Wednesday, May 07, 2008

AMERICAN IDOL: Top 3 & Jason Castro

First off, ANYONE who cries should be disqualified immediately. This is AMERICAN IDOL not OLD YELLER! Syesha broke down this week. I forget why. Maybe it was when Paula was blowing sunshine up her skirt, telling her what a great star she is. Of course she also said that to Vonzell Solomon, Anthony Federov, Carmen Rasmussen, and Trenyce.

But I will give her this -- Syesha had the line of the night. Talking about why she chose to sing Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Going to Come” she equated the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s to her journey on AMERICAN IDOL. Get real, Syesha! You had it so much harder.

I hate this week and next. There’s no suspense. We know who’s going to win. David Archuleta clinched that Tuesday night. The fun geezer mentors have all moved on to more drastic plastic surgery or their ninth comeback tours, we’re past the actual “theme” shows (can anything beat last year’s “Latin Night”, which did more harm to U.S./Latin relations than the Spanish-American War), your favorite has been booted off, and the Fox celebrities in the audience have been reduced to the bald guy on PRISON BREAK.

Tonight’s theme was the “Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame Museum”. (The producers must be getting a buck for every admission ticket sold this week.) This is such a narrow theme that “Baba O’Reilly” and “Love Me Tender” both qualified.

(Next year for the Top 4 why not make the theme the "4 Tops"? I'm just sayin'.)

David Archuleta’s dad chose two very good songs for him. “Stand By Me” the 1962 Ben E. King hit that David just “happened” to sing all the time in his room, thus making him the only 17 year old in America who knows of that song. (Dad picked it, who we fooling?) And then “Love Me Tender” from the Rock n’ Roll Museum’s schmaltzy wing.

But not only did he sing both great, he out-sang David Cook – and this was rock n’ roll night. David Cook’s milieu. It’s like if there were “monosyllabic grunt night” you’d expect Jason Castro to do well. Or at least passable.

David Cook’s two songs were “Hungry Like the Wolf”, which was “Boring Like the Drying Paint” and “Baba O’Reilly” – better but hardly “kick ass”. More like “accidentally brushing against ass”.

Syesha’s first tune was “Proud Mary”. She thought she was doing Tina Turner, but she was really doing the road tour of “Ain’t Misbehavin’”. Her second song was “A Change is Going to Come”. Sam Cooke originally sang it with a certain ease. Syesha almost brought her liver up through her throat.

And then there was Jason Castro. If AMERICAN IDOL were THE GODFATHER Jason would be Fredo. This guy is an absolute disgrace. This week he massacred “I Shot the Sheriff” (adding the nice touch of having a guitar but never playing it) and then on “Mr. Tambourine Man” he not only killed it but then had sex with its empty skull. What does it say when he forgot some of the lyrics and that was the best part of his performance? Jason Castro HAS to go.

Next week I imagine is the tedious visits to the finalists’ hometowns. The banners. The proclamations. The parades down Main Street and through the trailer parks.

Just announce that David Archuleta is the winner and let us get on with our sad pathetic lives already.


Anonymous said...

well all the people paula told they looked like stars kind of did. i mean, they definitely had potential and it isnt paulas fault nobody signed them

Mary Stella said...

I listened to Jason sing Mr. Tambourine Man and thought, "Just when you were sure nobody could do a worse version than William Shatner . . ."

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on who you think is going to be the next pop idol. You mention Prison Break - does anyone know when this is coming back on.

Tom Quigley said...

Missed last night's show, and I'm glad I did. I'm a huge fan of Roger McGuinn and the Byrds, and hearing Jason (Medusa) Castro singing "Mr. Tambourine Man" would have given me a stroke...

As for the others -- wouldn't you just love to see what David Archuleta looks like dressed up in an Ewok costume?.. Anyone want to bet that his dad made him wear one for Halloween the year before last?... Syesha will probably go on to either a (minor) Broadway career, or (an even more minor) Las Vegas career, probably singing backup for the Fabulous Scintas (catch them playing six nights a week at the Shimmer Cabaret at the Hilton)... And poor David Cook will sit, with his long unkempt locks completely shorn from his head, in front of his TV from now through eternity, and every time AMERICAN IDOL REWIND comes on will scream out loud (to no one in particular, because there will be no one else in the padded cell with him) "You see that? That was ME!"...

