Well, we thought we wouldn't be updating this blog again until January when Season 8 debuts, but we attended our first Idols Live Tour and post-show Meet and Greet, where we met all the finalists except Chikezie Eze, who didn't attend.
The show was a mixed bag. David Cook wanted it to be a rock show, but it wasn't. When someone else from our group got up during Jason Castro's set to go to the bathroom, we told her, "Good choice."
The show ran in the order of contestant elimination, with each of the Top 10 doing a three-song set, except David Archuleta who got four songs and Cook who sang five. Chikezie opened, was very personable and better than expected. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand, that is until Ramiele Malubay followed and almost literally sucked the air right out of the room. Her set was a disaster. Could this be the same little girl who blew us away with "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" on the first week of the AI semis? Thank god Michael Johns was up next. He had everyone going IN-SANE with his Queen set. He got a huge ovation and lotsa love from the mostly female house. At the M&G, he probably had nearly as many people in line to see him as David Cook. Kristy Lee Cook? Much better than on AI. We could have lived without the gratuitous repeat of "God Bless the USA," the anthem that saved her ass on Idol, but loved her opening number. Carly Smithson and Brooke White deserved and received nice receptions. Jason Castro, well, sorry, we weren't impressed and again wondered why he and Syesha Mercado were in those prized fourth and third positions, when it became abundantly clear by their performances that it should have been Michael finishing third, followed by either Carly or Brooke.
Our ears are still buzzing from all the shrieking the 8-year-olds did when David Archuleta took the stage. He was more poised than on AI (saying the same patter at each concert seems to make him a more confident public speaker, though in person at the M&G he was just as giggly as we've come to expect). And though we're not really an Archuleta fan, his set was OK. Our favorite number of his was OneRepublic's "Apologize." As we expected, at the M&G we spotted daddy Jeff Archuleta lurking nearby and asked if we could take a photo with him. After a bit a hesitation, he graciously agreed. That's one for our digital scrapbook, LOL!
The house, of course, went crazy when David Cook took the stage, and he didn't disappoint, performing "Hello," "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," "The Time of My Life," "My Hero" (performed in tribute to his brother Adam) and "Billie Jean." He had the crowd screaming and on their feet by the closing number, a group repeat of Rhianna's "Please Don't Stop the Music," the number the remaining finalists performed on "Idol Gives Back" with the "So You Think You Can Dance" dancers. It was a satisfying ending to the show.
Some Meet & Greet notes: Not that it matters to you guys, but David Cook remembered us from our previous meeting in May. He's remained as nice and down-to-earth as he was then. He not only signed for anyone who asked, but carried on differently -- making funny poses, faces, etc. -- with each fan when he took photos with them. He's a real crowd-pleaser whose mom really brought him up right!
Carly and Brooke's husbands both attended the M&G. Brooke's husband is a handsome hottie who totally mingled with the fans, while Brooke was as sweet as a homemade apple pie and loved posing with the kids. Cute couple. Carly was much smaller and prettier than she appeared on TV and has a beautiful smile. Her illustrated man mostly stayed in the background, but you couldn't miss ID'ing him if you saw him. Jeff Archuleta also stayed on the sidelines, but his ubiquitous white cap gave him away. For someone who generated so much (bad) publicity while AI was running, we were surprised to find he is even shorter than his young son and was also a bit shy (or was that cautious?) when approached.
Michael Johns is a tall, handsome cut-up, joking around with his fans and even got on a friend's cell phone when requested and talked to her daughter. Jason was Jason, that is laid back and friendly, as were Ramiele and Kristy. They were a trio of nice, good-looking kids who fled the M&G earlier than the rest of the finalists after running out of fans interested in meeting them. Syesha? Well, some felt she was nice, others not-so-much, with one friend swearing that her "girls," which were well-displayed during her set, were hard-as-rock and obviously not real. She is a looker, though.
Our camera was acting balky, but we've posted a few photos from the M&G. We'll post more when our friends e-mail the ones they've taken.
e-mail Idol Addict