Jaws dropped (did you see Allison Iraheta’s and Danny Gokey’s reactions?) and the Internet buzzed with shock, joy and outrage when Adam Lambert landed in the American Idol Season 8 Top 5 bottom 2. How could the contestant that the judges treat as a superstar not sail to the finales? Don’t all the other performers quake in his presence as they just wait to be eliminated on his march to the American Idol title? How could this be? See my quick thoughts in What Just Happened? Whether you love Adam Lambert so much that you are offended that he must be judged every week or you are like me and just dd not buy his act, you must admit that last week results show was a shock.
The thing is, I think America got it right. I pretty much think the voters only made three mistakes throughout American Idol Season 8. First Alexis Grace should have made it ti the Top 10. Second, Anoop Desai finished well ahead of his talent. Third, Matt Giraud should not have needed the judges “save”.
What about the Top 5? Matt Giruad and Adam Lambert have been the most inconsistent performers of American Idol Season 8. They have both been brilliant and they have both been horrendous. My disappointment is that I think we may have seen the best of Adam Lambert whil Matt Giraud was on an upswing since he was “saved”. However, I think Matt Giraud was hurt by his similarities with Kris Allen and Danny Gokey. Goodbye Matt, I wish you had found your groove a little sooner but I will be buying you CDs soon.
American Idol Season 8 Top 4 Power Rankings
If you read my Rat Pack Performance Review you will see that I loved the show last week. This group of American Idol performers continue to blow me away every week. They took 50 year old songs performed them beautifully and with a great amount of artistry. Remember that these are my assessment of these American Idol performers and not a prediction of how they will finish. Here are my rankings as we rocket to the finale
- Kris Allen continues top my the One21music power rankings. His performance of “The Way You Look Tonight” was technically brilliant. The phrasing, the pacing, the pitch, the vocal dynamics were all fantastic. That may have been the best he has sung throughout American Idol Season 8. Even though he is an exceptional singer, Kris is the weakest singer of the Top 4. Kris’s advantage lays in his ability to select, arrange and interpret songs. I have heard many commentators over the past few weeks rave that Kris is more about embodying a song and telling a story rather than engaging in vocal gymnastics. I don’t know if he will, but Kris Allen deserves to win American Idol Season 8.
- Danny Gokey moves up to second (3rd in Top 5 Power Rankings) based solely on the last 20 seconds of his performance of “Come Rain of Come Shine”. It felt like a heavyweight boxer who landed a knockout punch at the end of a round. The entire American Idol audience looked up and said “what was that?” I don’t know what he did but the end of that song showed us why Danny Gokey has been an American Idol Season 8 front runner since the first time we saw him in the auditions. His vocals were rough with funky phrasing and emotional pacing. It was the passionate, pleading performance that have all been waiting for from Danny Gokey. He has been a front runner since his audition aired in January. If Danny Gokey can capture that magic and gives us more of that over the next three weeks, he will crush the American Idol Season 8 competition.
- Allison Iraheta has one of those once in a generation voices. She is an Etta James, Janis Joplin, Ann Wilson type of singer who opens her throat and causes every head in the arena to turn her way. Her voice is big and rough and full and soulful. I don’t want to here about her age, she is an old soul when she gets a mike in her hand. Go back and watch the videos of her performances. She prowls the stage like a lioness looking over her brood. I think she has the best stage presence of any of the American Idol Season 8 Top 13. I didn’t know what the American Idol judges were doing when they put this 16 year old girl with crazy red hair in the American Idol Season 8 Top 36. We can’t say she matured into the competition this year, she arrived ready to win American Idol Season 8. We will be talking about Allison Iraheta for 50 years (well I won’t, but some of you will).
- Adam Lambert is the least of this group and that is nothing to be ashamed of. He is a brilliant singer beyond description. He commands a huge stage. He feels like a natural up there. He has been the most polarizing American Idol performer I have exprienced. His performances have presented him as an extreme rocker and many people do not like that mushc edge. The thing is, Adam Lambert is not what he seems. His future is not leading some striking new rock band. He will not create some breakthrough in popular music. He will not even rise to the top of today’s metal, experimental or electronic rock scenes. I will be shocked to see Adam Lambert on the bill for Coachella, Lollapalozaa or ACL. He cam to American Idol Season 8 fighting for his place in the Southern California theater scene. I do think Adam Lambert will have a brilliant career on Broadway for as long as he wants.
It will be exciting to watch the voting dynamics play out next week. Let’s assume everyone is brilliant, because they must be. If anyone slips in a performance they will probably go home. Allison Iraheta is at most risk this week. Adam Lambert’s fans will rally behind their man and he will have bit of a recovery. Kris Allen and Danny Gokey get the most bump from Matt Giraud’s departure. He shares their faith, Danny is the singer most like Matt and Kris shares with Matt the skill to create interesting arrangements. So, Allison Iraheta will lose some votes from Adam Lambert fans who said they split their votes with Allison last week and I don’t see where her new votes come from.
It is all too exciting. Join us on Tuesday night as we live blog American Idol Season 8 Rock Night with Slash. Plus, check out our Rock songs suggestions on Tuesday morning.
In the meantime go to iTunes and download a mix of your favorite American Idol Season 8 performances.