AMERICAN IDOL Season 8 — Top 3 Perform Judges' Choice and Their Own Favorites

Let me just get something off my chest first. I anxiously awaited Simon’s song choice for Adam, not because I couldn’t wait to hear Adam sing it but because Simon is usually spot-on about marrying song to talent. So when I heard he selected no less than U2’s “One,” which required personal clearance from the band, I pumped my fist in the air—yessss! That is one of my favorite songs EVER and I thought it was in the right range for Adam. It always brings me to the edge of tears whenever I hear it. Well, until now.

Of all the outrageous things Adam’s done on this show, this was absolutely the worst. I’ve tolerated his shrillness and even really liked some of his performances (“Tracks of My Tears” and “Whole Lotta Love”) but this travesty was unforgivable. He completely ruined this gorgeous song and then had the audacity to tell people to rewind and listen to how beautiful the lyrics are. Well, yes, they are, but you obliterated them with your screaming! He should’ve trusted the simple elegance of the lyrics and melody because the song’s beauty lies in its aching starkness, not helter-skelter volume.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s go back to the beginning. Danny started the evening with a song Paula chose for him, Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Dance Little Sister.” He sang it well, with a lot of energy and his gritty soulfulness but I wasn’t in love with the song. “Wishing Well” would’ve been a little more interesting.

Then Kris went with another blah song, One Republic’s “Apologize,” hand-picked by Kara and Randy for him. Kris’s vocals were heartfelt as usual and the song’s level of difficulty is high but this performance just didn’t set the place on fire for me. Kris usually does a really good job of selecting songs for himself so I was hoping that when it came to performing his choice later in the evening, he’d do better.

And then Adam sang “One.” See above comments. Still angry.

In the latter half of the show, the contestants got to sing whatever they wanted. Danny chose Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful.” That song is pretty and everything but he needed to make a deep impact and I don’t think that song did it for him. It was just a nice lite FM version and I probably would’ve changed the station if I’d heard it on the radio.

Kris went next with Kanye West’s “Heartless.” I’m no fan of Kanye’s so when I heard that, I thought, What?! and not in the dope way Randy usually means it. But then I saw Kris with only his guitar in front of the mike, which is usually when he’s strongest, and got excited. And he didn’t disappoint with his acoustic reinvention! Yay, Kris! He proved he could think for himself and is more savvy than the judges about song selection. I got home too late to vote but I’m really hoping now that Kris will be in the finals. I think he’s got a strong chance and will probably pull an upset tomorrow, despite the judges repeatedly calling him a dark horse.

Adam closed the show for the umpteenth time with Aerosmith’s “Crying.” I’m crying over what he did to “One” so I’m not even gonna comment on this.

What did you think? Were the judges or contestants better at picking songs? Does Kris have a chance?



  • Reply
    May 13, 2009 at 8:24 am

    I hear you about Adam and ONE. If a performer has to tell the audience to rewind and listen closely to the lyrics…they have just admitted to obliterating them. I have no idea why the judges liked that. For me, Kris Allen won the competition last night.

  • Reply
    who some have
    May 13, 2009 at 8:52 am

    My favorite performance was Kris’ version of “Heartless.” Wow!! I was thinking the same thing, what the??! when he revealed his choice, but man, he brought it tonight! I liked that version enough that I might just download it from iTunes. I hope Kris makes it to the finals.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Adam made the cover of EW, so I’m sure he’ll win!

    There’s no one better!

    I still have no idea what Paula is saying though.

    • Reply
      May 13, 2009 at 9:21 am

      Remember when everyone was predicting Melinda Doolittle would win because she could do no wrong? Well, she came in third. I’d actually be okay if Adam gets booted tonight, especially if it means room for Kris in the finals.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Missed hearing Danny and Kris sing, but caught Adam’s first song. Didn’t even stay to hear him finish it. Awful! I think dogs in the neighborhood were howling.

    • Reply
      May 13, 2009 at 11:23 am

      Ha ha! Adam’s first song is the “One” I’m talking about. Some of that howling might’ve been me!

  • Reply
    May 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I pretty much agree with you…

    I think Danny was screaming too much on his first song. His second was very good, really good. But I really don’t get any emotion from him.

    I loved Kris’s take on “Apologize”. I gotta say I love how he feels the songs and though I think the judges didn’t drive the AI bus over him, they did get to be a little hard on him. His second song, however, was A BOMB. Period.

    I liked Adam when he started “One” but when he hit the bridge I was covering my ears. I couldn’t believe it! He slayed it, and not in a good way. I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but he was off on some notes.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    PNC – If I was sitting next to you I might have been looking in a mirror. I stopped the DVR when I heard Adam was going sing ONE, cheered and thought the contest was over. I thought, great song choice and when Mary J sang with Bono it got even better. Perfect, Adam is going to kill this and he did, just not the way I had hoped. I don’t know who arranged the music but it was an old-fashion blood-letting. THE WORST ARRANGEMENT EVER. It ruined the song and even Adam had no chance. I had to go listen to the real version 5 times to get the bad 90 second version out of my head. I’m still pissed. And “Crying” wasn’t much better. Adam’s worse night but if I voted, I would still have voted for him because he the best to watch.

    Which brings me to another point, don’t confuse a karaoke standard, with a song that can only be played one way. ONE is not a karaoke song, hthe music is has important as the words, meaning if you sing it, you better love it and not change the music, because it is immortal. Where (no disrespect to Danny) “You are so Beautiful” is a standard karaoke song, like Pasty Kline’s “Crazy.” I’m still pissed.

    Kris and Danny split in my book. Danny’s two performances were overall better than Kris’s two but Kris’ “Heartless” was by far the best of the night. And, like I have been saying Kris is ready to package up and put on the road, where Adam and Danny are going to take some work. By that I mean, figuring out a direction, finding a band, and the list goes on. The AI songwriters could ruin them almost as easily as they ruined Archie two weeks ago.

    I have no idea who is going to win tonight. I think Danny and Kris split the Red States and Adam takes the coasts. This one could be closer than Franken vs Coleman.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Maybe the judges shouldn’t pick songs for the contestants anymore.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2009 at 6:35 am

    I thought One was going to be so great…what a nightmare! Heartless was definitely my fave of the night, and for me to like anything that has to do with Kanye is surprising.

    • Reply
      May 14, 2009 at 9:35 am

      For me to like anything Kanye was SHOCKING. I was so ready for another disaster a la “One” but my mouth fell open when I heard how good Kris made it sound.

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