American Idol 8

American Idol Recap – 4/28/09

The big news surrounding Idol this week is the talk that Simon will leave the show after next season (Season 9) when his contract expires. He’s currently also a judge on Britain’s “X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent”, and traveling back and forth to the states on a weekly basis is apparently getting old. Uh huh. Suck it up. Simon, Fox pays you a BASE salary of $36 million a year to do “Idol” and you speak maybe a total of what, two or three minutes a show? And lets face it, it’s not like the guy is flying coach back and forth from Europe every week. He’s not sitting in the middle seat between two obese people and getting offered a plastic cup of water and peanuts for an over 10 hour flight. C’mon, Simon. You really think people want to watch “Idol” and her critiques from Randy, Paula, and Kara. That’s the weird thing. Maybe he’s just being humble, which would be a first, but Simon somehow thinks the show could survive without him. Please. I guarantee that show loses a TON of viewers if he’s not a judge. Lets hope it doesn’t happen.

Immediately when I saw Jamie Foxx was going to be the guest mentor this week, I cringed. Regardless of what performances he’s put on in “Ray” and “Dreamgirls”, since I’m an “In Living Color” fanatic from back in the day, I always see Jamie as Wanda saying, “I gotch you, and I’m red to go.” Sorry. Just can’t get that image out of my head. He was great doing background vocals on Kanye’s “Golddigger”, but I just can’t shake the image that he got his start on “In Living Color”. Like Carrie Ann from “DWTS”. And Jim Carrey. However with that said, I can honestly say he was the first mentor this season that I think actually made a difference. I was thoroughly impressed with how involved he was with each singers performance and how it seemed like he cared. He gave criticism, he gave praise, he helped them through all parts of their songs. He was much more involved and seemed to care a hell of a lot more than I thought he would. So Jamie, I apologize for pigeonholing you. On to the performances.

Kris Allen, “The Way You Look Tonight”: The John Mayer of the group gave yet another breathy performance. I like what Chris has done with past songs so he wins points for originality, but there’s something about him and “breathy” voice week in and week out that makes me think he’s a one trick pony. Yes, he changes up the arrangements on songs, but he still sounds exactly the same every week. True, you can say so does Danny Gokey, and you’d be right. I just happen to like Danny’s voice better than Kris’ actually. I give the guy major credit for being creative with songs I never thought he could, but to quote Randy, “I’m just not feelin it. Dawg.” I feel like even though he makes songs original, that he himself isn’t original enough for me. I know pretty much what I’m getting every week and his voice has never blown me away, only his originality has.

Allison Iraheta, “Someone to Watch Over Me”: The first thing I automatically think of when I think of the Rat Pack is Allison Iraheta. Just not a good week to be her. I understand that none of these contestants were around in the time of the Rat Pack era, but all four remaining guys at least could pull off the type of music that they could. I just felt Allison was singing any other song. Apparently Kara didn’t though. Kara: “If this doesn’t land you in the finals, I don’t know what will.” Whoa. Did she really say that? Allison is gonna be in the finals? On what show? Certainly not this one. Yes, Allison is a good singer and has her fan base, but Kara is smoking some of the sticky icky if she thinks Allison is making the finals this season. Not a chance. Maybe since Kara loves her so much, she can encourage her to try out for “America’s Got Talent”. I’m sure she can make the finals of that show going up against guys bouncing on trampolines and 6 year old vocalists.

Matt Giraud, “My Funny Valentine”: I wouldn’t call it his best performance like Simon did, and I certainly didn’t love it, but I also didn’t think it was as pitchy as Randy thought. I just thought it was a little too slow and boring. At this point in the competition, every performance you give needs to be pretty memorable, and that one wasn’t. It was good, it was solid, but not memorable. I don’t want to see him go home yet, I hope he doesn’t go home, but I think there’s a chance he will.

Danny Gokey, “Come Rain or Come Shine”: One of his best performances. Really good and I couldn’t agree more with Simon about the confidence thing. Kris and Allison, and even Matt to a certain extent, you know these kids read the internet and the magazines. You know that they know everyone’s been talking about a Danny/Adam final for weeks now. And I think the three of them seem fine with that. They’ve gotten this far, they’ll probably all snag a record deal out of it, and they’re just happy they get to go on tour, hang out with their friends, and perform in front of millions of teenage girls across all of the US. I just think Danny and Adam are a little hungrier to actually win this thing and they carry themselves in that way. I mean, you heard Allison’s answer when Simon asked her if she thought she could win, right? That didn’t exude the least bit of confidence. I know she’s 16, and she’s probably been taught to be humble, but her body language and subsequent answer made it known to everyone she’s just happy to be there.