Maybe next week's show should be entitled "American Idol -- The Pitiful Three"...

Anonymous said...

How ironic that he butchered one of the few early Dylan songs in which you could actually understand the lyrics.

I kid. Because I love.

Anonymous said...

Someone PLEASE shoot Paula out of our misery: "You really sucked but I love your artistry"

Note to Archuleta: Stand By Me is not a Christian Rock anthem. For that matter, every effin song you oh so earnestly sang exactly the same is not from the Christian Rock catalog. Mormons singing soul is like Judas Priest singing Hava Negila.

Despite all the hype, this year's final four is probably the weakest ever. Meaning they will all very likely move on to successful recording careers in Pop Banality.

Anonymous said...

//David Archuleta’s dad chose two very good songs for him. “Stand By Me” the 1962 Ben E. King hit that David just “happened” to sing all the time in his room, thus making him the only 17 year old in America who knows of that song. //

Are you serious? I've never met a young teenager who DIDN'T frequently burst into singing "Stand By Me". Of course, most of them remember it from when Timon and Pumba sang it in in some Disney cash-in video five or ten years back.

Jamie said...

I've been looking forward to this since the moment the Muppet went "na na na na na" last night. You did not disappoint, and the skull sex was a nice touch. Cracked. Up.

Melissa said...

Worst. Episode. Ever.

VP81955 said...

I'm a huge fan of Roger McGuinn and the Byrds, and hearing Jason (Medusa) Castro singing "Mr. Tambourine Man" would have given me a stroke...

Let's hope, to paraphrase my favorite Byrds song, we can soon say of Jason, "...and I'll probably feel a whole lot better when you're gone."

Allen Lulu said...

Weirdly, last night seems completely appropriate.
Jason is sooooo high and just wants off this nightmare bus of uncool. He's ready to go on tour with Jack Johnson or Dave Matthews and the like. He will be fine but he MUST get off this train.
Syesha also knows she isn't gonna win so she's doing her best Coco from Fame impersonation. AIn't Misbehavin? Perfect. Although it's more likely she will be in the touring company of Color Purple before school is back from summer break.
David Cook doesn't want to be the American Idol. Why would he want that??? No "Idol" has done anything with their "crown" since the first one. Cook knows that in order for him to be Daughtry Part deux he has to get off the show. Since he is also smart enough to know that that isn't happening he has to tank just slightly to pave the way for creepy "Please love me because my dad beats me every time I sing a flat note" boy.
I really need to get out more....

Anonymous said...

David Cook is my favorite at least he has range. Seriously, can you imagine a David Archuletta concert? Easy listening music dressed up as pop.
Cook's musical illiteracy sunk him last. The entire rock and roll hall of fame catalogue to choose from and he picks Duran Duran?!! Just think what he could have done with "Cream." He would've killed with "Crossroads." Dummy.

maven said...

Last night was achingly embarassing...for the viewers, the Final 4 and the producers. There is not suspense, no drama (except for flubbed lyrics). Watching Jason is painful. He almost seemed like he screwed up so he can go home. I bet his bags are already packed.

Anonymous said...

Castro should go, though I suppose we shouldn't underestimate the mad redial skills of the little girls who think he's cute (his stoner buds are no help -- they're face down in a bowl of Doritos by the time the phone lines open). Call me crazy (or delusional, or tone deaf) but I didn't think his "Mr. Tambourine Man" was THAT bad, except for the lyric flub. He sang it fairly straight (ahem), in an arrangement closer to the Dylan original than the Byrds cover.

You'd think on "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Night" (aka "We've Run Out of Themes Night"), they'd steer the contestants away from gaffes like Syesha's "I'm doing Tina Turner's 'Proud Mary.'" Granted, she tried to mimic Turner's VERSION of the song, but how about some props to John Fogerty, who only wrote it and sang lead on the original, which was a smash hit.

