American Idol Recap: Cook's Special Recipe for Success

David Cook's not-so-secret recipe calls for mixing it up real smooth-like and surprising us every time. 
He's a tantalizer!
From the moment Cook came on the American Idol scene... he reminded me of last season's runner-up, Blake Lewis.  Not the whole beatboxer deal, but the freshness and originality.  I think I called him a cross between Blake Lewis and season five's rocker, Chris Daughtry actually.  Week in and out Cook has been taking some of our favorite songs and turning them completely inside out.  It's like nothing an American Idol competition has ever seen.
This original recipe is what can make him this year's idol!  No doubt!
This week, the theme was to choose a song from the year they were born.  That brings him back to 1982.  Cook gave Michael Jackson some cosmetic surgery unlike he's ever experienced.  He took "Billie Jean" to the limit.  And it was hot!  
Does Cook come up with all of these arrangements himself?  Remember his version of Lionel Richie's "Hello."  Ummm... hello!  Cook is rocking this competition and taking no prisoners.  And he has been since his audition.
Syesha Mercado and Michael Johns were two other amazing standouts this week... singing songs from their birth year that made them come alive on the stage!

Michael Johns got it goin' on!  Here we go... this is his money... Why he doesn't do more of it is beyond me!

He had a perfect transition -- and nailed it.  A song from 1978, "We Are the Champions/We Will Rock You" showed us the Michael who could really be the AI champion.

It's so exciting!  Girls, how would you like a Michael Johns/David Cook finale?  Think you could handle that?

Not if the "black horse" has anything to say about it...

Paula Abdul gave Syesha Mercado that vote of confidence this week!  "This is going to be the moment where Syesha flipped it," Paula said, calling her performance "pitch perfect."

She showed us that lung capacity of hers with a song out in 1987, "If I Were Your Woman".

Randy called it "blazing hot!"  he thought it was her best performance of all times.  And although Simon critiqued that the song showed there is a limit to her vocals... he called her the "best so far" of the night. 

Keep in mind, there were only two before her: Jason Castro and Ramiele Malubay. 

Syesha is a classic performer.  She's beautiful and has remained a class act throughout this season.

I don't know about what Simon was saying (vocal limits) -- Syesha's vocal power can knock out Whitney Houston.  And there is nothing cabaret about it either.

We watched and listened during 80's week and saw her do a complicated Whitney song.  The girl has Talent!  

Born in 1990, little David Archuleta brought out his big boy voice for "Your the Voice".  I had never heard of that song, but thought he did a nice job with it.  Randy thought it was a strange song choice, but added that David can sing whatever.  While Paula was trying to "figure it out" she gave her standard, "David you can sing the phone book."  Simon said he sang it well in parts, but he didn't like the performance at all. The judge didn't think it was a good song for him and compared it to a theme park performance.

Chikezie Eze cheesy?  That's what Simon said about his performance, "If Only for One Night."  He said he sang it well though.  Randy thought he went too old school with the 1985 hit, saying it was boring, not hip and cool.  Paula disagreed, "you are a throwback, but it's a good throwback."  She thought the texture of his vocals was amazing.

Brooke White had a false start with "Every Breath You Take," but the mistake was easily forgettable.

It was how she handled it with professionalism and confidence.  She had to love the judges comments on how that really didn't matter to them because she saved herself by just starting over and going on.

Randy and Simon both thought the first part (even with the mess up) was fantastic, but when it started to pick up it sounded old fashioned.  Randy said he would have loved it without the band if Brooke would have stayed on her own.

Not a bad comment to hear that she sounds better when she does it herself.

Born in 1993, we saw that a young Brooke could play piano by ear.  A musical genius.  I have a friend who just loves how she tickles the ivories... and to know that's a skill she was just born with I am sure was even more thrilling to hear.  A natural musician.   

From French last week to Spanish this week, Jason Castro is singing to us love songs to make our hearts flutter.

It was Castro's birthday today.  He was born in 1987 and chose the song "Fragile".  Simon said he's had two bad weeks and it's time to take the competition more seriously.  He called him a potential winner who's not going to get anywhere with performances like this week after week.

I don't think he's not taking the contest seriously, but that's just his laid back stoner-type style.  I dig it.

Paula thinks Castro is being true to himself, but admitted he needed to do something different to wow them.  I don't know about you, but I'm wowed.

Ramiele Maubay was also born in 1987.  She said she's really going to start stepping it up because she feels really lucky to be in the top 10.

I think she's going to do all right for a while because she has all the Danny Noriega-types (bff contestant booted off) dialing for her.  Plus her voice is incredible even though she doesn't always bang it out for us.  A lot of it has to do with the songs she picks.

Randy thought "Hearts Alone" was still not the right song choice and was pitchy.  Simon thought Randy was too harsh saying, "you're going to get through again on that performance."  Paula told Ramiele that she's really glad America heard her voice.  She also gave her credit for being really sick.

Sick?  Who would have even known that?  Paula has done that to more than one contestant already this season.  And when Ryan asked Ramiele if she had the flu.. she was like no.. So what's up with that?

If Carly Smithson was in the bottom three last time, what does that mean for this week?  Even her dawg Randy said it was just "ok" for him.  The 1993 baby sang, "Total Eclipse of the Heart".  Paula was into it though saying what she admires about Carly is that she takes a song and makes her a believer and want to buy it.  Simon thought there was something that didn't work.  He told her she has to lighten up a bit.  The performance was too uptight and intense.    

If Kristy Lee Cook has passed through all these weeks sucking out, does it mean the week she does good, she'll be leaving the show?  One could only hope, but Simon thinks otherwise.  

Born in 1993, "God Bless America" is the song she chose.  All the judges agreed it was a clever song choice.  Simon said it was her best performance by a mile and even good enough to keep her in the competition.  Ug!    

We all know it's not necessarily the worst singer who leaves the show.  Who do you think is going back home this week?

Tonight we get to hear from season 2 finalist Kimberley Locke.  hmmm.. where's she been hiding?   Or not.  Yikes hopefully she keeps her clothes on for American Idol.


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