Wednesday, April 29, 2009

5 singers, 5 songs, the wet episode...

Okay, so I wasn't exactly pleased when I learned that, for the first time in eight seasons, the top five kids would not be singing two selections from the Rat Pack catalog. I didn't miss the pre-performance/mentor/prep taped packages last week. But I did like Jamie Foxx's advice to the kids, especially the truth that the songs they are choosing will be around for long after American Idol has become a footnote in pop culture history.

And the kids gave the songs that respect, pretty much across the board.

I still woulda liked 10 of them, though. (But the show not only woulda intruded on Fringe, it probably would have butted into the late news. Somebody check the producers for flu-like symptoms, please.)

Anyway, here they are, my impressions, for what they're worth, and, as usual, from worst to first.

Matt Giraud (My Funny Valentine). I love this song, but oh Matt. I know it's an unfair (and unofficial) rule that you shouldn't try to perform a song that's still memorable from seasons past. Melinda Doolittle killed this song two seasons ago, and any attempt at a remake is sure to be compared. Jamie Foxx tells Matt to just sing the song. I have told Matt to just sing the song. Just sing the song! And to his credit he does limit the vocal acrobatics, but, while he obviously respects and crawls into the song, it's - by far - the weakest performance of the night. And pretty much the only one I really didn't totally enjoy.

Kris Allen (The Way You Look Tonight). Oh I love this song. And I love Kris. And I really liked Kris singing this song. I don't agree with Randy that it was his best performance of the season - I think that came two weeks ago - but Kris continues to show exactly what type of artist he is, what type of music he would produce. Simon tells him his performance was a bit "wet" and then throws in a puppy analogy. All I know is that when I use "puppy" and "wet" in the same sentence, it's usually accompanied by naughty words. I don't know what in the hell Simon meant.

Danny Gokey (Come Rain or Come Shine). I love this song. And for probably the first time since the semi-finals, I enjoyed Danny! Okay, so I coulda done without him taking the song to church at the end, but I give him credit for the switch-up. I still don't think he belongs in the finale, and frankly I'm getting sick and tired of Paula dismissing the remaining contestants by her constant insistence that the finale is set, but this performance may have picked Gokey up a few more fans to add to the base he had before live singing ever started.

Allison Iraheta (Someone to Watch Over Me). I love this song. I love Allison. And I loved Allison's version of the song. (She's not 16 anymore!) I did not love Simon's attempt at trapping her into a lose/lose question, asking her if she felt she could win. And I don't know what Simon was thinking, calling this performance "mechanical." For me it was a genuine, heartfelt, from the gut, gritty performance, the huskiness of her voice fitting perfectly in a genre that could have posed problems for a lesser vocalist. (She's 17 now!) Now if she would just work a bit on her enunciation... (Maybe when she's 18 she will...)

Adam Lambert (Feeling Good). Adam's was, without compare, the best entrance ever in the history of this show. I have watched the video numerous times just for the sashay. So I kinda sorta agreed with Randy that this was a tad more theatrical than necessary, but it's Adam, so what do we expect. I don't even bother discussing Adam's vocal perfection at this point of the season, because it's like reminding everyone that the oxygen was good, so what put him at the top for me this week is what I've come to love from him: the voiceless expressions. The mischievous eyes, the smirk, the subliminal smile. I admire that ability in a performer, the ability to communicate without the use of any vocal cord. And, in this one performance, Adam's face spoke volumes, and was the best of a very good night.

So who does that leave on the Midnight Train to Georgia? I doubt they'll draw a final three (but then I thought they'd sing two songs, too, so what do I know.) But this is my blog, so I'll choose a final whatever-I-want.

Who should: Matt and Kris.
Who I want: Matt and Danny.
Who will: Matt and Allison.

I think Simon's death wish (reverse psychology?) on Allison, telling her she might be in trouble, will be enough fire under her voters (and new voters who just get ticked off when Simon does that) to withstand any ouster. Matt has used up pretty much all of his lives, and escaped the bottom three last week when he should have landed there. It's his time to go. And go he will.

Tonight we'll have Natalie Cole and a Taylor Hicks return. Next week it's Rock Week with Daughtry.

See you tonight as we trim the field to four.


Anonymous JJ said...

