American Idol Season 8- Top 3 Song Choices

Tonight is the night.  We are down to the American Idol Season 8 final 3 and they will be performing two songs each tonight.  Randy, Paul and Simon picked songs for Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert to sing  and then each of them will pick a song for themselves.  It is too close to call the winner (see our Top 3 Power Rankings) so tonight’s performances are vital.

Judge’s Selections

Their are rumors all over the Internet about which songs the American Idol judges picked for tonight’s performances.  We don’t know if the rumors are correct but, rather than try to read the judges minds, we will go with the rumors:

  • Randy picked Terence Trent D’Arby’s song “Dance Little Sister” Terence Trent D'Arby - Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby - Dance Little Sisterfor Danny Gokey.  TTD was a breakthrough R&B star in the late 80′s, touted as the next great soul star, who fell to Earth as quickly as he rose.   The lyrics have a nice positive message:

    Get up ‘outta’ your rockin’ chair grandma!
    Or rather would you care to dance grandmother?

    Hey you! Give up to the ghost
    That’s haunting you now
    Shout it out
    Don’t let it stay inside
    And eat you alive
    Make up your mind
    Don’t you want to stay
    This side of the line
    I can assure you
    When you’re my age
    You’ll learn
    From all you’ve left behind

    (You’ve got to)
    Dance little sister
    Don’t give up today
    Hang on till tomorrow
    I don’t wanna hear you’re late
    Dance little sister
    Don’t give up today
    Hang on till tomorrow
    Don’t give up your stay

    Say now share the weight
    And lay your cross down
    And let the long reaching arm
    Of hope bring you around
    It ain’t easy but giving up
    Is the easy thing to do
    Time is on your side
    Would you just watch the clock
    And let it tick for you

    (You’ve got to)
    Dance little sister
    Don’t give up today
    Hang on till tomorrow
    I don’t wanna hear you’re late
    Dance little sister
    Don’t give up today
    Hang on till tomorrow
    Don’t give up your stay

    I think the song is a little fast to be in Danny’s sweet spot but he I think Danny Gokey could do a lot with this song.  Here is a video of “Dance Little Sister”

  • There is some question about what Simon has picked for Adam Lambert.  Some believe he picked U2′s “One” and some think he picked Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”.  I think it is “Wicked Game” Chris Isaak - Best of Chris Isaak (Remastered) - Wicked Game, which seems perfect for Adam’s style and there are several electronic remixes for him to use.  Here is a video of Chris Isaak performing “Wicked Game”

  • Paula selected One Republic’s “Apologize” OneRepublic - Dreaming Out Loud - Apologizefor Kris Allen and that seems to fit his style very well.  This is a contemporary, mid-tempo pop-rock song about a break-up. I listen to One Republic performing “Apologize”  and I can imagine Kris Allen.  Watch this video of the Timbaland re-mix and see what I mean

Performer’s Choices

Three good choices from the American Idol judges so we should have three really great performances of those songs.  Here is what I think Danny, Kris and Adam should choose for themselves:

  • It is time for Danny Gokey to step up and boldly declare his faith.  He has been slammed for it all season and he hasn’t had a chance to sing an openly Christian song.  Randy gave him the perfect opening with an uptempo judges’s choice.  The most openly Christian American Idol finalist ever should sing the most openly Christian rock ballad ever sung on American Idol: “Thief” by Third Day Third Day - Third Day - Thief.

