In Hindsight: American Idol – The Elite Eight

So yeah, I skipped a week. My daughter was sick for the first time last week, and all you parents know that that’s the toughest one. Next time, we’ll be all “yeah, whatever”. So this week’s rankings take into account the past two weeks.

1.David Cook – If you’re doing an inspirational OLP song, wouldn’t “Thief” be a better choice? “Innocent” isn’t exactly inspiring, and I hate to say it, but it sounds better with Raine’s nasal whining. Still, David is far and away the best performer in the competition, and he’s number one until he falters or someone really steps up.

2.Syesha Mercado – She’s jumped to my top 2 by staying firmly within her comfort zone. The only real problem is that the judges are starting to call her on it and she’s gonna need to step outside of the Whitney-lite zone if she’s gonna go further in this competition.

3.Brooke White – I honestly don’t think that Brooke’s been doing anything different from week to week. She really isn’t about to change who she is and because she has a different singing style than your typical Idol, that’s just fine for now. I think she needs to do one of those super syrupy ballads to really win the crowds over, but I’m not holding my breath for it. She’s headed in a Theresa Sokyrka/Blake Lewis direction where she could conceivably be in the final two but isn’t in a position to win because she doesn’t sing Idol-style. I made that term up, by the way. I can’t really define it, but I think you know what I mean.

4.David Archuleta – I’ve been waiting for seven years for someone to sing “Angels”. Then this ass-clown comes along and pisses all over it by oversinging it in a craptastic Jessica Simpson style. To be fair, Robbie Williams does not have a great voice, but he sang it perfectly, and from the heart. Archuleta, on the other hand, had the type of heavy oversinging that’s come to define the Idol style. Which is pretty much why he’s gonna win this whole thing. I’m gonna puke now.

5.Jason Castro – It’s a weird week when the guy playing the ukelele has the best performance of the week, but that’s what happened. It probably helped that noone in the studio broke out laughing at the site of a pseudo-hippie stoner singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while playing the uke.

6.Carly Smithson – I’m hoping that noone on this show sings Queen again (unless they sing “Bicycle Race”, complete with the bells). “Who Wants to Live Forever” not only managed to run Carly over, but it backed up and made sure to finish the job. All I can say is that when Paula is criticizing you, then things are going pretty bad. Remember when they considered Carly a front-runner? They ain’t doing that anymore.

7.Michael Johns – Oddly enough, Brooke did a cover of “Dream On” on her indie album, but that’s neither here nor there. The song is probably one of the hardest Aerosmith songs to sing, and frankly, I’m still wondering why Johns even bothered to try. Thanks for coming out, Australian guy.

8.Kristy Lee Cook – Kristy is clearly still here because of her looks, and because she’s been singing songs that are either patriotic or have “God” in them. Whatever works, I guess.

I’d actually guess that Carly is going home tonight, but I have this feeling that they’re gonna pull that “noone goes home” crap that they pulled last year with Archuleta in the swerve spot, just to cement the fact that they want him to win. Time will tell, but I’ll be watching Survivor to see if (my name is) Murtz was right (again).

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