American Idol Top 4, Season 8, Tuesday May 5, 2009 Rock Week!

It seems like they waited a long time to roll out ‘rock week’ this season.  This should help Allison, Adam and Danny more than Kris.  I just hope Adam does not go too over-the-top with this.

The first thing that Ryan told us was that the stage had partially collapsed, and the contestants were not able to have a run-through before the show.  He also informed us that they would be paired up in duets.  I don’t think that I like this at all.

Slash is the perfect mentor for rock week.  I hope Idol is able to get more mentors of this caliber.

Adam Lambert, “Whole Lot of Love”– Hearing Adam sing a rock song is like hearing Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address.  It is simply great, and as it should be.  I’ve given up trying to find faults with his vocals.  There are none.

The judges completely gushed over it.  Simon said that it could not be topped.

Allison Iraheta, “Cry Baby”– Her voice suited this song perfectly.  It may have been a little screechy, but the style of the song absorbed it well.  I thought it was the best song she has sung in the entire competition.  The vocal was also perfect.

The judges were mixed at best.  I thought their critiques were pretty confusing, and I’ll be surprised if she gets anything useful out of them.

Duet: Kris Allen and Danny Gokey, “Renegade”– This duet put all the group songs in the history of the show to shame.  The harmonies were great.  I thought they were both very good, and I just hope the judges do not split hairs to try to determine which one was the better of the two.

The judges were generally positive.  Simon had to pick Danny over Kris.

Kris Allen, “Come Together”– I thought it was a very passable version of this song.  It was another vocal that I did not have one problem with.  Once again, we are splitting hairs at this point.  The question is which song is greater, and I liked the first two better

Randy liked it.  Kara and Simon did not like it and were overly critical.  Simon was right in comparing it to a jam.

Danny Gokey, “Dream On”– The scream in practice was simply bad.  In the performance, he brought the key so far down that it seemed to suck a lot of the life out of the song.  It was OK for most of the song, but the scream at the end was horrendous.  He should have sang a straight-up rock and roll song.  Aerosmith is way, way out of his league.  Adam can sing Aerosmith, and he is the only one up there that can.

The judges did not like it, but were sort of apologetic.  Simon saying, “I think you are going to be safe,” and Paula calling for a shout out from Danny’s fans seemed a little inappropriate.  How many Kris fans do we have in the house?  I guess we’ll never know because that question was never asked.

Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta, “Slow Ride”– This was another good duet, but I did not hear near as much harmony as I did in the other duet.  For that reason, I thought the first one was better than the second one.

The judges liked this one better.

I hope Danny goes home because he was simply not as good as the rest tonight.  I’ll probably be wrong about that.

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

Find my latest American Idol article here.

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.