American Idol Season 8-Disco Results Live Blog

It is a shame two American Idol performers must go home tonight.  Last night’s Disco Music performances were exceptional and made for the best show of American Idol Season 8 (see our Disco Performances Live Blog).

Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta shined and Adam Lambert fell just a little short.   Danny Gokey needs to pick-up his game and Matt Giraud made a strong case for the Top5.  Lil Rounds was treated unfairly by the judges and Anoop Desai was bland as usual. I think we will see a shocker in the Bottom 3 tonight (see our Disco Performance Reviews).

We are covering the Christian music artists performing in American Idol Season 8.  We started with ten in the Top 36, then their were six in the Top 13 and they all made it into the Top 10.  We now have four Christian music artists in American Idol’s Season 8 Top 7.  Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud and Lil Rounds all performed last night and I fear could lose two of them tonight.

However, this is no time to fret.  Let’s just see what America had to say.  David Archuleta will perform with K.C., Thelma Houston and Freda Payne ( a favorite!) will perform us some disco.  Don’t forget that Paula Abdul choreographed the group number.  Let’s go!

This Is American Idol!

Did he just say there were 45 million votes?  Wow you guys are invested in American Idol Season 8.

We got to watch video of Paula teaching a dance class and she worked them out.  She is one tough cookie.  I don’t think she cried once, but could they understand what she was talking about?  Let’s see how it worked out.  Sporting some creepy sunglasses they are working Paula moves to The Jackson’s “Shack You Body”.  Lil Rounds and Matt Giraud can dance, the others not so much.  That was fun.  Good job, Paula!

Time to start the results but the girls are slow changing their dancing shoes, so Ryan shows another Ford video, enough said.

Everybody is on the couch so time to find a Bottom 3.  Lil Rounds is first up?  She is in the Bottom 3 and she looks crushed.  They reveal that she has been voted off?  That was weird.  I thought they would save all of this for the end. Good farewell performance.  She worked it out.  Randy is right this is just the beginning for her.  Simon remains a massive fan.  We will see Lil Rounds again.

Time for the disco medley with K.C., Thelma Houston and Freda Payne.  Call me silly, I love “Band of Gold”, but who is that lady who can’t sing?  She is ruining my childhood memories.  Disappointed!!  Thelma Houston singing “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. Is this really that hard?  The American Idol performers make this look relatively easy.  K.C. please make it happen.  He has virtually no voice left but he was never a great singer, we will just boogie with the back-up singers.

Now down to nail biting time. Is it Matt and Anoop in the bottom 3 or will one of the favorites be in danger.

Up next Kris Allen and he is safe.  Of course, he is.  Adam Lambert is safe.  Danny Gokey on the hot seat now.  Simon shuts down Ryan.  Danny Gokey is safe.  I am glad I was wrong.  Anoop Desai has to be in the Bottom 3 and he is.  Allison Iraheta or Matt Giraud, it must be Matt again.  That was Matt’s arrangement last night.  Matt is safe.  Allison is in the bottom 3.  This is a travesty!

Three of the Top 6 are Christian music performers.  Yeah!

It is Archie time, everybody scream!  David Archuleta is singing his new song “Touch My Hand”.  I like this less than any of his Americna Idol Season 7 performances and that is hard to say.  I am not an Archilite.

Should the judges have saved the “save”?  After America voted Anoop Desai. It was time.  This guy can sing but he has no star power.

I am sad to see Lil Rounds go home but I think we got it right tonight. American Idol Season 8 is really talent filled and this was the right time for these two to ext. They will have good careers in music.

Be sure to download these very good disco performances on iTunes.

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8-Disco Performance Review

Evidently pressure is a good thing.  Two people go home this week so everyone had to bring their “A” and they did.  I think this was the best night so far of American Idol Season 8.  The two people that go home tomorrow night did not lose, five music artists won on American Idol tonight.  We reaped the benefits.

Two things happened tonight.  Everyone but Lil Rounds and Danny Gokey delivered radical arrangements of these familiar disco songs.  Randy criticized just about everyone for changing the arrangements and shame on him.  The American Idol performers were daring tonight and it was fun.

The second thing that happened tonight- every American Idol performer sang tonight with a capital S-A-N-G.  If you can, go back and listen.  Not only was the singing virtually flawless, but it was dead-on interpretively and it was from the gut. The American Idol contestants brung it tonight.  After watching it again, this was the most consistently great night I have experienced with American Idol.

I hate to rank these performances because from one to the next there is very little difference.  Two stood out for me.  Kris Allen, for the third week of the past four he re-arranged a great song, one we would never expect him to do, and delivered a performance that could work on today’s charts.  Allison Iraheta, my goodness.  Not a great song for a 16 year old girl to sing, but I no longer believe she is 16.  I will rave in detail below, but I saw Kelly Clarkson on stage tonight in a bright red wig.

American Idol Season 8- Disco Performance Rankings

  1. Kris Allen flabbergasted us all tonight.  The judges were stammering that Kris was able to take the iconic Donna Summer song “She Works Hard For the Money” and turn it into a cool 21st century Spanish tinged jive number. Kris’s guitar created a rhythm of sound, the bongos and box punctuated the groove and the bass was spectacular. Kris’s vocals showed power, range and sensitivity.  Kris Allen is hitting his stride and everyone better prepare themselves for Kris Allen to win American Idol Season 8.
  2. Allison Iraheta truly wowed me tonight.  I have re-watched the performance three times now and I am amazed at her performance maturity.  She does not so much dance as she moves naturally with the lyrics of the song.  Her vocal choices were dead-on.  She looked great, her singing was fantastic and her stage presence was incredible.  Allison Iraheta has found herself as a performer on American Idol Season 8.  We will enjoy her for many years.
  3. Matt Giraud finally let loose and had fun.  This is the Matt we saw beat boxing and dancing in American Idol Season 8 Hollywood Week.  He could have crashed with “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees, but he made it work.  He funkified the arrangement, added some modern R&B riffs and he danced.  This is the first time we have seen Matt Giraud sing as if he were completely relaxed and I liked it.  He topped his results show performance last week and gave his best vocal of the year.
  4. Adam Lambert almost pulled off another moment.  He took the Bee Gees “If I Can’t Have You” and slowed it to an achingly slow ballad.  The emotional connection was there, the singing was fantastic, the choice to stand still in the middle of the stage was right; and then he just had to get flashy.  When he slipped in those high pitched screams it ruined the moment.  This went from a heartbreaking cry to a well crafted American Idol performance.
  5. Danny Gokey can really, really sing.  In this group of singers singing their best tonight, he really out sang everyone.  Did you hear him blast those opening notes of EWF’s “September”.  Wow.  The funky breakdown in the middle showed off his shuffle singing skills.  Danny Gokey just overwhelmed this song with his vocals.  My issue with Danny’s performance was the arrangement.  On a night when Kris, Allison, Matt and Adam took some cool arrangement risks, Danny played it safe.  We know Danny has the skills to bend these songs into something cool and if he doesn’t start using them now his American Idol journey will be over too soon.
  6. Lil Rounds delivered her best performance of American Idol’s Season 8, at least her best since the semi-finals.  I think the judges unfairly skewered her. Watching her sing Chaka Kahn’s “I’m Every Woman” her vocals were solid and exciting, she commanded the stage and she layed herself out.  She looked like a confident star tonight.  If Lil Rounds goes home tomorrow night she will have left us with a peek into her future after American Idol.
  7. Anoop Desai started right.  He opened Donna Summers‘ “Dim All the Lights” as a slow, mournful ballad.  It was working.  His vocals were beautiful and soaring.  Then the beat picked up and all his flaws came out.  The song overwhelmed him and he was lost on the stage.  His vocals continued to be spectacular but his performance was amateurish.  It will probably be his last night on American Idol.

