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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Quentin's Song

Danny-Gokey2.jpgKnowing that tonight's theme was going to be Movie Music, there was only one thought that went through my head. Please, please, please don't let any of the contestants choose Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing." This song is carted out every season (last year it was tackled by David Cook), and I didn't want to hear it again. So imagine my surprise (or lack thereof) when Allison Iraheta jumped on stage and started belting the Steven Tyler classic.

And that's pretty indicative of how "Idol's" movie music night went, as contestant after contestant rolled out familiar ballads and overused movie standards. But even though most of the night was pretty predictable, there was at least one shining "out-of-the-box" moment, and no, it's not the person you're thinking.

The night began with the introduction of this week's mentor. Usually it's a famous musician who either has a new album coming out or is going on tour, but this time was a little different. In keeping with the night's theme, the lucky (or not) contestants were treated to director Quentin Tarantino, he of "Pulp Fiction" fame. And after watching this dude speak for about three minutes, I had only one question: what the??? Tarantino was talking so fast, at times I couldn't understand him and believed he had slipped into a language only he could follow. From here on out we'll call it Tarantino-speak, which is quite similar to another foreign language I've picked up on "Idol," Abdulish. (Can you just imagine the crazy conversation Paula and Quentin would have together? I'm pretty sure there would be hand gestures and talk about people's "colors," but I digress...)

But before the performers were given the stage, Ryan said the critiques would be shaken up this week. As a result of the show running long last week, only two judges would comment on a particular contestant, and the pair would alternate as the show went on. (It's funny to note then, that despite all these "precautions," the show STILL ran 4 minutes too long. I'm betting that "fourth judge" idea isn't sounding so hot now is it? Especially with all those rabid "Fringe" fans anxiously waiting for their show to begin!)

Here's how the night's performances measured up:

Allison Iraheta- The 16-year-old with the pink hair was up to bat first. As you know by now, she sang the hit song from the movie "Armageddon," a.k.a. that movie where Bruce Willis tries to drill for oil in space. Or something. (Actually, it's a good movie, but the premise is pretty ridiculous. And before you start leaving me comments, yes I know they weren't drilling for oil, but were instead trying to blow up an asteroid. Now can we please get back to my review? Sheesh...) I thought Allison actually sounded like she was fighting a cold this week, and the song seemed almost tuneless in points, but the judges loved her anyway. Paula said she possessed "the same special sauce" as Adam, though no one knew exactly what she meant. Then Simon praised her with a non-compliment as he said she was the girls' only hope left in the competition. But that's not saying much since she's one of two girls left in the competition. I think she'll land in the bottom three despite the audience reaction tonight.

Anoop Desai- This is the second week in a row that Anoop "I don't ever smile when I'm singing" Desai brought the house down. Singing the Bryan Adams' hit "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" from the movie "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," Anoop hit all his notes flawlessly. I'm not quite sure he used Tarantino's advice to "rough" the song up, but he did seem to pack more emotion in it this time. Both Randy and Kara liked his performance, with Kara commenting that the key to Anoop's success is picking pop songs and putting a soulful edge on them. He may not have enough personality to win, though, and may end up in the bottom again.

Adam Lambert- It's hard to critique Adam. I mean, he's obviously good. He hits notes only Mariah Carey and a select group of dolphins off the coast of Hawaii can even reach, and he changes up his style every week (this week he was Alternate Universe Elvis, if he had become an emo rocker!!). He manages to rock the stage every week with different techniques. Last week it was a blue backlit stage and a simple chair. This week it was bright seizure lights, dancing back-up singers and electronic echoes. With all those elements combined I felt that if Adam were to tour the world tomorrow, he'd be an absolute smash in the Japanese pop world. Can't you just picture hordes of people singing along to a karaoke version of tonight's song, "Born to Be Wild" from the movie "Easy Rider?" But this may be the first year I actually don't like the best singer. He's a little too odd for my taste and I worry that the reason viewers like him now will not help him sell records in the real world. Simon said it best, saying it reminded him of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Matt Giraud- Oh, you little Justin Timberlake clone. What can I say about you? You're a very good singer. You can play the piano very well. And you seem to have the whole pop-soul-rocker vibe down. But there seems to be a slight disconnect between you and the audience and I think you're going to fall into the bottom this week. It didn't help when you lost your way halfway through another Bryan Adams song, "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" That "pitchiness" may be your downfall tonight.

Danny Gokey- Singing "Endless Love" from the movie of the same name, Danny tried to break out of his ballad box and rock the house! Actually, no, he didn't. Tried and true Danny sang us yet another unbelievably well-performed ballad, barely changing the melodies. I agree with Paula and Simon who both said he did a great job singing, but I agree with Simon a little more strongly as he said he felt disappointed. He reminded everyone about how creative David Cook was last year, and how Danny's version fell short because it was so predictable. In fact, I'd say that comment applied to almost everyone this year. I'm kinda hoping someone will break out with something big soon!

