American Idol Power Rankings (5/12/09)

May 13, 2009

Idol LogoNo surprises in my rankings this week. The surprise to me is that the rest of the world seems to be finally noticing how good Kris Allen really is, to the point where some are predicting an upset.

I noticed that Kris was good early on, and I think the reason I noticed was because I was putting together these rankings and having to justify who moved up and who moved down. Even if no one reads the damn things (although I know some people do), I’ve enjoyed the exercise.

For the record, I had Kris ranked #6 (of 13), #4 (of 11), #4 (of 10), and number three from the top nine through the elimination of Allison last week. (Reminder: Power rankings are not predictive, they are a measure of quality.)

Without further ado:

  1. Adam Lambert. I disliked the arrangement on “One,” but the singing within the bad arrangement was quite fine. “Cryin'” was much better, although why they felt the need for a female backup singer on the verse I’ll never know. I think he may have been coasting a bit this week, but a coasting Adam is still top of the heap.
  2. Kris Allen. Will Kris get a slot in the finale? If he does, he’s earned it. I didn’t think it was possible for me to like “Heartless,” but it turns out there was a song buried in there after all.
  3. Danny Gokey was good last night…relative to Danny Gokey. He lacks Adam’s singing chops, he lacks Kris’ subtlety, and he lacks both of their creativity. If there is a more overrated contestant in the history of this show, I can’t think of who it might be. He should have gone home weeks ago, and I pray he goes home tonight.

Former Housemate Mike sends along his thoughts. I am surprised that he could see the keyboard and monitor through the voluminous clouds of crack smoke, but he managed to successfully type this up anyway.

I guess we agree on one thing–Gokey has been consistent.

Former Housemate Mike’s Power Rankings

I want to start with saying that this top three is with a heavy heart, because NO ONE, including Adam, was better to me overall than Allison. This is a travesty, to me, without her. That being said, let’s see some surprises…

  1. Kris Allen. I can’t believe this is happening. Kris won tonight by a mile. His “Apologize” was not great but very good. But, for the first time this year, in the first round tonight, he kicked Adam’s ass. Period. Then his “Heartless” REALLY put Adam on the hot seat, and you’ll see how I feel about that. Kris was pristine tonight. I never really liked Kris remotely before tonight. I would have been glad to see him go home every week before now. He hit the world’s biggest grand slam tonight. The exact opposite of Adam.
  2. Danny Gokey. Solid all year. Never really offended me. His opposition had more to prove/disprove tonight. He wins right now on consistency.
  3. Adam Lambert. Last week, after Allison finished last, I said that the final would now be anti-climactic. It would be Adam kicking some dude’s ass. I stand corrected. I didn’t think Adam could blow it. I stand corrected again. His “One” performance was dreadful. He jumped from the beginning right to the most important line at the end of the song with such awkward indulgence. Then, to make it worse, he blabbered on with vocal stylings to over-emphasize the “sisters and brothers” line that really made me borderline nauseous. If he had done just a little more with the actual song, it would have shown both respect and understanding of what it really is to cover a classic. He’s shown this before, so tonight blew my mind. Then came “Cryin'” and he did the same freakin’ thing. Abrupt jump from section to section. Terrible. Yes, his voice rocked as usual. But his arrangement and awkward indulgence reminds me of just how non-accessible he can be. He flat out blew it. No one should be surprised if he loses this week. But they still will be. And they will be stupid for that, because the reasons are clear.

…and then Former Housemate Mike touched a finger to his nose, winked, took one last puff of the crack pipe, and was gone. The sweet, burnt plastic smell of crack was the only sign that he had ever actually been there.


American Idol Power Rankings: 5/5/09

May 6, 2009

Idol LogoLast night’s show should have been subtitled “Pimping Gone Wild.” The judges are so determined to get rid of Allison and Kris in order to achieve a Gokey-Adam finale that they took complete leave of their senses. Allison’s terrific performance was panned, and Gokey gets an A+ for “effort” for butchering “Dream On.” Ridiculous. Apologies are in order.

