American Idol Top 7 part 2 Results Show, Season 8, Wednesday April 22, 2009, Disco Night!

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Tonight we are going to get the results from last night’s Disco themed show, and I find myself filled with trepidation.  With seven remaining and two to go home, it seems to be the perfect set up for a shocking departure.

Paula taught the contestants to dance like it was 1989.  What was up with that?  You know I remember when I used to get Paula defenders every time I took a shot at her.  That doesn’t happen any more.  I read today that her contract is up at the end of the year.  Bye.  By the way, her choreography was silly and awful.  They need to take those Grammy’s back.  Was that just to distract us from the fact that the group song is no longer being sung live?

Ryan quickly dispatched Lil Rounds to no one’s surprise.  Good.  I did wonder what he meant when he said, “We need someone like you in this competition.”  What did he mean, Black?  I am so confused, and I will get a ton of hits on my American Idol Racist story again.  It always depresses me when it happens that way.

I did not care to get the names of the two old women guest singers who sang so terribly early in the show.  The phone rang and I missed their names, and I decided that I just could not rewind and relive that (live is not the right word).  Then we were forced to listen to a top five bad act ever on Idol, K.C. and the Sunshine Band.  Words fail me.  No, do not Google this and watch it.  Just let it go.  Do it for Earth Day (just kidding).

Kris was safe, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Adam was safe, and no one was surprised.  Danny was declared safe, and at that point, I did not really care what happened.  Anoop was to the bottom three (There were only two at this point, Ryan).

Ryan’s bit of always trying to cause tension is so clumsy it makes want to turn the show off.  SHUT UP AND READ THE CARD!  You are not smart enough to be clever!  Matt was safe, and Allison was included in the bottom three.  I wonder of the judges regretted wasting the save last week when they saw Anoop and Allison sitting their waiting their fate.

David Archuleta was the ex-Idol guest for the night. It was refreshing compared with the earlier acts, but pretty pitchy throughout, and the falsetto was not easy on the ears.  It was OK, but I definitely wouldn’t be buying his album after that performance.  Oh yeah, that’s why David Cook won.

Anoop was sent home, even though he did pretty well this week.  The truth is, we are at that point, and a good singer will be going home every week at this point until Adam wind in a few weeks.

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American Idol Top 7 part 2, Season 8, Tuesday April 21, 2009 Disco Night!

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It’s Disco Night on Idol, and while this would normally scare me, I find myself looking forward to hearing Kris and Adam.  Adam has already proved he can sing disco with “Funky Town”, and Kris has shown that he can sing Michael Jackson, and if you can do his stuff, you can sing disco.  Adam looked like he was going to sing something from Saturday Night Fever, and I found myself getting excited to hear it.

Lil Rounds, “I’m Every Woman”- She had absolutely no diction.  I couldn’t understand a word that she said, so I would not know if she even got the lyrics right.  She was flat again, and overall, it sounded like a train wreck.  I hated that.  She is like a stale loaf of bread.  Time to through her out.

Paula apologized for her, but the rest of judges hated it as much as I did.

Kris Allen, “She Works Hard for the Money”- I thought he could sing this, but I didn’t know if the judges would accept him singing it.  It was weird with a reggae beat.  He was a little flat at times in the verses.  He sang the rest of the song well, but in the end, it just seemed off-balance to me with a strange sound that made you pay more attention to that fact than his performance.  He definitely made it his own.

The judges loved it in a Santana sort of way.

Danny Gokey, “September”- He screamed the first note, and did not get completely on top of it, but then he did a very passable job of an Earth, Wind and Fire song.  It was really good.

The judges mostly liked it a lot, but Simon felt it was awkward.

Allison Iraheta, “Hot Stuff”- My first question was, “Where is the Duesenberg that she stole the inner tube she was wearing from?”  However, the vocal and performance were great, if a little screamy.

The judges liked the vocal, but did not love the arrangement as much.

Adam Lambert, “If I Can’t Have You”- I knew he could sing the Bee Gees if anyone could.  The song started out slow, and beautiful.  The verses were great, but the chorus was a little overdone.  That being said, it was as amazing as ever.  This contest is over.  Period.

The judges barely contained themselves.  Paula might have been crying.

Matt Giraud, “Stayin’ Alive”- This was very interesting version of a Bee Gees song.  He kept the feel and beat of a Bee Gees song while singing it in his rough-voiced style.  He was on pitch, and his diction was amazing.  I liked it a lot.

The judges were mixed.  Simon seemed a little overly harsh.

Anoop Desai, “Dim All The Lights”- The vocal was spot on, but the arrangement seemed like Billy Ocean sings Donna Summer.  It was OK, but I did not like arrangement.

