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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Download This!

Allison-Iraheta.jpgAt no time did I ever pay admission. I have not eaten any corn dogs or cotton candy. And I definitely haven't seen any animatronic pirates. So why then do I feel like I'm at an amusement park? Oh yeah, it must be because each week's crop of performances has felt more like a roller coaster than any season before.

Seriously, how can we go from one week where Alexis Grace outshines her competition, to Little Miss Black Dress getting the boot? How is it that Adam Lambert tears the house down with his simple, stripped-down version of "Tracks of My Tears" last week to Amateur Hour at the Karaoke Bar this week? Even Megan interrupted several weeks of badness to sing a pretty good version of "Rockin Robin" a couple episodes ago. The same can be said for Allison (awesome last week, decidedly less so this week), Scott (blasted from marginal to remarkable in seven days) and Anoop (who's bounced so far up and down the "power list" he might as well be riding a pogo stick).

Taking all that into account, my list of favorites changed once again this week, and a person who I thought I'd never like, rose straight to the top. Here's a rundown of tonight's performances for Most Popular iTunes Downloads Night:

Anoop Desai- Fan favorite Anoop-Dogg kicked off the night with Usher's "Caught Up." It suited his groovy R&B style, but it probably wasn't the best choice for him. But seeing as how his vocals are consistently good, I'm beginning the think the problem with Anoop is his stage presence. It started out great, with the backup singers starting in front of him and then sliding off to the side. I've seen him move around the stage a little bit, but I'm not sure I've really seen him have fun. Plus, when was the last time he actually smiled during his song?

Megan Joy- Even though this warbler dropped her last name (bye bye Corkrey!), she has yet to improve in this competition. I agree with the judges that she's just not picking good songs that suit her unique voice, as evidenced by her latest choice "Turn Your Lights Down Low" by Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill. Randy had a good point when he said just because you like a song, doesn't mean you should sing it. And man, she couldn't sing it. It was tuneless to the point of being painful and at points even she looked like she was wincing. Despite being bulletproof to criticism and somehow staying out of the Bottom Three, I think she'll land there this week. (But, Megan, if for some reason you make it through to next week, please stop the potty dances!)

Danny Gokey- Now here's an example of choosing the right song. Danny "Mr. Stylish Shades" Gokey sang Rascall Flatts' "What Hurts the Most." He switched up some of the melodies (to great effect) and had some pretty nice runs, which almost made me forget some of the shoutier portions of the song. Plus, he stayed true to the song and brought out a violinist. Nice touch. (By the way, where do all these musicians come from? Is there a giant machine in the back packed full of musicians, and anytime a contestant needs some musical accompaniment they go back there and pick them up with a giant claw? I'm just sayin'...) Judging by the crowd's standing ovation, plus some nice comments from the judges, I think Danny is safe for another week.

Allison Iraheta: Looking like a combination of Hannah Montana and one of Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Girls, Allison walked on stage with bright pink bedhead, and an outfit that puzzled Randy. But despite the strange clothes, which I'm sure didn't puzzle the hordes of tweens out there who probably already own something from that ensemble, I thought Allison did a great job. Breaking out guitar skills we never knew she had, Ms. Iraheta showed off some nice vocals on No Doubt's "Don't Speak." She switched up some notes near the end and showed off some of that Allison confidence we all know and (maybe) love. This should help her through another week, especially after catching everyone's attention during last week's show. (My favorite moment this week, though, was when Paula decided to use musician lingo and call Allison's guitar an "axe.")

Scott MacIntyre: With his newly slicked up Wolfman hairdo, Scott finally let go of all his nervousness and proved that he's actually really good! He sang Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" and slowed it down in true Scott style. It was great to see him show confidence, and some of his notes were amazing. The judges liked it too, calling it his best performance in the competition. (And proving she's either finally paying attention or that she's finally hired a writer, Paula complimented Scott on his legato technique, which is musical speak for the ability to transition smoothly between notes.)

Matt Giraud: I'd like to say he won't be in the bottom three, but I'd just be fooling myself. I think Matt's problem is that he doesn't connect well with the audience, and tonight's song choice probably won't help. Not to say it's a bad song (I really liked The Fray's "You Found Me"), but it wasn't right for him, especially with all those low notes in the beginning. Couple that with his weird choice to play in the crowd, and also his choice to rock what looked like a Members Only Jacket, Matt probably didn't do himself any favors. And that's too bad, because he's one of the best singers on the show.

Lil Rounds: To quote the Bumblebee Man from "The Simpsons," Aye, Aye, Aye, No Me Gusta! I know Lil can sing, I've even heard her sing. But she just refuses to sing anything fun. Or young. Or that matches her vocal style. Simon was spot on with his critique that instead of Celine Dion's "I Surrender," she should have chosen U2's "One" which Mary J. Blige once covered. Their point is that if she has vocal chops that match Ms. Blige, why won't she try them out on something newer and more fun? Maybe Randy hugging one of her daughters will earn her some votes, but Lil needs to hurry up and change her style before voters lose interest.

