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American Idol Season 8 (2009)


May 5 -  I got a whole lotta love (Rock songs)

There were a couple of serious accidents that occurred at the start of dress rehearsal tonight, so the contestants didn't have a final run-through prior to the show.  In fact, judging from what I've read and heard, they're pretty lucky that stuff didn't fall apart in the middle of the show itself, or someone could have been seriously hurt. Sheesh.  And I thought Idol just killed brain cells. 

It's rock night, and instead of the usual mentoring sessions where the kids sing for the star of the week accompanied by piano, Slash (of Guns n' Roses and Velvet Revolver fame) is making them sing along with a semi-real band at the Roxy.  In another twist, the contestants get to sing duets during the competition.  Mike has brought out the fire extinguisher in case the television explodes.

Adam Lambert (sings Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love"): Slash says Adam has some pipes.  He tells him not to improvise too much in the higher register - and unlike other contestants this season, Adam listens and doesn't overdo the high notes.  He just sings and... Oh.  My.  God.  Has Robert Plant died?  No?  Man, I thought he just got reincarnated.  Wow.  Just wow.  Randy says this is the Adam he loves, and he's a rock star.  Kara calls him a rock god and proceeds to have an orgasm.  Paula calls him a whole lotta perfect.  Simon jokes that the performance was a little understated, then says the only problem is that no one can top that performance.  Yeah.  I'm tempted just to turn off the television right now, except he's singing a duet later, so I guess I'll just get a cold compress to cool down my fever instead.

Allison Iraheta (sings Janis Joplin's "Cry Baby"): Allison saw Adam's hair stylist to fix her hair tonight.  Heh.  Slash says she has a natural rock-n-roll swagger, and she just needs to get past her fear.  This was a bit anticlimactic after Adam, but this song really, really suits her rough voice.  I just know that the judges aren't going to like it at all, though, because it doesn't have much of a range and it's not one of Joplin's more familiar tunes.  Sure enough, Randy didn't love the song choice because there wasn't a lot of range.  Kara says Janis is the right choice, but she wanted to hear something with more melody.  Paula calls Allison downright fearless.  Simon believes she had confidence but she should have chosen a different song.  Allison gets feisty and starts talking back, and I'm like, oh, dear.  Hello, bottom two.

Kris Allen/Danny Gokey (sing Styx's "Renegade"): Styx?  Really?  Um.  Okay.  Kris is getting into this.  Danny, not so much.  I think the lack of dress rehearsal really hurt here, because they both seem a little uncomfortable on stage.  Randy likes the harmonies.  Kara says there were pitchy moments, but together they were strong.  Paula calls it powerful and compelling.  Simon has no idea what to say, but he tosses out that Danny was better than Kris.  I disagree - I think Kris was better during the softer moments, and Danny may have had the edge at the shouty sections.  Which is about what you'd expect, right?  These aren't people who should be doing duets together.  In any case, both the guys look pissed at the comment.  They couldn't hear themselves up there.  Give 'em a pass and move on.

Kris Allen (sings the Beatles' "Come Together"): Kris played guitar during the time with Slash but was nervous in front of him.  The nerves seem to be gone as he plays guitar tonight, though.  I like the arrangement, but he probably should have picked a different Beatles song, as his voice is a bit bland for this one.  Rocker he's not.  I do admire the effort here, though.  Randy appreciates that he picked something that still managed to show that he was Kris.  Kara says he's definitely the softer side of rock, and this wasn't a great performance.  Paula says Kris' signature is all over it and he just needs a little more energy.  Simon says it's like eating ice for lunch - something that you'll forget later.  How does he come up with these analogies?

Danny Gokey (sings Aerosmith's "Dream On"): Slash says Danny's naturally gifted, but he has to get the scream at the end because everyone expects it.  Slash then chuckles and looks like he's waiting for a train wreck.  So am I.  Danny starts okay, I guess, but that last note?  Good grief.  People need to stop getting on Adam's case for screaming, because THAT was screaming.  I think even my deaf cat was horrified.  Lordy.  Randy says it was only aiighht for him, but he gives Danny an A+ for effort.  Kara says he took the edge too far, but she commends him for taking chances.  Paula doesn't know that this is the right song for him, but she's still a huge fan of his.  Simon says the last note was like watching a horror movie, but he still thinks Danny will be safe.

Adam Lambert/Allison Iraheta (sing Foghat's "Slow Ride"): Now THAT'S the way to end the show.  Those two should move on to the next round just for that.  They're getting into it, Adam's careful not to overpower Allison, and there's no discomfort because they didn't have a dress rehearsal.  They just look great on stage together.  Randy calls them the two rock stars this season.  Kara says this is when a duet is right.  Paula calls them a perfect blend.  Simon says in the battle of the duets, they win the show tonight, and Adam may have just given Allison a chance to stay in the game.  I hope so.  They're really cute together.  And then Adam hugs her and says she's like his little sister, and I just want to go, "Awwwww."

My ranking:

1. Adam Lambert - Well, DUH.
2. Allison Iraheta - Not a perfect song choice for her solo, but that duet was killer.
3. Kris Allen - The duet was uncomfortable, and that wasn't quite the right song choice for his solo, but he at least didn't try to sound like Adam.
4. Danny Gokey - He really shouldn't have picked a song that only Adam could have touched.  Unfortunately, since he's never been in the bottom 3, I think his fans are going to rally around him, and either Allison or Kris will go home.  Ugh.

Eliminated:  Allison Iraheta


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


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