American Idol Season 8 Finale, Tuesday May 19, 2009

What the hell is a “Guy Miner?”  Ryan Seacrest is an idiot.  I am sure he said something else, but both my wife and I heard ‘guy miner.’  I still don’t have any idea what he was saying.  Can’t we get some better writing than this on the biggest show of the season?

Adam Lambert, “Mad World”- I liked as much as I did the first time.  This is the perfect song for him.  In fact the longer version makes it much better.  His soft voice is brilliant.

The judge gushed over it except for Simon who oddly chose this song to discover that Adam is theatrical.

Kris Allen, “Ain’t No Sunshine”- The beginning of this song was simply amazing, and when it picked up, it was just as good.  I think that he looks better behind the piano than with the guitar.  This was the best that he has done, and was every bit as good as Adam’s

The judges loved this one as well.  Simon called round one for Kris.  I thought this was a little unnecessary.

Simon Fuller picked the songs for the second round.

Adam Lambert, “Change Is Gonna Come”- I thought that this was an odd choice for him, but of course, he could sing anything.  I might have thought that Aretha was singing this.  Amazing.  His emotion was incredible.

The judges practically lost it with praise.  Simon informed us that Adam was back in the game.  Really?  Was he really ‘out of the game’ in the first round.  I think Simon is drinking his own Cool-Aid.

Kris Allen, “What’s Going On?”- This song was cool, but it definitely paled in comparison with the last song by Adam.  That being said, there was really nothing to criticize about the performance.

Randy described it well as a song that was a little ‘light’.  Kara and Paula loved it.  Simon did not like it very well.  These criticisms are why I do not think someone else should be allowed to pick songs for the contestants at this point.

Simon informed us that Adam won round two.

Adam, “No Boundaries”- I hate the idea of Idol (and Kara) using this point of the show for self-promotion.  That being said, Adam turned this into a pretty respectable rock anthem even if it the lyrics were a little sappy.

Randy thought it was a little pitchy.  Kara and Paula loved it.  Simon simply congratulated him.

Kris, “No Boundaries”- His version was little more traditional.  It was very good until he forgot the lyrics… twice.  I don’t think you get to do that it this point in the competition.  The song was also a little too high for him.  His voice just sounded tired.

Suddenly, the judges did not want to judge him on this song.  What?  Isn’t that what this show is all about?  They seemed to have a decent time judging Adam’s performance of the song.  I have an Idea.  LET THE CONTESTANTS PICK THEIR OWN MUSIC!!!!  Then we don’t have to worry about this nonsense.

I like Kris and I wish him well, but I choose Adam from the first to the last.

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

Find my latest American Idol article here.
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.