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''Idol'': Jon Peter Lewis as judge

In his first EW.com column, the ”American Idol” season 3 vet talks about who impressed him and who was a blur

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Jon Peter Lewis
Jon Peter Lewis: Nigel Skeet

”Idol”: Jon Peter Lewis as judge

And so another year has come and gone, and once again we are spending a few hours out of the workday catching up on who from Idol was great and who we’d like to slap in the face. You know, I’m not usually so amped up about TV, or anything else, for that matter. Normally I enjoy sitting back and soaking things in apathetically, but something about Idol seems to pull me into my most critical self. I don’t know how I feel about that.

But before I spend too much time being introspective and all that, I’m just going to indulge the urge and weigh in on this year’s Idol hopefuls. So up first was Michael Johns. He says that he’s a jock and that his main sport is tennis. That doesn’t really make any sense to me, since most of the tennis players I’ve known now have corporate jobs, while most of the jocks I’ve known still work in a car wash. But maybe it’s different for Aussies.

Whatever the case, he came out swinging with Fleetwood Mac. The judges were kinda so-so on it, but I found myself nodding along with what I think Paula was trying to say. His performance felt honest and natural to me, and that song is incredibly difficult to sing. Plus, despite what the judges might make you think, the selection of songs that Idol is willing to clear for TV is slim regardless of the decade. And I liked the way he handled the judges’ criticism.

The rest of the fellas started to blur together for me, until I saw Robbie Carrico. I can’t tell for sure, but I’d bet money that he’s wearing a wig. Which makes me laugh, since he’s trying so hard to prove he’s been rockin’ from the cradle. My interest was short-lived, though, and I started to fade again; I didn’t snap out of it even when David Hernandez had some killer vocals and got high praise. I was a little bored by all of his vocal gymnastics. It was nice to see how excited he was at his reviews, though. Man, it’s one of the most rewarding things to have earned Simon’s elusive high praise!

Finally I was snapped out of the fog when Chikezie started talking about his name, and then jumped into a song right after demanding that we don’t forget it. That was pretty clever. So in that spirit, let me shamelessly throw another name in the mix of those not to forget: Chibuzo. That’s the Ebu name that was given to me by my Nigerian friends. If that’s too complicated, though, Jon, JPL, Jay Pee Ell, Jon Peter Lewis, or any other variation will do just fine. :) I’m just playin’.

So, I knew David Archuleta had something killer up his sleeve, since he’s had nothing but high praise so far in the competition and he was saved for last. I was worried when they said he was singing ”Imagine,” but he took it someplace I hadn’t heard before, and that’s hard to do when the song is so popular and associated with the John Lennon. So hats off to him. It was stellar. I hope he isn’t peaking too early in the competition, though.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Love or hate what I said? Either way, come back tomorrow, when I’ll be writing about the top 10 girls.

— Jon

Jon Peter Lewis’s second album, Break the Silence, is due June 3. The single of the same name comes out on May 18, and will be available for download at all major online music outlets. For more on Jon, check out www.jonpeterlewis.com.