Adam Lambert: This guy goes through more costume changes than the whole cast of a Broadway musical. And he's completely mastered the Steven Tyler/Mick Jagger swagger/ability to kick over mic stands. Plus, he has an almost perfect voice. But that doesn't mean that he's not an odd contestant. I give him credit for his established style, but I didn't think his rendition of Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music" was even remotely close to his song from last week. (It may not matter since the crowd was on their feet. Looks like we have a favorite to win!)

Kris Allen: Taking the prize for most improved contestant, as well as the trophy for "Where the Heck Did This Come From?," is Kris Allen. This was definitely the best performance of the night, with his interesting arrangement and excellent piano skills on "Ain't No Sunshine." Plus, his voice has never sounded better. Somehow Kris has gone from bottom of the pack to serious contender for the Idol crown. And I think he may have just edged himself onto the list of Best Idol Performances (though only time will tell on that one. Let's see how we all feel about it next week.) I agree with Kara that he showed his artistry.

BEST GUESS: I think the top three of the night are clearly Kris, Danny and Scott. As for the bottom three, I'm guessing Megan will finally make an appearance. And going off of tonight's songs, Matt and Lil may join her. But I've been surprised every week, so we'll just see what happens.

After all those performances, did Top Downloads week have you racing to iTunes to buy some songs, or were you just racing for your mute button? Did Scott have a better week this week? Will Megan finally tumble into the Bottom Three? And is anyone else thinking it's shaping up to be a Kris vs. Adam showdown in the finale? Post some comments below and I'll see you back here Wednesday night for your results, plus performances by David Cook (yay!) and Lady Gaga (yikes!).-Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on March 31, 2009 11:51 PM
Permalink |

To compare Adam this week with last week is like trying to compare apples to oranges. "Play that effin' Music" vs "Tracks of my Tears"? C'mon now, seriously!! This dude is flat-out dominant over the others in both vocal abilities and stage presence. I've never seen/heard anything like this and I'm 43 years old lol.

-- 1. Posted by: LiVinon3x at April 1, 2009 12:54 AM

Danny in the top three and adam not, you must be joking. Gokey is bad, Adam gonna win this whole damn thing.

Voted of are Megan or Scott

-- 2. Posted by: Remmez at April 1, 2009 4:57 AM

Adam's first choice of song, Crazy was not approved. Given that Adam had only 24 hours to practice Play the Funky Music, props should be given to him.

-- 3. Posted by: Angelbones at April 1, 2009 12:13 PM

Adam's first choice of song, Crazy was not approved. Given that Adam had only 24 hours to practice Play the Funky Music, props should be given to him.

-- 4. Posted by: Angelbones at April 1, 2009 12:13 PM

adam's performances every week surprises me... but in a way it gives me of an impression that what he can do only is scream and give his pointing tune...tracks of my tears performance was not that good because really it sounds like the original, smokey sang it like that...though he's good, i'm a fan but i could see in the future that matt geraud, danny gokey or the constant cris would sell more records...they do variety of cool performances...

-- 5. Posted by: ardastra at April 3, 2009 9:41 PM

I'm sorry Simon, but the game has passed you by. You look absolutely flabby when your wearing your see-through white t-shirts. You are actually hard to look at and forces my wife and daughter to hold up there hands and mask your lower half. I know in England your probably considered quite a classy guy, but the fact is your just old and I bounce between thinking tone deaf or just plain hateful. So in retrospect, here are some tips: don't touch your face when your on camera, wear thicker shirts, even if you like the feel of light material, consider even Cher looked bad showing her southern cheeks at the Academy Awards, most important work out, transparent white t-shirts over a flabby back ground isn't family programming, it's just plain offensive, and finally stop fondling Paula, if you've got something going, get a room. But you're suppose to be paying attention to the contestants. Please take these suggestions seriously.

-- 6. Posted by: svduran1 at April 4, 2009 1:42 PM

Adam definitely has the rock star thing going for him; he is definitely a force to be reckoned with this season

-- 7. Posted by: coffee maker at April 6, 2009 1:58 AM

simon u suck u r mean but somehow i love u!!! randy u r a cute judge and okay paula u r nice pretty and beautiful judge u reall y like simon thats y yall r always fighting sign me up for american idol

-- 8. Posted by: Anonymous at April 18, 2009 10:54 AM

Hi guys, appreciate all your comments. I'm dedicating my next performance to all of you guys who have shown their support. I'm taking votes...What would you like me to sing next week?

-- 9. Posted by: Adam at April 23, 2009 1:47 AM

so informative, thanks to tell us.

-- 10. Posted by: DedoVioheds at September 29, 2010 8:54 PM

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