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The rantings of an American Idol addict

Archive for April, 2009

Top 5 – Results Show

Posted by Molly M M on April 29, 2009

I’m posting a recap later. Feel free to discuss the show in the comments section!

Heh… and here I am. I just have to say… and I can’t believe I am saying this… I LOVED the group performance. They all sound awesome singing jazz. It took me waaaaay back to my days in high school jazz choir.

Umm… Adam, why’d you actually pick a side? No one actually does that! And he assumed he was safe…

I will say I can’t believe they’ve done a bottom three this week. That means over half of the contestants are “bottom three.” A little silly to me. I guess this is just to incite Adam fans to not be complacent, and vote, since he was named in the bottom. If Adam isn’t sent to safety next, I’ll be shocked.

I will cry like a baby if Kris goes home.

Kris is safe. But are Matt/Adam actually the real bottom two? I don’t recall Ryan saying it.

If Matt and Adam are not called, literally, the bottom two, I will assume that Kris was actually bottom two, with whomever goes home.

Guest performances tonight:
Natalie Cole — classy
Taylor Hicks — fun and quirky
Jamie Foxx — mehhhh (better as a mentor than a performer)

Jamie had some great comments about them being true artists and asking America to embrace ALL of them after the show is over.

Aww, Matt. Nice sendoff. Matt has a pretty great personality. We didn’t get to see it much on the show.

Wow, three minutes left at the end?? Craziness! Simon was pretty funny acknowledging how poorly he called it last night.

Next week is rock ‘n roll week with Slash from GNR (among other groups) as mentor.

They never said bottom two. Kris, next week the bus is coming for you. 😦

EDIT: Several people have confirmed for me that Ryan did in fact call Matt and Adam the bottom two when talking to Jamie Foxx. I am not sure if this was a slip by Ryan, or literally scripted. If it’s scripted, I will believe it, but it is hard for me to fathom. I imagine the top four was very very close last night, and that they only had a bottom three because Adam could be in it (it was the first time they’ve ever said the bottom three in the top five — usually it’s only bottom two with this small amount of contestants left).

I stand by my belief that the bus is coming for Kris via the producers and judges… so I will be voting extra hard for him next week.

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | 3 Comments »

Top 5 – Predictions

Posted by Molly M M on April 29, 2009

Hey all. I think I’m gonna post a recap about tonight’s results and not actually live-blog… feeling under the weather. Too much excitement would kill me. I’ll set up a thread before the show so you can all post comments during the show, though.

Here are my rankings from last night:
1. Allison
2. Kris
3. Adam
4. Danny
5. Matt

Listening back, I do think Danny was better than Matt. I hated the blasting at the end of Danny’s song, but I couldn’t help but admire his restraint at the beginning/middle. Jazz is all about understanding when to pour it on and when to pull back; it’s as much about silence as it is sound.

That’s why Allison had the best performance last night… she showed emotion, range, restraint, and gusto in all the right places. It was a perfect song choice for her; but of course it was, since I picked it for her myself beforehand!

Kris and Adam were both pretty predictable last night, but they each gave a solid vocal. Kris was tender, and I enjoyed his slow-to-swinging take on the song. It’s exactly the kind of move that, say, Harry Connick, Jr. would have made on that song. Not surprised that Adam picked Muse’s cover of “Feeling Good”; as I was with his Gary Jules/Michael Andrews version of “Mad World,” I was impressed with the musical knowledge he possessed to make those savvy choices. I thought he didn’t “Muse it up” enough, actually… but I give Kris kudos for staying truer to the spirit of the Rat Pack with his phrasing choices.

That leaves us at Matt. I’m sorry, “My Funny Valentine” should be untouchable on this show… see Melinda Doolittle’s astounding version from season six and you need think no further. Matt made some interesting choices, and I enjoyed hearing his lower range for once, but he doesn’t have the chops and personality to go much further. I think justice will prevail, and he will go home tonight.

Knowing me, the one night I’m confident about results will be the one night one of my babies (Krallison) goes home. Especially after Simon’s comments that neither of them could win it. Was Simon throwing them under the bus as he has been wont to do in the past?…

Or were his comments a sneaky tactic to actually incite voting for them, specifically Allison? I wouldn’t put it past him. For evidence, see Cook, David; finale, season 7. Simon called the final for Archuleta, despite it being completely ridiculous for him to do so (it was pretty evenly matched if you ask me). He retracted it on results night and even apologized to Cook on the show. What happened was Cook fans were livid and came out in droves to vote, and Cook won by 12% of the vote. To be honest, I would not be surprised if Simon has a few apologetic words for Krallison tonight (though I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t, either).

It’s also worth noting Krallison’s beginning of show placement. It’s never good to start the show, but Simon’s negative comments AND his reference back to them in later show comments may just have made them MORE memorable… whether that was his intention or not.

What do you think will happen? Will we get a Shock! Boot! tonight? Or will middle-of-the-show, middle-of-the-road comment getter Matt finally pack his bags?

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | 2 Comments »

Top 5 – Performance Show

Posted by Molly M M on April 28, 2009

Here we go. Everyone looks snazzy tonight!

