American Idol 8

American Idol Recap – 4/21/09

Sometimes the show is just better without a mentor. I mean, did Quentin Tarantino really add much to the show last week other than comedic value for his awful haircut? Didn’t think so. Let’s do mentors, like, every third or fourth week. Disco Week doesn’t need mentors anyway since I can’t remember the last time a disco song was ever written. I found it funny that on Disco Week, of the seven performances, four weren’t even up tempo disco beats. I understand the judges harp on the contestants for being original, but if you’re having a theme week like Disco, don’t you kinda need your contestants to sing the song as is. For one week, can’t they just throw the “originality” card out the window and just have fun? There was nothing “disco” about last nights show in the least bit. Kris, Adam, Allison, and Anoop all slowed things up. Just didn’t make much sense to me.

Good to see that the “only 2 judges speak at a time” experiment was sh**canned after one week. Nice try. That was never going to fly with the audience. This was the first “Idol” episode in recent memory where the contestants didn’t have a pre-packaged video shown before they performed. Unless I’m completely forgetting, I can’t remember the last time they did this. Yes, they finished on time, and yes all the judges got all their comments in, but it was really weird to see. Especially once they opened the show, all the contestants came out, Ryan scooted them all to the side except Lil’, who immediately started singing. The fact she had to go first, the fact that it felt rushed, and the fact that, well, it sucked, probably doesn’t help her chances tonight. On to the performances.

Lil’ Rounds, “I’m Every Woman”: Definitely started off on the wrong foot when she was into her first line and my seat wasn’t even warm yet. All started much too quickly for me. And hasn’t this song been sung at least once every season? I could’ve sworn I’ve heard that exact same performance 100 times before. Whether or not her voice was shot, I have no idea since I guess we’re supposed to believe Paula, but it didn’t seem like Lil’ sang too many lyrics to this song, did it? Seems like she was “oooh’ing” and “aaaahhh’ing” and repeating a lot of words and phrases over and over. Didn’t care for it at all. However, it was great to see her mother turn into the female David Alan Grier and start bitching out all the judges once she heard they all hated her little daughter again. Lil’s days are numbered on this show. The only way she stays is if her fan base flooded the phone lines last night because the judges were so harsh on her. We’ve seen it work that way before. Scott Savol. Enough said.

Kris Allen, “She Works Hard For the Money”: As I go into my inner Kara, here’s the thing with Kris: He’s usually pretty solid every week, almost always scores points for originality, but when has he ever blown you away with a performance or actually showed any vocal range? All his songs sound exactly the same. He’s very John Mayer-ish if you ask me. Likable guy, has a good voice, but his performances don’t seem to really challenge any sort of vocal range. I guarantee he’s going to put out an album of songs dedicated to chicks. You know, the title of the album will be “Lonely Hearts”, and he’ll have track titles like “If You Were Mine”, “These Days Without You”, “All is Lost”, “Can’t Breathe”, and “Angel of Mine”. You know it’s coming. I just see him being the unplugged guy who sits on his stool, plays his guitar, and tries his damndest to get every female in the audience to start crying or throwing their panties on stage.

Danny Gokey, “September”: Now here’s a song that’s definitely been performed every season. You pretty much know what you’re getting from Danny every week. Solid performance, good vocals, and avoiding the bottom three. When the judges touted him as the favorite at the beginning of the season, it doesn’t look like it became a curse, but, it almost seems like he knows he’ll be in the finals as long as he doesn’t crap himself on stage one week. He’s still better singing ballads than up tempo stuff, but last night didn’t seem as awkward as his past up tempo performances. The dancing was a little more controlled, and I think because of that, his vocals were better. On the downside, there really wasn’t anything original about it. Not like it matters when it comes to Danny since his fanbase is so big, they’re voting regardless. He’s safe, but I do think he might have to pick it up a bit down the homestretch just in case the complacency factor starts setting in.

