American Idol Season 8- Crown The American Idol

Tonight is the night and we are live blogging the American Idol Season 8 Finale..  The votes are in and we find out if Kris Allen or Adam Lambert is the Season 8 American Idol.  Last night’s performance show proved nothing and everything (see our Top 2 Performance Review).  Adam Lambert had more good performances and Kris Allen’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” was the best of the night.  According to dialidol, the voting is a virtual dead heat, the closest final vote since dialidol started tracking votes.

Rod Stewart, Steve Martin,, Queen Latifah, Black Eyed Peas, Carlos Santanta and Jason Mraz are rumored to perform .

According to MJ, Idol duets will feature Allison Iraheta with Cyndi Lauper, Kris Allen with Keith Urban, Danny Gokey with Lionel Richie..  There is a rumor that Adam Lambert will perform with Kiss.

David Cook is set to perform “Permanent” as a tribute to his late brother Adam.  The single will be released right after after the finale. The proceeds will fund David’s cancer charity.

It will be a long night, let’s hope it is fun.  We are here until the end.

We start the night with both Kris and Adam in all white. Are they doing a duet or do they have a pact?   Many celebrities in the house and I don’t recognize many of them. Just under 100 million votes last night.  It was a record setting 624 million votes this year.

Randy looks extra goofy tonight with a red velvet bow tie.  They are doing a collage of each of the judges.  Randy says “for you/for me”.  Kara uses “sweety/honey”.  Paula has huge vocabulary of words we don’t know.  Simon doesn’t pay attention so we have a train of “what?”

We can’t here the interviews of Kris and Adam because their mikes don’t work so we go to the watch parties in Conway and San Diego.

We kick off the might with a Top 13 performance of Pink’s “So What”. The group seems very loose tonight and they having fun.  That wasn’t bad, except when Adam Lambert lost Scott MacIntyre in the middle of the stage.

David Cook is singing a tribute to his brother “Permanent”.  Bathed in green and white light, with a black armband, David Cook delivers a moving tribute to his brother.  This will be available later tonight on iTunes.  See our icon below.  It will benefit David Cook’s cancer foundation ABC2.

Now we pay tribute for the making fun of bad audition awards.  No point in writing about this.  Except they put Norman Gentle in this category.  Of course, Norman Gentle wins.  Encore, encore!  Yes, he is singing THIS IS AWESOME.

Lil rounds is doing a duet with Queen Latifah.  Lil Rounds looks like a child next to Queen Latifah.   I think the song is “Que The Rain”?  Big, fun, funky, R&B number with dancers and Lil Rounds is singing pretty well.  It is the most relaxed we have seen Lil Rounds.

Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace are singing “I’m Yours” with Jason Mraz.  Here come the rest of the American Idol Season 8 Top 13 to act as back-up singers.

We now see Kris Allen’s journey from his Churchill Downs audition to the Top 2.  It looks like he is goinf to fulfill his dream of playing to huge crowds in big stadiums.  Kris Allen is singing “Kiss A Girl” with Keith Urban.  This is perfect song for Kris and he seems very happy.  Urban is ripping off a guitar solo, he is considered one of the best guitar players in country music.

The girls of the Top 13 are doing their Pussycat Dolls impression singing “Glamorous” and Fergie joins them.  She can’t sing very well and then the Black Eyed Peas take the stage.  I can’t keep up and we lost the feed for a second.  This song is “Boom Boom Pow”.  This is more visual than musical.

Another Golden Idol moment.  Bikini Girl is a nominee.  Of course she wins and accepts the award in a bikini.  She sings Vision of lOve and Kara comes out and joins her and takes over the song.  This is fun and funny.

Time for Allison Iraheta to sing with Cindy Lauper.  Allison has a better vocie than Cindy Lauper.  Sitting around a group of acoustic instruments, this is a quiet but spirited cover of “Time After Time”.  Very cool vocal interaction between the two.  Cindy doesn’t hold back, does she?  That was the best of the night.

Danny Gokey takes the stage singing Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and then Lionel richie joins him to sing some song I have never heard.  Good singing but not my cup of tea.  They break inot the calypso beat of “All Night Long” and Danny gets to let loose his vocals.  That was fun.

We now follow Adam’s journey from his audition in San Francisco.  In Hollywood he promised to surprise.  He did that didn’t he?  Here is in some leather outfit with cagey thingies on his shoulders.  He is singing “Beth” so tonight he is a part of Kiss.  This will be the best vocals they have ever had on ther songs.  Full Kiss treament with smoke and explosions singing a medley of Kiss hits.   Adam fits with Kiss.  if you consider Kiss a legitamite rock band then Adam is a rocker.  I am having fun tonight.

The best moment of the night so far is the Cindy Lauper/Allison Iraheta duet.  True rock artistry.  Download that performance.

Carlos Santana is starting a 2 year run at the Hard Rock in Vegas, but tonight he is playing “Black Magic Woman”.  I love this guy.  Matt Giraud is singing the song with Santana.  The rest of the Top 13 join him for “Hold On”.  Jorge is loving this.

