This is where you'll find the live, East Coast (8pm e/7pm c) recap for the "American Idol" Year You Were Born theme night. Hope you like feel-good adult contemporary hits from the 80s… all we need now is a Casey Kasem cameo!
First and foremost, the judges have stopped entering the studio a la Bob Barker on the Price is Right. Thank gawd that has come to an end. Then we get to awww along to all the judges' baby pictures. They judges make jabs at each other. The audience pretends to be amused. My new name for Seacrest is Bugs Bunny. Har har.
Danny Gokey – “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King (Mickey Gilley version)
Danny Gokey is the oldest contestant. He was born in 1980, which is like, practically ancient. I just want to preface this by saying this song was originally from the '60s but Danny is singing the re-tooled version that was jazzed up a bit for the Urban Cowboy lovers of the world. Which is kind of cheating, but it seems like I'm the only one who really cares. But all in all, he did a good job.
Randy says he didn't love the arrangement but he loved him regardless. He reminds us that this is a vocal talent show, which made the tweens scratch their heads in confusion. Paula liked the creative liberties he took and Simon questions her sanity. Simon thought it was "great" overall, even though parts of it were lazy. Oh, Danny. Do you ever stop smiling?
Kris Allen – “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” by Don Henley
Kris makes me cringe with his grammar, but makes up for it with his modesty. He was born in 1985, and dreamed of being a taxi driver when he was little. Hey, I wanted to be a monkey. So there ya go. Right away, Kris has definitely taken liberties with this song. He's brought in a hoard of trumpets while playing electric guitar in the "mosh" pit. I do get the feeling that he's hoping this turned out to be a much more moshable song than it actually is. But hey, if he played it at a wedding, it would make all the older aunts and grandmas get jiggy.
Kara is a huge fan and liked seeing an up-tempo song… but… that was too high school music class. Paula once again talks before she thinks and rambles about the "melodically same note" or whatever. Simon called it indulgent, which is his favorite word of the season. He was disappointed because Kris came off as a guitar player rather than a singer. Randy is redundant, as he is the fourth judge to talk.
Lil Rounds – “What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Tina Turner
I love how Lil's mom is trying to explain her daughter's name but ends up pronouncing it "Leel." Lil chose a much better song this week. It's better for two reasons: it's not Celine Dion, and it's got the pan flute. Life is good. I'm also digging this week's wig much better than the past few weeks. Those wigs were straight out of a mall kiosk. Sadly, Lil didn't show off quite enough leg to do Tina justice. Oh yeah, and her voice was nice too.
Paula agrees that she looks hot and wanted Lil to prove herself as an artist. But she mumbles about niches and karaoke and bigness and whatnot. My eyes glazed. Simon interprets… it was a third-rate version of Tina Turner. He feels they've lost her and she's not making an impact. Cue the tears in three… two… one. Randy says she's mad, mad talented and really real. Then he compares her to Mary J. Blige again. Kara gets all technical. We've all stopped caring about Kara by this point anyway.
Anoop Desai – “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper
Anoop finally admits that he was acting like a douche after last week's performance. But it's hard to take him seriously with his country club sweater. He was apparently born on the same day as David Cook, but thankfully not the same year. That would have tainted David a little. So Anoop decides to sing a Cyndi Lauper song, which actually does take a few cajones. Is it bad that the entire time I was thinking about that one scene from Napoleon Dynamite?
Randy liked Anoop. It's always funny when Randy says "you can ACTUALLY sing" like he wasn't actually sure before now. Paula called him magical and compared him to a rainbow. Simon thinks he's a singing yo-yo because he's constantly up and down. He didn't think it was fantastic, and I for one agree. And for the record, Simon doesn't care if Anoop gets mean and defensive. Of course, Simon is the only one who actually welcomes animosity.
Scott MacIntrye – “The Search is Over” by Survivor
Not only did America dodge a train when Scott decided to not be a train conductor, but apparently he's also a big fan of spookiness. And no, that's completely separate from his spooky song this week. He's nasal voice does nothing for this already-cheesy song. Don't even get me started on his attempt to look hip and cool with the electric guitar strapped to his chest. OH DEAR LORD what was that high note all about?! Well, if the American Idol studio was haunted before, I'm guessing the ghosts have decided to jump ship after this.
Kara commends him for playing the guitar, but felt that a few parts were over-ambitious. Yo, I second that. Paula is pleased to see him from away from the piano but seems like she's talking to a toddler who wants to be a rock star when they grow up. Simon suggests he go back to the piano. Why, little girls in the audience, are you booing that? Scott looks pissed when Simon disses his guitar playing. You can insult his vocals, but apparently you can't mess with Scott's instrumentals. Randy thought it was all just OK. Yup.
Allison Iraheta – “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – by Bonnie Raitt
I feel old. I remember when this song came out. It's just another reminded that I have no girlfriend and no family in the foreseeable future. But I do have my giant TV and a case of Bud Light. Back to Allison, this song was way better than anything else she's done in the Top 12. It was probably the best pick for her voice. No offense, Bonnie Raitt, but Allison made your song a little bit better just now.
Paula can't put a price tag on her talent, and says she's a perfect example of a contestant making the song their own. Simon thought it was very good. FTW! He just wants to make her more likable. Allison seems confused as to whether she should be a fake happy-go-lucky teenager or just be her same emo self. Randy reminds us that Kelly Clarkson was just as awkward, but that she could sing her face off. Damn skippy. Kara wants to just go ahead and let Allison make a record.
Matt Giraud – “Part Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder
Matt has brought back his super cool jazz/blues/Rat Pack hat. And I'm kind of digging it. I'm also digging his version of this song. I really wish Matt would get the recognition he deserves. He's no Justin Timberlake quite yet, but he's got definite potential to be an awesome recording artist.
Randy says vocally it was one of the best of the night. Kara says incredible. Paula stands up. Simon says well done. Do I sense that they're running a wee bit long today?
Adam Lambert – “Mad World” by Tears for Fears
Adam's dad still seems pisse
d that Adam was more interesting in dressing up himself as a lifesize Barbie doll that as a sports hero. Get over it, dad. Adam gets all moody with the lighting and the single spotlight, but it totally makes sense with the sing. Adam proves once again that his vocals are above and beyond everyone else in the competition. And it almost makes me like Tears for Fears. Paula is either really excited or her "vitamins" just kicked in. Nice job, Lamb Chop.
Simon says they're out of time but he speaks a million words with a standing ovation. And the curtain closes! Holy crap. Simon never stands. That's, like, monumental.
Based on the judges' comments, it's probably going to be Lil, Scott, and Kris in the bottom three. Do you agree? Disagree? Care less? And is anybody out there excited for Kellie Pickler to return?!