It’s Rat Pack era night. Jamie Foxx, who played Ray Charles in the bio-pic, is the “surprise” mentor. Strange.

Kris talks briefly with Ryan before the break. I loved his “who is the mentor for Rat Pack week? All of those guys are… dead…” He looks VERY nice tonight. Please vote for Kris my friends! LOL.

KRIS ALLEN – The Way You Look Tonight

Is he taking the slow Tony Bennett route? The uptempo Sinatra swing version? The bossa nova style Michael Buble did? I’ll take any of these, thanks very much. 🙂

Slow version. I’m liking this… Jamie Foxx calls him his number one, he’d do a record with him. Nice!

Slow at first… then brings the swing in after the bridge. He’s doing a gorgeous job with the vocal. Really interesting phrasing choices. Wow. I’m melting over here. (It doesn’t hurt that I’ve often felt “The Way You Look Tonight” would be my first dance at my wedding.)

Randy says it’s his best perfomance to date. Sweet!! Kara says he’s set the technical standard incredibly high for the rest of the night. Dark horse!!! Paula says boy next door to sophisticated gentleman. Simon thought it was good but “wet.” ??? He doesn’t think Kris CAN win the competition. Simon can BITE ME.

ALLISON IRAHETA – Someone to Watch Over Me

I’m so glad she picked this song! She should do well.

She gets a pimp chat about being the only girl left and celebrating her 17th birthday yesterday. She got a birthday surprise during rehearsal.

Allison is hilarious in her video. “Yeah, I’m about 5.” LOL. Jamie tells her to sing for her family.

She is singing with a lot of soul and passion tonight. You go girl! She is a little husky for my liking on the crescendos — but overall, very good, very strong. It’s be a shame if she went home. Very very nice head-voice ending.

Randy like how she does it in her style, calls it “da bomb.” Kara isn’t worried about her anymore, she should end up in the finals. Paula loves the alluring, tender sensibility. Simon asks her if she thinks she can win it; Allison thinks she and all the others can, but Simon isn’t sure, thinks she could be in trouble, thinks it was a mechanical performance, thinks she’s being overshadowed by the other “personalities” at the moment. Kara says he’s crazy, Randy chimes in on that too.

Is Simon trying to oust Kris and Allison so he can have his predicted Adam/Danny finale? I call bullshit on you, Simon Cowell.

MATT GIRAUD – My Funny Valentine

I hear he’s not playing piano on this? A mistake, I predict.

He says he studied jazz in college, got a B; Ryan says he needs an A!

Jamie calls him back later. He thinks he ought to change keys and sing it in full voice.

He sounds different tonight. Is this his vocal jazz voice? Not too much falsetto yet… he’s a little pitchy, but I like the nuances he’s got to the phrasing. He went fairly easy on the runs. Too much blasting at the end for my liking, but a pretty good performance.

Randy thought he was up to the task but it didn’t all come together for him. Kara didn’t think he was emotionally connected. Matt appears to disagree. Paula felt the emotional connection and thought lowering the key showed a different side to his voice. Simon disagrees with Randy, liked his Nat King Cole phrasing, thought it was brilliant, could tell he loved the music.

What will happen now???? Is Simon pimping Matt because he wants Kris or Allison gone, since they could make the finale but Matt probably can’t? Sorry for all the conspiracy theories, peeps, but I’ve watched the show long enough to know when “throwing under the bus” begins to happen.

DANNY GOKEY – Come Rain or Come Shine

Danny says he’s not changing it up much (big surprise!) except to put a bluesy edge. (it kind of already has one…) Jamie is in his face.

Danny looks a little better than usual this evening. I don’t like the way he sings “reeeeeever.” He’s doing all right… not loving the growling. Oh boy. He comes the loud high stuff. The judges will love it, I’m sure. You are yelling the song at me! It’s what you always do and it is not in keeping with the spirit of the song. Gaaaaaaaaah.

Randy says he could have an album of songs like that and win. Who cares about connecting to the song, you can sing!!! Kara loves the swagger. Unbelievable. Paula says stellar, and that he can see the finish line. Simon says he proved a point, unlike the first two. BLATANT PIMPING. Simon thanks Ricky Minor and Jamie as well.

EDIT: I still hate Danny. Parts of that vocal were… restrained and phrased well. Will I say good? No. The ending killed all chances of my liking it. However, I did like the band’s arrangement of the song.

Cannot stand Danny Gokey. Gaaaaah.

What is wroooong with Simon? You threw Kris and Allison under the bus!!

ADAM LAMBERT – Feeling Good

He picks Muse’s version of the song. Excellent choice, I feel. Adam is intimidated by Jamie Foxx, and Jamie has no idea of that.

Adam is looking good! Sounding good too. I mean, is there any way he ain’t winning? Right now I’m just determined to get Kris into the finale with Adam, there over Danny.

Excellent song choice by Adam. My mom doesn’t like it, hahaha.