David Cooke give Adam and Kris a car.

Meagan and Michael sing with Steve Martin, playing his banjo.  There is a full bluegrass band backing them.  Listne to Meagan singing the back country.  She sounds really good.  Michael carries the song and Meagan was rich.

The Top 13 guys are busting out Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya think I’am Sexy” so Rod can’t be far behind.  Matt Giraud is really good.  He stands out in this crowd.  Here comes Rod and they are singing his best song ever “Maggie May”.  It is odd to hear a 60 year old man sining about his cougar girlfriend.  Rod seems as old as he is. This would have been better as a group song.

One more Golden Idol.  Outstanding female and this has to be Tatiana.  Of course it is.   The, “I won’t stop singing” skit is not that funny.

Before we get to the results they will sing “We Are The Champions” together, with Queen and a big choir and the Top 13.  Kris really held his own in this song.

CAN WE PLEASE GET SOME RESULTS? No, we get commercials.

Okay so here we go.  Simon says both were both brilliant and he thinks both should both be proud of their journey.  A new world record with almost 100 million votes.  Christian music artist Kris Allen comes from nowhere to win Americam Idol Season 8.  Kris is flabbergasted.

Kris won this with heart and sensitivity.

A very good show tonight.  Download tonight’s performances and all of this season’s best on iTunes.

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8- The Year In Review

It would be a short article if we did an American Idol Season 8 Top 2 Power Ranking, so I thought we could take a look back at the Season 8.  The top story of the year is the very visual presence of Christian music artists in American Idol Season 8, followed by the emergence of Christian music artist, star Kris Allen.  I will also share a couple of my favorite moments.  We will finish the article with the Top 15 Performances of American Idol Season 8.

Christian Music Artists on American Idol Season 8

Season 8 enjoyed the largest, most visible group of Christian music artists in the history of American Idol. There was much attention in the press about their participation in American Idol and Christian music artists experienced unprecedented success with two of the Top 3, three of the Top 5 and four of the Top 7.   See our mid-season update in American Idol Season 8- The Christians. Here are the Christian music artists, in order of finish, who competed on live television of American Idol Season 8:

  • Kris Allen (he is gonna win)
  • Danny Gokey (3rd)
  • Matt Giraud (5th)
  • Lil Rounds (6th)
  • Scott MacIntyre (8th)
  • Michael Sarver (10th)
  • Ricky Braddy (semi’s)
  • Felicia Barton (semi’s)
  • Mishavonna Henson (semi’s)
  • Kristen McNamara (semi’s)

American Idols Season 8- Favorite Moments

Norman Gentle

A two stories stood out for me this season. The first was the the surge of Norman Gentle (played by Nick Western) into the Top 36. He was an unlikely candidate to move this far, because his campy, over the top performances seemed to mock American Idoland few competitors achieve success with that strategy. However, Western was so unrelenting in his commitment to the Norman Gentle character that he could not be denied. Here is his audition

The best part was that he neverrelented. WithSimon trying to run him off the show, he continued into Hollywood Week with crazier performances and in his brief stint on live television he called Simon “sassy pants”. Classic.

Michael Sarver’s Back-story

There were some very compelling back-stories on American Idol Season 8, but Michael Sarver’s transcended all. We heard about his dream to sing his way out of one of the most dangerous jobs in America, oilfield widcatter. What most of America did not see was the impact he was having on his hometown of Jasper, Texas. For 10 years Jasper had been the national symbol for bigotry and racial hatred because of the horrible murder of James Byrd Jr. Michael Sarver’s success on American Idol Season 8created a rallying point for the citizens of Jasper, Tx and Michael took on that responsibility and is using his new fame to try to bring healing. See our article American Idol Season 8- Michael Sarver.. Here is a funny clip of one of Michael’s post Idol promotional activities. He is in a TV studio in a mall in Beaumont, Texas, there is a crowed watching them.

Top 15 Performance of American Idol Season 8

I guess if you receive virtually no coverage during the auditions or Hollywood Week you really need to bring it when you get your chance. Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta did just that during American Idol Season 8. Kris Allen snuck into the Top 12 with the 3rd place spot in Round 2 of the Top 36.   Kris proceeded to deliver 4 of the Top 6 performances of the Season 8.  Each performance was fearless, with unfathomable arrangements, cool soulful vocals and a compelling ,if understated, stage presence. Allison Iraheta, on the other hand, used a huge, mature, powerful, bluesy voice to establish herself from the start then continually surprise everyone with her roof raising vocals and creative arrangements. Danny Gokey is well represented with four songs in Top 15.  The two performances that should be in the American Idol Season 8 Top 15 , but aren’t, are Adam Lambert’s “Tracks of My Tears” and Danny Gokey’s “Stand By Me”.

