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American Idol Recap: The Top Six Sing Andrew Lloyd Webber

American Idol Rundown: The Top Six On Broadway

You know how Simon often cuts down American Idol contestants by telling them their song was "too cabaret"? This week, that would have been a compliment. The top six had the unenviable task of having to take on songs by musical theater legend Andrew Lloyd Webber, and while I can't say I understand what singing Broadway has to do with being a viable, chart-topping pop star, I'm willing to make the stretch. Well, sort of — to be honest, listening to bad Broadway is actually lower on my list of things to do than listening to bad Mariah Carey imitations.

That said, it was interesting to see which contestants made the most of Lord Andrew's catalog — and which were swallowed up by the theme. Don't forget to vote for the singer you think is going home, and to check out my thoughts, just


Syesha Mercado — Syesha's so theatrical anyway that a Broadway theme should have played to her strengths — and sure enough, "One Rock And Roll Too Many" brought out the shiny, slinky, diva-licious side of her. It was hilarious to see her turn on the "Showtune Syesha" switch the second Lord Andrew asked her to. She took command of the stage for the first time, and she sounded pretty great for most of the song (though am I crazy or did she lose some steam leading up to the big ending?). Randy said it was her best performance to date, Paula said this style was "her happy place," and Simon said it was sexy and one of her best.

Jason Castro — If there's one thing to say about Jason, it's that his Sir Andrew footage was the funniest of the night. I loved the lukewarm endorsement of Webber saying Jason "kind of got what ['Memory'] was about . . . I think," especially when paired with Jason's "I didn't know a cat was singing it!" Unfortunately, "Memory" taken down to the five-note Jason Castro range is just pretty boring; it's not the kind of song that's meant to be strummed on a guitar or crooned in the college quad. Randy said the song was (still!) too big for him, Paula liked that he still put his spin on it, and Simon said it was like Jason was forced to sing at a wedding he didn't even want to attend.

Brooke White — Brooke also got a talking-to from Lord Andrew about the meaning of her song, and the footage, which showed her sincerely appearing to get it, got me so excited to hear what she'd do with "You Must Love Me." Unfortunately, it was a disaster. The starting and stopping at the beginning might have been forgivable if it hadn't rattled her so much; the rest of the song just seemed desperate, like she was using the lyrics to plead with voters. The thing is, I thought she sounded pretty good in parts, and it could have been a big moment for her if she'd been able to keep it together. Randy said it wasn't great but he appreciated the vulnerability, Paula chided Brooke for the false start, and Simon said that all the drama made him uncomfortable.

David Archuleta — Sorry, Lord Andrew, but Young David's eyes look closed even when they're open. Maybe he should have picked on the false humility or lip-licking instead. I was expecting David to sing "Think of Me" straight, but instead he delivered the adult contemporary radio edit, complete with relatively cheesy arrangement. His voice is undeniably good, but he didn't make this song particularly special. Randy anointed him the one to beat again, Paula said it was absolutely perfect, and Simon was more on my side, saying it was pleasant but one of his weakest.

Carly Smithson — Carly has Lord Andrew to thank for making her stop with the "All I Ask of You" and bust out some "Jesus Christ Superstar" instead. I love Rocker Carly, I really do, and she came out looking relaxed, actually moving around the stage and seeming less stressed about hitting every note perfectly. I wish she'd taken control of the chorus more, rather than leave much of it in the hands of the backup singers, but I think it's proof that Carly should stick to the up-tempo stuff. Randy said it was good but not her best, Paula loved the surprise of it, and Simon said it was one of his favorites of the night, which is kind of weak praise when you think about it, but it was enough for Carly to bust out a custom-made "Simon Loves Me" T-shirt.

David Cook — I admit, I was distracted throughout this performance because I just realized that "Music of the Night" is all about sex. I saw Phantom when I was 10 years old, OK? Jeez! Anyway, if I'd been asked to name a contestant who would do a traditional Broadway arrangement, Cook would have been at the bottom of my list, but hearing him sing the song straight with no frills was an important revelation: He can't just rock — he can also sing. I think that was a wise choice for him. Randy called it "a molten hot lava bomb," Paula praised him for being well-rounded, and Simon didn't like this side of him but said he made the most of it.