The judges except for Simon liked it a lot.  Simon thought it was mediocre and horrible.  He was also a little harsh.

Lil Should go, but who knows who the other one will be.  I guess it will probably be Matt or Kris.  I just hope it is not Kris or Danny.

What’s up with Susan Boyle?

I often have an adverse reaction to hype.  So, the fact that I do not hate Susan Boyle, and the incredible amount of hype she has generated in the past couple of weeks, is surprising to me, but the fact is, she has a pretty good voice.  The main problem that I have is the over-hyped situation associated with her.

I thought about the situation, and have come up with a few theories as to why this situation has blown up as much as it has.  Part of this has to do with the American Idol effect (Yes, I know she was on Britain’s Got Talent).  These types of programs offer several different stereotypical contestants.  Two of the main types are the ‘serious good contestant’ and the ‘complete bit contestant.’

The serious contestant is the one that the show thinks has a real possibility of competing.  They are usually very good singers, and average looking to decent looking or very good looking and decent singers.  Sometimes they offer the ‘total package’- the guy or girl who is both very good looking and a very good performer.  They go far in the competition.

The bit contestant is the one whose sole reason for being on the program is that he or she did not get enough attention as a child (no father figure), and has decided to make up for it in one impulsive spectacle that at best makes us laugh, but mostly makes us wonder why they, and the producers of the show are wasting our time.

Then, there is Susan Boyle.  I do not mean to be cruel, but it is not secret that she is not beautiful, quite the opposite.  As I said before, she can sing.  But is her voice that great?  Aren’t there lots and lots of singers out there who can sing that song just as well as she can?  The answer is ‘yes’.  So, what happened that catapulted her to fame so quickly?  I believe a lot of it had to do with expectations.  Those types of programs are built on expectations.

If  Adam Lambert, who has raised expectations very high on American Idol, came out this week and simply did a decent job, but not the great job (as he usually does), the judges would probably savage him because he would not be meeting their expectations for him.  While a guy like Scott MacIntyre, who recently left the show, received praise for doing a decent, but not great job after having a couple of off weeks.  He had lowered their expectations, and when he did better, he received praise.

This effect is multiplied in the case of Susan Boyle.  She came out, and the audience heard the collective giggles.  She looked silly, and she acted a little silly as well.  The expectation was that she would be one of the bits that provide a moment of comic relief on the show, and when she came out an sang a very nice version of the song “I Dreamed a Dream,” she so exceeded everyone’s expectations, that it was made to be more than it was.

The truth is that if a beautiful woman who looked like she belonged on the stage, had come out on the stage and performed as well as Susan, it would not have had nearly the impact that this performance did.  It all had to do with expectations. 

There is another factor that also helps.  There are lots of women out there who want to do what she has done.  They are sitting at home wishing that there was more to their lives.  For these women, Susan Boyle makes their dreams seem more achievable.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with that.

I hope she does well, and I hope that she cashes in quickly.  Eventually, I see her working in the theatre where there are lots of nice seats far enough away that all you really have to worry about is her voice.

American Idol Results Show Top Seven Wednesday, April 15, 2009 Season 8

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The group song tonight was Maniac, and it was obvious that they were lip-synching again.  It even sounded like they had enhanced the sound by adding extra vocal tracks.  With the justification that the Idol producers have used for this so far, I wonder if they will keep doing it when they go on tour.  It’s the same thing.

I try to ignore all of the product placement and cross-promotion on the show, but they waste an incredible amount of my time doing it.

Jennifer Hudson was the first musical guest this evening.  Compared with some of the other tripe they have been rolling out on the Idol stage in recent weeks, she was great.  It was not my favorite style of music, but I would not turn it off if it was playing on the radio.  I cannot say as much for Lady Gaga or Flo Rida.

Miley Cyrus was the next musical guest.  It started better than any of the non-idol related guests that they have had in weeks.  It sounded very country which was good, but she had some big diction issues and sounded pretty nasally on the chorus.  I will take this over most of the other guests that they have foisted on us lately.

I was surprised to see that Allison was not in the bottom three, not because she did badly, but because her song was a little boring, and there were so many other contestants that did well last night.  I was even more surprised to see Anoop in the bottom three.  He was very good last night.  No one was surprised to see Lil in the bottom three.  Finally, I was expecting Matt to be in the bottom three, but at this point it was just a numbers thing.  Anoop got to sit down first, as it should have been.  I was surprised and saddened to see Lil stay and see Matt told that he had the least votes.