  • Kris Allen-”Heartless” (May 12-Top 3)
  • Kris Allen- “Ain’t No Sunshine” (March 31-Top 9, iTune Top 100)
  • Danny Gokey- “You Are So Beautiful” (May 12- Top3)
  • Adam Lambert-”Mad World” (April 7- Top 8, Year of Birth Songs)
  • Kris Allen- “She Works Hard For The Money” (April 21- Top 7 II- Disco Songs)
  • Kris Allen-”Falling Slowly” (April 14-Top 7- Movie Songs)
  • Allison Iraheta- “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (March 24-Top 10, Songs of Motown)
  • Danny Gokey-”Come Rain or Shine” (April 28- Top 5, Rat Pack Songs)
  • Allison Iraheta- “Hot Stuff “(April 21-Top 7 II- Disco Night)
  • Danny Gokey-”Hero” (February 17th-Top 36 Round 1)
  • Adam Lambert- “Feeling Good” (April 28-Top 5, Rat Pack Songs)
  • Allison Iraheta-”Alone” (February 25th-Top 36 Round 2)
  • Danny Gokey- “Stand By Me” (April 7-Top 8, Year of Birth Songs)
  • Matt Giraud-”Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” (April 15-Top 7 Save, Movie Songs)
  • Lil Rounds- “The Way You Make Me Feel” (March 10-Top 13, Michael Jackson Songs)
  • Download these songs or make you own best of American Idol Season 8 mix from iTunes

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8 Finale- Top 2 Fighting Songs

    Here it is.  American Idol Season 8 Top 2 go at it on Tuesday night to be crowned 2009 American Idol.  Christian music artist Kris Allen, the underdog innovator, challenges the edgy, bodacious Adam Lambert in a three song face off.

    American Idol Season 8-Kris Allen & Adam Lamber

    Creator of the Idol franchise, Simon Fuller will select a song for each of them, rumor is Kara Diogaurdi wrote the American Idol winner’s first single and they will both perform that song.

    Season 8 has had solid performances throughout, few true voting mistakes and just enough controversy to make it interesting.  We are changing our coverage a little this week.  Today we are going preview the performance show, predict song selections and offer some thoughts on the voting odds.  Tomorrow, we will review the season and present our American Idol Season 8 Chucky Awards.

    American Idol Season 8 Songs for The Win

    We have no idea what song Kara will come up but the commentary on the Internet, I think, misses the whole point of these two artists. Most are saying Kris Allen is at a disadvantage if he is not allowed to rearrange the song because Adam Lambert is such a superior singer.  All season long we have contrasted Adam and Kris in their ability to interpret and emotionally connect with the song.  If they sing the same arrangement, I think we will see Kris’s superior performance capabilities.

    We think we know a song Simon will have Adam Lambert sing and we are taking a guess about what he will pick for Kris Allen.  The interesting choice is what Kris and Adam will select to finally win the hearts of American Idol Season 8 voters.  Remember Ryan said that only 1 million of 80 million votes separated Kris and Adam last week.

    Simon Fuller Songs

    Last week Simon Cowell picked two songs for Adam Lambert to sing.  He informed Adam of the songs on Friday morning during Adam’s homecoming.  Simon wanted Adam to perform U2′s “One”, but as we learned last Tuesday night, he did not receive U2′s permission to use the song until Saturday.  With that in mind Simon also revealed that he wanted Adam to perform Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Games”.  We thought Adam Lambert would sing “Wicked Games”  as his American Idol Season 8 Top 3 song so we discussed that song in last week’s Top 3 Song Choices. I suspect that Simon Fuller will pick the same song.

    For Kris Allen, we believe Simon Fuller will try to find a song that Kris could record for his first CD.  We have seen that Kris Allen can take just about any song and turn it to his own, so that should not be a problem.  One of Kris’s greatest moments of American Idol Season 8 was when he took a little known song from a virtually unknown Irish singer songwriter and sent “Falling Slowly” back into the iTunes Top 30 downloads.  We think Simon Fuller will try to recreate that magic with Damien Rice’s “The Blowers Daughter”.  This song has similar harmonics as Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”,  so Kris should have a great opportunity to create a special moment with “The Blower’s Daughter”

    Kris Allen and Adam Lambert Song Choices

    Adam Lambert has a tough dilemma.  He is facing an American Idol competitor who has taken the country by storm with savvy rearrangements of modern songs and revelatory retellings of classic soul, rock and big band songs.  Does Adam live up to his image and perform a modern, dark, edgy song or does he continue on the path he has chosen each time he has had a choice, which is to take a well known song and perform it as a big rock anthem.  We have found a song that fits both bills.  Limp Bizkit interpretation of Peter Townshend’s “Behind Blue Eyes” fits Adam Lambert’s pattern of song selection perfectly.

    Christian music artist Kris Allen just needs to continue aggressively imposing his musical taste on America.  We think Kris can reveal another beautiful song to the American public by performing Bright Eye’s “First Day of My Life”.  This beautiful indie love song takes us back to the first moment’s of love.   To show you the power of this song, I wanted to share this beautiful DIY cover performed by Meghan Julius (we don’t know who she is either)

    There is a rumor that that Kris Allen and Adam Lambert’s choices will be limited to songs performed during American Idol Season 8.  If that is the case expect Kris Allen to perform “Ain’t No Sunshine” and Adam Lambert will perform “Mad World”.

