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- Disco Songs Preview

Can they do it?  American Idol Season 8 takes a turn to the darkside this week, yes we go disco.  The American Idol performers are being asked to go to those eight years when songs were dominated by beats, falsettos and vapid lyrics.  There are exceptions and the American Idol Season 8 performers who find those songs will triumph.  We have suggestions. Let’s just hope we do not have a repeat of last weeks timid movie song snorefest.

One21music is covering the Christian music performers competing on American Idol Season 8.  We started with six of the Top 13 and we have four of the Top 7 still remaining.  See our Top 7 Power Rankings II which shows Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Matt Giraud topping our rankings.  Lil Rounds, our fourth Christian music performer is struggling but has mad potential.

Disco, what can we say.  From about 1972 to 1980 this producer dominated style of smooth dance music dominated the airwaves.  It was everywhere.  Disco was so dominate a genre that even rock icons Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones leapt into that pool of polyester and platform shoes.  Like any genre of music, there was some greatness to come out of the scene (Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive”, Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” and Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” among others) but the bulk of the music does not lend itself to a singing show like American Idol.

Matt Giraud and Adam Lambert, with their crazy falsettos and strong rhythm sensibilities, should thrive.  Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Lil Rounds can soar if they are careful to not overstep their strengths in service of these cool beats.  Allsion Iraheta will struggle to bend the few songs that fit her rock and roll voice.  Anoop Desai has been doing ballads for three weeks and he needs to continue this week.

Song Predictions

  • Kris Allen has the opportunity to secure his spot in the American Idol Season 8 Top 3, if he was able to find this song.  In 1977, dance club diva Grace Jones covered Edith Paif’s “La Vin E Rose”.  It is perfect for Kris Allen.  “La Vin E Rose” is a beautiful love song (…when you kiss me, heaven sighs and though I close my eyes I see la vin e rose..) and Jone’s arrangement is based on acoustic guitars with Spanish rhythms, right in the Kris Allen wheelhouse.  If he found it and performs it, every female in America will fall in love with him, us music snobs will respect his musical acumen and he will jet to the finals.  Props to my wife for finding this.I suspect he did not make the connection with this song and I predict he will sing “More Than A Woman” from Saturday Night Fever.
  • Danny Gokey could bring the entire country, except the cynics, to their knees tonight on American Idol disco night.  Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ “The Love I Lost”, if performed as a quiet ballad, could singlehandedly cause an increase in the sell of facial tissue in America.  Just read these lyrics and disagree that maybe even Simon might be moved:I can remember planning
    Building my whole world around you
    And I can remember hoping
    That you and I could make it on through
    But something went wrong
    We loved each other
    We just couldn’t get along
    Take a good look at me
    I’m in misery, can’t you see The love I lost (the love, the love I lost)
    Was a sweet love (it was a sweet love)
    The love I lost (the love, the love I lost)
    Was complete love (it was complete love)
    The love I lost (the love I lost)
    I will never (never) no no never
    (Never) love again ooh

    I can’t remember nothing, no no
    But the good times we used to share
    I’m so sad and lonely
    Without you my life is so dead
    I’m sorry to say
    You go your way and I’ll go my way
    It hurts deep inside
    The day we said goodbye, but…

    Yesterday I compared Danny’s voice to Rod Stewart’s, but when you listen to Teddy Pendergrass sing “The Love I Lost”  you can hear Danny Gokey.

    Another choice for Danny is to connect with lyrics that speak to our faith by performing Stephanie Mills‘ “Never Knew Love Like This Before”

  • Matt Giraud must be giddy.  Is there a American Idol theme better suited to Matt’s singing, dancing and arranging skills?  I think he swings for the fences this week and performs one of two disco/funk classics.  In 1977 Marvin Gaye jumped into disco scene with his ode to losing your inhibitions on the dance floor “Got to Give It Up”.  Just check out this video and tell me Matt Giraud could not tear this song up in 2 minutes:

Matt Giraud could also latch onto Michael Jackson’s 1980 break out solo record “Off The Wall”, another ode to letting yourself go to enjoy the dancing and the nightlife.  Both songs are perfect for Matt’s style and skills but, since we have done so much Michael Jackson this year, the Marvin Gaye song would be more of a breakout.

  • Allison Iraheta was a struggle for two reasons.  First, disco does not really lend itself to a big voiced blues singer (ask Etta James and Martha Reeves).  Second, most of the disco songs are really not appropriate for a 16 year old girl.  I found two and I love them both.In 1975 Nat King Cole’s daughter, Natalie Cole, burst on the scene with the exuberant shouty romp to love “This Will Be”.   Yes, it is the eHarmony jingle so there is a chance she will find it. The song is fun, it is loud and it has some room for Allison to show off her pipes.  Check out a young Natalie Cole coming into herself as a performer

    The other song is a classic, one of the top song’s of the 70′s, “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge.  It would be good for her voice but it is too predictable for American Idol Season 8 disco night.

  • Adam Lambert should sing Tina Turner’s ode to her hometown “Nutbush City Limits”.  It sports a quick rock beat for his dancing and lyrics perfect for his high pitched screams.  Like Tina Turner, this song would give Adam a chance to strut and scream to his full self.However, if Adam Lambert is very cocky about his American Idol standing he can take on the pinnacle of disco music, the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive”.  The falsetto singing and driving beat captures the pace of New York in the mid 70′s and the spirit of disco like no other song.  Just for fun, here is the full song, set to the full opening of Saturday Night Fever:

  • Lil Rounds is on the ropes.  She has avoided elimination over the past three weeks but her performances have not been good.  She can blow away the competition with disco if she does two things.  Pick the right song and slow the beat back to a modern R&B hip/hop pace.The best song for Lil Rounds is Donna Summer’s (not “Last Dance”) “I Love You”. Simple, beautiful lyrics of love sung by a women whom Lil sounds a lot a like.  She needs to slow the beat down from 110 bpm to about 80 bpm so that she can groove like Mary J Blige.  That is what we all want isn’t it?

    If Lil Rounds wants to work off some of her anger at the American Idol judges, she can make the same beat changes and sing Gloria Gaynor’s “Never Can Say Goodbye”.  With lyrics like “everytime when I think I have had enough and head straight for the door I feel a strange vibration..” and “I never want to let you go..” singing this song would maybe relieve a little of the tension that has built up around Lil Rounds.

  • Anoop Desai faces a difficult task on American Idol this week.  For several weeks he has been gaining momentum singing ballad’s, but that momentum will lose steam if he doesn’t start showing some versatility.  Problem is, disco week is a big trap for Anoop.  Everytime he has tried to break out his dancing shoes on American Idol Season 8, he has stumbled badly.The best song for Anoop to sing on American Idol disco night is “How Deep Is Your Love” from Saturday Night Fever.  He can sing it and he can pour his personality into it.  Problem is that it is another ballad and I think he will sucked into his dancing shoes.   Look for him to break out “Brick House” from the Commodores.  I think he will be in trouble again this week.

So there are the songs the American Idol contestants should perform.  Not one of them called me asking for advice.  I think Matt Giraud needs a killer performance this week to stay on the show.  I think he is splitting votes with Danny Gokey and Kris Allen and he will lose that race.  For some reason, Anoop has his own voting block separate from those three.  Matt needs to blow Anoop away on Tuesday night.  With two going, I will be surprised to see Lil Rounds make it past Wednesday, but the performances could change everything.

Check in with us tonight as we live blog American Idol Season 8 Disco Night.  In the meantime  download studio recordings and live performances of all of the Top 36 here at iTunes.

Apple iTunes