It is really tough to think anyone will be going home from American Idol tomorrow night but two must go.  Anyone who goes tomorrow night can leave on a highnote.  Here are my predictions:

Bottom 3: Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds, Danny Gokey

Bottom 2: Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds

Everyone will be outraged that Danny  is in bottom 3, but Matt Giraud will have enough rally votes to keep him safe this week.

This week is going to cost me some money. There are several download worthy songs. Check them out at iTunes.

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8- Disco Performances

Polyester rules!  Lace up your boogie shoes and jump on the groove train as American Idol Season 8 goes Disco.  Usually this is a disaster and, with no mentor, it is quite possible that our American Idol groove trains derails.   On the other hand, there are a few really cool disco songs that some Idols could latch onto and blow us all away (see our Disco Songs Preivew).

We are covering the Christian music artists competing on American Idol Season 8.  After a dramatic save of Matt Giraud last week, I have 3 of the 4 remaining Christians music artists at the top of my Top 7 Power RankingsKris Allen, Danny Gokey and Matt Giraud are 1, 2, 3 with Lil Rounds in 6th place desperately needing a breakout performance tonight.

american-idol-save

Before I forget, don’t forget to check out “Idol to Inspiration” on Thursday night on GMC.  Check out the full details of this documentary of the Church’s influence on American Idol (see Idol to Inspiration).

Remember, two American Idol performers go home this week so tonight’s performances are vital.  Last week’s bottom 3 were Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds and Matt Giraud, but anyone could be at risk tonight.

American Idol starts now.  They review that great moment from last week’s save.  It was cool.  This is American Idol!

We are jumping in right off the bat.  Lil Rounds starts off singing Chaka Kahn’s “I’m Every Woman”.  She is working it out.  At least it looks like she had fun.  I wasn’t ready for that.

Randy thinks it sounded too wild?  Kara hated it.  The judges are just sending her home.  Simon says there was no originality and predicts she will go home.  She disagrees with the judges for another week.  Did you hear Lil’s family yelling at the judges?

Kris Allen is up second singing “She Works Hard for The Money” by Donna Summer.  His guitar, bongos and box, very interesting.  Kris is working it out again.  This could be a Top 20 hit today.  Kris Allen rules again.  This guy is a great musician.  Killer.

Kara loves the risk and she is right, it worked.  Paula is talking about shopping.  Simon thinks it was original and fantastic.  Randy is loving it.  Kris Allen is ready for the big time.  Amazing.  Kris Allen is going to win American Idol.

Danny Gokey is doing Earth Wind & Fire’s “September”.  It is a cool bouncy song.  He is blasting the lyrics and has a nice throw down bridge in the middle.  Great singing but a safe song choice.

Randy loved the arrangement.  The judges were worried about Danny tonight but they think he nailed it.  The judges are amazed at his singing ability. Simon didn’t see any star power.

Allison Iraheta is singing Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff”.  Did she cut her hair?  “Hot Stuff “as a rock song, brilliant.  She is beginning to even look like a superstar.  Wow, she completely just owned Donna Summer’s signature song.  Wow

Randy hates the arrangement and still thinks she blew it out.  Kara calls the vocal a 9/10.  Simon thinks it was brilliant.  I agree.

Adam Lambert with the biggest hair of the year.  He is singing “If I Can’t Have You” by the Bee Gees.  He continues his pattern of ballad then a shouter.  He had me until he started the screaming.  It was pretty good, the judges will pass out.  Is dad about to go surfing?

Yep, Randy starts the fawning.  Hot, brilliant, Paula is crying. Simon loves the originality and thinks the vocals were immaculate.

It looks like Matt Giraud is swinging for the fences with The Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive”.  This will even put him back in the game or he will go out in flames.  This is an updated, funkier version.  Matt can dance so losing the piano was a good choice.  Very good performance.  He missed a few notes but that was fun.

Randy did not like song or arrangement but loved the singing.  Kara liked that he brought the groove back and liked his dancing.  Simon didn’t like it.  I disagree with Simon that there was no originality.

Anoop Desai closes the night singing another ballad, but I don’t know what it is.  “Dim All The Lights” by Donna Summer?  He started great as a ballad but then the beat picked up and he gets lost in the song.  Great singing but so what.

Randy loves the singing.  I didn’t listen to the ladies.  Simon thinks it was mediocre.  I agree.

Overall, a great American Idol night.  The worst performances were as good as last week’s best, except “Falling Slowly”.  I will be back overnight to review the performances.  Check out the site when you get up in the morning.

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

American Idol Season 8- Top 7 Power Rankings II

That was really cool.  The “save” created some real excitement on American Idol Season 8.  Couple that with the Susan Boyle story and you have one of the most organically emotional weeks in reality television history.