Randy thinks it’s a little theatrical and Broadway, but thinks he’s in the zone consistently. Kara uses all these contradictory adjectives. Paula says he’s like Michael Phelps at the Olympics. Simon says Randy saying Adam is theatrical is like complaining about a cow mooing. He gets discombobulated and says Adam, like others such as Adam, is in it to win it, to prove a point, etc., and loved his entrance.

Man… I think Matt is in trouble. I guess if he has to go home, it should be on a week he loves. Could be Allison or Kris though. I bet Kris’s fans are unhappy with Simon, so that might power them up. I will be power voting for Kris tonight and probably giving Allison some votes as well.

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | 4 Comments »

Top 5 – My Preferred Song Picks

Posted by Molly M M on April 28, 2009

So tonight’s Rat Pack night. I’m so excited, I might pee my pants. I heard each contestant gets just ONE song this year, which I think is the fair thing to do so everyone gets a decnt critique (well, decent length-wise).

I am so hoping for a shock elimination of the Gokey. Why? Because Matt should do well with the theme, Adam ain’t going anywhere, and I will cry it eyes out if Allison or Kris goes (especially Kris). And if Danny goes now, the chances of an Adam/Kris/Allison final three goes WAAAY up. So, Danny: sing something of a treacle-fest and bore us and Simon, but do well enough so your fans are complacent and don’t vote. It’s our only hope!!

Here’s what I’d love the Idols to sing:

Adam: Something with semi-subversive content would be awesome — a Billie Holiday thinker song. Did the Rat Pack ever sing “Strange Fruit”? Or “Black and Blue”? Could be awesome. I also like Michael Slezak‘s idea about a stripped down “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

Allison: If she stripped down a ballad like “Someone to Watch Over Me”… she could kill it. Maybe even with guitar.

Danny: Please go for “What a Wonderful World” in the most syrupy fashion imaginable.

Kris: I would die and go to heaven if you sang “Mr. Bojangles” to me (with guitar or keys). Proof of past Idol success with this song: Sam Nixon, UK Pop Idol season two. Kid rocked it; it was a breakthrough performance. I’ll find a clip to post later.

UPDATE: Clip of Sam Nixon singing “Mr. Bojangles” in 2003 on UK’s Pop Idol. (And here is an extended version with video clip of the contestant and judge comments.)

Matt: As much as I hate to say it, repeat, repeat, repeat your Hollywood week breakthrough of “Georgia on My Mind.” with piano. You will be safe next week if you do.

What are your song picks?

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | 1 Comment »

Top 5 – Theme Announcement!

Posted by Molly M M on April 23, 2009

The theme for top 5 week has been announced. I’ve heard it’s either “top jazz standards” or “songs by the Rat Pack.” Hmm, maybe since we’ve got four guys and a girl left, impersonations of Frank, Dean, and Sammy can happen?

I’m personally psyched for this theme. I love love LOVE this music, and it’s not been since top 9 of season 6 that we’ve gotten a jazz week. (That year, Tony Bennett mentored. I wonder if we’ll get a mentor this time too?) I can see, however, how some may absolutely hate this theme. I’m not sure how this theme, like so many others we’ve seen this season, will show us what kinds of recording artists these contestants would be.

Additionally, if tradition holds true, this is the week we start getting two songs per Idol per night. How they are going to get through 10 songs, 40 judge critiques, and 18 minutes of commercials in ONE HOUR is beyond me. I’m not sure I want to watch these kids put up 10 bastardizations of some of my favorite tunes, either.

What do you think will happen? Will they have time in their busy night for a mentor? Will they stick with 2 songs a contestant and all judges critiquing? Who will shine, who will bore, and who will be a massive trainwreck? We’d lve to hear your thoughts!

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | 1 Comment »

Top 7 (2.0) – Results Show

Posted by Molly M M on April 23, 2009

Here we go.

Is this the “something big”? Paula choreographing for them? Still, kinda neat that they get to actually work with a judge on something.

Kris can dance! But they’re totally lip-syncing, right? It’s a little obvious.

Why is Adam not in sunglasses?

That group dance was actually sort of enjoyable, I gotta say. And Paula onstage! And Paula gets flowers from the top 7.

We have some weird seating tonight.

Lil is asked how badly she wants this. Real bad. Lil… is taken to the far side of the stage. Wow — not even a bottom three tonight??

Lil is out. She seems to be letting loose on this sing-out. Paula thinks she sang brilliantly tonight, and glad she went out at the top of her game. Randy tells her that it’s just the beginning… about five times. Simon will miss her family screaming at him every week. Kara is partially cut off at the beginning of her advice.

So who is next? Will it be down between Anoop, Matt, and Allison, the three seated together in the top row?

Who is this disco lady? I’ve never even heard of her! I guess she’s someone who made “Band of Gold” famous. Now THAT’S a (way overdone on Idol) song I’m glad I didn’t hear last night. This lay is old and does not sound great. Okay… Thelma Houston, she I’ve heard of. Love this song, but that dress… be careful what you show us, darling!

KC & the Sunshine Band too? Will this godawful disco medley EVER END? I’d rather have Archuleta sing ten times tonight than this stuff.

Aaaaaand another commercial.

Two more seats in the bottom three? Then why is Lil already gone?? I’m confused.

