I was ultra, ULTRA excited about this week. It combines two of my favorite things: Idol and Tarantino. I was pumped to watch Tarantino really get to add some punch and energy to the performances...little did I know that he would be dealing with SIX ballads, and then Adam, which...what are you going to tell him about stage presence and performance?
On with the show...
1) Alison Iraheta: "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" - Did not like the fact that she chose a ballad for the second week in a row, and I don't like that she is having to go first. With the problems she has had building a fan base, neither one of these were good for her, in my opinion.
As for the performance, am I wrong or did she miss some words going into the bridge? I didn't like the arrangement at all in the beginning (plus I thought it was a little low for her), but I thought she pulled it out in the end. Still love her voice, still love her, but this might have been her weakest performance, in my opinion.
2) Anoop Desai: "Everything I Do" - Anoop picks another ballad, but at this point it's a good choice for him. This is what he has proven to be good at. This was a GORGEOUS performance...near perfect vocally, and I thought he had an emotional connection with the song that we don't always get from him. Kara was right...taking pop songs and injecting his soulfulness into them is what his wheelhouse is.
3) Adam Lambert: "Born to be Wild" - Verbatim from my notes: Sounds like a techno version. Holy Crap. Maybe the most amazing thing I've ever seen on this show.
Seriously. That was just crazy. In a good way. Simon talks about "indulgent" performances all the time like it's a bad thing, but is there a better word to describe a rock star than indulgent? This was the most "indulgent" performance we have ever seen on Idol, and it was awesome. It wasn't the greatest vocal, but, man...it was fun, wasn't it?
Simon is trying to be a little negative, so that he doesn't seem to be playing favorites, but he can't even keep a straight face. Plus, when he said it reminded him of Rocky Horror, Adam was like, "SCORE!! I freaking LOVE that movie!" Ha!! And...yeah, that's kind of what it's like, so they're both right.
4) Matt Giraud: "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman" - I thought Quentin gave him great advice (as he did pretty much all night)...don't fall so in love with the runs that you lose the lyric. Matt chose to totally ignore that, and lost not only the lyric, but the melody, the rhythm, and pretty much everything about the song. This started out OK, but as soon as he started doing all of the vocal gymnastics he went totally off pitch.
And it MUST have been bad, cause that's the first time I can remember Randybot actually DISCOURAGING contestants from doing runs and riffs. Something must have gone wrong with his programming.
5) Danny Gokey: "Endless Love" - Good grief, ANOTHER BALLAD. You can't blame the contestants, I don't guess, since they are picking independently. But I keep waiting for Delilah to start talking between each performance.
Anyway, there was one little pitch problem early on, but after that it was a very nice performance. Very nice and very boring. The harp was cool, though.
6) Kris Allen: "Falling Slowly" - YES. I LOVE this song. I've been known to listen to it 4-5 times in a row. I know, very manly, right? Shut up, this song is beautiful, and I'm only crying cause I stubbed my toe on my weight bench on my way to drop an engine into my pickup truck so I can go shoot some animals and do a bunch of other manly stuff. Ahem.
I thought Kris sang this very well, though he continues to confound me with his choices as to when to play his guitar. Maybe he thought it was too much like the original if he played and sang?
Regardless, it was a nice performance, and the backup singer(s) had one of their few bright spots of the season. I totally disagreed with both Randy and Kara...Randy thought it was pitchy from the start, and Kara thought it was his best moment so far. My thoughts were somewhere in the middle, but I am predisposed to love the song so I may be biased. I will now listen to that song on a loop as I finish this recap.
Here, you can listen, too...
7) Lil Rounds: "The Rose" - Once again, Q gives great advice that will ultimately be ignored. The key to selling this big change in the middle is to commit to the FIRST part, so that the audience is surprised when it turns into something more.
Anyway, I really liked the arrangement...I just would have enjoyed it more if it was sung by someone whose voice I really liked. Once it goes "gospel," she is pitchy ALL OVER. She's really just not that good, as it turns out. Very disappointing, considering I really liked her in her initial audition and in Hollywood. She's just really been exposed on the big stage.
I sort of feel what she's saying in her retort to Simon, and I thought she did it in a respectful way. She DID try to change the song up and do her own thing with it...the problem isn't so much that it's a "Bette Midler song" as Simon said, it's just that she doesn't sound that good singing it. Plus, somewhere along the way she became REALLY boring as a performer, and I totally didn't expect that when we first met her. I think she has really let the judges get in her head and it has locked her up mentally.
- Hate, hate HATED the 2 judge format. Would have been much improved if they had let Simon speak every time and just alternate the other judge.
Even worse, they STILL didn't make it out on time, due mostly to those stupid conversations Ryan has to have over on the stools with the contestants. I understand wanting the audience to get to know the contestants, but they really ought to save that stuff for Wednesday night, and get rid of the stupid group number that everybody hates.
- Mentioned it a couple of times, but what was UP with all of the ballads tonight? I've been going to movies all of my life and I know for a fact that I have heard several upbeat songs. They would have been better off just limiting them to songs that were in Tarantino movies. Then someone could have sang Stuck in the Middle With You and cut Randy's ear off, as Shan suggested to me via Twitter.
Is this the week they start doing bottom two instead of bottom three?
Who SHOULD be in the bottom two: Matt and Lil
Who WILL be in the bottom two: Matt and...Alison. Just a gut feeling.
Who SHOULD go home: Based on this week, Matt. Based on body of work, Lil.
Who WILL go home: Matt
And just to throw it out there...I say again that if Kris or Alison ends up with the lowest number of votes they will be saved by the judges. Otherwise, they will save it until next week, which is the last week it could be used.
By the way, if you want to see a really GOOD version of the song Matt G did tonight....