So without further ado, here are my rankings for this week:

  1. Adam Lambert was born to screech metal songs. He absolutely tore it up, and there’s no way he ends up at the bottom like he did last week.
  2. Allison Iraheta is the queen of my world. She was absolutely right to pass on “Piece of My Heart,” and the judges were absolutely wrong to say anything bad about her performance.
  3. Kris Allen‘s “Come Together” improved with a second viewing–it wasn’t a masterpiece but I think the judges may have been too harsh. Not the right song choice, but not a disaster, either.
  4. Don’t get me started on Danny Gokey.

As is his wont, Former Housemate Mike sends along his rankings as well. As is also his wont, he’s apparently been hitting the ol’ crack pipe pretty hard.

  1. Allison Iraheta. I thought Allison was the best tonight again, and still tops overall. I don’t understand the judges, I think a lesser known Joplin song was a much better choice. She didn’t upstage Adam by any means, but I felt like she put a more relatable performance in this week. I also thought she hung right in there with Adam in the duet, much more than I expected because Adam definitely has the best pipes of the bunch. Way to go, Allison.
  2. Adam Lambert. Once again the “What the –?” performance of the week. His voice is out of this world. I want to touch on the arrangement of the show. It suited Adam best and Kris the worst. Adam finally has to go first, and it’s freakin’ rock week with only three other people. Then he also gets to go last. Unfair, sure, but I have a feeling he wouldn’t have lost if he went first every week. Really great vocals this week. I think Slash is probably foaming at the mouth at the chance to work with Adam, at this stage in his career.
  3. Danny Gokey. Dammit, Gokey, you almost blew it. The way the duets were set up were to accentuate Adam and Allison’s mutual awesomeness and to destroy Kris. Danny definitely upstaged Kris on the duet, and, FINALLY, Simon just said it after the ball-less judge calls before him. OK. Now the individual performance. I really liked it until the last note. I think he should have looked at it from a different angle. Kris was his competition this week. Kris was bland. He didn’t need to hit a home run and compete with Allison and Adam. That all being said, he was still better than Kris. Period.
  4. Kris Allen. This one will be short because I don’t want to repeat myself too much. Kris is lame. Kris is boring. Kris is a one trick pony who only gets points on occasional arrangement choices and the fact that his style of singing lends itself to few technical vocal errors. This week was rock week. He was screwed to begin with, and did nothing to save himself. They screwed him by making him get upstaged by Gokey twice, and then by the Adam-Allison duet. But it just confirmed the inevitable. Wow, I really wanted that to be shorter. We will never hear from this guy again unless on a Jamie Foxx record. THE END.

I’m trying to scrape up the money to go to California to do a crack intervention on Mike. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to manage that before the end of Idol season, so we’ll have a couple of more weeks of this.

American Idol Power Rankings: 4/28/09

April 29, 2009

Idol LogoThe top three remain firmly entrenched, and while an Adam versus Allison final seems too much to ask for at this point, an Adam versus Kris final may be possible.

At the bottom–Matt or Danny? Danny or Matt? Tough one there. I didn’t like either of them last night but disliked Matt’s ultra-boring “My Funny Valentine” slightly more than Gokey’s needlessly bombastic “Come Rain or Come Shine,” but not enough to drop him below the lazy Gokey, who hasn’t developed since the contest began and who does not appear to be trying.

  1. Adam Lambert. Last night’s performance was probably his worst to date, but he’s so good, his worst isn’t very bad.
  2. Allison Iraheta. A big, big comeback right when she needed it the most. A superb performance, possibly her best of the year, will hopefully keep her in this thing for one more week.
  3. Kris Allen. If it can’t be Allison in the final, it should be Kris. He’s been remarkably consistent and, unlike Matt or Danny, understands the value of subtlety.
  4. Matt Giraud. At least he’s trying.
  5. Danny Gokey. While he may possess the raw talent to be a better singer than Matt or Kris, he is making no effort to develop that talent. Taking plays off got Randy Moss sent to the Hell that is the Oakland Raiders. It ought to get Gokey sent home.

Former Housemate Mike sends his reflections and rankings.

