For the first time this season, “American Idol’s” intro was interesting, although not for any creative choices. It was cross promotion that added some intrigue. For all those “Fringe” fans, you might have noticed Michael Cerveris sitting front and center. His placement was a sly reminder that the J.J. Abrams drama was returning after far too long of a break.
But the headliner was Ryan Seacrest and the gang, and with only eight performers left to vie for a slave contract with a record label, the show clocked in at an hour. Hallelujah, because it was a week of butchering classic songs on “Idol.” It reached back into the music vault for songs that matched up with the contestant’s birth years.
Talented or not, Danny Gokey’s take on “Stand by Me” was atrocious. A classic melody turned into a mix best left for elevators. Yet, his raspy vocals and energetic finish saved him from execution for at least another week. While he’s sitting pretty during the results show, it would do him good to clean out his ears and listen for an arrangement that doesn’t disrespect everything music stands for.
Kris Allen carried on the tradition of performing in a teenie-bopper mosh pit. I’m not sure what is cheesier, Allen’s bottom of the charts vibe or the prim and proper girls “rocking out” around the stage. Paula Abdul called him likeable, but trivial seems more appropriate.
Lil Rounds went for “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” a big song for a young girl. Her performance came off as adequate, but when it comes to Tina Turner, there needs to be a wow factor. Rounds has officially turned into Fantasia-light. There’s no room in the competition for such mediocrity.
Now, where the heck did Anoop Desai come from? For the past few weeks he’s been flying under the radar. He benefited this week from following three duds, as it allowed his reserved rendering of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” to sound rather lovely.
Scott MacIntyre presented a spooky concept during his introduction. He revealed his dream of becoming a train conductor, despite the
fact that he is nearly blind. Remind to avoid Amtrak next time I take a vacation. MacIntyre ditched the piano this week opting instead for a guitar. No matter the instrument, his flat vocals continue to bore the judges.
Moody and dark seemed to be the vibe of Allison Iraheta’s song, “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” It’s amazing this girl was born in the 1990s, because her voice is already classic. Kara DioGuardi wants to rush her off to cut a record, and I’m sure there’s a growing list of producers hoping to do the same.
Making his final step towards becoming Justin Timberlake, Matt Giraud donned his hipster cap and gyrated with white boy ease while singing Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover.” It was a spirited go, and all four judges gave the nod of approval. He and Iraheta are bound to join Gokey on the safety bench this week.
And then there was Adam Lambert. From an early age he loved donning drag, so it only made sense that he would go onto be the shining star on “Idol.” And by god, Simon Cowell gave the boy a standing ovation along with the rest of us, basically summing up Lambert’s future on the show.