American Idol Season 8- Top 8 Performance Review

Tonight was not as dramatic as I thought it would be (read our Top 8 Performance Live Blog for immediate reactions).  American Idol had to cut the length of the songs tonight so I think that hurt the dramatic impact of the performances, except for one.  Adam Lambert tonight gave the performance that delivered on the American Idol judges love for him.  He was spectacular tonight.  The only other real surprise was Kris Allen. I think he stumbled terribly tonight.

Allison Iraheta and Matt Giraud made nice comebacks from bad performances on American Idol’s Top 9 performance show.  But they both sang songs of questionable lyrics.  I am a little uncomfortable with a 16 year girl singing about spending one more night with someone who doesn’t love her.  This is the second time in three weeks that Matt Giraud has lyrics that conflict with his Christian beliefs.  I know Christians have affairs, but I don’t think we should romanticize them in song.

Before we get to the American Idol Season 8 Top 8 performances we must hand out American Idol baby picture awards.  I would not dare rate the baby photos, because hey, when were babies, we had no control over how we looked when we were photographed.  I will not judge anyone who is at the mercy of their parents.  So two awards:

No Shame Award (for allowing the most embarrassing moment of global television)

Matt Giraud for his stand-up routine in the Church pageant, dressed in full angel gear (with wings)

Cutest Baby Award ( a tie)

Scott MacIntyre in his train engineer hat

Randy Jackson with his bow tie

American Idol Season 8 Year of Birth Song Performance Rankings

  1. Adam Lambert has been at the bottom of my American Idol performance rankings for most of the season.  Not tonight.  He performed “Mad World” by Tears for Fears (I corrected the live blog where I said R.E.M.).  Bathed in blue light, while he set in a chair, in the middle of the stage Adam delivered the most emotionally charged, heartfelt performance of his season.  He sang the entire song in a high register and the performance was controlled and subtle.  I loved Kris’s performance of “Ain’t No Sunshine” last week, but this was the most stunning American Idol performance since Jordin Sparks sang “I (Who Have Nothing)” in Season 6.
  2. Allison Iraheta did exactly what she needed to do at this point of American Idol Season 8.  She stood in the middle of the stage a delivered a crushing ballad with a tender, slow, nearly perfect performance. The shortened performance time probably served Allison well tonight.  She did not have enough time to really let loose.  She showed a little bit of her roaring voice but pulled back to capture the intimacy of the song.  Tonight, Allison proved to American Idol fans that she is more than a big voice.  She is a tremendous singer who knows how to wrap herself around a song.
  3. Danny Gokey is virtually tied for second with Allison.  I was not thrilled when I heard his performance live, but when I went back I was mesmerized.  He put together a well structured, complex, three act arrangement of a very simple song, “Stand By Me”.  He put more into the 90 seconds of this American Idol performance than most good 3 to 5 minute pop songs have.  And he sang exceptionally well tonight.  I thought he struggled a little in the beginning , but when he took the microphone off of the stand and let his voice go, it was magical.  I cannot believe he showed so much range in only 90 seconds.
  4. Matt Giraud delivered his best performance of the American Idol’s Season 8, but I am still miffed.  He performed Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover” and he nailed it.  I think it is safe to say  he created a new version of the song.  His falsetto was amazing and he hit every technical and emotional note.  His dancing was good and he looked great. Matt, there are R&B songs that cover less illicit subjects.
  5. Anoop Desai also delivered his best performance of American Idol’s Season 8 and it still did not show me much.  He sang Cindy Lauper’s “True Colors” beautifully but his performance revealed nothing for me about the song or Anoop.  I found my attention drifting during the song.  I really like this song, but I question whether Anoop had much idea what he was singing about.  I know I don’t.  After hearing Anoop sing his best, I am surprised to say I think he is the 7th best singing remaining.
  6. Kris Allen made his first misstep of his American Idol’s Season 8.  He performed Don Henley’s “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” as a funky, fun romp.   The song is actually a dark commentary on American’s narcissism and ignorance of their government’s policies around the world.  The image of Kris Allen, completely swallowed by a crowd of audience members as he performed, is a perfect visual for Kris’s performance.  We lost Kris Allen tonight in a crowd of noise.  Let’s hope he finds his way again next week.
  7. Lil Rounds, what happened to you?  She was a favorite out of the gate and was generally considered the best singer of the Top13.  The past two weeks she sang poorly and she seems to be trying to find out who she is.  Lil has been reduced to promising she will do better next time.  Tonight, she sang “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner and Lil Rounds was nowhere to be found.  You could see be her reaction tot he judges comments that she is highly frustrated right now.  She looked defeated tonight.   My only hope is that Syesha Mercado struggled through this stage of American Idol Season 7 and found herself enough to make it to the Top 3.  Lil Rounds is running out of chances.
  8. Scott MacIntyre, what can I say.  He chose a horrible 80′s power ballad “The Search Is Over” and sang it horribly.  This was his worst performance of the season.  Even though he has yet to be in the Bottom 2, this is the type of performance that gets you sent home.  An aside– the judges do know that Scott is a world class musician don’t they?  Where they really surprised he played guitar?  Really?  Were they?

Predictions for American Idol Season 8 Top 8 Results

Last week, Anoop and Allsion were in the bottom three.  Allison clearly proved she does not belong in the bottom, but I don’t think Anoop Desai showed enough to avoid the bottom this week.  The question is did Lil Rounds stumble into the bottom group or is the Scott MacIntyre magic over.

Bottom Three: Scott MacIntyre, Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds

Bottom Two: Scott MacIntyre, Anoop Desai

Going home: Scott MacIntyre

As much as I hate it, I don’t think Scott survives his American Idol performance on Tuesday night.

I don’t think the judges save any of these bottom three.

I urge you to download the performances by Danny Gokey, Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta by clicking on the icon below.  It may take a minute for your iTunes store to pop up but this link will take you straight to performances.

Apple iTunes

Join us tonight at 9e/8c as we live blog the results show.


  1. I hate to say it but I’m going to say Kris going home with Anoop second and scott third. I hope to be wrong, but Kris will get saved by the judges anyway.


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