Adam Lambert, “Feeling Good”: I know I wasn’t alive during the Rat Pack era, but I think I’m familiar enough with a lot of the songs. I’d heard of the four previous to this one, but I was not familiar with what Adam was singing. Was I supposed to be? Whatever the case, the single reason Adam sang this song, and his whole performance was solely based on his ability to belt out that 10 second Axl scream. That was the climax of the song and pretty much made you forget everything that came before it. Contestants have done that in the past, and while it was impressive for him to carry that note as long as he did, I think it was done to overshadow the first part of the song which wasn’t that memorable. But anytime someone can end on a high note, they know that’s what people will remember the most, so he did it. The song did nothing for me, but I was impressed he screamed for a good 10 seconds straight. I timed it.

Reality Steve’s Top 2 Performances:

1. Danny Gokey
2. Matt Giraud

Reality Steve’s Bottom 2 Performances:

1. Allison Iraheta
2. Kris Allen

No Bottom 3 Prediction since with only five left, I don’t even think they do a bottom three anymore. I could be wrong though. They change it up year after year.

Reality Steve’s Prediction of Who Will Get Eliminated: Unfortunately, I think Matt is headed home. I don’t think Simon’s comments are good enough to save him at this point. Oh well. Thanks for trying. Beats the hell out of going back and performing at piano bars, whose act is pretty much the same wherever you go and whatever city you’re in. I think there must be a school you go to if you want to perform at a piano bar since none of them are original, they all sing the same songs, and they all do parodies of the same songs. Ok, we get it. Drunk girl having her bachelorette party is gonna get brought up on stage and you’re gonna make a bunch of sexual innuendos towards her. Hilarious. Really. I’ll hear the same song and jokes at the dueling piano bar at the Irvine Spectrum (is that still there?) than I will here at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar in Addison, Texas. No thanks.

Back Friday again with another “Reality Roundup.” Still working on some stuff regarding the “Bachelor/Bachelorette” reunion this past weekend in Vegas that I did not end up attending, plus, my first thoughts on the latest “Jon and Kate Plus 8” news. Love it. 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.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. cagey

    April 29, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    Hey, good column Steve. I was impressed by all the contestants last night ~ I think they all did really well. I’m still just on the Kris Allen bandwagon though and just can’t get off, so he’s who got my votes last night.

    Not that you probably care, but the song that Adam sang was reincarnated in the last couple of years by Michael Buble. Anyone who’s seen him in concert will have heard that song. Yeah, I admit it. I went to a Michael Buble concert. *sigh*

  2. Jane

    April 29, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    What’s annoying to me is that Kara always agrees with Randy. I don’t think that he has any idea what he’s gonna say before it comes out of his mouth – “ok look dawg”….. Not a Randy fan.

    I do think the show won’t survive w/o Simon. People like that he doesn’t “sugar-coat” anything.

    My top two are Matt and Allison. Unfortunately Matt will probably go. But he doesn’t deserve it but then again I don’t think it would be good for his career if he wins anyway.

    My bottom two is Danny (he was screaming I thought) and Kris. But Kris will go on to do well. His performance just didn’t stand out though. Just my take…. And I am not an Adam fan but the guy does have a lot of talent. Don’t like the theatrics or the black nails.

  3. ninali

    April 29, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    I know I’ve said it before but Adam’s style just doesn’t suit me. We all know he can “axel” it okay…I just feel it didn’t suit the song. So I wasn’t feeling Adam at all, I know he going nowhere but probably my 2nd least favorite performance.

    Gokey finally showed up…I’ve been wondering where he’s been. Not my favorite singer of the group but he was the best last night and frankly I think it was his best performance since top 13 began.

    Matt was my second favorite last night. I actually really liked how he did the song…I do think however he was more comfortable in front of Foxx and sang a bit better in front of him and perhaps some nerves or something got the best of him while in front of the audience…he just didn’t seem as relaxed, still sang well but like Steve said maybe a confidence thing. But that’s the only reason Matt wasn’t my favorite last night…Danny owned the stage Matt did not.

    Liked Kris, I don’t mind his voice at all…his song was ok and I liked it better than Adam’s. If he moves on then great, if not…he’ll be fine.

    Allison got my least fave performance…and it wasn’t her voice by any means…she can sing her ass off. But it just didn’t do anything for me this week. She has consistantly been one of my fav’s, I love her voice, it’s distiguishable among all those “other” female artists out there. Allison is way before her time and I see a bright future for her.

    I have a feeling Allison might be gone…it’s a shame because she is so talented but not sure her fans can save her this week. I sure hope Steve is wrong about Matt I really want to see him move on and see what he can bring to the table next week…I guess I should’ve voted…although I never do…just an avid watcher. Looking forward to tomorrow’s Survivor and your blog on Friday Steve!

  4. JENNIFER S.

    April 29, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    Being a twenty something in the 70’s and now somehow transformed into a 60 something in the year 2009 I am thoroughly enjoying the performances of Adam Lambert. I do not see him as screeching, screaming or anything else associated with those words. I only see him as an extremely handsome, smoldering eyed, swaggering, theatrical UBER talent and I know he will win it all. Matt is gone tonight simply because he wore that hat non stop. Allison will be next, then Kris and the final two will be Danny/Adam. I also hope Simon stays but I do hope he gets some new shirts. I do believe he wore a white undershirt last week which probably retailed for $500 but looked to be from Kmart at $5.99.

