American Idol Season 8- February 17 Performance Recap

American Idol’s first show of Season 8 is in and only one front runner delivered.

One21music is covering the Christian music artists on Season 8 of American Idol.  Last night we live blogged the show and this morning I will share some of my thoughts.  Two of the eight Christian music artists performed last night.  Both Danny Gokey and Michael Sarver showed themselves to be contenders.

Michael Sarver sang “I Dont Wanna Be” by Gavin DeGraw.  This One Tree Hill theme song is a mid tempo pop song.  My live reaction was luke warm at best.  I thought Michael had really hurt himself. Michael had made his way though the auditions and Hollywood Week with soul ballads and I was not used to him singing this type of song. The judges agreed and gave him a luck warm response, except for a little surprise from Simon who talked about what a nice person he was and that he hoped America would give Michael another chance.

I went back and watched all of the performances again and in retrospect I think he made a very savvy choice.  First, his performance was techncally very good.  He has a strong smooth voice and he, unlike many others on the night made the song his own. Secondly, the song enabled him to show a more contemporary style.  Finally, this guy has television presence.  I mentioned that in my live blog last night but when I re-watched the performance, he really jumped off the screen.  He is a nice looking guy who connects with the camera.  Evene if he does not win Season 8, I can see Michael with a career as a televsion actor.  Good job, Michael!

Just about everyone on the show last night ruined their debuts with bad song choices. When Danny Gokey said he would sing Mariah Carey’s “Hero”, my heart sank.  I thought the song was too big for him and he would join the pack of mediocore performances.  Instead, If you read the live blog you know that my fears were assuaged as I turned into a 12 year old girl delivering what amounted to a squealing, tear-stained fan letter to Danny Gokey.

The judges agreed as they were standing, applauding, slamming the table and shouting approval.  All of the judges except Simon, of course.  He wasn’t buying the hype.  Kara was, as she labeled Danny “the redeemer”.

Danny was the last to perform and he took control of the song, the stage and the show like the headliner closing for 11 opening acts.  Every note was perfect, the emotional tone was dead-on and his performance was commanding.  I do like that Danny is beginning to identify himself as a “Church music leader”.  Great job, Danny!

The only other performance that stood out was Ricky Braddy’s cover of “A Song for You” by Leon Russel.  It was souful and heartfelt.  When he revealed that it was one of his all time favorite songs, i was not surprised.

Two women, Alexis Grace and Ann Marie Boskovich covered Aretha Franklin songs.  In the live blog I thought Ann Marie did a good job and Alexis not so much.  I was wrong on Ann Marie.  I actually think Alexis did the better job but those songs ate both of them up.

Now to predictions.

I think Danny Gokey secured himself a place in the Final 12.  I think Alexis Grace will move on because none of the other women did very well at all.  I think Michael Sarver has a great opportunity to move on.  I think he out performed favorite, Anoop Desai and I think he has more stage presence than Ricky BraddyBrent Keith’s country vibe could concentrate the country vote and enable him to jump into the mix.

This year the judges will select a number of contestants who are not voted into the Final 12 for a “Wild Card” show.  Three of those contestants will be voted into the Final 12 on March 5th.  I don’t know if the judges will pick four from each show or their 12 favorites but, assuming Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey and Michael Sarver move on tonight, I think the judges will pick Anoop Desai, Jackie Tohn, Tatiana Del Toro and Casey Carlson from this show.

Dialidol predicts winners based on monitoring of telephone lines.  They have Danny Gokey as the clear winner for the guys.  The have Alexis Grace as the highest vote getter among the women but it is too close to call among all of them.  Michael Sarver ( he actually has the second most votes according to dialidol) has a big lead over Anoop Desai, Ricky Braddy and Brent Keith for the third slot, but it is too close to call.

Final thoughts

  • Keep parents/spouses in the audience
  • The judging was rushed.  If American Idol wants four judges, they need to give more air time to the judges’ comments
  • The production was terrible, with sound drops, cuts to cameras filming the floor and a blown video intro for Brent Keith.

We will not live blog the resuts show during the early stages of the season.  There simply is not enough happening.  I will recap the results late tonight.

What did you think of the performances last night?  Who was your favorite?