American Idol Season 8- Who’s Gonna Win This Thing?

The American Idol Season 8 final three is here?  Where did the year go?  It seems only a few weeks ago I was grousing that the judges did not select Felicia Barton and Mishavonna Henson for the Wild Card Show.  We have been covering the Christian music performers on American Idol Season 8 and two have made it to the Top 3.  Danny Gokey and Kris Allen are both worship leaders who join Season 8 sensation Adam Lambert as the last American Idol performers standing.

Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds were the early favorites to make it to this point but only Danny is left standing.  Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen have had the most consistently good performances of American Idol Season 8.  Allison left last week, but Kris remains.  Norman Gentle was the most colorful American Idol performer ever, or so we thought.  Adam Lambert has blasted through Season 8 with a natural flamboyance that has made him the most polarizing American Idol contestant this show has ever seen.

American Idol Season 8 Top 3 Power Rankings

Before we try to figure out who will win, we must just have one more power ranking:

  1. Kris Allen has simply had the best group of performances of any American Idol Season 8 contestant.  It started when he brought new meaning to Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”.  He then blew us away with a new revelation of Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine”.  He introduced some to the beauty of “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once.  He seemed off his game during American Idol Season 8 Rock Week, but his only really bad performance was Don Henley’s “She Works Hard for The Money” on the Birth Year Songs show. Kris Allen is a quiet, humble guy who has been goaded by the judges to be more aggressive and arrogant.  That seems unlikely.   Kris Allen has been solid all year long, he tells stories with his performances and he can really sing.  Many professional singers, including Jamie Foxx, point to Kris’s interpretative skills and rank him as the best of the season.
  2. Danny Gokey has been the front runner since his Kansas City audition.  He took Hollywood Week by storm with his group’s slamming arrangement of Queen’s “Somebody To Love” and he tore the house down with his semifinal performance of Mariah Carey’s “Hero”.  Since then he seems to have cruised through American Idol Season 8 with mostly great singing. but surprisingly bland arrangements and his “Dream On” is the lowest rated performance of any American Idol Top 3 finalist ever, but he is the only contestant in Season 8 to never be in the bottom two.   Danny Gokey has been eviscerated on the Internet and by the entertainment press, I think because he openly expresses his faith and because the show made a deal of him grieving his wife’s recent death.  I picked Danny Gokey as the winner on the night of his audition (I have witnesses who argued with me).  His Season 8 has been good if disappointing to me, but if can pull off four performances like “Hero” or “Come Rain or Come Shine” he could win.
  3. Adam Lambert possesses a rare voice that only surfaces once a decade.  He has been rightfully compared to Robert Plant, Freddy Mercury and Axel Rose (I would add Frankie Valli and Marvin Gaye).  That voice and Adam Lambert’s mature stage skills have dazzled the American Idol judges and have fooled many into thinking he is a “Rock God.”   His “Tracks of My Tears” was a tour de force of his vocal prowess.  However, Adam Lambert’s “Mad World” was the only of his performances with emotional depth.  Many, including the judges, believe Adam Lambert should win American Idol Season 8.  I do not believe Adam Lambert has the creative depth to be a successful recording artist.  I do think he has the performance skills be a respected stage actor.  If he wins American Idol Season 8 that will be okay but I do not think he is the best.

Who is going to win?  This may be the closest vote we have ever had and if we continue this season’s trend we will have the largest number of votes of any American Idol season.  Let’s assume Kris, Danny and Adam will have great performances the next two weeks.  New voters and voting block shifts will determine the winner of American Idol Season 8.    Here are my predictions for how the voting blocks will move:

  • Adam will benefit most from the departure of Allison Iraheta, but I think Kris Allen will pick up a fair number of Allison’s followers who like her rock edge and do not like Adam’s flamboyance.  I will be surprised if both Danny Gokey and Kris Allen make it to the American Idol Season 8 final.
  • If Kris Allen leaves on Wednesday night, I think Danny will receive more than half of his voting support but Adam will benefit as well.  Believers supporting Kris will flock to Danny, but some non believers will take their rock leanings to Adam.
  • If Danny Gokey departs on Wednesday night, I think Kris Allen wins American Idol Season 8.
  • If somehow Adam Lambert leaves on Wednesday, I think virtually all of his followers flock to Kris Allen and he wins.

