American Idol Season 8- Rock Performances Review

What happened tonight?  Debbie Williams, the American Idol stage  manager was injured and taken to the hospital when those retractable stairs retracted while she was on them.  Early reports are that her injuries were minor.  Then the stage started falling and one of the giant American Idol orbs and columns partially collapsed.  Dress rehearsal was cancelled.  MJ’s blog crashed and the MTV live blog stopped at 8:38 edt (I later read the rest of it).  I am grateful that no one was hurt tonight.

I am at a loss for words to describe how much I hated American Idol tonight.  I hated the duets.  I think Slash was a waste.  I thought the judging tonight was meaningless jabber.  The song choices, for the most part. were terrible.  I thought the American Idol rock song performances were vapid.  The arrangements were cookie cutter.  I was so disgusted with American Idol tonight that I went to my office, made a mix of my American Idol Rock Song predictions and played them at a disturbing volume.  That would have made for a fascinating show.

Now that my temper tantrum is over, time for a little empathy.  Missing the dress rehearsal obviously bothered the performers.  We don’t know how much of the dress rehearsal was completed before the accidents but some of the American Idol performers looked uncharacteristically uncomfortable.  Also, someone they know was injured and taken to the hospital before their eyes.  Allison was timid in her performance and then argumentative during her judging.  That is just the opposite of her usual demeanor.  Kris Allen seemed mad the whole night.  Danny Gokey was irritated during the judges comments.  I must believe that they were shaken and concerned about their friend and maybe a little nervous about the set. Too bad we can’t give the American Idol performers a pass tonight.

American Idol Season 8 Rock Song Performance Ratings
I am ignoring the duets tonight. They were meaningless filler. Really, what did you learn about Christina music performers Danny Gokey or Kris Allen from “Renegade”? What did “Slow Ride” tell you about Adam Lambert or Allison Iraheta, other than 17 year old girls singing inappropriate lyrics at 9 edt on national television is apparently something to be applauded? The only time rockers did these stupid duets was on stupid 70′s variety shows.  “The Weight” is cycling through my song preview mix for the second time.  I am feeling better. Remember last week when I said all of the performers earned an “A” in my Rat Pack performance review, well everyone gets no more than a “C” tonight so I am ranking on a curve.

  1. Danny Gokey, yep, that mess Danny Gokey threw out there tonight was my favorite Americna Idol rock  performance.  Why?  The opening to “Dream On” looked to be a struggle for him, his breathing seemed off and he fought to find a groove.  Toward the middle he cut loose with his voice and then he built the song until–The Scream.  So far, everyone hates it.  I liked it.  I don’t know how many notes he stumbled through on that final scream but we could probably score a few scrabble points with those letters.  But I don’t care, it is was guttural, primal, cathartic and insane.
  2. Allison Iraheta picked the right song but she held back.  “Cry Baby” is an angry, hurting rant at a former boyfriend.  Allison need to wring the emotion out of the song but, instead she sang the set-ups and transitions while avoiding the meat of the song.  I had high hopes but Allison played this American Idol performance uncharacteristically safe.
  3. Adam Lambert took the show by storm by cranking through Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”.  I am sorry, from the first moment all I could hear was Robert Plant screaming through he phone to Jimmy Page, “NEVER AGAIN WILL WE ALLOW THAT BLOODY, LAME SHOW TO GUT ONE OF OUR SONGS”.  I played the original for my wife and then replayed Adam’s American Idol version and she nailed it.  “He doesn’t believe in the emotion of the song.”  This was another in a long line of big, loud, brassy empty American Idol performances by Adam Lambert.  I don’t know what everyone is buying but I am not interested.
  4. Kris Allen seemed off tonight.  From the opening verse of his duet with Danny to his placid walk through of “Come Together”, Kris seemed angry and uninterested.  “Come Together” was a terrible song choice.  For the second week in a row, Kris Allen has kept his magical arranging skills under wraps.  There is just very little you can do with this song.  We have seen many others fail (isn’t this song the last one Carly Smithson did last year) with “Come Together”.  Kris sang well but you did not get the feeling he really cared that much.

Just in case you did not notice, I was disappointed by American Idol tonight.

Given all of the accidents and distractions tonight and given that Slash was such a terrible mentor, I think we should skip elimination this week and eliminate two next week. American Idol producers, don’t you agree? Just in case 19 Entertainment does not clip this blog for the producers, here are my predictions:

Bottom two Allison Iraheta Kris Allen

Going home Allison Iraheta

On Thursday morning the studio performances will be available for iTunes and we will be able to see how much of tonight’s show was attributable to the dress rehearsal accidents and how much was Slash’s fault.  In the meantime download some of the great performances dating all the way back to Felicia Barton and Mishavonna Henson from the Top 36.

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8- Top 8 Power Rankings

It is unprecedented.  Of the Top 8 performers on American Idol Season 8, five are Christian music artists.  Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre are all still standing and Michael Sarver is the only Christian music artist to be voted off so far.  What is going on?  I would like hear what you think.

I think there are a couple of factors.  First of all, these guys are very good, if not great, music artists who just happen to be Christians.  Secondly, the American Idol judges seem to be more supportive of the artists of faith than in the past.  I don’t think it has anything to do with their faith but the judges seem to be more open to a variety of artists than in past years.  The judges support of Scott MacIntyre has helped him and Simon practically called on America to keep Michael Sarver on American Idol Season 8.

The third reason Christian music artists are doing so well on American Idol Season 8 is the experience they have singing on stage.  If is most evident with Kris Allen and Danny Gokey, both worship leaders, as they make great song selections, create interesting arrangements and deliver the emotional center of the songs in their performances.  You can also see that Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre were comfortable when they stepped on the American Idol stage.  They are used to singing to large groups of people with a band.  Finally, have we ever dug this deeply to identify the Chrsitian music artists on American Idol?  In the past two years, I saw some sites who identified Jordan Sparks and Chris Sligh as Christian music artists, but not so much as this year.

Regardless, we, at One21music, are enjoying the emergence of these believers who make great music.  We look forward to following their careers.

On to other things.  If you read my Top 9 Performance Recap you know that I was surprised by Meagan Joy’s departure.  I thought the three voting constituencies supporting her would keep her in for a few more weeks.  In my Top 9 power ranking I said she needed to go straight one week and just sing a song.  She never did and I think that cost her.  We overheard her talking to Simon after the she was eliminated and she admitted to him that she had never held a microphone before stepping onto the  American Idol stage.