First to Susan Boyle.  For the one of you out there who has not heard, she is a 47 year old unmarried, unemployed Scottish woman who has taken the world by storm when the video of her Britian’s Got Talent audition hit youtube. I am sure the video has had 10 million hits by now.  To see the video and read a really dead-on commentary by Lisa Schwarzman of ew.com see Dreams Can Come True.  An article from Associate Press refers to Susan Boyle as “a devoutly religious woman who regularly sings in her church” so she is a Christian music performer as well.  This performance moves me to tears every time I see it for two reasons.  First, if you have ever read Les Misrables and the lyrics to this song, it is one of the best, saddest songs ever written. Second, the lyrics fit what we know of Susan’s life (  “As they tear your hope apart; And they turn your dream to shame”).  The lyrics are in our post  Dreams Can Come True. Thank you Susan Boyle for taking us out of ourselves for a few moments.

Now back to American Idol Season 8.  Up until the last few minutes of the results show, American Idol had been pretty blah last week.  Sure the results show had the best guest performance of Season 8, when Jennifer Hudson returned as a triumphant star and showed us why.  And even though Quentin Tarantino was a highly entertaining mentor, the performances had grown safe and stale, see our performance live blog.

Everything had turned a little bland until Matt Giraud sang for his career as the judges weighed his future on American Idol Season 8.  First, I think Matt may have found his groove.  If he goes back and watches that performance, he will see his best of the season.  This was the perfect combination of piano rock and R&B grooves that he has been looking for all of Season 8.  Download the studio recording of the song from iTunes below and you will hear a song more like he sang on the results show.  Second, the “save” was used as a surprise.  We knew Matt was talented but did any of us think he had a chance to win?  It was possible, but we were not sure the judges would use the “save”.  How exciting.

The best part of the the whole “save” moment was to watch the American Idol Season 8 competitors leap to their feet to cheer their buddy, Matt Giraud , on as he sang for the “save”.  These few moments showed me more about the friendships and genuine caring they have for each other than anything I have seen on reality TV.  Even though it was detrimental to their own cause, the American Idol contestants, led by Danny Gokey, truly cheered on to success.

I was bored, now I am invigorated.

Now to the American Idol Season 8 Top 7 Power Rankings, part two.  In all of the excitement, we lost another show stopping performance by Kris Allen, another solid performance by Danny Gokey and another stumble by Lil Rounds.  We have a glut of “white boy” soul singers (Kris, Danny, Anoop and Matt). I think that is why Matt Giraud was voted off last week.

Remember, these are not my predictions for how the performers will finish on American Idol Season 8.  These are my ratings of the American Idol performers as recording artists.  It is really pretty good to be 7th out of 30,000.

American Idol Top 7 Power Rankings

  1. Kris Allen may have solidified his place in my number 1 slot with his performance of “Falling Slowly”.  He picked the best song.  He picked the most modern song.  He made the riskiest pick because this song is not an “American Idol” song.  He picked a song filled with raw emotion.  He changed the song ever so slightly.  And like he has done throughout Season 8, Kris Allen delivered a brilliant vocal interpretation.  This could be the third chart appearance of “Falling Slowly” and it could go higher on U.S. charts than the movie version.  If he continues dropping these type of performances on us he should win American Idol Season 8 and he just might win.
  2. Danny Gokey delivered an almost flawless, heart wrenching performance of a really bad, but safe, song.  Let’s be clear, I think “Endless Love” is one of the worst songs ever. Once again Danny’s arrangement was interesting, with an atonal low register for the first verse and chorus and then a big blaring middle and some falsetto at the end,  a vocal tour de force.  Danny Gokey’s American Idol Season 8 has been very consistence but he needs something unusual to happen.  I don’t think he wants it to happen during Disco week, but over the next few weeks he needs to surprise us.  An aside, someone on the Internet compared Danny’s voice to Rod Stewart.  I agree.  If he uses that correctly, he can deliver a huge surprise.
  3. Matt Giraud, I know, how can Matt move from fifth to third after he was voted off?  Matt Giraud’s “save” performance was the second best of the week and showcased his talents as a song interpreter, an arranger and as a singer.  It is risky ranking him this high since his American Idol Season 8 performances have been so inconsistent this year, but I would assert that he has been no more inconsistent than Adam LambertMatt Giraud’s performance of “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”  was really pretty exceptional both nights.  He toned it down the second time but his competition performance was pretty much perfect as well.
  4. Allison Iraheta shocked me this week.  She sang a rock song poorly.  Her performance of “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” was filled with garbled lyrics and pitch problems.  When Allison sings low and slow, she mumbles her lyrics. Allison Iraheta has demonstrated that she can sing rock and she can sing ballads.  She is a great singer for any age.  She ranks below Kris, Danny and Matt because she has not demonstrated their breadth of musical and production skills.  I think she is a better stage performer than anyone left on American Idol Season 8.
  5. Adam Lambert’s performance of “Born To Be Wild” epitomizes why many of us are not drinking the Adam Lambert kool aid that American Idol is serving in Season 8.  “Born to Be Wild” is an angry anthem of a generation rejecting the constraints society was placng on them and breaking free from all their parents held dear.  The electronic arrangement was synth pop when it needed to be industrial.  The performance needed to be angry and disaffected wild rather than dancy and screamy wild. Adam Lambert is trying to win American Idol Season 8 by playing the Adam Lambert character.  I wish he would just think about the songs and sing them with that great voice.
  6. Lil Rounds, for the third week in a row, struggled to sing.  Shocking.  If you download Lil’s studio recording version of “The Rose”  your will hear a beautiful, interesting performance.  On the show she was stiff and off key.  Lil just seems frustrated and perplexed.  The old Lil Rounds is still in there and we need to see it, because it is really great.
  7. Anoop Desai delivered his best performance of the Season 8 and seems to be gaining some momentum with the judges.  His singing of “(Everything I Do) I Do for You” was impeccable.  Yet the result for me was boring.  I just don’t think Anoop has the groove to nail the funky performances so he has been relegated to ballad after ballad.  Anoop has the least amount of stage presence of any of the American Idol Season 8 Top 10.

I have been going through my Disco archives to find songs for the Idols to sing on American Idol Season 8 Disco night. How embarrassing is it that I have “disco archives”.  Check in with me tomorrow morning as we post some pretty interesting song suggestions and then join us Tuesday night at 8edt/7cdt as I live blog American Idol Disco performance night.

In the meantime, download the video of the last week’s live performances or the American Idol studio recordings from iTunes.  I would suggest that you download the studio recordings by Kris Allen, Lil Rounds and Matt Giraud, in addition to your favorite.



Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8- Top 7 Results Live Blog

What is going to happen on American Idol tonight?  I think Lil Rounds or Anoop Desai is going home tonight.  Lil struggled again and Anoop delivered his best performance but it was still a little boring.  However, dialidol has everyone but Danny Gokey at risk.  Take that Entertainment Weekly, BuddyTV and MTV.  Nothing will surprise me.

Before we get to American Idol, have you seen the Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent?  We have gathered the video and some commentary in our article Dreams Come True.  If you have somehow missed this, and you want to see Simon melt, go check this out.

Last night’s show was pretty disappointing (see our movie song live blog and our movie song review articles).  Kris Allen was the American Idol performer to take a chance and, like he has done for most of the season, he scored big.  I am starting to think that Kris Allen should win American Idol Season 8.  He looks like he can be a big star, all indications are that he is a great musician and I think he could make the American Idol machine work with his preferred music style.  So, he probably will not win, but he should.  Most everyone else was all right, but they didn’t do anything to advance themselves as artists. Disappointed!

Jennifer Hudson and Miley Cyrus perform tonight.  Internet chatter says the performances are taped.  Why would they do that?  Both of these singers are seasoned live performers, the American Idol band is great and we deserve some really great J.Hudson singing chops.  When does the Lakisha Jones CD drop?

Great intro with Quentin Tarantino.  He says he knows who is going to leave?

The tour dates are up on AmericanIdol.com.

The Idols are rocking “Freeze Frame” in the Ford “my tax dollars are paying for this” video.  The group number is lipsynching “Maniac” from Flashdance.  Did Allison just shove Simon?  Go girl!  Battle of the frontrunners.  Did Danny just do his Adam Lambert impersonation with a little hair metal scream?  Amazing they keep playing Adam and Danny off of each other.  This would have been better if Paula would have done that crazy Flashdance dance with the leggings.

The American Idol performers went to the 17 Again premiere last night.  How cool. Yep they went directly after the show because they were still wearing their competition outfits.  Oh thank you for explaining to me we should go to the 1,000th telling of this story.  One of the actors said this one is really funny.  Okay.

Let’s get down to business.  We start building with Allison Iraheta and she may be at risk, but she is safe.  I had her in my bottom 3.  I didn’t have Adam Lambert in the bottom 3. I was right he is safe.  Is anyone shocked?  Here is another one I have in the bottom 3, Anoop Desai.  He is in the bottom 3 again.  It does not seem to matter how well he does.  He can’t escape the risk pool.

Jennifer Hudson time.  How ironic, wasn’t she eliminated from the Top 7?  She is the the artist that made me start watching this show.  She is singing “If This Isn’t Love”.   Okay, she is singing live.  I am happy.  I love this woman, as a performer of course.  This is what the American Idol contestants are shooting for.  I am happy about a results show performance for the first time the year.  Just great.

Who is going to join Anoop in the bottom 3, Lil, Matt or a surprise?  Let’s see.  Kris Allen better be safe, but Lil Rounds not so much.  Simon took a chance to say Kris was brilliant.  Yes he was.  Kris is safe.  That’s right.  Lil Rounds is in the bottom 3 again.  Matt Giraud and Danny Gokey and Matt looks like he expects to be in the bottom 3.  He is probably right.  Randy takes a chance to praise Danny.  Matt Giraud is in the bottom 3 again.

Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds and Anoop Desai are the bottom 3.  Kara thinks it is the right group and I agree.

Anoop is safe?  Lil and Matt are the bottom 2.  This isn’t right.  The judges may save Matt.

Miley Cyrus is here promoting her new movie and she is singing live.  What language is she singing in?  I don’t understand anything she is saying.  She looks cute and is singing well, but I am a little confused.  I heard a few english words.  Something about being strong in an uphill mountain?  Oh, it is the “Climb”.  Well the good thing about this, we don’t have to worry about her forgetting her words.  And I like her.

Simon says he would consider saving one of the bottom 2 and it would be a surprise.  How is that for a tease?  It looks like we are going to lose another Christian music artist tonight on American Idol Season 8.

It is time.  Who will we say goodbye to?  Matt Giraud is singing for survival.  Lil rounds is safe.  The first real upset of  Season 8.  Interesting, he is toning down the arrangement.  I don’t know, this is pretty good. Is he earning the save?

They saved Matt and the other Idols are thrilled.  Matt is crying, the Idols are cherring and the audience is going crazy. This was fun. They have now saved Matt Giraud twice.

Next week two people are going home and next week is Disco week.  Ugly.  Way to go Matt!

Tomorrow morning you can download the full studio recordings of last night’s performance at iTunes

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8- Movie Songs Performance Review

I am ready to kick it into gear.   It seems for the past few weeks American Idol Season 8 has been repeats of each other.  Danny Gokey does his thing week after week.  Adam Lambert flies from great to annoying.  Kris Allen quietly slays the show just about every week.  Matt Giraud and Anoop Desai press to prove themselves.  Lil Rounds struggles to find herself as a performer.  Quentin Tarantino was fun.  I don’t think the American Idol contestants were quite ready for his intensity.  I didn’t really like limiting the judges’ critiques.  This show needs to be 90 minutes.

Did it feel like Adam Lambert’s song lasted longer than Kris Allen’s song?  It felt that way to me.

Before we get into the American Idol Top 7 performance rankings, I want to promote the song the Kris Allen sang, “Falling Slowly”, from the movie Once.  Kara called it an obscure song?  What is up with that? First of all, it won the Acadamy Award for Best Song of 2007.   Second, this is a really great movie of a man and a woman who form a strong, truely platonic, friendship.  It is also the best movie I have ever seem about the creation of music.  Here is a snippet of the review from Christian Spotlight on Entertainment:

“The Girl leads the Guy to a music store to play piano for him. It is there that one of the most honest and incredible moments in modern cinema takes place. The guy teaches her one of his songs, and in the solitude of the little music shop, they create truly beautiful music.”

The movie is shot on the streets of Dublin so there is a significant amount of profanity.  It is concentrated at the first of the movie and trails off once the characters move out of the street settings.  If you can get over the profanity, this is a movie worth watching.