    :)

  5. aimeenp

    April 29, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    1. Adam – it’s pretty much my favorite big band song. Love Michael Buble’s rendition, and I love what Adam did with it. His voice is the clearest and most powerful of the bunch. I love the theatrics as well. Not a dull moment.

    2. Matt – I was worried when I heard he was singing this song, but he really pulled it off. Had some great runs. Tad pitchy at the very beginning.

    3. Kris – Also love this song. I also loved how he did both versions together, the Tony Bennett and then the Sinatra. Very sweet performance. He also has a nice and clear voice which I prefer.

    4. Allison – She does have a great voice, and I have constantly compared her to Pink. I also love this song, but her voice didn’t match the song very well.

    5. Danny – He bothers me so much. He makes the weirdest faces when he sings. His voice is ok, but sounds too passe for me. He would do great at gospel or something like that, just not for me. At all. He reminds me of something a middle aged person with bad musical taste would listen to. Like Michael Bolton or something. Gross!

    I think Allison will go home this week.

  6. ilovejill

    April 29, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    While Adam’s 10 second scream was very impressive and probably stuck out the most I totally disagree that the first part of the song wasn’t memorable…like Simon said it was the best entrance ever! When the tempo changed and he came walkin down the stairs…BAD ASS!

  7. ilovejill

    April 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    While Adam’s scream was very impressive and probably the most memorable part of the song, I totally disagree that the first part of the song WASN’T memorable…like Simon said, Adam’s entrance was the best EVER! When the tempo changed and he came walkin down the stairs…BAD ASS!

  8. ilovejill

    April 29, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    While Adam’s scream was very impressive and probably the most memorable part of the song, I totally disagree that the first part of the song WASN’T memorable…like Simon said, Adam’s entrance was the best EVER! When the tempo changed and he came walkin down the stairs…BA!

  9. kellyhilde

    April 29, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    I thought all of the performances last night were great. But I finally figured out who Adam reminds me of…Liza Minelli! He has a great stage presence and a wonderful voice, but I really don’t care for him. At times it seems as if his eyes are blank and the expressions on his face aren’t showing there…

  10. suez

    April 29, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    Good performances last night. I think Adam thought he was on Broadway performing in the show “Rock of Ages”… theater hmmm. The producers decide who will open and close the show. Let’s keep that in mind.

  11. suez

    April 29, 2009 at 3:19 PM

    Good performances last night. I think Adam thought he was on Broadway performing in the show “Rock of Ages”… theater hmmm. Remember the producers decide who will open and close the show.

  12. Peg

    April 29, 2009 at 5:39 PM

    What do people see in Matt? He is always pitchy and the hats are ridiculous and he looks like he is so insecure he can’t make eye contact. I can’t stand him so of course, he gets my vote for worst performance and next to go! I thought the others all did well, but I guess Allison will probably be in the bottom two again. I just hope for the sake of girl power that she stays. I like her. I also like Kris, and my favorite is Danny. I admit Adam is unique and always entertaining, but I just don’t like him. I still (and since day one) predict a Danny/Adam final.

  13. JENNIFER S.

    April 30, 2009 at 2:13 PM

    OH DEAR LORD…Adam in the bottom TWOOOOOO?? I think not. So much for drama on the stage. Who even believes the votes count anymore and yet I vote every week for my favorite – guess who that is? I can hardly breathe waiting for his (being Adam, of course) choice for Rock N Roll week and seeing SLASH will just make my day. Ahhhh the good old days. Slash has turned into quite the adorable family man, I must say.
    I await Adam rocking the socks off any of us next week. Enjoy
    :)

  14. timrsun

    April 30, 2009 at 3:24 PM

    Personally I was glad to see Adam in the bottom two. He always has a smug look on this face like he think he has the show in the bag. Maybe this will deflate his ego a little.

  15. lemon

    April 30, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    timrsun I kinda doubt it will affect Adam’s ego, he’s smart enough to know what the rest of us do — it was a publicity stunt designed to stir up drama (word of mouth is still the best advertising) and spike votes next week. I don’t believe Adam’s vote tally really put him in the bottom 2.

  16. mcanj

    May 1, 2009 at 7:59 AM

    I don’t think it was a publicity stunt that Adam was in the bottom two. It is just one of those things that happens every season. When it happens usually that person leaves but Adam was lucky. I think everyone did a great job on Tuesday night. It was one of my favorite shows for the fact that everyone came out and gave it their all.
    I’m not a Adam fan but it is because I don’t like his type of music. I do think he is a talented guy that will have a good career. I see him on broadway more so than anywhere else.
    Danny, Kris and Allison are also great. I really like them all for different reasons. They will all get a record deal. It has gotten to the point where you don’t have to win this show anymore to have a good career. I think sometimes winning the show hurts you. The only winners that have done well is Kelly and Carrie. You don’t hear much about anyone else.

  17. shirin

    May 4, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    kinda obvious u don’t like Adam:)
    like him or hate him. he is great.

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