Neil is doing a great job. He's been well advised: Be like Barry Manilow. Not Dolly! Help the nice, young kids. Don't self-promote. Does Neil actually care about these the kids? I don't know, but he seems like he does, and that's enough to make me like him.
They're singing 2 songs each, and — in a shocking break from tradition — the contestants sing their first songs without hearing from the judges. Then they're lined up on the stage together for judgment. Horrible idea. Randy goes down the line and gives each one a little opinion on their first song. Then Paula starts with Jason and tells him what she thinks of his first and his second song, even though he hasn't sung his second song yet. This is the biggest Paula screw-up of all time. We see Ryan Seacrest glance nervously over to the side. The audience giggles. She's about to go on to David Cook, and Randy interrupts and says, "We should just do the first song, uh." And now the truth is out! They prepare beforehand, based on rehearsal performances! Arrrggghhh! My AI world is torn apart. Ryan relies on his tiny wit: "You're seein' the future." Simon is making that hand gesture where he holds his thumb to his forehead and flares out his fingers. What is it? The half moose? Simon squelches Paula. Just say who your favorite was and shut up. Then Simon tells all the kids they sucked.
Then we get another round of songs, but we don't see Neil again, and it's all quite forgettable.
I think we all know either Jason or Brooke is going to leave. And, frankly, I think we know that Jason, Brooke, and Syesha are going to be leaving in the next 3 weeks. The only interesting question is: Which David will win?
IN THE COMMENTS: Jennifer says:
Oh, and I thought you would say that Neil Diamond didn't go the Barry Manilow route. He didn't seem to give a whole lot of advice...? But, I guess they gave him very little screen time.Hmm. Yeah. He wasn't making the Dolly mistake (making it all about oneself), but he didn't really achieve Manilosity, because he didn't have a lot of detailed, individualized advice. Maybe he's just not as smart or he didn't take the time with the singers. And there was a time issue. Was it caused by cramming 10 songs into 1 hour, or did they choose to make it 1 hour because Diamond didn't give them enough material?