American Idol – The Final 12

After several weeks of terrible song catalogues, sub-par performances, and Paula’s ramblings, we were finally given a real treat last night with the Lennon-McCartney Songbook. The song choices were, for the most part, outstanding, and several of the contestants showed us that they truly belonged in the Final 12. We’ve been hearing for weeks now that this is the best group in American Idol history, and I think for the first time last night, I may actually begin to believe it.  Also, the Final 12 have the privilege of using a new, huge set. Ricky Minor and his band are raised up above them. The whole thing is pretty cool looking. And even Paula was mostly coherent.Last night’s performances broke down into 3 very distinctive categories: Fantastic, Good, and Abysmal.Going from best to worst:Fantastic:

Chikeze – Did a fantastic version of “She’s a Woman”. Mixed in some Southern Blues and finished with some serious rock. Took a great song and updated it to today, making it even better.

Rockin’ David – Did much the same with “Eleanor Rigby” that Chikeze did with “She’s a Woman”. But left it very much intact. Yet he still managed to update it and turn it into a rock song as he’s done with other songs in the past. Hit nearly every note spot on.

Carly – Took total control of the stage with “Come Together”. Looked and sounded like a pro up there. Perfect song choice out of one of the biggest selections on the planet.

Good:

Brooke – A very simple, emotional, heart-felt version of “Let It Be” that actually was quite nice. Great song. Great voice. Great combination. The piano was a very nice touch too.

Aussie Michael – Went back to his old form and showed that he really does belong in the final 12 with a solid performance of “Across the Universe. Much, much better than his last 2 performances up there.

Amanda – She found yet another hard core rock song that somewhat fits her style, “You Can’t Do That”, and turned it up a notch. I really thought she would do “Helter Skelter” or even “Revolution”, but she did a pretty good job with this one, and I loved the scat she threw in the middle of it.

Syesha – Opened up the show with Earth, Wind, & Fire’s version of “Got to Get You Into My Life”. Lots of horns. Her voice was nearly drowned out, but what you could hear sounded pretty decent. Certainly good enough to keep her around for awhile.

Abysmal:

Rameile – Took a beautiful song, “In My Life” (one of my all-time favorite Lennon sung songs) and made it as boring as humanly possible. Which is truly a shame because she has such a nice voice. Hope she does better next week or she may be going home soon.

Young David – This is how good this kid is. He does a song that he barely knows, “We Can Work It Out”, not even the Beatles version, but the Stevie Wonder version, does a pretty decent job at it, but forgets the words, and STILL doesn’t end up at the bottom for the week. For the first time, he looked very uncomfortable up there. I say chalk it up as a learning experience and move on. He’ll do better from here on out. The kid is just talented. He won’t be allowed to forget the words again, though.

Dreadlock Jason – Made sort of a comeback last week with “Hallelujah”, but fell hard this week with a less than mediocre “If I Fell”. His voice was up, down, and all over the place. Too much falsetto, too much pitch change, not enough strength. Very strange performance.

Stripper David – Way too much of everything with “I Saw Her Standing There”. The judges thought it “overdone”. I think that’s an understatement. He was pitchy from the beginning and never really got into the right tone. Whatever he was trying to bring to the song, he failed. All in all his worse performance so far.

Kristy – Tried to take Simon’s advice and follow her Country music roots and “Countrified” “Eight Days a Week”. BLASPHEMY!!!! There are just certain things you can’t do. Trying to “Countrify” any Beatles song would fall into that category. I almost wept in my ice cream as I listened to her destroy the song.

OK, you can probably guess who I think is going home tonight.