In her latest column, season 4 vet Nadia Turner rates Andrew Lloyd Webber night -- and names three contenders who knocked her out
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David Cook, Nadia Turner, ...
Credit: Frank Micelotta

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Andrew Lloyd Webber was the mentor of the evening — and what a mentor he is! Man, I would have given my left arm to be in the same room with that man. Genius, I say! He breathes life into musical theater. I can write this whole article on him alone, but I won’t torture you with all that razzamatazz. :) C’mon, that was good and you know it!

Big ups to Chris Sligh holdin’ it down for a sista last week.

Syesha Mercado started out the evening with a bang. Seconds after she began, I knew the producers’ order of placement was going to give me something great at the beginning and spectacular at the end of the night. You don’t want the scuff of heels messin’ up the varnish on the grand piano. The camera angles covered her barefoot appearance really well — quite creative. I got a kick out of this. The overall performance was GREAT. I loved her li’l red number…very spicy. Everyone saw another side of Syesha tonight. It is obvious that Broadway is a natural fit for her. Randy called tonight’s performance Syesha’s best. I disagree. I’ve been a Syesha supporter from day one, and she’s laid down vocals in past episodes that have left me standing with applause. The few flat notes that she belted out did not hinder this vibrant performance. Syesha lit up the stage!

Jason Castro‘s version of ”Memory” was unmemorable. I could see where Jason was attempting to take it, but it just didn’t come full circle. Breath-support issues were problems from beginning to end of this vocal. ”Memory” is a song where the vocal must sustain over the orchestration. Sadly, this did not happen.

Well, what can I say about Brooke White that hasn’t been said already? Hmmmmm… Let’s just say my li’l sister nudged me in the midst of Brooke’s performance to tell me how terribly uncomfortable she felt with her strained vocal. The most amusing part of this is my sister made this critique having missed Brooke start the song over again.

”Think of Me” is one of my favorite Broadway tunes. David Archuleta‘s modern version was done very well. David’s voice is so pretty; it’s the next Disney blockbuster voice. The expression on his face while Ryan was giving out the phone number made it look like the behind-the-scenes could be taking a toll. There so much work and so much pressure.

I think Carly Smithson is Amazing! Song choice (”Jesus Christ Superstar”) = 10! Wardrobe = 10! Overall performance = 10! Watching her performance inspired me to write. Was it the Carly Smithson show tonight? YES, LORD! She was my fave performance of the night! Superstar…yes you are.

Well helloooooo there, Mr. Cook. Phantom of the Opera, huh? I wasn’t worried. ”Music of the Night” has put many in the vocal grave, yet he brought it home. His wardrobe still stayed true to his rocker side. He impresses me more and more every week. How is that possible? He nailed every high note!!!!!!! Dave was lookin’ real tantalizing tonight. Hence his placement at the end of the show! FANFREAKINTASTIC!

The top 3 undeniable performances of the night are Carly Smithson, Syesha Mercado, David Cook.

Nadia Turner placed 8th on season 4 of American Idol. Since then, she’s guest-hosted The View; appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show, and’s Idolatry; and starred in the feature film Lord Help Us. Her two new songs, ”Standing On Love” and ”Beautiful Man,” just debuted on the iTunes music store. Get more information about Nadia, her clothing line Knodic Apparel, and her upcoming album (out in May) on her website and MySpace page.

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American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

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