The Best “Idol” Yet! Srsly?
Yep. It’s that time of year again. I said that last year. Oh, well.
So, on Thursday, we found out who the 12 “American Idol” semi-finalists were. Supposedly, this is the best group of wannabe pop stars yet, and I don’t think that’s too much of an over-statement. Of these 12, none of them are bad. Some are better than others, but there’s no Carmen Rasmusen, John Stevens, Scott Savol, Kevin Covais, Haley Scarnato, or Sanjayay Malakar. Which is kind of a pity, because the train wrecks that were Kevin and Sanjaya are the best parts of the semi-finals. Sanjaya doing “Bath Water” — it was a key cultural touchstone of 2007! We almost had a Sanjaya–except with talent–in the form of the fabulously gay Danny Noriega, but he chose to sing “Tainted Love” and got himself voted off. Girlfriend should have sang a ballad. Anyway, here’s what we were given this year:
|David Archuleta: According to Simon, he’s the odds-on favorite to win, or at least make the finals. He’s adorable, that’s for sure, and he’s consistently excellent. His performance of “Imagine” is among the three best performances we’ve seen on “Idol,” along with Fantasia’s “Summertime” and the Gaykin’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” Still, he’s got some weird sounds coming out of his mouth at the lower register, and his aw-shucks routine may get old. Fast. Also, he’s a Mormon. And we all know how well that helped Mitt Romney. Please sing: “Fuck the Pain Away” by Peaches. The kid needs some mussing up.|
|Jason Castro: He seems the most authentic person on the show. As in, it seems as if he was plucked from his basement, still clutching his bong and a tattered copy of On the Road. Or The Hobbit. Something like that. Rob says, “He looks like a Keebler Elf with dreadlocks.” His performances are really sweet, kind of like a cross between Cat Power and Davey Jones. His version of “Hallelujah” was good, but not that good. Still, he did that song on “American Idol,” which means he will always have a place in my heart. Please sing: Anything by Terence Trent D’Arby.|
|David Cook: He’s this year’s Boy Rocker. And he’s cool. His Sonic Youthy version of “Hello” was for the ages. But he seems a little detached, probably because he secretly thinks that “American Idol” is the Opiate of the Masses. Or something like that. He’ll be around for a while, but I think he has the Chris Daughtry I-can’t-believe-I’m-doing-this attitude, which will eventually ruin him. Unless he discovers his inner pop-moppet. Please sing: A rockified “I Will Survive”|
|Kristy Lee Cook: I lurved her countrified rendition of Journey’s “Open Arms.” It moved me. As it did many. It’s why she’s still around, despite the fact that–yes, Simon is right–she’s forgettable. Even though she sold her horse to get to the auditions. Which is all I really remember of her. That, and she looks freakily like Felicity. Please sing: “I’m Gonna Hire Me a Wino to Decorate Our House”|
|Chikezie Eze: His name is actually pronounced like fricassee. Or something like that. He’s got a very good voice, but he performs like he’s in a cruise-ship production of “Smokin’ Joe’s Cafe,” which, truth be told, is where you will find him in 18 months. Please sing: “You Light Up My Life”|
|David Hernandez: Since his most recent jobs have been a bartender in a gay bar and a stripper in a gay strip club, I like him. He’s quite possibly straight, but he’s been hanging out with gay people too long, because he performs like a non-ironic drag queen. His “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” was awesome, but mostly because it seemed like it was an audition for Tranny Shack. Please sing: “I’ve Never Been to Me”|
|Michael Johns: Someone, somewhere asked, “Maybe he’s just really hot.” Well, he is fine. But he can also sing and has a Michael Hutchense command of the stage, min he killed on “Don’t You Forget About Me.” Killed, I tell you. He may be too old (at 29) and, actually, too good to win. Oh, well. Please sing: “The Rose”|
|Ramiele Malubay: She is so adorable. And she sings like Taylor Dane. Sorta. Totally Danny Noriega’s fag hag. Lurve her. Please sing: “Your Disco Needs You”|
|Syesha Mercado: I kinda think she’s the most forgettable of everyone. I mean, I keep forgetting her. I don’t even remember what’s she’s sang so far. She’s pretty, though! Please sing: Whatever. I can’t remember what she sounds like.|
|Amanda Overmeyer: I used to love her, but then I discovered just how limited she is. Like Joan Jett limited. She’ll be gone the second she’s forced to sing something from the, I dunno, Ashford & Simpson song book. Which, by the way, would be HILARIOUS. Please sing: “Fat Bottom Girls”|
|Carly Smithson: As a teen-ager, she had a major label release that almost did as well as Taylor Hicks’ “Idol” album. As in, it sold 2000 copies. Now, she co-owns a tattoo parlor and slings pints of Guinness somewhere near me. She’s got a great voice. But I think she’s really boring. Please sing: “Nothing Compares 2 U,”but she wouldn’t, because then she’d be compared to Sinead O’Connor.|
|Brooke White: Dude. I love, love, love Brooke White. She’s almost as out of place on “Idol” as Jason Castro. She’s folky take on “Love Is a Battlefield” was swoon-inducing. She’s also too good to win, but I think she could have a great career. As long as she doesn’t decide to cash in, a la Jewel’s second album. Please sing: “Running up that Hill.” Really, she should.|
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