Allison Iraheta, “Hot Stuff”: I know I’ve been harsh on Allison in the past few weeks. Well, basically since the top 13 started. I’ve just never really understood the push behind her. Here’s the positives about Allison: For 16 years old, she’s definitely not lacking confidence. She acts like she’s been on stage for years. Doesn’t come across as 16 years old when she performs at all. Negatives: Everything else. Ha ha. I’m kidding. She’s got a decent voice, but not an “everyday” voice. Meaning it’s so different that most people are probably split on her, either they can deal with her raspiness and hard rock feel she puts into every song, or they won’t. And I don’t know what it is, but there hasn’t really been one performance she’s ever given that was memorable to me. Only Adam, Danny, and Matt have given a memorable performance at least once this season for me.

Adam Lambert, “If I Can’t Have You”: Blew everyone else away. Great performance. Really isn’t much else to say. Every week you want to see what this guy is gonna do, and every week he delivers in some way, whether you like it or not. Once again, probably the most talented professional they’ve ever had on this show. I still think winning “Idol” won’t be the best thing for his career. He doesn’t fit what “Idol” tries to sell America. And you know what? I’m almost starting to look at Adam as bigger than this competition. Since he does have a professional background, and he has been a professionally trained theater actor, I just feel this show is a tad beneath him. I kinda see his career in the same light as Katharine McPhee’s. Not saying that Katherine McPhee was bigger than the show, because she wasn’t, but her career since “Idol” hasn’t really been about her music. She put out an album that didn’t do well, but she got to perform with Andrea Bocelli, she did an indie film, she did a mainstream film with “House Bunny”, and I’m guessing her acting career will end up betting better than anything she puts on an album. I think Adam’s career will be more in theater and show business than actually selling a million albums.

Matt Giraud, “Stayin’ Alive”: I said last week I thought this would be the song that would fit Adam well, but once I realized that over half the contestants this week wouldn’t even touch the disco genre, I figured that wasn’t going to happen. Kinda surprised Matt did it. It was better than last week and not nearly as bad as some of the judges thought, but it wasn’t too memorable. Pretty karaoke if you ask me. At least he showed confidence this week. That might be enough to carry him through to next week. It was almost like he realized he had a new lease on life so he wasn’t going to hold back and be timid any more. He’s still better behind a piano or keyboard than he is dancing with just a mike in his hand.

Anoop Desai, “Dim All the Lights”: I think this is the week that Simon gets overruled by the public. I tended to agree with Simon in that the performance wasn’t as good as the other judges thought, but I wouldn’t have gone as far as to say it was his worst performance yet. I just think three weeks in a row in the bottom three, he’ll get a reprieve this week and be saved. Enough judges liked him that maybe that’ll win over some of America’s vote. Hell, what do I know? My guess is as good as yours. I just didn’t think the performance was as awful as Simon made it to be. With only 7 people left, I’m only gonna give my top 2 best and worst performances every week from here on out.

Reality Steve’s Top 2 Performances:

1. Adam Lambert
2. Adam was so far ahead of everyone else, there isn’t a #2

Reality Steve’s Bottom 2 Performances:

1. Lil Rounds
2. Allison Iraheta

Reality Steve’s Bottom 3 Prediction:

1. Lil Rounds
2. Kris Allen
3. Allison Iraheta

Reality Steve’s Prediction of Who Will Get Eliminated: If Lil’ doesn’t go home, I’d be shocked. But in going with my “shocking” them this week, I’ll say Allison. And then in another bit of a surprise, I’ll say Kris. I just can’t see both females getting eliminated on the same night, and Lil was worse than Allison, although not by much. I’m only saying Kris because Adam and Danny definitely aren’t going home, and I think that people will rally around Matt at least for this week after what happened to him last week, which leaves Kris and Anoop. Something just tells me this show is due for a shocker, so I’ll go with Kris. Not that Kris can win, but enough people would be saying, “Oh my God” if Kris went home tonight.

Back on Friday with another “Reality Roundup.” I have a couple stories to tell along with a recap of my “celebrity” guest appearance last Friday night for the CAP Center (Child Abuse Prevention). Once again, any questions, comments, emails, praises, criticisms, questions/concerns/queries for the next mailbag, send them all to steve@realitysteve.com. See you Friday.

