American Idol Top 20: Guy’s Night (2/26/2008)

It was a fantastic show last night. One thing that must not go unnoticed is the sober lucidity that has been long absent from Paula Abdul. She was amazingly helpful and coherent with her judging and comments. Paula, if you read this, keep it up. We like you this way.

It is apparent to me that I need to come up with a new rating system for the performances. The caliber of the singers has risen to the point that to grade them with letter grades is getting to mishy-mashy. How many people can you give an “A” in a night and still have some distinction? Everyone will get lost in the crowd.

I am adopting the Olympic point system. A “10” will get someone the crown in the season finale. Really good singing with a bad song choice will get a “9.” Everything better than a bad song with good singing will receive a decimal point between 9 and 10. If there was room for improvement for the vocals, will receive a “9” or less. Clear? Good. Let’s get going, because time is ticking away on my lunch break.

Michael Johns

Once again, he proved that he has excellent vocals and a dang perfect vibrato that is oh so enchanting for the ladies (I’m guessing here).

Simon says: It was an okay job, but it was his weakest performance of the competition for him so far.
Jesse’s grade: 9.6

Jason Castro

He used his guitar again, and had a great intro interview video that really endeared the audience to him.

Simon says: The song was horrible and all out of sorts. He looked uncomfortable and the song choice didn’t do him any favors.
Jesse’s grade: 9.2

Luke Menard

There was only one way to go from last week’s snoozer: up. The vocals were good and it was a far better choice for him.

Simon says: The song choice was a mistake (a Queen song), because the original had charisma, but he doesn’t.
Jesse’s grade: 9.1

Robbie Carrico

I really liked his singing again, but the song didn’t quite show him off much. I still have hopes for him down the road, but his quality isn’t that of a finalist.

Simon says: The vocals were “ok” tonight.
Jesse’s grade: 9.2

Danny Noriega

Would you just go away? I stand by my comments last week. I don’t care what you sound like when you move, talk, dress, and act like that. It’s revolting to witness and it has no place in the Top 12, let alone Top 20.

Simon says: It was better than last week, but he tried too hard and concentrated too much.
Jesse’s grade: 8.6

David Hernandez

David is great. His vocals are smooth, on target, and he’s got charisma that Simon keeps harping on. His rendition of Papa Was a Rolling Stone was fantastic. Paula’s comments were especially cogent. He really took Simon’s advice last week to loosen up. He must have been drinking WD-40 shakes this week.

Simon says: It was the best vocal of the night so far.
Jesse’s grade: 9.8

Jason Yeager

Well, it was better than last week, but he introduced new problems. He used a mic stand for the beginning and did the ‘walk in place’ dance in front of it, with some weird shoulder movements. It wasn’t working for you, Dawg. Better song, terrible performance if you had to watch it. Last week, Simon said it was ‘cruise ship.’

Simon says: It was awkward and ordinary. The end was almost drunken.
Jesse’s grade: 8.9

Chikezie Eze

Hey! Normal clothes tonight! Much better performance, and he appropriately sang a song directed at Simon to get his name right. It was pretty funny if you were paying attention to the lyrics.

Simon says: You looked better and sounded better. One million times better.
Jesse’s grade: 9.5

David Cook

Busted out an electric guitar and really sold the ‘rocker’ image. The vocals and playing were well-choreographed and it was a very entertaining performance.

Simon says: It was solid, but I didn’t like the intro video of you being a ‘word nerd.’ That doesn’t have any charisma and it didn’t do you any favors.
Jesse’s grade: 9.5

David Archuleta

Everybody. Needs. To. Quit. Now. No one stands a chance against this kid. He’s a 17 year-old Josh Groban. You can’t possibly not adore his voice, charm, humility, sincerity, or anything about him. He’s going huge places that American Idol won’t be able to contain. Randy said it was one of the best vocals in American Idol history.

Simon says: It was very risky to sing a Lennon song, but it worked. You’re the one to beat. There are 19 miserable contestants here tonight.
Jesse’s grade: 10

Voting prediction: Danny Noriega and Jason Yeager


  1. Even though I also don’t like Danny Noriega, I have a feeling he’ll stick around a little while longer. I think the teen girl and gay demographics are on his side. But I really do hope you are right! Keep up the fun reviews.

  2. Even though I also don’t like Danny Noriega, I have a feeling he’ll stick around a little while longer. I think the teen girl and gay demographics are on his side. But I really do hope you are right! Keep up the fun reviews.