1. Jason Castro – Forever in Blue Jeans. Yeah, I liked it. I like him because he’s not trying to be anything more than, well, anything more than forever in blue jeans.
2. David Cook – I’m Alive. Yeah y’are. And a little smug. But still, not the worst performance ever.
3. Brooke Why’d – I’m a Believer. As in “Why’d you think you could sing that song, Flo?” Because she’s corny and she knows it. Corny, cheesy . . . corn dog with cheese.
4. David Archuleta – Sweet Caroline. Um . . . I loved the fact that he performed this as if it were the theme song to his sitcom. I don’t know . . . He mixed it up a bit. I don’t know. He’s missing something . . . just no strength in his voice half the time, like he’s got a loogie waiting to fly.
5. Syesha Mercado – Hello Again. And . . . goodbye. She’s not a bad singer, but I feel like I’m stuck in a disco.
Intermission – Paula, seriously, that was awesome. You’re going to make a wonderful drunk grandmother someday. And Neil, you’re the bomb.
6. JC – September Morn. Here’s what I like about this guy: I don’t think you should have to look like you’re trying super hard. He doesn’t. I mean, he’s not exactly trying to win this contest, but he’s not offending the crap out of me.
7. DC – All I Really Need Is You. I never got the chance to slow dance in the ’80s. I almost just did. I’m sorry, I couldn’t disagree with the judges more on this one. I think Cook is good, but I thought that song was total cornball. I didn’t think it sounded anything like anything that would come out today. Sometimes when you change the style of a song it works great. But the language in that song is not that rockin’. You can’t utter the words “I must conclude” whilst rocking. It just doesn’t fit.
8. B Dub – I Am . . . I Said. That was good. For me, dog, that was probably the best song of the night.
9. DA – America. Okay, I didn’t correctly predict any song choices, pretty bad considering they sang TWO songs each. It’s almost like I’m 0 for 10. But this is the closest I came to getting one right. “America” is the other Neil “something bigger, fellow mankind” song. Simon’s right, he was clever in going all patriotic. But, all technical merit aside, that was an artistic mess. The terrorists just won.
10. SM – Thank the Lord for the Nighttime. I thank the Lord we’re almost done. I like Syesha alright, but just alright. She did a good job, but her voice is never really going to blow people away. Thinking back to some of the voices that have lost on season’s past, Syesha doesn’t rank among the great ones.
All in all, this show did what it was supposed to do – it revealed the contestants for the not-quite-ready-to-sell-records bunch that they are. I was entertained. I love the songs. It’s one of the rare weeks when I think I’ll actually like the results show better than the performance show. Okay, no more Neil. Thanks, buddy, this was fun.