American Idol Top 8 Power Rankings

If you read my  Top 9 Performance Recap you know that I think Kris Allen had an American Idol break out performance and established himself as a serious contender.  The blogosphere agreed with me as blogger after blogger raved about Kris Allen’s take on “Ain’t No Sunshine”.  I urge you to go to iTunes, through the icon below, and download that performance.  It was masterful.

That was the best performance of American Idol Season 8 and it has vaulted Kris Allen from third (see Top 9 power rankings) to first in the One21music American Idol Season 8 Power Rankings.   Allison Iraheta, last week’s number two had her first stumble and I worry about her ability to pick a great song for herself this week.   Scott MacIntyre moves up based on last week’s performance of “Just The Way You Are”.  Lil Rounds needs a strong performance this week and I think it will difficult for here to find a great song.  American Idol Season 8 remains fluid with a strong group of contenders, so week to week  performances are increasingly crucial.

  1. Kris Allen- I said it in last week’s power rankings and he went out and did again.  Week after week Kris Allen has taken well known songs by Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, James Taylor, Garth Brooks and, last week, Bill Withers and created completely new versions.  Last week was the topper.  “Ain’t No Sunshine” is fully ingrained into the fabric of America’s soundtrack and has been covered by dozens of artists.  Kris Allen’sAmerican Idol version on , is arguably my favorite version of this song.  Kris made me believe he wrote this song about a loss in his life.  Until March 31, 2009, Kris Allen was flying under the radar on American Idol.  He is firmly on America’s radar now.
  2. Danny Gokey- Danny’s stripped down performance of “What Hurts Most” was typical of all his American Idol Season 8 performances: cool arrangement, emotionally connected and well sung.  Danny has performed at the highest level all season long.  I worry that he has set a bar of expectation that he cannot exceed.  I think Danny Gokey has proven he was a fully baked pop star when he auditioned.  I don’t know what he can do for a break out performance to separate himself from the pack.
  3. Allison Iraheta- She stumbled last week and looked like a 16 year old on American Idol.  The judges were correct in telling her she looked like a kid dressing up to look like a rock star, when she is a rock star.  No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” was too small a song for her and the guitar was an obvious prop.  It pushed her back into the bottom 3 of the voting.  Allison needs to another rocking, blues performance to right her journey on American Idol. Check out our Top 8 performance preview tomorrow to see what I would have Allison sing.
  4. Lil Rounds-  I may have been the only one in the media to have enjoyed Lil’s performance last week.  I thought it was a soulful take on Celine Dion’s “I Surrender”.  She has had three week’s in a row of well sung songs, but she has not been able to put her stamp on a song yet.  Lil needs a performance this week to get the American Idol judges singing her praises again.  Does anyone have a suggestion for Lil Rounds from 1984?
  5. Matt Giraud- He is the poster boy for American Idol inconsistency this year.  When he picks R&B songs he delivers.  When he chooses piano driven rock songs like “You Found Me” and “Viva La Vida” he loses his identity.  Matt is starting to remind me of Michael Johns.  The judges are telling him what to sing to soar and he stubbornly clings to his image of himself as a rocker.  He has a ton of good songs to choose form this week, let’s see if he makes the right choice.
  6. Scott MacIntyre- If Scott were to pursue a career in pop music, and let’s hope that he pursues his true talent as a jazz or classical musician, we saw last week what he will be like.  Scott recaptured his magic with “Just The Way You Are”.  He is a fair singer and a wonderful performer.  His fate depends on his performances each week.
  7. Adam Lambert-  I cannot begin to describe my difficulty with his stiff, screaming, staged performance of “Play The Funky Music”.  It showed everything I dislike about Adam as a performer.  He is a great singer, but he panders to the American Idol judges.  Each week’s performance becomes an amalgamation of all the compliments he has received in previous week’s.  I do not want to paint Adam Lambert two dimensionally, he is a young man feverishly pursing his dream.  I just do not connect with him as a singer and I think the judges are wowed by his technical excellence.
  8. Anoop Desai-  It is funny that Anoop came out of Hollywood as a favorite to win it all and, over his past six performances he has proven that he does not have the charisma to be an American Idol.  Anoop is a fine singer who does not have the soul to be the R&B singer he wants to be.

There are two voting blocks to watch.  The blue-eyed soul singer group of Kris Allen, Matt Giraud and Anoop Desai may hurt one of them this week.  I question whether Matt or Anoop can survive a bad performance.  The second group is the “pure in spirit” group of Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Scott MacIntyre.  These three tend to all react with humility, respect and sometimes humor to the judges criticism and praises.  I don’t think this will impact the voting too much this week, but let’s see.

Everyone but Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert could go home on a bad performance.  I think only two of that group make it to the Top 3.  Everyone needs to bring it.

Check out the performance that drove these power rankings by downloading full song recordings and the live performances at iTunes.

Apple iTunes

Join us again in the morning as I preview the Top 8 performance show.  The American Idol performers will be singing songs from the year of their birth (1980 to 1992).  I have some interesting song predictions.

American Idol Season 8- Top 9 Results Live Blog

I said I wouldn’t but I can’t help myself.  Yes, I will live blog the American Idol Season 8 Top 9 results show tonight. I am a live blog addict. I need help.

Are we going to see our first shocker tonight?  Will the judges be forced to use their “save”.  I think Matt Giraud is on the cutting block tonight and I don’t think the American Idol judges will save him.  However, there are several sites on the Internet suggesting that Allison Iraheta is in trouble. If Allison is voted off I think the American Idol judges will be forced to use the “save” Despite what many hope, I will be shocked if Meagan Joy goes home tonight.  See our American Idol Top 9 performance review.

David Cook and Lady GaGa will perform tonight.  David Cook should be okay.  I did not know Lady GaGa (girl or group?) until I just saw a blurb about her (girl) on Entertainment Tonight.  I am not sure I will enjoy her perorfmance but we will wait and see.

The time is now so let’s get us some results!  Well maybe not now.  Let’s wait an hour so Fox can present the show with an asterick Lie To Me*.  See you in an hour.

That was a wasted hour.  Lie To Me is funny, but I don’t think it is a comedy.

The just went through a montage of last night and they did not include Kara’s reference to Studio 57.  Jason Castro and Alexis Grace.  They were happy that 36 million people voted.  They are making Kara apologize to the audience for arguing with them last night.  Keep up with Adam!  Did American Idol just set Adam Lambert as the standard to judge the others by? Oh my gosh!

