“My attitude is, if someone is going to criticize me, tell me to my face,” said Simon Cowell, one of the hosts of American Idol. Well, who knows if people criticize Simon, but he definitely criticizes the wannabe singers auditioning on his show. Thousands have been cut down to the final 24, and even now the number has dwindled down to a mere 12 contestants. Let’s take a look at the possibilities.
Amanda Overmyer is an ambitious 23-year-old from Mulberry, Indiana. Her style is more “in your face” than many of the other contestants and in a way that hurts her because it’s easy to end up not listening to the music and just being plain scared of her. Overall, she deserves a solid B.
Brooke White is another young contestant of 24-years-of-age, from Mesa, Arizona. She loves the oldies, but the goodies, counting Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder and the Bee Gees as some of her favorite and most prized musical influences. Her sounds are strong and smooth listening, and overall, she deserves an A-.
Carly Smithson is a super soulful and spunky 24-year-old from San Diego, California. With selections like “Crazy on You,” originally done by Heart, and “The Shadow of Your Smile” by Tony Bennett, she has shown the judges what her vocals can do, and they seem impressed. But they also wonder if her voice could really carry her all the way to the top. Rightfully, she deserves a B.
Chikezie is a one-name wonder from Inglewood, California. With influences such as Marvin Gaye and John Legend, this vocalist knows the path he wants to follow down, but has had some shaky performances in the past, like “More Today than Yesterday” originally by Pat Upton. He has skills, but consistency is key. Overall, Chikezie gains a B-
David Archuleta is the youngest contestant at 17 years old from Murray, Utah. Right from the start he has been the absolute favorite. Despite the young age, David seems to perform with a maturity far beyond his years and has shown that his performances demand attention and much praise. David earns himself a solid A.
David Cook is the 25-year-old “rocker” of the group from Blue Springs, Missouri. David is the real deal, aspiring rock and roll king. Songs like “Happy Together” by the Turtles and “All Right Now” by Free show his love of the classic but awesome sounds. The judges love and his performances so David deserves an A-.
Jason Castro is the dread-bearing and warm singer 20-year-old from Rockwall, Texas. Jason credits many local Texan bands as his musical influence and preferences, and it is easy to see he could be one of the crowd favorites. Overall, however, Jason fails to deliver a sense of durability and doesn’t really make an impression. Not dreadful, but deserving of a B-.
Kristy Lee Cook is a 24-year-old outdoor country girl from Selma, Oregon. Pulling inspiration from any female country singer imaginable, Kristy takes on the stage with numbers like “You’re No Good” originally done by Betty Everett and “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass. She has occasionally fallen flat, however, and her talents don’t seem to be as wowing as some of the other contestants, giving her a B-.
Michael Johns is an awesome 29-year-old singer from Buckhead, Georgia. While he does round out the pack as one of the oldest contestants, Michael has so much to offer that it is easily overlooked. “Light My Fire” by The Doors and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds (and the credits song in “Breakfast Club”) wowed the audiences and the judges, so Michael gets an A.
Ramiele Malubay is a 20-year-old force to be reckoned with from Miramar, Florida. She cites Aretha Franklin as a musical influence on her singing, and when you listen to her vocals, you can tell why. The two sound almost identical, with beautiful and warm harmonies ringing through. The best girl in this competition, well deserving of an A-.
Syesha Mercado is a 21-year-old vocalist from Sarasota, Florida. This girl is full of joy, has a big personality and loves to have fun with her music, sometimes indulging herself and the crowd with songs like “Me and Mr. Jones” by Amy Winehouse. The judges know she can sing, but they also know she could fall just like the rest of them could. Syesha receives a B+.
Who Will Win It All?
With so many contestants still left in the game, it’s hard to predict a inner out of a bunch of 11, but the safe bet would be David Archuleta.