American Idol – Final 11 Live Analysis (Round 2)

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Round 2 is here and we are minus one cheese and scandal covered Hernandez. He carried the baggage of his scandal into the ring with him, and then slathered it with a thick layer of fake nacho cheese and it all added up to a mess…and the ring has now been cleared of his appearance. Tonight we catch the remaining 11 contenders in shifting power rankings. Last weeks rankings changed up and down the board. So tonight, some will be trying to reclaim momentum, some will be trying to start it for the first time, and others will simply be trying to weather the storm of gut punches they’ve already taken. Last week’s biggest surprise contender was Cheezit, sporting a new spicy brand. I’m completely unsure as to who will provide this week’s fireworks, but the bell is getting ready to ring for round 2 (and it sounds an awful lot like the Beatles). So…..let’s go…..or, just let it be!

  • Amanda “Rock ‘n Roll Nurse” Overmeyer– Out of the locker room and into the ring first is our rock ‘n roll nurse, AO. Back in the USSR is probably about as good a song as she could have picked for her female-Elvis vocals. She’s got a lot of appeal, which is really good since she doesn’t have a vocal style that can hold a note for more than a split-second. I guess her style is quick hitting….get on a note and get off. BUT….she still was able to deliver a strong enough performance that she will be fine for this round. Gotta give her a few extra points on the scorecard for holding true to her form after the judges had their say with her. (BTW – all you folks in Lafeyette, get ready. ‘Cause she WILL be coming back home. But the ticket prices may be a bit higher than the last time you saw her)

  • KLC / Kristy Lee Cook– Survived round 1 because of Hernandez. She needs to do something other than “extreme country” this week. Come on KLC…the Beatles do NOT do country, so let it be (just had to go there again, didn’t I?). She’s got a country-tinged voice, so it’s hard to avoid it completely, but she has to know where the line is, and last week it was completely unidentifiable. This week is better, but she’s a tight fighter. Which means she’s not really confident about strategy. She’s having trouble just letting herself go. She is once again in trouble, but the other performers will determine her chances.
  • Mr Aw-Shucks Archuleta – Last week showed some weaknesses it didn’t look like he had. Every fighter has a “glass jaw” somewhere, a weak spot. Their success will depend on how well they can work around it. It would appear that anything with some snap, crackle and pop is his glass jaw because everything that is slow and “thoughtful” is right in his wheelhouse. Whenever he sings these “ballad-type” songs, he soars. But he can’t win doing just that. He’ll have to figure out another way to compensate to win the belt.
  • “Double D” Johns– The dingo dude from Aussieville did a tune that sort of “took him home” last week, but it wasn’t all that exciting. He’s got some big-time potential, but he’s been treading water since he visited Queen-land’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Interestingly enough, he’s calling out that song as his most memorable moment so far. It was! But he’s got to deliver a new benchmark. I think this song has some good points since it requires a lot of change-ups, and he proved he could do that with Rhapsody. A couple of weak spots here and there, but overall a fairly decent performance, but he’s still fighting to regain his pre-fight form. Once again, he’ll survive to fight another round, but somewhere along the way, he has to recapture the “MOJO”.
  • Brooke “I Dare You Simon” White– My favorite to win at this point. She has delivered great performances while covering a variety of styles. She’s proving that she can win whatever the competition throws at her, which is something Archuleta is going to have to figure out. She’s got a pretty powerful combo punch working for her right now – winning personality and great ring presence. I’m sure she has a weakness, but she has successfully kept it out of view so far. “Here Comes the Sun” and it might be a prelude to “Here comes the winner”. Not her best, but the mark of a winner is that even on an off-day, you’re still better than most…and she is. Her “glass jaw” may be trying to move around the stage (dancing doesn’t seem to be a strength), but since this is a singing comp, she should be able to work around that easily enough.
  • “Help Me With My Hair” Cook– Has moved to the top of my men’s rankings. I think he has established himself as the most versatile guy in the comp so far. Just like Brooke, he seems to be able to go with several different punching combinations that work. So many others are like one-trick ponies. Day-Tripper is working big-time for him. His voice has got the most energy and is the most interesting of the guys. And that was BEFORE the whole electronic Peter Frampton voice-enhancement part. I don’t think anyone is going to knock him off the top spot this week.
  • “What Contract?” Smithson– Next up is the Irish lass seeking to kick some American ………Idol. Thought you knew where I was going with that didn’t you? But you didn’t…you were surprised. So far, there have been no surprises with Smithson. She delivers quality vocals, but there just hasn’t been anything that has caused me to say WOW! I have never thought that she would be the last Irishman standing (so to speak), but she should make it into the late rounds. To win, she’ll have to deliver a few surprises to shake it up a bit. Singing “Blackbird”, she once again offers a solid performance, but nothing we haven’t heard from her already.
  • “Dreadin’ It” Castro– Fell down the rankings this week since he’s lived a bit too long on being dreamy. JC needs to up the testosterone quotient (but then again, most of the other guys do too) and inject some adrenaline into his ring performance. Maybe it’s just not his deal, but he won’t make it much further without a shake-up. Being dreamy in the ring gets you knocked out, and he’s teetering. Oh sheeesh…he just called “Michelle” dynamic! He is seriously confused. Maybe that’s what French does to you…but it’s still a “dreamy-type” song. He may have another week to wake up, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the bottom three after round 2.
  • Syesha Mercado – Next up is Mercado who took a big tumble after last week. Didn’t expect her to go home, but it was appropriate since she stumbled badly in round 1. Her voice has got some power, but she seems to have lost her way. She hasn’t really carved out a niche yet for the fight-going public to call in to root her on. Singing “Yesterday”, it’s a nice vehicle for her voice, but it lacks real punch. It still doesn’t give her a real identity. It was much better than her Round 1 showing, but she could still wind up in the bottom 3 again.
  • Cheezit – Moved up this week because he ROCKED THE RING last week. He is in an interesting situation as a result. If he brings another spicy box of Cheezits into the ring tonight, he’ll solidify his standing. If he re-opens the stale box of Luther Van Dross vibe, he’ll immediately plunge back to the bottom. This is a critical round for him. He’ll either seal the deal for sticking around, or move back to the edge of extinction. So far, it’s distinctly sounding like he is bringing back the LVD box. But WAIT! THERE’S MORE! The harmonica did him no favors, but he has finally brought back the spice. What’s weird though is that he was trying to eat out of both boxes. The spicy box recipe is his best bet. Not sure how to handicap this round for him, since it could go either way. He has to pick his recipe and stick with it.
  • Malubay “Barbie”– Moving up last week due to others dropping down, Malubay Barbie has a chance tonight to strengthen her position. She’s got a certain likability, but she’s got to pull out some punches she hasn’t been showing. According to her intro, she’s picking something with more energy. If she pulls it off, it’ll work to her benefit. She’s showing some spunk and grit tonight, but she’s taking a few punches too. She may not be boring in this round, but she may not make it out of this round either. It’s the first time I’ve seen real fighting spirit, but she may have over-punched and left herself open to a hook.

