American Idol S07E35: Top 5: Neil Diamond Songs

AI season 7 episode 35.

Best to worst. Numbers are singing order.

7. David Cook – “All I Really Need Is You.” He opts for the acoustic guitar in round 2. This was a very solid performance. Rocking middle part, cool falsetto, smooth ending. Randy said he rocked the house, it was blazing. Paula is aware she’s on TV. Simon said the first song was OK, the second song brilliant.

2. David Cook – “I’m Alive.” Definitely not a karaoke version. I don’t think it was his best performance, but it was solid. It also seemed shorter than 90 seconds.

9. David Archuleta – “America.” I think he is really showing the limitation of his vocals with this one. This is not even good karaoke. He cracked on one of the notes. A needless modulation. He’s a good singer, but this is not his vibe. Randy said it was good, that he is in the zone. Paula is aware she’s on TV. Simon said it was a smart song choice.

5. Syesha Mercato – “Hello Again.” Another week, another hair style. I think this is the first song that she’s sung that I enjoyed. She nailed it. By far her best performance. She should have saved that for her second song.

8. Brooke White – “I Am I Said.” She’s got her singer/songwriter vibe going in full gear with this song. And she seems more comfortable behind the piano than playing the guitar. But it was not a tremendously original arrangement. Randy said she did a nice job. Paula is aware she’s on TV. Simon hated the first song, liked the second song, said it was well done.

4. David Archuleta – “Sweet Caroline.” Clearly pop songs are not his strong point. He is not sticking to the melody. The runs are distracting. At least he is smiling. And the trumpets sound good. Meh.

6. Jason Castro – “September Morn.” I think it was good in parts, a bit off key in other parts. He seemed much more comfortable than the first song. Randy thought it was just OK. Paula is aware she’s on TV. Simon said he struggled through both songs and didn’t try to make them his own.

1. Jason Castro – “Forever in Blue Jeans.” The start seems a bit too low for him (and lower than he practiced it in the video segment), but that’s because he takes it up an octave later in the song. I like it, but I’ve always enjoyed his voice. This is kind of a sleep-walking performance. Not great, not a train wreck. His fans will like it, his detractors will not. Hmm, no judges comments after song #1. That’s one way to save time.

10. Syesha Mercato – “Thank The Lord For The Nighttime.” This is more upbeat than her first song, but I think it is more old-fashioned than the first (contrary to what Simon said). She was also badly off key in parts. Not a convincing performance for me. Randy said it was in the zone (but thought it was good for Broadway). Paula is aware she’s on TV. Simon said this was the strangest show we’ve ever done, said she is a good actress/singer, but thinks she is in trouble tonight. She talked back to Simon (not good).

3. Brooke White – “I’m A Believer.” My band does this song. We’re a cover band. We have fun with it. But we’re not on American Idol. Brooke was having fun with it and playing the guitar. But she wasn’t adding much new to it. The ending was the best part. I predict that the judges will hate it.

In order to save time, all of the top 5 lined up to get critiqued en masse from the judges after round one. Paula provided even more comic relief than normal when she judged BOTH of Jason’s songs after the first round. (He sang only one.) I’m not sure what the other judges said, and I’m not sure it matters. The judges’ comments have much more impact when delivered immediately after each singer’s performances.

I thought this was a weird show. Too rushed. Departure from the normal format. Who gets lost in the rush? Syesha, I think.

Best to worst:
David Cook
David Archuleta
Brooke White
Jason Castro
Syesha Mercato

Going home:
Syesha Mercato

3 Replies to “American Idol S07E35: Top 5: Neil Diamond Songs”

  1. Hi Erik,

    I don’t watch American Idol but I do enjoy your writeups on it. One of my best friends who has known me since I was 4 says Brooke reminds her of me. What do you think? I think the flaky part maybe.

    Betsy

  2. The consensus in our house is that Brooke was the right person to go, even though she seems like a very nice person! We also thought that David Archuleta’s “America” belonged in a theme park show, complete with dancing patriotic mascots. (He’s had a couple of those performances this season.)

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