by Jeff Hahne
Last night, the Top 12 contestants on America's largest karaoke contest performed songs by The Beatles.
Here's my contestant-by-contestant thoughts on what went down:
Syesha Mercado — She sang "Got to Get You Into My Life." She's probably one of the top two female singers on the show, and I really can't complain about the performance. Nothing surprisingly good - just a solid showing.
Chikezie — For the last...howevermany weeks, Chikezie has been pretty disappointing. This week, he blew the doors off the place. He started out with a bluegrass version of "She's a Woman" before rocking the joint. He went from one of the bottom rungs to damn near the top.
Ramiele Malubay — She went safe with "In My Life" and really didn't do anything to impress me. A forgettable performance, but solid singing. She'll be safe for at least another week.
Jason Castro — He was probably one of the best last week, but this week was pretty weak. Sit him next to Ramiele in the middle of the pack. Nothing amazing, but "If I Fell" didn't suck.
Carly Smithson — By now, everyone knows she had a big, fancy record contract and most people are calling her "the plant" thinking she was planted by record executives. I have to wonder after she butchered "Come Together" last night and the judges loved it.
David Cook — The show started off strong, but Cook's "Eleanor Rigby" to follow up the sad "Come Together" was about as bad as it could get. His version was weak and honestly trashed a classic Beatles tune. How the judges loved it, I have no idea.
Brooke White — Send her to the finals! Best performance of the night, if not the entire season so far. She's got class, talent and isn't afraid to show the right emotions. If the show started with the Top 12, she'd be the front-runner.
David Hernandez — Maybe the lyrics should be "I'll never dance with your brother" after his all-male strip club past was uncovered. His version of "I Saw Her Standing There" was basically terrible.
Amanda Overmyer — Further proof that the judges need to have their hearing checked. Overmyer took another classic Beatles song and made it sound like nails on a chalkboard. If she survives much longer, I'd be really surprised. Worst song of the night.
Michael Johns — He sang a mediocre version of "Across the Universe." Not horrible, but not great.
Kristy Lee Cook — She took a big risk by making "Eight Days a Week" into a country song, but I thought it worked. The judges hated it, but what do they know? The problem is that up until this point, she hasn't been memorable.
David Archuleta — The front-runner heading into the show stumbled...then stumbled again...then stumbled again. He got off easy, though he should be booted for not remembering the words at multiple moments during "We Can Work it Out."
Ready for the boot as the Bottom Three: Amanda Overmyer, David Cook, Kristy Lee Cook