American Idol, Top 7

Tonight on American Idol the contestants are singing songs of the cinema, and Quentin Tarantino is the guest judge. Um, maybe I’m overlooking the obvious, but what’s he going to do, exactly? Teach them how to emote more? Teach them where to stand? Teach them how to appear interested when the judges are talking?

I’m telling you: I just don’t understand these fancy TV shows and all these fancy directors with all their fancy Hollywood ways.

Anyway, it should be interesting to see what songs everybody picks, though so help me if anyone sings “My Heart Will Go On” I cannot be held responsible for my actions, especially considering that my actions will probably involve some loud screaming and then subsequently pulling out all the hair on the right side of my head while I set my toes on fire.

Alison Iraheta – “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” – I don’t know what it is, but everytime I hear this song I want to put on a red and white polka dotted dress and sit under a tree with Ben Affleck. It’s the funniest thing. Anyway, this performance of Alison’s was way too overwrought and screamy for me. I think it was a good song choice for her because it has the whole rock vibe thing going on, but it almost felt like the song got away from her and she was playing catch-up. Didn’t love it.

Anoop Desai – “Everything I Do I Do For You” – My first thought when Anoop announced his song choice was that I’d better run and grab some crackers since he was about to bring on the cheese. But I have to give Anoop credit: he took a song that, honestly, I pretty much despise and made it fairly interesting. He gave it a little bit of an edge, but at the same time he kept it understated, especially at the end. I thought this was one of his best performances, and nobody’s more surprised by that than I am.

[BTW, excellent call on only having two judges speak after each performance. TWO IS PLENTY.]

[Which begs the question: are four judges even remotely necessary?]

Adam Lambert – “Born To Be Wild” – This whole thing reminded me of something that you’d see in Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was too much screaming falsetto. (Okay, I just heard Simon, and HE TOTALLY SAID THE SAME THING ABOUT ROCKY HORROR. It’s like we share a mind.) Bottom line: the only reason tonight’s performance was memorable for me is because I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Yes, he’s talented. But he just doesn’t seem to sing a lot of stuff that I enjoy – at least not so far.

Matt Giraud – “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” – To me, Matt is strongest when he goes with the whole Robin Thicke / Justin Timberlake thing – and he totally had that feel for the first half of tonight’s performance. But as soon as the orchestra joined in, things went a little haywire. It became this weird cross between karaoke and a piano bar and R&B, and it was a wee bit trainwreckian. Way too much going on. I think he would have been way better off if he had just kept it simple – no orchestra, no falsetto in weird places. He’s way better than what we saw tonight.

Danny Gokey – “Endless Love” – I SO appreciated Danny dialing it back a little bit for the first three-quarters of this song. He had a little bit of a rough start, but he recovered well, and I thought he did a very touching interpretation of a song that takes me RIGHT BACK to when I was in elementary school and had no idea what the movie was about but I thought Brooke Shields was really, really pretty and I begged my mama to buy me the sheet music so I could learn to play the song on the piano. And now I have shared a memory that absolutely no one cares about, but I really don’t have anything else to say about Danny’s performance so thank you the end.

Kris Allen – “Falling Slowly” – THAT WAS STINKIN’ BRILLIANT. It was restrained and confident all at the same time – not to mention that there wasn’t anything shrieky or showy about his falsetto. I thought it was a home run. LOVED IT.

Lil Rounds – “The Rose” – I think she picked a good song, and I think the little bit of gospel influence in the arrangement was a great call. However, the unfortunate part of this performance was that pitch-wise she was all over the place. This could have been a big comeback for her, but in the end it fell short. It was definitely better than the last three or four weeks, though.

I have to say that the playing field seems much more even now that we’re down to seven. My favorite of the night was definitely Kris, and I think that Matt is probably in a wee bit of danger. Lil was the weakest, I think, but since she hasn’t been in the bottom two before, I doubt she finds herself there tomorrow night.

So. What did y’all think?

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  1. Kris! Kris! Kris!

    Not only is this one of my favorite songs, he did an awesome job. Plus, he’s from my home state, so it’s hard not to love him.

