You may have heard my moan in pain when I heard that this week’s theme was Mariah Carey. It was that loud. Apparently Teri Hatcher and Minnie Driver are excited about Mariah, as I see both of them in the audience. Once again, the Idols are belched out of the middle of the stage. It’s such a ‘meh’ way to start the show.
We get a lot of blah, blah, blah about Mariah Carey and her vocal range that only dogs can hear. Ryan’s accolades omit the Glitter phase. Mariah doesn’t like to judge, so Idols, just think of her as a friend who sings. Ryan brings up the good point that they’re doing a theme that most contestants are told to avoid. I was wondering about that too. Just like I’m wondering, with all of the caution against sounding too musical theater, why Andrew Lloyd Webber was selected as next week’s theme. Speaking of which, can I put in a request? Syesha needs to do something from Cats, in costume of course. David Cook needs the Phantom mask. Jason Castro could be Jesus Christ Superstar, even though it was a stupid idea. Thank you.
David Archuleta — When You Believe
First up is David Archuleta. He listens to a lot of Mariah Carey. She’s proud of him. Blah, blah, blah. He’s singing ‘When You Believe.’ It’s so David Archuleta — way overdramatic, way overdone. Kathy calls it very junior prom. Really, that’s all that needs to be said about it. Randy says David picked one of the hardest songs and he can sing anything. Paula thinks Mariah feels great about David’s performance. Simon would’ve bet a million dollars that David was going to pick that song. He likes it, and Simon mentions that there won’t be many smiles tonight. Probably because Mariah’s songs are so depressing. Teenage girls — here’s a tidbit — David Archuleta has a weak stomach! He usually doesn’t eat before the show, but he did tonight. Squeal!
Carly Smithson — Without You
Carly gets the Ryan Stool Treatment and gets asked about getting emotional when Michael Johns got kicked off. Apparently Michael, or MJ as the kids call him, was the only one with personality. Carly’s doing ‘Without You’ and apparently getting ‘coached’ by Mariah was like a ‘dream come true,’ maybe like the last time. Carly is taking the wise road and doing a song that isn’t originally Mariah’s, so perhaps she’ll avoid some of the comparisons. She does ok, and she’s really smilie after her performance. Randy tells her to believe in her lower range and calls it pretty good. Paula liked that Carly showed some vocal restraint. Simon wanted to hear Carly sing this song, even before Mariah week. However, he doesn’t think she quite pulled it off and she’s overthinking everything. Paula chimes in with a ‘you’ve got to trust yourself.’ Thank you, Paula.
Syesha Mercado — Vanishing
Mariah Carey and Syesha Mercado keep a wide personal space around each other and avoid eye contact. Yes, American Idol, I can tell that they couldn’t stand each other, even through the TV. I’m not really familiar with ‘Vanishing’ but then again, I turn the radio station when Mariah Carey comes on. This song has a lot of runs in it. That, and the word Vanishing. That’s about it. Mariah mentions that she wrote it as a teenager. Yep, I can tell that too. Randy says it’s the toughest song of the night, and she did a good job considering. Paula calls Syesha extremely smart. She also calls Mariah brilliant. And she says that not many people have heard this song, which makes me a genius. Paula said some other stuff in there too. Simon said it was technically very good, but perhaps doing a lesser-known song is too big of a risk.
Ryan notes that after this next break we’ll have the battle of the blondes — Brooke vs. Kristy Lee. Kathy notes that many boys will be very excited about that matchup.
Brooke White — Hero
We start with Brooke getting the Ryan Stool Treatment and gets asked about missing her sister’s wedding on Saturday. Awww, poor Brooke. Mariah counsels Brooke to be in the moment when singing ‘Hero.’ ‘Cause Brooke never sings from the heart any other week. This week, once again, Brooke is also playing the piano. I’ll always want her to bust out & go all Tori Amos on the piano, but I know I’ll never get my wish. This week she follows the judges’ previous advice and doesn’t have the rest of the band join her at all during the song. It probably helps make it her hippie version of Mariah Carey. Randy thought it was pretty good, given a rough patch she had. Paula calls Brooke authentic & called her version the unplugged version of ‘Hero.’ Simon didn’t think she had much choice other than doing what she did. He calls her performance a bit like ordering a hamburger and only getting the bun. Randy disagrees and says the meat is definitely in there. Paula gets a case of ‘Where’s The Beef?’ tourettes.
Kristy Lee Cook — Forever
Mariah Carey thinks Kristy Lee Cook sings the song ‘Forever’ better than she does. Ew. I’m trying not to listen to this since she drives me crazy. I’m noticing, though, that they’re occasionally putting a country twang into it. Ew. I don’t know if that was there originally and honestly, I don’t care. Randy doesn’t think it was amazing but thinks Kristy started stepping up at the end. Paula thinks Kristy Lee Cook is a very smart girl and Paula’s blown away. Paula also blathers a lot about the younger generation and Mariah’s legacy. Simon did not get chills from Kristy Lee and comments that Kristy was probably less than thrilled when they were told it would be Mariah Carey week. He does think she was smart, but that it wasn’t great. Paula drunkenly screams that all the girls look pretty tonight!
David Cook — Always Be My Baby
Ryan’s in the audience and is sitting next to Ramiele. Hi Ramiele! Why is David Cook singing ‘You’ll Always Be My Baby?’ He picks the one up-tempo song and turns it into a dirge. We get one chance at something lighter and David Cook has to crap it up & Daughtrify it. Great. It also gives David Cook the chance to completely not enunciate any single word in the song. I’ll hand it to Mariah, I usually know what the heck she’s saying, even when she’s going into her range outside of most human ears. Not so with David Cook. With him, ‘Always Be My Baby’ sounds more like a threat than something light & summery. Randy thinks David’s ready to make an album and he’s standing up to applaud him. Paula thinks he’s pretty awesome & that version of the song could be in some crappy movie when Nickleback breaks up. Ok, maybe that’s not exactly how she put it, but that’s what I heard. Simon calls him a breath of fresh air. I was excited there for a minute because I thought Simon was going to call David Cook karaoke crap. Aww, David’s all teary. Kathy reminds me that his sick brother is supposedly in the audience. Whatever.
Jason Castro — I Don’t Wanna Cry
Mariah thinks Jason’s choice is very interesting and she gives him some ideas. She’s also brave enough to hug him and touch his dreds. I don’t remember ‘I Don’t Wanna Cry’ but that’s not too shocking at this point. Wait, I’m hearing the chorus, and maybe I have heard it. I’m trying too hard on this one, just like Carly. Jason does a good job turning the song all world beaty like he’s wont to do. Randy doesn’t really love it. He feels like he’s at a weird beach luau. Simon thinks that’s hilarious. Paula wants to be at that luau & listen all night long. She thinks Jason’s in the zone. Simon agrees with Paula — he doesn’t think it was the best vocal, but it’s unique to him and cool. He also says that the guys dominated the night. Ryan makes a poi joke and Paula has to make the beef joke again. The ’80s were good to Paula.
Look, it’s been 2 weeks that a couple of girls have skated through. I think it’s time, America, to let one of them go. Please?