Kris is safe! Kris got Paula’s “women’s department” comment.

Adam is so gracious. Love his line about singing the lyrics honestly. He’s safe!

Danny… Ryan asks Danny about the clumsy stuff. Simon and Ryan banter oddly. Danny is safe.

Anoop… bottom three. Ryan “got right to it” as Simon requested.

Matt versus Allison for the last bottom spot. I’ve got a bad feeling.

Allison wanted to make the performance more “her” and not karaoke. Matt arranged his song himself, and had a great time.

Allison’s bottom three over Matt. I knew this would happen. Boo. Allison sings to Anoop on her way over to the stools.

I’ve got a bad feeling about Allison. Is the “big thing” going to be the fact that for the first time, there’s an all-guy top 5? There’s never even been an all-male top 3 before!

David Archuleta should lighten the mood. He is adorable, even though I was so anti-him last year. His voice sounds OFF though. Eek. Maybe Archie’s sick or something, because he’s a pitchy mess. He is such a little ray of sunshine, though.

Aww, Archie’s little speech is nice, and he tells them they have awesome voices. See, why couldn’t they have had Cook do that? Oh, right — not a live performance.

My mom and I are speculating on an Adam/Kris finale. If that happened, I would honestly not care who won.

Okay, here we go. C’mon Allison.

Whew. I’m sad for Anoop, but it was not Allison’s time. I get the sense of relief from Anoop, a little bit. He’s singing really great tonight.

Where are the goodbye videos?!?

Here we go with the videos. They’ve spliced them together. Kinda cool.

Nice thank you shoutout, Anoop!

And we’re done. I guess my prediction wasn’t far off.

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | 5 Comments »

Top 7 (2.0) – Predictions

Posted by Molly M M on April 22, 2009

I’ll be live-blogging (really, live!) tonight’s results show, but I wanted to add some quick thoughts about what I think may happen tonight.

First of all, I’d like to make note of an article that broke on my favorite Idol blog, MJ’s Big Blog, earlier today, regarding Paula’s contract negotiations and something “big” that will be happening tonight. I hear Paula’s choreographing the group number tonight, so perhaps the “historic” event is that Paula will be performing with them. Is this the first time a judge has ever performed with contestants? Who knows.

My other guess is that we may have a presidential appearance tonight. I know Simon’s been talking about getting President Obama on the show, and supposedly Randy had dinner with Condoleeza Rice earlier this week. I’m sorry, I love President Obama, but I would not be real happy if he showed up on Idol. He gets enough crap for having a “celebrity” status; this would only confirm this for the believers and annoy people like me who don’t want people saying that.

Okay, now onto the results. I’ll rank my order of performances last night:

1-2. Kris/Adam (tie)

3. Allison

4-6. Matt/Anoop/Danny (they’re all the same to me)

7. Lil

Really, Kris and Adam are the only ones worth watching the show for, for me (to quote Randy’s favorite term). At least they keep things interesting, although they’re each getting predictable in their own sort of way. I know the kind of singing style Kris will bring to a song, but I never have a clue of what kind of song he’ll choose to make his own. He totally shocked me last night in a great way. Adam is getting predictable by swaying between the fast, rollicking romps and the slow, emoting ballads (complete with hairstyles and dress to match each type)… but you never know exactly how he’s going to approach a song, and what you can expect, which is always good, is a stellar vocal.

Everyone else is just real karaoke for me at this point. I do love Allison, but she does kind of always have the same style, and unlike Kris, she doesn’t change up songs in such a drastic way to be totally impressive. She’s less karaoke than the other four remaining contestants, though. I think I’d love LISTENING to Matt and Anoop both, but not watching them. And Danny and Lil, well, we all know my thoughts on them. I think I’d like both of them better if they didn’t act so entitled all the time.

So what will go down tonight? I actually fear this week is going to be our big shocker. This is when Carly went home after a stellar performance last year, if you recall, and that was devastating to me. I don’t think Adam is in danger, and I don’t really think Kris is either, despite what DialIdol continues to say (and be wrong about) with him each week. A part of me WISHES Danny would be in trouble, but I think that’s me projecting my hopes onto my actual gut instincts about tonight.

So that leaves Allison, Lil, Anoop, and Matt. One girl is definitely going home. My initial reaction is Lil and Anoop, but I’m starting to question it. I really have this fear that Allison’s middle of the night placement, slow arrangement, and good comments could actually cause voters to be complacent, and since she’s already had some bottom three run-ins (though, never bottom two), this could spell doom for her. I think it’d be crazy awful if the two remaining girls went home tonight, but if Allison has to go, I’d like Lil to go too so Lil isn’t the last girl standing, and since I prefer Matt and Anoop both to Lil. I really don’t know what to think, but I don’t have a good feeling.

Who do you think will go home?

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | Leave a Comment »

Top 7 (2.0) – Performance Show

Posted by Molly M M on April 22, 2009

Hey peeps — I missed the beginning of the show tonight due to getting home late from moderating a junior high Scholastic Bowl meet. I’m so awesome. Anyway, I’m going to sit down and watch the tape of the show shortly, so I’ll be writing my recap then. Stay tuned! -MMM

It’s 2:20am. Naturally, I’m beginning my recap of the performance show. I live such the cool life.

