Wednesday, April 1, 2009

AI Season 8: Top 9 perform a popular iTunes song

American Idol has decided to bless us with less filler this week and shortened the program to an hour and 25 minutes. This new mother is very happy...

No surprise that Michael Sarver was out last week. What was a surprise was that Megan Joy wasn't in the bottom 3 but Matt Giraud was. We also saw Simon crush Michael's dreams of a save with his quick "no." I wonder if the "save" will be used at all this season considering the judges need to be unanimous.

Apparently Danny Gokey's grandfather died this week. It is interesting that aside from the audition phase we haven't heard anything about his dead wife. But with a dead grandfather in the mix I wonder if we will hear anything about it this week.

Ryan brings the Idols on his syndicated Top 40 show because of the theme of "Most Popular Downloads." This allows the Idols to basically pick whatever they want which means half of them will pick a terrible song.

Anoop is up first singing, "Caught Up" by Usher and promises us stage presence in his interview. I get nervous. I much prefer his ballads to an up tempo song. I do not know this song and think Anoop is a bit of a mess. DH comments on the incongruity of an Indian guy singing hip hop. Prejudiced? Perhaps but also a little true. Randy thinks Anoop picked up the swagger but that it wasn't a good song choice. Kara said he played it safe. Paula liked his playful side. Simon said it was a complete and utter mess. I love it when Simon agrees with me.

Megan Joy picks "Turn Your Lights Down Low" by Bob Marley and sung by Lauren Hill. She admits that last week was rough but promises a much better performance this week. She does not deliver. DH comments that Megan sounds like she is trying to have a reggae accent or something. I just don't think she is very good. Kara is disappointed, Paula wants her to perform stripped down version, Simon thinks it was an indulgent performance and Randy said it was like watching paint dry. Does this mean that Megan is done for? Please?!?

Danny is going to sing Rascal Flatts' "What Hurts The Most" which is an interesting song selection for him. No mention of dead relatives in his interview. Oh, I totally know this song and really like it! The first verse was a little rushed but other than that it was a very powerful performance. Danny put a lot of emotion into it and I'm surprised he wasn't awarded the money spot. Paula (who is looking a little old in her flat banged hair style) says it was a performance she would listen to again and again. Simon said it was Danny's best performance to date and clapped for him. Randy thinks he brought it and Kara felt he connected with the audience.

Allison Iraheta has very pink hair and decided to play the guitar to "Don't Speak" by No Doubt. DH gasps a little and thinks it will either be great or terrible. Allison is looking very punk and cool with her hair and dress. I approve. What I don't approve of is that she sings the song straight which doesn't really work with her rock voice. I wish she had done a more rock interpretation of it. The guitar was also kind of useless. Randy thinks she was a little ahead of the beat and hates what she is wearing. Kara thought the ensemble felt forced but that she had a good performance. Paula compliments Allison for bring out her axe and it just sounds funny to hear her use that slang term. Simon also hates her outfit. I guess my taste doesn't align with theirs.

Scott McIntyre picks Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" and will only be accompanied by his piano. I am hating the leather jacket and think it make him look like he's trying too hard. Of course he can't see himself so he has to rely on others for fashion advice. It's one of his better performances but it is just nice, not great. Kara thinks Scott made some smart decisions and likes his new look. Really? Paula is proud of him and it has nothing to do with his "challenge." Simon admits it is his best performance by a mile and compares his hair cut to Ryan Seacrest.

Matt Giraud is hoping to not be in the bottom three this week. He picks the ubiquitous "You Found Me" by The Fray. I think DH and I heard this song a million times on our drive up to Massachusetts last year. It starts out a little rough and like Matt is a beat or two ahead of the music. It wasn't a great performance for me perhaps because it was too much like the original. Paula starts out the critique and basically agrees with me. Simon thinks Matt should be happy that they don't like him this week. Randy agrees that it was rough and Kara thinks he's a talented guy and hopes he's OK. He could be in trouble this week.

Lil Rounds really struggled with her song selection and picks Celine Dion's "I Surrender." Doing Celine is like doing Mariah or Whitney. Never a good idea. She's wearing a frumpy prom dress and has her hair flattened down. It is not a good look for her. Why did she not pick a R&B song? This is terrible. The girl can sing, however. Randy starts the commentary and we see David Spade in the background spit out his gum and stick it to his seat. Crazy. Randy didn't like the song choice, Kara was also surprised but it was effortless, Paula and Simon also hated the song. I think Lil will be OK but I wish she would do better at her song selections.

Adam picks Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music" and still has that Grease-like pompadour. Not a good look for him. Adam does a great job, per usual, and I can see DH's foot tapping along. This kid has some serious stage presence. Paula almost falls out of her dress she loves it so much. Simon thinks it was very original and a good departure from the other performances. Randy thinks Adam is in the star zone. Kara loves him.

Kris Allen gets the money spot and selects "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Whithers which is going to be challenging because of how awesome the original is. He couples that challenge with accompanying himself on the piano. Is he growing a mustache? Looks like it. Wow. Kris does a phenomenal job with his performance. Definitely the best of the night. Randy called it creative and cool. Kara said "Three words: that was artistry" and I scratch my head. Paula thinks it could be the first cut of his album. Simon said Kris brought a lot of confidence and had a great arrangement.

So who is going home? I want it to be Megan but it will probably be Matt Giraud or Anoop. Overall I was expecting to be wowed but only Danny Gokey and Kris Allen really did that for me. Perhaps it is better when there is a more limited theme which forces song selections. What do you think?

SJ out.


Jordan said...

I agree that the theme should be limited. Since when is Play That Funky Music a top iTunes download? I think Matt and I could be friends. I love the Fray (not as much as I love Coldplay) and agree with his taste in music but he really should stop copying those groups. Megan is worse than Sanjaya for me. Her goofy accent in her singing voice is so forced and annoying. She thinks she's being "different" and "cute" but her voice ends up sounding so amateur. Please stop the insanity and axe her tonight. Props to Scott for singing our wedding song and singing it pretty well!

A. said...

OK, who else thought Scott was totally sporting a Michael Knight (Knight Rider) look with the upswept hair and leather jacket? Don't Hassle the Hoff.

Mommy, Esq. said...

Damn, I'm sorry I missed the show - was out with the MOTs and too tired to watch after I got back. Thanks to Stacey's awesome recap though I feel like I was there watching Paula almost fall out of her dress.