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Rockwall’s Jason Castro eliminated on ‘Idol’


by Manuel Mendoza 8 May 2008

And then there were three. With Wednesday’s departure of The Dreadlocked One, who announced in advance he was ready to return to North Texas, the 7th season of America’s favorite singing contest is down to cool rocker David Cook, teen ‘throb David Archuleta and the increasingly feisty R&B songstress Syesha Mercado. Cook should and I […]

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castrofrown.jpg

And then there were three.

With Wednesday’s departure of The Dreadlocked One, who announced in advance he was ready to return to North Texas, the 7th season of America’s favorite singing contest is down to cool rocker David Cook, teen ‘throb David Archuleta and the increasingly feisty R&B songstress Syesha Mercado. Cook should and I think will win, and for some of the same reasons Castro had to go.

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David Cook

Unlike the purely big-voiced singing that’s been mandatory to success on American Idol in the past, this season saw the emergence of a subtler aesthetic. Castro epitomized it, refusing to reach for the rafters, probably because he couldn’t. He did well on his first Neil Diamond song last week, but from “September Morn” to his Bob Marley and Bob Dylan covers Tuesday he proved you can’t get by on charisma alone.

Syesha Mercado

Cook also has refrained from turning everything into a Whitney Houston imitation. Like Castro, he’s more of an stylist. The difference is, Cook has powerful pipes to call on when he needs to. The shift in the kind of singers Idol is attracting can be traced to last season’s convention-defying Blake Lewis, who finished second, and to a new rule that allows the performers to play an instrument. Since the competition got down to five finalists, Mercado has been the only one not accompanying herself.

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David Archuleta

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  • American Idol proves that rock and roll has become everything it started out opposing.

  • Betsy Lewis

    I can’t see American Idol being any kind of commentary on rock and roll . Look at it through Ed Sullivan-colored glasses — it’s a variety show, really. Then take into account the interactive component where the viewers decide the winner. Patti Smith sang, “The people have the power to redeem the work of fools.” So, yeah, I’ll bet Patti Smith watches American Idol. And she probably calls in to vote, too.

  • Carlo

    Absolutely! That is one of the best descriptions I have ever heard about Idol.

  • benjamin

    “American Idol proves that rock and roll has become everything it started out opposing.”

    That’s pretty stupid actually. You’ve obviously missed the point of music being fun, about whatever gets grabs your emotions. One could argue that early rock n’ roll was more commercial during its early years when songs were made to fit within a certian time frame for radio commercials, and “acts” were more often created by producers.

  • BECKY

    I agree with Benjamin. Music is totally subjective. If it touches you, who cares what someone else thinks. What might effect one person, might not touch another. That doesn’t make any of it wrong.

  • Music is not totally subjective. And by the way you are not the first to say this. I tend to think this is why so many people praise such bad contemporary music. This is not the golden age in music.
    You are confusing a subjective reaction to music with an objective reaction to music. They aren’t the same thing and they can be clearly separated.
    No kid pounding on the piano is as good as Mozart.
    The kid may be your own, and you may be delighted to hear him pound away, but you also must be knowlegeable enough to know that he doesn’t match Mozart’s talent for composing and playing music.
    Music can be objectively judged. You must see that there is a objective reactions to music that can be quite accurate if it comes from trained people who know enough about music to separate good music from bad. You may like or dislike any music. That is your subjective reaction. But knowledgeable people can go beyond that to tell if music is good, innovative, technically excellent, etc. And they can explain clear reasons in the music why that is true. They can point to the quality of the lyrics, the voice, the arrangement, the intro, the outro, the quality of the melody, the ability of the singer, etc. etc. etc.
    It is an extreme injustice to great musicians who spend their lives working hard to make high quality innovative music; to clump them in with puffed up amateurs.

  • BECKY

    So, you are saying that American Idol shouldn’t be allowed because it is an injustice to “great” musicians. Who is to say who is trained enough to make these “objective” judgments? Are you? Often those who are “trained” start creating music that in no way relates to anybody, but because they are “trained and an expert” it is suppose to be “good.”

    My point is that any music whether your kid pounding on the piano, American Idol, or some other piece created by the world’s greatest pianist is worthwhile and valuable. If it gets more people involved with music, then I am all for it.

  • All music is fun. But not all music should be inflicted on the public as if it was professional level. If it is, it should be judged on professional standards.
    You judge doctors, carpenters, schoolteachers, objectively – why not musicians?
    by your argument, who is to say they’re trained enough to judge doctors or politicians?
    Music is no different. The more you know the better you can judge. As a songwriter of 45 years, and a professional reviewer for my 15 year old arts/media zine Musea – yes I think I can judge better than one who has not listened to and studied and composed music for almost 50 years.
    I think you are making a pretty broad statement to say all trained musicians can’t communicate in their music. I think a major part of being good is the ability to communicate with music that relates to others.
    I started talking about how American Idol is everything rock and roll started out opposing. It is. Idol is safe, sanitized, music that makes no waves with anyone and rebels against nothing except innovation. These are contestants that have to fit in to win – not stand out for originality.