  1. Allison Iraheta. Best of the night. She showed something really strong tonight that made me seriously doubt Simon’s comments, which rarely happens. Great arrangement, great vocals. I’m still not entirely sure why she’s not considered more of a contender.
  2. Adam Lambert. Really good moments in this performance, but I was only occasionally blown away. I think he has set a different standard for himself, which, though awesome, might be a deterrent in the long run. He was like a musical James Bond villain tonight which is a compliment and insult at the same time. I really want him to do Skid Row. I’ll leave it at that.
  3. Danny Gokey. I really liked him tonight. I think this is the second time with him that I have gone against my general rule of being annoyed by those who only do good in the second half. But his second half was SO good. I saw a roughness in his voice I’ve never heard, and I’m still cool with Gokey.
  4. Kris Allen. This part was tough for me. I thought Kris was the worst of the night. That being said, I thought he was VERY good. I still don’t see anything but hollowness in him, and tonight was the case in point. He was good and sweet and had a GREAT song choice. I thought he was very bland tonight. He’s fortunate I have a vendetta against number 5.
  5. Matt Giraud. I really liked Matt tonight. I ranked him number two of the night after Allison. I really liked his phrasing and dedication to the theme of the night. That all being said, I still don’t think it’s good enough to cover the eggs he’s laid recently. He actually made me like Kris. And, this week, Matt was way better than Kris. But Matt wasted too much time. He still, to me, squandered being saved. Matt will lose this week, and it’s a shame. I think both he and Anoop should have outlasted Kris. Call me crazy, I appreciate substance. But I also appreciate consistent execution.

American Idol Power Rankings: 4/21/09

April 22, 2009

Idol LogoAfter no movement last week, there is some movement this week.

  1. Adam Lambert. Are we witnessing the birth of a superstar? The press sure thinks so, and the chatter on blogs and message boards indicates the same thing. Of course, he’ll have to make a comeback after the awful first album he’s sure to make at the hands of 19 Productions.
  2. Allison Iraheta. Like last week, I didn’t care much for her performance, although her vocal was terrific.  Like last week, I considered flipping her with Kris Allen. But unlike everyone else in the world apparently, I didn’t care much for Kris’ open-mic night performance last night. So she stays here.
  3. Kris Allen. As with Allison, his performance last night was an interesting attempt that fell flat for me.
  4. Anoop Desai will never blow minds, but he’s found his niche. Another nice performance, even if it wasn’t particularly memorable.
  5. Matt Giraud. I wasn’t crazy about Matt’s performance, although he was OK last night, but at this point, I like him better than…
  6. Danny Gokey. Lately, the praise for him has been completely unwarranted. This is his third week in a row of raw, unfiltered awfulness, and I’m tired of listening to judges praise his mediocre singing, crappy song choices, and crappy arrangements. He started out the season strong, but he’s obviously coasting now–he has time to learn guitar! I want his complacent ass to go down.
  7. Lil Rounds was better than her usual last night, but not enough to pull her out of the bottom slot.

Former Housemate Mike sends his rankings in as well.

  1. Allison Iraheta. Thought she was the best of the night so she retakes number one. Loved the Pat Benatar arrangement. I hate disco, so I liked all the people who changed it up. Really thought the vocals were strong, and I thought she has rarely seemed more comfortable.
  2. Adam Lambert. REALLY liked this too. I’m sure he realized everyone expected him to do disco straightforward, and I thought his arrangement was terrific. His big note in the middle was Buckley-esque in the least offensive way to date. Really incredible, but still think Allison and Danny have a wider audience.
  3. Danny Gokey. Only thought he was middle of the road tonight, but still third overall. His vocals were excellent, and, again, I hate disco. Awkward was the word I thought of in his performance, however, as Simon did. I think even that will be seen as charming by many.
  4. Kris Allen. Kris finally cracks my top four. I’m glad we could finally hear the guitar, and it fit well. I think he finally topped Adam on most surprisingly good arrangement. It reminded me of how I liked David Cook’s “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie. Really liked him for the second straight week. Hell has frozen over.
  5. Anoop Desai. This was the hardest for me. I really liked the beginning. A lot. I didn’t like that he changed the tempo, as Simon didn’t, but then I was pleasantly surprised. I thought he showed good restraint to not go too far as many have with that type of arrangement on this show over the years. Yet I still found it kind of not memorable. I feel bad for Anoop, because, with high tempo stuff he can only be EITHER a fish out of water or really boring. I still really liked him tonight. I think he saved himself based on the bottom two.
  6. Matt Giraud. Can we get the save back? After this week’s performance, he should be forced to give it back. If Allison or Danny lose in the next two weeks, I blame Matt. Bland vocals at best, most cliche song choice, painful.
  7. Lil Rounds. Die. Please. Go away. You are so pointless. You waste our time every week. No one in the world is as good as you think you are. You make excuses, you complain, you are delusional. You are boring, flat, unoriginal, stubborn — God. I’m done. Oh, except that she went first also. She’s definitely gone.

