Have you ever been so excited to see a television show, movie, ballgame or some sort of special event that by the time it finally arrived, it was more of a letdown than a reward?
Yeah, me too.
Well, I’m happy to report my much-waited and long-anticipated trip to the American Idols tour in St. Louis did not fall into that category.
It was ah-mayz-ing. It was actually much better that I thought it would be, except for the fact I found out just how scared of heights my wife is. Once we got Kathy settled into her seat in section 307, the night bordered on incredible.
Where to begin?
Let’s just say the crowd at the ScotTrade center — a.k.a. Idol Nation — came with great anticipation, and I did not hear the slightest hint of any dissatisfaction, unless you count the long lines at the concession stands. Apparently, some brainless twit associated with the ScotTrade Center made an executive decision to only open about half of the concession areas, but I refused to let that put any sort of damper on the evening.
The biggest stars of the night were easily David Cook, David Archuleta, Jason Castro, Michael Johns, Carly Smithson and Brooke White, in that order. The continuous ovations for those five, especially Cook and Archuleta, were deafening at times.
Syesha Mercado, Chikezie, Ramiele Malubay and Kristy Lee Cook were greeted warmly, but it was obvious who the crowd favorites were.
The Idols performed in order of elimination, each of the first eight singing three songs apiece. The two Davids each sang four numbers, with David Cook also performing an encore. The dreaded group number did not come until the end.
Here’s my rankings for the night:
1. DAVID COOK: He sounded even better in person than on televison, and what a showman he is becoming. He will be the Idol all other male contestants will be compared to in the future. He opened with “Hello,” the song that solidifed his star ranking during the competition. “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” and “Billie Jean” also brought the house down. GRADE: 10.0.
2. DAVID ARCHULETA: Incredibly, the Boy Wonder did NOT sing “Imagine.” Like David Cook, he is far better in person than he was on TV. It is hard to describe his voice. It is so pure. He also displayed far more range than we heard during the show. “Stand By Me” probably drew the biggest ovation. GRADE: 9.5 (if he’d have provided us with “Imagine” it would have been a 10.0).
3. JASON CASTRO: I have always been a huge Jason fan, you all know that. I’m an even bigger one now, and judging by the reception he received so are a lot of others. He is surprisingly comfortable and engaging on stage, and unlike Archie, he gave us the song(s) we wanted to hear, notably “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Daydream.” Mark my words, he’s going to be a superstar. GRADE: 9.4.
4. CARLY SMITHSON: She’s got a new hairdo, a new wardrobe and has softened “her look.” As much as she irritated me during the competition, I give her full credit for a great performance and friendly on-stage demeanor. Her “Crazy on You” by Heart was tremendous. The girl can rock. GRADE: 9.0.
5. MICHALE JOHNS: Honestly, this is where the drop-off begins, if ever so slightly. My gut feeling is that Michael is ready to start his own career and will be relieved when the 49-city Idol tour is over. He delivered the best line of the night, however, when he said to the crowd, “Now I’d like to sing the song (‘Dream On’) that got me kicked off the show.” GRADE: 8.0.
6. BROOKE WHITE: “Let It Be” was spectacular, as expected, but the rest of her performance was rather pedestrian. She still reminds me of Chi Coltrane, and with the right producer, I think she can hit it big. GRADE: 7.7.
7. KRISTY LEE COOK: The most memorable part of her act was “God Bless the USA,” but she sang it sitting down. GRADE: 7.2.
8. RAMIELE MALUBAY: She’s still a bit awkward on stage, but has added some dance routines and looks much more comfortable than she did during the show. GRADE: 7.1.
9. SYESHA MERCADO: I have no idea what any of the songs she sang were, and unfortunately for her, she preceded the two Davids, so most of the crowd simply wanted her to finish. GRADE: 6.0.
10. CHIKEZIE: He’s seemingly a nice guy, but his three songs were nothing memorable. GRADE: 5.0.
IDOL NATION, LISTEN UP!!!
In the near future, there will be a major announcement on this blog concerning what we’ll be doing for the coming season. Stay tuned …
It’s only six months until the Idol ’09 starts!