American Idol Season 8- Motown Performance Live Blog

Woo Hoo! Motown night on American Idol.  Smokey Robinson in the house as well.  Mr. Robinson is one of America’s greatest songwriters.  He should be good at this mentoring thing.  Heaven knows he has done it with hundreds of aspiring soul singers at Motown.

We are live, blogging the American Idol Season 8 Top 10 performances.  At One21music we are covering the six Christian music artists competing in Season 8: Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre, Kris Allen and Michael Sarver.   That’s right, six of the final 10 contestants on American Idol Season 8 are Christian music performers.

Check out my preview of tonight’s American Idol show at our Motown Preview.  It should be a great show.  All of these performers can sing these songs well, so the performances should be entertaining.  The competition is building and should be fierce tonight.  I think everyone, other than Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds and Kris Allen, is at risk of going home with a bad performance.  Check out our power rankings at American Idol Top 10 Power Rankings.

As we start. the American Idol Top Ten have their mean faces on.  Come on!, these are happy songs.  Paula wants the Idols to challenges their artistic integrity.  Simon calls Motown some of the best in the world.  Lil has gone all ’60′s go-go girl.

The Motown history lesson downplays the historical significance of Hitsville.  Barry Gordy tells the Idol’s that they should appreciate the great platform they have to introduce their talent.  Thank you Lil Rounds for giving Barry Gordy his props as a difference maker.

Smokey thinks this crew of American Idols are special, let’s see.

Matt Giraud starts off with “Let’s Get It On”.  Wow, Matt did you really have to do this song?  I am not too keen on the message.  Back at at his piano he lets loose at the beginning and hits a great falsetto right off the bat.  Maybe those tight pants are helping.  He is singing it great and even Simon is smiling.  It was a great move from the piano to dancing.

Randy starts off really happy.  He thinks Matt is challenging for the top spot.  Great job Paula, explaining why his riffing worked.

Kris Allen is up next.  I have high hopes for him tonight.  He is singing another Marvin Gaye song, “How Sweet It Is” and Smokey was laughing with joy during the mentoring session.  He starts it off a little slow and then picks up the pace.  He sounds great but the interpretation is a little smooth for my taste.  Kris is starting to perform with the confidence of a front runner.  He hit it.

Kara agrees, she loves his artistry with different phrasing and rhythms.   Paula was amazed at his brilliant note at the end.  Simon likes his performance and is coaching him on his swagger.  Paula is giving good commentary tonight.

They are moving the baby grand out for Scott MacIntyre.  He needs a really good performance tonight.  The American Idol contestants are pushing the dress limits tonight.  Pink pants, paisley shirt and brown stripped jacket?  He is singing Diana Ross’s “Can’t Hurry Love”.  Does Smokey love everyone?  The trend is to start slow and quiet tonight then grab the groove after a verse.  This is just okay for me.  I just don’t think he has the soul for this.  I would rather hear him play the piano.

Paula thinks the back-up singers brought new life to his performance, but Simon hated it. I agree with Simon that it was the wrong song.  Randy agrees.  Kara dinged him on execution but she liked the song choice.  The judges are arguing about Scott for the second week in a row and Paul pulls out crayons and a coloring book for the child, Simon Cowell.

Meagan Joy sings a Stevie Wonder song next.  Please don’t let it be “Superstition”.  Yeah, she is singing “Once In My Life” and I already hate her version.  Yes, Smokey likes everyone.  This is pretty bad.  She is all over the pitch.  Stop dancing please.  I know she can sing, but she is shouting this song.  Hated it.  I think she will be in trouble.

Randy gives it his hateful laugh.  I agree with Randy it was a train wreck. Yes, Kara she did hit bad notes and was dominated by the song.  The judges are unanimous that they hated it.  I agree with Simon, it was horrible.  Smokey, what were you thinking?  You are supposed to help these guys.

I told you in my preview post that someone would chose the wrong song and then say, “I love that song”.  Hello, Meagan.

Anoop Desai is doing Smokey Robinson’s “Oh Baby Baby” and Smokey gives him the story of how the song was born.  My thing with Anoop is that his versions of these songs pale in comparison to the originals and he doesn’t bring anything that makes me forget the original.  These are pretty covers but not much else.  Ho hum.

Kara’s up first and she talks about the song and only thinks he did okay.  Paula said all nice things with no enthusiasm.  Simon thinks the showmanship was lacking.  The judges like him but were lukewarm.

Okay Michael Sarver, you are on the ropes so you better bring it.  Michael looks sharp.  He is singing “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” from The Temptations, I don’t know, that ain’t him.  Smokey wants him to use his big voice, he wants more power from Michael.  Can he do it?  He is singing it way too happy.  It is pretty good.  He hits some good notes, except at the end when he fell a little flat.  It was enthusiastic, for sure.

Paula hated it as a Vegas lounge version.  Simon almost seems sad to deliver his news.  He tells Michael that he has no hope of winning.  Kara is right in saying he needs to find his artistry.  Sorry, Michael.  I love Michael Sarver, he takes their criticism and is grateful for what he has accomplished.