  • Kris Allen should also fly his faith with a little less overt but equally powerful song from Seabird called “Rescue” Seabird - 'Til We See the Shore - Rescue. Here are the lyrics:

    I’m pushing up daisies, I wish they were roses
    I feel like I’m drowning but nobody knows it
    I’m pushing up daisies, I wish they were roses
    I feel like I’m dying, just want you to notice
    somehow the grave has captured me
    show me the man I used to be
    just when I feel my breath is running out

    the earth moves and you find me, alive but unworthy
    broken and empty, but you don’t care
    cuz you are my rapture, you are my savior
    when all my hope is gone, I reach for you
    you are my rescue
    you are my rescue

    I’m swimming to safety, but even with my best
    if I don’t see that rope soon, this might be my last breath

    somehow the grave has captured me
    show me the man I used to be
    just when I feel my breath is running out

    the earth moves and you find me, alive but unworthy
    broken and empty, but you don’t care
    because you are my rapture, you are my savior
    when all my hope is gone, I reach for you
    you are my rescue

    don’t let me drown
    can you hear me
    cuz I am
    “drawlin out” (not sure)
    I’m underground
    won’t you pull me out

    the earth moves and you find me, alive but unworthy
    broken and empty, but you don’t care
    because you are my rapture, you are my savior
    when all my hope is gone, I reach for you
    you are my rescue
    you are my rescue
    yeah, you are my REScue
    yeah! you are MY resCUE

    I’m pushing up daisies, I wish they were roses
    I feel like I’m dying, just want you to notice…

    Once you watch the video below you will see why I picked this for Kris Allen.  With these two songs Kris Allen could propel himself to the forefront of American Idol Season 8.

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_k6K_IdRgVE

  • Adam Lambert has done Robert Plant and he needs to take on Freddy Mercury by  performing the most theatrical rock song ever recorded (except maybe some Meatloaf) “Bohemian Rhaposdy” Queen - A Night at the Opera - Bohemian Rhapsody.  It has been done on American Idol several times, so it can be done.  Interestingly, it was performed by Constantine Maroulis, the American Idol Season 4 finalist who looked for all the world like a “rock god” but who has never charted a song or sustained an extended rock tour.  He has, however, been nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Rock of Ages. Hmmm.

So there it is.  We go boldly into the last two shows of American Idol Season 8 with six good songs that can be well performed by three terrific singers; Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert.

Be sure to put together your American Idol Season 8 by downloading any of the performances from iTunes

Apple iTunes

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- Rock Songs Preview

We are down to the American Idol Season 8 Top 4.  There are only three shows left.  Where did the Season 8 go?  It seems only a few weeks ago when we were debating shocked that Alexis Grace did not make it to the Top 10.  One21music is covering Christian music artists performing in American Idol Season 8.  We started with 10, six made it to the Idol tour and two Christian music artists, Danny Gokey and Kris Allen, have made it to the Top 4.  I think either of them can and should win Season 8 (see Top 4 Power Rankings)

The American Idol Top 4 will be singing Classic Rock songs to earn their place in the Top 3.  Rumors are flying around the Internet about how many songs the performers will sing and there is even speculation that the American Idol Season 8 Top 4 will sing duets.  I hope not, so I am going to assume that each performer will sing two classic rock songs from the ’70′s and 80′s.

American Idol Season 8 Rock Song Projections

  • Kris Allen “The Weight”  The Band The Band - Music from Big Pink - The Weight “Blame It On Cain” Elvis Costello Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True - Blame It On Cain“The Weight” is a gorgeous song of self sacrifice and service originally sung by Levon Helm.  There is a breathtaking version of the song performed with The Band and The Staple Singers from the movie The Last Waltz.  The tone of the song, the lilt of the music and the message of the lyrics are completely congruent with Kris Allen the performer. 

  • “Blame I t On Cain” is a bouncy rocker that fits Kris’s style perfectly while giving him room to change the arrangement and add some vocal riffs.  To get a taste what it could be like with Kris singning this song, here is Christian music artist Dustin Kensrue singing “Blame It on Cain”

  • Danny Gokey “Somebody To Love”  Queen Queen - Queen: Greatest Hits I & II - Somebody to Love “When Love Comes To Town”  U2 U2 & B.B. King - Rattle and Hum - When Love Comes to TownHe has the arrangement from the group performance he arranged during American Idol Season 8 Hollywood week.  This a soaring, fun epic that enabled Freddy Mercury to throw his head back sing.  “Somebody To Love” should allow Danny Gokey to deliver on the promise he made with last week’s performance.”When Love Comes To Town” is another song suited to Danny’s big voice and U2′s message of redemption rings true to what we know about Danny Gokey

