03/12/2008 11:48 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

American Idol : Top 12 Try to Please Please Me

First off, show of hands: Who gives a shit about the new opening titles?

And then that new set. Yikes! Talk about extreme overkill. It's like a combination Thunderdome/Celine Dion's living room. And all the lights and strobes, I felt like I was watching the Orange Bowl Halftime show.

All in all I thought the performances were pretty good this week. But that could be because they were singing Lennon & McCartney songs not Diane Warren. And Simon spoke for us all when he said, "Shut up, Paula!"

Brooke White is still my favorite. Her no frills version of "Let it Be" was heartfelt and touching. Interesting that the contestant with the most soul is a blond Girl Scout from Mesa, Arizona.

Meanwhile, the one male African-American wore an argyle sweater vest and tie. The only gang he could get into is "Up With People". Chikezie sang "She's a Woman" and gave his best performance. And I'm sure when someone suggested doing that intro with a fiddle he said, "Yeah. Now that's funky!"

David Hernandez did "I Saw her Standing There". He's obviously sung that song before, with the same dance moves. Except this was the first time he wasn't oiled up and girls didn't stuff dollar bills down his Speedo.

Even though the judges weren't wild about Michael Johns I thought he was great. They keep saying this is a singing competition until someone just stands there and sings. Next week he should borrow Haley Scarnato's shorts.

Syesha Mercado sang "Got to Get You Into My Life" as if it were a foreign song she learned phonetically. Boring belter. Will be gone before they start doing those Ford commercials.

I hope Ramiele Malubay gets voted off. Let's give her a real reason to cry. Note to Ramiele: "In My Life" was not designed to be sung by someone who still needs fake ID to get a drink.

Jason Castro is morphing into Lisa Edelstein to such a degree I think he's now growing breasts. Why are the judges so wild about this guy/girl? I don't get it. He attempted "If I Fell" and it was way out of his range. He hits clunker notes, has trouble flipping to his head voice, and has the excitement of someone who drinks gallons of that Prozac water.

And is it just me or has Carly Smithson's Irish accent gotten thicker? She is going to kick ass on Celtic night! For an added edge over the other contestants she should tattoo 1-866-IDOLS 06 on her forehead.

David Cook reminds me of Austin Powers. He's a good singer but I thought "Eleanor Rigby" was a haunting melancholy ballad. Who knew it was heavy metal?

Amanda Overmyer wailed on "You Can't Do That", a song referring to her black and white striped slacks. I like her but she sings everything the same. I worry she's a one trick pony...or more accurately considering those pants - a one trick zebra.

Kristy Lee Cook tried to do "8 Days a Week" as a country song. It was utterly ridiculous...bordering on William Shatner. Jews sing country songs better. Next time Kristy, sing "Rocky Raccoon" (if there is a next time).

And finally, David Archuleta. Who could believe that the one song that was too challenging for a great singer was "We Can Work It Out"? Drunks at ZBT parties can handle that tune while their heads are in a bowl. Considering how far ahead David was, it almost feels like a prize fighter told to take a dive.

I think from here on out, in addition to eliminating one contestant a week, they should also remove one piece of the set.

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