    American Idol Season 8 Finale Voting Predictions

    Tuesday’s night’s performances are vitally important to the ultimate outcome, but I fully expect Kris Allen to win American Idol Season 8. Remember that Ryan Seacrest said on the Top 3 Results show that only 1 million votes separated Kris Allen and Adam Lambert.  Kris and Danny Gokey were the only two Christian music artists left and Kris’s image is much closer to Danny’s,  so I expect virtually all of Danny’s votes to shift to Kris Allen.  Voters who loved Danny’s singing prowess could turn to Adam Lambert but I suspect that there will be only a few Gokey fans who shift to Adam Lambert.   Adam received his last real voting block bump when Allison Iraheta departed.  Unless he stumbles on Tuesday night, I fully expect a Kris Allen to win American Idol Season 8.

    Before it is too late, make sure to put your American Idol Season 8 highlights mix by downloading your favorite songs from iTunes.

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8: Top 3 Live Blog

    As we enter the night of the American Idol Season 8 Top 3, it is anybody’s  contest to win.  As much as ever, tonight’s performances are critical.  Did the judges saddle Danny Gokey, Kris Allen or Adam Lambert with a bad song?  Who will pick the best song for themselves. See our American Idol Season 8 Top 3 Song Choices for our predictions and analysis.

    Kris Allen, Danny GokeyAdam Lambert and Allison Iraheta, who left American Idol last week, all deserve to win.  Each one of them are great singers who bring unique skills to their performances.  What will determine the winner?  Tonight’s performances will play  a big part, but I think there are huge opportunities for voting block swings and rallies.  As I said in Who’s Gonna Win This Thing? , if  Kris Allen survives tonight, I think he wins.

    But enough speculation.  We have three very good singers, singing what I hope will be six really good songs, so let’s get to the American Idol Season 8 Top 3.

    The stage looks lonely with only three in the lights.  This is the 300th episode and we are only one week away from the finale.

    Danny Gokey leads the show off with “Dance Little Sister” by Terence Trent D’Arby.  This is a good song for Danny’s voice.  Boy this guy can sing.  I was a big TTD fan and he is blowing the doors off.  A little Gokey scatting in the middle.  This is really good.  Good job Paula and Danny.

    Randy thought it was dope but Kara hated the dancing.  Choreogropher Paula loved the dancing and singing.  Simon liked the singing but would have preferred he sing another TTD song.

    Kara and Randy chose “Apologize” by One Republic for Kris Allen.  He should do well with this song.  What is up with the blue nail polish. Kris is playing the piano.  I think this is the first time I have heard Kris sing falsetto.  He is bringing a nice soulful touch to his performance.   I like the ending.  Very, very nice.  Maybe should have done a little more with the arrangement.

    Randy thinks this song shows who he can be as an artist.  Kara does not like it, she wanted more of an arrangement risk.  The judges are treating him like he has already lost.  Simon criticizes Kara and tells her she copped out.  Are they throwing punches?  Is Kris there?  All of the focus is on the judges.

    Simon hands Adam Lambert “One” by U2.  It is one of Simon’s favorite and he got personal permission from Bono for Adam to sing the song.  What song did he just sing?  This is a screaming, frantic rendition of this song.  Hated it!  This song didn’t need to be changed.

    Randy tried to criticize him and Simon shut him down.  Shut-up Kara.  This stunk, quit fawning over him.  Did the judges even listen to this performance.  Simon thinks it was brilliant.  Why don’t the judges just override America’s vote and make him the winner?

    Well, I think Danny Gokey took round one.  Kris Allen was a little timid and Adam Lambert was too over the top.

    We get an Idol Gives Back and a film of Carrie Underwood’s Exxon Mobile sponsored trip to Angola where 300 bed nets have been distributed.

    Danny Gokey is doing his own song next and, unlike last week, we did not reverse the order in the second round.  Is that a surprise?

    Danny Gokey has a full string section.  He chose “You Are So Beautiful” by Billy Preston.  He has taken a slow, quiet song and made it slower and quieter.   I just keep coming back to this guy’s great voice.  Fantastic singing.  I don’t know if I like the song but the singing was awesome.

    Randy loves the singing, Kara calls it stunning, Paula says it left us breathless and Simon says Danny’s performance was a vocal master class.  I agree, that was crazy good.

    They are rushing and we find out Kris Allen is doing Kanye’s West “Heartless”.  Curious choice.  He is doing it with an acoustic guitar.  Wow, he is taking a big time rapper’s song and he has turned it into a Kris Allen rant.  This is amazing.  This ranks with his best performance of the year.  Crazy fantastic.  That was a game changer.

