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American Idol Season 8 (2009)

 

May 19 -  A change is gonna come (Final Two)

 

Here it is.  Finally.  My last chance to download some Adam iTunes.  Oh, er, and the final two sing.  Ta da.  Actually, I'm looking forward to this show.  As I went back through my reviews, I saw that Kris was near the top of my rankings for most nights, even beating Adam on Top Downloads night.  He and Adam are two different types of singers, and in an ideal world, the vote should come down to which type of singing voters are more attracted to this year.  The runner-up should do well regardless.  So for once, I'm at least moderately relaxed during a final 2 show.

Kris won the coin toss last week, and he elected to follow Adam's performances.  I give him ten points right there for bravery.

First, the contestants reprise a favorite song from the season:

Adam Lambert (reprises Tears for Fears' "Mad World"):  Adam gets a smoky stage and a Matrix coat.  And he comes up from an elevator onto the stairs.  LOL.  He's a vampire, baby.  Heh.  I knew he had to go over the top with one song tonight.  In the end, though, I liked his first performance of this better, because he was more intimate with it.  But hey, he's awfully sexy and Twilight-y up there.  Randy loves that he's showing his sensitive side and gives him an A+.  Kara is so happy he chose the song, blathers something else, and then says he rocked it tonight.  Paula calls him astonishingly handsome and tells him to bask in the attention.  Simon feels it was a little over-theatrical in presentation.  I agree, but I wouldn't mind a bite on the neck right now.  Oh, did I just say that?

Kris Allen (reprises Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine"):  Okay, both Kris and Adam are having a few pitch problems,  Kris less so than Adam.  New venue, I guess.  Kris is behind the piano for this, which is kind of boring.  But I think vocally he did better than Adam.  Yes, I really said that, people.  Randy rambles about the Lakers and then says that this was one of Kris' best performances on the stage.  Kara says that Kris has a way of creating an intimate bond with everyone in the audience.  Paula believes he "Allenizes" every song he sings.  Simon says he takes back everything he thought about America making the wrong choice last week.  When pressed by Ryan, he says that Kris took round 1.  And yes, I actually agree.

Next, the contestants sing a song selected by Simon Fuller, American Idol's creator:

Adam Lambert (sings Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come"):  [insert heavy breathing here]  Wow.  Adam's dressed in a nice metallic gray suit.  He infuses this song with a lot of raw emotion, but he's restrained where it needs to be restrained, and...oh, man.  I need a fresh supply of oxygen now.  That was GORGEOUS.  Randy says that Adam shows the reason he's here is that he can sing his face off.  Kara says that may have been his best performance and interpretation of a song since the beginning of the competition.  Paula jumps up and down and says that's the best she's ever heard him sing ever, ever, ever, OMG.  Simon simply says that Adam's 100% back in the game.

Kris Allen (sings Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On"):  Kris plays this on his guitar, with a few other musicians on stage and an orchestra that comes in about halfway through.  It's a cool arrangement, and I like that Kris is singing about needing love, not war.  My biggest complaint with the performance is that I wish Kris would open his eyes some more.  He looks like he's in pain half the time.  Randy feels Kris sang it well, but it was a little light for the auditorium.  Kara likes the way he's been true to himself and says that he's the type of person who can deliver on these socially conscious songs.  Paula, who's being remarkably succinct tonight, said that Kris made Marvin Gaye proud.  Simon, on the other hand, felt it was like three friends in a bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye, and it was too laid back for this show.  He gives round 2 to Adam.  Me, too.

Finally, we have this year's A-Moment-I-Believe-Your-Heaven-Is-the-Time-of-My-Life-So-Barf-A-Puppy coronation song, co-written by judge Kara, entitled "No Boundaries."

Adam Lambert:  Oh, God, this is a crappy song.  I have no idea what it's about.  Following your dreams through hurricanes or something.  Is there even a melody in there?  Ick.  Adam gamely tries to rock it out, but this is really not his type of music.  Randy says it was just aigghht but a little pitchy.  Yeah, he's right, unfortunately.  Kara is moved and proud.  Paula claims she has no adjectives left in her vocabulary.  Simon clearly hates the song but says he's not going to judge it. Instead, he calls Adam one of the best, most original contestants they've had on the show and believes they've found a worldwide star. 

Kris Allen:  Kris' pitch is overall a little better than Adam's, but his voice is too weak for the overblown arrangement, which is also set too high for him.  Man, I loathe this song.  I don't want to hear anyone's version of it on the radio this summer.  Randy says Kris should be very proud of what he did during this competition, and he likes his voice better on the song than Adam's.  Kara doesn't want Kris to be judged on that song but on what he is as an artist.  Paula says he's done an amazing job and wishes him the best of luck.  Simon feels that Kris' highlight tonight was the first song, but he says that Kris thoroughly deserves to be on this stage. Notably, he does not pick a winner. 

Carrie Underwood sings us out with her cover of "Home Sweet Home," the farewell song for this season.

This was actually a pretty good final two show.  I would give the edge to Adam, since (unlike Randy) I think the suckfest coronation song suits him better, and he blew me away with "A Change Is Gonna Come," but I guess it's all down to what the fans want at this point.  I know Mike and I are going to be up for four hours voting.  I'll get my life back - and some sleep - tomorrow.

And the winner is...  See tomorrow's review. :-)

 

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

 

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