However, I did not think that they should have used the save on him.  The save, as I understand it was intended to right a wrong, and save a contestant that had a chance of winning the competition.  Matt was not this.  Simon said so, but the hens (Paula and Kara) were cackling and soon it was clear that they would be using the save.

I told a friend earlier this week that I believed that judges would use their save no matter what happened just because they had one regardless of the viewer’s vote even if the contestants were voted off the show in the order that they should have been.  Nothing good will come of this, mark my words.  Now there is almost a thirty percent chance that one of the really good contestants will go home next week, and next week is disco week.  Pathetic.

American Idol Top 7 Tuesday, April 14, 2009, Season 8

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We were told at the beginning, after Ryan had wasted four minutes babbling, that there would only be two judges commenting after each performance.  I don’t like this idea at all, because it means that Simon will not be heard half the time.  Simon correctly identified the girls as the problem (fire one or both, no problem), but they quickly wasted even more time with a three minutes on a Quinten Tarantino montage.  Even stranger was the fact that Tarantino was the guest judge.  What does he know about it?  Of course, the theme was movie themes.

Allison Iraheta, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”– This was not her best by a long shot.  It was breathy, and affected, as usual.  Mainly, it seemed flat and fairly underwhelming, while at the same time coming across as indulgent and unforgettable.  This could be a bad combination with her leading off the show.

Paula and Simon complimented her.

Anoop Desai, “Every Thing I Do, I Do It For You”– He sounded great at the beginning, and carried that through to the first chorus.  When he held out the big notes, they still had strong, pure, even tones that sounded just great.  It was his best in a couple of weeks.

Randy and Kara loved it also.

Adam Lambert, “Born to be Wild”– Why are we even continuing with this farce of a competition?  It was not my favorite vocal by him, but it was still an amazing performance.  It always seems like a concert when he’s on stage.  I can see why someone would not like it, but it was still incredible.  I think he is the best performer that they have ever had on the show.  Period.

Paula said he was one of the bravest contestants that they have ever had.  Simon liked the vocal but did not like the performance as much.

Matt Giraud, “To Really Love Woman”– I thought this song would be good for him, and it was.  It was not as pretty as Brian Adams’ version, but that is not Matt’s style.  It got out of pitch one time, but for the most part it was very good.

Randy and Kara did not like it as much as I did.  They insightfully pointed out that when you change the melody of a great song, and add runs, they have to be perfect, and they were not.

Danny Gokey, “Endless Love”– I thought this would be a hard song for one person to sing.  It got very good at the chorus.  It was his best vocal in a couple of weeks.  It built, and got prettier as it went along.  Very nice.

Simon oddly criticized him for singing it well, and singing it traditionally.  Paula loved it.

Kris Allen, “Falling Slowly”– I did not know this song, but it sounded great at the beginning.  The harmony was the best that I have heard from the background singers this season.  This vocal was simply beautiful.  This tone of his voice was amazing, and the emotion was great.

Randy was a complete idiot.  He needs to take that tin ear of his back to the place where he got it.  Kara rightly loved it.

Lil Rounds, “The Rose”– This is an easy vocal.  I know because I can sing it.  That is usually how I determine the difficulty of anything on Idol.  The beginning seemed disjointed.  It was another one of those songs that need tell a story, the way she cut it up was weird.  Otherwise it was pitchy and a mess.

Paula was nonsensical.  Simon hated the song choice.

It is time for Lil to go.

American Idol Top 8 Results Show, Season 8, Wednesday April 8, 2009

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For some reason the judges did not seem to know that Frankie Avalon was going to be on the show tonight.  Right.  Unfortunately, he had old, tired voice.

I think the group song might have been live again tonight because it was the musical train wreck that we have come to expect from the show.  I hope that was not the best recorded version of that song that they could produce.

Then we were abused by the musical stylings of Flo Rida.  For a show where the judges are so in tune with the types of songs that its audience wants to hear, I find it hard to believe that they do not know better than to force the same musical abominations on their audience every week.  I am completely sure that they do this on purpose and knowingly at the expense of their audience.  I am not sure, however, why they do it.  Either these groups and their labels are paying Fox an ungodly amount of money for this service and exposure, or these groups must be from labels that Fox has some monetary stake in.  No other explanation makes sense, because I am sure Idol could have its pick of legitimate artists.

Kelly Pickler was on the show tonight.  I guess the show blew its wad having Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Davis Cook in the last few weeks.  Her voice was whiny and screechy in a way that affected your back for most of the song.  She was off pitch, and when the verses went down the song got too low for her.  It was a mess.  I don’t think I will be wasting any money on tickets to one of her shows anytime soon.

