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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Rock Idol

Lambert-5.5.09.jpgThis has been the year of interesting mentors on "American Idol." From Quentin Tarantino to Jamie Foxx, we've come a long way since the days of Barry Manilow. And tonight was no exception as none other than Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash stopped by the "Idol" house to demonstrate some guitar licks and pass on some knowledge.

I have to admit, I didn't know too much about Slash before he showed up. He's obviously recognizable, with his curly hair and black hat, but who knew he actually spoke?! It turns out, Slash is actually a pretty down-to-earth guy and he had a lot of good advice to pass on. He started by making each contestant sing with his band, getting the feel for the rock vibe. And as we saw later in the show, this worked out better for some than it did for others.

It should also be noted that tonight was yet another first in a season of firsts that included a fourth judge, a judges' save and a Top 13. Besides the usual solo performances, tonight "Idol" introduced the first-ever duets! It's a fascinating concept, but it only worked out for two of the Top 4.

Without further ado, here's how the Top 4 handled their rock duties this week:

-Adam Lambert: Dressed from head to toe in black leather, and looking strikingly like Dave Navarro, Adam tackled Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." I was expecting him to tackle a song by someone with crazy vocals like Freddie Mercury from Queen or Justin Hawkins from The Darkness. But instead he tackled this song, which was good, but not great. He certainly worked the stage and hit all the high notes in his usual way, but it didn't seem that different from previous Adam performances. For some reason, the judges seem to have their Adam blinders on, and think whatever he does is amazing, regardless of what he actually sings. The majority of the judges called him a "rock star," while Simon said none of the others would be able to top him.

-Allison Iraheta: Our resident rocker decided to go all out tonight, first stopping by Adam's hairdresser to get herself "Adamfied." With her tousled ultra-pink hair, Allison took Adam's challenge and did a pretty good job of rocking the house herself. Singing Janis Joplin's "Cry Baby," she perfectly emulated several rock mannerisms while finding that confidence she's been looking for all season. Her voice was great, thought at one point I felt like I was in an Aerosmith video. Randy and Simon didn't like her song choice (with Simon saying she should have chosen something by Queen), while Kara and Paula loved the performance and her personality. Side note: I'm not sure it helped her chances too much when she started talking back to Simon. A little bit feisty is cute, while too much feisty is just obnoxious. This is a fact Ryan Seacrest realized as well, as he tried to shut her up before she said too much.

Duet #1: In the season's first duet, Kris and Danny were paired together for their rendition of "Renegade" by Styx. When I first heard there might be duets, I figured these two would be matched up. They're both quieter soft-rockers, and neither one of them could have handled singing with Adam. So before I even heard them sing, I approved of the pairing. But then I heard them sing, and it all went out the window. Individually their voices during this song weren't so good (maybe because the band was too loud), but Randy was on the money when he said their harmonies sounded awesome. Too bad we couldn't have cranked the speakers down a couple decibels so we could've heard those harmonies a little better. Advantage in this pairing goes to Danny, who showed a little more rock to his personality than Kris who seemed a little dejected. (Was it because the two couldn't pick a song until the last minute?)

-Kris Allen: Judging by his expression, Kris didn't seem to be excited about Rock Night. And based on the fact that he couldn't settle on his solo song either, he appeared a tad discouraged. But I was definitely rooting for him when I heard he was singing "Come Together" by the Beatles. It's too bad then that this song doesn't feature a lot of melodies, because that's when his voice really shines. And his voice is very mellow at times, so a chorus of guitars just seemed to drown him out. Simon compared this performance to "eating ice for lunch," where you leave with nothing to remember. I disagree, because I still think there were some good moments, but he may be in danger of going home.

-Danny Gokey: I was absolutely fascinated by which song Danny was going to choose for Rock Night. I figured he would play it safe, strip it all down, and sing maybe something by Phil Collins. But in the shocker of the week, Danny chose "Dream On" by Aerosmith. Slash said Gokey was gifted, but even he wondered how Danny would tackle those high notes at the end (because as you know, Danny isn't known for the notes in his upper register). The beginning of the song was classic Danny, as he quietly emoted into the camera, and I wondered if the chain around his neck was the only 'rocker' element we were going to see out of his performance. But then came the ending, an ending so horrendous, both Simon and I figured we had stumbled onto the set of a horror movie. Choosing to scream those last notes, Danny sounded more like he was being tortured, and it may have cemented Adam as the singer of the night.

Duet #2: Before the voting lines were opened, "Idol" unleashed the second duet of the night. This time we were treated to a performance from rockers Adam and Allison, who sang Foghat's "Slow Ride." As usual, Adam hit those intense dolphin notes, while Allison did her best impression of the lead singer from Heart. But for most of their song, the two just kept to their own sides of the stage. What was that all about? The judges didn't notice, though, and jumped so far on the Adam bandwagon that he should just start a new band called Adam and the Cowellettes.

