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Well.. I really think it's obvious that there are contestants that are going to get a free ride to the finals already. They're being overhyped by not only the judges, but also by fans and even some here. On pure vocals, David A. wasn't even the best performance of the night, let alone of all time on American Idol. Play it back on your DVR and really be open about it. He's a great tactician, and he's got huge Disney-esque charisma AND he's competing against on of the weakest fields (as opposed to best as they falsely hype it) male fields ever. He'll clearly sail all the way to the final 4 at this point short of complete implosion, which isn't happening. Think about it, what little kids just happen to get to go back stage and hang with the American Idol contestants before the finale? Only those being set up to win later on. This kid has been carefully groomed for this and this season is his coronation.
That said, I thought he wasn't as good vocally as David Hernandez. And he didn't perform (not sing.. perform) as well as Chikezie.. but it doesn't matter. Even David Cook outdid him if people were being honest and ignored the John Lennon song (gosh.. how many strings did they pull to license THAT song?).
There was only one truly awful performance of the night and it was badly sung and creepily performed. Jason Yeager must go.
The Top 4: (Based only on this week's performances, not my prediction of who is best or worst overall).
David Hernandez: Though he has no real shot over the munchkin, he may be the best male vocal talent. He just needs to up the charisma more. Chikezie: Back from a bad performance the week before. He saved himself, but I don't think he's a real contender in the long run. David Archulete: Can't be stopped from the top 4.. it's already preordained. David Cook: Can't hit the power note, was smart enough this week not to try. He won the battle of the Rockers this week.
Jason Yeager: The guy gives me the creeps. Ack. Luke Menard: Sorry.. but he's not going anywhere in this competition.. it's this week or next and he's out, even though he was way better than last week. Danny Noriega: I agree with Simon he's actually interesting and has a great voice.. but 2 weeks in a row he's under performed and the Sanjaya vote is going to David A. He's pretty exposed and if he slips by this week (which he should over the two above) he needs to hit a grand slam with something way out in front to keep going.
The Also Rans:
Michael Johns: Was pretty bad. But he'll sail through due to previous performances. He was first in the AOL voting last week, but has fallen to 2nd under David A. and likely will stay there a while. Jason Castro: He actually can't sing as well as any of the other contestants, male or female. He can only perform well. When he steps out from the guitar he's going to be naked. He also has no personality unless you're into stoners. Can style win over substance? Sure.. on American Idol it can. Robbie Carico: He had an average night. You have to think this guy could turn it up and really compete, or fade into oblivion behind the other two rockers. He's dropped out of the Top 6 on AOL and been replaced by Chikezie.
Again, after the first 2 weeks, though these guys may be able to sing technically the best of the AI seasons, as performers, they're a pretty ho hum bunch. I think David A. is the most charismatic person in the competition and he's one of the better singers, though far from the best. That means he has the best shot early on. The girls usually do better, so it wouldn't be stretch to imagine him with 2 girls in the final 3. Michael Johns pissed away a huge lead in week one pretty fast. But he's still in second place on AOL and not going anywhere. (That poll was VERY accurate to the votes the last several years with only a couple of errors). David Hernandez is the best male singer but he doesn't have the charisma of David A or Michael J (or Jason or David C for that matter). He did step it up this week so hopefully he'll be in the top 12 based on merit.