Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight!
This night was not the trainwreck we expected because most of the contestants avoided the cliches inherent in the genre. There were no utter disasters tonight. And yes, as Randy said, this is probably our strongest vocal top 7 in the show’s history.
And they finished the show on time! (Like that should even be noted but it has to after the past two weeks.)
Who should go home: Lil Rounds Matt Giraud
Who will go home Wednesday: Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud
Bottom three: Lil Rounds, Allison Iraheta, Matt Giraud (because Anoop should be okay given his pimp spot locale. But I’m getting busy signals for Allison at 9:07 p.m. That’s a good sign for her. Then again, Lil is getting busy signals, too.)
Ranking: 1- Kris 2- Danny 3- Anoop 4- Allison 5- Matt 6- Adam 7- Lil Rounds
Note that Dialidol has tended to underestimate Kris’s support (no text messaging) and overestimate Lil Rounds. Very tight on dialidol in the early minutes.
First up: Lil Rounds (”I’m Every Woman” Chaka Khan). She decided to play it safe by taking on a nugget that several Idols have already sung, most notably Vonzell Solomon. I considered suggesting this song last Friday on my blog of song choices but figured it was too well worn. Ultimately, it’s been her smartest move so far. It hits the best part of her vocal range and she does it with aplomb and confidence. This is a strongest day since God knows when but is it enough with two eliminations tomorrow? Randy: “You can definitely can sing but didn’t show us what kind of artist you can do at this point of the competition.” Kara: “You’ve been every other woman except yourself.” Paula: “You didn’t quite hit the boiling point but it was a remarkable recovery.” Simon: “I think this is going to be the last week we’re ever going to see you. There was no originality.” Lil Rounds: “I had fun tonight.”
Second up: Kris Allen (”She Works Hard for the Money” Donna Summer). Huh? Okay. I did suggest a Donna Summer song last Friday (”Dim All the Lights”). Let’s see what he can do. He does it in John Mayer-ish style with his signature guitar. It’s actually not bad. Exciting? No. But he definitely, ulp, made it his own. Love the bongos! I prefer this version over Donna Summer’s and I love Donna Summer. Kara: You took a real risk with that arrangement. It paid off big time.” Paula: “It showed your originality.” Simon: “It was well thought out. That was not karaoke.” Randy: “You are ready for the big time. Amazing!”
Third up: Danny Gokey (”September” Earth, Wind & Fire). Yah! This was the first song I thought he should do and he picked it! It just fit him. He’s doing his George Michael thing with that three-day growth and the leather jacket. Lots of energy and a great vocal as always. He puts his gospel feel to it and it works. Better than Anwar’s version four years ago. Randy: “You turned this into something that worked for you.” Kara: “Your pitch is always right on.” Paula: “You have one of the sexiest voices ever.” Simon: “As a performance, I didn’t get any star power. At this stage, that’s what you have to do something special. It was a bit awkward and clumsy.”
Fourth: Allison Iraheta (”Hot Stuff” Donna Summer) - Yes! This was the first song I suggested for Allison. Two for four! I thought this one could be “rocked up” and she’s doing it. Her fashion sense is questionable, even for disco. She does a good job as always. Transcendent? No. But good enough, I fathom. Randy: “You’re one of the best singers in the competition. You always prove my point. You can really sing. I didn’t love the arrangement but I love you.” Kara: “Making it slower hurt it. Donna won a Grammy for the rock performance… from a singing perspective, that was a 9/10.” Paula: “The word compromise does not fit in your vocal vocabulary, blah, blah, blah.” Simon: “That was a brilliant performance.”
Fifth: Adam Lambert (”If I Can’t Have You” Yvonne Ellimon) – I didn’t suggest this song to anybody because I thought it didn’t have enough vocal dynamics. I did suggest “Stayin’ Alive,” off the same soundtrack for Adam. He goes back to his ballad mode. He slows it down big time. It’s a bit overwrought and indulgent. Randy: “You are ready right now. Here’s a hot one tonight America!” Kara: “You’re brilliant.” Paula: “You chose a disco and not make it cliche. I felt your pain.” Simon: “I was going to put $10,000 you’d do Donna Summer. You did something we weren’t expecting… it was original. I had never heard that song like that. You’ll remember it. The vocals were immaculate.”
Sixth: Matt Giraud (”Stayin’ Alive” Bee Gees) -I picked this song for Adam Lambert. But maybe Matt needs the title more. He doesn’t bother working the falsetto (much). Smart. He does his weekly Justin Timberlake soulful/rock thang. It’s pretty good. He’s very vocally dextrous. Randy: “Bad stuff first. Didn’t love song choice. Didn’t love the arrangement. But you can really sing.” Kara: “It was a solid performance.” Paula: “You pick songs like I bowl. Sometimes you throw gutter balls and you throw strikes. You threw a strike… You’re staying.” Simon: “I’m sorry to put a damper. I didn’t like that performance. You’ve got to get out of Idol land and get in real world. It came off as a bit desperate.”
Pimp spot: Anoop Desai (”Dim All the Lights” Donna Summer) I suggested this one for Danny but Anoop can handle it, too. This is right up Anoop’s alley. A bit soulful, has some slow points and a faster point. He looks better and less fratboy like with a bit of hair growth, too. Randy: Not a fan of arrangement again but he loved the vocals. Kara: “I thought it was a good song choice. It sounded like it could be on the radio. Last two weeks. Best performances. You’re hitting your stride.” Paula: “The look tonight. You look fantastic. Real men know how to wear pink.” Simon: “That was mediocre at best. A horrible version of that song. In my opinion, that was your worst performance by a mile.”