A great night overall. Everyone did very well and of course some did far better than others. The top two for me were Allison and Adam... I so wish it's those two 'til the end.
Next best was Kris and then Danny and Matt.
I agree that Danny did more with the song than he's ever done thus far but it still wasn't enough for me.
Matt could have been great but only parts of his performance last night were and the other parts... not so much!
If Allison is in the bottom two/three... bottom whatever, tonight I'll be seriously pissed!
It should be Matt going home tonight.. he's lasted far longer than anyone ever believed (including him) and it's time to go.
Unfortunately though, it'll probably be Allison next week.. though given it's Rock Week she might do great.
Who knew Foxx would have been such a good mentor!! I truly liked what he had to say to the kids. Good job Jamie!

11:11 AM, April 29, 2009  
Blogger Dave said...

Jennifer, I don't know how you and your husband roll, but usually I associate naughty words with "wet" and "kitty".

There seems to be a general sentiment around the blogosphere that people needed to work overtime to keep Allison around. If this show voted the other way (ie-to kick people off), Matt would be a goner for sure. I'm hoping that everyone who wrote about what an injustice it would be for Allison to get canned actually picked up the phone to keep her around.

I think she'd be strong enough to make the finale if Paula and Randy didn't spend so much time slurping Gokey.

12:12 PM, April 29, 2009  
Blogger jennifer said...

LOL Dave. I have a puppy. He wets. On my floor instead of the outside carpet where he's supposed to. The naughty words get told to him, by me. You have new carpet; don't get puppy.

I agree with what you say, but often when Simon unjustly dooms somebody even people who don't vote (like me) might pick up the phone to make a few calls. I'm hoping that's what happened with Allison. And the Gokey pimpage started so early, it seems like it's just habit with them, despite the number of karaoke performances the guy has delivered. They are judge-bots. I don't know how anybody can say Gokey has a superior voice to either Kris or Allison.

12:18 PM, April 29, 2009  
Blogger Dave said...

It's no secret that the show has it's favourites each year, but these past two seasons have been worse than usual. Randy especially doesn't even try to hide his man-crush on Gokey like he didn't even try to hide his man/boy-crush on Archuleta last year.

Don't forget that Alexis's voice is also far superior to Gokey's as well.

There's no danger of us getting a puppy; I'm allergic to anything with fur so there are no pets in the High Lord's house.

12:42 PM, April 29, 2009  
Blogger angelof_mercy81 said...

I was one of the voters galvanized into action by Simon's remarks. I've voted for Allison before, but not at the same level I did last night. I thought she did quite well, and it would be a shame to send her home. Her rendition of the song actually made me misty-eyed.

By all rights, it should be Matt going home tonight. I'm hoping that America made the right decision.

1:00 PM, April 29, 2009  
Blogger Mighty Mouse said...

Danny is sounding more and more like Michael Bolton -- and I HATE Michael Bolton!

He also looked like Taylor Hicks there during the "church" bit of his performance -- and I HATE Taylor Hicks!

Okay, "hate" is a strong word. Dislike.

4:34 PM, April 29, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed last night, so I watched the clips at MJ's.
Kris nand Allison were very good.
I can't believe how Simon "depimped" them so abruptly.
First time I really didn't enjoy Adam, I thought he was too over the top.
Matt-----just go home already.

I have nothing to say about the final contestant.

4:51 PM, April 29, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of them compare to the vocal range and ability that Adam displays. Gokey is there riding on the coattails of a dead wife. He has the sympathy vote every time he looks heavenwards. He has milked the ploy long enough, he has ZERO chance at a career in music. Allison growls her songs, and sne looks like a space cadet. The tweeeny vote can only get you so far. Matt has no chance of going anywhere, he doesn't have the talent. Kriss is as boring as he is earnest. He has no shot at a career. Adam is a ready made star.
The rest are duds.

7:27 PM, April 29, 2009  
Anonymous Melissa in TN said...

I think Simon is usually right but not last night. I did not like what he did to Allison by asking if she really thought she could win this. It did make me vote for her and this is the first time I've voted all year.

I didn't care for Matt and Simone thought he was brilliant. I think he should be the one who goes home; he has stayed too long.

After Matt goes home (hopefully!), I'm ok with any of them winning but I especially like Adam.

7:41 PM, April 29, 2009  
Blogger Dave said...

I think Simon's praise of Matt was more about convincing himself that he didn't waste the save on someone who didn't deserve it than anything he actually believed.

He used to say nice things about Carmen Rasmussen, too.

8:40 PM, April 29, 2009  

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