It was down to three on the 300th episode last night.
The finalists each performed two songs: one chosen by the judges and the other chosen by the contestants themselves. While these last three guys don’t seem to have the identity crises that were the downfall of Anoop and Matt Giraud, this week is always interesting because it shows the discrepancies between who the singers think they are as artists and who the judges want them to be.
Paula chose “Dance Little Sister” by Terence Trent D’Arby for Hokey Gokey. He has a voice; that’s undeniable. The problem is, it‘s the kind of voice you’re more likely to hear in the elevator of a medical building. (Zzzzzzz.) Kara didn’t enjoy his dancing. Paula, the self-proclaimed “choreographer,” did — though perhaps in spite of Kara. Honestly, there’s not really much else to say about hi … Whoa, sorry, I dozed off for a second just writing about him.
Kris Allen’s still the “dark horse,” according to Kara and Randy, who selected One Republic’s “Apologize” for him. Okay, number one: I’ll say it yet again. Kris beat out thousands of hopefuls to be one of the top three contenders on “Idol.” He is not a “dark horse” anymore. Secondly: Why did Randy and Kara have to choose a contestant’s song jointly while Paula and Simon got their own choices? I get that Kara’s still earning her “Idol” wings, but when did Randy become the redheaded stepchild of the show?
It’s interesting, too, that the most captivating part of that song is not even the melody itself but the beat (and the monks chanting in the background). Maybe they got Allen mixed up with beatboxer B-b-b-b-blake Lewis from Season 6?
Adam Lambert’s title as “Future Winner of American Idol” was validated yet again, if not by his performance, then by the sheer fact that Simon chose his song for him. (Cowell is never one to associate himself with a loser.) Simon boasted that he personally phoned up Bono to get the rights for Glambert to sing U2’s “One," almost insinuating that no other contestant would have been allowed to touch it.
I am a fan of Lambert when does the ballads — OK, wait, that’s not true. What I should say is that I didn’t mind when he did “Mad World” and “Tracks of My Tears.” But during last night’s song, he sounded eerily like Annie Lennox. No, seriously. Play it back and close your eyes. Trust me.
This year, instead of having a star-studded multi-million dollar fundraiser for “Idol Gives Back,” Carrie Underwood taught us how to prevent malaria. How about some tips on swine flu … oops, I mean H1-N1? Also, how do you get your hair looking so good, Carrie?
Gokey was back for Round 2. His strategy was to pick a bunch of songs with his “mentors” (spiritual advisers?) to see which ones fit. Would he fill the void left by Scott MacIntyre and do another “inspirational” song? No, wait! It would clearly be a song about missing dead loved ones. Or one by yet another “raspy voiced” artist (please let it be Bonnie Tyler!)
Actually, he did all three by choosing “You Are So Beautiful” by the croaky Joe Cocker, a song that no doubt reminded him of his wife. Paula commented on how he incorporated his “gospel” style into the song. Foreshadowing, America? Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Kris announced that he was going to sing “Heartless” by Kanye West, which no doubt left viewers (including me) scratching their heads. Would he suffer the same fate as my beloved Anoop, who (somewhat comically) attempted to be the next Bobby Brown? Thank goodness, the answer was no. It was clear three notes in that it was going to be a highlight.
He killed it, ya’ll! Kara (who set him up to fail with that One Republic “chant” song) criticized him for not using the acoustic guitar during his first performance as well. I cry foul! For one thing, Allen was the only contestant to play any sort of instrument last night. Furthermore, he played two different instruments — the piano on one song and the guitar on another. Should he be punished for showcasing all of his musical talents (and making the best of a “malicious” song choice)?
Glambert finally indulged the public, who has been waiting for weeks for him to cover Aerosmith. His rendition of “Cryin’” was “just OK for me, dawg.” The screech-singing was back in full effect. He has a persona, yes, but it’s a persona that belongs on the theater stage. I feel that if I bought his CD, I just wouldn’t be getting my money’s worth without the accompanying visual show, too — the shoulder pads, the makeup, the guy-on-guy photos.
The most flattering thing I can say about him is that he definitely has a dramatic flair for making an entrance and I would love to see him in a Broadway show. Maybe “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?” He does look an awful lot like Michael Damien …
I have been flip-flopping all week over whether I should give in and just support Lambert. I mean, I do spend a lot of time in West Hollywood and he does have that whole “X-factor” thing going on. But, in the end, while I can appreciate his inarguable talent (his acting was especially good last night when he was saying how great Danny and Kris are), I just can’t see myself buying his pop album.
Would I like him to beat out Danny? Abso-freakin’-lutely.
But it is Kris, the cute “everyguy,” who has my allegiance. His quiet confidence and ability to make songs his own is quite appealing.
Plus, he’s the only non-screecher left.