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Peg

    April 22, 2009 at 1:16 AM

    I got the bottom 3 right last week and I bet I get it right this week too:
    Lil
    Matt
    Anoop.

    Seriously, I despise Matt. He’s a Justin Timberlake wannabe and that’s not a good thing. I like Allison and think she’ll make it to the top 3. Predicting Danny and Adam for the finals. Adam will win.

    Lil and Matt will go home.

  2. notbuynit

    April 22, 2009 at 3:23 AM

    Steve for some reason you just don’t get how good Allyson is. She has a powerful, in tune, unique voice. Whatever happens on this show I predict that she will have the best recording career of any of them. My bottom 3 are Matt, Anoop and Lil, with Matt and Lil going home. Lil has become a joke. She is so bad it is laughable and somehow she thinks she is really good. She needs to have her hearing checked.
    The final order of finish will be as follows:

    7. Matt
    6. Lil
    5. Anoop
    4. Kris
    3. Allyson
    2. Danny
    1. Adam

    Adam will win this show with ease, but he will not become a great recording artist. Broadway is his calling, but I would also pay to see him in concert. He will keep his audience on the edge of their seats wondering what he is going to do with each song he performs.

    He reminds me of Sam Harris. Is anyone old enough to remember him? Back on the late seventies Sam was the winner of the first Star Search (with Ed McMahan). Like Adam, Sam was a gay stage musical guy and their voices are almost identical in power, range, and tone. Sam played the butler on Broadway in the Producers and was also on a few TV shows.

    Sam’s version of “Over The Rainbow” remains one of the greatest musical performances ever in the history of TV. I would love to see Adam cover that great song.

  3. Carrie

    April 22, 2009 at 6:54 AM

    I agreed with a lot of what you said, Steve. In fact, your first two assessments regarding Lil and Kris were exactly what I told my husband! I disagree about Allison to some extent; I have never heard the girl hit a wrong note. She is always in perfect pitch and definitely has confidence. I’d take her over Lil (and most of the contestants) any day. In regards to Kris, he’s better looking and more likable than John Mayer, and I actually liked his performance; I thought he was one of the stronger ones.

    I think Lil and Matt should go home, but I’m afraid Lil likely got the pity vote and will stay.

  4. klprice

    April 22, 2009 at 7:51 AM

    I’m not an Allison fan either. I think it’s the Barbie dye red hair and her attitude (I don’t call it confidence). She looked awfully spray-tanned last night too.

    And was it just me or did Adam have an Eddie Munster look going on last night?

  5. aimeenp

    April 22, 2009 at 8:19 AM

    As far as performances go last night:

    7. Lil – I think we are all in agreement

    6. Anoop – The fast tempo didn’t work and his outfit was bad.

    5. Danny – same boring performance week after week. Awkward.

    4. Allison – powerful voice, interesting rendition, but slight lisp.

    3. Matt – Surprised he did a real disco song, thought the choice was cheesy but his performance made up for that. Entertaining and better moves than Danny.

    2. Adam – As always, flawless vocals. Liked his hair. Emotional.

    1. Kris – He made disco stomachable, and had a great performance. The only song you could turn on the radio today and listen to. He does this every week. I do agree that he definitely caters to women, but women buy albums, and if John Mayer can be successful with “Your Body is a Wonderland” than by all means Kris can do it too. We eat that stuff up! Plus, more women watch this show and vote, so he is safe safe safe.

    However, I don’t think the results will reflect my opinion of the night.
    My prediction of the bottom 3 will be Lil, Anoop and Matt with Lil and Anoop going home. Please Matt stay another week!

  6. Aubrey

    April 22, 2009 at 8:28 AM

    I agree with Peg- definitely Lil, Matt and Anoop in the bottom three this round.

  7. jljohnson

    April 22, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    As I was reading your critiques of Danny and Kris I thought you must have had them confused. For me, Danny is the one who does the same boring performances every week. I think Simon put it perfectly when he said no one can fault Danny for how he sang the song but his performance was awkward and unmemorable. Kris, on the other hand, was very original and memorable.