My favorites: Carly and Syesha, followed closely by David Cook.

Bottom three: Brooke and Jason, for sure. I'd actually like to see Archuleta get his first bottom-three scare, but I doubt it will happen, so I'll say Syesha will end up there (but be safe).

Going home: Brooke. Honestly, I feel like I'm watching her nervous breakdown.

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
orisugar orisugar 9 years
I really love David A. He has a beautiful voice and really connects with the audience. But he does need to try up tempo songs. I miss the "Shop Around" David A. And I love David Cook because I'd so buy his album and I wouldn't kick him out of bed either. :-p
nikecold nikecold 9 years
I'm so pissed CArly got voted off, and I didn't even like her much. But last night was good night for her and seriously Brooke should've gone home. What annoys me the most is that Brooke wasn't even in the bottom 2 and Syesha was, and let me tell you Syesha was amazing last night and although she usually shows no personality at least the girl can sing. Brooke on the other hand just bugs me, she tries too hard to be herself if that makes any sense. Its like she WANTS so badly to seem genuine and overall i just find her corny and mushy and full of crap. Then again I may be biased because I loathe corny things and people, I actually prefer lack of personality to a sappy sentimental one. Jason sucked last night and should0ve been in the bottom two, although I still like him. I really hope Brooke goes home next week, I'm really not buying what she's trying to sell.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
Syesha - She is meant to be a Broadway singer, not pop singer. Carly - I really liked her rendition of "Superstar," thank god she didn't pick "All I Ask of you." Jason - I thought Jason was okay, but seriously "Memory?" I hate that song and I couldn't believe he didn't know the song was sung by cats. Brooke - Her performance was really strained and it was obnoxious how she restarted, but I still really like her. David A - I actually liked his interpretation of "Think of Me" but he needs to do something more uptempo eventually. David C - I think his performance was overhyped but it was still good. It was interesting hearing him sing a Broadway song.
aoitenshi aoitenshi 9 years
David C. killed it again last night! I do think that Brooke and Jason both did badly, but to me they were still more interesting than David A. The kid is getting boring. It's like every song he sings is the same.
wolfpackgal wolfpackgal 9 years
too bad Brooke didn't get what she deserved.. a trip home. at least Jason's still there though, he's usually good but broadway just isn't for him, obviously. Unfortunately, Syeisha doesn't really have a singing personality, even though she's great.
sharshar sharshar 9 years
I wish they could spare Syesha, she's been doing really good in the past two weeks. And Brooke, really, I can't bear to watch her mess up anymore. :(
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 9 years
Brooke will most likely be cut tonight. It's kinda bummin' me out. I pretty much hate Broadway night. Definitely not my bag.
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 9 years
Seyesha - solidified my intense hatred of her last night. It's one thing to actually BE a diva and flit and flounce all over the stage. It's a completely different thing to be a diva in your own head. Castro - solidified that he IS pretty much stoned all the time. Brooke - shocked me with the stopping all over again. I'd really hoped to see her stick around, but after the second false start, I don't see her hanging around much longer. But I still love her. (I must love her.) Archuletta - needs some help on what to do with his hands while he sings. I agree that he has a nice voice, but let's face it: if he ever makes a record, it won't be considered "cool" to own it. Carly - I don't have so much to say about her. I like her, I guess. David Cook - I don't know why, but I really, really, REALLY dislike him as a performer. I thought last night was one of his best, but only because he wasn't acting all alternative rocker-y. If he'd play it straight a little more, I'd like him a whole lot better. Bottom 3 - Brooke, Castro, Carly. Going home - Brooke.
Emdance Emdance 9 years
I have loved Brooke but she needs to go home. I was so embarassed for her last night I could barely watch it!
brittanybe brittanybe 9 years
