American Idol Season 8- Top 4 Results Live Blog

I guess I am a strange cat.  I saw last night’s American Idol Season 8 rock performances differently than just about everybody on the Internet (see Rock Performances Review ).  Everyone hated Danny Gokey’s performance of “Dream On”, I didn’t.  Everyone thinks Adam Lambert is the next RobertPlant/Freddy Mercury/Axl Rose/Mick Jagger all rolled in one, I don’t.  You know I saw Colm Wilkerson play Jean Vallejean in Les Miserables but I did not think he was really a 19th century French fugitive industrialist.

We are covering  Christian music artists performing on American Idol Season 8Danny Gokey and Kris Allen are the last two remaining in the final 4.  Most of the Internet buzz has Kris Allen going home tonight.  I don’t think so.  I predicted last night that Allsion Iraheta would leave and I still believe that.

If all of the stars who the “spoilers” have leaked (Daughtry, No Doubt, Paula Abdul, Slash) actualy do performer we won’t have time for the Ford video (yeah) or the results (yeah, let’s leave them all here for another week.)  Enough of this babbling let’s get to the show.

The lead in revealed a lot of frustration among Danny, Kris and Allison.  Looks liken they have the stage repaired.  Over 64 million votes lat night.  Are your fingers sore?

I am ignoring the Ford video.  Slash is leading the American Idol Season 8 group through “School’s Out”.  Allison outsings them all on the song.  Slash was kind of cool on guitar.

Let’s get some results.  The American Idol performers are pretty calm about the results.  Simon tells Kris “we don’t want humble”.  Sorry Simon, Kris is humble.  Let’s talk about the final note.  Danny tells of laughing through the playback.  Danny calls it his funniest moment on American Idol.  But let’s not do results.  It is Paula Abdul time.

Does everyone use that autotune technology.  So she created that whole Britney Spears style. She doesn’t bust the moves the way she used to.  It is better than most of the American Idol Season 8 performances but a little clumsy.

Now we get to see No Doubt going old school with “Just A Girl”.  It is so weird to see No Doubt going back to their roots.  I remember when we planted those roots.   The rock goddess is doing push-ups.  That is a new rock dance move.  That was okay.  They plan to write their no CD on their tour.  Christian music artists Paramore will open on the No Doubt tour.  That will be great exposure for this really wonderful Christian rock group.

The first in the Top 3 is Kris Allen.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  Jubilation prevails.  Accountants rule!

It is time for Daughtry, the 4th place finisher from Season 5 to perform. He is a big star now.  He debuts the new single from his new CD, “No Surprise”.  This is a slow tempo rocker with a bug chorus.  Not really me favorite type of rock.  He has a great voice but the song does not excite me.  Daughtry’s debut CD has sold more than 5 million copies.

Back with Allison, Adam and Danny waiting to find out who goes home.  Second person who is safe is Adam Lambert.   The final member of the Top 3 is Danny GokeyAllison Iraheta goes home.

I really like her.  She is going to be a big star.   Where was that last night?  She sang the song how I wanted her to.  She goes out a star.

Put together your Allison Iraheta mix on iTunes

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I am so thrilled that two of the final three American Idol Season 8 performers are Christian music artists. Way to go Danny Gokey and Kris Allen.

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.

Predictions
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.

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American Idol Season 8-Rock Night Live Blog

American Idol Season 8 strolls through the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as Slash mentors Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Danny Gokey and Kris Allen through the classic rcok songs of the 70′s and 80′s.  There are rumors and secrets around the show’s format tonight, with the biggest being that the American Idols will sing duets tonight.  I hope not.  I have predicted (Rock Songs Preview)  that the American Idol Season 8 performers will sing songs of Queen, The Rolling Stones, U2, Janis Joplin, The Band, Elvis Costello and Led Zeppelin.  It will be just like my TimeLife classic rock boxed set.

The competition to win American Idol Season 8 is  wide open and intense.  Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert can all win (see our Top 4 Power Rankings) and any one of them could go home tomorrow night.  Many are calling this the best Top4 ever.  These are four supremely talented, focused performers.  We are so pleased that two of the final four are Christian music performers.  We wish you the best Danny Gokey and Kris Allen.

So everybody let’s Rock & Roll!