The Ford commercial used that whole face mixey uppy thing that Michael Jackson did 15 years ago.  The Top 9 are lip synching Journey’s “Don’t Stop” and they are letting Scott MacIntyre pretend he is playing the piano.  Will Adam Lambert do his hair metal scream?  Almost, yep, there it is.  Adam delivers the same old thing.

Back to the results?  Ryan has his results stand out.  Ryan, they are not singing for their lives.  Alexis Grace is proof that there is no firing squad behind the set.  Girls are swooning all over the country as Kris Allen goes through his photo sexy faces.  I can hear girls screaming up and down the street.

LOLOLOL! at Gokey’s impersonation of Giraud.

No more laughing.  Meagan Joy, Matt Giraud and Kris Allen are the first three up to the far side of the stage.  Then Ryan calls  Adam Lambert, Lil Rounds and Allison Iraheta to the center of the stage.  Is everybody going home?!   Anoop Desai is by himself.  Three groups of three.  Who is in the botom 3?  We must endure Lady GaGa first.

No, first we get David Cook.  I like David Cook.  I liked him all year last year.  This song is a little slow.  This song is a little bland.  I am glad he is having some success. I hope he will be able to break out of this soft rock straight jacket.  But the drummer is having a really good time.  At least the boy can sing.

David Cook get his first platinum album.  Congratulations David.  I like him more everytime I see him.

Who is in the bottom 3?  Kris Allen up first and he is safe, go sit down.  Matt Giraud is safe.  Ryan did one of his mean misdirection things.  Mean Ryan.  Megan Joy is the last of her group and she does a stupid bird impersonation to the bottom 3.  What was that?

To the next group and Lil Rounds and she is safe to sing only Mary J Blige songs in the future.  Allison Iraheta is up next and she is in the bottom 3.  Of, course Adam Lambert is safe.   Meagan quit with the bird dance.

Next group and first is Danny Gokey, who is safe.  The last spot in the bottom 3 is to Scott MacIntyre and Anoop Desai. Scott is safe and Anoop is on the bottom 3.

Anoop, Allison and Megan, the bird lady, are our bottom 3.  We wait until after Lady GaGa to find out the results.

Lady GaGa is number one on the charts.  She is showing some chops but the song is a little weird.  Is that bubbles or balloons in her piano?  This song is okay.  It is dance pop with a lot of dancers and a big sound. Better than Britany Spears. That was pretty crazy.  Old zipper eye is pretty wild.

Allison is safe.  Good.  She does not deserve to be in the bottom Two.

Meagan Joy was voted off.  Will the judges save her.  They told her she will not be saved before she sings.  Thank you, at least she can finish her last performance with dignity.

Be sure to grab your favorite American Idol performances and the the full studio recordings on iTunes.

Apple iTunes

Way to leave Meagan Joy. Good luck on your future.

American Idol Season 8- Top 9 Performance Wrap-up

We saw a star birthed tonight.  More than a star, I think we saw a music artist emerge tonight.   Tonight we saw a college student from Arkansas assert himself as a music artist, arranger, performer to be reckoned with.  Forget American Idol, I want to hear this guy’s songs.  Worship leader Kris Allen, in the midst of the Adam Lambert mania, took an iconic soul song “Ain’t No Sunshine” and dropped a completely new version on us that was as more soulful than the original.  If you DVR’d American Idol, go back and watch this performance.  If not, go to the iTunes icon below and download the video of this performance.  Kris Allen took one of my favorite songs, a song that has been covered in dozens of styles, and re-imagined the song into a modern soul rave.  That was blazing hot, baby!

I closed my American Idol Top 9 live blog with the comment that Tuesday night was separation night.  Anoop Desai, Meagan Joy, Matt Giraud showed they don’t have the “It”  to compete.  Scott MacIntyre reminded us why we fell in love with him.  That may keep him in the competition for a while, or, at the least, it will enable him to leave appreciated.  Lil Rounds and Allison Iraheta showed themselves as extremely talented singers who made need a little more help to be fully formed music stars.  Adam Lambert once again showed himself as a show pony who can consistently overwhelm us with vocal histrionics to distract us from his lack of substance.  Danny Gokey and Kris Allen proved themselves as masterful music artists and arrangers who deserve, and will experience, more than American Idol.

Here are the performance rankings:

  1. Kris Allen-  As you might suspect, this is not even close.  Tonight we saw an American Idol moment.  EW needs to make room on their Top 10 all time American Idol performances.  Kris Allen proved tonight he is the real deal.
  2. Danny Gokey- Danny took the opportunity to strip down his performance tonight.  He stood in the middle of the stage with the mike on a stand and just sang Rascal Flats‘ “What Hurts Most”.  The performance was restrained, emotional and powerful.  It was a perfect move my Danny Gokey.  He showed a quiet side we have not seen in a while.  Danny Gokey presents himself as a man of depth and substance and a performer who can deliver that gravitas to his performances.   This performance will Danny enable to power through the next few weeks with big songs and goofy dance moves.
  3. Lil Rounds- I am sorry, I cannot disagree more with the judges.  She sang “I Surrender” by Celine Dion.  The judges said she have sang a Mary J Blige or Mariah Carey song, but I a listen to this performance I hear soul singer Lil Rounds obliterate Celine Dion out of my mind when I hear the song.  For that I will be etenrally grateful.  This was a magnificent, soulful performance.
  4. Scott MacIntyre- He made the best song choice of the night by singing Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”.  By stripping the song down to voice and piano he was able to control the song for his voice.  It was beautiful, honest performance.

    This ends the good performances.

