The American Idol Season 8 finale could not be any more different in style and persona. The wild, and wildly popular, Adam Lambert with more than a decade of professional and amateur stage and singing experience comes into tonight’s show as the favorite. Christian music artist Kris Allen, the business major from Conway, Arkansas whose experience has been limited to leading worship in his church, in his fraternity and on overseas mission trips rose from obscurity through American Idol’s eighth season. Both have taken risks with arrangements and performances. The question will be: Does America love Adam Lambert’s mad vocals and flamboyant performance style or does America love Kris Allen’s uncanny song selection and arrangement skills and his insightful ability to interpret songs?
The American Idol Season 8 final performance show will have Kris Allen and Adam Lambert perform three songs each. American Idol creator, Simon Fuller will pick a song for Adam and a song for Kris. Then, Kris and Adam will perform a song they select of the themselves. There are rumors that they will be limited to songs already performed on American Idol Season 8, but that would be lame. See my article Top 2 Fighting Songs to see what I would like for them to sing. The final performance could be very telling. Kris Allen and Adam Lambert will both sing a song that will become the American Idol Season 8 winner’s first single. Will Adam’s superior singing talent impress the voters or will Kris’s ability to infuse meaning into a song win America’s heart?
This has been a fun season with a crew of really talented performers. See my American Idol Season 8 year in review for some fun memories and my Top 15 performances. Tonight should action packed and exciting, so let’s get to it.
We are at the Kodak Theater and the crowd is huge. Simon and Randy are both wearing jackets, amazing. Kris won a coin toss last week and has chosen to perform second. Both guys are wearing leather jackets. Kris and Adam were limited on their song choice to songs performed during the season.
PROGRAMMING NOTE. IF YOU PLAN TO RECORD TOMORROW NIGHT’S SHOW, SET YOU DVR FOR AN EXTRA HOUR. THEY PLAN FOR THE TWO HOUR SHOW TO GO LONG.
Adam Lambert starts off the performances. According to his parents he would scream all through the night as a baby. Adam is performing “Mad World” from Tears For Fears. This was his breakthrough moment during the season. He is singing well, but the magic from the previous performance seems to be missing. This version seems a little bland compared to the first time I saw it.
Randy loves Adam showing his sensitive side and gives him an A+. Kara gushes. Of course, Paula calls the performance haunting. Simon thought this was his best performance during the season. He thinks tonight was a little over theatrical.
We go straight to Kris Allen. As a kid his family had to pay him to sing, a business major all the way. Kris is singing Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine”. He is playing the baby grand Steinway. Very slow, soulful opening. As the band picks up the beat he picks up his singing. This is brilliant again. Incredible command of this song. Beautiful singing. That was special.
Randy calls it one if his best performances ever and Kara agrees. She says he creates an intimate bond with the audience. Paula calls him a great artist. Simon takes back all of doubts about Kris back after that performance. Simon calls Kris the winner of round 1.
Now they sing songs selected by Simon Fuller. Adam Lambert is singing “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. This is very, very good. A little over the top, but good. This guy surely can sing. He picked up his game.
Randy thinks it was unbelievable. Kara thinks it was his best performance of the season. Her comments on how he interpreted the song by taking us up high then pulling back to connect with emotion of the song was the best comment by a judge all season. Paula thinks it was the best she has ever heard him sing. Simon says he is 100% back in the game.
Kris Allen has his work cut out for himself. Kris is singing Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”. He is back with his percussionists, bongos and a beat box. The arrangement doesn’t seem to fit the sentiment of the song, but the original version was similar. Very good but not great.
Randy thinks his arrangement was a little light. Kara is glad he sang a socially conscious song. Paula loved it. Simon thinks it was too laid back for tonight. I think I agree with Simon. Round 2 to Adam.
Final performances, we get to see Kris Allen and Adam Lambert interpret the same song. It is down to this.
The song is “No Boundries” co-written by Kara. Adam Lambert is first. He gives it a synth pop arrangement. Adam is wearing snake skin pants. This is a typical big, loud Adam Lambert performance. He sings it well, but I don’t really feel it. The judges will eat this up.
The crowd goes crazy. Randy thinks he can sing great but did not like the performance. Kara is moved and proud. Paula finishes her season long gushing. Simon thinks he has been one of the best, most original contestants of the season. It is interesting that none of the judges says anything good about his performance.
I am not sure what Kris Allen can do with this song that will not reveal its maltziness.
Okay so Kris let’s see what you got. Interesting he takes a straight forward big backing band approach to the song. He performs well but struggles with the singing. Not my favorite Kris Allen performance.
Randy liked it better than Adam. Kara thinks the song was too high for him. Paula does not mention the performance at all. Simon calls watching him on the stage tonight incredible. Simon says Kris deserves to be on this stage.
Vote, vote, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE , VOTE.
See you later with my review and predictions. Vote for Kris Allen.