They have really made the stage smaller.  They had an accident earlier.  The stage is falling apart.  There was no dress rehersal.  Rumors had that the stage manager went to the hospital.

The American Idol performers are going to sing duets tonight.  Double yuk!  Slash of Guns n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver is the mentor tonight.  He mentored the performers at the Roxy on Sunset Strip.   Allison Iraheta looks terrified.

Adam Lambert starts us off singing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”.  This is a great song from my teen years.  From the first note Adam’s singing does not carry the weight and danger of the young Robert Plant.  This is a parody of a rock band.  He has just proven he is not a rocker.  That was his worst performance of the year.

Randy I so disagree with you.  He said no one will think of Broadway when they hear that.  That was all I could think of.  Kara is falling over him.  Simon let’s me down and agrees with the other judges.  He said no one can top that?  Sorry I so disagree.

Yes!  I called it.  Allison Irhaeta is doing Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby”.  I guess we will see what this girl’s got.  This is a big hill to climb.  I think she can do it and when she does…

Allison is sporting blue streaks in her hair. The mentor session sounds great.  She skipped the hardest parts of the song.  She sang it pretty well, but not spectacular.  She did not seem on her game tonight.

Randy did not like the song choice because there was not a lot of melody.  Kara agrees.  Paula, too late for the Joplin bio pic.  They are filming it now.  Simon liked the singing but did not like the orginality.  Allison gets feisty with the judges.  She seemed really irritated with the judges.

We go to a duet, Danny Gokey & Kris Allen doing “Renegade” by Styx.  I don’t like this song very much and Kris seems to be struggling with the vocals.  Danny seems bigger on stage and he does have the bigger voice.

Randy loved the harmonies.  Kara agreed with Randy, again.  Simon does not like the duets.  The judges did not know how to judge the duet.

Kris Allen is singing “Come Together”   by The Beatles.  This is hard.  Kris wanted to wet himself during the mentor session.  As I suspected, what can you do with this song?  Kris has kind of lost his mojo tonight.  Very good singing and some nice changes at the end.

Randy liked the vocals but loved the guitar work.  Lukewarm praise from Randy.  Kara did not like it.  Paula liked the imprint he put on the song.  Simon did not like it that much.  He compared it to “eating ice for lunch”.

Danny Gokey is doing Aerosmith’s “Dream On”.  At least everyone is swinging for the fences.  He si going for the big scream at the end.  What was that!  He wailed.  That was awesome!

Randy didn’t like it.  Kara thinks he took the swagger a little to far.  Paula did not even like it.  Simon hated the end and thought it was over the top.

Adam Lambert & Allison Iraheta ends the night (of course)singing  “Slow Ride” by Foghat.  This was the best performance of the night.  Allison Iraheta has no business singing this song.

Of course the judges loved it.  I don’t care.

Doesn’t look like Slash was a very good mentor.  This show was a real disappointment.  I think the pressure kind of got to the American Idol performers and maybe I am a rock snob.

Be sure to put together your American Idol Season 8 download mix at iTunes

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American Idol Season 8- Top 4 Power Rankings

large_adam-lambert-matt-giraud-american-idolJaws dropped (did you see Allison Iraheta’s and Danny Gokey’s reactions?) and the Internet buzzed with shock, joy and outrage when Adam Lambert landed in the American Idol Season 8 Top 5 bottom 2.  How could the contestant that the judges treat as a superstar not sail to the finales?  Don’t all the other performers quake in his presence as they just wait to be eliminated on his march to the American Idol title?  How could this be?  See my quick thoughts in What Just Happened? Whether you love Adam Lambert so much that you are offended that he must be judged every week or you are like me and just dd not buy his act, you must admit that last week results show was a shock.

The thing is, I think America got it right.  I pretty much think the voters only made three mistakes throughout American Idol Season 8.  First Alexis Grace should have made it ti the Top 10.  Second, Anoop Desai finished well ahead of his talent.  Third, Matt Giraud should not have needed the judges “save”.

What about the Top 5?  Matt Giruad and Adam Lambert have been the most inconsistent performers of American Idol Season 8.  They have both been brilliant and they have both been horrendous.  My disappointment is that I think we may have seen the best of Adam Lambert whil Matt Giraud was on an upswing since he was “saved”.  However, I think Matt Giraud was hurt by his similarities with Kris Allen and Danny Gokey.  Goodbye Matt, I wish you had found your groove a little sooner but I will be buying you CDs soon.