  5. Allison Iraheta- She made her first misstep.  Tonight she looked like an over-matched 16 year old.  Allison sang No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”.  This is a highly syncopated song and that undermines Allison’s skills.  She tried to unleash her big bluesy voice but she would lose the pacing of the song and fall back into the small vocals this song was built on.  For the first time, she did not look comfortable.
  6. Meagan Joy- I hope she listens to Paula and, next week, sits on a stool, stops all of the goofiness and just sings a song.  Tonight she sang Bob Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low”.  She delivered the quirky, tone-tweaked, round pronunciated bouncy vocal the judges applauded early on.  The judges hated it and destroyed her.  I did not hate it, I was just bored.  If this is all she has, she should be grateful for Anoop and Matt.
  7. Anoop Desai-  It was quite telling for Anoop tonight.  He sang some Usher song and his performance demonstrate a substantial lack of soul.  He is Stax records funky in his glee club, but when compared to Usher he is decidedly adult contemporary.  The judges told him tonight that he did not have chops to be a R&B singer and he argues with them that his goal was to become an R&B singer.  That is the problem with Anoop.
  8. Matt Giraud- Matt, Matt, Matt I was afraid this would happen.  You forgot your hideous performance of “Viva La Vida” and went back for more.  You chose The Fray’s “You Found Me” the week after you were in the bottom two.  Again, the song stripped you of all your skills and revealed the weaknesses in your voice.  You have the Anoop disease.  You want to be a different type of performer than your skills dictate.  I am afraid we may lose you this week.
  9. Adam Lambert- I am sorry, I know the whole world loves this guy, but I cannot take it.  Adam’s take on “Play That Funky Music”  was the worst performance I have seen from him in American Idol’s Season 8.  There was a lot of posing, screaming and bad dancing but there was no funk.  There was zero funk.  It reminded me of this variety shows in the 60′s and 70′s.  They would try to pair a soul singer like Joe Tex with a popular easy listening singer like Robert Guoilet.  It was a train wreck because the easy listening guy knew he had no funk so he would ratchet up his singing to make up for his funklessness.  The result was an uncomfortable combination of frantic dance moves and screams.


Probable bottom two: Anoop Desai and Matt Giraud

Going home: Matt Giraud

Possible alternatives in bottom two: Allison Iraheta or Scott MacIntyre

Judges save: only if Allison Iraheta is voted off.

Download the performances and the full length recordings of these songs at iTunes

Apple iTunes

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow night as we begin live blogging the American Idol results shows.

American idol Season 8- Top 9 Performance Live Blog

We are live, blogging the American Idol Season 8 Top 9 performances.  At One21music we are covering the five remaining Christian music artists competing in Season 8: Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre, and Kris Allen .

Check out my preview of tonight’s American Idol show at our Top 9 Performance Preview.  We found out that the theme for tonight is iTunes top 100 downloads.  Who knows what that means?  The current Top 100 is loaded with rap, country and Disney machine songs.  I guess the American Idol performers could make something great out of that mix but there does not seem to be a lot of songs of substance to use.  We will see.  American Idol Season 8 is heading for the first shocking moment (maybe tomorrow night, maybe next week) as the three weakest remaining contests, Meagan Joy, Anoop Desai and Scott MacIntyre have pretty big fan bases. See our Top 9 Power Rankings.

Remember tonight’s show runs 1 hour 20 minutes.  Will they have enough time?  They will if they cut the judges goofing and focus on the performances.

Once again the American Idol contestants start the show all serious like.  The Top 9 will sing any song they want as long as it is an iTunes top download.  The American Idol contestants trade Motown for Ryan Seacrest’s radio station.  Letdown.

Anoop Desai sings “Pilot”? by Usher.  He is trying to get his high energy groove back.  Okay, Anoop does not have as much soul as he thinks.  It does not feel like he ever gets the groove of the song.  It almost seems that he is singing as an adult contemporary artist and the song is pretty funky.  Not so good for me.

Kara is making a bad face. She is right, he played it safe.  All the judges think his vocals sounded good but he doesn’t have much stage presence.  Except Simon who thinks it was “wannabe” with no originality.  I agree.

Interesting, Anoop disagreed with the judges saying that he just sang an R&B song and he wants to be an R&B artist.  The judges told him he copied a R&B star but was not one himself.  He doesn’t have the star quality and he doesn’t get that.

Meagan Joy is going to try to re-establish herself with a Bob Marley song.  She desperately needs a good performance.  This may not show us anything new about her but maybe she can pull this off.

Meagan Joy will be singing “Turn You Lights Down Low” by  Bob Marley/Lauryn Hill.  She certainly does have a different ear for phrasing and tone.  This is so much better than her last few weeks, but it does not show us anything new or exciting about her.  Safe performance to keep her in the game.

Kara doesn’t like it. Kara thinks her singing was irritating.  Paula is right in telling her that she needs to be surprising us.  Simon says boring, indulgent and monotonous.  Randy says boring.  She will have another week, so let’s see what she will do next week.

So far, the big song choice box has proven to be a booby trap.  Let’s see if Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta can pick great songs for themselves.

They are talking to Danny Gokey about song choices and he has gone with “What Hurts The Most” by Rascal Flats.  Danny is going country so he can tone it down and sing his heart out.  Good plan.  Good execution.  Danny stands in the middle of the stage and sings the heck out of that song.  This is exactly what he should have done.  Not mind blowing, but good job, Danny.

Paula wants to hit repeat on this performance and Simon calls it the best performance of the night.  Simon even applauds.  Kara says Danny moved everyone in the room emotionally.  Is tonight a separation show?  Are we seeing the contenders separate from the pretenders.

Allison Iraheta is happy with the freedom to sing “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt and she is rocking the guitar.  She looks like a crazy rock star chick.   The start is really cool but I am not sure I like her voice on the soft parts.  I think Allison is too powerful for this song.  This doesn’t quite work for me.  Her first stumble.

Randy can only talk about her clothes.  Kara thinks she was trying too hard.  Simon was bothered by her outfit and felt it distracted from her talent.  Good comments.

Scott MacIntyre is singing Billy Joel’s ” Just The Way You Are ” and he desperately needs a strong performance.  Scott and his piano and a leather jacket.  This is a good song for Scott and I think this is Scott’s best vocal performance of Season 8.  Good job, Scott.

Kara thinks he made the right choice in song and arrangement.  I can’t quite figure out what Paula is saying. Simon agrees with me “your best performance by a country mile”.  Randy thinks it was one of the best of the night.

Matt Giraud is going to sing The Fray.  Is he repeating his mistake from the Top 36 elimination show by singing a piano rock song?  Lil Rounds took the judges advice from last week and it looks like she is going to sway back and SING with a Celine Dion song.  We will really be able to see what she has as a singer.

Matt Giraud is singing The Fray’s “You Found Me ” and he needs to pull this off big.  It could be his final stumble.  The start is a little off key and the music is overwhelming his vocal.  I like this song, but not with his voice.  He ends it big, but I don’t think this will pull him out of the bottom 3.

