I'm still a little confused as to what the theme was supposed to be this week...Ryan said it was anything that was popular on iTunes this week? How exactly was "popular" defined? Supposedly, this was supposed to help make them more "current" this week, but I think there were only 2 or 3 "current" songs chosen, so I'm at a loss...it was good for me, though, because if it really was "current" songs they would all have been songs I have never heard of.
Anyway, on with the show!
1) Anoop Desai - "Caught Up": Perfect example...I'm guessing this was one of the more current songs on the playlist tonight, and I have never heard it. Nothing about it caused me to re-think my belief that I am not missing anything by staying away from current music.
Maybe it was because I didn't like the song, but I did not like this at all. The vocals were fine, but the performance made me uncomfortable...I was embarrassed for him, because he looked like a big ole dork. He says he wants to be an R&B artist, but I just don't see the R&B audience taking him seriously. The judges were right...this looked like another frat party performance, much like I said when he did "Beat It." He doesn't really put on a great show on stage...it's very "Walk to this side...pose. Walk to the other side....pose. Walk to the front...give the camera my "cool face.""
It reminded me of...me. When I was 9 years old, Thriller was released. I would put that album (yep...ALBUM) on and give a performance in my basement, performing the entire album to an imaginary audience. My performing style at 9 years old was very similar to what Anoop did last night. I can't see how that is a good thing.
For either of us, really.
2) Megan Joy - "Turn Your Lights Down Low":
Q: "Hey, Megan...which necklace do you want to wear tonight?"
A: "Well, I don't know....how about ALL OF THEM?"
OK, here's the thing with Megan. When she actually stays on pitch, I really like the tone of her voice...it's just that those moments are so few and far between. This started out AWFUL, got a little better by the end, but sorry darlin'...it's time to go.
I think a lack of experience is a big part of the problem with her, and I'm hoping the tour helps that because I think with some training and the right songs she could be a good artist. She's just nowhere near there yet.
3) Danny Gokey - "What Hurts the Most": Now THIS was good. Great song choice, sung beautifully, definitely my favorite performance of his so far this season. I do think he could have moved around a little more...I know what he was doing, since I myself said he looked like Taylor Hicks last week. But there is a happy medium.
That's just a nitpick, though...this was a very, very good performance. I loved him until he started talking his usual talk at the end that makes me want to smack him upside the head, but I'm choosing to ignore that. There were too few good performances this week.
4) Allison Iraheta - "Don't Speak": Good Lord, what is she wearing? She looks like a frakking clown. That is the definition of trying too hard.
Anyway...I love this song, it's maybe my favorite No Doubt track, and I can see why she would choose it. But it really doesn't work for her voice, I don't think...she is a better vocalist than Gwen Stefani, is the problem. She should have put this in a different key if she was going to do it, because it started WAY too low, and then it never got high enough to allow her to flex the golden pipes. She sounds fine, and I still love her, I just disagreed with the song choice. Like I have said earlier (and I think Randybot said tonight), just because you LIKE a song, that doesn't mean you need to be singing it on American Idol.
Kara was actually being nice in her commentary, the audience is just too stoopid to realize it. She IS a rocker girl, so there's no need to play dress up.
5) Scott MacIntyre: "Just The Way You Are": Copy-paste:
As a singer, he's not that talented...average at best. Great pianist. Picks the most corny, boring, white-bread song available on a weekly basis. Seems like a great guy.
6) Matt Giraud - "You Found Me": Ugh. This was another one that made me uncomfortable to watch. People want to know what Simon means when he says it was an "affected" performance, this was it...the growling, the phrasing, everything about it was just an imitation of the original.
Again, the judges were pretty much right on, as they were all night for once...he sounds much better when he leans more to the R&B side than when he does the sissy-boy pop rock stuff (like the Coldplay disaster during his top 36 performance).
7) Lil Rounds - "I Surrender": Dumb, dumb song choice. Good grief...how do they all keep screwing this up? They can pick virtually ANY song that Idol can get clearance for, and yet they continue to make stupid choices.
Lil is a good vocalist...not a great vocalist, but a good one. What made Lil a contender (way back in a time that I can barely remember now) was that she was FUN. She made the audience have a good time, and her voice was just good enough that you didn't care if it was perfect, as long as you were having fun. What she is NOT good enough to do is stand there in a prom dress and sing Celine Dion. The vocals were fine, but I don't think they were good enough to win over any fans that she didn't already have.
Here is the thing that I think a lot of them (not just Lil) are missing: Stop trying to win American Idol, and just worry about going out and giving a kick-butt performance every week. If you do that, the votes will take care of themselves. The only ones who worry about stuff like "oh, you did something similar last week, you have to do something different now" are the judges and idiot recappers like me. If you just go out and be awesome, then people will vote for you.
Case in point:
8) Adam Lambert: "Play That Funky Music": Seriously, when you hear that somebody is going to do this on American Idol, do you think "Oh, that is a stellar song choice"? No. But Adam just goes out and performs his butt off, has a blast, the band has a blast, the audience has a blast, the judges have their mind blown and forget to be critical...this is the way you win American Idol. Just be awesome...you don't have to play mind games with the voting audience.
I enjoyed this on TV, but I can't imagine how awesome it must have been seeing it live. It's just such a fun song for the audience, and he is dancing around using the whole stage, the band is going nuts, his voice just keeps going higher and higher and you think that he is going to reach the ceiling, and then he blasts on through that and keeps on going...I would have been going bananas, too.
9) Kris Allen - "Ain't No Sunshine": OK, here is the problem with Kris, and I'm not exaggerating just to make a point (which I have been known to do, believe it or not): After Adam sang, I was looking at my notes, realized that there had only been 8 performers...and I could not for the life of me remember who was left. It's not his fault...he comes out every week, does a great job, makes good decisions with his song choices and arrangements, and I really enjoy his performance...and then 5 minutes later I completely forget that he exists.
Maybe this week will change that, because THIS was my favorite performance of the night. This is one of my all time favorite songs, so he already had that going for him...but then he sang it beautifully, I was pleasantly surprised at seeing and hearing him on the keyboard, and he did just enough with the arrangement that it didn't come off as an impression of the original. Great, great performance...hopefully I will remember it when it comes time for him to sing again next week.
If you couldn't tell, I was not overly impressed with the performances this week. I don't know if I was just tired and cranky when I watched it or what, but I was disappointed with almost everybody...I only really liked Danny, Adam, and Kris.
The judges were amazingly coherent tonight...I even thought that Randybot made some great points, which caused me to really question my mental state. I do think, however, that a lot of what Paula said was pre-written (maybe by her, maybe by her assistant)...didn't it sound like she was reading a lot of the time? And using too many multi-syllable words?
Who SHOULD be in the bottom 3: Everybody but Danny, Adam, and Kris.
Who WILL be in the bottom 3: Scott, Megan, and Matt
Who SHOULD go home: Megan
Who WILL go home: Megan