Editor's Note: It's crazy serious and difficult for the US Armed Forces in Iraq, but our soldiers still find time for a little fun and escape: just like many of you, they love their weekly dose of "American Idol." We made friends on the Internet with some members of the Army's 82nd Airborne division (Fort Bragg, what up!), who will be sending us their review of each "Idol" installment.
They get "Idol" a day later than we do, and their reports might not arrive until well after the show has aired (because, of course, things like communications blackouts do happen when you're in the military taking care of URGENT BUSINESS). But you don't mind because they are helping give you the freedom to watch "Idol" in the first place.
Our soldiers each week (L-R): PFC Joshua Miranda, 22 (Orlando, FL); PFC Nathan Puckett, 19 (Cynthiana, KY); SPC Cory Combs, 21 (Plymouth, MA); SSG Steve Cody, 27 (Los Angeles,CA)
Major label reject, Kristy Lee Cook, has been teetering on the brink of elimination all season long, though she hit a high note this week performing Lee Greenwood’s red-state-rousing “God Bless the USA.” Randy, Paula and Simon lauded the “smart” song choice, with Cowell calling it Cook’s “best performance by a mile.” But how did the patriotic anthem play with our judges in uniform? The song resonated with the troops but Kristy’s rendition did not. “We did not really buy it… We were more motivated by [Michael Johns’] “We Are the Champions,” 19-year-old Nathan wrote. “I think after hearing that song we were all ready to go fight.”And they came gunning for early “Idol” favorite David Archuleta, whose confusing song choice left the military men at a loss, though they had little trouble finding some strong words in their curt condemnation – “hate” being the one that stands out the most (we suspect they won't get caught up in David Archuleta PromGate 2008).
Find out what the guys thought of Jason Castro, Carly Smithson, Brook White, show-stopper David Cook and all your other favorites, after the jump.
Ramiele Malubay, “Alone” by HeartCory: “Yet another boring song from her.”
Joshua: “I keep thinking she is going to blow us away but she never does.”Jason Castro, “Fragile” by Sting
Nathan: “A very safe song to pick. I think this is his worst song choice so far.”
Steve: “Sweet. It was pretty awesome.”
Syesha Mercado, “If I Were Your Woman” by Stephanie Mills
Nathan: “She is becoming one of my favorites.”
Cory: “She hit all of the notes. I think she has one of the best voices.”
Chikezie, “If Only for One Night” by Luther Vandross
Steve: “Excellent, he really nailed the song.”
Joshua: “It wasn’t as good as his last couple of performances.”
Cory: “I don’t like when he does the ballads. I wish he would keep doing fast songs and putting his own twist on them.”
Brooke White, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police
Nathan: “How could you mess up a Police song??”
Cory: “She really didn’t do it for me this week.”
Michael Johns, “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” by Queen
Steve: “His best so far. Queen is awesome and so was his performance.”
Joshua: “He showed off his amazing vocals in this song.”
Carly Smithson, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler
Joshua: “I love the song but I didn’t like the way she sang it.”
Cory: “Another great vocal performance for her.”
David Archuleta, “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham
Nathan: “I had no clue what the song was.”
Steve: “This song sucks!”
Kristy Lee Cook, “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood
Nathan: “A very popular song and I didn’t think she did badly but she is still the least talented.”
Cory: “She did a great job with the song. She might have saved herself from getting eliminated.”
David Cook, “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
Steve: “Awesome rendition. Better than Jackson’s version. That’s my boy!”
Joshua: “The best performance of the season.”
After this week’s performances, the consensus among our commentators was that David Cook is the man to beat and David Archuleta should be sent packing. Only SPC Cory Combs picked Chikezie as the one to get the boot. Let’s see if he’s right again next week.
(Last Week's "Idol In Iraq" entry can be found here).