    Randy likes Kris’s version better than Kanye’s version.  Kara calls it bold, brave and fearless and perfect.  Simon says he has come back in the competition.

    They are running late.  Adam Lambert sings Aerosmith’s “Crying”.   This is a perfect song for him. I don’t know what to say.  He sings the song okay.  I am just bored.

    Randy calls Adam one of the best American Idol has ever seen, balh, blah, blah, fawn, fawn.  Simon is begging for votes for Adam?  What is this?

    This was a good show as expected with some really great performances.

    Grab those performances on iTunes

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8- Who’s Gonna Win This Thing?

    The American Idol Season 8 final three is here?  Where did the year go?  It seems only a few weeks ago I was grousing that the judges did not select Felicia Barton and Mishavonna Henson for the Wild Card Show.  We have been covering the Christian music performers on American Idol Season 8 and two have made it to the Top 3.  Danny Gokey and Kris Allen are both worship leaders who join Season 8 sensation Adam Lambert as the last American Idol performers standing.

    Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds were the early favorites to make it to this point but only Danny is left standing.  Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen have had the most consistently good performances of American Idol Season 8.  Allison left last week, but Kris remains.  Norman Gentle was the most colorful American Idol performer ever, or so we thought.  Adam Lambert has blasted through Season 8 with a natural flamboyance that has made him the most polarizing American Idol contestant this show has ever seen.

    American Idol Season 8 Top 3 Power Rankings

    Before we try to figure out who will win, we must just have one more power ranking:

    1. Kris Allen has simply had the best group of performances of any American Idol Season 8 contestant.  It started when he brought new meaning to Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”.  He then blew us away with a new revelation of Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine”.  He introduced some to the beauty of “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once.  He seemed off his game during American Idol Season 8 Rock Week, but his only really bad performance was Don Henley’s “She Works Hard for The Money” on the Birth Year Songs show. Kris Allen is a quiet, humble guy who has been goaded by the judges to be more aggressive and arrogant.  That seems unlikely.   Kris Allen has been solid all year long, he tells stories with his performances and he can really sing.  Many professional singers, including Jamie Foxx, point to Kris’s interpretative skills and rank him as the best of the season.
    2. Danny Gokey has been the front runner since his Kansas City audition.  He took Hollywood Week by storm with his group’s slamming arrangement of Queen’s “Somebody To Love” and he tore the house down with his semifinal performance of Mariah Carey’s “Hero”.  Since then he seems to have cruised through American Idol Season 8 with mostly great singing. but surprisingly bland arrangements and his “Dream On” is the lowest rated performance of any American Idol Top 3 finalist ever, but he is the only contestant in Season 8 to never be in the bottom two.   Danny Gokey has been eviscerated on the Internet and by the entertainment press, I think because he openly expresses his faith and because the show made a deal of him grieving his wife’s recent death.  I picked Danny Gokey as the winner on the night of his audition (I have witnesses who argued with me).  His Season 8 has been good if disappointing to me, but if can pull off four performances like “Hero” or “Come Rain or Come Shine” he could win.
    3. Adam Lambert possesses a rare voice that only surfaces once a decade.  He has been rightfully compared to Robert Plant, Freddy Mercury and Axel Rose (I would add Frankie Valli and Marvin Gaye).  That voice and Adam Lambert’s mature stage skills have dazzled the American Idol judges and have fooled many into thinking he is a “Rock God.”   His “Tracks of My Tears” was a tour de force of his vocal prowess.  However, Adam Lambert’s “Mad World” was the only of his performances with emotional depth.  Many, including the judges, believe Adam Lambert should win American Idol Season 8.  I do not believe Adam Lambert has the creative depth to be a successful recording artist.  I do think he has the performance skills be a respected stage actor.  If he wins American Idol Season 8 that will be okay but I do not think he is the best.

    Who is going to win?  This may be the closest vote we have ever had and if we continue this season’s trend we will have the largest number of votes of any American Idol season.  Let’s assume Kris, Danny and Adam will have great performances the next two weeks.  New voters and voting block shifts will determine the winner of American Idol Season 8.    Here are my predictions for how the voting blocks will move:

    • Adam will benefit most from the departure of Allison Iraheta, but I think Kris Allen will pick up a fair number of Allison’s followers who like her rock edge and do not like Adam’s flamboyance.  I will be surprised if both Danny Gokey and Kris Allen make it to the American Idol Season 8 final.
    • If Kris Allen leaves on Wednesday night, I think Danny will receive more than half of his voting support but Adam will benefit as well.  Believers supporting Kris will flock to Danny, but some non believers will take their rock leanings to Adam.
    • If Danny Gokey departs on Wednesday night, I think Kris Allen wins American Idol Season 8.
    • If somehow Adam Lambert leaves on Wednesday, I think virtually all of his followers flock to Kris Allen and he wins.

    The only way Adam Lambert leaves American Idol Season 8 on Wednesday night is if the Christian nation rises up and drives the vote total over 90 million in support of Kris Allen and Danny Gokey.  So, if Kris Allen survives this week, I think he wins.  If Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert face off in the final it is too close to call.

