The top six “Idols” sing show tunes

We’re halfway through the finals on American Idol, and yet I feel as though we’ve been watching these "singers" for months. Oh, wait. We have been. (It’s amazing how much they can stretch out these seasons!)

On our first Kristy Lee–free (thank goodness!) night, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber was the mentor, and his songs were the theme.

The top six contestants with Andrew Lloyd Webber

Photo credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Kicking it off in the opening time slot was Syesha Mercado, and she looked absolutely stunning.


Photo credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX

She sang "One Rock ‘n’ Roll Too Many" from Starlight Express. All three judges sang her praises, and I wholeheartedly agreed with them. For the first time all season, I felt like she showed personality in her performance. According to Paula Abdul, theater is Syesha’s "thing," and it definitely showed. Simon Cowell even called it "sexy!" (Look closely at 4:08 to see Allison Janney in the audience!)


Jason Castro
went second, I couldn’t help but feel bad for him. Not only did he have the misfortune of following Syesha, but he admitted to being unfamiliar with Webber’s music. And anyone who has watched any part of this season knows that Jason’s style doesn’t exactly scream "musical." His performance reflected his apprehension, and he could be in serious trouble this week. Randy Jackson actually went as far as saying it was "vocally a train wreck."

Next came the free-spirited Brooke White, for whom I had high hopes. Boy was I wrong. Two lines into "You Must Love Me," she forgot the words, stopped and asked the band to start over. Please understand, this was not the same little pause from the third finals week. This was an all out, hide-under-the-covers, never-to-be-spoken-of-again, get-you-kicked-off-Idol type of flub.


Photo credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX

And to top it all, she didn’t even sound very good. I have been in denial for the past few weeks about Brooke’s future on the show, but I don’t think there is any denying the fact that she will likely go home tonight. Ugh.

Idol golden boy David Archuleta followed Brooke and sang "Think of Me." Webber advised him to open his eyes when he sings (Finally! Someone pointed that out!), but I think that actually backfired. He looked like he was caught between following his mentor’s advice and napping. He just ended up squinting the whole time. Regardless, he sang fairly well and will still be around next week to battle his eyelids again.

Carly Smithson, now probably the only female capable of winning The Whole Thing, went into her session with Webber with the intention of singing "All I Ask of You." But after Webber told her that "All I Ask" was "not the song for a girl with a great big chest voice" (Who else thought he was going to leave off "voice" at the end of that sentence? C’mon, I know I wasn’t alone!), she decided to sing "Jesus Christ Superstar."


Photo credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX

The switch ended up being a successful one for Carly, as she received the first bit of praise from Simon that she has gotten in weeks. While Ryan Seacrest was reading off her number, she even ran over to the side of the stage to grab a T-shirt saying "Simon Loves Me! (this week)." Touché, Carly.

The song was perfect for her range, and she was visibly enjoying herself on stage. I’m very glad to see her back in the thick of things.


David Cook
closed the show by singing "Music of the Night." The judges had high praise for him, but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as they did. It was good, yes. But I’ve come to expect mind-blowing performances from him every week, and that wasn’t the case last night. Simon put it perfectly when he said he preferred the "grittier" side of him.


Photo credit: Michael Becker/FOX

If the voting goes the way of the performances last night, then Brooke, Jason and David A. will be in the bottom three tonight. However, I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that David A. actually ends up in the bottom three, so I’m going to have to put Syesha there instead.

I would love it if Jason went home, simply for the sake of keeping as many of the women as possible, but I really think it will be the end of the road for Brooke. What do you think?

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