  2. Thank you SO MUCH for doing this each week!

  3. “trainwreckian”…I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who makes up words.

    I still have the “Endless Love” sheet music. I remember playing it and pretending C. Thomas Howell was singing the Lionel Richie part.

  4. Ya’ think we could vote as to which two judges we want to stay. :-)

    I think Kris is outta here.

  5. Sadly, I thought Kris was horrid. Didn’t even know the song.

    Lil made my ears hurt.

    I didn’t really think anyone was that good tonight.

    But maybe I’m just in a bad mood. LOL

  6. Love Danny! He brought it tonight. I’m not feeling Adam or his guyliner. I think Lil might be getting the boot.

  7. I can honestly say…I didn’t like anyone. At all. They all have the moment of their lives to shine and are just mediocre at best.

    Now…I could never do it, so don’t get me wrong. But they were so STRONG in the beginning. Now, blah…

  8. I wish I knew which movies they had to choose from… because I was hoping for a few non-elevator songs!

  9. I liked Lil’s selection better this week. I think she has a great voice, if she can just get it going in the right direction. Personally, I think that the judges have been really harsh with Kris (better tonight) and Lil. Last week, they really criticized Kris for being self-indulging with the loud band, all the extras, and the way he tried to sing the song. Yet, Adam’s band and back-up was a little extreme tonight, if you ask me….but the judges sing his praises for doing his own thing. I thought he was very self-indulging tonight which would have been pointed out with anyone else, I think. I’m glad that Lil spoke up for herself tonight. I was sitting talking to the TV, saying almost the exact same thing when she spoke up. Adam is very good most nights but I think they have different criteria for different performers and seem very biased toward some.

    I’m such an expert, ya know! I love your critiques every week! Keep us posted, Boomama!

  10. When I hear Endless Love, I think about the scene in Happy Gilmore when blond girl was playing hockey with Adam Sandler. The music came on and the Zamboni guy was lip synching.

    Oh, that movie makes me hurt. But that’s neither here nor there.

    And I just don’t get the Adam Lambert thing at all.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I don’t get Adam – if anyone else did what he did tonight, the judges would rake them over the coals. Matt was rough tonight, but I still like him. Kris was my favorite – brilliant!!!! I think Lil and Matt are bottom two.

  12. I thought tonight was a little eh. I didn’t really love anyone but I did like Anoop and I LOVE that song — makes me sad that you don’t like it! But I guess that’s what is so fun about all of this!

    I think it will be Matt going home…

  13. Oh my goodness . . . so many songs I hate I don’t even know where to begin. As much as I don’t want to, I am starting to like Adam. He’s just stinkin’ talented. I think Lil has a serious case of stage fright–poor thing.

    And could someone help the family feud that’s going on in our house tonight? Half of my family thinks Danny is singing to his deceased wife; half of us thinks he’s singing to Jesus. Help us! At any rate, we all love Danny.

    Tarentino was brilliant with the singers tonight. So much more helpful than Randy Travis who just said, “Duh, that was great.”


    Why are you so funny?!!!

    I have nothing to give you a hard time about this week. As a matter of fact, I’d like to give you some sort of award for the comedic tone of this post. I am thinking a trophy… made out of cheese and bacon?


  15. And, yeah for me! I got a real comment to post!

  16. My ears are still ringing from Adam’s performance. He totally ruined that classic rock song for me. I sorta agree with Jennifer in that if any one else did that the judges would call them indulgent and rake them over the coals. Give me Canadian Idol season 2 winner Kalan Porter’s rendition any day over that. And Lil has got to stop giving the judges verbal essays on why she chooses songs. I don’t care, I just want her to sing it well, which she didn’t. I think she’s in trouble tonight.

  17. I have one word for Adam that I am surprised that Simon hasn’t used….indulgence. Yes, Adam is a great performer, but he is a bit over indulgent. Adam gives me the creeps too.

    I am quite partial to Anoop but I don’t think he can win. Maybe I’m taken by those big brown eyes and huge smile.


  18. I absolutely loved Danny, Allison, and Kris.

    Lil irritates me to the core and I SO hope she goes home.

  19. I do not care for Adam Lambert.

    Or his gray skinny jeans.

