This season's finalists appear to be the most talented bunch by far, and there're no jokes like Shanjaya et. al. of seasons' past.
Last night was the men's Top-10 (70s Night) and already I have found my pet hates and potential talents to root for.
For talent, first up is Michael Johns. When this guy sang Bohemian Rhapsody during Hollywood week, my ears perked up and I said "I think I have found Constantin Murales No.2". Michael has a good voice, and his performance of "Light My Fire" last week showed he has the right stuff. However he can be weak in song selection as in last night's "Go your own way", a Fleetwood Mac classic. The vocal did not suit him. He later commented that he has always wanted to sing a Fleetwood Mac song on live TV, that's why he sang that.
Hasn't everyone learnt by now that at this stage of the competition you don't go and sing songs that you've always wanted to sing or your grandmother wanted you to sing, because you can get voted out if you end up screwing the song. You don't hear me sing Unchained Melody in karaokes, even though I have always wanted to sing it in public. If Michael is more careful with his song choices, he will go far.
Next, my Shanjaya for this season : Danny Noriega. I have developed a dislike for him because of what he did last week when he sang Elvis' "Jail House Rock" and Simon Cowell panned him as grotesque. He talked back like a smart-alec which is a no-no on this show, no matter how wrong one may think Simon's comments may be. Anyway, his Elvis performance is badddd and last night's "Superstar" was no better. He killed himself by trying too hard with all the vibrato effects and forgot to sing naturally.
And Danny has a very irritating obnoxious expression, which can turn a lot of people off. His talent is so so, so I expect him to last maybe a week more. My buddy Rkaru said it best in an sms : "Danny will be real popular in any prison." Go figure.
A rocker, David Cook, who played the guitar last night, sang Free's "All right now" and was quite good really, until he cut Simon off during Simon's comments by saying something that it is not Simon's vote that he needed but the viewers'. When I heard this I told the missus "This guy is dead. He should not have said that, and especially not by cutting the judge off mid sentence."
Yes, David Cook may not need Simon's vote, but Simon can weaken one's prospects by a few well placed scathing remarks. For David's information, no A-Idol contestant has ever went to the Finale by pissing Simon Cowell off and by being extremely smart-alec and obnoxious. Not a single one.
Which brings us to David Archuleta.
My bro Rkaru saw his performance during the live show earlier and sms-ed me to say that this is not to be missed. When David came on, and sang John Lennon's "Imagine", my jaw dropped onto the floor. This kid is only 17, man, and his voice defies belief! HE IS GOOD.
The judges went gaga, including Simon. David Archuleta will go very very far this season, and I dare even predict the Finale.
Best of all, David is neither smart-alec nor obnoxious, and has humility by the truck loads.