Once

American Idol Season 8 Top 7 Performance Rankings

After watching the performances again, I had a few mild surprises (see the Movie Song Live Blog).  I liked Kris Allen and Matt Giraud better than I did orignally.  I liked Allison Iraheta less than my first viewing and I continued to be perplexed by Lil Rounds.  The performances are closely grouped.  There is a signifcant gap between Kris Allen at number 1 and the next group of four performers and then another gap before we get to the bottom two.  For the most part, I disagreed with the judges.  Here are the American Idol Movie Song Perfomance Rankings:

  1. Kris Allen took my breath away.  He made subtle changes to the arrangement of this Acadamy award winning song and he sent chills down my spine.  “Falling Slowly” is one of those songs my entire family stops and listens to any time we hear it, anywhere we are.  I was worried when he said this was the song.  It is just two years old and Glen Hassard sang it with a capital S.  But Kris did it.  Without his guitar, he stood in the middle of the stage and proved he is one of the best singers on Ameican Idol Season 8.  Without dancing, he delivered a performance that drilled the song home.  Fantastic.  My wife turned to me and said, “He may win American Idol”.
  2. Matt Giraud sat at the piano and delivered my favorite Matt Giraud performance of American Idol Season 8.  First of all, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” is a beautiful song.  Secondly, Matt’s piano playing was spectacular.  Third, except for the break down of his falsetto at the end, I thought his vocal delivery was dead-on.  He played some parts straight and he added R&B runs to some parts and he did both well.  I disagree with the judges.  I think this worked.
  3. Danny Gokey performed Lionel Richie’s song “Endless Love”.  I don’t really like this song.  At first I thought the beginning was rough, but when I went back and listened again, Danny Gokey sang this song perfectly.  He sang a weird low register at the beginning, he blasted the big notes and he hit the falsetto beautifully.  Another great performance from Danny Gokey.
    During the mentoring session Quentin Tarantino worked with him to bring more power to the performance by controlling his hands.  It was great directing and it worked, except you could see Danny purposely battling his desire to throw his hands up.  It was subtle but the battle was raging.
    There was an odd moment during the judging when Simon was trying to criticize Danny but in a rare moment of Simon Cowell tenderness he was tring to comfort Danny through his emotional reaction to the song.  I am certain the conspiracy mongers will say that the judges are trying to fix American Idol Season 8, but this felt genuine.
  4. Adam Lambert tried to modernize  Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” with an electronic arrangement that did not work for me.  The arrangement needed to be more industrial than dance pop.  Adam has emerged as a big, confident stage performer, but he is overpraised.  He continues to “put on a show” rather than deliver a song. His singing was spectacular, if over the top, but there was no sense of danger or defiance in his delivery.
  5. Allison Iraheta sang Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”.  One of my measures of American Idol performances is, does the performance make me forget the original? I heard Steven Tyler in my head throughout the Allison’s delivery.  She garbled lyrics at spots throughout the song and she really struggled with the pitch in the middle.  Allison was able to deliver some big notes and I love her stage presence but tonight was not on par with most of what we have seen from Allison Iraheta throughout American Idol Season 8.
  6. Anoop Desai sang “(Everything I Do) I Do For You”, a Bryan Adams song from Robin Hood: Men In Tights. I think it was Anoop’s best performance of the season.  What does that tell you about Anoop Desai’s chances to win American Idol Season 8? The singing was impeccable.  The delivery was boring.  Anoop just does not have the stage presence to measure up to the American Idol performers above.
  7. Lil Rounds had the closing spot, a great song and she tried really hard.  She was just not able to pull it off.  Lil sang “The Rose” made famous by Bette Midler in the movie of the same name.  I don’t know if it was the singing or the arrangment, but it was just off.  I thought she was off key though most of the song, but my wife (who actually knows how to sing) thinks she was trying to do what she did.  What ever the reason, I didn’t enjoy it. I felt uncomfortable, even more so when Lil argued with Simon until Ryan had to cut her off.  A producer is going to take Lil Rounds and create something spectacular but American Idol Season 8 is not her time.

American Idol Season 8 Top 7 Predictions

This is really hard.  I think Matt Giraud will be safe because he will pick up mant of Scot MacIntyre’s votes.  I have a hard time beliving that both Allison Iraheta and Lil Rounds would be in the bottom 3.  Kris Allen delivered the best performance of the night.  Most people believe Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert are untouchable. But I guess now is the time for hard choices and surprises.

Bottom Three: Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds ,Allison Iraheta

Bottom Two : Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds

Going home: Anoop Desai

The judges will not use their “save” on Anoop or Lil.  I think they would use it on anyone else that was elminated.

I know you had your favorite moments from tonight.  Download them from iTunes below

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8- Movie Music Live Blog

One21music is covering the Christian music artists competing on American Idol Season 8.   Scott MacIntyre left the show last week so four of the top 7 American Idol performers are believers (Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds).  This morning we posted a review of the Christian music artists who performed for your votes this season.  We looked at their time on Idol and what they have been doing since they left the show.  Check out American Idol Season 8- Year of the Believers.

Tonight the American Idol Top 7 sing music from the movies.  I did not even attempt to predict songs.  All I can hope is that Lil Rounds stays away from The Bodyguard and Dreamgirls.  Quentin Tarantino will mentor the Idols and he quentin-tarantino3seems like an odd choice.  I did not realize that he was such a notoriously huge American Idol fan that even served as a celebrity judge in American Idol Season 3.  I don’t know if he will be able to help with the musical side of mentoring but he will have plenty of opinions about presentation, arrangement and delivery.  While I don’t endorse his movies, his enthusiasm for all thing pop culture make him highly entertaining.

Tonight is vital for just about everyone performing.  Lil Rounds desperately needs a strong performance to save herself for another week or two.  Matt Giraud needs a breakthrough performance to propel himself  into contention for the American Idol Season 8 title.  Kris Allen must regain his footing after a bad showing last week if he wants to contend for the Season 8 title.  Danny Gokey needs a change of pace to solidify his place in the final 3.  See my more detailed analysis on the Top 7  power rankings.

So exciting!  It is getting down to the real players.  Have the fashions gotten better?  Everyone looks good tonight.  I am glad we have eliminated the judges walk down the stairs.  They need to stay seated.

Another tight timeline tonight.  It will be tough to get seven songs and mentoring in.  Great idea, the judges are talking two at a time.  This should improve the time.

Little Steven in the house and Danny Gokey lost his glasses. Tarantino directs such violent movies.  You really need to suspend your humanity to watch them.