I agree with Paula that we lost Matt in the song.  Simon says it sounded like someone being someone else.  Randy is saying that her is hiding the beauty of his voice.  Kara is right in that he going from the rock and r&b side of pop.  I think Matt is a R&B singer who wants to do rock.

Lil Rounds is singing “Surrender” by Celine Dion.  She is bringing a little cool soul tone to this Celine Dion.  There it is, that big huge voice.  She slays this song.  I have chills and tears.  Lil is back!  Wow.  I am buying that one.

Randy doesn’t like the song choice but he thinks she sang it well.  Shut up judges she dominated that song.  The judges are just wrong about this performance.

This has not been a great night.  it looks like Danny Gokey, Scott MacIntyre and Lil Rounds are the only ones who have been able to handle the responsibility of  broad sing choices.  Lil Rounds just proved who is the best singer in American Idol Season 8.  The judges need to stop pigeonholing her.

Adam Lambert comes with “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry.  The old Adam is back.  Great vocals and no connection with the song.  There is zero funk in this song. I can barely stand to listen to this.  Axel Rose plays funk.  I don’t think so.

Of course, the judges will love it.   Paula calls it true genius.  Did she really compare Adam to Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler?  I give up.  Kara was completely right.  It was like Studio 57.  All of the really great funk music was played at the crazy club called Studio 54.

Kris Allen finishes the night singing “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.  Kris will try to make the song current he is playing the piano.  He changes the pace of the song but kicks up the harmonic dynamics.  He brings a little soul kick to the chorus.  Masterful performance by Kris Allen.

Randy thinks it was cool and creative.  Kara pulls out her artistry whoop.  I agree with Paul that he took a 30 year-old song and made it current.  Simon loved it calling it his best performance of the night.

I think this was a separation night.  More on that later.  Check out our performance review that will hit your desk top overnight.

Don’t forget to download the best of these performances on iTunes

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8- Top 9 Performance Preview is covering Christian music artists performing on Season 8 of American Idol.  The Top 9 includes Christian music artist Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre. The remaining music artists performing on American Idol Season 8 are Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Meagan Joy and Anoop Desai.  See our Top 9 Power Rankings.

Programming Note: American Idol’s Top 9 Performance show has been extended to one hour twenty minutes.  I will end at 9:20 edt /8:20 cdt.  set your dvr’s accordingly.

Normally, on Tuesday mornings we preview the current week performance show with song predictions and analysis of who we think will thrive and struggle.  This week is a different animal.  American Idol has been very quiet about the musical theme for this week’s show.  Internet rumors point to the iTunes Top 100 downloaded songs as American Idol’s playground this week.  A quote form Paula Abdul sent everyone thinking it would be the iTunes “all time” Top 100 downloaded songs, which I cannot find anywhere.  So, no song predictions this week.

Let’s talk about what we think might happen over the next few weeks.

Contest most likely to stay beyond performance quality- Many of you would say that Megan Joy has already stayed beyond when she should and I agree.  However, I think we may see her a little longer, especially if she can pull off one of those quirky performances.  Why? She has three groups of people voting for her.  First she has a group of American Idol fans who think she is great.  Second, she has group of people voting for her because she is a good looking blond.  Third, the website “Vote for The Worst” is rallying its readers to vote for her.  I don’t think any of that will change.

Contestant most likely to be voted off American Idol before their time- Matt Giraud fell into the bottom two last week and I don’t think that was a mistake.  He is caught up in the white boy soul singer mass that includes Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Anoop Desai and I don’t think he has any type of constituency that differentiates him.

Biggest disappointment- Anoop Desai sang “Angel of Mine” in Round 1 of the Top 36 elimination shows.  He disappointed that night and has yet to perform up to the level of the other American Idol performers.  He was one of the heavy favorites early on and he is struggling to hold on.

Contestant most likely to receive the judges “save”- Allison Iraheta could lose her footing in the next few weeks.  Rockers have tended to get under valued in American Idol and it seems Allison’s performances are always over shadowed by one person’s or another’s breakout.  She is an amazing singer who will be saved by the judges in week six or seven.

Of course all of that is subject to change based on a really great performance or a really bad performance.  Li Rounds, Megan Joy and Anoop Desai could really use breakout performances tonight.

Get a better look at the performances that drove this analysis by downloading performances at iTunes

Apple iTunes

Join us tonight and see what actually happens as we live blog the American Idol Top 9 performance show.

American Idol Season 8- Top 9 Power Rankings

Michael Sarver is gone and we are down to 5 Christian music performers on American Idol Season 8.  What happened? In this group of talented American Idol performers Michael Sarver was definitely in the bottom half of the Top 10 and probably was one of the bottom three.  I had him ranked ninth in our Top Ten Power Rankings article last week.  There is a groundswell of appreciation for  Michael Sarver on both faith oriented and secular American Idol blogs across the Internet.  He is generally regarded as one of the nicest contestants ever on American Idol. Here is an excerpt form his exit interview that shows why:

“Do you really smile as much as you do on the show?
I do, I really do and I’m going to tell you why: I’m a very fulfilled man. I’ve been screwed up just the same as anyone else, there are things I’m not proud of. But my life is so good right now. I’m blessed beyond words. I have nothing to frown about. My smile? I mean it from one end to the other, I’m just a happy man and I just fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine.”

Before we move on from Michael Sarver, I also found this quote from him that reveals a side I did not know (the writing part, not the hard living part (see our post on Michael “7 Chrsitian Performers on Amerrican Idol”)):

“I am a serious writer,” Sarver told reporters. “I have written over 890 songs since the age of 14. There is a lot of stories, a lot of life, a hard-lived life and a good-lived life … and I’m going to share it.”

I hope that we will see Michael Sarver again.  Maybe he will follow the route of Chris Sligh, also a 10th place finisher, and pursue a career in the Contemporary Christian Music business.  Best wishes, Michael.

