Tonight's Andrew Lloyd Webber theme presented a challenge for a wise-ass "Idol" recapper like myself. Pretty much the only thing that made me giggle throughout the show was the diminutive composer's pronunciation of the word "sensual" (sen-soo-ul). Oh, and Paula talking about David Cook's "beautiful instrument." (Bad Paula! Down!) Other than that, musical theatre night was not conducive to the funny. But let's give it a whirl anyway, folks.
Clad in a slinky red dress bizarrely paired with bare feet, Syesha started things off with her rendition of "One Rock n' Roll Too Many." I'll admit that she worked it — it was a very good performance from an acting perspective. But the vocals? Still not doing it for me, especially the last few notes. I just don't think Syesha's ever going to win me over. (Somehow, I doubt that she cares.)
I will say though, that Syesha was miles better than Brooke, who incurred as much of a wrath as Paula is able to muster up these days by asking the band to start over at the beginning of her song. Throughout "You Must Love Me," her voice quavered and sounded oddly forced. I completely agreed with Simon's use of the word "uncomfortable" in describing the performance — because that's exactly how I felt watching it. Brookie, what's the deal? You used to be one of my favorites. When the season first started, it seemed as if sunshine sprang from your fingertips. Get it back, please. Bambi and the other forest creatures are starting to get worried.
Someone who probably scares Bambi and company a bit is Carly, what with the tattoos and all. But no matter. She was the polar opposite of Brooke tonight, appearing 100% at ease delivering a natural, rockin' version of "Jesus Christ Superstar." She also continued her impressive trend of looking better and better each week, sporting a cute paisley dress that suited her perfectly. Sure, I think Carly will always be the poor man's Kelly Clarkson, but that's okay. As long as she promises to never again sing that appalling "I'm Gonna Blow Your Mind" song from her old record contract days, Carly and I are cool. (If you haven't seen the video for this online, don't look for it. I beg you — spare yourself.)
I'd wager that the judges wished they could have been spared from witnessing Jason's performance of "Memory" — with Randy going so far as to deem it a "train wreck." However, I quickly forgave Jason for being totally clueless about the song that I practiced so incessantly on the piano throughout the 6th grade, and ended up really liking his performance. Seated on a stool in an ill-fitting tan suit, Jason delivered a breathy, tender, intimate vocal on Webber's classic. Sure, he had no idea what he was singing about, or maybe even where he was — who knows what he does before the show. But for me, it absolutely worked. Second most impressive showing of the night.
And who was number one this evening, you may ask? Well, it's three cheers and a big squeeze for Elmo! Little David Archuletta's pitch-perfect, gorgeous version of "Think of Me" was, in my opinion, his best performance since "Imagine." I think Simon must have gotten into Jason's stash pre-show — that's the only possible way to explain how he could have described it as "forgettable" and deemed it one of his weakest performances. Either that, or Simon's just doing a crappy job of trying to throw us off the scent of the inevitable David/David finale that's without question coming our way.
Speaking of the elder David, for once, Cookie stayed tried and true and stuck with the original arrangement of "The Music of the Night," save for the rocker note he threw in at the end. Although Randy was practically salivating, employing his rarely-used "molten hot lava bomb" accolade — I can't say I was as enthusiastic. I mean, David did a stellar job of selling the performance. His eyes were positively mesmerizing, and I'd be lying if I didn't say there was definitely swooning coming from the general direction of my couch. But tonight, the vocals were just not matching the sexy. Maybe if he'd rocked the Phantom mask, it would have made a difference. Who knows.
Predictions? Hmm. With the show now 100%-Kristy-Lee-free, this process gets a little harder. But I think short of the little creatures sending the signal throughout the forest to vote like there's no tomorrow, the lovely Brooke may be in trouble.