For fans of music … no, not reality TV, not Mariah Carey, not musicals … than the format of tonight’s episode was easily the most accessible of the season. We got to see the three contestants from three angles: how the judge’s wanted to see them, how the producers did, and how they wanted to see themselves. This made for, of course, a bevy of odd song choices, good song choices, and unexpected song choices.
We decided not to liveblog tonight’s episode, and actually try to digest some of it. Here are my post-episode thoughts:
“And So It Goes” by Billy Joel.
“With You” by Chris Brown.
“Longer” by Dan Fogelberg.
Randy said exactly what I was thinking after the “With You” performance — can anything be stranger than David Archuleta signing “ooh little mama, ooh you a stunner”? I understand what David was doing, and I actually applaud it. But, of course, the end result proved why David isn’t good for this competition: he’s not in the slightest contemporary. The performance was awkward and very forced. Of course, he juxtaposed that with a real good choice by Paula, if a predictable one. David’s going to cruise, of course, but it wasn’t his best night as he didn’t truly connect on any song.
“If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys
“Hit Me Up” by Gia Farrell
The problem with this season is that — outside the How Long will Kristy Lee last subplot — it’s been a very predictable season. We knew Brooke was going to lose, we knew David was going to lose, and now, we kind of now Syesha is going to lose. We know this because from pretty early this season, this was the David vs. David battle. I think the judges sort of convinced themselves of that before the episode, because Syesha didn’t get nearly enough credit for a pretty good night. Alicia Keys was a horribly predictable choice, and “Fever” was merely chosen for its sexified potential. But for not a great choice, I thought Syesha knocked “Hit Me Up” out of the park, showing us some legitimate potential.
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack.
“Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
When I saw the Roberta Flack choice, I was utterly shocked. But Simon was onto something, as the song allowed David to show off his vocal chops, which will be important in a heads-up battle with Archuleta. Of course, the Switchfoot song was not very good, which raises an important question — why isn’t David hitting on the songs he should be, like Switchfoot and Our Lady Peace? That’s going to be his home base, so he needs to be doing better than that. The third song was predictably very good. Randy called it predictable, but I think that shouldn’t be considered an insult. The point is that we knew when David started the song that he would be fantastic, and he was. Unquestionably the best left.
But the biggest shocker, of course, was Simon putting “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in the canon as one of the greatest songs of all-time.