When it came time to kick someone off, Ryan’s feeble attempts to be clever and add suspense to the show were more clumsy than ever.  I was surprised to see that Anoop was in the bottom three, but I guess he didn’t really do anything to stand out from the pack.  It was no surprise to see Scott join them. Then Lil joined the other two, and I wasn’t surprised. 

I was surprised (and disappointed) to hear the judges say that they would use their save on one of these contestants.  I assume they are talking about Lil, but it is time for them to drop their agenda.  She is just not that good of a singer, and it is time for her to go in the next couple of weeks.

Of course, she got to sit down as soon as Pickler sang.  Scott was off the show, and the world was right.  There was no judges save for Scott, though they threatened it.

American Idol Top 8, Tuesday April 7, 2009, Season 8

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The theme this week was ‘Songs from the Year they were Born.’  This was encouraging because I thought we had a chance to hear some popular music from the 80s and early 90s.  Unfortunately, the contestants, for the most part, chose poorly.
I have a friend who has commented on the fact that the show needs to be paced better so that the singers at the end get a fair hearing from the judges.  Never was that more apparent than tonight.  Adam deserved to get his fair share of praise at the end, but he did not.
Danny Gokey, “Stand By Me”– I hated the beginning of the song.  It was out of tune, and the arrangement was awful.  It paled in comparison to Mickey Gilley or any else who has every sung the sung the song.  Then, the beat picked up, and I didn’t like it any better.  He never seemed to be on top of the notes.  It just seemed weird, and seemed like something out of a variety show.  I normally like what he does, but not that.  I hope going first, and not doing well does not damage him too much.

The judges liked it, and I was confused.

Kris Allen, “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”– This seemed like the Big Band version of this song.  The arrangement was, once again, very weird.  The original to this song was very edgy, but the horns in this version seemed to neuter it, even though Kris put as much edge on his voice as he could.  The vocal was good. He was on pitch, and had great diction as usual, but the arrangement just seemed unbalanced.  It was not bad, but was my least favorite thing he has done.

The judges hated the arrangement as much as I did.

Lil Rounds, “What’s Love Got to With It”– I thought she started well, but she was flat again pretty early in the song.  It seemed sort of like a karaoke bar version of the song early on, but when she got to the chorus, it got a lot better.  As she moved up into her registry and projected, her notes were more on pitch and her tone sounded better.  She has never been one of the best in this competition, but tonight was the best that she has done in a few weeks.

The judges agreed with me again.  Good judges.  Have a cookie.

Anoop Desai, “True Colors”– I worried about him being able to do justice to this song, but he started it well.  This song is a great choice because it is a singer’s song and a vocal showcase if you do it right.  When the drums came in and it sped up, I liked it a little less, but for the most part, it was good.  It was my favorite up to this point, but that is not saying a whole lot.

The judges liked it for the most part, but Simon was right to point out that it was not all that.

Scott MacIntyre, “The Search is Over”– Just as with Kris, I was impressed to see that he also could play the guitar as well as the piano.  My first thought was, “Boy he took all the edge off of this song.”  It was a little like Barry Manilow sings Survivor.  It paled in comparison, and the big falsetto notes made me cringe in pain.  All in all the vocal was not that bad except for that one big note (that was a big mistake), and the times when he was flat.  The problem with Scott is that he has less musical range than anyone on the show.  You could just play the same performance every week, because that is what you are going to get.  And, he never takes it to another level.

The judges were mixed at best.  Randy was spot on when he said that it was just OK, and that is not enough at this point.

Allison Iraheta, “I Can’t Make You Love Me”– When I head that she was going to sing this song, I thought, “I’d like to hear her sing this well.”  Her main problem is that she tries a little too hard to be cool.  The chorus was the best part, and the big note sounded very good.  It was easily the best thing so far this evening, but again, this night has not been the best ever on the show.

The judges loved the vocal.  Simon and Randy gave her great advice when the talked about the need for her to be more personable.  That means putting down your guard, and trying a little less hard to be cool.

Matt Giraud, “Part Time Lover”– I thought the start was going to be weird, but I ended up liking it.  When the song took off, it got even better.  The style of this song was perfect for him.  In places, it was a little rough as he went down in his registry, but for the most part it was very good. The best he has done in a few weeks.

The judges got a little carried away with their praise.

Adam Lambert, “Mad World”– His vocals were off the chart, once again.  It was similar, but still different from the Gary Jules version of the song.  I liked the tender, and ominous style that Adam delivered in this song.  I want to know what he cannot sing.

Simon was the only one who commented, but he gave a standing ovation.

If I had to choose a bottom three this week, it would be Scott, Danny and Lil.  I would choose Scott to go home.