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American Idol Season 8 (2009)

 

May 12 - I'm cryyyyyyin' (The Judges' Choice, Their Choice)

 

You know, I'll be glad when this season is over.  The sheer amount of fantard-frenziness I have to wade through on the message boards just to find news and spoilers is really wearing me down.  It's a frickin' TV show, Tricia...  um...  it's a frickin' TV show, people!

Ahem.

The contestants sing two songs each tonight.  The first song was chosen by the judges, and the second by the contestant.  Let's see how we stack up.

Danny Gokey (sings Terence Trent D'Arby's "Dance Little Sister" - Paula's choice): Paula picked this because she thinks Danny's got Terence's "magical quality."  Ummmm...yeah.  So why not "Wishing Well" or something that Terence was better known for over here?  Oh, well.  I'll admit that the song suits Danny's gospel-shouty voice.  He doo-doo-doo-doobie-doos with the saxophonist and struts around the stage a bit.  I just sort of half-close my eyes at that.  Someone needs to teach this boy to dance, but the singing wasn't bad.  Randy says this is the way to jump it off tonight, and the performance was "dope."  Or was that dopey?  Kara thinks the dancing was too gyrating.  Paula, pointing out that she's a choreographer so STFU Kara, says he did "really good."  Simon agrees that the dancing was desperate and he wouldn't have picked that song for Danny.  As Danny yaps on and on about just having fun up there, Simon tries to smother Paula and do other things with her that the camera won't show us.  Eeuw.

Kris Allen (sings OneRepublic's "Apologize" - Randy's & Kara's choice): Randy and Kara want him to have a moment, choosing a dark song for a dark horse.  Kris is at the piano, which I can barely hear because the band is kind of drowning it out.  I'm not really digging this arrangement compared to the original, although his voice is fine on it.  He cheats on the falsetto notes in the chorus, though.  Eh.  Rather run of the mill for me.  Randy says that Kris could have a song like this that would sell millions of records.  Kara felt it was a competent performance, but he didn't swing it out of the park and rearrange it.  Paula critiques him for one bum note (What? No "A for effort" as for Danny's scream last week?), but she's still proud of him.  Simon tells Kara she can't blame Kris for singing the song she picked, and he all but admits that he helped Adam arrange his song.  Randy and Kara didn't realize they could do the same with Kris.  Oh, boy - the boards are going to go wild over that admission.  At this point, the judges get all snippy with each other, and Kara manhandles Simon.  Dear Lord, can we manage to get through this without the censors pulling the show off the air?

Adam Lambert (sings U2's "One" - Simon's choice): Simon got a call from Bono clearing the song on Saturday, the day after Adam's homecoming, which explains the two different song choices he was actually given on Friday (the fallback was Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game").  Adam, bathed in "Mad World" blue, starts singing and... Oh.  Wow.  The soft, slow parts...  For the first time, I'm nearly in tears in this competition.  Adam, what on earth have you done to me??  Oh, good, thanks, the faster, screamy parts aren't as great, even though the passion's there.  Whew.  I didn't get totally carried away.  Oh, wait, the song's gone softer again, and I'm reduced to a quivering bowl of jello.  Sheesh.  Stop doing this to me already.  I can only dial so fast.  Randy didn't like Adam going off the melody so much but thinks he's amazing.  Kara calls him a strategist and says the arrangement is unbelievable.  Paula is miserable because Simon is gloating, but she calls Adam the American Idol.  Simon thinks it was a brilliant song choice - ha - and believes that if Adam's not in the final, it will be one of the biggest upsets in Idol history.

Danny Gokey (sings Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful"): He sings this with a string quartet and a guitarist, and it's about as sweet and syrupy as you'd expect.  Then he breaks out into some other lyrics and makes it a praise song.  What the...?  Um, okay.  Whatever.  Randy says that Danny showed that he can really, really, REALLY sing.  Kara calls the performance stunning.  So can we set phasers to stun?  Paula blathers something and then says he nailed it.  Simon doesn't like the arrangement but thinks it was a vocal masterclass.  Danny starts talking about how he's not listening to what anyone else says, blah, blah, blah.  All the contestants just need to shut up now.

Kris Allen (sings Kanye West's "Heartless"): Kris had this song drop to him from the sky.  He just plays it on his guitar and turns it into a Jason Mraz-y arrangement.  It's totally unlike the original, but it's really cool.  I'm be-bopping around here, which is making my cat look at me like I'm from another planet.  Randy says that this is going to be one of the toughest voting nights of the competition, and he likes Kris' version better than Kanye's version.  Agreed.  Kara says he was bold, brave, and fearless.  Paula commends him for being relevant and different.  Simon says he'd written Kris off, but that changed after this performance.

Adam Lambert (sings Aerosmith's "Cryin'"): Adam wants to do Steven Tyler proud.  This is not one of my favorite Adam performances - I'm not a fan of this song, I feel like he's coasting a little, and why the heck isn't the band on the stage tonight so he could be more in sync with the background singers? - but I'd say he accomplished his goal.  He's a rock stah, people.  Randy says Adam is one of the best they've ever had on the stage, and he should be recording music like this.  Kara doesn't know who hits Adam's notes, presumably because she's on the same planet I am and can't see that he's singing.  Paula says they'll be seeing him next week and many years after that.  Simon is concerned about voter complacency and tells people to vote for Adam based on talent.  Jeez.  Has he ever specifically asked people to vote for a contestant before?  When Ryan asks Adam how he feels, he says that it's an honor to be in the presence of Danny and Kris, and everyone's a great singer.  A humble rock star.  Is this even possible?

My ranking:

1. Adam Lambert - Voting, voting, voting, voting...
2. Kris Allen - I give him the edge over Danny for being more current with his personal song choice.
3. Danny Gokey - He wasn't as bad as last week, but I'm going to remember Kris' and Adam's performances over his.

Eliminated on May 13 results show:  Danny Gokey

 

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

 

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