I wasn’t real excited about disco theme. Apparently it was a last-minute change when a mentor dropped out? Eee.

Lil is singing “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan. She has some really nice moments… but in general, it’s a karaoke trainwreck. And her hair… it just gets longer and more bangsy every week, doesn’t it? Last chord… wow, not too good. It was a bit better than some of her other recent performances, note-wise. But what will the judges think? It’s clear the powers that be are done with Lil. She didn’t live up to their expectations, and the backtalking REALLY doesn’t help. Ouch, Kara tells her, “you’ve been every woman but yourself”? Wow. Paula explains that Lil has been on vocal rest. Here we go with the talking again, Lil. Simon thinks she’s gone. He literally says it’s her last shot. Wow. Lil… again with the talking and aggressiveness. Honey, you’re just making it worse.

Kris is next with… “She Works Hard for the Money”??? I saw a spoiler for this earlier today and thought, “please let this be wrong!!” But it was so not wrong, and that is so okay, because he ROCKED it. This has this very acoustic-y, folk-soul, almost jazzy vibe going on. He’s jamming with the musicians dead center on stage. I love how he counted down the start of the song as if he was leading a jam session. It does not sound like Donna Summer at all! Man, and Jordin Sparks could win Idol singing this in a straight karaoke way, and there’s a chance Kris won’t even make top 3? Shows how far we’ve come here. This is like a combo of Carlos Santana, Jason Mraz, and Ani DiFranco (Evolve era sound) doing Donna Summer, and I mean this in the most positive way possible. His voice is SO there tonight. He’s workin’ it!! He’s really breaking it down. The judges are loving it. There’s annoying banter from Paula and Simon about shopping in the women’s department (I guess because he picked a Donna Summer song??). Annoying, get back to the critique please!! Simon loves it, says it’s totally opposite from Lil, original, not karaoke, “fantastic”… and Randy says he is ready for the big time, he knows who he is, and it’s “amazing.” Thank you finally, Randy!

Allison in glasses before the break??

Next up is Danny Gokey, attacking “September” by Earth Wind and Fire is his usual guttural style. He doesn’t really have a star vibe… he just growls the song. He has some nice notes, but he really only sings well when he sings higher notes. It’s exactly what I expected from him. God, I so hope he’s this year’s shocking boot. Maybe he’s dropping in voting the way Melinda did and go out in third place (or better yet — lower). I can’t believe I would wish Melinda’s fate on someone — I LOVED that girl, she’ll always be my favorite Idol contestant — but I do. Put the Go in Gokey, please!! Of course, the judges give him a tongue bath. I’ll admit, it wasn’t a bad vocal, but really, neither was Lil’s; they both had some good moments, and they both had some all over the place moments. How is Danny’s worthy of gobs of praise, and Lil basically gets told she’s done? Strange. I really don’t understand the pimping of this guy. He’s not really marketable… what type of music would he even make? It’s people like him who remind me that this is, more often than not, a glorified karaoke competition. Sign me up, if I can get phone dates with my favorite singers! (Did you hear about the Gokey/Rachael Lampa scandal? We move on quickly, don’t we?) At least the judges admit they were concerned about the song choice at first. And Simon keeps it a little bit real; it’s true, Danny really has no star power… oh, but Paula forecasts yet again, we’ll see him in the finals. I still can’t believe Kara thinks he never had a pitch problem. Do we remember country week? Top downloads week? Hello? Can we get some ear wax removal kits for the judges??

Allison’s up with “Hot Stuff.” I’m liking the slowed-up beginning arrangement. She’s rocking it. It’s not at all like the original of the song. Allison looks gorgeous too. Great, flattering, skinny dress, and her hair is tame in spiral curls. She sounds good, but the singing style is a tad predictable from her. I’ll tell ya, though: this girl probably works the stage better than any contestant except Adam. She’s a born rock star, for real. Aw, Randy thinks the arrangement is “over-indulgent”? Um, isn’t the (not real?) word “over-indulgent” in itself indulgent, Mr. Jackson? Paula, what are you talking about compromise? Simon says she was always going to be an underdog in disco week, and yet she was brilliant. TPTB have Simon on her side for sure, now.

Ryan leads us into the commercial break talking about the upcoming vocal stylings of “Adam Lambairrr.” (Imagine this as a French “Lambert,” with a silent “t.”) Uhhhhhhh. Okay. Oh, Seacrest.

That reminds me, did you know Seacrest has a Twitter account? It’s highly entertaining, and sometimes, he actually posts for himself.

I just have to comment on the horrific advertising concept of Burger King, SpongeBob SquarePants, and… Sir Mixalot? “I like square butts and I cannot lie”??? I think I’m scarred for life.

