. I actually think this is a horrible performance -- certainly not the best we've seen from him, and we've seen a lot better renditions of this song from other Idol contestants. But he certainly has a lot of energy and a very strong voice. Randy compares him to Michael Hutchins??? Not anywhere close! Wow, even Simon likes him. They must've really heard something different in the studio than I heard on TV. I mean he wasn't the worst of the night, but he certainly wasn't the best, and I'm very surprised that DialIdol shows him in second place currently.
So at the end of the first night, we have two distinct groups -- memorable or forgettable. My personal tops were David H., Jason C., Robbie, and of course David A. I also think David Yeager has a lot of potential, he just needs to choose better songs. And of course Michael Johns has a lot of stage presence, despite his shaky performance tonight. That leaves six that should be going home some time in the next three weeks: Chickezie, Garrett, Danny, Luke, Colton, and David Cook -- although I think David C. and David Y. could easily trade places.
What do you think?