Tuned In

The Morning After: You Say It's Your Birth Year

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Brooke White takes a Breath. / F Micelotta / American Idol 2008 / Getty Images for Fox

My reviews of American Idol‘s Songs from the Year You Were Born week are up now at time.com.

Mrs. Tuned In made a good point during last night’s show that didn’t fit into my capsule writeups: why does David Archuleta seem to avoid singing any songs that have anything to do with love or romance? Think about it: at least since the semifinals, it’s been idealistic songs like Imagine, or Phil Collins songs about the homeless, or that Up With People hoo-hah he sang last night–lots of sentimental songs, but no love songs. Granted, he doesn’t have the kind of image to sing sexy music, but that’s basically the Clay Aiken situation, and Aiken nonetheless managed to pick ballads that connected emotionally. Archuleta has the same unthreatening-but-cute factor, but by limiting himself to themes of generic uplift–we can work it out! you are the voice!–he sounds like he’s picking music for a political convention, not a pop-idol contest. I mean, don’t those 14-year-old girls want to make believe that David A.’s serenading them?

Something to think about, anyway. Meanwhile, who’s going home tonight? I fear for Chikezie, who overcompensated for his arresting, unusual performances with a boring Luther Vandross ballad. Then again, as bullletproof as Ramiele has been, she has to go home sometime, and she had a bad night. And I think Jason Castro could just get a bottom-three scare tonight.