Unless David Archuleta knocks up Miley Cyrus in the next two months he's the new American Idol. The rest are playing for hometown parades and royalties on the eight iTunes they sell. The girls were screaming just at the mention of his name. The fact that he can sing too helps but it makes no difference. He's your new American Osmond.
This was 70s week - a chance for the kids to sing all their favorite songs they never heard of before last week. I hope next week will be hits from the 30s.
Top three lines when you pull the string on the Paula doll: "You are an amazing singer." "You have trouble on the low notes." And "You're relevant".
The boys went Tuesday night. I'm starting to think this is Groundhog Day. Every year it's the same kids singing the same songs the same way.
First up was Michael Johns. He wants to be Rob Thomas but is really Michael Bolton. He screeched through a Fleetwood Mac song.
In the getting-to-know-you segment with Jason Castro we learned that he's an idiot and takes pride in it. Bullwinkle could have done a better job answering simple questions. Maybe after the show he and Paula can collect string.
Luke Menard is the Hugh Jackman guy. Did an okay job with "Killer Queen" but this is the wrong show for him. He could easily win America's Next Top Model.
Robbie Carrico considers himself a hard rocker - but the kind that could play Disneyland. His hobby is drag racing. He can sign-up for one next Tuesday night. He'll be available.
Danny Noriega is the contestant most likely to become one of Bette Midler's Harlettes. He sang "Superstar" for 70s week but who are we kidding? He should have sung "My Girl Bill".
David Hernandez has a big voice but no idea what he's singing. He tackled the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" belting out words completely at random. "Papa was a ROLLINGGGG stone, wherever he laid his HATTTT was his home. And WHENNNNN he died, all he left USSSSSS was alone."
And pretty boy, Jason Yaeger was even worse. Completely clueless. He chose the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running" and had a huge smile on his face belting out the line "she lost her home and her family and she won't be coming back". Parr-teeee! But at least he didn't cart out his son again this week.
Chikezie did a nice job on a Donny Hathaway song. But so what? He'll be going home weeks, even months before Danny Noriega.
Then came authentic benign rocker, David Cook. He revealed that he's a "word nerd". He loves unusual words. Here's a few: tedious, tiresome, lackluster, wearisome, humdrum. But unlike Jason Castro, he at least knows what those words mean.
As always, they saved the best for last. David Archuleta sang a fabulous interpretation of "Imagine'. The judges were knocked out by the originality. And they should be. When Eva Cassidy first sang it that way years ago on one of her albums it was quite extraordinary. Much better than Archuleta's original cover.
On Wednesday night the girls took the stage.
Carly Smithson was in much better voice singing "Crazy on You". And her breasts bopping up and down should be good for another ten million votes.
Syesha Mercado sang "Me & Mrs. Jones", a gut wrenching ballad about two disillusioned married people having an affair. It was the perfect song for a 21 year old.
Brooke White did a nifty job with "You're So Vain". Brooke can't sing those power ballads like all the rest of the girls. Maybe that's why she's my favorite.
Ramiele Mulubay is the only American Idol contestant in seven seasons shorter than Ryan Seacrest. She sang the instantly forgettable "Don't Leave Me This Way".
You wonder why the contestants picked such boring songs when these 70s classics were available: "The Night Chicago Died", "Billy Don't be a Hero", "Muskrat Love","Sweet & Innocent", and the incomparable "Chick-a-boom/Chick-a-Boom".
Kristy Lee Cook revealed that she's really a tomboy. I could see her fishing in her prom dress. Boring belter. Next!
Who knew? Amanda Overmyer is a "book worm". What does she read? English literature? Russian novels? No. Rock star biographies. That still makes her the intellectual of this bunch. With the wild streaks in her hair and zebra slacks I thought she was joining the cast of CATS. She sang "Carry on Wayward Son" and Randy thought it was "too much melody" for her. Yeah, melody can really get in the way of a good singer.
Alaina Whitaker is delightfully compulsive-obsessive. Her eggroll and rice can't touch on the same plate. What would freak her out more? Getting eliminated from American Idol or being forced to eat a KFC Chicken & Biscuit Bowl?
Kady Malloy doesn't have to win. She's cute, she's funny, she's talented. She'll be hosting her own VH-1 show long after David Archuleta is headlining Sponge Bob on Ice. She sang Heart's "Magic Man", another monster hit Simon had never heard of. If Petula Clark didn't sing it, he doesn't know it.
Wrapping it up was Asia'h Epperson who tried to belt "All By Myself" so hard her liver almost came out her mouth. Simon was right. That song was waaaaaay too big for her. Celine Dion she's not. Dionne Warwick she's not. (Oh, for Simon's benefit: Dionne Warwick was a very popular American singer in the 60s & 70s).
I'm still waiting for that great performance. Oh well. Maybe on Kurt Weil night.
You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com