  • Allison Iraheta “Cry Baby”  Janis Joplin Janis Joplin - Pearl - Cry Baby “Gimme Shelter” The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks 1964-1971 - Gimme ShelterShe is closest thing I have seen to Janis Joplin since, well Janis Joplin.  All season long we have waited for Allison Iraheta wrap her voice around a Joplin tune and this one from Pearl is a doozy.   It opens with a huge scream and then settles into mind blowing romp for her man.  Allison could make Simon cry with this song.We are suggesting two really old songs for the youngest singer in the competition but she does feel like a late sixties rocker. Not much in the way of lyrics here but “Gimme Shelter’s”  message is timely and the song gives her so much room to show off her voice. 

  • Adam Lambert “Rock and Roll”  Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV (Remastered) - Rock and Roll “Desire” U2 U2 - The Best of 1980-1990 - DesireCan Adam Lambert handle the Robert Plant wail?  We think so.  Big, brash, loud  this song roared off Zep’s fourth album and marked their transition to a great band.  This would be an exciting way to start the show with Adam roaring ‘been a long time since I rock and rolled”.  We will see if Adam Lambert is a rock and roll dude.
    Two rousing songs for Adam, less variety than he has shown this year, but U2′s warning of earthly desires does fit with Adam Lambert’s penchant for darker music. This song is big and fast.

     

     

The last two weeks have been great and there is no reason to think tonight will be any different.  Join us at 8 edt as we live blog rock night on American Idol Season 8.

In the meantime be sure to download some of the great Season 8 performances at iTunes

Apple iTunes

American Idol’s Christian Performers in Season 8

We have just finished the first half of American Idol’s Season 8 , Hollywood Week.  The group competition was uncomfortable at best.  I would much prefer more performance and less drama.

In our quest to cover American Idol’s Christian performers, we at One21music have been searching the web for contestants who openly profess their faith.  We have found one and we need your help identifying the others.

Danny Gokey,28, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin quickly emerged from the pack.  Danny is a member of Faith Builders International Ministry.  He was the praise and worship leader at Faith Builder churches in both Milwaukee and Beloit,WI at the same time.  Gokey would perform morning services in Beloit and drive to Milwaukee to lead the afternoon service, as well as doing mid-week services.

Danny’s most recent mission is Sophia’s Heart Foundation.  As we heard during Gokey’s American Idol audition, Danny’s wife recently died of a heart condition she had fought since childhood.  The foundation’s goal is to “help and mend the hearts of children who have been touched by poverty, sickness, disease, broken families and broken dreams”.

Last night Danny’s group performed a slamming, acapella version of Queen’s “Somebody To Love”.   I thought is was the best performance of the night.  Gokey is a strong singer with, deep musical experience.  The skills he developed as the worship leader at two churches, simultaneously, has already served him well in the rigors of American Idol’sHollywood Week.  As the competition continues and the pressure of song selection and arrangement intensify,  I think Danny Gokey will thrive.  He is my early favorite to win it all.

As much we like Danny Gokey, our goal at One21music is to be more than a Danny Gokey fan site.  We want to cover all the Christians competing on American Idol and we need your help.  We will continue to research our list.  If you know any of these potential finalists to be professing believers, please send some information on them in a comment:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Alexis Grace
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Ann Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Arianna Ayesha Afsar
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailes
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Joanna Pacitti
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Junot Joyner
  • Kai Kalama
  • Kendall Beard
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Kris Allen
  • Lil Rounds
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Matt Giraud
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Mishavonna Henson
  • Rick Brady
  • Scott MacIntyre
  • Stephen Fowler
  • Stevie Wright
  • Taylor Vaifanua
  • Tatiana Del Toro
  • Von Smith