Wow… Adam looks hotter tonight than he ever has on this show. WHY ARE YOU NOT STRAIGHT and thus not dateable by me??? He’s singing a slowed-down, haunting “If I Can’t Have You.” This vocal is beautiful. It’s almost like he’s singing in an intimate moment of a Broadway show, only it’s a rock concert instead. He’s incredibly emotionally connected to this song. Closeup of Paula in tears. Adam provides one signature wail in this performance, but just one. This is getting a little bit predictable, Adam: one week crazy romp, one week slow tearjerker, repeat. It doesn’t matter. As Kara says, it’s brilliant. (Although she references SNL as opposed to Saturday Night Fever. Studio 57 moment again, I see?) Simon has a hilarious look on his face as Paula’s giving her critique and having another finals premonition. Simon says it’s unexpected and that’s why we like him. Immaculate vocals. Adam thanks the arranger. He is so, so classy and humble. I have to think he’s one of the best at handling critiques and praise in the show’s history. His non-performance demeanor just exudes maturity.

Matt is singing “Stayin’ Alive”? That song knocked LaKisha Jones off the show, and it probably has been the death of others too. The ironic ending just writes itself! Matt! I know you stayed alive last week, but why in heaven’s name did you pick this song?!?!? WHY?!?!?! Well, Matt’s had good luck everytime he’s worn the hat on the show. I sorta like the dancing, and he doesn’t hit too many bum notes tonight… but it’s nowhere near the quality of Adam’s, Kris’s, or even Allison’s. The judges love his vocals. Randy mentions it’s one of the most talented top 7s ever. Oh boy. Kara calls it solid like five times. Neither loves the arrangement, it seems. Paula compares his song choices to her bowling: sometimes gutterballs, sometimes strikes, and tonight was a strike. Simon doesn’t like it and tells Matt to come out of “Idol Land.” LOL. Whatever, Simon.

Anoop gets the pimp spot for the first time ever in a voting round. Will he be the first contestant with the pimp spot to get the boot during a one-song-per-contestant week? Maybe. He picks “Dim All the Lights.” The slowed-up beginning is nice and smooth. He’s not frenetic in his performance style when the song goes up-tempo, but it’s still a little strange. Vocals are kind of meh. Eek, last note is not good, and he knows it. Randy doesn’t care about the arrangement; it’s a singing competition, remember, and he can sing. Kara loves it, thinks the past two weeks are his best performances, thinks it could be on the radio. Paula compliments his smile and teeth, his ability to wear pink, his “growth” (?? I’m guessing she means facial hair??), and the “magical zone” in his voice. Simon thinks it’s mediocre, bad arrangement, and his worst performance by a mile. Oh Simon, it wasn’t THAT bad.

I think the same three are in trouble… Lil, Anoop, and Matt. But I could see Allison, with her mid-show placement and slow, semi-forgettable song arrangement, being a shock boot with one of these other three. And who knows? Maybe Danny is falling in the voting ranks; there’s a voting poll site online that indicates he could be going home with Lil, based on who the site’s visitors said they voted for. I think Adam’s really the only safe bet; I hope Kris too, but I ain’t takin’ the chance and jinxing my boy. I ain’t buying DialIdol this week either. After Lil’s high ranks and Kris’s low ones on the site, and the reverse happening on the show the past two weeks, I really have trouble believing it.

I really think Lil is gone, not only because of the backtalking, the pitchiness, the lack of originality — but the fact that she sang first. Death trap. Now, logic indicates it’s between Anoop and Matt for the other ouster. Will Matt’s momentum from the save carry him through another week? Or will Anoop’s having the pimp spot and his wrongful placement in the bottom three last week despite a great vocal keep him around? Or will we have a shocker and lose Allison — and in fact, the two remaining girls — in one week, leaving us the first all-male top 5 ever?

WHAT DO YOU THINK??

Comment away!

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | 3 Comments »

Top 7 – Results Show

Posted by Molly M M on April 16, 2009

Interesting intro. (Sorry; got a late start here.)

I’m not liking Kris and Lil next to each other on the couch… Hopefully they’ll make the two groups and have the seventh person choose thing.

What’s up with Allison and Kris and the judges? This is a weird group performance. I like the use of solos, though, because they suck singing together!

Aww, Adam’s so well-spoken, and Allison’s adorable!

How is this going to shake down?!?! The suspense of even how they’re going to narrow down the bottom three is killing me.

No grouping weirdness this year?!

Yay! Allison’s safe!

Adam is awesome. I love the Rocky Horror schtick.

This ain’t lookin’ good for Anoop.

Oh screw you America. Anoop shouldn’t be in the bottom three.

At least Allison is safe. Watch it be Kris and Matt in there with Anoop. The three soul boys. (I guess Danny could be considered a soul boy, but he has his own voting bloc. And he ain’t good, LOL.)

Will it be the three who didn’t get the benefit of a Simon critique who are in the bottom three?

Jennifer is in great voice. Wow. Kelly Clarkson could take some pointers from her!

Gosh, I’m so nervous. They’ll put Matt on the stools, Danny safe, and then Kris and Lil we’ll have to sweat over. I have a bad bad feeling Kris will end up bottom three. But NOT going home! Please!! Tonight is gonna be tough. I don’t want to see Anoop or Matt leave, but Kris just can’t leave!!

