AMERICAN IDOL Season 8 – Rockin' Out with Slash

Going into tonight’s show, I was a little skeptical since I couldn’t picture two out of the four remaining contestants rocking out. But while the performances were uneven, this episode ended up being highly entertaining.

Adam went first with Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” which was the perfect choice for his voice and theatricality. When I heard the opening guitar riffs, I was bopping my head and thinking, Oh yeah, this could be good, and Adam didn’t disappoint. I’m not a huge fan because of his shriekiness but on this song, that’s exactly what was needed. You can’t be shy on this song; that primal scream must be unleashed. Kudos to Adam for a very smart song choice and his ballsy execution of it.

Allison sang Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby,” and to me, it sounded like “Yell, Baby” because she shouted through the whole thing. I love Allison and agree with Slash she’s got that rock swagger but this performance was only okay. It’s disappointing since this should be the one genre where she excels.

Then we took a break from the competition as the producers gave us something never before done on Idol: duets between contestants. First up were Kris and Danny covering Styx’s “Renegade.” Their harmony was smooth but when the band kicked in, they immediately went flat on a few notes. Kris seemed out of his depth and sounded like he was losing breath at times. He also couldn’t pull off the tough act in black leather and looked like a little kid playing dress-up. Danny fared better on the song and was at least leather-free, thank goodness.

After the break, Kris changed clothes to sing his competition entry, the Beatles’ “Come Together.” Whoa, this song is too big for him; he doesn’t have the growl. He’s usually great at picking songs so I’m surprised he chose that out of the vast Beatles catalog since there are better choices for him. He probably should’ve stuck with something like “I Saw Her Standing There.”

Danny then sang his official competition song, “Dream On” by Aerosmith. This was a gutsy choice; it’s crazy hard to sing. Most of it sounded pretty good but I was holding my breath waiting for those high notes at the end. Will he make it? Will he blow a vocal cord? Yes and no. He reached the upper echelons but it no longer sounded like singing when he did, just full-out screaming bloody murder. It was not pleasant but I’m impressed he took it on since hard rock really isn’t his forte.

The show wrapped up with another duet, this time by Adam and Allison singing Foghat’s “Slow Ride.” I liked Allison’s performance here way better than her “official” one. She was looser, having more fun and the swagger was out in full force. At one point, I thought she and Adam were trying to out-scream each other but they ended up complimenting each other quite well. And it’s cute that he shared his hairstylist with her.

I liked the duets because it took some of the stress off the contestants and it didn’t sound like they were lip-synching like during the group performances. They also have a chance to redeem themselves, like Allison did, if they screw up during their competition performance. Plus, as the number of contenders dwindle, I’d rather producers fill the hour with more singing instead of Ford commercials or inane chatter from the judges.

Which performances rocked your world? Did you like the duets?



  • Reply
    May 6, 2009 at 9:16 am

    No single performance really stood out for me. Lambert just came off shrill. To be fair though, who could really stand against Robert Plant?

    Allison was fine, but is she memorable? I don’t think the industry will know what to do with her.

    Kris Allen is destined to be just another sincere emo-rock guy and will get lost in the shuffle. Gokey needs to get a stylist and a personal trainer. I will give Danny props for even trying Dream On.

    I thought the duets were interesting, but felt they should have tried to do this earlier in the competition because I wanted different pairings. (Did we really need to see Adam in those pants?)

    Decent songs, but it was the band that sold them as opposed to the singers.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I did a double take when I heard Slash was the mentor for the evening. Then he came on to explain himself and I totally agreed. In fact, he was probably one of the best mentors so far.

    No need to add to your comments, PCN.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2009 at 10:00 am

    What is up with Paula? Is is a publicity thing? She is actually beginning to frighten me. In the real world, she would have been committed, ya know.

    Oh…the performances were interesting. The duets were a good idea.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I have no idea who’s getting cut tonight. I doubt it is Adam but I’m a Zep fan and until the a capella “Way down inside” ending and that probably won the night for him.

    Danny made Kris sound bad in the duet when they sang “against” each other but I think I liked Come Together better than Dream On.

    Alison didn’t take it to another level but pretty good considering she had to follow Adam.

    Slash was great even though he was pimped out by his management or maybe he just needed the money. Like he said, “I never thought I’d be mentoring on AI.” I almost felt bad for him but how great for the AI talent that got to jam with him on the Roxy stage. He called it straight up, no sugar coating and the way I heard it thought Adam had the best overall voice. He also set Danny up to fail by reminding us how hit or miss that last note on Dream On would be. BTW WTF was Danny wearing. Lose the banker’s vest.

    Anyone in the bottom three could go tonight.

    • Reply
      May 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm


      I thought that EXACT same thing about Danny’s outfit—he was dressed like a banking exec! But then I thought, If he’d donned black leather, that might’ve been more disturbing.

      I also thought it was hilarious how Slash was pretty skeptical of everyone—“Well, if he can hit that note, it might be all right.” Mentors gush too often, saying, Oh, so-and-so is gonna be phenomenal, and then that person goes on to mutilate the song and I’m left wondering, What was the mentor talking about?!

      I think Allison is going home, not because she was the worst but because the others have stronger fan bases.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I actually disagree with you for the first time (almost).

    I think Adam was OK. I have “Whole Lotta Love” for LZ so I couldn’t find anything great in his performance. Allison was OK but I’m disappointed since she was supposed to be the star last night.

    I actually liked Kris’s performance. I think it was the only original one – at least in the vocal aspect- , and he managed to pull it off (just listen to it again, even if you don’t watch the video). What I saw is that the judges are sending the bus to roll over Kris and Allison, and they’re not recognizing his talent, specially Simon.

    And about Danny. What he did was murder. Murder. And it shouldn’t be unpunished. It was Sanjaya-awful. That song alone should send him home, and if not, I guess some Aerosmith fan should go and shoot him. And what made me angrier was how the judges were actually pimping him for that botch! I was gaging and puking after I saw that. The song was OK but flat (really flat), and the last scream could kill a weak-of-heart.

    And about the duets: I didn’t love the concept and I saw it quite unfair. A pairing of rockers vs. not rockers in a “Rock Night”. I actually think Kris’s voice was better than Danny’s until the band came up when he couldn’t be heard anymore but I can’t blame him that much. But the Adison one was a show stopper. Amazing in everything but the outfit.

    The thing is that I felt the whole show was a plot against Kris Allen. And as far as I see, he came out fine. He had to sing twice in a row -something none other has ever. He hasn’t had the chance to close the show since “Ain’t no Sunshine”. Adam’s been one of the last performers for the last few weeks! He even got to open AND close tonight!

    I was SO disappointed by last night. I would only pay to see Allison & Adam’s duet if you ask me. And if I came to a concert to watch Danny’s Aerosmith-assassination, I would actually sue.

    • Reply
      May 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm

      Oh my gosh, your comment made me laugh. Thank you. Your passion for this show is great.

      You made good points about Adam getting to open and close the show and how the rockers were pitted against the emo guys. Gee, no favoritism there.

      But the judges will have a hard time killing Kris’s chances because his fans are really devoted, based on the amount of Googling and Kris fansites out there. I think it’ll be him and Adam on the finale.

      • Reply
        May 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm

        I don’t know. Last night made me so angry because I was expecting much more from everyone and they didn’t deliver. And the duet doesn’t buy me.

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