The American Idol  Season 8 Top 9

We are down to nine performers on Season 8 of American Idol and five of them are Christian music artists.  Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre will all perform Tuesday night as part of the American Idol Season 8 Top 9.  Here is how I rate the Top 9 based on the performance I have seen so far in Season 8:

  1. Danny Gokey has been consistently, consistently, consistently good.  Michael Jackson, Motown, Grand Ole’ Opry, Danny has delivered every week with every genre.  There continues to be a DannyGokey backlash on the Internet but that will not derail his American Idol train.  The biggest challenge he has is the success that keeps him at number one in the power rankings.  American Idol winners tend to have improvements throughout the season usually have a breakthrough moment (Jordan Sparks with “I (Who Have Nothing)” and David Cook with “Music of the Night”).  Danny needs to find a performance to shock people, in a good way.
  2. Allison Iraheta blew us all away last week when she remade “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” into a Janis Joplin blues romp.  did you hear the note she blew out at the end?  She is one of the best blues/rock singers to ever hit the American Idol stage. She is better than Carly Smithson from last year or Gina Glocksen form Season 6 and without the uncomfortable desperation.  I would really like to see her take on a big ballad, but I agree with Kara’s foaming at the mouth praise of her after last week’s performance.
  3. Kris Allen once again last week took a well known song “How Sweet It Is” and created a new version of an iconic recording.  he has now taken on Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, Marvin Gaye and James Taylor and created Kris Allen songs.  The arrangements are subtle but the phrasing and meaning he brings to the songs transform them.  I agree with Simon, sort of, that he is being a little quiet.  I want him to drop his guitar and show us some dance moves and stage presence.  If  he can step out a little more, he can make it to the American Idol Top 3.  If not, he may be a shocking casualty in the next couple of weeks.
  4. Lil Rounds better get her groove back.  Her lack of musical training in starting to show as her last two American Idol performances were weak renditions of songs that great singers would be able to sing.  It is almost like she is overwhelmed by her respect for the music.  Lil, quit being grateful for performing these great songs and make the writers grateful you are performing their songs.
  5. Matt Giraud has the talent and he has the musical skill.  His last two performances have been exceptional.  For some reason, he is not connecting with the audiences.  Is he too closely associated with Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Anoop Desai? Maybe he needs a change of pace.  Leave the piano behind and sing a rock song?  That did not work for him in the American Idol Top 36 elimination shows.  I think he needs to just press ahead with his best stuff, hope some of the others stumble, but get ready to leave over the next few weeks.
  6. Adam Lambert can sing, no doubt about it.  He performed  “Tracks of My Tears”  exceptionally well.  It is the first time I have seen a glimmer of connection with a song all season.  I still think Lambert is a contestant  that the American Idol judges love much more than we all do.
  7. Meagan Joy can really sing.  I wonder if she will ever set aside her affectations so we can hear that.  If she allows us to see her talent just one week, she will have plenty of time to show off her experimentations.  I place her above Anoop and Scott because of potential, not because of her performances.
  8. Anoop Desai is still boring.  He has yet to deliver a performance that rivals performances of the other American Idol Top 9.  I just do not think he has what it takes to compete on this American Idol stage.   He does have a fan club that could carry him a few more weeks.
  9. Scott MacIntyre is not a very good singer and I do not like the lite FM rock stylings he arranges into every song.  Scott is the most acclaimed musician on American Idol this year but pop music is not his bailiwick.  I would pay good money to hear him in a jazz club or on the classical stage.  It is time for his pop adventure to end soon so we can enjoy his true talent.

Look back on the all of these American Idol’s performances and download full length recordings of their performances songs at iTunes:

Apple iTunes

Check in with us in the morning when I will preview Tuesday night’s show and make some predictions about how the American Idol voting might go over the next few weeks.

American Idol Season 8- Top 10 Results Wrap-up

It is 11:00 and I am just sitting down to watch the results show.   For Valentine’s, I gave my wife tickets to the one year anniversary of Austin’s performing arts center.  The party was highlighted by a concert with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, who wrote “The Way We Were” and A Chorus Line, and great, great singer Linda Eder.  A wonderful evening with my wife caused this article to be late.

American Idol’s Motown performance show was a disappointment for me (see our American Idol performance wrap-up).  Adam Lambert gave his first sensitive performance of American Idol Season 8 and Allison Iraheta blew everyone away with her version of “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”.  Christian music performers Danny Gokey and Kris Allen also delivered, but everyone else disappointed.

I think Michael Sarver, Scott MacIntyre and Meagan Joy will be in the bottom 3.  I predicted, unfortunately, Michael Sarver will go home tonight.

So I am watching this live three hours later, compliments of  DVR technology.  The American Idol guest performances have a chance to be great tonight with Joss Stone and Smokey Robinson singing a duet, Reuben Studdard singing and Stevie Wonder performing.   According to Ryan, 36 million votes were called in, the most in American Idol Top 10 history.  Will there be a surprise?

The Top 10 group performance looked like it was taped.  Yep, no audience. Everyone sang better than they did last night.  This is a nice medley arrangement, interspersed with classic photos of Motown greats.  It looked like Lil got a big chunk of the solos in this number.  The Ford commercial was more  lame than usual.

Reuben Studdard strolled up to the mic a little too slowly and had to lunge to hit his opening.  I am not a Reuben Studdard fan and I did not enjoy this.  Everyone else liked it.  Why was he sweating like he played four quarters of basketball?

I know why I don’t live blog the American Idol results shows.  So much fill.

Wow, Adam Lambert was the first to safety.  What a shocker!

But, Matt Giraud in the bottom 3?  That was a true shocker.  Michael Sarver and  Scott MacIntyre joined Matt in the bottom 3.  Scott was immediately sent back to the safe couch.  Matt Giraud looked ticked off.

Others safe: Lil Rounds, Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai, Danny Gokey, Meagan Joy (concentration of voting constituencies saved her)

Time out.  I am giddy, Joss Stone and Smokey Robinson singing together.  Unfortunately, I fall on my giddy sword.  What a terrible song.  American Idol should have turned their mic’s up?  Why were they whispering?  Boring, disappointed!

Two disappointing guest performances were followed by a Motown medley performed by Stevie Wonder.  They show Meagan Joy trying to dance to Stevie Wonder and she can’t dance.  Stevie delivered as usual.  Is he great or what?

Why did they make Michael Sarver and Matt Giraud sit over by themselves during the Stevie Wonder performance?  They are in the bottom 2 but did they need to be in timeout?

michael_sarverSo we come to the elimination of Michael Sarver.  Did we really need to do the save ritual?  They pretty much told him last night.   Goodbye Michael, we have enjoyed your presence on this year’s American Idol.  We appreciate the sincerity and integrity you brought to American Idol. We are proud of your commitment to your community (see our article on Michael Sarver).  God’s blessing on your future music career and see you on the American Idol tour.

Check out Michael’s journey and all of the other performances by clicking on the iTunes logo below.

Apple iTunes

Look for my power rankings on Monday, my Top 9 performance preview on Tuesday morning and then my live blog on Tuesday night.

