Idol Worship: Best To Worst Of 'Year They Were Born' Week
Normally, we'd be overjoyed that Idol is now down to one hour, but last night's overtime blunder frustrated us — and untold millions — to no end. There's nothing worse than coming home from a concert, firing up the DVR, strapping yourself in for a full ride of Idol only to get gypped in the end. And what a glorious finale it turned out to be! Of the snafu, one of our Idol sources said, "Someone f---ked up — they were really scrambling during the show." But the fact that Lambert's performance was the one that got cut off, and that the judges' response ended up being delivered by Simon only as a standing ovation, makes us think there's too much editiorializing going on. (And don't get us started on Lambert's lighting.) Some might say it doesn't matter in the end because Idol is fan-voted, but if you can't watch one of the performances, then what happens? On that thought, wouldn't it be most fair to position the contestants in order of their birthdate? Youngest to oldest, or vice-versa? We could go on and on, but for now, our ranking of Year They Were Born week.
P.S. We're blipping on show nights, spinning the originals, songs we wish the contestants had chosen and hits by Idols past and present. Find us at Blip.fm. DJ name: IdolWorship
1. Adam Lambert - "Mad World"
Talk about a show-stopper — literally. Our DVR was one of millions that cut off Adam Lambert's finale number, but we watched it online, and even with the grainy quality, his take on "Mad World" absolutely floored us. Mainly because we loved the Tears For Fears version back in 1982 (and have since sought out the Gary Jules cover, which inspired Lambert's performance), but more so because it was truly something different. A grim song and a scaled back performance devoid of Lambert's typical theatrics, it proves that he has the smarts to win this competition, which is half the battle (just ask David Cook, or Taylor Hicks, for that matter). Throw genuine talent on top of that, and we might as well call it right now. Your next American Idol...
2. Allison Iraheta - "I Can't Make You Love Me"
Demonstrating once again that her voice is way beyond her years, Allison took that old Idol chestnut, "I Can't Make You Love Me" and just wrestled it to the ground. With unwavering control and self-assurance, Allison shows the rest of season 8's contenders what real singing is all about. And even if she doesn't win this thing, her album will be the one to beat. Think: the next Kelly Clarkson. For reals.
3. Anoop Desai - "True Colors"
Ghastly green cardigan aside, supreme self-confidence sits well on Anoop. Sure, he's had his ups and downs throughout the competition, but there's been one constant — he's adventurous, you could even say fearless. Which is what made his more-than-decent version of "True Colors" all the more impressive. Anoop had control and spot-on pacing — the antithesis of Danny Gokey's more manic performance. But more importantly, he made the song his own, which is what the judges keep harping on. Now, if he could just lose the Mr. Rogers outfit.
4. Matt Giraud - "Part Time Lover"
Fully embodying the JT vibe, Matt let loose with Stevie Wonder's "Part Time Lovers," and showed America that this Michigan boy really can saaang. So much so that he got some of the judges' best comments of the night, but there's still a hint of self-doubt (or was that relief?) in his eyes. After all, Matt must appreciate the precarious position he's in at this stage of the game. But we've said it before, and we'll say it again - if there were ever a candidate worthy of the judges' save, Matt would be it.
5. Kris Allen - "All She Wants To Do Is Dance"
Conceptually awkward and a bit painful to listen to, Kris' "jazz funk" arrangement of Don Henley's "All She Wants to Do Is Dance" got slammed by Kara, complimented by Paula, and deemed "indulgent" by Simon. Talk about a divisive performance! But Randy really hit the nail on the head by noting that the arrangement put all the focus on the band, and Kris ended up getting "lost" in it. But judging by the volume of teen screams, this guy could puke into a bucket and still make it to next week. What wins in the end, looks or talent? We may have to confront that question if it comes down to Kris and Adam.
6. Danny Gokey - "Stand By Me"
Danny Gokey's version of "Stand By Me" started shaky, but he managed to turn it around by fusing the Ben E. King classic with a groove lifted from Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." But it was by no means stellar, making us wonder: Does Danny Gokey have the judges hypnotized? This guy can do no wrong. They absolutely love him! Paula did her best to sound insightful, but still came off like she was kissing Danny's ass. As for Simon? His reaction pirouetted through several shades of dislike until he landed on "great." While there's no doubt Danny's sticking around for another week (or two or three), we still think he needs a serious star moment to pull it all together. And that bargain basement satin suit has got to go!
7. Lil Rounds - "What's Love Got To Do With It?"
First off, we have to comment on how fantastic Lil looked on Tuesday night. That makeover has really done her wonders. Sadly, while Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It" should have been a great match, the song proved too big even for LIl's powerful pipes. Trashed by the judges (even Paula, shockingly) as copycat and karaoke, it seems there's no avoiding the bottom three this week. But we have to agree with the judges' assertion that it's not just about being a good singer, you need to be unique and really take the listener somewhere. So is Lil a goner? Her post-judging plea may keep her around for another week, but she's definitely on shaky ground.
8. Scott MacIntyre - "The Search Is Over"
Now that Scott has competed the next chapter of his Hallmark inspirational songs series, is his stay finally over? We'd bet on it. Granted, the performance kicked off well, but as soon as Scott started strumming the electric guitar (not well, mind you), as if to show he's got some rock in him, and reaching for the power-ballad stratosphere, it just wasn't good enough. We get the feeling Scott knows it's his last week. After all, his parting comment was, "I wanted to show I was versatile before I went home." Not the words of an Idol, but there's no doubt he had a great run. Kudos, Scott!
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When I was in my late teens a friend of mine, an elite athlete, gave me the most profound yet simple advice that changed the way I would view myself forever. He told me "You yourself have to think you're great because no one else is going to tell you that you are."
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