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 Preview

On Wednesday night (not Tuesday), American Idol will perform the music of Motown.  We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Motown this year.  We look back at Hitsville, USA and think about the nice soul classics by Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Jackson 5, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and many more.  We have lost the historical significance of a black-owned, black-run business achieving true cross over success in 60′s America.  Motown was more than just a hit making machine, it was a revolution making “black” music accessible to middle class white America.  Maybe only Barry Gordy could have imagined the success and impact Motown would have when he started it in 1958.

The Motown Family

The Motown Family

Smokey Robinson will mentor the American Idol performers.  Along with Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Smokey Robinson must be considered one of the greatest songwriters of the ’60′s.  In addition

Smokey Robinson & Barry Gordy

Smokey Robinson & Barry Gordy

to his own hits “Tears of A Clown”, “Oh Baby, Baby” and “Tracks of My Tears”, he also penned many of the great Motown hits such as “Get Ready”, “My Guy” and “The Way You Do The Things You Do”.  He has nearly 4,000 songs to his credit.  Bob Dylan called Smokey Robinson “America’s greatest living  poet”. The American Idol performers visited Motown this week in a highly publicized trip.  I would have been thrilled to make that trip.  Given the R&B leanings of all the American Idol performers (except rocker Allison Iraheta and hair metal guy Adam Lambert), this should be a very good week. I am sure every one of the American Idol performers has a Motown favorite.  The trick is to see if that favorite song is the best one for them to perform.  I am pretty sure we will see the American Idol judges skewer one of the contestants for song selection only to have them respond, “this has been my favorite song forever and I just had to perform it.” Song Selections If it is on the list, I am sure someone will perform Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”.  I hope this song, probably the best in all of the Motown catalogue falls into the hands of Kris Allen or Danny Gokey.  I would like to see their interpretation of this surprisingly timeless piece (check out the remake of that entire album by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band The Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring G. Love - What's Going On).  The one who does not sing “What’s Going On” should take on one of The Temptation classics like “Get Ready”, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” or “(I Know) I’m Losing You”.  There are so many songs in the Motown catalogue, who knows what American Idol will have for them to chose from. Here are my wished for song selection:

  • Kris Allen can turn “What’s Going On” into a modern, relevant song of substance.
  • Danny Gokey should take the chance to show off his riffing skills with “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”
  • Lil Rounds needs to perform one of the bigger songs in the Motown collection, like Martha Reeve’s “Dancing in The Streets”.
  • Scott MacIntyre needs an easy ballad, like Lionel Richie’s “Hello” ,to pour himself into.
  • Matt Giraud must use this opportunity to flex his R&B skills with something like Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed and Delivered”.
  • Michael Sarver should grab Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of The Brokenhearted”.  I can just see the television falling in love with him again as he sings “I’m know I’ve got  to find some kind of  peace of mind”
  • Look for Adam Lambert to grab some rave-up like The Temptations “Psychedelic Shack”, Edwin Starr’s “War” or, the best yet, Rick James’s “Super Freak”
  • Allison Iraheta needs to show her other side with a ballad like Smokey Robinson’s “Oh Baby Baby” . She will probably grab something like the Vanilla Fudge arrangement of The Supreme’s “You Keep Me Hanging On”
  • Anoop Dedsai can do anything from the catalogue but he needs to right his funky self so I suggest he grab Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”.  Please Anoop, don’t try anything from Rick James, no “Super Freak” or “Dance Wit U” .  You funk is not as funky as you think.
  • Finally, Meagan Joy needs to show her singing chops by taking on the Gladys Knight classic “Midnight Train to Georgia.”  No funny stuff, just sing it straight up so we can see what you got.

Of course, none of them will probably sing these songs. As far as Wednesday night goes anyone, but Danny, Kris and Lil , could go home based on a bad performance.  The Motown catalogue is fun and it fits the American Idol Season 8 performers like a glove.  It should be a good show. Join me as we live blog the American Idol Season 8 Top 10 performances. Be sure to grab the live performance videos or the American Idol studio recordings of these songs by clicking through to iTunes below

Apple iTunes