American Idol Season 8- Motown Performance Wrap-up

Before we talk about the past, let’s look to the future with anticipation.  Smokey Robinson and Joss Stone, Reuben Studdard and Stevie Wonder, American Idol tomorrow night could be “blazin hot”, “dope” and “da bomb” all rolled into one.

I must say that tonight’s American Idol performances were more disappointing than exciting for me.  See our live thoughts at the Motown live blog. There were more bad performances than any show since the Wild Card, there were two great performances and I had two major shockers.  To the shockers first:

  • Matt Giraud, we have been promoting you as a Christian music artist and, based on what I have read, you are quite open about your faith.  What are you doing singing “Let’s Get It On”? I am disappointed in your judgement.
  • Lil Rounds, you may be able to sing the phone book but evidently you cannot sing “Heatwave”.   I never, ever thought I would hear Lil Rounds struggle singing a song.  I am flabbergasted.

I guess these Motown songs are harder to sing than they sound on the surface.  Several of the American Idol singers struggled to live up to the originals.  Is anyone surprised that no one sang “Midnight Train to Georgia” or “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”?

It was cool having Smokey Robinson as the mentor.  I am not sure how much he helped.  We would have all appreciated him throwing his body in front of Meagan Joy to stop her.  Danny Gokey ignored Smokey’s advice.  It was cool that Lil Rounds understood the Motown’s place in the civil rights movement and expressed her gratitude for the trails that have been blazed for her.

Now to the performance ratings:

  1. Allison Iraheta tore down the house.  She has no business singing a song with as much emotional depth as “Pappa Was A Rolling Stone”.  Not only did she sing it, she drove it down to the Stax Studios in Memphis, dipped it in a little Aretha Franklin brew, turned up the smoke and even threw in a little mid song rap.  And the note she hit at the end.  Forget the night, I think this was the best performance of the season.
  2. Adam Lambert really did a masterful job tonight. His interpretation of Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My tears” was outstanding.  The singing was almost perfect. with a beautiful falsetto.  His interpretation of the song was revelatory without destroying the song.  He updated the song yet still left room for the beautiful, innocent message of that song.
  3. Danny Gokey delivered another brilliant, fun performance, even though he did not implement Smokey Robinson’s suggestion that would have made it even better. Great phrasing, wonderful arrangement and the dancing.  Oh, my. Once again Danny Gokey stands at or near the top.
  4. Kris Allen continues to assert himself as a contender.  He sang Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is”.  He delivered a cool, smooth vocal, but he once again demonstrated stellar interpretative skills.  The judges were right when they said he created a new version of the song.The performances really drop off after this so I had to put a space here.

  5. Matt Giraud delivered a wonderful performance of a song he had no business performing.  His arrangment was stellar.  The change of pace brought the song to life.  His pacing brought uniqueness to the song.  His falsetto was outstanding.
  6. Anoop Desai’s interpretation of Smokey Robinson’s “Oh Baby Baby”  showed-off his skills as a singer.  It also showed that he is not as good a singer as Smokey.  Anoop just did not bring anything to the song.  It was boring.
  7. Boring is better than Lil Rounds did with Martha Reeve’s “Heatwave”.  Lil’s Achilles heal is that she does not possess the music background to create interesting arrangements, but I never thought I would hear her sing badly.  What has happened to her?  It seems that the last two weeks she was overwhelmed by the import of the institutions she would be representing.  Just sing Lil.  That will bring honor to the Grand Ole’ Opry and to Motown.
  8. Michael Sarver is beginning to fall behind the competitions, but I do love this guy.  After being absolutely filleted by the judges he expressed gratitude for being in the Top10.  I would like to be Michael’s friend.  I thought Simon’s body language was amazing tonight.  Simon looked truly pained to deliver his bad news to Michael, but his performance of The Temptation’s “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” just was not up to par.  Randy was right.  Michael wants to be an R&B singer and he doesn’t  really have R&B chops.
  9. Scott MacIntyre tried to sing “Can’t Hurry Love” by The Supremes and it was pretty bad. His tempo was rushed, he missed a lot of notes and the song did not seem to fit him.  The thing is, I don’t want Scott to be a pop singer.  I want to listen to him play some jazz piano.  I would have liked a jazz arrangement of this song better than what we heard tonight.
  10. Meagan Joy brought me no joy tonight.  Her version of Stevie Wonder’s “Once In My Life” was just awful.  She needs to quit trying to squeeze every song into her quirky style.  I suspect that she could have done this song straight up and performed it better.  It was off key, off rhythm, off everything.  She tried to make it unique and she made me want to forget it.

Overall I was disappointed in the night.  I think Meagan, Michael and Lil could have done better with different songs.  While Danny and Kris were great, I was hoping for more.  Here are my predictions:

Bottom Three: Meagan Joy. Scott MacIntyre and Michael Sarver.

Voted off: Michael Sarver

I don’t see any surprises from the top 7 in my performance rankings making into the Bottom 3.  If Allison Iraheta’s performance tonight does not keep her out of the Bottom 3, I will be outraged. I think the judges could use their “save” if Allison is voted off tonight.

Meagan Joy should have enough votes from Vote for The Worst to make it back another week and I think Scot MacIntyre has enough of a fan base to survive one more week.   I will be disappointed to see Michael go.

I will also be disappointed to miss the results show live tomorrow night.  Is DVR the greatest inventions since television? I am taking my wife to see Linda Eder, so my analysis of the results show will be late.

Don’t forget to download all of the American Idol performances at iTunes:

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8- Motown Performance Live Blog

Woo Hoo! Motown night on American Idol.  Smokey Robinson in the house as well.  Mr. Robinson is one of America’s greatest songwriters.  He should be good at this mentoring thing.  Heaven knows he has done it with hundreds of aspiring soul singers at Motown.

We are live, blogging the American Idol Season 8 Top 10 performances.  At One21music we are covering the six Christian music artists competing in Season 8: Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre, Kris Allen and Michael Sarver.   That’s right, six of the final 10 contestants on American Idol Season 8 are Christian music performers.

Check out my preview of tonight’s American Idol show at our Motown Preview.  It should be a great show.  All of these performers can sing these songs well, so the performances should be entertaining.  The competition is building and should be fierce tonight.  I think everyone, other than Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds and Kris Allen, is at risk of going home with a bad performance.  Check out our power rankings at American Idol Top 10 Power Rankings.

