Review tonight's set list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame songs -- then vote on who you think should go home

By Gretchen Hansen
May 07, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Tonight the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened its doors to American Idol, and the final four performed two songs each from the museum’s list of ”500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.” David Cook’s ”Hungry Like the Wolf” may have left Paula Abdul with a big appetite, but Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell were disappointed with the song choice. To a chorus of booing from the audience, Simon criticized Cook for being ”a little bit copycat.” Simon echoed this sentiment in his critique of Syesha Mercado, who was admittedly ”a little nervous” to take on the song ”Proud Mary.” Simon called it a ”bad impersonation of Tina Turner,” while Paula and Randy disagreed, commending Syesha for ”showin’ the heat” late in the competition. Failing to turn up the heat was Jason Castro, who, much to the judges’ dismay, chose to sing Bob Marley’s ”I Shot the Sheriff.” It was dubbed ”utterly atrocious” by Simon, who likened the performance to a ”first-round audition massacre.” Massacring the competition tonight, at least in the eyes of the judges, was David Archuleta, who first sang ”Stand by Me.” Paula told the young singer he was already a seasoned performer, ”way beyond your years.” Comparing David’s performance with Jason Castro’s, Simon told the 17-year-old, ”You could have whistled a song and it would have been better than the last one.”

After having a shaky first round, the “resident rocker” David Cook stepped it up in round 2 with his delivery of an iconic rock song by the Who, ”Baba O’Riley.” Randy happily welcomed back ”the David Cook I’ve grown to love.” Though he loved her first song, Randy thought Syesha was ”trying too hard” while singing Sam Cooke’s ”A Change Is Gonna Come.” The negative review caused the singer to briefly lose her composure, but she was relieved when Paula and Simon disagreed with Randy’s tough assessment. ”You are magnificent!” Paula exclaimed, and Simon agreed, scolding Randy: ”You made her cry.” It might be crying time for Jason Castro, who fumbled the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s ”Mr. Tambourine Man” during his second appearance on stage. Paula and Randy gently criticized Jason for being off target, but it was Simon who told him pointedly, ”I’d pack your suitcase.” Presumably safe for another week is David Archuleta, who concluded the show with ”Love Me Tender.” Randy loved the way David ”caressed each word,” while Simon congratulated him for ”crushing the competition.”

Let us know who you think should go home by voting in our poll below. For a full analysis of tonight’s show and a forum to post your own thoughts on the Idol top four, read Michael Slezak’s TV Watch. And also check out Michael’s video interview with Brooke White.

David Cook: ”Hungry Like the Wolf,” Duran Duran; ”Baba O’Riley” the Who
Syesha Mercado: ”Proud Mary,” Tina Turner; ”A Change Is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke
Jason Castro: ”I Shot the Sheriff,” Bob Marley; ”Mr. Tambourine Man,” Bob Dylan
David Archuleta: ”Stand by Me,” Ben E. King; ”Love Me Tender,” Elvis Presley Poll

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