American idol Season 8- Top 9 Performance Live Blog

We are live, blogging the American Idol Season 8 Top 9 performances.  At One21music we are covering the five remaining Christian music artists competing in Season 8: Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre, and Kris Allen .

Check out my preview of tonight’s American Idol show at our Top 9 Performance Preview.  We found out that the theme for tonight is iTunes top 100 downloads.  Who knows what that means?  The current Top 100 is loaded with rap, country and Disney machine songs.  I guess the American Idol performers could make something great out of that mix but there does not seem to be a lot of songs of substance to use.  We will see.  American Idol Season 8 is heading for the first shocking moment (maybe tomorrow night, maybe next week) as the three weakest remaining contests, Meagan Joy, Anoop Desai and Scott MacIntyre have pretty big fan bases. See our Top 9 Power Rankings.

Remember tonight’s show runs 1 hour 20 minutes.  Will they have enough time?  They will if they cut the judges goofing and focus on the performances.

Once again the American Idol contestants start the show all serious like.  The Top 9 will sing any song they want as long as it is an iTunes top download.  The American Idol contestants trade Motown for Ryan Seacrest’s radio station.  Letdown.

Anoop Desai sings “Pilot”? by Usher.  He is trying to get his high energy groove back.  Okay, Anoop does not have as much soul as he thinks.  It does not feel like he ever gets the groove of the song.  It almost seems that he is singing as an adult contemporary artist and the song is pretty funky.  Not so good for me.

Kara is making a bad face. She is right, he played it safe.  All the judges think his vocals sounded good but he doesn’t have much stage presence.  Except Simon who thinks it was “wannabe” with no originality.  I agree.

Interesting, Anoop disagreed with the judges saying that he just sang an R&B song and he wants to be an R&B artist.  The judges told him he copied a R&B star but was not one himself.  He doesn’t have the star quality and he doesn’t get that.

Meagan Joy is going to try to re-establish herself with a Bob Marley song.  She desperately needs a good performance.  This may not show us anything new about her but maybe she can pull this off.

Meagan Joy will be singing “Turn You Lights Down Low” by  Bob Marley/Lauryn Hill.  She certainly does have a different ear for phrasing and tone.  This is so much better than her last few weeks, but it does not show us anything new or exciting about her.  Safe performance to keep her in the game.

Kara doesn’t like it. Kara thinks her singing was irritating.  Paula is right in telling her that she needs to be surprising us.  Simon says boring, indulgent and monotonous.  Randy says boring.  She will have another week, so let’s see what she will do next week.

So far, the big song choice box has proven to be a booby trap.  Let’s see if Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta can pick great songs for themselves.

They are talking to Danny Gokey about song choices and he has gone with “What Hurts The Most” by Rascal Flats.  Danny is going country so he can tone it down and sing his heart out.  Good plan.  Good execution.  Danny stands in the middle of the stage and sings the heck out of that song.  This is exactly what he should have done.  Not mind blowing, but good job, Danny.

Paula wants to hit repeat on this performance and Simon calls it the best performance of the night.  Simon even applauds.  Kara says Danny moved everyone in the room emotionally.  Is tonight a separation show?  Are we seeing the contenders separate from the pretenders.

Allison Iraheta is happy with the freedom to sing “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt and she is rocking the guitar.  She looks like a crazy rock star chick.   The start is really cool but I am not sure I like her voice on the soft parts.  I think Allison is too powerful for this song.  This doesn’t quite work for me.  Her first stumble.

Randy can only talk about her clothes.  Kara thinks she was trying too hard.  Simon was bothered by her outfit and felt it distracted from her talent.  Good comments.

Scott MacIntyre is singing Billy Joel’s ” Just The Way You Are ” and he desperately needs a strong performance.  Scott and his piano and a leather jacket.  This is a good song for Scott and I think this is Scott’s best vocal performance of Season 8.  Good job, Scott.

Kara thinks he made the right choice in song and arrangement.  I can’t quite figure out what Paula is saying. Simon agrees with me “your best performance by a country mile”.  Randy thinks it was one of the best of the night.

Matt Giraud is going to sing The Fray.  Is he repeating his mistake from the Top 36 elimination show by singing a piano rock song?  Lil Rounds took the judges advice from last week and it looks like she is going to sway back and SING with a Celine Dion song.  We will really be able to see what she has as a singer.

Matt Giraud is singing The Fray’s “You Found Me ” and he needs to pull this off big.  It could be his final stumble.  The start is a little off key and the music is overwhelming his vocal.  I like this song, but not with his voice.  He ends it big, but I don’t think this will pull him out of the bottom 3.

