Join us here at 8 pm/7 pm central for a live recap of the "American Idol" iTunes performances. Word on the street is murky about the parameters of the theme, but I took a swing at it here and picked songs I'd like to see for each contestant. Keep hitting refresh to follow along and feel free to comment below!
Is anyone else completely terrified by the "Osbournes Reloaded" show? Just me?
Seacrest talks to the judges and asks Paula if she has any props under the table tonight. Just the vodka bottle, probably. We welcome the Top 9 and ohmygod Allison, what are you wearing, girlfriend?!?! Is she going to writhe around on the stage and sing "Like a Virgin?" Hey, Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna's lips! Woo hoo!
We learn the theme tonight is any song that is a popular download on iTunes. Could you vague that up for me a little? But it does hold with my post about the song choices. The Idols apparently visited Seacrest's radio show this past week. I think it would be really fun to hang out with Ryan Seacrest for a day.
Anoop Desai, "Caught Up" by Usher
I applaud his choice to go back to high energy, but I don't think this is much of a vocal showcase for him. The song has a small range and Anoop seems a little lost because he can't really dance. He's also dressed a little like Michael Jackson.
Randy said the vocals were good considering the song wasn't the right song for him. Kara wanted to see Anoop do something more original, not something a bunch of frat boys dared him to get up and sing. Paula liked his playful side but wanted more stage presence. Simon thought it was a mess. And then my TIVO starts acting up (must be the end-of-the-world weather we're having right now). I'll assume by the "mess" comment that the rest of the comments from Simon weren't particularly nice.
Megan Joy, "Turn Your Lights Down Low" by Lauryn Hill
My channel briefly went off the air so I only caught the end of the performance. However, I enjoyed what I heard of it so I find the judges' comments kind of weird. Kara says it was a bad song choice and that she's in trouble. Paula thought Megan has so many options and wanted to see her sitting in a spotlight singing a sensitive, vulnerable ballad that rips our hearts out. Simon found it boring, monotonous, and self-indulgent. Randy found it boring and wanted to hear Amy Winehouse, Adele or Duffy. I really wanted to hear KT Tunstall myself. Simon really keeps laying into her even after the official comments are over.
Based on my Twitters, text messages, emails and comments on here, apparently Megan really sucked. I'm sorry I only got to hear the end. I'll have to find it somewhere after the show, but what I heard was very pretty.
Danny Gokey, "What Hurts the Most" by Rascal Flatts
Haha! I picked the right artist! He's bringing it down tonight, I'm surprised not to see the Anthony Fedorov Stool ™. I'm not super-impressed by the frenetic lyrics on the verse but I enjoy how he sounds on the chorus. Powerful and emotional, nice. He gets a little shouty on the bridge but brings it down nice at the end. Didn't blow me away, but nice. Some scary drag queens hold up a "We Love You Danny" sign in the audience.
Paula thought he thrived on this number. Simon thought it was his best performance so far and far and away better than the first two. Get a great song, sing it brilliantly and do your version. Good advice. Randy says it was rocking and he got his swagger. Kara liked that he gave his heart and soul to the song.
Allison Iraheta, "Don't Speak" by No Doubt
I love the song choice and I can't wait to see her play the guitar. If I can just get past her hideous ensemble. She's like Kelly Osbourne dressed up like a Living Dead Doll. With the lighting and the rocker hair and the guitar, it sort-of reminds me of David Cook. Her first verse is very subdued but still supported and sounds nice. She gets a little more raw on the chorus but I really want to hear her tear it up. At the end, she kind of rips into it but I wanted more.
Randy liked the guitar and says the vocals were fine, but he takes umbrage with the outfit. I don't know that Randy is the one to criticize (coughuglysweaterscough). Kara loves the rock in her and says she doesn't need to dress the part because it was distracting from her vocals. Paula liked the guitar and thinks her vocal prowess rivals singers twice her age and that she is going right to the finish line. Simon thought it was Allison playing dress-up as a pop or rock star. The audience drowns him out with cheers for Allison and then he gets played off. He does add that she shouted the song, which is completely off. If anything, she didn't tear it open enough.
Scott McIntyre, "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel
Of ALL the freakin' Billy Joel songs he could have picked, he picks THIS ONE? Gag me. I'm a huge Billy Joel fan and I really hate this song. Scott says he's "stripping things down" a little. As opposed to the really upbeat, crazy stuff he's done so far. He makes me pee a little on his "Don't GOOOOO changing." That was scary, I think I saw a tonsil. Also, why does he have giant curly hair? He looks like one of the "Golden Girls." This is really not good. I'm sorry, Scott, I think it's time for you to go.
