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Laura MacCorkle Christian Blog and Commentary

Idol Chatter: Neil Diamond Night’s a Dud

EDITOR’S “EDITOR’S NOTE”:  A diamond’s worth is determined by the 4 C’s:  carat, clarity, color and cut.  But when it comes to judging the quality of last night’s performances (two each for each contestant) of Neil Diamond hits on American Idol Season 7 … well, let’s just say that some other “C’s” need to be considered.  Coolness, creativity, and perhaps cockamamy-ness.  As usual, Coworker Chad and I discuss in our latest round of AI chatter. …

Chad says:  Yo.

Laura Mac says:  Feeling all sparkly and glittery after Diamond night?

Chad says:  Oh my.  I'm feeling something, but I wouldn’t call it sparkly.

Laura Mac says:  Well, let's see if we can get to the bottom of that.  I'll say the name of a contestant and the two songs performed.  And you can share your thots. 

Laura Mac says:  Is it a Diamond deal?

Chad says:  This is more complicated that it sounds.  I'm told even professional judges can mess this process up.

Laura Mac says:  Okay, well just hang on to Neil’s overgrown sideburns, and let's give it a whirl.

Laura Mac says:  Jason Castro:  "Forever in Blue Jeans" and "September Morn"

Chad says:  “Forever in Blue Jeans” is a favorite of mine.  There were parts of it I really liked - and moments when I thought he probably wouldn't be the best singer at the karaoke bar.  By all rights, Jason should be the next to go.

Laura Mac says:  Agreed.  And I have nothing more to add.  The LMac rests on that.

Laura Mac says:  Okay, next.  David Cook:  "I'm Alive" and "All I Really Need Is You"

Chad says:  As usual, the best performances of the night.  I know I've said this before, but the competition can end here and now.  There is no need to go on.  David Cook is far and away the best contestant of this competition.  You'd have to be crazy or a love-struck tween to think any different.

Laura Mac says:  Well, his first performance scared me a bit.  I thought it was not typical Cook at all.  Perhaps it was just the song selection, but I felt that his performance was off. 

Chad says:  I agree with that.

Laura Mac says:  Thankfully, he redeemed himself with "All I Really Need Is You."  I agreed with the judges, although I wish Randy would've yelled out "hot, molten lava bomb" again.  But alas, he did not.

Laura Mac says:  Okay, moving on.  Brooke White:  "I'm a Believer" and "I Am ... I Said"

Chad says:  Ironically, "I'm a Believer" nearly destroyed my faith in Brooke.  When it was done, I was convinced she should be the next to go.  You know I've been a Brooke fan from the start, but come on.  Two train-wreck weeks followed by that.  It was terrible.  So, I was pleasantly surprised by song two.  For the first time in weeks I felt like the old Brooke was there somewhere.

Chad says:  I still think she is in trouble, but she may have bought another week.

Laura Mac says:  Yes, she's not as versatile as the rest.  But she's got some talent.  Maybe she will have a career as a songwriter, more so than a performer.

Laura Mac says:  She does get some bonus points for choosing a song ("I Am ... I Said") with all the difficult jumps between notes.  That's hard to do and not wobble or go sharp or flat.  So, hats off to her for moxie.

Chad says:  When she is in the groove I really enjoy her, but I don't see her making the top 3.

Laura Mac says:  Agreed.  Someone who probably WILL be in the top three, irritatingly enough, is the boy wonder, David Archuleta:  "Sweet Caroline" and "America"

Chad says:  If you look back to our conversation last week, what were the two songs I said I wanted to hear Cook sing?  Of course, the other David ends up singing both.  I just don't get it.  He's a cute little 17-year-old, yippie.  Please, America, for the love of everything decent and holy, stop the insanity.  I don't get Randy.  Randy is completely gaga over Archuleta.  I just don't get it.

Chad says:  Okay, rant over.

