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American Idol – Top 8 – You’re The Inspiration

Tuesday’s theme revolves around the songs that inspire the contestants. This will mean that the song will be incredibly overdone ballads that have been covered thousands of times, and hopefully we’ll be spared video montages of passed-on relatives and current babies. I really hope someone changes things up a bit. I’ll also give you a reminder that the results come out on Thursday, because of the big Idol Gives Back special Wednesday night.

Michael Johns- Much to my surprise, The Aussie sings “Dream On,” which inspires him because it was his dream to come to American and take over its biggest singing competition. It’s easy for The Aussie to do a good performance of this, because as Steve Tyler has gotten older, he proceeds to wreck it every time Aerosmith decides to trot themselves out on a stage. Michael then does something incredibly stupid, which is to try to hit the big screechy note even the Toxic Twins have given up on trying to replicate. Randy thinks it was a bad song choice and pitchy, Paula loves it (which asserts her crush on Michael), and Simon thinks it was good but Michael was doing a poor impression of a rock star. He was OK, and I could have done without the rough scream in the middle, but he’ll be alright in the voting.

Syesha Mercado- She’s singing “I Believe” by former Idol Fantasia. I never like when people do songs by other Idol because it just open you up to comparisons to people the judges may not have been crazy about the first time. She starts out looking unsure and a little shaky. But give it time before she does the dumb arms-outstretched move like she’s Celine Dion at Caesar’s Palace. When she gives up on being stationary and takes the mike out of the stand, she shows a little more confidence. She also hits a good Whitney-like note that puts Michael’s previous try to shame. Randy confirms what I thought, and says that Syesha didn’t have the connection to the song Fantasia had, Paula thinks Syesha made it her own and it was one of her best nights, and Simon feels it lacked emotion, and wants to find out more about Sysesha. While Syesha fell into a huge trap, it was better than anything she’s done in the past three weeks, so she should be fine.

Jason Castro- He’s singing “Over The Rainbow” the way it was meant to be done: Hawaiian-syle on a ukulele. He gets points for not doing this old hacky chestnut the same old way, but he has got to be kidding. The uke sounds so corny, it sounds like he’s entering the talent competition at the local county fair. If he thinks this is what makes an American Idol, he is hugely mistaken. Apparently, all the judges were hit on the head with a lighting rig when they weren’t on camera, causing major head trauma, because they are all fawning over Jason like he just killed at Giants Stadium. I felt as if it was corny, cheesy and weak, especially after Syesha’s big performance before. The judges couldn’t be more wrong about this. Now Jason is not going home this week, because of whatever the judges’ Coke cups were spiked with has clearly affected their opinions. Seriously, what happened during Jason’s video package to them, were they replaced by robots?

Kristy Lee Cook- I love when my TV girlfriend hits the stage. KLC, I hope you never get voted off. Every week I am filled with tension when they go to break and say she up next. Know why? Because you never know if this is the week she escapes elimination, or if this will be the one which hits rock bottom. She’s singing “But Anyway” by Martina McBride, which means she’s back to being country. Uh oh, she’s getting drowned out by the band. I think she might know that this is the end for her. Her voice is shaky and she’s showing no real power, like she’d rather take a nap. But all of a sudden, she appears to actually care (like Syesha, it’s when she grabs the mike and moves around a little). She might have saved her sparkly top-wearing behind with the last 30 seconds. Randy loves it, Paula thinks it’s her best one ever, and Simon gives her it a very good. Will she be in the bottom three? Probably. But off the show? Not this week.

David Cook- David is signing an obscure song from an obscure band, “Innocent” by Our Lady Peace. And when I say “obscure,” I mean “Canadian,” which is pretty much the same thing. This song is all over the place. He’s putting on funny deep voices, none of which sound like David Cook. He’s going to gets points for making Paula dance, but I hope people will notice that Simon was rolling his eyes for most of the time. And while writing “Give Back” on your hand is a nice gesture, it’s reeks of rock star cheese, and the last time someone wrote a message on his hand, it was on Lost, and that guy drowned. Randy admits he doesn’t get it, Paula can’t contain her love for David (I know, she does this every week, but this is she’s been particularity annoying), and Simon expresses his true dislike for it. I thought it was his worst performance, and this could be a bad week for the rocker.

Carly Smithson- Carly sings “The Show Must Go On” By Queen, to show that no matter what happens (like getting dropped from your label years ago), you can still make it. I really like this one, and it reminds me a little of Heart. She is singing a power ballad without going over the top. Despite having a weak ending, I think Carly has done an excellent job. Then I hear the judges, and I think I’m watching a totally different show, because even Paula has something bad to say about Carly. Randy doesn’t think it connected, Paula praises Carly’s voice, but admits she didn’t like tonight, and Simon thinks it was angry and Carly might be in trouble. It is kind of a angry song, and I thought she didn’t go as far as Simon said she did. I’m not even going to bother with predictions tonight, because the judges and I are so far apart, I’m never going to get it right tonight (even though, like Simon likes to say, I am right).

David Archuleta- David says he had a problem picking a song, but he fell onto “Angels.” He gets set up with a giant grand piano, which makes him look like a kid at a 6th grade recital. He’s singing pleasant enough, but he’s not hitting all the quiet notes. When the song becomes a big ballad, he sounds better, but his lower tones are still not coming out right. Of course he looks so earnest while at the piano, it’s hard to really slam the guy. I am a little distracted by the terrible shirt he’s wearing tonight, though. Randy calls it crazy hot, and his best of the season, Paula only says fantastic, and Simon says it’s the best song choice, but sounded nasally. And yes, it was not his best performance, and he will cruise through, and all it will take for him not to be in the final two is a catastrophic accident.

Brooke White- Brooke is going back to the Carole King-like stuff that made people love her in the first place. I’m a bit distracted because tonight, Brooke looks like the grown-up Deborah Gibson. I thought she would be sitting at the piano for this one, but she decides to stand-up and sing. Even though “Tapestry” is one of Brooke’s favorite albums, she looks like she is being held hostage, and being forced to sing by her captors. I feel bad for her microphone, because she’s gripping it as if she’s upset with it. I don’t really find this song all that inspirational, and if Brooke can’t look comfortable singing Carole King, she has a problem. Randy gives it just an OK, Paula calls it a perfect way to end the show, and Simon describes it as a nice walk in the park. Simon is right, it was just nice, but not that memorable.

Like I said, I’m not going to make a prediction, because it’s just going to be wrong. But I will reiterate one thing; after seeing Jason Castro’s clip in the phone number montage, I hate his “Over The Rainbow” even more (same goes for David Cook’s performance). So take that as your prediction. But please, try not to send Carly home, because she took a big risk with her choice.