Cook's choice of "Hungry Like the Wolf" just screamed "Vote me off now so I can retain a little rock cred for my solo career." But I did like what he did with "Baba O'Riley," even if truncating that kind of song blunts most of its impact.

Did Paula really say she could see Archuleta's soul when he sang? Sorry, but that's the one thing that ISN'T discerible in his performances. He never conveys any real emotional connection to what he's singing. It's all technique. "Stand by Me" worked pretty well, because it's hard for a good singer to ruin a great song, but his second number -- in which he set the lyrics of "Love Me Tender" to series of melismas -- was kind of ridiculous, I don't care what the judges say, dawg. Maybe when Gepetto lets him become a real boy, he'll actually be as brilliant as they think he is. He'll win, put out a decent pop record that no one over 14 or under 60 will buy, and probably make a special guest appearance singing "Happy Birthday" to some secondary character on Hannah Montana. Lord Webber might put him in a touring company of "Joseph and the Amazing Techicolor Dreamcoat," and there'll be a minor scandal in a couple of years when he sues Dad for mismanaging his money.

Anonymous said...

David Archuleta is a moist little thing - I really worry abut that kid. But he was pretty good. I'm too kind, perhaps, but the other people were mostly so bad, it hit some kind of 10 ont he Bad Camp scale.

Jason Castro cares so little about staying that he butchers "I Shot the Sheriff" and brightly peeps that he was making a tribute to Bob Marley. I think those deadlocks may actually be a giant tarantula that's nibbling on his brain.

Syesha comparing her tiny climb over bad singers at American Idol to the beautiful "Change is Gonna Come" and the civil right struggle of the sixties and ..(wait, I may need a drink.)
That's one of the most achingly beautiful songs ever written. I'm drowning in Sam Cooke's and Otis Redding's tears, just thinking about it.

David Cook does ..a Duran Duran song? Has he lost his mind?

American Idol is like the Bush presidency. It's both excruiatingly bad and bearable only because of the hilarious responses it inspires.

. If AMERICAN IDOL were THE GODFATHER Jason would be Fredo.

See...Bush is a Fredo, too - perfect.

-- Miss Otis

Anonymous said...

I had tears in my eyes after reading your blog.Painfully honest and I loved it!! 2 thumbs up!

Anonymous said...

Dean Martin was on the air for what, 15 years? I never saw him forget a lyric ... and he could've gotten away with it, because he was supposed to be drunk.

Also, I just don't get David Archuleta. I just don't get that kid. I think the judges are wrong about him.

Tom Quigley said...

Wanted to upgrade the last remark I made in my first post, in keeping with last night's theme of Classic Rock songs:

Maybe next week's show should be entitled "American Idol -- The Poor, Poor Pitiful Three"...

Cap'n Bob said...

If there's a god the weak-voiced twit with the dreaded locks will not only be voted off the show but banned from standing with 100 yards of a microphone for the rest of his life.

Archuleta sings well, and you have to give him credit for standing up to the pressure at such a young age, but am I the only one who think he looks like he escaped from the cover of Mad Magazine?

The girl's rendition of the Sam Cooke song lacked the one thing Sam had and she never will--a life lived under harsh racism. Her Proud Mary could have been done better by Rich Little.

The other guy should win, but he's not doing much to do so.

Tallulah Morehead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tallulah Morehead said...

Well Dean Martin had cue cards the size of Half Dome to help him remember lyrics. And Dean's onset inebriation was only an act. Is Jason's stoner pose only an act? I know I was stoned when I watched him, which didn't help enough.

JB, how can you say of Jason, "I didn't think his 'Mr. Tambourine Man' was THAT bad, except for the lyric flub."??

Did you hear his last note, which he couldn't sustain, and cracked and fell off of TWICE? Could you hear most of his rendition? By "could you hear," I mean did you notice he chose being inaudible to letting you clearly hear how badly he was mangling notes too deep for him to hit? I was already appalled by his performance before he ever got to the nonsense-vowel-sounds-instead-of-the-words part. And he just doesn't seem to be taking any of it at all seriously any more. He's treating it like a big lark. He's disgraceful.