The only way Adam Lambert leaves American Idol Season 8 on Wednesday night is if the Christian nation rises up and drives the vote total over 90 million in support of Kris Allen and Danny Gokey.  So, if Kris Allen survives this week, I think he wins.  If Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert face off in the final it is too close to call.

Check out all of their great performances at iTunes and download yourself an American Idol Season 8 mix.

Apple iTunes

American Idol Season 8, Round 2 Results Show

To channel Randy Jackson, “I don’t know dawg, American Idol Season 8 is a little weird for me. “  Last night was pretty bad.  What is up with these ultra talented singers picking these bad songs?  I know these guys can sing, I heard them. Some of it can be attributed to the big step of these inexperienced performers stepping onto that stage for the first time, but that does not account for those songs.

One21 Music is covering Christian music artists competing on American Idol Season 8.  Last night Matt Giraud, Mishavonna Henson and Kris Allen performed on the second installment of the semi finals.   Front runner Matt Giraud fumbled his position as one of the favorites by unsuccessfully wrestling with” Viva La Vida”.   Mishavonna and Kris were near the top of last night’s performances for me but their performances were not thrilling enough to overcome their lack of face time in the auditions and Hollywood Week.

To recap my predictions

Top guy: Adam Lambert

Top girl: Allison Iraheta (if there is any justice)

Next top:  I don’t know.  It could be any of five (Mishavonna, Kai, Kris, Meagan, Nick)

So as Ryan says lets get to the votes.

Top girl: Allison Iraheta prevails over Jessica Langseth and then sings “Alone” again, showing  comfort on the stage beyond what you expect from a 16 year-old who had just made it to American Idol Season 8′s Top 12.  She certainly handles it better than her mother who may need to be hospitalized sometime during the season if this continues.  Oh, and yes she can sing.  Note to Adam Lambert: Watch how she belts the big note but does not over sing and does not act out the song.  She is the best girl to perform so far.

Top guyAdam Lambert wins out over Nick Western.  Congratulations to the next Sebastion Bach.  Can we see Norman Gentle just one more time?  To give Adam his props, he has a tremendous voice.  Congratulations, Adam.

Next Highest: Kris Allen made it through what a well deserved surprise.  I guess America likes interpretive depth over histrionics.  He recreates “Man In the Mirror”  but I think he is genuinely surprised.  It takes him tome to get into it, but finishes well.  Yeah, Kris!  Way to go, you 25 million voters.

We now have three Christian performers through to the Top 12: Kris Allen, Michael Sarver and Danny Gokey.

So, Matt and Mishavonna did not make it through.  I certainly hope they get a shot at the “Wild Card” show but I don’t know.   My final thoughts on the American Idol “Wild Card” is that I hope that Nick Western gets through for calling Simone “sassy pants”.

An aside, Brooke White performed her new single and it was very nice.  Off to iTunes everyone, this song is what we expected of her as an artist.

The last group to perform next Tuesday is now easy to figure out.

Christian Performers we are following on American Idol:

  • Kristen McNamara
  • Felicia Barton
  • Scott MacIntyre

The remainder of the Final 36 on American Idol’s Season 8:

  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Arianna Ayesha Afsar
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Junot Joyner
  • Kendall Beard
  • Lil Rounds
  • Nathanial Marshall
  • Taylor Vaifanua
  • Von Smith

Best wishes to them all!

Join us next Tuesday, March 3rd as we live blog American Idol Season 8.

American Idol Semifinals, Round 2 Wrap-up

I don’t know what to say.  That is just an expression don’t you know.  I always know something to say.  I know these are really good singers.  I have been dazzled by many of them, yet they take this step to live television and they seem to fall apart.  I have only seen two performances so far in Round 2 that equals what these performers did during Hollywood week.

As you know by now we are covering the Christian music artists competing in American Idol Season 8.  None of Wednesday night’s three Christian music artists exceeded expectations, but that was par for the show.

