Thursday, April 9, 2009

American Idol Top 8

I watched both the American Idol performances and results in succession last night, so my tardy review allows me to discuss both aspects of this week's show.

Nearly every bit of television entertainment I watch is recorded on our DVR. Even when I want to watch American Idol on the correct night, I'll wait until at least 30 minutes past showtime before starting to watch so I can fast-forward through the commercials. I know I am not alone, and I also know that people like us make advertisers very angry. But don't you worry, they'll find other ways to reach us. I'm already noticing changes to the commercials themselves which seem to make an impact even on fast-forward, or contain images that are designed to make you want to rewind and watch it. The evolution of advertising.

Anyway, the reason I mention this is that Tuesday night's show went into overtime--perhaps because a little too much time was spent making not-very-funny jokes about the judges' and Ryan Seacrest's baby photos at the beginning--and the DVR entirely missed recording the final performance. This spot in the lineup happened to belong to one Adam Lambert, the performance I most look forward to each week because it is always by far the most interesting. I was very disappointed.

Thank goodness for YouTube, then, as moments ago I was able to sneak a peek at the performance which I understand received only a standing ovation from Simon Cowell himself, in lieu of any adjudication from the judges, as the clock ticked into Fringe's season premiere. Simply put, Adam Lambert is a brilliant artist, talented vocalist, and hasn't made a wrong choice yet as far as I'm concerned. Take a listen to this, and remember that it comes from the same man who sang that insane arrangement of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire (I re-posted audio-only since the video was removed).


The rest of the contestants were okay--no other standouts this week in my opinion. Even Kris Allen's performance really fell flat. It was just kind of sloppy, and really boring. Matt Giraud's song also seemed off to me, but the judges loved it. Danny Gokey managed to make "Stand by Me," a relatively boring song, interesting by choosing a creative arrangement. Anoop bounced back from last week's trainwreck with a soft ballad, "True Colors." He was technically proficient, but the song was yawn-worthy.

Allison did justice to a great song, "I Can't Make You Love Me." Her voice is recognizably unique, which is more than I can say about Lil Rounds. She would be a great backup singer, because she can sing in tune and hit big, high notes, but to me, she just doesn't stand out as a star soloist. Scott MacIntyre isn't good enough to sell albums either. But he took a big leap and moved away from his comfortable piano bench, accompanying himself with an electric guitar this week. I thought that might have been just the right bold move to keep this sight-impaired contestant around for another week, but it turns out I was wrong.

Scott got the boot last night (although softened by Paula Abdul's heartfelt speech to his inspirational journey), with Anoop and Lil by his side in the bottom three. Surprisingly, this was Lil's first time in the bottom three (but I doubt she'll be able to escape it anymore). Anoop, on the other hand, is no stranger to those uncomfortable silver stools.

The problem immediately facing Anoop Desai is that his likability is waning, and that quality alone rescued him from some very poor performances. After each mistake, he manages to rebound with a performance worthy of redemption, only to throw it away again the following week. The emerging predictability of this pattern leads me to believe we can expect another bomb next week. And I don't mean that in the context of "da bomb."

But last night while he stood next to Scott, awaiting Ryan's pronouncement of their respective fates, Anoop did a very poor job of disguising his anger at us viewers for not having voted for him. Maybe he was just mad at himself, but his evident frustration came across as arrogance, which is unbecoming to say the least. Contrasted with Scott's beaming smile--happy to have simply been a part of such an amazing journey--the effect Anoop's expression had on his consumer appeal was intensified. Apparently there was also buzz about him talking back to the judges last week, and anyone who had forgotten or might not have noticed (that's me) was made full aware when Ryan Seacrest asked Anoop about it Tuesday night, basically forcing him to apologize on stage before his performance. This all adds up to a risky situation for Anoop, so he'd better pull himself together. If he can't lose the ambiance of conceit, he'd better step up some serious game on the singing front.

The remaining 7 contestants are easily divided: Lil, Anoop, and Matt will all leave the competition before Danny, Adam, Kris, and Allison. I believe Adam will be in the final showdown, but I can see him accompanied by any of those remaining three. My official prediction at this point for order of elimination is: Anoop, Lil, Matt, Danny, Allison--leaving Kris and Adam to battle for the title. But my opinion could easily change as the weeks progress.

While we're talking about results for the first time, I want to say that I am so happy that Megan Corkery was finally released from her unfortunate position in the top 10. That girl brought shame to the organization and all it stands for. It seemed as if she knew that on the night she was sent home. The only person I do wish was still around is Alexis Grace. That cute little blondie with the big voice could take Lil's place and I would be very pleased.


Bridget said...

Your writeups are so interesting. Maybe I should be watching this show...

Kristen said...

You probably have way more important things to do. :P But I really appreciate the positive feedback. Sometimes it's hard to get started writing a weekly gig like this.


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