The Farr Side: A week of ‘Idol’ moments

David T. Farr

“Idol” giveth back and “Idol” taketh away.

That sums up my three-day affair with "American Idol" last week.

While Tuesday and Thursday were reserved for the competition, nestled between on Wednesday was "Idol Gives Back."

Usually three days of "Idol" are like Christmas and my birthday combined, but last week was just so-so. I just wasn't feelin' it, dawg.

On Tuesday night, the remaining "Idol" finalists performed inspirational songs.

It should have been a phenomenal night, considering the theme and song possibilities, but I was disappointed.

Inspirational songs cover all genres, but you wouldn't have known that by Simon's and Randy's critiques. They were brutal on Michael Johns and David Cook. Johns performed Aerosmith's "Dream On," while Cook sang Our Lady Peace's "Innocent."

Brooke White was also on the defensive even after a simple, sincere rendition of "You've Got a Friend" by Carole King.

Sometimes I wonder if the judges are watching the same show. This season especially, I find myself in disagreement, Paula excluded. Although, all were in agreement over David Archuletta's performance of Robbie Williams' "Angels." He did an awesome job. It's been a favorite of mine for a long time, and I'm glad to see it was finally covered.

"Idol Gives Back" was all about raising money for multiple children's charities in America and Africa, and it was a success. The who's-who of Hollywood and the music business performed and riled up the viewers.

Snoop Dogg, Heart, Fergie, Miley Cyrus, Annie Lennox, Gloria Estefan, Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey and "Desperate Housewives'" star Teri Hatcher all performed.

Hatcher's rendition of Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" lacked what I like to call "talent," but after Underwood performed a cover of George Michael's "Praying for Time," I began to wonder who sounded more desperate.

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart jammed up a storm with Fergie on "Barracuda," and Annie Lennox's "Many Rivers To Cross" stirred my heart.

"Idol Gives Back" is a great idea, but if former "Idol" finalists made up the night's talent portion, “Idols” would truly be giving back. Jordin Sparks was seated in the audience when she should have been on stage.

Speaking of Sparks, her performance of "No Air" with Chris Brown on Thursday night was absolutely incredible. The two belong together as they have a chemistry that reminded me of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

I was bummed to see Michael Johns and Syesha Marcado in the bottom three with Carly Smithson. While Smithson deserved to be there, Kristy Lee Cook and Jason Castro should have joined her.

I was shocked when Ryan Seacrest abruptly told Johns he was going home. He should have remained, but he'll have no problem landing a record deal. I expect to hear great things from Michael Johns soon.

David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. E-mail him at