Matt Giraud was the first to perform and, to be frank, I think he squandered his position as one of the favorites.  This funky soul singer chose “Viva La Vida”.  He tried to squeeze some soul out of a soaring, Anglo, concert performance anthem.  It just did not work.  In pushing the song, Matt’s vocals became shaky and he struggled to bring the song to life.  The judges pretty much agreed.  I hope he built up enough goodwill during American Idol’s Hollywood Week to get a Wild Card chance.

Kris Allen followed a few performers later, singing Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”.  He showed a lot of soul for a southern white protestant.  After watching it again, I think he was one of the three best male performances.  While he did not make us forget Michael Jackson, he sang the song very well and displayed some very good stage presence.  He looked quite comfortable without his guitar.  I think by the time he performed the judges had worked themselves into a negative moog and were supportive of Kris, but lukewarm on his performance.

Mishavonna Henson finished off the triumvirate of Christian music artists on tonight’s episode of American Idol.  She sang “Drops of Jupiter” by Train and I think she gave the second best performance of the night.  She is a very good singer, with good stage presence.  She owned the song, but did not do anything crazy with it.  I think for me, she just showed us that there is something very deep in this girl’s talent.  The judges spent most of their time talking about how old she presented herself and that they want her to act more her age.  I think they missed a strong, subtle performance.

Here is how I would rank the performances on American Idol’s Semifinal Round 2:

Allison Iraheta- No one was even close to this performance.  A show stopper!

Mishavonna Henson- As I said above, a commanding, subtle performance.

Kai Kalama- A very soulful performance of an old standard

Kris Allen- Another soulful performance that was a little funkier than Kalama’s

Adam Lambert- An undeniable vocal talent that is way over the top

Meagan Corkery- Quirky, but unstable performance of “Put Your Records On”

Jessica Langseth- When will she unleash that voice?

Nick Western/Norman Gentle- Made a complete mockery of the show, terrible vocals, but I never stopped smiling.  Gets my vote for calling Simon “sassy pants”

Matt Giruad- In trying to make something out of “Viva La Vida” that is not there he stumbled.

Jasmine Murray- Never really found her way in “Love Song”

Matt Breitzke- He just never brought anything to the mid tempo rocker he sang.

Jeanine Vailes- she just did not have it tonight.

Here are my predictions for who will move on to the Top 12 in American Idol Season 8:

Top guy: Adam Lambert

Top girl:Allison Iraheta (if there is any justice)

Next top:  I don’t know.  It could be any of five (Mishavonna, Kai, Kris, Meagan, Nick)

DialIdol predicts winners from week to week by monitoring busy signals.  Last week they got it 100% right.  I want everyone to know that everything above this point was written last night.  I made my predictions without benefit of DialIdol.  Here is what they have to say about the winner of American Idol Season8 Semifinal’s Round 2 and it is pretty amazing.  Adam Lambert will be the top guy, not a surprise.  Allison Iraheta will be the top girl, as she should be.  They will both win by large margins.  The surprise is the neck and neck race between Matt Giraud and Jessica Langseth.   I guess it really pays to get a lot of face time during the early rounds.

I think both Kris and Mishavonna have a chance to be invited to the wild card round, along with Meagan Corkery and whoever loses out between Matt G and Jessica.

American Idol Season 8- Feb 25 Live Blog

Well, here we are for week two of the American Idol Season 8 semi-finals.  We will see how tonight’s performances stack-up to last week’s pretty sorry showing.   It is all about song choice, song choice,  song choice.  Last week I heard too much, “I was trying to show a different side of me”.  Remember, tonight is your audition for America, give us your best shot.

At One21music, we are covering Christian music artists competing on America Idol Season 8.  Tonight we have three singers who have declared themselves believers: Kris Allen, Mishavonna Henson and Kris Allen.  It is going to be a tough night for them with some strong competition from Adam Lambert, Jessic Langseth and Jasmine Murray.

So here we go!

Ryan has dumped the Mr. Rogers look and is wearing a decidedly summer outlook.   Danny, Alexis and Michael are in the audience.  He introduces  Randy, Kara, Paula and Simon.   After a little judge banter he explains this season’s format and away we go  with Adam Lambert .