See you later tonight for results!

American Idol Power Rankings: 4/14/09

April 14, 2009

Idol LogoWhat a terrible show tonight’s was. It flipped-flopped constantly between mediocre and bad, and it was a chore to get through. I kept hoping for a pleasant surprise and the closest I got was Kris Allen (I expect excellence from Adam at this point, so that wasn’t a surprise).

For the first time this season, my rankings haven’t changed from the previous week.

  1. Adam Lambert. Head and shoulders above everyone.
  2. I flirted with dropping Allison Iraheta to number three, but I’m not quite there yet. She needs to be much better next week if she survives.
  3. Kris Allen continues to surprise. He has been the most consistent performer other than Adam.
  4. Anoop Desai will never attempt another uptempo number again.
  5. Danny Gokey was wretched tonight, and he’s much too inconsistent to warrant the praises heaped upon him and the votes he gets.
  6. Matt Giraud. At this point, I’m starting to think that his couple of good performances were “even a broken clock is right twice a day” sorts of occurrences.
  7. Lil Rounds will not be forgiven for defiling “The Rose.”

I will update this post with Former Housemate Mike’s rankings when I get them.

Update: Here they are.

Not very elaborate this week, as I am under the weather.

  1. Adam Lambert. Really blew me away this week.
  2. Allison Iraheta. Wasn’t a fan this week but still good.
  3. Danny Gokey. Boring again this week, but still solid.
  4. Anoop Desai. Really good this week. Hope he sticks around for the first time this year.
  5. Kris Allen. The best song choice of the week. The first time he’s really been likable in my view.
  6. Matt Giraud. Worst of the night by far. I think he’s very vulnerable this week.
  7. Lil Rounds. Please let this end. Please.

American Idol Power Rankings: 4/7/09

April 8, 2009

Idol LogoWith my nemesis Megan Joy gone, I don’t have nearly as much bile to spew this week. We’re far enough along in the competition that there isn’t much movement, as the contestants have pretty much shown who they are and what they’re capable of at this point.

  1. Adam Lambert. Last week, his weakest performance to date was still better than a lot of folks’ strongest performance. This week, his strongest performance keeps him towering over the competition. I’ve never thought he could win this, because his glam-rock uptempo numbers are most assuredly not to everyone’s tastes. But I’m starting to think that he can.
  2. Allison Iraheta wasn’t amazing last week, but was good enough to stay at number two. She comes back strong this week and is a lock at this spot.
  3. Kris Allen took a beating from the judges and really shouldn’t have.
  4. Anoop Desai. Simon’s right–he is like a yo-yo, and has been in the rankings. But he jumps Gokey because he didn’t desecrate “Stand by Me.”
  5. Danny Gokey. He’s a good singer, but his poor taste means he will likely be excruciating if he makes it to radio.
  6. Matt Giraud was better than his usual this week, but not better enough to move him up.
  7. Lil Rounds has lost me. Her inability to deliver anything special for several weeks in a row now will kill her unless she rights the ship soon. I’m starting to think she’s not capable of that.
  8. Scott MacIntyre. Once again has demonstrated that he doesn’t sing all that well and he likes awful music.

I don’t have Former Housemate Mike’s power rankings yet, but will add them when I get them.

Update: Here they are!