Little David said he listened to several renditions of LOVE ME TENDER. I guess after hearing it again and again, he decided the simple, lovely melody sucked, as he did his best to conceal the melody under non-stop runs. He IS like Liberace, because his music, like Liberace's, needs all the excessive sugar scraped off of it to get to the music's beautiful core, which Archuleta and Liberace both felt should always be smothered under layers of excessive musical frills.

But I LOVED Sayesha's outfit and look for her second number. She had to stay rooted in one spot, as the carefully-arranged pool of fabric in which she was standing would not permit walking, but it and she looked smashing. She should have been a singer in silent movies. (I'd have loved to see them get her in position before the song and get her offstage again afterwards. I picture two men carrying her in, and then her designer arranging the fabric. Afterwards, a crane was used to remove her again.)

Anonymous said...

cap'n bob: To quote myself from the American Idol Top 10 thread here on 3/26:

"Oh, and is it just me, or would some freckles and a missing tooth make Archuleta a dead ringer for Alfred E. Neuman or what?"

I've taken to calling him Alfred E. Archuleta among people who get the reference.

Anonymous said...

David A is extremely boring on stage...could you imagine seeing him in concert or something, sitting through two hours of power ballads? yes, he has a nice voice. But you need a lot more than a good voice to win this show.

Having said that, I'm sure he will win. But he will go on to have Clay Aikens career. It has nothing to do with his voice, its about his showmanship, which is non-existent.

Cap'n Bob said...

Jbryant: Sorry to swipe your line. I came upon the idea myself but didn't say anything until now. Great minds think alike, apparently. At my age, however, they don't retain information very well.

Anonymous said...

hey cap'n: Oh, I'm sure you didn't "swipe" my line. Like you said, great minds think alike, and I doubt we're the only two geniuses who've noticed the Neuman/Archuleta resemblance. It's probably a hot topic around the water cooler at Mensa HQ.

Unknown said...

ken levine- i finally have to say something about what a boring,bitter
soured pathetic writer you are.sure,a lot of it sucks,maybe most,but for you it's all nothing. a punching bag for your clever dryness.i've wasted some time reading your 10th grade reviews. that's my fault. why not shut up for awhile and see if we miss you.

By Ken Levine said...


Thanks for signing your note and not hiding behind "anonymous".

If you don't like what I write then just don't read my blog any longer. Don't put yourself through it.

Thanks again for leaving your name. I wish everyone would, even those like you who don't like my work.

All the best,


Anonymous said...

Dearest Ken Levine,

You're right. We all need to get on with our pathetic lives. This includes you, i'm sure? This article just pushed satire and wit to a whole new level- or low, rather. Most of the things you said were low, and just downright below the belt.


Anonymous said...

Dear Ken Levine,

May I take this opportunity to join the pantomime booing of your work.

Please start wearing tight grey t-shirts with a neckline just low enough to revealing your chest hair, dewy with sweat.

At least you don't have to worry about switching out Paula's pills for m&ms like Simon.


PS. You're a star, you're so true to yourself, and that's all that matters. The orange ones make me giggly.

Anonymous said...

I just learned that Jason Castro's parents are named Arthur and Antonia. Coincidence?

Anonymous said...

Poor Jason. He picked songs by the Bobs and thought it was a capella night. At least he had the good sense to signal to his fans, Don't vote. Did anyone?

Anonymous said...

I don't think David Cook chose "Hungry Like the Wolf" because he loved the song. He chose it for the performance. If you watched it, instead of just listening to it, you would have noticed that he was REALLY "connecting" with the ladies. Particularly with the ones up front by the stage. "Hunting" them, if you will. HE was the wolf. And they, were his lucky prey. And they ate it up! Personally, I thought it was brilliant! Those girls, for the most part, are Archie & Castro fans. However, after that performance, I would bet that he has converted a fair number of them.

As for me, a thirty-something housewife, I can remember what a great song/video that was when it originally came out. Very sexy for the time. I hadn't thought about it in years, though. But after Cook's performance, "Hungry Like the Wolf" is back! And I gotta say, I had no idea what sexy was back then. It sure never did THAT to me before. Wow! I thought I was a huge DC fan before, but OMG, that was HOT! (BTW, David, if you should happen to read this, my husband says thanks!)