Allison Iraheta “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing”by Aerosmith (Armageddon).  Tough spot for her.  Sometimes when she sings the low, slow parts she slurs her words.  I can hear Steven Tyler singing this.  She is a really good stage performer but this is a little rough.   She can belt the big notes and the audience loved it.

Paula compares her vocal prowess to Adam Lambert and thinks she is remarkable and authentic.  Simon calls her the girls only hope.  Simon thinks she sang this song better than any girl he has ever heard.

I bet Adam Lambert is going to sing “Born To Be Wild” from Easy Rider.

Anoop Desai takes the second spot and is singing Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”.   This is a good song for him and he has slowed and softened the arrangement.  This is Anoop’s best performance of the season.  It is still a little boring.  Maybe I am sour on Anoop.

Randy is liking it.  He gives a lukewarm endorsement.  Kara agrees with me that it was one of his best.  Kara felt connected to him.

Adam Lambert must be giddy to meet Tarantino and, yes he is singing an electronic version of “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf.   A big wild performance by Adam, but once again I am back to feeling completely disconnected to the song.  What is he singing about, does he know?  It is not the dangerous hippie rebellion anthem that was in the movie.  Of course the judges will go gaga.

Paula and Simon are smiling really big.  The audience goes wild!  Dancing in the path of greatness?  What is Paula talking about?  Simon thought it was great vocally but it was like watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I agree with Simon.

My ears are still ringing from Adam’s screams.

Matt Giraud is up next, looking very slick, singing “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” by Bryan Adams.  He is at the piano.  I think he has the best chance of taking Scott’s fans.  Matt has created a song moment for himself.  His arrangement works for his style and voice.  It got  away from him a little bit at the end, but a beautiful performance.  Good job, Matt.

Randy thinks the bridge was a little rough and he thought Matt stumbled a little with the melody.  Kara thinks it did not work to take this rock song and make it an R&B song.  I liked it better than the judges.

Danny Gokey, sans glasses, went shopping and bought a guitar.  He is singing “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie.  Tarantino’s direction was to try to get him to limit his hand gestures so the emotion could come out of his eyes.  Is that why he is without glasses?  He starts on the stool and then walks to the front of the stage.  Not a great song for his voice but he showed he can blow.

Paula questioned his key choice and feels like he pulled it together in the middle. Simon is disappointed with the traditional version and a little bored.  Simon did compliment his singing.  Weird critique from Simon.  He wanted to criticize but sympathized.

Kris Allen is performing Glen Hansard’s “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once.  He is without guitar but it will be tough to put his own spin on this beautiful song.  He is proving that, above all, he can sing.  He puts a little soul twist on the end.  Beautiful.

Randy doesn’t get it.  He thought it was pitchy.  I agree with Kara, she said it was one of his best performances.  Apparently, Paula agreed with Kara as she was shouting yes when Kara said one of his best.

At least Lil Rounds gets her best shot with the final slot.  She is singing “The Rose” by Bette Midler with a gospel twist.  Could be interesting. I love this song.  Nice start, quiet and subdued.  Oh she just missed the transition to the gospel part really badly.  She has lost the pitch.  I am afraid this may be the end of Lil.  I had such high hopes but she did not sing it.

Paula said nothing.  Simon hated it.  Lil really argued with him.

I am disappointed by tonight.  By now we should be blown away on a regular basis and that did not happen for me.  I will  review the performances later and deliver my performance reviews before you get to work.

Check out these performances on iTunes

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8- The Christians

Now that we are just past the halfway mark on American Idol Season 8′s live competition, let’s take a few minutes to remember the Christian music artists who made it to the Top 36 and see what we can find out about what they are doing.  At one21music we identified 10 Christian music artists who made it to the Top 36 and six of those made it to Top 13.  The contestants on American Idol Season 8 are barred from singing on their own until June because of their contract with the TV show.  That limits a lot of information about these American Idol contestants.

Some of them made it through, some of them didn’t, but these are the artists we discovered through the search to find the believers in American Idol

Felicia Barton

Felicia BartonProbably the biggest tragedy of American Idol Season 8 was that Felicia Barton did not receive a fair chance to succeed.  She was all but invisible throughout the tryouts and Hollywood Week and she was eliminated in the mansion.  However, she was rushed to Hollywood at the last minute to replace JoAnne Pacitti in the Top 36 .  Her wonderful performance of Alicia Keys “No One” was mostly ignored by the judges and she was not selected for the Wild Card show. Barton, a wife and mother who has served as the minister of music at her church also has performed on the boardwalk in her hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Post American Idol interviews have revealed a believer with a great amount of gratitude for her American Idol opportunity and a wealth of confidence in the possibilities for her future in the music business.

In an interview with the Virginian-Pilot just after she returned form Hollywood, Felicia Barton said:

“I don’t think I cried. Maybe a couple days later, but not right away. You know, I really had a lot of peace about what was going on, and I feel really blessed to have gotten back in the competition, you know. Just that opportunity to sing in front of 30 million people.”

Felicia Barton has been back to Hollywood and to Nashville to record songs and work on a recording contract.  We are waiting to hear new songs on myspace pretty soon.  In the meantime, you can download Felicia Barton singing Alicia Key’s “No One” on iTunes.  Follow the link at the bottom of the page and I will show you how.

Ricky Braddy

rickbraddyA gospel singer and Commercial Music major at Belmont University made it to the Wild Card but was not chosen by the judges to be one of the American Idol Season 8 Top 13.  His performance of “A Song for You” in the Top 36 elimination show earned him a standing ovation from Paula Abdul, who was a big fan.  Michael Slezac of entertainment Weekly is still grousing over Ricky Braddy’s early departure from American Idol Season 8.

Ricky Braddy possesses a pure, clear singing voice and a great falsetto.  In the Wild Card round he performed Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” but it was not enough to propel him into the American Idol Season 8 Top 13.  Ricky maintains a Facebook and Myspace page and is a frantic Tweeter.  He is currently traveling between Atlanta and Nashville writing music and working on a record contract.

Ricky created a little stir on American Idol when a fan website using the name the “Braddy Bunch” emerged to push his chances on American Idol.  His parents showed up on his first live performance wearing Braddy Bunch tshirts and the website received a “cease and desist” order from the producers of American Idol.

