Idol Thoughts — 04.07.09

Okay, here’s the DVR tip somebody should’ve given us before last night’s American Idol: be sure to record the show after Idol. Or risk missing the performance of the night! Yes, Idol ran long on the East Coast. I have to assume some jibber-jabber was edited to bring the show in on time for West Coast viewers. But eight minutes over? Face it, Idol is the NFL. It’s the Academy Awards. It ends when it ends.

I’m sure someone at FOX this morning is complaining to Idol producers about the overage of TV’s #1 show. But not too strenuously.

The performances:

Danny Gokey: “Stand By Me” by Mickey Gilley. I’m not sure why Danny decided to do a remake of a remake and put his own rearrangement on the previous rearrangement. The classic song that is “Stand By Me” was in there somewhere (struggling to bust out). And while Danny was using the opportunity to show off his vocal chops, the actual performance was not one I’d ever want to hear again. If the mission is to create songs people want to listen to, I’d have to say mission NOT accomplished.

Kris Allen: “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” by Don Henley. “Oh Gawd…” were my exact words when Ryan Seacrest announced that Kris was about to do this song. “This could be cheesy” is how I finished that sentence. Cheesy it was not. In fact it was kinda fun. A cool little jazzy-bluesy jam session. Randy Jackson nailed what the problem with this performance was: “Kris the singer” got lost.

Lil Rounds: “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner. Seemed like it’d be a great match of singer and song. It wasn’t. My high hopes for Lil were dashed from the get. She started the song seemingly out-of-breath, unable to hold the quieter, sexier notes. Then proceeded to turn in a flat, unoriginal, and mannered performance that only came alive when she finally went for the big notes. Lil’s performance not only didn’t make me forget Tina, it made me forget Lil! Her failure to live up to her hype is the biggest disappointment of the season.

Anoop Desai: “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. Big improvement for Anoop… on his attitude and outfit! Oh, and the singin’ was better this week, too. A nice version of a great song that puts him squarely in the middle of the pack this week.

Scott MacIntyre: “The Search Is Over” by Survivor. Scott performed this justly forgotten power-ballad standing in the middle of the stage in front of a mic and strapped into an electric guitar. Later he declared he wanted to show off his “punk side.” Somewhere, Jello Biafra is rolling in his grave. (Jello who? And he’s not even dead?) Even so, it was one of Scott’s stronger vocals on what was a horrible song choice. Scott’s sounding to me more and more like one of those singers who gets played on radio stations with names like “The Fish” or “The Dove.” This is not a knock on those kinds of stations (nor an invitation to be struck down by a mighty and vengeful lightning bolt). I’m just sayin’.

Allison Iraheta: “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt. Well, I love this song…and I dig Allison. So what would you expect me to say? Yeah, I loved this! I will download this. An iPod keeper. But it bums me a little that Simon Cowell is on-the-money about Allison: she really needs to build her following, become more “likeable.” Because she’s one of the best on the show, and yet she’s logging a lot of steps across the stage as the bottom three contestant that always gets sent back to safety.

Matt Giraud: “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder. How Matt Got His Groove Back! Matt did an awesome job playing to his strengths and reinvigorating this song. Matt was able to do to the Stevie song what Kris wanted to do to the Don Henley song. One of the best of the night.

Adam Lambert: “Mad World” by Tears For Fears. The only thing that could derail Adam at this point and land him in the bottom three is if, like, the show carelessly ran, like, you know, overtime and many people who were DVR-ing missed him and didn’t see his number to vo…. OH, SNAP!!! It was a bring-down-house performance of a bold song choice (meaning pretty obscure to most people watching). All while looking like k.d. lang. Only question about the Idol finale: Adam vs. who?

Top three: Adam, Matt, Allison

Bottom Three: Lil, Scott, Kris

Going home: Lil Rounds

Greg Valentine
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