American Idol Season 8- Top 3 Performance Review

It is funny as I read a few of the other American Idol blogs tonight.  Most of the other blogs hate Danny Gokey so nothing he did tonight was good.  I am not an Adam Lambert so I did not like much of what he brought to show tonight.  It seems we are all fully entrenched into our preferences by now.  I suspect the American Idol fans are in the same boat.  It would take a mind boggling performance to change voters minds tonight and I think we had one.  The question is: would it be enough and whose voters would be swayed?

Kris Allen delivered arguably the most creative, fearless performance of the season.  Danny Gokey’s two super performances make him the overall winner for the evening.  Adam Lambert had his worst night of American Idol Season 8, despite the inexplicable fawning by the judges.

It is clear that the judges want Adam Lambert to win American Idol Season 8; so much so that Simon was begging Adam Lambert’s fans to vote.  Their dismissive treatment of Kris Allen offended me.

Performance Ratings

  1. Kris Allen: “Heartless” by Kanye West- When Kris said this to Ryan my jaw dropped.  This is the rap/autotune mess that Kanye West dropped on the world in 2008. Let me just summarize my opinion of this performance by saying: crazy, mad, reckless, fearless, amazing, wonderful, fantastic.  His beautiful singing on this song was soulful and rhythmic.  We see these type of breakthrough arrangements occasionally, only to find that the American Idol performer borrowed the arrangement from someone else (David Cook from Chris Cornell and Adam Lambert from Muse).  Kris Allen did not copy this from anyone.  He turned a deep, stylized R&B/Rap song into a modern rock classic.
  2. Danny Gokey:”You Are So Beautiful” by Billy Preston- I was heartbroken when I heard Danny Gokey was doing this 70′s ballad made famous by Joe Cocker.  It so feeds into the worst stereotype of Danny Gokey and I was hoping for a more bold choice.  I will just shut-up now.  His arrangement, with a cool gospel/worship section in the middle was wonderful.  It made me hear this song as a worship song.  But we can forget all of that and focus on the singing, which was simply brilliant.  Everyone in America, is in the American Idol Season 8 Top 3 because really, really sing.  That was a tour de force in powerful, emotional, expressive singing.
  3. Danny Gokey: “Dance Little Sister” by Terence Trent D’Arby- I was a big TTD fan and I cannot think of afunky singer better suited to Danny Gokey’s voice.  Good choice Paula!  He unleashed his big, growling, soulful voice on this funky, uptempo R&B song.  I liked the scatting in the middle of the song, I thought that added a nice jazzy touch to make this more than a straight forward pop song.
  4. Kris Allen: “Apologize” by One Republic-  Kris Allen played the big piano for the first time on American Idol Season 8 and we heard his falsetto for the first time as well.  He sang the song beautifully and added some nice soul phrasing.  Overall, I was pleased with the singing but let down by the bland arrangement.  If Kris Allen could have done to “Apologize” what he did to “Heartless” he would have won American Idol Season 8 tonight.
  5. Adam Lambert: “Crazy” by Aerosmith-  I know that some will accuse me of bias toward Adam Lambert but, come on this was his most pedestrian performance on American Idol Season 8.  He walked through the arrangement with few variations, he copied Steven Tyler’s vocal runs and the back-up singers drowned him out at times.  The worst thing for me was his smiling, winking, head nodding performance of a song about the agony a lover is causing you.  As with many of his songs, my question is, how can you memorize the lyrics but not understand them?
  6. Adam Lambert: “One”" by U2- Horrifying.  I sat their watching the flat-screen with my jaw hanging open.  I hated the arrangement, I hated the over-singing and I hated the manic performance.  This is an important song that should be sang with longing and questioning and confusion; not with wide-eyed ranting.  This was so bad that my wife and I started debating that she new the song (she has heard it hundreds of times in my car), so I played it for her during the commercial.  Her reaction (with confusion and disgust) “that was what he was singing?”  Did they say that Simon spent the weekend with Adam working on the arrangement?  Who does American Idol want to see win Season 8?

Who Is Going Home

According to the judges, Kris Allen come into the night with little chance to advance, but he pulled off another in a series of brilliant show stopping performances.  Danny Gokey has never been in the Bottom 2 and he had his best night of American Idol Season 8. The show’s pre-ordained winner, Adam Lambert, was predictable but below par tonight.

If I went with my head I would say that Kris Allen is going home tonight, but I cannot say he will leave after that performance of “Heartless”.

I am going with my opinion of tonight’s performances and saying Adam Lambert goes home tonight and the Danny Gokey and Kris Allen will be the final two on American Idol Season 8.

Be sure to grab all of your favorite American Idol Season 8 performances from iTunes

Apple iTunes