American Idol Season 8 Top 4 Power Rankings

If you read my Rat Pack Performance Review you will see that I loved the show last week.  This group of American Idol performers continue to blow me away every week.  They took 50 year old songs performed them beautifully and with a great amount of artistry.  Remember that these are my assessment of these American Idol performers and not a prediction of how they will finish.  Here are my rankings as we rocket to the finale

  1. Kris Allen continues top my the One21music power rankings.  His performance of  “The Way You Look Kris AllenTonight” was technically brilliant.  The phrasing, the pacing, the pitch, the vocal dynamics were all fantastic.  That may have been the best he has sung throughout American Idol Season 8. Even though he is an exceptional singer, Kris is the weakest singer of the Top 4.  Kris’s advantage lays in his ability to select, arrange and interpret songs.  I have heard many commentators over the past few weeks rave that Kris is more about embodying a song and telling a story rather than engaging in vocal gymnastics.  I don’t know if he will, but Kris Allen deserves to win American Idol Season 8.
  2. Danny Gokey moves up to second (3rd in Top 5 Power Rankings) based solely on the last 20 seconds Danny Gokeyof his performance of “Come Rain of Come Shine”.  It felt like a heavyweight boxer who landed a knockout punch at the end of a round.  The entire American Idol audience looked up and said “what was that?”  I don’t know what he did but the end of that song showed us why Danny Gokey has been an American Idol Season 8 front runner since the first time we saw him in the auditions.  His vocals were rough with funky phrasing and emotional pacing.  It was the  passionate, pleading performance that have all been waiting for from Danny Gokey.   He has been a front runner since his audition aired in January.  If Danny Gokey can capture that magic and gives us more of that over the next three weeks, he will crush the American Idol Season 8 competition.
  3. Allison Iraheta has one of those once in a generation voices.  She is an Etta James, Janis Joplin, Ann Allison IrahetaWilson type of singer who opens her throat and causes every head in the arena to turn her way.  Her voice is big and rough and full and soulful.  I don’t want to here about her age, she is an old soul when she gets a mike in her hand.  Go back and watch the videos of her performances.  She prowls the stage like a lioness looking over her brood.  I think she has the best stage presence of any of the American Idol Season 8 Top 13.  I didn’t know what the American Idol judges were doing when they put this 16 year old girl with crazy red hair in the American Idol Season 8 Top 36.  We can’t say she matured into the competition this year, she arrived ready to win American Idol Season 8. We will be talking about Allison Iraheta for 50 years (well I won’t, but some of you will).
  4. Adam Lambert is the least of this group and that is nothing to be ashamed of. ai8_top5_lambert2 He is a brilliant singer beyond description.  He commands a huge stage.  He feels like a natural up there.  He has been the most polarizing American Idol performer I have exprienced.  His performances have presented him as an extreme rocker and many people do not like that mushc edge.  The thing is, Adam Lambert is not what he seems.  His future is not leading some striking new rock band.  He will not create some breakthrough in popular music.  He will not even rise to the top of today’s metal, experimental or electronic rock scenes.  I will be shocked to see Adam Lambert on the bill for Coachella, Lollapalozaa or ACL.  He cam to American Idol Season 8 fighting for his place in the Southern California theater scene.  I do think Adam Lambert will have a brilliant career on Broadway for as long as he wants.

It will be exciting to watch the voting dynamics play out next week.  Let’s assume everyone is brilliant, because they must be.  If anyone slips in a performance they will probably go home.   Allison Iraheta is at most risk this week.  Adam Lambert’s fans will rally behind their man and he will have bit of a recovery.  Kris Allen and Danny Gokey get the most bump from Matt Giraud’s departure.  He shares their faith, Danny is the singer most like Matt and Kris shares with Matt the skill to create interesting arrangements.  So, Allison Iraheta will lose some votes from Adam Lambert fans who said they split their votes with Allison last week and I don’t see where her new votes come from.

It is all too exciting.  Join us on Tuesday night as we live blog American Idol Season 8 Rock Night with Slash.  Plus, check out our Rock songs suggestions on Tuesday morning.

In the meantime go to iTunes and download a mix  of your favorite American Idol Season 8 performances.

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