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You heard it here first: There's really only one name you need to remember from Tuesday night's "American Idol" show featuring the Top 10 guys: 17-year-old David Archuleta (pictured).

He performed last on a show that featured songs from the '70s, a decade I embraced affectionately - if nothing else for the abundance of polyester.

But, I digress.

David A. basically made the other nine contestants' performances forgettable. I needed the recap at the end of the show just to refresh my memory.

Why all the gushing?

Young David, who is quickly winning the hearts of teen girls (and the "mom" audience) tackled John Lennon's "Imagine," a noble choice that I believe Blake Lewis also performed last season.

But Archuleta's version made me almost forget what Lennon's version sounds like. He, as the judges so like to quip, "made it his own." Here's what they had to say about David's performance:

Randy Jackson: "I keep saying this season is about the young ones. You're singing beyond your years. It was the best vocal of the show. Brilliant!"

Paula Abdul: "You're ridiculous! I'd love to have you hanging from my rearview mirror." (I'm assuming Paula would have David made into a pair of dice.)

Simon Cowell: "It was a very risky (song choice). But it worked. You're definitely the one to beat. And I have a feeling there are 19 other miserable contestants (including the Top 10 gals) after that."

To give just due to the other nine guys, I think Danny Noriega may, may have bought himself another week after singing the Carpenters' "Don't You Remember?" ("It was better, not fantastic," Simon said.) And kudos to Danny for not acting like the little jerk he was last week.

Other improvements? David Hernandez earned much praise for his rendition of the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." ("You're finally showing your personality," Randy said. "Amazing notes," Paula said.)

Chikezie took sound fashion advice and ditched the tangerine suit. David Cook opted to play an instrument (guitar) on Bad Company's "All Right Now." ("I love that you threw your guitar picks into the audience," Randy said. "You're a real rocker. I liked it.")

Dropping a notch - just a notch (I hope) - were Aussie Michael Johns with a Fleetwood Mac song, "Go Your Own Way." ("OK, it was the weakest performance (since the audition). A week song choice," Simon said.) And then, Jason Castro took the stage looking exactly like he did last week: same patterned shirt, same guitar. He sang "I Just Want To Be Your Everything,", probably one of the weakest of the Bee Gees' songs. ("It was too schmaltzy," Simon said. "You did yourself no favors with that.") Both Randy and Paula want Jason to come back next week without stringing so they can hear his singing.

My verdict is still out on contestant Luke Menard. He's easy on the eyes, but "Killer Queen" by Freddie Mercury? Simon thought it was a huge mistake. Randy thought the degree of difficulty was tough, and there were pitch problems. "But I liked you better this week," he said.

And now, my picks for the worst performances of the evening:

First, pseudo rocker Robbie Carrico attempting "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner. UGH! Paula thought he played it safe. Randy is still not sure Robbie is a "rocker." Simon said, "OK."

And, pack your bags Jason Yeager. You're a nice guy who can play three instruments, but singing? Nahhhh. Simon was particularly critical of the ending of Jason's version of "Long Train Runnin,' " a terrible song choice. ("It was horrific. It sounded like you were drunk at a party or something.")

Bye bye, Jason.

We'll see how the Top 10 gals fare when they perform at 8 on Channel 40.

Stay tuned.

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September 2009

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