Okay, Lil Rounds let’s see you get back on your game.  Lil is doing “Heatwave” by Martha Reeves, perfect.  Lil was moved by her Motown experience.  She understands the history of Motown in black culture.  Time to sing.  What is this?  A bad vocal from Lil Rounds.  She sounds out of breath and occasionally off key and a little shouty.  This is her worst performance for me.  Wow, I am shocked.

Randy is up first and he has the nervous laughter.  The first of the song was rushed and off.  I agree.  Kara hates it as well and she heard the screams I heard.  Paula thinks her vocals were fresh.  Simon thinks the song choice caused her to miss her chance to blow us away.

Ryan is promising a new Adam Lambert.  As we break away for commercials we see Adam looking like a member of Sha Na Na.  Is that Olivia Newton John?  Adam is singing Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” and Smokey says he is keeping it soft and tender throughout. Adam with a guitar buddy, stand-up bass and a box player.  A soft quiet performance from Adam Lambert.  This is pretty nice. Good job Adam and standing ovation from Smokey Robinson with tears in his eyes.

Kara gives him a standing ovation.  Simon loves it as original and relevant.  All the judges loved it.  Adam had his moment tonight.

Danny Gokey without glasses?  Can that happen?   Nope he he puts them on to sing. Danny is singing The Temptations “Get Ready” and Smokey changes his arrangement for the better.  Unlike Lil, he works this song, changes it and belts it out and even dances with the back-up singers.   Another great job from Danny Gokey.

Paula is right he gives consistently great performances.  Simon hates it,Randy thinks it was good and Kara thinks it was not great.

We end the evening with Alison Iraheta.  I think she has something to prove tonight.  She is singing The Temptations “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”.  Smokey was either tired or lukewarm on her rehearsal.   She is singing it as a smokey soul song with a little rap.  This is good.  Allison once again proves she has the voice and the soul.  Dang!  She slams a huge note at the end.

Yes Randy that was blazing hot.  Kara is begging America to vote for her.  Simon is enjoying Paula’s  mustache and Simon says she has come back into the competition.

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I had hoped  for a better show tonight, but there were some very good performances and one amazing one.  I will be back over night with my analysis of the show.  See ya!


  1. Both guys were great, but I agree, I don’t like the lyrics to Matt’s song. How sweet it is on the other hand could almost be a Christian song with a word switch or two. Edge..Kris.

  2. 3 weeks in a row Scott has sung a woman’s song? Greg Brady needs to show some grit.

    Back to what Simon said to’s just not in Kris’s nature to be conceited..thats part of his charm. To some Matt and Danny come across a little conceited. Kris might just be a better Christ like example on this show.

  3. Megan already has me missing Alexis..and Felicia..Kristen..Jesse..that girl who cried all the time who’s name escapes me..Haley from 2 years ago..

  4. Michael does have a great attitude..that may buy him one more week. Anoop was a little snoozy but should be safe. Kris is still #1 after 6 singers.

  5. I’m glad the judges were honest..Lil was awful tonight. Made me long for season’s 6 trio of Melinda, Lakisha and Jordin..and even Stephanie Edwards for that matter. Giving Obama love might even cost her votes from The Christian crowd.

  6. Adam was the best he could be tonight and I still don’t like him. As Simon would say..sorry!

  7. Totally agree with you about Adam, Jim. Still don’t like him.

    And I LOVED Danny’s performance! “Clumsy and amateurish” ??? Pleeeze….I always DVR “Idol,” and I”m beginning to consider fast-forwarding through the judges.

  8. Danny was solid as ever but Allison stole the show..she might be the only female that deserves to be in the top 6. Time to do my recap as well..

  9. OK, the show was pretty good tonight but the contestants are weeding themselves out. Here is my order of preference.

    1..Allison. Maybe because the other woman this year are so bad that she seams great by comparision. “Papa Was A Rolling stone” was song with Kelly Clarkson like vocals..she even looks like Kelly a little. grade..A-

    2..Kris Allen..”How sweet It Is” is one of my faves and he delivered it just right. Simon wants him to be more conceited but his humble attitude is what makes him one of the faves. Grade..B+

    3. Danny..his version of “Get Ready” wasn’t his most spine chilling of the year but it was done well..though some of those dance moves near the singers were a bit corny. Grade..B+

    4. Matt..Vocals were A but I don’t like the song “Let’s get It On” so it drops to a B.

    5. PAINS me to say he was good tonight with a subtle performance of “Tracks Of My Tears.” I still can’t find enough goodness in my heart to ever give him more than a B.

    6. Anoop..”Oh Baby Baby” was silky smooth but a bit of a snoozer..grade..B-

    now a big drop…

    7. Michael..”Ain’t too Proud to Beg” was sung too soul. His vocals were OK..more than I can say for the next 3..grade..C+

    8. Scott..I now will call him Greg Brady..he’s got his hairdo and sappy vocals. He does a woman’s song for the second week in a row with “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Let’s be honest..would ANYONE lay down 10 bucks for his album? grade..C

    9. Lil..this week she should have knocked it out of the park but ended up up dribbling it back to the pitcher with “Heatwave.” She returned to her habit of screaming and losing the melody. Grade..C-

    10..Megan..”For Once In mY Life” had me longing for some of the contestants they refused to bring to the top 13..Jesse..Kristen..Felicia. heck..she had be longing for Kristy Lee Cook and Haley Scardano..the last 2 years most mocked performers. Grade..D


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