I know that I ended my last recap with basically the same rant, but I feel the need to reiterate here before reviewing the singing. This show is in danger of imploding due exclusively to the four judges format. Paula Abdul is becoming increasingly incoherent, long-winded, and useless. I am not trying to be mean, just stating a fact. Every single time that Paula begins speaking, all energy and vitality is completely sucked out of the room and replaced with an obvious discomfort as the audience and other judges wait for the gibberish to stop so that they can hear from someone who can actually form a coherent thought. Get rid of her and move on. Randy “Tender Dog” Jackson, you’re next.
Okay, let’s get to the “singing”:
Michael Sarver: Michael sings/mumbles/stumbles/destroys “Ain’t Goin’ Down Till the Sun Comes Up” by Garth Brooks. Good job on picking a song that doesn’t actually require any singing. It was awful in pretty much every way. After Simon’s critique, Michael says, “If we were all perfect, then we wouldn’t need this show.” Not really how it works, bud. You’re toast.
Allison Iraheta: Singing “Blame It On Your Heart,” Allison delivers another solid performance, but it’s not her best. Still, she stayed true to the style that makes her relevant and enjoyable, so I can’t complain too much.
Kris Allen: Kris breaks out the boy band on “To Make You Feel My Love” by Garth Brooks and sings it pretty well, in that bland, white boy, Backstreet kind of way. If Justin Timberlake and Nick Lachey were to mate (which they probably have), Kris Allen would be their boring offspring. Unfortunately, this performance will garner him the female vote, and he’ll be around for a while.
Lil Rounds: I knew Lil wasn’t going to have an easy time this week, and she shows it with her performance of “Independence Day.” The verse is rough, and Lil proves that she sounds lost doing anything but screaming Whitney-style. Once the chorus rolls around, we get some Lil screaming, but it seemed fairly obvious from her kind of half-assed performance that she knew it wasn’t working.
Adam Lambert: All I have to say is, “Holy crap!” Adam’s rendition of “Ring of Fire” is one of the strangest, most unique performances in the history of Idol. At first, I hated what I was hearing, but once Adam really got into it and started hitting the higher register, I realized that he really does have amazing control of his voice. Listening back to the song, he also sounds eerily like Jeff Buckley in several spots. Still, I couldn’t escape the feeling that the over the top theatricality of the whole thing was reminiscent of some crap musical like Moulin Rouge where they perform ridiculous “re-imaginings” of popular songs. It was different, though, I’ll give him that.
Scott MacIntyre: I will repeat my comment from last week: Scott is not a very good singer. His take on “Wild Angels” sounds exactly like his take on whatever it was he sang last week. Not very good, and it will net him an appearnce in the bottom three. I also hate how Paula and Simon were clumsily dancing around making blind jokes right in front of Scott’s face. If you’re going to make a joke, just do it. It’s more offensive to me when they avoid direct comment on the subject while obviously alluding to it.
Alexis Grace: Despite the outrageous and unfounded favor the judges have shown Alexis in previous weeks, she has probably cemented a place in the bottom three with her butchering of the Dolly Parton classic “Jolene.” The arrangement was awful, the singing was crap, and she couldn’t keep pace with the slowed tempo. An absolute wreck.
Danny Gokey: I think Gokey maybe thought that his white Michelin Man/Stay Puft Marshmallow jacket would make him look like an angel or something, but it just made him look fat and white. He also made two poor decisions in his performance of “Jesus Take the Wheel.” First, he talked his way through the entire verse portion of the song. Second, he sang two of the slower, more low key verses in a row rather than breaking it up with the chorus, which he performed well. The result was more bad than good. Side note: This song always makes me laugh. Can you imagine someone about to get in a car accident, and instead of, you know, steering to avoid the crash, they instead throw their hands up and say “Jesus, take the wheel?” I’m pretty sure that won’t work, and I hope I’m never riding with someone that stupid.
Anoop Desai: When I heard that Anoop was going to take on “You Were Always On My Mind,” I was convinced that he would make a fool of himself. I was wrong. Anoop was probably the best of the night, and I have nothing bad to say about his performance.
Megan Joy Corkrey: I mentioned last week that Megan’s performance of “Rockin’ Robin,” while absolutely the worst song choice of that week, was actually her best vocal performance yet. Well, she has topped that with “Walking After Midnight,” a great song choice for what Megan brings to the table. She gets points for being different, and she also fits fairly well into the jazzy, quirky artist category, not to mention being an absolute knockout. I’m not blown away, and her singing talent may be questionable, but, like Adam Lambert, I am intrigued enough to see what she will do in the future.
Matt Giraud: Matt’s kind of like the anti-Gokey. The two share many vocal similarities, but the difference seems to be that Matt can pull off singing in a restrained and nuanced manner while Danny apparently cannot. Matt demonstrates this well with his solid performance of “So Small.” It’s not incredible, but it’s good enough to keep him around for another shot. On a side note, Scott MacIntyre is an infinitely better piano player than Matt.
So who will go home? My bottom three are Scott MacIntyre, Michael Sarver, and Alexis Grace, with Michael getting the boot.
That’s it! Later!