  1. Allison Iraheta. Allison came back really strong this week. There were some changes in melody I wasn’t fond of, but I still thought it was was the second best of the night, and enough for her to regain the overall lead.
  2. Danny Gokey. I thought he came across a little flat this week. I hated the arrangement and I can’t believe he cheated “Stand By Me” into the 80’s. Then it was like disco “Stand By Me.” Still sang it well, however, enough to keep him from dropping any lower, but somebody’s on his heels.
  3. Adam Lambert. Like Simon, I’m not sure words do it justice. I will say that I loved that he sang the original melody through a verse and chorus before he changed it up, and then his changes were respectful and really just quite great. This was the best of the night, of the year, you name it. More like this and “Tracks of My Tears” and he’s unstoppable.
  4. Matt Giraud. Matt goes down here even though he was WAY WAY WAY better than last week. I thought he was third best of the night, even. But Adam was such a juggernaut, and Danny and Allison have a lot of credit built up. Perfect song choice, I thought. He went back to a style that he can definitely do better than Kris, which has not been the case the past two weeks. A very nice shot back at the pointless guitar wielder.
  5. Anoop Desai. Big jump here for Anoop. He sang it very well tonight, didn’t concern himself with facial expressions, just sang the song. His changes were good, only Adam was better in that area. And I usually think the part where a singer stands for effect in the middle of a song is awkward, but he was surprisingly good at it. Although I thought he was in the top half tonight, he is more of a beneficiary of the lameness of Lil, Scott, and the evil Kris.
  6. Kris Allen. I praised him last week, but it’s back to normal this week. His arrangement of the song was almost as annoying as his stupid facial expressions. Loved Anoop’s impersonation of him last week, by the way. Ruined a perfectly good song. Shot at Matt again by singing surrounded by crowd, but was equally terrible. And the clappers around him were clapping so close to him at one point I thought they were going to slap him. Wishful thinking, I guess.
  7. Scott MacIntyre. Worst of the night by far. I can’t think of a way he could have looked less comfortable. Or made me less comfortable. Plus he was unlikable for the first time to me this year in critique, following the Alexis-Lil-Sarver excuse machine route. He had way too many changes and tried way too hard. There were so many bad notes. I’m going to stop now because I still like him, but I think he’s going home.
  8. Lil Rounds I think she SHOULD go home, however. Good God, how many times am I going to have to watch Lil Rounds prove how freakin’ mediocre and unoriginal she is? This is ridiculous. I’m actually becoming angry. Sing Whitney next week. Sing Etta James. Shoot, sing Beyonce. Keep making it worse. In another awful impersonation performance, Lil was consistently off the beat and not in an intentional cool way. She was bland. She was awkward. The arrangement was awful. The last note was painful, even moreso than the entire performance which was also very painful. She won’t lose, but why, God, why?

American Idol Power Rankings: 3/31/09

April 1, 2009

Idol LogoTwo big movers this week, both in the wrong direction. I thought Anoop was decent, but it wasn’t good enough to keep him at number three, where I had him ranked after two excellent weeks. Matt Giraud was just plain bad, so he drops as well.

  1. Adam Lambert. It’s something new and different every week with Adam, which is appreciated. Out of his big-stage performances, this was probably the least of them, but it was still plenty enjoyable and better than most of the competition.
  2. Allison Iraheta also has yet to deliver a turkey. She could make a fine rock-edged pop singer like Kelly Clarkson or Pink and deliver guilty pleasure after guilty pleasure if she can stay alive.
  3. Kris Allen. I did not like Kris Allen prior to the top thirteen, but through the weeks he has gradually and grudgingly earned my respect. Last night’s mind-blowing take on “Ain’t No Sunshine” was a season highlight.
  4. Danny Gokey finally lived up to his potential with a good performance last night. He ranks this high mostly because others sunk, but he was still good.
  5. Anoop Desai. I really want Anoop to do well, mainly because I think I’d much rather hear Anoop singles over the PA while shopping than Danny Gokey or Scott MacIntyre singles. He’s got some work to do if that’s going to become a possibility.
  6. Lil Rounds. Like Scott MacIntyre, she does the same thing over and over again. I like her material better though, excepting this week’s Celine Dion song.
  7. Matt Giraud. I was really torn as to how far to drop him since I hated him this week but really liked him last week. Lil, Matt, and Scott are fairly interchangable in slots six through eight.
  8. Scott MacIntyre. He had a good performance this week, but unfortunately it was of “Just the Way You Are.” Upcoming performances include “My Place in This World” by Michael W. Smith and “Hold on to the Nights” by Richard Marx.
  9. Megan Joy. They got rid of Tatiana for this?

