Wednesday, April 1

AI8 - Top 9 (3/31/09)

This week's theme is "Popular iTunes downloads," which, according to Ryan, is "wide open." Who know how they define "popular," but we get a wide range of songs tonight.

The contestants also visited Ryan's radio station studio this week for the AT40. We're told that Idol finalists have had a total of 29 songs in the Top 40 over the years!

Anoop "Caught Up" - Decent, not great. Judges weren't impressed, Randy didn't like the choice, Kara said he didn't do anything different from the original (I disagree a little, and Anoop disagreed a lot0. Simon thought it was a mess & he came off as a wannabe.

Megan "Turn Your Lights Down Low" - I don't know this, but apparently it's been done by Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill. I'd say it was one of her better performances, but still not something I enjoy. Kara said it was a bad choice & wished she'd done Adele; Paula wants her to surprise them by doing a vulnerable ballad (um, ok, what was this then? It was pretty mellow!). Simon said it was boring and indulgent, and not her. Now, how can something be both "indulgent" (which I take as meaning favoring the contestant's preferences) and *not* "her"?? Then again Simon's off on several things tonight....

Danny "What Hurts the Most" - I *LOVE* this song!!! The beginning verse was just awesome, I like when he sings softer. Despite saying he was bringing it down to be mellow this week, after the verse he breaks into full-out belting mode. Still good but no where near the beginning, I think he needs to show more variety (in singing style, not in song choice). The audience & judges (of course) loved it. Simon said it was his best yet and Kara said it "moved" everyone in the room (well, he was singing about missing a woman who was gone, and in case you haven't heard, his wife died...). Sigh.

Allison "Don't Speak" - Ok, how many people felt really OLD when she said she "grew up" listening to this song?!!! Hard to believe it came out 13 years ago (per Wiki, anyway). Apparently she's from the same town as No Doubt, too! She sounded awesome; especially loved the softer beginning where she played guitar as a contrast to her usual rock stuff. Randy said she was rushed and everyone except Paula hated her outfit; Paula did say her vocals were good. I thought it was one of the best of the night!

Scott "Just the Way You Are" - Another one toned down, and I think it was his best vocal yet! The hair cut looks good, too. Kara said it was a smart song choice & Simon said it was his best performance yet.

"You Found Me" - Played electronic keyboard instead of piano, standing up with audience members almost surrounding him (not sure exactly where he was stage-wise). Very good performance, though this is my least favorite Fray song & I'd loved to have heard him do something else of theirs. The judges really came down hard on him though; Paula said he didn't have any of the things they love most about him; Kara said he needs to pick either the rock or R&B side of pop & commit to it (he replied he's trying to show versatility, but they're not big on that this year!). Simon said he "didn't get it" and that the song isn't commercial. Um, ok, sure, that's why I hear it every 10 minutes on the radio then? Sometimes Simon just has no clue.

Lil "I Surrender" - Belty song and the beltiest parts sounded good, but I thought she was really, really off for most of it; her voice sounded strained or something. Also hated the look, straight chin-length hair & the very unflattering dress. The audience seemed to be happy, but the judges were disappointed in her song choice. Paula called it "Adult Contemporary Lil" and Simon said it was too safe and old-fashioned.

Adam "Play that Funky Music" - Interesting choice! But he's such the 70's glam rocker... it was good, his normal shrieky, strutty stuff which I'm tired of at this point. Also hate the hair slicked back! The audience loved it, as did the judges. Paula compared him to Steven Tyler & Mick Jagger; Simon praised his originality, especially compared to some of the other performances tonight. Adam graciously gave the band credit for the arrangement. :-)

Kris "Ain't No Sunshine" - Well, Christina's version during Season 1 will always be the quintessential Idol performance of this song, but Kris certainly deserved the 'pimp spot.' Despite cluing us in that he was intentionally trying to create a "moment" (which almost defeats the purpose), he had a pretty good moment! He played keyboard (instead of guitar) and did a unique arrangement that was very good and really showed off his vocals. Easily the best performance of the night IMO. The audience & judges loved it. Paula said it was his best; Simon like the arrangement & said he had the confidence Simon was asking for last week.

My prediction for Bottom 3: Megan, Anoop, and Allison (or maybe Matt), with Megan leaving (please?!)


tractorbladderr said...

My bottom three: Matt, Megan, and Scott. Disappointed with Anoop's performance--and Lil started out as one of my favorites, but I've just not impressed with her in the past several weeks. I think Matt will go home (I actually liked Megan's song last night, and thought it was better than some of her other songs which the judges seemed to love but hated last night).

Todd said...

My bottom three would have been Megan, Matt, and Anoop.

Favorites are Kris and Scott.