  20. Melanie K says:

    Still lovin’ Adam. I’m tellin’ ya, he’s gonna win!!

  21. Ya know, I’m sure I’ve said it before, but the thing I like about Adam is that he has khlass. He knows when to keep his trap shut (i.e., he doesn’t talk back to the judges, which drives me to 79 kinds of insanity, just like when my SEVEN YEAR OLD DOES IT AND SO HELP ME I’M GONNA LOSE IT.)

    I think Adam will win.

    When I heard Anoop’s song choice, I started folding up into the fetal position, but was pleasantly surprised. Many of the other singers were off-pitch tonight but he nailed that song.

    And Lil’s hair extensions still make me happy, even though her voice (AND TALKING-BACK, HELLO) does not. That length of hair is much more flattering to her matronly figure. Something I know ALL TOO MUCH ABOUT, HELLO, HIPS.

    I say we send Paula and Kara home for good.

  22. KRIS! I already pre-ordered his performance from tonight because I loved it that much. And that is RARE for me.

    I hope he wins.

  23. I have to say that Anoop was awesome tonight! I really thought he did the best and that is hard to say, since I am truly a Danny and Kris fan all the way! Anoop was consistent through the whole song and he hit every note and he actually drew me into the emotion of the song. Ok, so Adam can sing his booty off, but I just don’t care for the whole rock and screamy thing that he does. If I were into rock, I would think he was brilliant, but I totally agree with you and Simon tonight on his performance!

    I did think that Lil did her best tonight with the gospel feel, she added to the song, but I really think she is out of her league and should go home this week.

    I think Allison is fantastic, but this wasn’t her best performance at all…it just didn’t do anything for me.

  24. I love my boy, Anoop. Also liked Danny and Kris though. But SO HELP ME, why do the judges like Adam?! All he does is scream! My ears do not enjoy his performances. And speaking of screaming, Allison butchered a completely lovely song. In the end, I think Lil will go home. She hasn’t had her groove on since she sang Mary J the first week.

  25. I think it’s time for Adam and his eyeliner to head on home.

    Kris and Danny were amazing as usual!

  26. Adam does not come across to me as much as a singer as he does an actor who can sing. He’s too theatrical for this competition for me. He has his place – i.e. Broadway. I would like to see one of the pure singers win this thing. At this point, I don’t care which one, as long as it’s not Adam. He will be successful in the entertainment industry no matter what.

    I love my Anoop (GO TARHEELS!) and he did well last night. No surprise to me though. I think he has had one bad performance (Michael Jackson night) and is still being punished for that. He has made a few bad song choices in the past, even though the voice was there, the song was not.

    I have to agree with whomever said that any other contestant doing what Adam did last night would have been raked over the coals for it. As with not being able to get past really just one bad performance by Anoop, they consistantly praise Adam for a couple of jobs well done in the past.

  27. TOTALLY had the sheet music too! And for the very same reason. There was no way in hairy heck my mama was gonna let me see that movie but she did buy me the sheet music – cause, don’t we all need a little culture like that?

  28. I so love reading your recaps of AI because I miss a good part of it because of school :) Thanks!!!

  29. OMG Boo Mama! I made the same comment to my family when the show started tonight!! “If someone even tries to sing ‘My Heart Will Go On’ I am OUT OF HERE.” I was so petrified that Lil would attempt it. I’m relieved she didn’t!

    And may I just ask what the point was having Quentin T. there? Other than making the contestants feel awkward and scared he was going to slap them with all his crazy gesturing? Seriously, the dude creeps me out. I can’t believe they are grouping him with the likes of other guest mentors like Randy Travis, Smokey Robinson, etc. It in the immortal words of Sesame Street, “Which of these things does not belong??”

  30. I cannot WAIT to watch it off the DVR. Falling Slowly was high on my soundtrack for 2008. I heart that song. One of the best cinema songs in a really long time (is it time for mommy to get out a little if I first wanted to type “in a super duper pooper long time?” possibly…).

  31. Adam’s performance totally reminded me of Dana Carvey’s performance of the same song in “Opportunity Knocks!” I think Adam was channeling his inner Saturday Night Live for that one. Check out Dana’s version on YouTube.