    Check out all of their great performances at iTunes and download yourself an American Idol Season 8 mix.

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8- Top 4 Results Live Blog

    I guess I am a strange cat.  I saw last night’s American Idol Season 8 rock performances differently than just about everybody on the Internet (see Rock Performances Review ).  Everyone hated Danny Gokey’s performance of “Dream On”, I didn’t.  Everyone thinks Adam Lambert is the next RobertPlant/Freddy Mercury/Axl Rose/Mick Jagger all rolled in one, I don’t.  You know I saw Colm Wilkerson play Jean Vallejean in Les Miserables but I did not think he was really a 19th century French fugitive industrialist.

    We are covering  Christian music artists performing on American Idol Season 8Danny Gokey and Kris Allen are the last two remaining in the final 4.  Most of the Internet buzz has Kris Allen going home tonight.  I don’t think so.  I predicted last night that Allsion Iraheta would leave and I still believe that.

    If all of the stars who the “spoilers” have leaked (Daughtry, No Doubt, Paula Abdul, Slash) actualy do performer we won’t have time for the Ford video (yeah) or the results (yeah, let’s leave them all here for another week.)  Enough of this babbling let’s get to the show.

    The lead in revealed a lot of frustration among Danny, Kris and Allison.  Looks liken they have the stage repaired.  Over 64 million votes lat night.  Are your fingers sore?

    I am ignoring the Ford video.  Slash is leading the American Idol Season 8 group through “School’s Out”.  Allison outsings them all on the song.  Slash was kind of cool on guitar.

    Let’s get some results.  The American Idol performers are pretty calm about the results.  Simon tells Kris “we don’t want humble”.  Sorry Simon, Kris is humble.  Let’s talk about the final note.  Danny tells of laughing through the playback.  Danny calls it his funniest moment on American Idol.  But let’s not do results.  It is Paula Abdul time.

    Does everyone use that autotune technology.  So she created that whole Britney Spears style. She doesn’t bust the moves the way she used to.  It is better than most of the American Idol Season 8 performances but a little clumsy.

    Now we get to see No Doubt going old school with “Just A Girl”.  It is so weird to see No Doubt going back to their roots.  I remember when we planted those roots.   The rock goddess is doing push-ups.  That is a new rock dance move.  That was okay.  They plan to write their no CD on their tour.  Christian music artists Paramore will open on the No Doubt tour.  That will be great exposure for this really wonderful Christian rock group.

    The first in the Top 3 is Kris Allen.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  Jubilation prevails.  Accountants rule!

    It is time for Daughtry, the 4th place finisher from Season 5 to perform. He is a big star now.  He debuts the new single from his new CD, “No Surprise”.  This is a slow tempo rocker with a bug chorus.  Not really me favorite type of rock.  He has a great voice but the song does not excite me.  Daughtry’s debut CD has sold more than 5 million copies.

    Back with Allison, Adam and Danny waiting to find out who goes home.  Second person who is safe is Adam Lambert.   The final member of the Top 3 is Danny GokeyAllison Iraheta goes home.

    I really like her.  She is going to be a big star.   Where was that last night?  She sang the song how I wanted her to.  She goes out a star.

    Put together your Allison Iraheta mix on iTunes

    Apple iTunes

    I am so thrilled that two of the final three American Idol Season 8 performers are Christian music artists. Way to go Danny Gokey and Kris Allen.

    American Idol Season 8-Rock Night Live Blog

    American Idol Season 8 strolls through the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as Slash mentors Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Danny Gokey and Kris Allen through the classic rcok songs of the 70′s and 80′s.  There are rumors and secrets around the show’s format tonight, with the biggest being that the American Idols will sing duets tonight.  I hope not.  I have predicted (Rock Songs Preview)  that the American Idol Season 8 performers will sing songs of Queen, The Rolling Stones, U2, Janis Joplin, The Band, Elvis Costello and Led Zeppelin.  It will be just like my TimeLife classic rock boxed set.

    The competition to win American Idol Season 8 is  wide open and intense.  Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert can all win (see our Top 4 Power Rankings) and any one of them could go home tomorrow night.  Many are calling this the best Top4 ever.  These are four supremely talented, focused performers.  We are so pleased that two of the final four are Christian music performers.  We wish you the best Danny Gokey and Kris Allen.

    So everybody let’s Rock & Roll!

    They have really made the stage smaller.  They had an accident earlier.  The stage is falling apart.  There was no dress rehersal.  Rumors had that the stage manager went to the hospital.

    The American Idol performers are going to sing duets tonight.  Double yuk!  Slash of Guns n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver is the mentor tonight.  He mentored the performers at the Roxy on Sunset Strip.   Allison Iraheta looks terrified.

    Adam Lambert starts us off singing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”.  This is a great song from my teen years.  From the first note Adam’s singing does not carry the weight and danger of the young Robert Plant.  This is a parody of a rock band.  He has just proven he is not a rocker.  That was his worst performance of the year.