Whiplashgirlchild-- do you post on another celeb-ish blog who's readers call themselves jezzies? Or am I imagining I've seen you there? I don't think Brooke is "out of her league", I think she has suffered from the past two themes. Mariah and Weber songs are made for big voices. If they did folk night, Brooke would probs blow us all away, and widdle Archuwedda would be confused as hell.
Underdog Underdog 9 years
I see the Bottom three as this David Archuleta Brooke White Jason Castro Syesha Carly and David Cook we're at their Game last Night.
zombielove zombielove 9 years
brooke blows. hopefully she leaves so my eyes can have a rest from rolling them so damn much when she talks and pouts. David A. is boring as crap...if he goes least he can go to prom on Saturday haha David Cook, as usual, AMAZING. He is most def. the most well rounded person musically there.
Livvy-P Livvy-P 9 years
Ahh! Thank you so much for clearing that up! It was driving me crazy!!
ASpoonfulofSugar ASpoonfulofSugar 9 years
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (1992-1997) The Rt Hon. The Lord Lloyd-Webber (1997-)
ASpoonfulofSugar ASpoonfulofSugar 9 years
Sienna - I didn't understand the "Lord Andrew" either; it wasn't just you. I need to Google it.
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
I only saw bits and pieces, but think that based on what I saw that Castro should go home.
lyrical_angel lyrical_angel 9 years
I totally agree, fireyelectra. I would really love to see David Cook as Roger in Rent.
Livvy-P Livvy-P 9 years
Spoonful - Maybe you can verify this for me - I found it weird that people here (*& David Cook last night) called him Lord. Wasn't he knighted, meaning he is Sir Andrew?? It's been bugging me! But just my $.02, I thought David Cook was fantastic! Jason Castro needs to go - he just bugs me. And David Archuleta is just too hokey for me. I do like Carly - she was rad. And I missed the Syesha, so I can't say about her. But I can just imagine that she really nailed this one.
ASpoonfulofSugar ASpoonfulofSugar 9 years
I have been an Andrew Lloyd Webber worshipper since childhood, and I thoroughly enjoyed last night, esp. Sayesha, Carly and David Cook. I was so surprised by David Cook's background in musical theater. He was as nervous to meet Sir Andrew this week as David Archuletta was to meet Mariah Carey last week!
fireyelectra fireyelectra 9 years
As a musical theatre afficionado, I would tell you that based on last night's performances, I would actually consider casting Carly as Judas in Superstar. I would also put Sayesha in anything, and would definitely give David Cook any role Adam Pascal has ever had.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I'm glad I missed this episode. ALW's music makes me want to stick flaming pokers in my ears. Except for Jesus Christ Superstar. That's kinda rad.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
I'm sorry but Gerard Butler's "Music of The Night" cannot be topped. I was annoyed that they kept picking Phantom songs because let's face it, none of them are good enough to do the musical justice. I wanted one of the girls to sing "Unexpected Song".
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
I usually hate Syesha, but she totally rocked this week. I loved Carly and I loved David Cook. I'm ready for Brooke to go home. I would have rather seen Kristy Lee up there belting out You Must Love Me instead of Brooke choking through it. Brooke was worse than Jason, but he landed himself on my annoyed list for claiming he had no idea that a song from Cats was sung by a cat. I hated Archuleta last night for the exact reason Paula like him- he took a very recognizable and well liked song from a musical and turned it into a pop ballad. I felt like it belonged on a compilation CD right in between Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams. :sick: I wish he wouldn't make it to the top two, but he will. Grrr. :rant:
CocoChic CocoChic 9 years
I've been a David Cook hater but the last two weeks, he has blown me away. That high note in music of the night was beautiful! I love Brooke but she really is out of her league at this point. Syesha totally redeemed herself last night for me. I think she could have a major career in Broadway. Carly was awesome. But I do love the song All I Ask of You. It was in my wedding prelude (along with Music of the Night)
Annika2494003 Annika2494003 9 years
How weird was ALW when he was trying to get David Cook to think of him as a "17 year old girl?" I would have busted up laughing!!!
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