It is the Billboard Hot 100 again tonight.

And, to start the night, Jasmine Murray is singing “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles.  I really like this song.  A slow pitchy start and she struggles with this song that is wrong for her voice.  I don’t think it shows her strengths as a singer.  She seems to take the song over at the end, but the singing is still all over the place.

Randy doesn’t really like it, wrong song.  Paula says “Jasmine, Jasmine” and that is bad.  Simon says she does not have a great voice and is hurt when he gets booed.  He even says she is not ready.

Yeah! No parents tonight?

Coming back from commercial we get  Matt Giraud, the second of our featured performers tonight is singing “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay.  Really, Matt, did you not watch the show last week?  If you pull this off you will solidify your position as one of the favorites and  saunters up to the mike and starts very smoothly.  The song doesn’t go anywhere and he really doesn’t take it anyplace new.   The singing is all over the place.  He didn’t pull it off.

Kara starts it off and she is not blown away.  SONG CHOICE!  Simon says horrible performance, jerky, uncomfortable.

I like the new rotating judge cycle.

Jeanine Vailes is singing “This Love” by Maroon 5, she brings a little reggae vibe, but she is really struggling to sing it.   What is she wearing?  Cut-offs and a blazer?  This performance is really bad.

Paula follows the philosophy of if you cannot say something good, say nothing.   Simon does not know that philosophy.  They do all love her legs but hate the song choice.  Randy says “best of the part of the song is that it is over.”  Randy lobs several bombs at her.

Thank you American Idol for losing the creepy upper room interviews.

Nick Mitchell (Norman Gentle) is performing  “And I Am Tellling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls as Norman Gentle!  This is great!  He gets my wild card!  He misses all of the big notes but who cares.

Simon is speechless.  Simon prays? [that he does not go through].  Norman takes the stage back calling Simon sassy pants.  Randy gets is right “one of the most entertaining performances ever”.   Kara  and Paula enjoyed it and everyone is smiling.

Allison Iraheta is next performing “Alone” by Heart.  This is a song that makes me want to forget the 80′s.  I think she may have the worst hair color I have ever seen.  It makes my eyes hurt.   Good start, very soulful and steady, but now the hard part and, wow girl!  Where did that big growl come from?  I think the best girl performance of the season so far.  Awesome!

And we get yo’s from Randy, “you just blew it out the box”.   I agree with Kara, “this girl is serious”.  Simon is smiling naming her the best tonight by a mile.  I think her mom is going to pass out.

Kris Allen, a worship leader/ college student, is one of our featured performers. He will be singing “Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson.  He is completely off pitch, can he pull it back?  The song is eating him up.   Toward the end he is showing off his soulful side but overall, I don’t know.

Kara hated it, But the other three liked it.

Megan Corkery is singing “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Rae.  This girl has a soulful voice but is struggling to get the high notes.  She kind of looks like a marionette up there.  It is okay.

Paula loves her.  I agree with Simon that she over sang the second half of the song.  The jusdges lover her but were lukewarm on the performance.

Kara does not think this showed his talent, but Paula liked it.  She said he nailed it and Simon agrees!  Randy likes him as well.  Very nice!

Matt Breitzke, the welder, is singing “If You Could Only See” by Tonic.  Nice shirt.  He is singing kind of weird at the first.  I don’t know this song, is that how the Tonic guys sing it.  It is okay, but nothing that blows us away.  Kind of boring.

Simon is trying to be nice but absolutely hates that song.  Randy likes the song but thinks the performance was boring.  There are some contestants that the judges really seem to like.  No of them liked this.

Jesse Langseth, one of the favorites, is stepping up to sing “Betty Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes and what is she doing?  Her voice is all over the place.  Good stage presence and she is beginning to pick it up at the end.  She is very soulful, but just okay tonight.

Randy thinks it is only okay, but not really big enough.  Paula finds her captivating  with unique phrasing.  But Simon thinks she is forgettable.  “Too cool for school?”  Really, Simon?