    I’m sorry, I thought Matt stunk last night. And maybe I feel that way because after last week I thought surely he would blow us all away with some amazing performance. The minute the song started I groaned. It was just so cheesy and bad.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Paula once this whole column. Her comments just get worse and worse every week! And what I want to know is – does she really think some of these people are as good as she says? I know she likes Matt but does she really think he “saved himself” with that performance last night? Even if you don’t think he was so bad, let’s face it, it wasn’t the comeback we were all hoping for. And several weeks when Lil stunk Paula thought her performances were good. I understand she’s the ‘nice one’ of the judges but honestly, I don’t see how giving someone false hope is helping them.

    My bottom 3 predictions:
    1. Lil Rounds
    2. Matt Giraud
    3. Anoop Desai

    Lil and Matt going home. I’m pretty sure Lil is done after last night. She has just been terrible too many weeks in a row now. I think her second chances are up.

  8. indifferent

    April 22, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    After spying that pinky ring of Adam’s, I think he’s been shopping from the Paula Abdul Jewelry Collection!

  9. carls808

    April 22, 2009 at 10:40 AM

    Okay, so I’ve been reading what everyone has to say, and I think I’m pretty much going to say the same things all of you have been saying, but I just want to argue something Reality Steve said. While I understand everyone’s obsession with Adam and the idea he is going to win, I don’t think he is the only one with the potential for a real career. Yes, he is an amazing singer. Yes, he is an amazing performer. But he has a specific audience, and at times I wonder if his outlandish, over-the-top style of performing turns some people off. Maybe thats just me though, and don’t take my opinion as me putting Adam down, because I do think he is brilliant, and I think the odds are in his favor to win the competition. With that out of the way, moving on to my real point for leaving a comment. I think Kris Allen has the potential to have a steady career. He has established what kind of artist he will be, which is a John Mayer-esque singer who puts out songs you would hear repeatedly on the radio and teenage girls would swoon for him to sing on his acoustic guitar. And, those performers generally have lasting careers because their music never gets old. There is always an audience for that genre of music, and I think he is really one of the few performers who has stuck by, week after week, to what type of artist he wants to be. If you can turn a disco song into something I would buy on itunes for the new price of 1.29 (which, by the way, is ridiculous, but thats for another time and another blog), I think you have staying power. I do not think his performance was the most memorable, we leave those to Adam, but I do feel he had the strongest solid performance of the night.

    My Top Three:
    1. Kris
    2. Adam
    3. Allison

    My Bottom Three:
    1. Anoop
    2. Lil’
    3. Matt

    My prediction of who will go home:
    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it will be Anoop and Matt. For some reason, I feel like Lil has one more week in her because people feel bad for her. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Anoop and Lil and Matt gets the sympathy vote. Who knows, only time will tell.

    Sorry for this long post, but I just had to get it off my chest.

  10. smonteau

    April 22, 2009 at 1:28 PM

    Steve,You are so right on with your comments, especially about Adam. I was thinking last nite after his performance, Wow! How on earth has this guy not been discovered before this? He really is bigger than the show and I think everyone knows it. It’ll come down to him and Gokey and most likely Gokey will win. Since Idol started my sister and I pick our faves and so far she has picked the winner EVERY time but I always seem to pick one who does not win, but has a better career after the show. Such as Kat McPhee, Daughtry, etc. I just go by who I would like to listen to on the radio. This year she picked Gokey and I picked Adam. I love your site!!

  11. kayefun

    April 22, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    Hey R. STEVE! Always a good read whether our thoughts align, intersect, or pull apart from each other! My bottom 3 tonight…

    LIL
    ANOOP
    MATT

    Of course, I thought MATT was in trouble last week and was convinced the judges wouldn’t reach out for that SAVE. I think if Randy Jackson hadn’t jumped on board with Kara & Paula, that SAVE would not have happened at all. Hoping MATT will be able to stay and fight another week AGAIN! Would prefer if LIL & ANOOP went home, not confident that is how it is all gonna turn out!

  12. suez

    April 22, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    I think Lil, Matt and Anoop will be the bottom three. Matt and Lil will go home. I think Matt will have another week. I really enjoyed Adam and Kris’ performances.wow!! You can take disco and make it any style nowadays on idol.