I agree with Paula that we lost Matt in the song.  Simon says it sounded like someone being someone else.  Randy is saying that her is hiding the beauty of his voice.  Kara is right in that he going from the rock and r&b side of pop.  I think Matt is a R&B singer who wants to do rock.

Lil Rounds is singing “Surrender” by Celine Dion.  She is bringing a little cool soul tone to this Celine Dion.  There it is, that big huge voice.  She slays this song.  I have chills and tears.  Lil is back!  Wow.  I am buying that one.

Randy doesn’t like the song choice but he thinks she sang it well.  Shut up judges she dominated that song.  The judges are just wrong about this performance.

This has not been a great night.  it looks like Danny Gokey, Scott MacIntyre and Lil Rounds are the only ones who have been able to handle the responsibility of  broad sing choices.  Lil Rounds just proved who is the best singer in American Idol Season 8.  The judges need to stop pigeonholing her.

Adam Lambert comes with “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry.  The old Adam is back.  Great vocals and no connection with the song.  There is zero funk in this song. I can barely stand to listen to this.  Axel Rose plays funk.  I don’t think so.

Of course, the judges will love it.   Paula calls it true genius.  Did she really compare Adam to Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler?  I give up.  Kara was completely right.  It was like Studio 57.  All of the really great funk music was played at the crazy club called Studio 54.

Kris Allen finishes the night singing “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.  Kris will try to make the song current he is playing the piano.  He changes the pace of the song but kicks up the harmonic dynamics.  He brings a little soul kick to the chorus.  Masterful performance by Kris Allen.

Randy thinks it was cool and creative.  Kara pulls out her artistry whoop.  I agree with Paul that he took a 30 year-old song and made it current.  Simon loved it calling it his best performance of the night.

I think this was a separation night.  More on that later.  Check out our performance review that will hit your desk top overnight.

Don’t forget to download the best of these performances on iTunes

Apple iTunes


  1. I thought Megan was a little better than the last few weeks as well..surprised the judges ripped her so bad. Anoop sang well but it was another snooze fest. I’d give both about a C+. Anoop going first could really put him in danger. Why don’t they ever trot out Adam first? Anyway, time for the big guns..

  2. Danny was awesome….that wasn’t the song that Chris sligh wrote for rascal Flatts was it?

    I’m not an expert on rascal flatts.

    Allison was OK and I thought the outfit was cute for her style. I’d give her a B- and danny an A.

  3. Man, I didn’t dig Lil at all in that performance. It’s a horrible night when Scott is second best out of 7.

  4. Kris was awesome. I don’t download songs until I have like an album’s worth at once. Now I do..all of Danny’s songs and all of Kris’s. Plus a couple of allison’s best. I have to give Adam a little props, maybe third for the night. Lil sounded better in the recap snipet..those are from rehearsal you know. Will have my recap later too.

  5. Oh, Chuck…yes, I’m a totally biased Danny fan, but I have to disagree with you…it WAS mindblowing! Danny knocked it out of the park with that one…just what he needed to do! He connected emotionally in a major way.

    Great night for most of the contestants. Now I really have to go to bed! Looking forward to chatting with you tomorrow.

  6. Here is a quick recap of my faves tonight:

    It was amazing they got all 9 finished in time by 9:20 without ruching through too much on the last couple of comments. Does anyone else think Paula has stepped her game up this year to try to not look too loopy next to Kara? Randy is actually the most irrelevant this year.

    On to the recap..

    1) Kris Allen…”ain’t no sunshine” was brilliant..I’m really thinking he can win this thing. He has the looks, smooth vocals, originality. Has he missed a note all year? I also think he’s the most humble. He’s now my slight fave over Danny. I would just love a worship leader final 2 of those two but fear it will be a final of Adam against either Danny or Kris.

    2) Danny..when he said he was doing a Rascal Flatts song I was hoping for the new one that Chris sligh just wrote..but he did great on “What Hurts The Most.” I think he needed to tone it down for one week so it was a wise choice. Someone said that he needed to go home for his grandma’s funeral but they didn’t mention it,which was just as well so the Danny haters didn’t have something to say he did for sympathy.

    3) Adam’s “Play that Funky Music” was the best of the rest.

    I would quickly rank the rest..Allison..Lil..Scott…Matt..Anoop..Megan. All of them could be in danger the way this year is going. Scott was at his best with “Just The way You Are” but he’s still all fluff. Anoop went first which is dangerous. Megan was just bad enough to get lots of desperate votes again. Matt did The Fray, which made me happy, his performance didn’t. Lil I thought was a bit off key again so I weaker week by Allison was still good enough for 4th. I will have the two picks for going home and stuff later..


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