Kai Kalama kicks off the last half hour with 60′s tune  “What Becomes of a Broken Heart” by Jimmy Ruffen, a great, great soul song.  And it looks like we have a soul singer singing it.  Great pacing, nice big notes.  He is actually taking a very cool song a performing it.  Very good.

Judges are lukewarm using “old fashioned”,”wedding singer” and “pitchy” as descripters.  Randy is screaming at the contestants about being safe.

Mishavonna Henson, one our featured Christian music artists, is singing  “Drops of Jupiter” by Train.  Very nice start with this soulful, contemporary song.  Oh, very, very nice.   She is showing off a big voice and is really controlling the song.  Good job, Mishavonna, but no “oh wow” part.

Paula’s not exciting and Simon has been left cold.  He thinks she acts too old.  They all think she was a little boring and not as vibrant as she should be.

Adam Lambert closes the show singing “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, as musical theater.  I don’t know.  This dude can sing but this feels like and Elvis impersonator covering the Stones.  But he does have, as Randy would say, “a big old voice.  Can anybody say Hair Metal cover band?

Paula loves it beyond words.  Is he really in a league of his own, Paula?  Simon is a little more mixed.  Randy drops “da bomb”.  Kara is going all crazy about his range.

Mostly disappointing tonight.  One big standout, Allison Iraheta.

I am afraid that our Christian music artists did not stand out tonight but let’s see.

Check back in the morning for my wrap-up and predictions.  It will be on your desktop by the time any normal person gets to work.




American Idol Live on One21music- Wednesday, Feb 25

Who does this Barack Obama think he is?  I have heard he thinks he has a mandate from the American people, but let me assure you Mr. President that your mandate does not extend to interrupting American Idol.  Deliver the State of the Union on Thursday night.  Survivor is a tired franchise and Grissom has left CSI.

This week, Wednesday is American Idol night and One21music will be live blogging the second semi-final episode of American Idol Season 8.

Last week, two contestants we have identified as Christian music artists, Danny Gokey and Michael  Sarver, were voted through to the Final 12.  Read our coverage here. To recap, American Idol Season 8 started viewer voting with 36 contestants.  For three weeks, they perform in groups of 12.  Each week the top male and female vote getters, along with the next highest vote getter go straight to the finals.  After those three weeks are completed, the judges will select a group from the remaining 27 to compete one more time for the final three spots in the Final 12.

At One21music we are covering Christian music artists who are competing on American Idol’s Season 8.

Wednesday night our live blog will feature Matt Giraud, Mishavonna Henson and Kris Allen.

Kris is a worship leader from Arkansas.  He has not received much airtime but he was part of the group White Chocolate from Hollywood Week that performed the rapping, beatboxing version of “I Want You Back”.  Kris is a college student who leads worship at his church, for his on-campus ministry organization and on mission trips around the world.

Matt is the dueling piano player and singer/songwriter from Michigan.  He has released two R&B recordings with strong Christian messages.  He was part of White Chocolate as well and seemed to take leadership in arranging their performance.

Mishavonna is an 18 year-old singer, songwriter and actress from California.  We have not seen much of her so far, but she made it to Hollywood week in Season 7.  She has won awards at national youth group conferences and sings for her local church.

All three face some tough competition. Jasmine Murray is a terrific singer who seems to be the “it teenager” this year. Adam Lambert is a very theatrical singer with a great voice.  And of course there is the most interesting contestant I have ever seen on American Idol, Nick Western (a.k.a. Norman Gentle).  Western seems to be a good singer but who really cares.  This guy makes me laugh.

I like the new format, it makes each of these four shows seem like the final.

I hope the contestants learned from last week’s show.  This is the first time America wil really see you.  Don’t try to show “another” side of yourself as a performer.  Bring the best you got and worry about versatility later.

Christian music artists performing on Wednesday’s American Idol

Kris Allen

 

 

Matt Giraud

 

 

Mishavonna Henson

 

 

 The remainder of the Final 36 on American Idol’s Season 8:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Kai Kalama
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Nick Western (a.k.a. Norman Gentle)
  • Jeanine Vailes

This is a tough group so it should be an exciting show.  Join us while we live blog on Wednesday.