As we start. the American Idol Top Ten have their mean faces on.  Come on!, these are happy songs.  Paula wants the Idols to challenges their artistic integrity.  Simon calls Motown some of the best in the world.  Lil has gone all ’60′s go-go girl.

The Motown history lesson downplays the historical significance of Hitsville.  Barry Gordy tells the Idol’s that they should appreciate the great platform they have to introduce their talent.  Thank you Lil Rounds for giving Barry Gordy his props as a difference maker.

Smokey thinks this crew of American Idols are special, let’s see.

Matt Giraud starts off with “Let’s Get It On”.  Wow, Matt did you really have to do this song?  I am not too keen on the message.  Back at at his piano he lets loose at the beginning and hits a great falsetto right off the bat.  Maybe those tight pants are helping.  He is singing it great and even Simon is smiling.  It was a great move from the piano to dancing.

Randy starts off really happy.  He thinks Matt is challenging for the top spot.  Great job Paula, explaining why his riffing worked.

Kris Allen is up next.  I have high hopes for him tonight.  He is singing another Marvin Gaye song, “How Sweet It Is” and Smokey was laughing with joy during the mentoring session.  He starts it off a little slow and then picks up the pace.  He sounds great but the interpretation is a little smooth for my taste.  Kris is starting to perform with the confidence of a front runner.  He hit it.

Kara agrees, she loves his artistry with different phrasing and rhythms.   Paula was amazed at his brilliant note at the end.  Simon likes his performance and is coaching him on his swagger.  Paula is giving good commentary tonight.

They are moving the baby grand out for Scott MacIntyre.  He needs a really good performance tonight.  The American Idol contestants are pushing the dress limits tonight.  Pink pants, paisley shirt and brown stripped jacket?  He is singing Diana Ross’s “Can’t Hurry Love”.  Does Smokey love everyone?  The trend is to start slow and quiet tonight then grab the groove after a verse.  This is just okay for me.  I just don’t think he has the soul for this.  I would rather hear him play the piano.

Paula thinks the back-up singers brought new life to his performance, but Simon hated it. I agree with Simon that it was the wrong song.  Randy agrees.  Kara dinged him on execution but she liked the song choice.  The judges are arguing about Scott for the second week in a row and Paul pulls out crayons and a coloring book for the child, Simon Cowell.

Meagan Joy sings a Stevie Wonder song next.  Please don’t let it be “Superstition”.  Yeah, she is singing “Once In My Life” and I already hate her version.  Yes, Smokey likes everyone.  This is pretty bad.  She is all over the pitch.  Stop dancing please.  I know she can sing, but she is shouting this song.  Hated it.  I think she will be in trouble.

Randy gives it his hateful laugh.  I agree with Randy it was a train wreck. Yes, Kara she did hit bad notes and was dominated by the song.  The judges are unanimous that they hated it.  I agree with Simon, it was horrible.  Smokey, what were you thinking?  You are supposed to help these guys.

I told you in my preview post that someone would chose the wrong song and then say, “I love that song”.  Hello, Meagan.

Anoop Desai is doing Smokey Robinson’s “Oh Baby Baby” and Smokey gives him the story of how the song was born.  My thing with Anoop is that his versions of these songs pale in comparison to the originals and he doesn’t bring anything that makes me forget the original.  These are pretty covers but not much else.  Ho hum.

Kara’s up first and she talks about the song and only thinks he did okay.  Paula said all nice things with no enthusiasm.  Simon thinks the showmanship was lacking.  The judges like him but were lukewarm.

Okay Michael Sarver, you are on the ropes so you better bring it.  Michael looks sharp.  He is singing “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” from The Temptations, I don’t know, that ain’t him.  Smokey wants him to use his big voice, he wants more power from Michael.  Can he do it?  He is singing it way too happy.  It is pretty good.  He hits some good notes, except at the end when he fell a little flat.  It was enthusiastic, for sure.

Paula hated it as a Vegas lounge version.  Simon almost seems sad to deliver his news.  He tells Michael that he has no hope of winning.  Kara is right in saying he needs to find his artistry.  Sorry, Michael.  I love Michael Sarver, he takes their criticism and is grateful for what he has accomplished.

Okay, Lil Rounds let’s see you get back on your game.  Lil is doing “Heatwave” by Martha Reeves, perfect.  Lil was moved by her Motown experience.  She understands the history of Motown in black culture.  Time to sing.  What is this?  A bad vocal from Lil Rounds.  She sounds out of breath and occasionally off key and a little shouty.  This is her worst performance for me.  Wow, I am shocked.

Randy is up first and he has the nervous laughter.  The first of the song was rushed and off.  I agree.  Kara hates it as well and she heard the screams I heard.  Paula thinks her vocals were fresh.  Simon thinks the song choice caused her to miss her chance to blow us away.

Ryan is promising a new Adam Lambert.  As we break away for commercials we see Adam looking like a member of Sha Na Na.  Is that Olivia Newton John?  Adam is singing Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” and Smokey says he is keeping it soft and tender throughout. Adam with a guitar buddy, stand-up bass and a box player.  A soft quiet performance from Adam Lambert.  This is pretty nice. Good job Adam and standing ovation from Smokey Robinson with tears in his eyes.

Kara gives him a standing ovation.  Simon loves it as original and relevant.  All the judges loved it.  Adam had his moment tonight.

Danny Gokey without glasses?  Can that happen?   Nope he he puts them on to sing. Danny is singing The Temptations “Get Ready” and Smokey changes his arrangement for the better.  Unlike Lil, he works this song, changes it and belts it out and even dances with the back-up singers.   Another great job from Danny Gokey.

Paula is right he gives consistently great performances.  Simon hates it,Randy thinks it was good and Kara thinks it was not great.

We end the evening with Alison Iraheta.  I think she has something to prove tonight.  She is singing The Temptations “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”.  Smokey was either tired or lukewarm on her rehearsal.   She is singing it as a smokey soul song with a little rap.  This is good.  Allison once again proves she has the voice and the soul.  Dang!  She slams a huge note at the end.

Yes Randy that was blazing hot.  Kara is begging America to vote for her.  Simon is enjoying Paula’s  mustache and Simon says she has come back into the competition.

Download thes eerformances at iTunes

Apple iTunes

I had hoped  for a better show tonight, but there were some very good performances and one amazing one.  I will be back over night with my analysis of the show.  See ya!