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American Idol Season 8 (2009)

 

April 21 -  Love just don't come easy (Disco)

 

Apparently, whoever was originally supposed to mentor this week backed out at the last minute, and the producers decided to make both the contestants and the audience suffer through disco music instead of whatever the theme was originally going to be.  Whoever the missing mentor is, I hope he or she gets strapped to a chair and forced to listen to "Disco Duck" for the next week.

To try to get this episode through with as quickly as possible, Ryan immediately starts the show with:

Lil Rounds (sings Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman"): Well, it's better than last week.  And that's about all I can say about this karaoke version, except the band is seriously drowning her out.  Zzzzzz.  Randy says her performance still didn't show them what kind of artist she is.  Kara says America was waiting for her to sing something like this, but it probably wasn't worth the wait.  Paula says in Lil's defense that yesterday she had no voice, and she had a remarkable recovery, even if she didn't tap her inner goddess.  Oh, it's going to be one of those nights for Paula.  Simon says he's glad Lil had fun, because this is probably her final show.  Lil insists she wasn't karaoke and her inner goddess disagrees with the entire panel.  Shut up and go home, please.

Kris Allen (sings Donna Summer's "She Works Hard for the Money"): Kris says this song has something important to say because, you know, it's about a woman.  LOL.  He does an acoustic, jazzy version of the song, and it's kind of cool, although to me it looks like he's having more fun with the song than the lyrics would warrant.  Kara says the risk he took with that arrangement paid off.  Paula says there aren't that many men who are willing to shop in the women's department like that.  After discussing whether or not Paula has seen Simon shopping at La Perla, Simon calls Kris's version original, well thought-out, and not karaoke, and he doesn't care if he buys women's underwear.  Kris is cracking up right now.  Randy mercifully brings the discussion to an end by saying that Kris knows who he is, and he calls him amazing.

Danny Gokey (sings Earth, Wind & Fire's "September"): He's trying to be all energetic, but I'm kind of bored here.  Maybe if someone stuck a pin in him, he'd sound more like Philip Bailey, and then he wouldn't have to shout so much.  The judges are still inexplicably enamored with him, though.  Randy says he turned the song into something that really worked for him.  Kara says that Danny's pitch is always right on, and it was another solid performance.  Paula likes the way he showed his vocal brilliance, and she thinks he has one of the sexiest voices ever.  Huh?  I guess she likes shouters.  Simon didn't get any star power from the performance, which was a bit awkward and clumsy for him.  Paula insists that she'll still see Danny in the finals.

Allison Iraheta (sings Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff"): She starts slowly and turns it into a rockin' version.  A 16-year-old can only get away with singing these lyrics when she sounds like Allison.  Hee.  I love her voice on this, even though I started singing ABBA's "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme a Man After Midnight" almost as soon as the tempo picked up.  Randy didn't love the arrangement, but he says that Allison is one of the best singers in the competition.  Kara agrees with him.  Paula loves the edginess in Allison's voice.  Simon calls it a brilliant performance.

Adam Lambert (sings Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You"): Adam says he wanted to sing something he could connect to emotionally.  So he turns the selection into a touching ballad that makes Paula cry.  Awwww.  Nobody turns around a lame song like he does.  Beautiful, just as everyone expected.  Can we just skip ahead to the finals now?  Randy says Adam is ready right now (for what, he won't say) and calls him a hawt one.  Kara calls him brilliant and inspiring.  Paula, in a broken voice, says she never questions her visceral response when she sees him perform - wow, feel that afterglow, folks - and she saw his vulnerability.  Simon says the vocals were immaculate, and the performance was something everyone will remember.  Adam credits Michael Orland (one of the music directors of the show) for the arrangement.  Our little Lamb is so willing to give credit where credit is due and not make it all about him.  What a breath of fresh air.

Matt Giraud (sings the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive"): He tries to turn this into a Justin Timberlake arrangement, complete with Justin's moves.  He sounds okay on this, though, even if the last note was a little wonky.  I do have to laugh at the appropriateness of this song for him, given that the judges saved him last week, although I would have stayed away from something like this if it could possibly be my swan song.  Broken record alert: Randy didn't love the song choice or the arrangement, but he says that Matt can really sing.  Kara says he brought the mood back to disco tonight and then stupidly compares him to Adam.  Well, duh, of course he's not at Adam's level.  Someone stuff Paula's hair into Kara's mouth, please.  Paula says Matt picks songs like she bowls - sometimes he throws gutter balls and sometimes he hits strikes, and this was a strike.  Man, I want some of her drugs.  Simon didn't like the performance, calling it desperate and unoriginal.  I guess for him it's more like strike three, you're out.

Anoop Desai (sings Donna Summer's "Dim All the Lights"): The mid-tempo arrangement didn't quite work, and Anoop's vocals are all over the place.  And, you know, if you're going to dance the night away, then you should, um, dance.  Randy didn't love this arrangement (again), but once again says he can sing.  Kara thinks this could actually be on the radio.  Paula says he looks fantastic, and real men know how to wear pink (referring to Anoop's pink sweater).  She tells him to smile more because he has beautiful teeth.  Simon calls the performance mediocre at best and Anoop's worst by a mile.  Uh, yeah.  That.

My ranking:

1. Adam Lambert - It was perhaps a little too reminiscent of his "Tracks of My Tears" performance, but only he could make something this pretty out of disco.
2. Kris Allen - A very unique arrangement, although I don't think he connected to his song quite as much as Adam did.
3. Allison Iraheta - She's so sexy.  (The VOICE, people.  I'm talking about the VOICE.)
4. Matt Giraud - It was really close between him and Danny for me, but at least he didn't bore me.
5. Danny Gokey - The judges' love is completely unwarranted, IMHO.  He's such a snoozefest.
6. Lil Rounds - Too little, too late.
7. Anoop Desai - Dim all the microphones on him, please.

Bottom 3 (announced on April 22 results show):  Lil Rounds, Anoop Desai, Allison Iraheta

Eliminated:  Lil Rounds, Anoop Desai

 

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

 

April 14 Review | Season 8 Index | April 28 Review