Mishavona Henson

mishavonaThis seasoned 18 year old singer/actor came onto American Idol as a returning American Idol contestant (she made it to Hollywood in Season 7) who had television acting credits (Frasier) and an EP  (From the Edge of The World Mishavonna Henson ).  In August of 2008, Mishavonna Henson received the “Certificate of Merit Award” for female vocal solo at the Assemblies of God “National Fine Arts Festival” in North Carolina.

Apparently, Mishavonna Henson has received permission to perform a benefit with Debbie Gibson for the Gibson Girl Foundation which provides scholarships for talented youth to attend Gibson’s Electric Youth Summer Camp. She is already working on her second cd.

Her Top 36 live performance was Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” and, as a result of that performance the song shot back into the iTunes 100, peaking at 15.  Here is the young girl, fully recovered from her experience and enjoying a day with her friends.

Kristen MacNamara

kristen macnamaraA veteran of Star Search and Nashville Star before she auditioned for American Idol Season 8, Kristen MacNmara has been pursuing her career since she moved from California to Branson, Missouri to work as a musician in this country music mecca.

Kristen McNamara first gained fame on American Idol Season 8 when her Hollywood Week group’s meltdown was the centerpiece of one of the episodes.   Kristen  sang “Give Me One More Reason” in her Top 36 live performance and received very little love from the judges and did not receive enough votes to make it to the Top 13.

Kristen McNamara is one of the founders of L.A.U.G.H., an organization promoting personal missions.

Kristen has a channel on youtube called Kmactv, which is a set of videos following the adventures of her and her friends as they goof around.  There is no update on her myspace and we were unable to find any articles.  However, her myspace page does say that she is signed to 19 Entertainment (the company that produces American Idol).  Based on Internet chatter, that must have happened right around the time she was eliminated.

Michael Sarver

michael arverA fan favorite, Michael Sarver made it into the Top 10 of American Idol Season 8, so we will see him on the American Idol Live tour.   He shocked audiences when he was voted in over American Idol front runner Anoop Desai in round 1 of the Top 12 selection show.  He then survived the elimination of Jasmine Murray, Jorge Nunez and Alexis Grace before his performance of “Ain’t to Proud (To Beg)” failed to earn him enough votes to continue.

A worship leader at the Harvest Church in Jasper, Texas, Michael Sarver started his American Idol quest with a hope to leave his life as an oilfield worker behind.  As I wrote in our article on Michael Sarver, his American Idol Season 8 journey became a healing process for a town torn and embarrassed by racial issues.  Many believe Michael Sarver has become the image of a new Jasper, He has put Jasper back on the map in a positive way and we appreciate all the help he has done to make Jasper alive again,” said Jasper Council Member Terrya Norsworthy.

Michael Sarver returned home to large crowds in both Jasper and his hometown of Sulphur, Louisiana.  He has already signed a record deal and expects to return to Los Angeles within a few weeks to start recording his debut album.

Scott MacIntyre

scott-macintyreThe most recent Christian music artist to exit American Idol Season 8, Scott made it to 8th place.  Scott MacIntyre was difficult to judge.  His singing did not measure up to that of the other American Idol Season 8 performers, but he possesses a certain intangible that the judges and the audience could not deny.

Scott MacIntyre is a world class classical musician who has received dozens of national and international awards for piano, composition and vocal.  He was  the recipient of the Marshall scholarship, Fulbright scholarship (to the UK), USAToday All-USA Academic First Team and was a Rhodes Finalist for Arizona.  Scott studied in London, England where he obtained his masters degree in Performance Studies from the Royal College of Music and Royal Holloway University of London at the age of 19. He was also accepted to both Oxford and Cambridge for further graduate-level research.

Scott MacIntyre has been featured and  profiled on CNN, Sky News Europe, USA Today, and other media as pianist, vocalist, and songwriter. He has independently released 6 full-length CD’s and has written in genres spanning pop, rock, punk, jazz, and classical.  You can buy Scott’s punk rock CD with his group The Glutes at iTunes by clicking here The Glutes

To top things off , Scott MacIntyre told Access Hollywood, “I say blindness is only half of my story, I’ve been through so much more than that.” He added, “I dealt with kidney failure for two years. It’s something that I intentionally didn’t bring up on this show because, you know, the blindness is obvious, but I didn’t want to be voted for based on my challenges.” The 23-year-old singer was diagnosed with the disease in 2005. He then went to London and got a master’s degree in music, but had to return home to have emergency dialysis. In 2007, Scott MacIntyre was lucky enough to find a kidney donor: his former piano instructor from Arizona State University.

That leaves us with the final four Christina music artists competing on American Idol Season 8.

Danny Gokey

danny-gokeyA favorite since he auditioned, Danny Gokey has performed at the top of the American Idol chart every single week.  Others have peaked above him but have fallen back behind him the next week.  Danny has been the best or second best performance in every week of the competition.

His Hollywood Week group performance of “Somebody To Love” was the best of the season.  Danny Gokey hit the live competition with the Mariah Carey song “Hero” and tore down the house causing whooping screaming adulation from the judges.  He has maintained that level of excellence each week since.

In listening to the exit interviews, Danny Gokey is mentioned more than any other contestant as one of the nicest people in the mansion.  From the outside in, it seems he has put a lot of effort into developing strong personal relationships with as many of the other performers as possible.

Danny Gokey has a natural likability, a unique gravel, but soulful voice and ease about himself that draws America to him.  He is certainly one of four remaining contestants that should be considered a favorite for the Top 2.

Kris Allen

Kris AllenJust the opposite of Danny, Kris Allen flew under the radar into the American Idol Season 8 Top 13.  This quiet business major from small town Arkansas was considered a handsome, good singer but no one really new.  We got our first glimpse of Kris Allen’s interpretive skills when he chose Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”.  In Kris’s hands this song took on a more epic arc.

The second peak happened when Kris Allen made us forget Garth Brook’s ever sang “To Make You Feel My Love”.

Then it happened.  With his amazing arrangement of “Ain’t No Sunshine” Kris Allen burst to the front of numerous American Idol Season 8 power rankings.  His only misstep was last week.

Kris Allen has the looks, the music skills, the voice and the arranging insight to win American Idol Season 8.  He needs to continue to push himself to have as much confidence in himself as we all do.

Matt Giraud

84635271Simon described Matt Giraud as a musical yo-yo and he was right.  Matt has had some brilliant performances of classic R&B songs.  But he has also had some of the worst performances of the year when he took on Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”  and The Fray’s “You Found Me”.  The first performance nearly cost him a spot in the Top13.  The judges saved him in the  Wild Card round but his journey to the American Idol Season 8 Top 7 has been rocky.  He has been in the bottom 3 four times and the bottom 2 twice.