  13. Kab

    April 22, 2009 at 2:13 PM

    I agree with RS that Adam would be better off not winning Idol. He’ll have the kind of career he wants without being bound to an Idol contract. I think either Danny or Kris would be a great fit for an Idol career. Kris has really improved and I like him a lot. Danny was my favorite from the start, I still like him, I just think he needs to step it up a little. I don’t care for Allison (with her lisp she does not pronounce her words and aggravates me), Lil is way overdue to go, Anoop is full of himself and boring, Matt is okay but not too special. I hope either Lil, Anoop, Matt or Allison goes tonight.

  14. ninali

    April 22, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    I actually thought Matt’s performance was decent…in no way do I think it is near the bottom. It is time for Lil and Anoop to go home! Lil is bad…I am sorry I never saw her potential…she was decent during Hollywood week but has blown ever since. She better go home. I wasn’t impressed with Danny this week…while he wasn’t bad he was just boring to me. I liked Kris a lot…it was different and it probably helps that I loved that Donna Summers song…I used to listen to my mom and dad’s record of hers non-stop when I was younger…so I thought it was interesting and original. I actually enjoyed Matt’s performance…he was having fun you could tell and I especially liked when he was signing with his back-up ladies. I really do hope the voters see his potential and vote for him. Adam, well, I know I am in the minority here, but I just am not impressed with Axel Rose vocals…sorry. He is talented and has a career ahead of him sure…but I won’t be going to see him nor will I be buying any stuff…the high pitched wailing just isn’t my style and he does a lot of it. I think the top will be…

    Kris
    Adam (because he always is)
    and I am hoping Matt…I really thought he did so much better.

    Bottom two and hopefully going home…
    Anoop
    Lil (see ya…don’t let the door hit ya in that big ol’ butt on the way out)…not being mean but she’s got some booty. LOL

  15. Joe

    April 22, 2009 at 9:45 PM

    http://www.dialidol.com has Lil at the top this week, and surprisingly, Allison is at the bottom. Lil isn’t as bad as the judges think, but she wasn’t the best last night either. We shall see is Dial Idol’s predictions are correct, they usually are pretty darn close.

  16. keith moon

    April 22, 2009 at 11:04 PM

    Steve, you are out of touch. Check out votenumber1.com or read the message boards.
    Kris is the new Danny. His popularity has been surging and most informed people are now projecting an Adam/Kris final because Kris IS original and brings something new every week.
    Danny has been dropping like a rock and his popularity is now slightly ahead of Matt, who you’ll recall was eliminated last week.
    BTW, I think you’re trying to cover too many shows – better to concentrate on the details of the good ones and make your column funny. That’s more important than trying to project who is going home – which is better handled by the true spoiler sites. People come here for a laugh.

  17. kathryn91

    April 23, 2009 at 12:05 AM

    I agree with much of what people are saying, including Steve (who is always great to read!). However, I disagree about what Steve said: “Here’s the positives about Allison: For 16 years old, she’s definitely not lacking confidence. She acts like she’s been on stage for years. Doesn’t come across as 16 years old when she performs at all.”

    The reason Allison looks like she has been on stage is because she has been. She has been singing/performing since she was little, and she won a reality TV show singing competition on Spanish TV in 2006. The prize was $50,000 and a recording contract (obviously she still isn’t contract). So even though she is only 16, she is almost as experienced as Adam, who has gotten criticized for being experienced… and never had a recording contract.

    Additionally, both Matt and Kris have released CDs. All of this is fine… I just think it should be pointed out as well in fairness to all. :)

  18. JENNIFER S.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:18 PM

    Thank God….I can comment now. Forgetting one’s password is a horror!