  32. I loved Kris and Matt this week. OH by the way the reason there are 4 judges is because Paula is not planning on coming back for anouther season because last season the A holes at the show thought it’d be funny to let a man accused of stalking Paula, audition.

  33. Kris all the way!!!! It helps that I happen to totally be his best friend. Well, my brother’s girlfriend is his wife’s good friend…that counts, right? And, of course, this being Arkansas and all, my Memaw discovered we are distant cousins…no lie! He is a great super talented guy, don’t ya thing? Not to mention a great Christian. Bottom line…vote for Kris! Ok, done with my plug for Kris. Except…vote for Kris!

  34. What a strange week! Quentin is like a cartoon character with all that facial gesturing. Yeep! LOVED the term “guyliner” someone said about Adam. He is over the TOP! I agree, “INDULGENT”!! Anoop was awesome! Loved Kris! Lil better be in the bottom 2, at least! Thanks for the recap, BooMama! I look forward to it every Wednesday. DVR cut off when Lil was talking to Simon, was she sassy????

  35. My first linky experience. Love reading each week!

  36. My piano bench is still full of that sheet music I begged my Mama to buy me. I can only pull it out when I’m home alone. The song titles are just too embarrassing for public consumption.

  37. Trainwreckian is my new favorite “word.”

  38. So many thoughts are similar to mine! I love me some Kris! Did you notice that Danny was wearing his wedding ring for this performance…I about lost it when he sang “no one else will do.” Kris was my fave, but Danny tugged at my heart!

  39. Agree with most everything. i really like Adam, but he was a little Rocky Horror-ish, I do grant.

    What is with Lil? She has so much stinkin’ talent,but we’re just not seeing what she’s made of. To be fair though, I do think that she couldn’t please the judges if she tried.

    yeah, I’m worried about the Mattster. And lurved Kris’ moment.

  40. I had baseball last night so I’ missed the whole dern thing. Glad to know Kris was good-he is quickly becoming my fave.

  41. I was so looking forward to this because there are so many great songs from movies. But I only liked Danny and Kris. I loved the way Danny looked up at the end, seeming to be thinking of his wife in heaven.

    Allison’s song seemed way too low for her, and you’re right about the overwrought part.

    There’s something about Matt that just doesn’t jive with me. I do wish he wouldn’t let his lips touch the microphone — that’s just creepy to me.

    I don’t know WHAT’s going on with Lil lately. I hope she gets back in the zone soon.

    And I agree, two judges commenting seems more than enough. They still ran long and had to rush it at the end.

    I am getting so tired of Simon looking bored except when he is talking.

  42. I still like Anoop, and I think they are being WAY too hard on Lil. I liked her performance.

  43. I’m so glad I’m not the only one not in love with Adam Lambert. I just don’t get it. And I totally agree with those who said if anyone else did some of the things he did, the judges would have none of it, but for some reason they just drool all over themselves when it’s him.

    I loved Kris’ performance the best. He’s definitely my favorite, but I’m worried he’s going to go home soon.

    I think Lil is gone this week.

  44. I think that Matt will more than likely go home, bottom 3, I think will be Alison, Lil and Matt.

    Can’t wait to watch…

  45. Emma Kate says:

    Just sitting her laughing because your such an excellent critique. Oh yes, ma’am. What in the WORLD were you thinking when you let me sing “In a Little While…” in college. You so heard me practice and SHOULD have stopped me from taking it public! I do remember when trying to decide between that and that dreadfully high Sandy P. song — you gently said — thinking the lower one would be better! You think? Sweet Mercy!

  46. A.I. Tonight=nacho+cottage+limburger+ a little parmesan sprinkled on top=YUCK

    Adam=confused + confusing + indulgent + creepy & I don’t like his gray skinny jeans either, OR his eyeliner. Gimme a nice, clean cut, down to earth guy ANYDAY over TheaterMan. I am so over him. Can’t they send him to Broadway with Clay Aiken?

    Lil could sing in the beginning of the season, what happened?

    I like Danny, then Kris, then Matt. Alison is aight. Anoop is entirely too queso for me.