The right song on American Idol can shoot contestants to the top. People will talk about it.
Successful players find the song that will show off their skills.
The top six contestants should have a handle on that by now, but sometimes it takes a legend to make an executive decision.
At first, Carly chose "All I Ask of You". Andrew Lloyd Webber advised that's not the right song for a girl with a big chest voice. He suggested her other option, "Superstar".
ALW was right, she could have been cooked with that first song. It would have been too unforgetable. With her change of heart, Carly made her mark and dug her heels in.
Simon -- Actually one of my favorite performances of the night.
Paula -- Loved what you did to the chorus.
Randy -- The bigger voices are doing better tonight.
If you are going with Randy's mentality, Brooke White won't be advancing this week.
Brooke sang "You Must Love Me". Webber said he didn't think Brooke "had a clue what the song was about" when she practiced with him. However, after explaining what it meant, he believed she had the actress within to pull it off. Webber showed Brooke how powerful a song can become when you understand the story behind it.
While competing for votes -- Brooke started the song, but had to restart. She admitted to the judges that she lost the lyric.
It wasn't the first time Brooke started a performance over, but it should be her last. The first time was forgettable... even commendable how poised she pulled it off. You can't do it again. It's time for the least qualified to go. Brooke is quite a remarkable musician, but not an American Idol.
It was surprising to me how lenient the judges were on Brooke's do-over. The judges also spent an awful lot of time hashing out her performance. That was time that would have been better spent on the thoughts and strategies with ALW.
Webber got a kick out of Jason Castro. The great composer couldn't even describe their time together without chuckling all the way through. "A man singing 'Memory' (chuckle) with dreadlocks. He kind of understood it. I think."
When choosing a song, Castro was honest. He said he recognized Webber's work, but was embarrassed to say he didn't see any of it. One of his silly comments, "I didn't think a cat was singing it." Webber, laughing said he wouldn't be surprised if Castro disregarded his advice and did it better even -- "just because he's him."
Randy called it a train wreck. Simon said it was the longest two minutes of his life. They both think it's not the right style of song for him. Paula thought it was a wise song choice. She said a lot of people are used to hearing it sung by a powerful woman. It further identifies his uniqueness.
Webber was curious about David Archuleta choosing, "Think of Me" because he said it was written for a diva. He said he could not imagine how a boy could sing that song. But he was impressed to hear "little David" (as he called him) and said bravo.
Paula thought it was absolutely perfect how he turned it into a pop ballad. Randy said he was "the one to beat." Simon thought it was pleasant, but one of his weakest performances, "a bit forgettable."
No one could forget two of the sexiest performances of the night -- from David Cook and Syesha Mercado.
Syesha opened the show with "One Rock and Roll Too Many". Webber said she "could bring down the house" and has an opportunity to be witty.
The judges are usually hard on Syesha, but not tonight. "Very sexy... kind of Michelle Pfeiffer lying on the piano," said Simon. He called it one of her strongest performances because she showed "masses of personality." Randy said she was in her element. Paula could tell this is a "big part of your love."
The closing act was from David Cook, who was also steaming up the joint. Cook is no stranger to this genre. He said he grew up doing musical theatre.
Webber says "The Music of the Night" is the most sensual, sexy song he's written. So he coached Cook to sing to him as if he were a young girl. Cook joked about how strange it was to stare longingly into ALW's eyes.
This song was soft. It was sexy. It was yet again another time David Cook showed us he's capable of anything.
Simon prefers the raw side of Cook to this. Paula remarked at how well rounded he is. Randy called it an amazing vocal performance.
Taking on the greats of Andrew Lloyd Webber was a test for the remaining six artists. ALW was in the audience tonight for the performances and will watch as one get axed tomorrow.