Theme: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
David Cook: No groundbreaking work here tonight, but a pair of solid performances that should keep David C. alive until next week. "Hungry Like the Wolf" was a fun, inspired choice, even if it offered nothing new. David's growly voice suits the song quite nicely. For the second choice, David had me at the words "Baba O'Riley." I love the original to death and when I heard he had picked it, I was like, "Perfect choice!" His arrangement was a bit too slow for my taste, but David nailed the vocals.
Jason Castro: Yes! I can not tell you how happy at this douche's misfortunes last night. Finally, he's showing America the major weakness I noticed right away: no talent. "I Shot the Sheriff" was abysmal and you know it's a bad sign when Paula Abdul gives you negative criticism. His version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" was mediocre at best and made even worse by the fact that he rather obviously stumbled over the lyrics. The really sad thing is that these songs were tailor-made for whatever talent people see in him. If he couldn't nail these songs, what can he do? If this tool does not go home tonight after these two awful performances I don't know what I will do. I will probably have to cut a bitch out of protest.
Syesha Mercado: Syesha is this year's Vonzell Solomon- the one girl with little or no personality who comes out of nowhere and ends up in third or fourth place. I don't know how she's done it, because apart from "One Rock 'n Roll Too Many" a couple weeks back, she hasn't had a week where I've gotten excited about her or her performance. This week was no exception, with her bland rendition of "Proud Mary" that was karaoke at best and the, for me, emotionally detached "A Change is Gonna Come." Randy was right in saying it wasn't as good as what everyone was saying. I did love her breakdown during judging though, with shades of Halle Berry's Oscar-speech "this is for Harriet Tubman and every black woman in history."
David Archuleta: Archuleta delivers once again. His performance of "Stand By Me" was excellent, but nothing legendary. For me, "Love Me Tender" was better. Archuleta's rendition was so emotionally vulnerable, with that little choked off squeak at the end, that it turned a boring song fantastic. If he keeps going like this, Archuleta will win the whole damn thing.