Former Housemate Mike has also sent his list over the transom (what the hell is a transom, anyway?).

Former Housemate Mike’s Power Rankings

  1. Danny Gokey. Allison left herself open for a drop and Danny is the only one who grabbed it. Best of the night and second best of the season, and I’m never REALLY annoyed by him, so there you go. So sincere, so strong on the vocals. I’m not going to lie, I was moved.
  2. Allison Iraheta.This was her worst of the season, but, to her credit, I still almost kept her at number one. I liked her vocals, as usual, but I thought it sounded too much like Gwen Stefani at the beginning, and was rushed and off the beat after that. I also think the guitar was a bad choice, as it seemed to become a performance hindrance after the first ten seconds.
  3. Matt Giraud. Thank God for him he was so good the first three weeks, because he was the worst tonight. However, cumulatively, I have to keep him high. This week it was a really bad Fray impersonation, and it think it showed a bit of desperation on his part. I also hated his attitude during critique. He really looks like he’s losing it. He was in the bottom three last week because he went first. This week he’ll be in the bottom three because he was terrible. I think he’ll rebound, but if he’s bad, expect a HUGE drop here next week.
  4. Megan Joy. You know what? I just still like her. Her voice is cool. Period. In this group, that’s enough. Her odd gyrations and seemingly tremendous lack of balance, both physically and psychologically, are becoming uncomfortable, but she’s still not nearly as obnoxious as the return of crappy Adam.
  5. Adam Lambert. His performance last week keeps him high cumulatively, but he returned to crappy, indulgent, drunk party performer Adam. Worst song choice in recent memory, the definition of cheese. Was “Super Freak” unavailable? “Dancing Queen”? I’m still banking on “It’s Raining Men” before too long.
  6. Kris Allen. First off, Kris kicked ass this week. Kills me to say it. But he did. Both cumulatively and this week, I still feel some hollowness, but I’m starting to respect his game plan. He put a target on Matt’s head tonight, and succeeded. I hope he continues to do this and does “A Place in This World” by Michael W. Smith as soon as possible to take out Scott. I’m waiting one more week, but if he upstages Matt again, and assuming Matt is still around next week, expect another shift here with these two.
  7. Scott MacIntyre. The sad thing about this is that I thought Scott was the second best of the night. But I also think he picked the wrong Billy Joel song. “Always a Woman” would have torn it up. Shit, I’d almost have preferred “River of Dreams.” But, bottom line, there’s little he could have done. He’s really not right for this, and I’m still pushing for a mercy kill sooner rather than later so he can move on to his contemporary Christian career. I want to stress again that if I was picking just my favorites, he’d be number four. He won’t lose this week, but I hope it happens soon.
  8. Lil Rounds. I don’t even think she’ll be in the bottom three for a couple of weeks, but I’m so tired of this. I don’t want to say anything else because she hasn’t changed at all and she’s already wasted too much of all of our collective time. BORING.
  9. Anoop Desai. Adios, buddy! I’m really glad that he didn’t lose first week, because I still think his “Always On My Mind” in week 2 was in the top 5 of the season. But tonight, I would hope, should take him out. It was SO painful. He was trying to look all hard and intense, but just looked angry and ugly. And he’s NOT ugly, but he makes ugly faces. Terrible. He was awkward, off key at times, and just painful. He was totally out of his element, which proves yet again that he has NO idea what his element should be. And his friends’ shots didn’t help. That one dude was booing and clapping at the same time. That definitely added to Kara’s frat comments in critique. Plus he went first, which I feel is the ONLY reason Matt was in the bottom three last week. I’d be shocked if he didn’t go home this week.

Once again, lots of disagreement, although we’re starting to see eye-to-eye on a couple of things.

See you later tonight with results!