What did you think of the Top 4? Was there one contestant who stood out the most? Is Adam as good as the judges think he is? And did you enjoy "Idol's" first round of duets, or were they just a waste of screen time? Post your comments below and tune in to an exciting results show Wednesday night with musical guests No Doubt and Daughtry! -Chris Sardelli


Posted by Chris on May 5, 2009 11:41 PM
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Adam is definetly as good as they say!!! He freakin rocked the stage! A rock god that's what he is! He does not get undeserved credit, he has been consistantly great! Adam ftw!

-- 1. Posted by: italjess at May 6, 2009 12:03 AM

Adam is even better than the judges ratings of him, mainly because after a while all the superlatives sound the same or lose their impact, while his vocals just continue to slay everyone. He's going to win the title by a landslide, though Allyson has definitely come on strong. Is she like the little horse on the Kentucky Derby, that came from nowhere to win. Who knows. Danny, squandered his big move from last week with a poor choice of song that I'll wonder forever how he chose. Was he trying to show he can do an "Adam" note? Silly and probably very damaging to his chances.
Kris is still too forgettable.

-- 2. Posted by: Steve at May 6, 2009 1:12 AM

Danny will go home tonight. He was the worst this week, as he was last week. I don't know what people like in this "wedding singer". He's records will be realy boring and no fun.

Adam and Allison were the best. Their duet was exceptional.

-- 3. Posted by: nick at May 6, 2009 8:26 AM

i think we had a little preview of the two persons that should really compete in the finals. C'mon, it's hands down ADAM and ALLISON after last night's performance. I just don't see Danny and Kris having that certain edge the way Adam and Allison possess(no offense) though they are good singers.

I'm just saying it would be a kickass finals if the two rockers go head to head.

Adam and Allsion to the end! \m/

-- 4. Posted by: genevieve at May 6, 2009 10:15 AM

Hahahahahahaha!!! Hihihihihihihi!!! Hohohohohohoho!!! We were all dying of laughter at horrible Gokey!!! He was trying to clone Adam as he himself said he's been learning from the performance of some one he didn't want to name. Everyone already has a clue who.
And last night he confirmed it and trying so hard: from looking and following the camera, to the swagger in the stage, to the conducting the band, trying to thank the band (with hand gestures when Ryan was talking with him and Kris) and the mimicking the signature "passaggio" of Adam.
But OMG! What HORROR!!! What a DISASTER!!! He totally completely failed miserably! We could not stop laughing. Hahahahahahaha!!! Hihihihihihihi!!! Hohohohohohoho!!!
Stay true to yourself Gokey. Don't trespass where you know it's not your turf. You believe in yourself too much you can do an Adam all the way. Know who you really are. Don't be a FAKE.
It shows your arrogance and insincerity. But thank you for giving us reasons to have a good laugh!!!
It's historic as the WORST final note on AI all 8 seasons!!!
By GOKEY! A poor classless Adam imitator.
See how Kara tried so hard to keep herself from bursting out laughing!

-- 5. Posted by: Eve at May 6, 2009 11:48 AM

Well, I was disappointed. I really was. I so looked forward to Rock night and Slash. Slash was fine, but the show otherwise sucked. Allison was great, but I would have rather heard her sing a Heart song, or at least something harder than Joplin. Kris did ok, but he should have chosen something toned down more. Something more acoustic. Danny was horrible. Way out of his league, the beginning was off, the ending was painful. And oh, lets get to the point I really want to make.

I'm really disappointed in the AI team this year. Unlike any other year I can remember, they are propping Adam up to win like no other. I say it every week, he's a good singer, and as many people who love him will hate him. But they've pulled no punches in trying to elevate him to the winners circle. He's performed last more often than any other contestant, the judges don't even try to hide their favoritism for him now, and last night he sang first AND last. Its like they're not even pretending to hide their push of him anymore.

Its disgusting. He'll win, he may have won on his own, but I'll forever question this show's campaign for him this year.

-- 6. Posted by: Andy at May 6, 2009 2:10 PM

All four have a solid future, appealing to different audiences. Some might be amused that a grandmother who favors classical music would be most impressed by Adam, but he astonished me clear back on country music night and has continued to do so each week. Why? He has incredible control of his voice, and is very aware of the music content available to him. He has strong ideas about the total performance, and is In Command in that sense. He knows who he is and what he wants to do but, in a competition with several styles, he has created his take on it every week, like it or not. The others are learning fast, but this guy already has his PhD.

-- 7. Posted by: Gramma at May 6, 2009 7:47 PM

It is science that deals with an observation, and then uses facts, reason, and logic to deduce the story of what happened in the past. ,

-- 8. Posted by: Faggot21 at October 22, 2009 9:13 AM

Morgan Freeman, to do the wrong thing. ,

-- 9. Posted by: Barbara93 at October 23, 2009 7:42 AM

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