American Idol: 4 Finalists Compete
B+

American Idol: 4 Finalists Compete

I was kind of excited about rock week. I looked forward to finding out how tonight's contestants interpreted "rock” and seeing how Slash liked Adam, let alone what the hell Slash would tell the singers about SINGING, although compared to Jamie Foxx or Quentin Tarantino he is far from the least qualified guest mentor so far. But I was actually psyched to hear that the contestants would be singing duets this week. The group performances are my favorite during hell week and I think that the singers performing duets actually says a lot more about them than just their weekly solos.

Before we got to the singing, Ryan explained what he meant by announcing the show was "very live": basically, the set had begun to fall down earlier today (the Idol sign upside-down looked like something you'd see after the apocalypse) so nobody got a full dress rehearsal, but the show must go on.

We saw the singers meet Slash, and while he is rather ridiculously attached to his image after all this time he actually still seems like a cool guy, at least compared to, say,  Bret Michaels. Adam chose to sing Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." Slash instantly became my favorite guest judge of the season when he advised him not to improvise so much in the high register, which is basically my pet peeve when it comes to Adam. "Thank you Slash" is something I need to start saying more often. So anyway, Adam, heavily made up and slightly resembling KD Lang, looked like he was playing a rocker in a Broadway musical, but he really commanded the stage and sang, easily, above the music which was pretty loud for Idol. I don't like Adam's music so much still, but I'm glad he exists. We need a famous glitzy gay rocker right now. The a capella ending was quite theatrical, but it was the most concert-esque I'd felt Idol. The audience went nuts and it definitely seemed like a winning sort of performance. Kara called him a rock god, Paula called him "a whole lotta perfect" and Simon said that nobody could top that. So that's really why Adam never goes first I guess.

Then we got to Allison, who got new extensions that I don't like, maybe because her hair only belongs on one guy and that's David Bowie in Labyrinth. She looked so cute next to Slash, though, like she could be his little rocker niece or something, and he gave her a peck on the cheek after their meeting and I thought it was adorable. He counseled her to get past her fear onstage, and she performed Janis Joplin's "Cry Baby." I thought she showed her singing skills, and not just her belting, but it wasn't an extra special performance for me from Allison. However, it made me hope that she does have a career after this, on the same landscape as those Demi Lovatoes and Miley Cyruses and whatnot. She's sort of Kelly Clarkson 2.0. Randy didn't like her song choice though, and Kara wasn't happy either except she gave Allison props for putting more personality out on stage. Simon liked it but didn't think that it showed enough originality. Then he and Allison went back and forth a bit about the song choice, and when he snapped at her she argued that he always wanted her to talk more when she's onstage, and this point and her making it seemed to mollify Simon.

Kris and Danny sang our first duet of the night, doing "Renegade" by Styx. I couldn't decide who less looked like a rocker. Kris looks too delicate but Danny's glasses are strictly adult contemporary. Plus, with the red shirt and jewelry, he kinda looked like KC from disco week. Their harmonies were nice together at times but clearly this wasn't up either of their alleys. The judges weren't wild about the performance, with Simon saying that Danny won the duet, perhaps because Danny seemed to sing all over Kris at the end of the song. 

Kris performed solo next. He wanted to do "Revolution" by the Beatles but that didn't feel right to him (good choice), so he  did "Come Together," which is one of my least favorite Beatles songs. I wish he would have done "Helter Skelter," if anything. Just when Kris starts boring me he says something funny/weird like "I almost wanted to pee my pants" after Slash loaned him his guitar, and I'm back into him. Thank you Slash, for telling Kris to be more animated onstage. Kris didn't seem to find this feasible, though, and just made more faces while he sang than usual. Randy didn't love the song but did like Kris' guitar playing. Kara got booed for telling Kris that he tried too hard and Simon said he was right earlier, that nobody was going to top Adam tonight. I still feel like Kris will make it into the top three, just because he's the cutest one, and you know how teen girls have such hard-ons for cuties.

Danny sang "Dream On" by Aerosmith and Slash seemed amused/dubious after Danny's proposed performance. Danny wore what all rockers like to wear: a silken vest over a purple button-down shirt. I think this was a bad choice for Danny, who didn't seem to hit the notes that well and screeched the last few bars of the song in a most unfortunate manner. Also, to be fair I think "Dream On" is a similarly repetitive song, like "Come Together," so it's not all Danny's fault, but he did seem, at the end, to think he really nailed it. Randy, Kara and Paula were all tepid in their response and Simon said the last note sounded like something from a horror movie.  Meanwhile, it seems that for the first time the camera showed some pro-Simon signs in the audience: “The King of Common Sense.” Even Simon’s fan signs are right. He does seem to think Danny will be safe which I hope isn't the case. Danny seemed frustrated by Simon's comments: "It's whatever, I'll try harder."

Allison and Adam sang the final song of the night, which I was excited for because I think it's clear that they're the strongest at this genre (and maybe the strongest in general). They performed "Slow Ride" and to my ears Allison sounded better. Adam didn't sound like he could be himself AND give the floor in a duet but overall it was fun--they both worked the stage much better than Kris and Danny. The judges loved it and said that they should actually record a duet together. Simon noted that the two of them had the better of the duets, and then my DVR cut out. I HOPE Simon then said that Allison was the better of the two in that round and that hopefully that may save her tomorrow.

I am ready for Gokey to go home. I'm not sure it will happen but he is not in my ideal top three.

Grade: B+

 

Stray observations:

--Either Ryan has a tiny head or Adam has a huge head.

--I’m glad Matt’s not here this week. I don’t think this would have been a good theme for him. 

Filed Under: TV, American Idol

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