Kris Allen- Here's that moment of unpredictability I was waiting for! Kris chose the only contemporary song of the night, with 2008's Best Song Oscar winner with "Falling Slowly" from the movie "Once." It's a quirky, slow-building song that I already liked and was pleased to hear on the "Idol" stage. With his guitar in hand, and odd facial gestures, I was reminded of a Mr. Jason Castro from last year. I felt like this was his breakout performance, much like Castro's "Hallelujah" was last year. And Kris seems to be the only one who wants to try anything new each week, with the exception of Matt Giraud. I think Kris will stick around this week.

Lil Rounds- Our last singer of the night is probably the one who is most in trouble. Lil has constantly been beat up by the judges and tonight was no exception. For some reason she sang "The Rose," which did not suit her voice. Which means she once again picked a song that isn't even close to the style she should be singing. But she could've made up for that if she sang it well, but it all seemed a little strained. Paula babbled something about "sometimes the road is really long," but Simon made it clear when he said "you're not the artist we met eight weeks ago." It's very possible Lil could be in danger this week.

BEST GUESS: It seems like status quo to say Danny and Adam rocked their respective songs, but Kris did a good job as well. I'm guessing even though Allison was praised by the judges, she'll be in the Bottom Three. And I'm pretty sure Matt and Lil will join her, with Lil probably going home.

So, did the contestants create magic with their movie songs, or did it all leave you a little flat? Does it feel like déjà vu when the contestants seem to be singing the same songs in the same style every week? Who should go home this week and who will win the crown? Leave your comments below and tune in for the results show on Wednesday night with guest performances from Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson! -Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on April 15, 2009 12:07 AM
Permalink |

OMG! I cannot believe your commentary, "He's a little too odd for my taste and I worry that the reason viewers like him now will not help him sell records in the real world." Are you referring to his ability to sing or be versatile or perform on stage because God forbid we would want any of those things in the real world. Get real... Why don't you say what you really mean next time. Sad reviewer and sad review. Adam Rocked it tonight!

-- 1. Posted by: PhDude at April 15, 2009 12:54 AM

Adam killed. No one else came close. Best singer, best entertainer, and he's the only one on the show this season whose concerts I would go to or whose records I would buy--I'm buying them now on Itunes!

-- 2. Posted by: Ulze at April 15, 2009 1:58 AM

Adam is in his own league in this competition. Never will he have trouble selling records. I think the producers of Idol see $$$$ when Adam performs. Probably already spending the big bucks. That's pretty confident.

-- 3. Posted by: Cathy at April 15, 2009 10:52 AM

Adam is in his own league in this competition. Never will he have trouble selling records. I think the producers of Idol see $$$$ when Adam performs. Probably already spending the big bucks. That's pretty confident.

-- 4. Posted by: Cathy at April 15, 2009 10:53 AM

anyone seen Brian DePalma's PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE? Adam is a ringer for the very gay rocker. Adam will be a star with or without American Idol, my favorites are Kris and Allison.

-- 5. Posted by: arggie at April 15, 2009 12:25 PM

Well I've said it before on this site, and I'll say it again. Adam just doesn't connect with me. I think he's a 50/50 guy. Half of us will like/love him, and will probably buy his records. The other half, me included, will probably not ever buy anything from him.

He just leaves me wanting more times than he connects with me. And his over-confidence is beginning to get to me. Don't get me wrong, I think this guy can sing. I think given the right band, he'd be one heck of a rock band lead singer. But the way he does things now, he belongs in the opera. At best he's a "My Chemical Romance" clone.

-- 6. Posted by: Andy at April 15, 2009 2:39 PM

Get off of Adam. He is good but only for a hard metal band. He isn't versitile in that he can't sing country, pop, or ballads without screwing it up and having to scream in parts and flash the seizure lights to compliment it. He is a decent singer but he is not the best there is. Danny Kris and Matt are the best vocalists on the show. hands down. They can sing normal songs and are not over the top. Adam is just painful to watch. I agree with the reviewer here to think that he will not be able to sell records to a wide audience after this show. Only head banging scream-o fans. If i had to pick my favorite it would have to be Kris. He actually(like Quentin said) picked a song that was from a movie and not a song that everybody knew that happened to be in a movie. He also blew that song out of the water. It also shows his musical education and shows that he isn't choosing from itunes top download lists for his songs. Also i want to add that i think Lil's time has run out. The big black girl voice only goes so far in this type of competition. She'll be running the Baptist church circuit in no time after the tour. Singing for churches is about as far as her audience goes. Thanks for your time and input.

-- 7. Posted by: Listener at April 15, 2009 5:52 PM

Just to set the record straight -- the song IDWTMAT was chosen FOR David Cook, not BY David Cook --as one of *3* songs he had to do solo that week (not including medleys/groups)in another 90-120 second performance. This year the show is running long in part because contestants are singing longer (or so it SEEMS - ha!)-- just reminding everyone how hard it is to go from 0 to 100 in under 2 min. DC's "Hello" performance is 90 sec long -- Billy Jean, believe it or not, comes in under 2 min. Born to Be Wild last night was just over 2 min.

-- 8. Posted by: DavidFan at April 16, 2009 8:18 AM

so informative, thanks to tell us.

-- 9. Posted by: DedoVioheds at September 29, 2010 10:42 PM

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