Kara says he made a very smart decision tonight. Hmm. Paula says she is most proud of Scott. Not because of his challenge, but what he does to make her forget about his challenge. Simon says it was his best performance by a country mile. He also cites Scott's hideous hair. Randy says one of the best of the night.
Man, the judges and I are NOT getting along tonight.
Matt Giraud, "You Found Me" by The Fray
Excellent, excellent choice. He is playing… out in the Girl Pit. Huh. I don't enjoy the sound of a keyboard over a piano, but vocally I really like this performance. It's growly and raw but still emotional and sweet. I also dig his big notes at the end but the falsetto is a little off. It's sort-of like Adam's falsetto that sounds so effortless makes the other male Idols think, "I can do that." Anyway, good show by Matt.
Paula liked the contemporary choice but thinks he aborted the things they love about him. She wanted more riffing and falsetto instead of a sound-alike. Basically, she means, "Get back in your box! Idol is all about boxes!" Simon didn't get it and thought it felt put on, uptight and uncomfortable. Randy wanted some Justin Timberlake or "Apologize," more flavor being let out. Kara wants him to commit to either the rock side of pop or the R&B side of pop. What she too means is, "Get back in your box!!!"
Lil Rounds, "I Surrender" by Celine Dion
She keeps getting lambasted for her song choice, so to redeem herself she picks… a hit by a French-Canadian diva. Ooook
ay. She looks freakin' gorgeous, I love her longer hair and blue dress. On the song, the verses are pretty because they're low and not belting parts. The chorus goes a little off-the-rails. She's out of breath and a little shouty, plus not exactly on pitch the whole time. That was kind of cringe-worthy. Sorry Lil.
Randy didn't love the song choice (hey, David Spade behind Randy! With some blonde piece. Nice.) but liked her vocals. He wants her to be younger and hipper. Kara was surprised by the vocals. Hmm. (Seacrest walks through the shot. Snerk.) Paula doesn't want adult contemporary Lil Rounds, she wants to see what Lil first brought to them. Simon thought it was a safe choice and similar to a wedding performance. He wanted a Mary J. song and more personality.
Lil's daughter is then brought up by Seacrest to "punch" Randy, but she just hugs him. Well, he is like a big teddy bear.
Adam Lambert, "Play that Funky Music" by Wild Cherry
Oh dear. I feel the shrieking coming on and I am bracing myself. There's a psychedelic background, another pompadour, and a cycling shirt under a blue shirt under a blazer. However, I like the way he's slowing the song down on the verse only to kick it up on the chorus. I actually really liked this performance, though it does get too shrieky for me at the end. I know I'm a broken record, and a fuddy-duddy but I just don't love the shrieking, not even when it's an established famous dude like Steven Tyler or Mick Jagger. Overall, though, I dug it.
Paula leans forward and a boob falls out. Kidding. But seriously, rein in the girls tonight, Paula. She calls Adam a genius and compares him to Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler (and I typed my last comment before she said that). Simon liked the originality and that he had fun. Randy thought it was going to be corny but he worked it out and in the "star zone." Adam gives a shout-out to the band for a great arrangement, which is nice of him. Kara demonstrates again that she can't count by saying, "It's like Studio 57 in here." Did she do that tongue-in-cheek or because she's a doofus? Could go either way.
Kris Allen, "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers
I like that he's at the keyboard and I love, love, love this song. Usually, I find Kris very boring and just pretty to look at. But vocally this performance rocks. He's getting in some great growls and a lot of emotion. I love his dropping the accompaniment on the "I know" part and then bringing it back down. The last note is a little off, but very good overall. Man, in two weeks time I've come around on both Adam and Kris.
Randy liked the originality, Kara says "Three words. That. Is. Artistry." Paula thought his best to date and Simon loved the confidence and the arrangement.
Recap: Anoop being forgettable and overmatched by Usher, Megan sounding pretty awful in her clip, Danny shouting so hard he passes a stone, Allison being one of the better ones of the night if you don't watch her, Scott fighting with Megan for the worst tonight but he'll be safe because of the damn judges, Matt doing a much better job than the judges would have you believe and certainly better than Danny, Lil vying for the 43 year-old woman vote, Adam shouting too much and trying to sex me (well, maybe not me. Because I have boobs.) through the camera, but still being really entertaining, and Kris finally impressing me.
Who is in trouble? Megan for sure and then… maybe Anoop or Allison. I'm rooting for Scott to go home, but you know he won't because of the judges. What do you guys think?