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American Idol Season 8 (2009)


March 25 - Take a good look at his face (Motown songs)


It's time to groove to the sounds of Motown, just like every year around this time.  I realize it's Motown's 50th anniversary, but...zzzzz.  Call me silly, but maybe Idol would attract the younger audience they crave (the average viewer is now in his/her mid-40s) if they'd stick with more current themes.  But what do I know?


Normally I wouldn't comment on the judges' outfits much at this point, but I do believe that Paula's skirt got too close to an electrical outlet.  Poof!


Matt Giraud (sings Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On"):  Smokey says Matt did "more than justice" to this song in rehearsal and believes that Marvin would be floored.  Matt's back at the piano, ho-hum...oh, wait, he stands up for the chorus.  Thank you.  And his voice is great.  He's completely in his element here - soulful, heartfelt - and he knows it.  Oh, nice falsetto, too.  Mm-hmm.  Probably the best start to a show this season so far.  Thank you.  Randy believes Matt is challenging the frontrunners for the top spot.  Kara thinks there are a lot of girls out there going, "Yeeeah," and calls it a solid performance.  Paula says Matt's got a sexy, cool vibe, and it's like wearing a great old pair of jeans.  Simon calls the performance cool and says that this is exactly the music Matt should be doing.


Kris Allen (sings Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet It Is"):  Smokey says that Kris blew him away.  A nice, happy song for Kris, and once again it's a good choice, although it doesn't quite stretch him vocally the way Matt's did.  He's playing the guitar again, and he looks like he's really enjoying himself.  I'll call him this year's Jason with a much less quirky voice.  Kara says he made his mark on the song and did everything right.  Paula says his personality is infectious and his last note was brilliant.  Simon thought it was a great choice but says that Kris needs to start believing in himself and be conceited.  Heh.  Randy believes Kris has hit his zone, and he's not doing anything wrong.


Scott MacIntyre (sings the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love"):  Smokey believes Scott brought the song up-to-date and calls him multi-talented.  I think he's being kind.  Scott is so...bland on this.  No dynamic range at all.  The background singers standing behind the piano are more interesting than him.  Ppphht.  Positive Paula, though, thinks he did something different by having the singers around the piano.  Simon hated the honky-tonk take on the music and thought it was the wrong song for him.  He claims that Scott is better than that.  Randy believes it was a very hotel-type of performance, and Scott needs to take some risks.  Kara thinks he brought tempo to the song, but taking liberties with the melody only works if it's spot-on, and his weren't.  Paula and Simon then get catty with each other, and Paula hands Simon some crayons and coloring books.  He proceeds to color her lips.  Um...eeuw.


Megan Joy Corkrey (sings Stevie Wonder's "For Once In My Life"):  Smokey calls her half-jazz, half-cabaret and one of the most original contestants on the show.  I see his point, and she sounded okay in rehearsal with just the piano, but add the full band and she just can't handle these vocals.  She's pushing it too much, and it's affecting her vocals.  Ugh.  What a mess.  Randy likes her outfit but calls the song a train wreck because it was too rushed.  Kara says the song dominated her and was all over the place.  Paula calls her stunning but agrees that it wasn't the right song.  Simon says it was horrible and atrocious and thinks she's in serious trouble. 


Anoop Desai (sings Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Ooh Baby Baby"):  Smokey was blown away and tells him not to change a thing.  Anoop is okay, but the song...just...drags, and Anoop is concentrating on his falsetto so much that he loses some energy in the delivery.  Eh.  Kara says that overall he did a pretty good job, but he should change it up in the future.  Paula wants to see more confidence, but she thinks his phrasing and singing were spot-on.  Simon calls it a great vocal but says Anoop looked half-asleep during the song.  Randy wants him to "bring the party on" next week.