    Randy I so disagree with you.  He said no one will think of Broadway when they hear that.  That was all I could think of.  Kara is falling over him.  Simon let’s me down and agrees with the other judges.  He said no one can top that?  Sorry I so disagree.

    Yes!  I called it.  Allison Irhaeta is doing Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby”.  I guess we will see what this girl’s got.  This is a big hill to climb.  I think she can do it and when she does…

    Allison is sporting blue streaks in her hair. The mentor session sounds great.  She skipped the hardest parts of the song.  She sang it pretty well, but not spectacular.  She did not seem on her game tonight.

    Randy did not like the song choice because there was not a lot of melody.  Kara agrees.  Paula, too late for the Joplin bio pic.  They are filming it now.  Simon liked the singing but did not like the orginality.  Allison gets feisty with the judges.  She seemed really irritated with the judges.

    We go to a duet, Danny Gokey & Kris Allen doing “Renegade” by Styx.  I don’t like this song very much and Kris seems to be struggling with the vocals.  Danny seems bigger on stage and he does have the bigger voice.

    Randy loved the harmonies.  Kara agreed with Randy, again.  Simon does not like the duets.  The judges did not know how to judge the duet.

    Kris Allen is singing “Come Together”   by The Beatles.  This is hard.  Kris wanted to wet himself during the mentor session.  As I suspected, what can you do with this song?  Kris has kind of lost his mojo tonight.  Very good singing and some nice changes at the end.

    Randy liked the vocals but loved the guitar work.  Lukewarm praise from Randy.  Kara did not like it.  Paula liked the imprint he put on the song.  Simon did not like it that much.  He compared it to “eating ice for lunch”.

    Danny Gokey is doing Aerosmith’s “Dream On”.  At least everyone is swinging for the fences.  He si going for the big scream at the end.  What was that!  He wailed.  That was awesome!

    Randy didn’t like it.  Kara thinks he took the swagger a little to far.  Paula did not even like it.  Simon hated the end and thought it was over the top.

    Adam Lambert & Allison Iraheta ends the night (of course)singing  “Slow Ride” by Foghat.  This was the best performance of the night.  Allison Iraheta has no business singing this song.

    Of course the judges loved it.  I don’t care.

    Doesn’t look like Slash was a very good mentor.  This show was a real disappointment.  I think the pressure kind of got to the American Idol performers and maybe I am a rock snob.

    Be sure to put together your American Idol Season 8 download mix at iTunes

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8- Rock Songs Preview

    We are down to the American Idol Season 8 Top 4.  There are only three shows left.  Where did the Season 8 go?  It seems only a few weeks ago when we were debating shocked that Alexis Grace did not make it to the Top 10.  One21music is covering Christian music artists performing in American Idol Season 8.  We started with 10, six made it to the Idol tour and two Christian music artists, Danny Gokey and Kris Allen, have made it to the Top 4.  I think either of them can and should win Season 8 (see Top 4 Power Rankings)

    The American Idol Top 4 will be singing Classic Rock songs to earn their place in the Top 3.  Rumors are flying around the Internet about how many songs the performers will sing and there is even speculation that the American Idol Season 8 Top 4 will sing duets.  I hope not, so I am going to assume that each performer will sing two classic rock songs from the ’70′s and 80′s.

    American Idol Season 8 Rock Song Projections

    • Kris Allen “The Weight”  The Band The Band - Music from Big Pink - The Weight “Blame It On Cain” Elvis Costello Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True - Blame It On Cain“The Weight” is a gorgeous song of self sacrifice and service originally sung by Levon Helm.  There is a breathtaking version of the song performed with The Band and The Staple Singers from the movie The Last Waltz.  The tone of the song, the lilt of the music and the message of the lyrics are completely congruent with Kris Allen the performer. 

    • “Blame I t On Cain” is a bouncy rocker that fits Kris’s style perfectly while giving him room to change the arrangement and add some vocal riffs.  To get a taste what it could be like with Kris singning this song, here is Christian music artist Dustin Kensrue singing “Blame It on Cain”

    • Danny Gokey “Somebody To Love”  Queen Queen - Queen: Greatest Hits I & II - Somebody to Love “When Love Comes To Town”  U2 U2 & B.B. King - Rattle and Hum - When Love Comes to TownHe has the arrangement from the group performance he arranged during American Idol Season 8 Hollywood week.  This a soaring, fun epic that enabled Freddy Mercury to throw his head back sing.  “Somebody To Love” should allow Danny Gokey to deliver on the promise he made with last week’s performance.”When Love Comes To Town” is another song suited to Danny’s big voice and U2′s message of redemption rings true to what we know about Danny Gokey

    • Allison Iraheta “Cry Baby”  Janis Joplin Janis Joplin - Pearl - Cry Baby “Gimme Shelter” The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks 1964-1971 - Gimme ShelterShe is closest thing I have seen to Janis Joplin since, well Janis Joplin.  All season long we have waited for Allison Iraheta wrap her voice around a Joplin tune and this one from Pearl is a doozy.   It opens with a huge scream and then settles into mind blowing romp for her man.  Allison could make Simon cry with this song.We are suggesting two really old songs for the youngest singer in the competition but she does feel like a late sixties rocker. Not much in the way of lyrics here but “Gimme Shelter’s”  message is timely and the song gives her so much room to show off her voice. 