Oh dear. Kris, Kris, Kris… please, please.

Oh man! Simon! YES!!! Now I feel Kris will be saved, if it comes to that. Randy, again, you are an idiot.

Kris is safe?!?!? Thank god!!!

Poor Matt. And Danny, you have such a smirk on your face right now. And Randy, again you are an idiot.

No surprise there, on Matt. But I think Ryan gave him a little scare. “Danny, you’ve never been in the bottom 3. This week, you are…. safe.” Wow

Anoop!!!! Yes!!!!! Thank god he didn’t have to sweat it out again, after two weeks in a row of it.

I am still reeling from Simon calling Kris brilliant. I almost feel like crying. What a compliment.

Oh no, Simon, please don’t save Lil!! Please!

Oh, to backtrack… Miley is so mehhh.

Maybe it would be a surprise to Matt if he was saved, because he’s been up and down and his confidence is shot.

Oh Lil, I hate you.

Matt!!!! I’m so sad!!!!

Come on Matt, nail this!

I think he’s sounding better tonight. And he’s got a nice falsetto.

The moment of truth…

Oh wow. They saved him!!!!!

I’m very glad they finally used it. Now we can eliminate two next week after what I’m sure will be a horrendous trainwreck of a disco week. (Maybe we can get rid of Danny and Lil together? Ha, unlikely.) I think Matt deserves another chance, though. He badly needed the confidence booster of a save and the judges’ faith in him. And he sang better tonight, I thought.

Welp, that’s all! Thoughts?

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | 9 Comments »

Top 7 – Thoughts Before the Results Show

Posted by Molly M M on April 15, 2009

Now that I’ve had a while to sit on last night’s performance show, I have some further thoughts on the performances and who might be eliminated tonight.

I still stand by my overabundance of comments that Kris Allen was amazing last night. Randy is insane because Kris wasn’t pitchy last night. I know it’s hard to really know what Randy means by “pitchy,” because, it’s Randy, but I think of pitchy as off-key. I studied music growing up and, let me just say (and my former music teacher, whom I believe reads this, can attest) — I have an EXTREMELY keen ear for pitch and am extremely sensitive/annoyed when I hear off-key notes, or when a singer strays into the wrong key, etc. That said, I don’t think Kris was pitchy. I think he was a bit unsteady in certain parts, but he always landed the notes. I think it was okay for him to be unsteady because it’s an emotional raw, open song. It’s kind of supposed to be sung in a vulnerable way, and I think Kris conveyed it beautifully. Last year, Andrew Lloyd Webber told David Archuleta not to close his eyes when he sings. He probably could have said that to Kris last night, because he did it a lot, but Kris did it because of how strongly he was feeling the song. He freakin’ clutched his heart, people. I thought he could have easily burst into tears while singing. You can’t fake emotion like that. That song MEANS something to him, and I thought he sang it well.

That said, throughout the ‘net last night, I noticed a lot of mixed reviews on Kris. There were many people who thought it was just kind of “meh.” But there were also many who thought it was BRILLIANT. Quite often, the people who liked him thought he was the absolute best of the night, not even because of his vocal, but because of his savvy song choice and his ability to keep things CURRENT on a night when every other song was 15+ years old and SOOOO overdone on the show and on the karaoke circuit. I commend him most of all for that. I would, however, not be surprised to see him in the bottom three tonight. I would be surprised if he went home, though. And if he is the bottom vote-getter, I think there’s a good chance he will be saved.

I’ll actually talk about the save possibilities a little bit more at the end of the post. First, more on the performances. While I was not expecting to like such an overdone song, I really enjoyed Anoop last night, and vocally, he probably sang the best of everyone last night (except maybe Adam, who pretty much never has any sort of vocal problems. The guy must have perfect pitch!). He really made the song beautiful. And this is all in spite of the fact that I am pretty sick of hearing “Everything I Do” on this show. I think all songs by Bryan Adams should be banned from American Idol forever, just like “Alone” by Heart, “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae, “Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up” because it’s always a trainwreck, “Love You Inside and Out” by Bee Gees because of the same reason, and anything Celine Dion or Whitney Houston have ever sung. I think I would be really upset if Anoop was bottom three tonight. However, because he was early on in the show and because he got comments from Randy and Kara instead of the all-important Simon, he could be there. But I don’t think he’ll be going home.

I did notice that the three contestants who didn’t get Simon were Matt, Anoop, and Kris: the contestants who are probably vote-splitting with one another. This makes me think they’re trying to get rid of one of these guys tonight.

Adam Lambert… what can I say? He’s entertaining, and he’s never off vocally. He’s got a heck of a range. I don’t think he’s beatable on this show except maybe by Danny, in which case I will seriously break my TV and never watch the show again. For reals. (Sorry Danny Gokey, I hate your dead wife pimping and ridiculous frat guy dancing and your eighteen pairs of glasses.) So, I guess I’ll kill two birds with one stone here: I liked Adam, didn’t love it, but he ain’t going anywhere. Danny, I’ll just paraphrase what a commenter over at MJ’s Big Blog said: You sang “Endless Love” with a freakin’ harp and looked to the heavens at the end of the song. You pimped your dead wife… AGAIN. The hate is back!

