In Hindsight: American Idol 02/26-27/2008 (Top 10 Men and Women)

(Note: This was written prior to last night’s eliminations)

With the Top 20 performances now in the books, it’s time to break it down. Let’s start with the men.

The men were, by and large, rather underwhelming. Best performance honours go to David Cook, who did a fun rendition of Free’s All Right Now, but as Simon pointed out, his charisma outside of the performance is kinda nil. Also, he’s got a creepy serial killer look about him, but that’s probably besides the point.

Now, a lot of people (including the judges) will tell you that David Archuleta had the best performance of the night. And they’d be wrong. I’ll give props to the kid for putting on an impressive vocal show, but let’s be honest – that was a total bastardization of a song that was made popular because the simple melody allowed the message to be clear. It’s not a song that you should be performing vocal gymnastics on, and in my opinion, not a song you should try to “do your own thing” on. So what should you “do your own thing” on? Well, this:

Regardless of what I think, David is obviously safe. And I can’t wait to see what the kid’s reaction will be the first time the judges actually criticize his performance. Something tells me that he won’t take it well.

So who else should be safe? I believe that Chikezie Eze, Danny Noriega, and Jason Castro are safe, although I Think Jason is developing Josh Logan (Rock Star) syndrome by hiding behind his guitar. Chikezie had a much better performance, and if you based things on this week only he’s done enough to go through.

So the five I think are in trouble are Michael Johns, Robbie Carrico, David Hernandez, Luke Menard and Jason Yeager. Of the five, Yeager is likely gone, and for the life of me I can’t remember anything about Robbie or David’s performances, so that probably doesn’t bode well for either of them.

The women, on the other hand, were by and large much better than the men. I would immediately say that Ramiele Malubay, Carly Smithson and Brooke White are in and through to the Top 12. Also doing well enough to get through were Syseha Mercado and Kristy Lee Cook. Asia’h Epperson made a mistake singing a song that Celine Dion covered (will contestants ever learn to never, ever sing tunes that Celine, Whitney or Mariah did?), but she should have the opportunity to make up for it.

That’s six, and that leaves us with Alexandréa Lushington, Amanda Overmyer, Kady Malloy and Alaina Whitaker. Amanda is in way over her head and with female contestants that can rock out like Asia’h and Carly around, Paula is wrong – the competition doesn’t need Amanda at all. Frankly, the only reason to keep her around would be for Simon to mock her later. So I think Amanda’s done. Of the other three, I think Alaina was the weakest, and it probably didn’t help that she sang a song from Grease. However I do think that Alexandréa and Kady are also on shaky ground, and it’s going to take a breakthrough performance – plus a stumble from Syesha, Kristy and/or Asia’h – for them to stay safe.

So my predictions for elimnation are: Jason, Robbie, Alaina and Amanda. We’ll see if I’m right.

Sir Linksalot: American Idol