    How God awful was the DISCO celebrity part of the show last night? It reminded me that “we”, the baby boomers, are getting old. We really should know when to lie down. That was awful – on the other hand WOW – Adam and Danny and Matt can really bust a move….did I just say that….ugh.
    Have a nice day everyone.
    :)

  19. Mindreader

    April 24, 2009 at 2:53 AM

    I’ve become more impressed with Kris each week and would love to see him win. He’s great with his arrangements and can really make a song “his own”, as the judges like to say. Adam is probably the most versatile performer Idol’s ever had. He changes things up every week and shows us lots of emotion and ability to get into the character of a song. In fact, I’m surprised that Adam is even on the show to begin with because he certainly doesn’t need it to have a great career. I agree with Steve that Adam is bigger than the competition and the show is a bit beneath him. What I don’t like about him is the god-awful screaming he seems to enjoy doing. Danny got a good boost from Simon amd company at the beginning of the season, but as time goes on I feel he’s way over-rated. His singing is OK, but there’s no originality there and to me sounds kind of bland and boring. Allison has a phenomenal voice for a 16-yr. old and will do well in the future. Matt just doesn’t do it for me, and will be going home next week.

    How I’d like to see them finish:
    5. Matt
    4. Danny
    3. Allison
    2. Adam
    1. Kris

  20. Jane

    April 24, 2009 at 6:52 AM

    @Peg
    Guess you were wrong PEG………..”despise” Matt? Wow pretty strong word. They all are talented. Steve keep up the articles!!

  21. cagey

    April 24, 2009 at 7:28 AM

    I’m sure glad to hear that a lot of you all really like Kris too. Of all the contestants left, he is the only one I can see making it on mainstream radio right now (okay and maybe Matt if he had some good songs written for him). I’m still a fan of Danny too, but right now my votes are going to Kris.

  22. sally

    April 24, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    At first I got Kris confused with Matt, Michael, and Anoop. A friend and I would call them guy with guitar (Kris), guy on piano (Matt), country guy (Michael), and the other guy (Anoop). They all sounded the same and didn’t do anything different. But the last couple of weeks Kris has really stepped it up for me. Is he my favorite – no. I’m not a John Mayer fan, so not likely I would buy a Kris cd or see him in concert. But at least now I notice Kris, and his originality has been impressive.

    Matt is, well Matt. He has some good performances, some not so good performances. But nothing memorable.

    Danny is disappointing me the last few weeks. He’s come across the last couple of weeks as a high-end wedding singer. Someone I would like to perform at my friend’s wedding reception, but not someone I will cough up good money to buy a cd or see in concert. He’s shown 0 risk or originality. I’m hoping he finds himself in the bottom 2 fairly soon. Maybe that will motivate him to do something more. I know many Danny detractors have saddled him with an attitude. I never got that. Not until this week with his comments during the results show about “meditating on the comments” or whatever.

    As for Allison, there is something that bugs me about her. I don’t know what. I don’t have a word for it. All I know is when she sings, I invariably find myself not paying attention. I’ll listen to it, but I’m never fascinated enough to watch. Her voice is great, and stage presence good, but she isn’t mixing up the songs enough to show me enough originality. Yes she’s only 16, and her stage presence in particular is pretty impressive for her young 16 years, but when I purchase a cd, or see a concert, the person’s age means nothing to me.

    With the way AI is “made”, the contestants are singing cover tunes (my dream is for a theme night of original music though). I know many local bands make their living off of that, singing cover tunes, but for the next American Idol the person needs to be more than that. They need to switch up a cover tune to the point of “making it their own” (sorry for the cliche). Kris has been doing that the last couple of weeks. But he still hasn’t shown a lot of range in his music style – he’s a pop singer and that is what he is. And that’s fine – but I get bored with the same music style.

    After 8 years of AI, I want more than someone who can sing. I want someone who can entertain. Who I will purchase their cd, see a concert, and have a fabulous time. Adam is the only one this year who fulfills that role for me. Will he sell records? Yes absolutely. He’s a divine balladeer (the best of this season when he wants to go there), he’s an incredible rock star (the only one of this season). Even people who don’t like Adam (call him screechy or whatever) find him fascinating to watch. And even some of his biggest detractors are picking him for the final 2.

    Despise any of the Idols? Definitely not. What is so great about American Idol is a few of them will find themselves with recording contracts post Idol – whether they win or not. Kris and Adam definitely. Danny and Alison very likely as well.

  23. kayefun

    April 24, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    R. STEVE, know your site under construction, ya still got some bugs to be worked out with the comments….not always working!

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