Rob’s American Idol Top 8 Review

Theme:  Sing a song from the year you were born.

Is there hope for the fake judges?  All three of the Bantam League judges upped their games considerably this week, and actually offered some good, smart, constructive criticism and advice.  Randy didn’t say “for me for you”, not even once.  Kara didn’t get petulent and smarmy and try to offer up suggestions of what should have been sung, and only mentioned “artistry” maybe once.  Paula even had some smart moments of elucidation.  And to top it all off, Simon actually gave a standing ovation.

On to the performers:

Danny Gokey sang “Stand By Me”.  I had no idea Danny was 48 years old.  Because, um, the song was written in, like, 1961.  Oh, I see, you cheated the rules by claiming to sing the version that was released in the year you were born, but didn’t really follow the structure of that version.  Huh.  Anyway, I thought Danny was quintessential Danny.  Great voice, good performance.  A solid opening.  I still think I’d hate to have Danny as a friend, though.  I think he’d always be hitting you up for money, or showing up late, or frustrating you over all kinds of minor things.  Just like John Pritchard.
I agreed 100% with Simon who said “good opening to the song, lazy middle part, and very good ending.”

Kris Allen performed “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”.  This was a song I had happily forgotten about.  Now it’s back in my consciousness.  So, yeah, thanks Kris, for that.  I pretty much agreed with the judges who weren’t feelin’ it, dawg.  Guitar work got in the way of the vocal work.  And neither guitar nor vocal was good enough to be of note.  Still, he’s cute.

Lil Rounds imitated Tina Turner with “What’s Love Got To Do With It”.  Basically, just a bad cabaret performance of someone trying to be Tina Turner, right down to the movements and vocal tricks.  Not a good job.  I’m surprised by the decline of Lil Rounds.  I had thought she’d be a strong contender every week, but she seems to be getting less and less valid as a potential winner (well, potential second place, because Adam’s going to win it, even if he doesn’t win it).  Judges are right:  she’s lost who she is, and now just wanders the stage trying to belt out power-notes.  I find her personality off-putting, too, which doesn’t help.

Anoop Desai crooned “True Colors”.  Anoop settles back into the ballady-emotional guy and does a great job.  Weird apology he made regarding last week.  I’m not really sure what that was about.  Anyway, pretty strong performance from Anoop.

Scott MacIntyre sang “The Search Is Over”.  He got away from the piano, and stood behind a mic, just him and his guitar (and the band).  His guitar playing was pretty bad.  Ugly sounding chord strumming there.  His vocals weren’t much better.  Lots of bad notes.  At least he looked and sounded a bit more passionate than previous weeks.  Still, a pretty rotten job, I thought.  Scott said “I just wanted to show I was versatile before I leave the show”.  Scott, playing mediocre piano and bad guitar doesn’t make you versatile.

Allison Iraheta sand “I Can’t Make You Love Me”.  I swear that before the song was over, I said “I don’t like her personality”, and then Simon went on to talk about how her personality is keeping her from soaring to the top.  She has a wonderful voice, and does a good job with this song, but there’s just something I don’t like about her personality.  Not sure what it is.

Matt Giraud sang “Part Time Lovers”.  Another song I’d have preferred to kept forgotten.  Matt does a pretty good JT version of this song.  Much better than his performance last week.  I think Matt might be the most marketable of all the remaining Idol contestants.

Adam Lambert did “Mad World”.  Another standout performance from Adam.  While I still don’t care for his screeching vocals (which he kept to a minimum here), I can’t deny that the guy is leaps and bounds above all the others in terms of showmanship and talent.  Honestly, in the past few weeks, his personality has been growing on me.  I think I need another bit of big indulgence from him next week to put him in his place in my head.  Why is he a guy I don’t want to like?

Top 4 performers:  Adam, Danny, Anoop, Matt

Bottom 2 performers: Scott, Lil

Scott should be leaving.

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