Michael Sarver (sings the Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud To Beg"):  Smokey says that Michael needs to use his big voice on this song and pound it out more.  Michael makes this begging song into a gospel song that he has fun with, I guess, but that's pretty much ignoring what Smokey advised him.  He's all shouty, too.  Oh, well.  Paula says it felt a little Las Vegas-loungey for her, and she sounds like she's just about in tears.  Simon says he couldn't wait for it to end, and Michael has no chance of winning this competition.  Randy thinks the song was too big for him, and he was trying to do too much with it.  Kara says he needs to bring artistry to his songs.


Lil Rounds (sings Martha & the Vandellas' "Heatwave"):  Smokey says Lil could sing the phone book.  She's got the voice for this, and she's great and all, but, you know, right now she's interchangeable with Beyoncé.  It's okay, but I'm not jumping out of my seat.  Neither are the judges.  Randy feels that the front of the song was a little tortured, and it wasn't the best song for her.  Kara says she looks great but agrees it wasn't the right song.  Paula disagrees; she thinks Lil owns the song.  Simon believes it was an authentic tribute to Motown, but she didn't deliver "a moment" that could blow everyone away.


Adam Lambert (sings Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Tracks of My Tears"):  He's dressed and styled just like Zac Efron in Hairspray.  Bejeebers!  Smokey says he's never heard it done like this, and he's very proud of him.  And... OH.  MY.  GOD.  That was GORGEOUS!!!  Slowed down just right, enormously tender, effortless, with real emotion.  I'm about ready to cry.  Have I ever been like that with this show?  Ever?  I don't know.  I can't think.  As I melt into a puddle, Smokey gives him a standing ovation.  Kara calls it one of the best performances of the night.  Paula says that Adam is completely in his own league.  Simon calls it THE best performance of the night and says that Adam has emerged as a star.  Randy says he showed that he could sing tender moments.  Right now, Mike is sopping me up off the floor.


Danny Gokey (sings the Temptations' "Get Ready"):  Smokey calls Danny a great interpreter and says that people will love him.  The song suits him, and I like his voice on it and the fun he has with the background singers.  He totally abandons Smokey's advice to add the last phrases to the verses, though, even though he said in the taped interview that he was going to follow that advice because "Smokey knows what he's talking about."  So that decision immediately earns a raspberry from me.  Rushed for time, Paula says that Danny gives a first-class performance every week.  Simon calls the performance clumsy and amateurish.  Randy loves Danny's energy, even though it wasn't his best performance.  Kara thinks it was good, not great, but she's still a Danny fan. 


Allison Iraheta (sings the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"):  Smokey says she's going to do really well because she sang it her way, even though she forgot some lyrics in rehearsal.  And oh, she's a hot one tonight, even if she still mucked up one of the lyrics.  Smoke on, girl.  A real rocking time, and another standing ovation from Smokey.  Randy calls her one of the dopest singers this season.  Kara tells America to vote for her.  Paula, sporting a mustache Simon drew on her, tells Allison she's awesome.  Simon calls her a survivor and says it's one of her best performances.


My ranking:


1.  Adam Lambert - Love him.  Love him.  Did I say I love him?

2.  Allison Iraheta - Will America get it right tonight?  Please?

3.  Matt Giraud - perfect song choice, perfect voice for it

4.  Kris Allen - perfect song choice, perfect voice for it, but not quite as memorable as some others

5.  Danny Gokey - he might have ranked higher if he hadn't totally dissed the mentor in his performance

6.  Lil Rounds - just middle of the road

7.  Anoop Desai - some sweet moments, but a lackluster performance

8.  Scott MacIntyre - boring, bland, blech

9.  Michael Sarver - Bad, bad, bad, but his voice doesn't grate as much as...

10.  Megan Joy Corkrey - I'm guessing that the people at will probably save her, though.  Drat.


Any of my bottom three could go, and I'd be happy.


Bottom 3 (announced on March 26 results show):  Matt Giraud, Michael Sarver, Scott MacIntyre

Eliminated:  Michael Sarver


Review © 2009 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail


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