Matt Giraud is a dueling piano player from Michigan who had two R&B CDs under his belt that proclaimed his faith.  We found some wonderful testimonials from his fans on the Internet.  Matt is a great singer who has strong, soulful sensibility and the ability to deliver his falsetto with feeling.

Right now the general consensus is that Matt Giraud has fallen behind and has little chance of winning American Idol Season 8.  He has the talent to win, but he cannot afford another slip and he needs to deliver a couple of breakthrough performances.

Lil Rounds

lil-roundsFinally, we come to the displaced mother of two.  Lil Rounds emerged as a front-runner in the American Idol Season 8 auditions when Randy compared her to Fantasia and Mary J Blige.  She soared through Hollywood Week and she dazzled in the Top 36 selection show when she sang “Be with You”.  She seemed unstoppable with her combination of powerful vocals, keen rhythmic sense, good looks and great back story.

However, something happened on the way to the confetti party.  Starting with Grand Ole Opry week Lil Rounds started to drift away.  First, she sang well but added little to the songs.  The last two weeks her vocals have even started to falter and she is in serious trouble.

Her position on American Idol Season 8 has become so precarious that website “votefortheworst”  has taken Lil Rounds on as their latest cause.  One more shaky performance and Lil Rounds could be headed back to Memphis.

You can download full length studio recording each one of these Christian music artists performances, including those by American IdolFelicia Barton, Ricky Braddy, Mishavonna Henson and Kristen McNamara. When you click through to the itunes store, look just below the text and above the Top 13 photos and you will see a link to the Top 36 performances.

Apple iTunes

It has been a wonderful American Idol.   Season 8 has seen an unprecedented number of Christian music artists move further than we have ever experienced before.  This bodes well for us Christians looking for pop music over the next few years that embodies our hope and faith.

American Idol Season 8- Top 7 Power Rankings

Before we talk about American Idol Season 8, I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.  Many times holidays are consumed with the wonderful activities of family.  God gave us family to enjoy.  On this weekend,  the rush to gather and the pull to commune with loved ones causes us to miss very important moments to meditate on the one man historical revolution we celebrate at Easter.  If that is the case for you, take a few minutes today and find some silence to reflect on the man Jesus and the messiah Christ and his mission that was completed during Passover so many year ago.  Return to our Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter articles to relive these last three days again.

One21music is covering the Christian music artists on American Idol Season 8.  Four of the final seven performers are believers.

We lost Scott MacIntyre last week.  In a bizarre ending to the performance results show the American Idol American Idol judges agonized over whether to save Scott.  I did not understand their behaviour.  While may be the best musician to compete on , he is not a great singer.  Check in with us tomorrow when we review Scott’s exit and look back on all of the Christian’s who performed on live television in American Idol Season 8.

I said in last week’s Birth Year Songs Preview that competition is starting to come into focus.  Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Alllison Iraheta and Adam Lambert are the clear front runners for the American Idol Season 8 Top 3.  Matt Giraud has been solid through out the competition and he could have a breakthrough that would propel him to the Top 3.  Lil Rounds has struggled since the Top 36 eliminations and needs a huge turnaround to survive.  I would remind everyone that this time in American Idol Season 7, the judges had written Syesha Mercado off and she made it to the Top 3.   Anoop Desai has had his best performances of the season that last two weeks and has landed in the bottom 2 each time.

American Idol Top 7 Power Rankings

  1. Danny Gokey- Consistency, consistency.  That may be the Greek translation of Gokey.  Last week he showed-off with a fascinating arrangement of  “Stand By Me”.  He took a 50 year old song me and made it modern.  Danny’s gravel filled vocals and joyful performances have captured the hearts of everyone I know.  The real magic for Danny Gokey his the emotional connection to his music, demonstrated in every performance in American Idol Season 8.  It has enabled Danny Gokey to capture the hearts of American Idol fans.
  2. Kris Allen- For the first time in American Idol Season 8, Kris Allen stumbled.  He took a dark protest song “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” by Don Henley and performed it as a jazzy, bouncy pop song.  Kris seemed to be going through the motions last week, smiling and dancing but not really delivering the song.  With that said, Kris has had more higher highs (“Aint’ No Sunshine”) than Danny Gokey and more top notch performances than Adam Lambert.  Kris has proven to be a great interpreter of song and we expect him to return to excellence this week.
  3. Adam Lambert-  With his performance of “Mad World” last week, Adam Lambert demonstrated the potential that the American Idol judges have been raving about all season.  For the first time in American Idol’s Season 8, Adam stopped competing and he just performed.  It was unpretentious and heart felt.  It was spectacular.  He now needs to be consistent.
  4. Allison Iraheta- With her performance of  “I Can’t Make You Love Me” Allison not only recovered from her previous week’s fall, she also delivered a performance she has needed all season.  Her first ballad of the American Idol’s Season 8 showed that she is a great singer.  She restrained herself, brought texture to her performance and built on her reputation as a precocious talent who has a long career in the music business.
  5. Matt Giraud- He also had a comeback this week when he went back to his R&B style, singing Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover”.  Matt did everything right with great dancing, an insightful interpretation and an amazing falsetto.  With all of that, he was still overshadowed by Danny, Adam and Allison.  He has been too inconsistent and has not delivered a breakthrough moment in American Idol Season 8.  With all of that said, he is still capable of making something big happen.
  6. Lil Rounds-  What has happened to Lil Rounds?  Where did the American Idol Season 8 front runner go?  I said early on that she may struggle with arrangements and creativity as the season went on, but she is now struggling to sing well.  You can see the frustration on her face.  If she does not deliver this week, I think her fate is sealed.
  7. Anoop Desai-  He has reached the limit of American idol Season 8 experience.  Anoop’s last two performance have been his best, yet he landed in the bottom 2 each time.  Last week he beat out Scott MacIntyre by only 30,000 votes.  That is less than a hair.  His fate has been cast.  His will be gone this week or next.

The American Idol theme this week is “Songs of the Movies”.  The mentor will be Quentin Tarntino?  He is a director but I don’t know what he has to offer the American Idol Season 8 Top 7 when it comes to developing as a music artist.  We will see.

Check us out tomorrow as we review the Chrsitian music artists who made it to the Top 36 on American Idol Season 8.