SURPRISING PERFORMANCES OF THE NIGHT

  • Good
    • Help Me With My Hair Cook – Thought his was really inventive and unique
    • Aw-Shucks Archuleta – Re-established himself
  • Bad
    • JC – Seemed totally out of his element
    • KLC – Yet again. She seems to be somewhat in pain while performing.
    • Malubay Barbie – Lot’s of off-pitch notes.
  • Most Enjoyable (a tie)
    • David Cook – Gotta give him the nod for tonight

Final First Round Scoring Analysis

  • Bottom three will most likely include KLC, Malubay Barbie, and a close call between JC or Mercado. Based purely on tonight’s performance, I would give the bottom three nomination to JC, but overall it could fall to Mercado. Remember that momentum matters. I think the most likely to suffer the hook in Round 2 is KLC.
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3 Responses

  1. Cheezit…I love it. That’s what I’m calling him from now on.

  2. Simon was right about Jason Castro…if it were a radio competition he would be gone…but his smile and twinkle in his eyes just might save him. I’m just surprised that nobody mentioned how he seemed to just lop around the stage which did not make for much of a performance….but the boy does know how to use the cameras.
    As for Brooke White, I felt that they were a little tough on her. I loved her sunny concept and other than the dancing which was a bit mechanical and forced, her voice was great. I really like her too.
    And the only other comment I want to say is that while I like Amanda Overmyer in small bursts (she makes a great break in the monotony) I really don’t think I could stand to listen to an entire concert of just her. After a while she would become more monotonous all by herself than the show has been otherwise!

  3. Carley. i hope you read this because you had better wear a long sleave shirt and cover up your arms next week because a whole lot of the voting is from concervative americans. They are turned off to your tatoos even if all the young people think they are beautiful. I am not passing judgement I am just telling you because you have awesome talet and i think you could go all the way(if it isn’t already too late) if you soften your look to appeal to older people. have you noticed that the rougher looking girls tend to get elimited much sooner? How about Amanda? There is no way Christy lee cook sang better than Amanda, but she just looks more like the “all american girl” I hope you head my advice because you and David Archeletta have the best voices. Good lucj I’ll be watching next week!

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