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American Idol Season 8 (2009)

 

March 31 - What hurts the most (are these song choices) (Top downloads)

 

Wow, I have such power.  I mentioned last week that Idol could use some more contemporary music to woo the younger generation, and ta da!  They pulled out a "Most Popular Downloads" (i.e., "Tie-In To Our iTunes Sponsor") theme, which should be all sorts of current, just because I said they should!

 

Of course, we quickly learn that just because something is a popular download doesn't mean that 1) it's current or 2) Idol can get the performance rights. 

 

Sigh...

 

Anoop Desai (sings Usher's "Caught Up"): Okay, having the background singers start off with him and stalk off to the side was funny.  So was his attempt to flirt with Paula.  Otherwise, I'm kind of bored.  Those runs are all sorts of sloppy, and his voice just isn't suited to this dance business.  Next, please.  Randy says Anoop picked up his swagger and the vocals were good, but the song wasn't the right choice.  Kara doesn't think there was much of a difference between him and Usher, and it was like a bunch of frat guys had asked him to sing the song.  Paula loves the fact that Anoop went back to his playful side but tells him to work on his stage presence.  Simon thinks it was a complete and utter mess, and he feels that Anoop came across as a wannabe.

 

Megan Joy Corkrey (sings Bob Marley's/Lauryn Hill's "Turn Your Lights Down Low"):  Oh, please.  My cat yowls better than she does.  I just can't take her stridency anymore.  And to be strident on low notes is kind of hard to do, you know?  Kara thinks she's in trouble.  Paula wants Megan to take them by surprise, and then she blathers about her singing a ballad on a stool.  Simon says the song was boring, indulgent, and monotonous.  Randy says it was like watching paint dry and reminds her that just because you like a song, that doesn't mean you should sing it.  Yeah.  What he said.

 

Danny Gokey (sings Rascall Flatts' "What Hurts the Most"): Okay, obviously he's thinking about his wife and all, and there's a lot of emotion in this, but he let it affect his vocals, which got a little too shouty for my tastes.  But that was probably his best effort to date.  Paula says this is where Danny thrives, and he left her wanting more.  Simon thinks this was his best performance so far, and he applauds him.  Randy believes that the show started here.  Kara believes he moved everyone in the room emotionally.

 

Allison Iraheta (sings No Doubt's "Don't Speak"):  Oh, Allison, don't let Paula dress you.  You look like a giant pink and black bell with a white ribbon down the front.  Allison plays the guitar for a while, and she sounds pretty good.  In fact, she sounds a heck of a lot better than I thought she would on this song.  I love her voice, but get thee to a real stylist, honey.  Randy is all focused on her crazy outfit.  Kara says the rock in Allison comes out no matter what she's wearing, so she shouldn't try to overdo it with the clothes.  Paula tells her that her vocal prowess rivals singers twice her age and practically tells her she's going to the finals.  Simon says she came across as "dress-me-up-I'm-a-rock-star" and feels she shouted the song.

 

Scott MacIntyre (sings Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are"):  Okay, so Adam's stylist must have gotten a hold of Scott and tamed his Greg Brady curls and put a leather jacket on him.  It takes me the entire performance to wrap my head around that.  It's just Scott and the piano tonight.  And it's his best performance to date - very heartfelt and pretty - but this is still Scott, and that's about like saying it the best high school performance I've ever heard.  Kara says he made a smart decision with his song.  Paula is the most proud of him out of all the contestants because of what he does to make her forget his "challenge" (i.e., his blindness).  Simon calls this his best performance by a country mile.  Randy agrees and proclaims it one of the best performances of the night.

 

Matt Giraud (sings the Fray's "You Found Me"):  He's playing keyboard in the mosh pit.  He gets kudos for probably the most current song tonight, but I'm not really digging this performance.  Too much gravel, not enough melody (which is pretty much what I think about the Fray).  Paula feels it was more like a soundalike performance to the original.  Simon says that he didn't get it at all and that it felt very "put on."  Randy says the problem is the song choice, and Matt needs to pick something with more soul in it.  Kara says he needs to decide what to sing, but she doesn't think he should go home.

 

Lil Rounds (sings Celine Dion's "I Surrender"):  What the what?  A thousand R&B songs she could have chosen to showcase her voice, and she chooses Celine Dion?  This is so not her.  Such a dreary song.  Adam, save me.  Please.  Randy still wants her to have more swagger but thinks she sang the song well.  Kara says when she goes high, she's unbelievable.  Paula doesn't want to see an adult contemporary Lil Rounds, she wants to see joy.  Whatever.  Simon says that it was like a wedding performance and too old-fashioned.  Ryan then drags one of Lil's kids over to hug Randy, and Lil starts crying.  Oh, boo hoo, vote for her, even though she hasn't delivered anything since the semi-finals.  Ppphht.

 

Adam Lambert (sings Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music"): Well, thank you for waking me up.  Whew!  I thought he was going to go cheesy or overly theatrical with this, but he manages to infuse it with some originality, albeit with a bit too much of the screamy boy at the end.  And bring back the funky hair to go with the funky music, white boy, 'kay?  I think he seriously had the most fun of anyone tonight, though, that's for sure.  Paula is about to pee.  She compares him to Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler.  Simon appreciates his originality.  Randy says he's definitely in the star zone.  Adam then thanks Rickey Minor and the band, which is the first time anyone's done so this season and makes me love him that much more.  Kara says every week she can't wait to get to the show to see what he'll do.

 

Kris Allen (sings Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine"): You know, I'm getting more and more impressed with Kris each week.  This song isn't one of my favorites, but he rearranges it beautifully, to the point where I'm ready to download it.  This guy is a dark horse who's just getting better and better.  Look out, Adam.  Randy says it was one of the best performances of the night.  Kara says that's artistry.  Paula believes that could be the first cut from his album.  Simon says Kris showed confidence and it was his best performance to date.  

 

My ranking:

 

1.  Kris Allen - See?  I can pick someone other than Adam.  Nyah.

2.  Adam Lambert - like a breath of fresh air after sitting in a musty closet for an hour

3.  Allison Iraheta - right song, right delivery, wrong clothes

4.  Danny Gokey - right song, a little too shouty

5.  Scott MacIntyre - it was good for Scott, but not so great compared to others

6.  Matt Giraud/Lil Rounds/Anoop Desai - their song choices were just wrong, wrong, wrong, but I could listen to them for longer than...

9.  Megan Joy Corkrey - my ears, my ears!

 

Bottom 3 (announced on April 1 results show):  Megan Joy Corkrey, Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai

Eliminated:  Megan Joy Corkrey

 

Review 2009 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail tricia@lowhorn.org.

 

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