Now, onto Allison and Matt. I thought they were both subpar last night, but I thought Allison should have been criticized a little more heavily, and I thought Matt should have been given a bit more props than he was (which kind of doesn’t jive with what I said about his performance last night). The problem with Matt isn’t what Kara says, about “song choice” — although, another Bryan Adams song? *hurl*  The problem appears to be pitch problems, which I think are caused by nerves. I think Matt is horribly distraught at this point in the competition. He’s almost getting to Brooke White status of anxiety. I think Matt is not a pressure performer; he sounds great in the studio, he did fabulous things with his group in Hollywood Week (I heard he arranged their version of “I Want You Back” mainly himself), but on the big stage, he seems a hot mess. I actually found parts of his vocal really great, and the riffs not out of place at all; but some parts were really “pitchy” in Randy’s words. Now, Allison was probably a bit overpraised last night, but it was high time Simon got behind her. His comments last night solidified to me that, if she was eliminated before the top 5, she WOULD be saved. She has the same kind of backing (maybe not as strongly, but it’s there) that Adam and Danny have, now. But she wasn’t in her best voice last night. She struggled a bit, and this is getting to be yet another song that I’m sick of hearing on Idol. David Cook sang it much better, anyway. Still, she was good, and she’s consistently been very good, so I’ll be sad if I see her in the bottom three.

So now we’re at Lil Rounds. I do feel for her a bit, because the judges are REALLY ragging on her. She’s SO desperate to please them, like the way Carly was last year. (I won’t be surprised if she’s a sixth place exit, just as Carly was last year, too.) The difference is that Carly was a phenomenal singer, and Lil has merely just been pimped to be such. She’s got pitchy problems, she’s not original. Gospel-ing up “The Rose” is the most she’s ever changed up a song. (And I’m sorry, “The Rose” is another song that should be banned from Idol. Go to karaoke night and hear it; I sing it with an older gentleman every time I’m there. We don’t need to hear it on an ad-laden reality TV show.) The only times she’s seemed good to me have been in her initial audition, and in her semi-final Mary J. Blige song. She might have had some glimmers of goodness in there, but not often enough to constitute her staying on the show.

But that isn’t even my problem with her. I DO feel for her, as I felt for Carly (who I LOVED). My problem is her attitude. She acts so entitled, and she handles negative criticism HORRIBLY. She did NOT need to explain to us, “I PUT R&B IN THAT SONG,” yadda yadda. Hun, if you’d done it well, we all would have gathered that, but you didn’t, and it doesn’t really matter what your intention was if it didn’t come off right. I’m sure Vote for the Worst is having a field day over this, as she’s their pick this week. I would think her backtalk last night would have turned off a lot of voters, but according to DialIdol, it appears not. I hope DialIdol is wrong and we see her at least in the bottom three.

So will someone be saved tonight? If they don’t use the save tonight, they only have next week to use it. If they wait until next week and use it then, the following week will have 6 contestants singing two songs each instead of 5, and I think that’d be a disaster; plus, we’d never technically have a top 5. I almost think that if they don’t use it tonight, they won’t use it at all, and I think there’s a chance someone worthy of saving WILL be the bottom vote-getter, so they might actually use it.

Here’s how I think the save possibilities will go, based on what’s happened in the competition so far:

Adam: definitely would be saved (but he’s not even going to be bottom three so we don’t have to worry!)

Danny: definitely would be saved (against my wishes!)

Allison: after what Simon said last night, I’m confident she’d definitely be saved

Kris: very very possibly would be saved — I think his consistency and originality would deserve it, but he’s had mixed reviews the past two weeks

Anoop: possibly would be saved — he’s had two great vocals the past two weeks, so he’d deserve it, but I don’t think Anoop has a chance of cracking the top 3 or 4, so would it really be worth it?

Matt: only a slight possibility of being saved. I think the judges are starting to give up on him due to his inconsistency from week to week, and with his bottom two appearance after one of his best performances, they may realize he doesn’t have the voter support either.

Lil: after her several weeks of mediocre/bad performances and her negative attitude, and Simon’s basic admittance that Allison has overtaken her for top girls’ spot, I think she would not be saved.

All that said, I think tonight’s bottom three will be Matt, and then two of these three: Allison, Kris, and Lil. I would like to hope that it’s Lil and then only one of the other two (my faves!), but I fear DialIdol is right this week and that Lil’s fanbase (plus the new VFTW fans) got fired up to vote for her last night. I could also possibly see Anoop there, but I’m thinking he redeemed himself this week. Really, to me the only contestants who are definitely not bottom vote-getters are Adam and Danny. Any of the rest could be it. DialIdol‘s totals are EXTREMELY close this week.

What are your thoughts? Did you think Kris’s rendition of “Falling Slowly” was as poignant and current as I did? Do you think Lil has an attitude that needs to go? Do you think there will be a shocking bottom vote-getter tonight, and if so do you think the save will be used? Comment, comment, comment!

Posted in AI S8 2009, American Idol | 2 Comments »