    • Adam Lambert “Rock and Roll”  Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV (Remastered) - Rock and Roll “Desire” U2 U2 - The Best of 1980-1990 - DesireCan Adam Lambert handle the Robert Plant wail?  We think so.  Big, brash, loud  this song roared off Zep’s fourth album and marked their transition to a great band.  This would be an exciting way to start the show with Adam roaring ‘been a long time since I rock and rolled”.  We will see if Adam Lambert is a rock and roll dude.
      Two rousing songs for Adam, less variety than he has shown this year, but U2′s warning of earthly desires does fit with Adam Lambert’s penchant for darker music. This song is big and fast.

       

       

    The last two weeks have been great and there is no reason to think tonight will be any different.  Join us at 8 edt as we live blog rock night on American Idol Season 8.

    In the meantime be sure to download some of the great Season 8 performances at iTunes

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8- Top 4 Power Rankings

    large_adam-lambert-matt-giraud-american-idolJaws 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

    1. Kris Allen continues top my the One21music power rankings.  His performance of  “The Way You Look Kris AllenTonight” 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.
    2. Danny Gokey moves up to second (3rd in Top 5 Power Rankings) based solely on the last 20 seconds Danny Gokeyof 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.
    3. Allison Iraheta has one of those once in a generation voices.  She is an Etta James, Janis Joplin, Ann Allison IrahetaWilson 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).
    4. Adam Lambert is the least of this group and that is nothing to be ashamed of. ai8_top5_lambert2 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.

    Apple iTunes

    American Idol Season 8- What Just Hapened?

    The American Idol world is all abuzz after presumed winner Adam Lambert was in the Bottom 2 before Matt Giraud was eliminated from the American Idol Season 8 Top 5 (see Results Live Blog).  Some have called Adam Lambert the most unique, most talented and simply the best American Idol performer of all time.  How could he be in the Bottom 2 of Season 8′s Top 5?

    It was not American Idol manipulating the results for dramatic impact you cynics and conspiracy theorists.  American Idol has built up a relationship with its audience based on America’s contribution to selecting the next American Idol.  To risk the American Idol franchise for dramatic effect is like slapping a bull on the butt in a muddy pen.  We are from Texas, think about it.

    So what did happen.  I think it is a combination of several factors:

    1. Rumors of Adam Lambert’s life have turned-off American Idol viewers.  Shame on us.  We have made presumptions about who this young man is without really knowing him.  Just like Danny Gokey, everything that the fans do not like about him has been said by others.  Let’s judge this young man only on what we know about him.
    2. Maybe American Idol voters just don’t really like rock music that much.  I know that David Cook won last year but his form of rock music was much softer than Adam Lambert’s aggressive style.
    3. There has been much commentary on American Idol blog sites that Adam Lambert fans split some of their votes for Allison Iraheta.
    4. Maybe American Idol fans just do not like Adam Lambert’s hair metal vocals, contrived performances and edgy arrangements.

    So what does this mean?

    1. I bet Danny Gokey is redoubling his efforts this week.  Danny seemed to turn a corner in last week’s performance ( see my Top 5 Performance Review).  He is the only American Idol Season 8 Top 4 performer to not be in the Bottom 2.  The presumed winner just stumbled through no fault of his own.  Danny Gokey and Kris Allen should expect to receive a bump in votes as fellow Christian music performer Matt Giraud was eliminated.
    2. Adam Lambert should receive a bounce if his fans truly did split votes.  He needs to be careful this week though.  The pressure of him being in the Bottom 2 and the temptation of Rock week could cause him to be even more aggressive with his song choices and performances when he really needs to appeal to a broader audience.
    3. It seems counter intuitive to think Allison Iraheta could be in trouble during Rock week.  However, everyone expected her to be in last week’s Bottom 2 not the Top 2.  If her bump came from a combination of Lil Rounds voters throwing their votes to her and Adam Lambert fans splitting votes for her, she could lose enough votes to be in the bottom 3.

    So this week should be crazy exciting.  American Idol Season 8 has the most talent and is turning out to be the most dramatic American Idol I have seen.  Join us Tuesday night at 8 edt as we live blog the Rock performances.  On Monday I will come back with my Power Rankings and Tuesday morning I will drop some interesting song suggestions on you.

    You can download all of the American Idol Season 8 performances from iTunes.  This is the best season ever, you gotta have some of this in your iPod.

    Apple iTunes

    By the way, I have not forgotten about Kris Allen. He just seems to stay out of these controversies and deliver one great performance after another.