Laura Mac says:  Well ... I guess we won't really know if something shady's going down w/Randy man and David A. until Archuleta shows up on Randy's next Music Club disc.  Still, David A. doesn't get the same "molten hot lava bomb" love that Cook gets.  So ... there is a difference. 

Laura Mac says:  But I agree w/you on Archuleta.  I really couldn't stomach either song last night. 

Laura Mac says:  It just sounded wrong.

Chad says:  No, he was off last night.

Chad says:  Not to mention, I think this proves the point we both have been making.  He is a one-trick pony.  Last night was the first time he has ventured out even a little bit and it was a flop.  He can only sing one kind of song.

Laura Mac says:  Well, I think it's highly possible that "Up With People" called him up after the show and asked for their songs back.  It just felt very touring-music-company-doing-a-performance-at-a-shopping-mall-stage-near-you-ISH.

Chad say:  LOL!

Laura Mac says:  Okay, let's talk about Sy-Sy now (and I don’t know why I’m calling her that … but I guess since it’s my blog, I can call her what I want to).  Syesha Mercado:  "Hello Again" and "Thank the Lord for the Nighttime"

Chad says:  I don't know about you, but I think Syesha is finally starting to shine.  I think at this point she is probably the second best vocalist and probably the second best performer.  We are finally seeing the early potential realized.

Chad says:  That being said, I still think she is in trouble.  I wouldn't be surprised to see her go home tonight.  (I'm going to keep predicting that until it happens.)

Laura Mac says:  I must say, her "Hello Again" was pleasant.  She has a warm, buttery tone to her vocals.  However, I just don't think she's got all the polish she needs to really make it.  Frequently she'll come in just a hair under the pitch.  And sometimes when she is holding out the long notes, I feel like she's not 100% into it.  It's like she's 90% committed.  But 10% of her is still unsure or is making a mental grocery list.

Laura Mac says:  I think the judges are right.  She has a career ahead of her in musical theater.  And that's where she should go.  It's worked for other AI finalists, so why not Sy-Sy.

Laura Mac says:  Unless there is the biggest upset tonight in the history of American Idol EVER (David Cook), I think it's got to be curtains for Jason, Syesha or Brooke.  But I don't know which one has the strongest fan base to keep 'me in the game.  Maybe Castro, since he's cute and male and all. 

Laura Mac says:  Any final thots?

Chad says:  Once again, your gift of wisdom shines bright.  You are right on the money with Syesha, and that's not a bad thing.  Musical theater seems to be something she has a passion for and I can think of a lot worse things than doing something you are good at and enjoy.  So - who will it be tonight?  I think Jason or Syesha.  It should be Jason, but he may have enough of a following to avoid elimination.

Chad says:  I don't see Brooke going home ONLY because there will be enough of her fans that were relieved she finally pulled out a good performance.  I was ready to give up on her and send her home, but she won me back once again.  If David Cook goes home, though, I'm throwing my TV away.

Laura Mac says:  Me, too.  In fact, I'll stop watching AI altogether if the Cook leaves the kitchen.  Seriously.  This could be our last chat on this subject.  We might have to start chatting about ... GASP ... Dancing with the Stars.  Or something.

Chad says:  Hmmmm.  I don't see that happening.

Chad says:  Unless Cook gets voted off.  In that case, please just come with bail money.  I'll be going postal at that point.

Laura Mac says:  Okay.  Will do.  And I'll bring your favorite Mickey Mouse coffee mug to you as well.  Oh, one more thing ... no one performed "Heartlight" last night.  That makes me sad.

Chad says:  There were so many great Neil Diamond songs left unsung.  Oh, well. 

Laura Mac says:  Maybe Neil will sing it tonight.  Fingers crossed.  Sparkly jumpsuit at the ready. 

Chad says:  I pulled mine out of moth balls.

Laura Mac says:  Ewwwwwww.

Chad says:  The jump suit, that is.

Laura Mac says:  Right, right.

Laura Mac says:  More on this tomorrow. ...

Chad says:  Later.