12 May 2009
Tonight on American Idol, the three remaining contestants performed two songs apiece as one was selected by the judges and the other was picked by the singer. By this point in the show there is little debate about the merits of the remaining competitors which shifts the focus solely onto the performance and showmanship aspect. Danny went first, and sang "Dance Little Sister" by Terence Trent D'Arby as requested by Paula. This was a crap ass song, and to make matters worse it required Danny to attempt dance moves. There has always been a whispered rumor that American Idol is fixed with a predetermined winner, and this performance did little to hush those claims. It was almost as if Paula deliberately chose this song in order to watch Danny flounder. Simon said that he felt this was the wrong song, and he was absolutely correct as he always is in matters of judging singers. Kris performed second, and played some song by OneRepublic on the piano. (Writer's Note: I seriously hope that this is the last time that I will ever have to type the phrase "OneRepublic" on this site.) This song is essentially the type of song that the judges have been asking Kris to do every week since he made it into the Top 13. It sounded pretty good, but that may have had more to do with the fact that he was following up Danny's travesty. Kara picked this song for Kris, but then during the critique complained that it didn't work so well. This led to an awesome moment in which Simon called Kara out for her lame assessment which led to Kara trying to make fun of Simon which led to Simon totally ignoring her which led to the show going on. Simon asked Adam to perform "One" by U2, and in doing so basically threw Adam an alley-oop to throw down. It had all the key components of any essential Adam performance. Soft beginning. Mood lighting. Abrupt change in tempo to make way for falsetto. It was all there. What stood out the most about this performance is that it seemed to give more heed to the idea that this show is fixed. Paula's song for Danny sets him up to fail. Randy and Kara pick a song for Kris that accomplishes nothing except for confusing the hell out of America, and Simon selects a song for Adam that all but guarantees his spot in the finale. For the second half of the show, the three remaining contestants were allowed to perform a song of their own choice. Danny went with Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful", and from a strategy standpoint it came across as brilliant. Danny has a fantastic singing voice, and this song played into those strengths. Simon described it as a "vocal masterpiece". This quite possibly could keep Danny in the competition. Kris decided to go and cover Kanye West's "Heartless" for his second song, and to say that the performance was well-received would be an understatement. Simon said that he thought it was a lame song choice, but after hearing it sung he said it was great. Randy said that he like it more then Kanye's version. While Randy's statement is indeed guilty of hyperbole it can slide tonight because perhaps he was just caught up in the moment. Kris completely stripped the song down and played it on guitar, and displayed a vocal range that would suggest that he should have no trouble finding a job once this show is over. While all of the judges were extremely impressed I couldn't help but think of an episode of MTV's Taking the Stage that I saw over the weekend. Taking the Stage is a kind of boring, whole lot of stupid television program about students at some high school for the gifted and talented that is located in Cincinnati because where else would a high school for the gifted and talented be located other than Cincinnati. Anyway, one of the girls on that show covered "Heartless" at the school talent show and her version was all stripped down and sounded kind of cool as well. However, my guess is that the majority of America does not watch Taking the Stage so they are all very jazzed about Kris' performance and will vote accordingly and this also confirms that I must be some kind of nerd/loser since I in fact have watched Taking the Stage. But, I digress. Adam closed the song with "Crying" by Aerosmith, and in some ways this did in fact sound better than the original. Adam Lambert is going to win this show, and the judges basically confirmed this while they were offering their critique. Randy called him "One of the most talented singers we have ever had on this show," and Simon and the rest of the judges all said that they would see him next week at finale. Simon even went so far as to ask America to vote to ensure that this would happen. Who else is going to be in the finale is still a toss-up because the final decision will be made by the ever-fickle and sometimes-confused-and-bewildered American public.