Hmmm...Mariah Carey night. I'm not sure I'm looking forward to this. I don't hate Mariah, but I've never been a huge fan. I think it sounds like a recipe for a lot of screeching and an opportunity for Syesha to tackle another diva song. On the other hand, it should be another great opportunity for David Cook to do something miraculous with an unusual arrangement. This should be interesting.
David Archuleta - Believe - This seems like a very chopped-up arrangement. It sounded to me like they made sure to leave in all the cool licks, even if it meant the song wouldn't make sense. He sang it quite well, and very sensitively, but I really didn't love the arrangement. Simon's right, this might actually go better for the men, since they won't automatically be compared to Mariah.
Carly Smithson - Can't Live - Wow...fabulous look tonight. Love the SLEEVES! Gorgeous color, nice to see her in a dress. Great look for her. I like the vulnerability, having her in front of the piano, singing softly at the start. WOW Carly, this is just what I've been waiting to hear from you. Hmm, Randy didn't like the first part, but I really did! I agree with Paula...the vocal restraint before the swell was just so nice. Simon says she was overthinking and holding back. I did hear that, so I agree with him on those points, but I feel it was so much better than what we've been seing from her.
Syesha Mercado - Vanishing - What a pretty lavender dress Syesha wore in the rehearsal. I thought it was great that Mariah made a point of helping Syesha to make the song her own. Pretty dress for the performance, too. The glittery hair is interesting. Now, I'm not familiar with the Mariah version of this song, so I don't know if she made it her own or not, but I thought it was very nice. The first "Oh---" lick seemed to have 1 or 2 notes that were off, but I really liked the 2nd lick. I really like Syesha, and I think she's got SO MUCH potential. A good performance.
Brooke White - Hero - I like her behind the piano. She looks really pretty tonight. I loved the bridge. I thought she had a few pitch issues, a nasal tone, and I thought she got ahead of herself a bit...rushing the last chorus. Nice, but she didn't shine like she did a few weeks ago. Randy didn't like the bridge...funny. I wish she wouldn't pout during the comments. Still like her, but didn't love this.
Kristy Lee Cook - Forever - I don't know this song. Another really pretty dress. I like the styling for the girls tonight. I like this country-fied rendition. This seems to suit Kristy. Very, very nice, Kristy! The glittery eyelashes bother me...they make me feel like I'm gonna get glitter in my eyes. Brian called this a "rope-a-dope" (can you tell he's a dittohead?)...the way she's stepped up her game all of the sudden these last few weeks. I thought she was great tonight. I wish she'd been able to start off this way...and maintain it.
David Cook - Always Be My Baby - This wasn't as "miraculous" as I was hoping for, but it was certainly an interesting take. I actually didn't love it like I did "Billie Jean", but I did like how different it was from the Mariah style...it was fresh and cool. Hmm...listening to the judges, maybe it was miraculous. I'm glad for him...because he is so talented and consistently good.
Jason Castro - I Don't Wanna Cry - I love how Mariah has helped the contestants to restyle/rewrite the tunes. This is a good, out-of-the-box choice for Jason. I really want Jason to get some coaching for breath control. He is such an interesting and sensitive singer, but he is so hampered by his breathing. That said, I really liked this performance tonight. Definitely a step forward for him. Simon doesn't know what a luau is? Poor Simon, he's so sheltered. But I agree with him. Not the best vocal of the night, but a very cool version, and very "Jason".
Surprisingly, I really liked Kristy and Carly tonight, but I think it's probably too little too late. I thought Simon was right when he said the guys won tonight. I liked David Cook and Jason Castro. David Archuleta sounded wonderful, but I didn't get the arrangement. On the whole, I liked Mariah night better than I thought I would. And it sounds like all of the singers are making great progress. Good for them. I still look for David or David to take it all. I'm off to set my VCR for tomorrow night...don't want to miss anything this week!
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