You’d think that in the presence of mentor Quentin Tarantino, the remaining 7 contestants would kill some of the songs on movie-theme night. Didn’t happen. Most of them just ended up torturing me with overwrought performances that made me almost want to cut off my own ears.
Allison Iraheta sang that ghastly Aerosmith ballad, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” from Armageddon. Truth is, I wouldn’t miss it if I never heard it again in my life. Why do we have to be subjected to this song every season when nobody has ever been able to sing it well? Even when it’s done by Steven Tyler, I still hate that sappy, crappy ballad. I really like Allison’s raspy voice but I think the song was too low for her. She spent too much time in her lower registers and missed quite a few notes. I’m still rooting for her but this wasn’t one of her best.
Next, Anoop covered Bryan Adams’s “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I used to love the uptempo Anoop until his “Beat It” and “Caught Up” fiascos so it’s perhaps best he sticks to slow songs. This is another treacly ballad but he was in tune and was able to impressively sustain some high notes.
Then Adam Lambert did “Born to be Wild” from Easy Rider. Tarantino thought Adam’s a rock star? Maybe for a Duran Duran cover band. He sounded like Grace Slick and the epilepsy-inducing flashing lights were too much but after two slow songs, Adam did inject a bolt of electricity into the show.
Matt Giraud took on another Bryan Adams song, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” from Don Juan DeMarco. Now, I do like this song; it’s got a really pretty melody. But Matt went and messed it all up by changing keys, riffing all over the place and wobbling on a bunch of notes. That poor guy. I wish he’d find where his groove is and stay there.
Danny Gokey sang “Endless Love.” It was just a solid, straightforward performance, no goosebumps here. I didn’t think it was fair, though, of Simon to compare him to David Cook’s performance of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” last year. The comparison would make sense if Gokey and Cook both sang the same song but they sang different tunes.
Kris Allen brought the boldest choice of the night—the lilting, Oscar-winning “Falling Slowly” from Once. I was so excited he picked it because I love that song. But then he smiled through the beginning bars and I knew it wasn’t gonna be great. Pitch-wise, he was decent but his voice lacked the beautiful ache Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova had which made the song so memorable.
Lil Rounds closed out the evening with “The Rose.” She made the same mistake Matt did—taking a song with a simple, beautiful melody and trying to do too much with it. It takes guts to sing a song with such sparse accompaniment because the focus is going to be on your voice. But Lil didn’t seem to trust her instrument because she turned the song into a pseudo-gospel hymn and inserted too many runs, ruining its stark beauty. It’s too bad because she can really sing; she just needs to strip off everything (including the wigs and glitter makeup) and put her voice front and center.
No one inspired my vote tonight. What about you? What’d you think of Tarantino as mentor? Leave me a comment!