Neil Diamond Comes To “American Idol” <em>To-Niiiight!</em>

noah | April 29, 2008 3:30 am

Not only is tonight’s American Idol Neil Diamond Night–way to keep on keeping up with your target demographic, Nigel Lythgoe!–it also represents the first evening where each of the hopefuls will warble two tracks instead of just one. Spoilers have Jason Castro singing “Forever In Blue Jeans” and “September Morn,” while rumor has it that David Archuleta is going to sing “America” and “I’m A Believer.” (You know that he’s going to pull some sort of Smashmouthy Shrek bullshit out of the air on that second one, right?)

Anyway, as Neil Diamond’s catalog of beloved compositions is fairly vast, there are many possibilities for what other songs will be trotted out this evening. I’m hoping that David Cook takes “Cherry, Cherry” and doesn’t grunge it up, because I think showing that he has some sort of versatility in the wide chasm between Puddle Of Mudd and Phantom Of The Opera would make me feel at least a little better about rooting for him once Jason Castro gets dispatched of. And as one reader said last week, he’ll probably also do “the Pulp Fiction version” of “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon,” which, at the very least, could mark the first and last time Urge Overkill gets props on American Idol.

I can see Brooke singing “Shilo,” or “Lady Magdalene,” or most of Neil’s other slow-burn tracks–this week seems particularly suited to her as long as she keeps it together. Syesha, though, is the wild card: it’s not crazy to think that she’s currently at work turning “I Am, I Said” into a big, belty number, but beyond that song choice I’m pretty clueless. Any ideas?