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Idol Worship: Best To Worst Of 'At The Movies' Night

Since when does “Idol At The Movies” week mean we’re all in for an hour-long snooze fest? Where’s the showmanship? Some sense of cultural legacy beyond Armageddon and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves? And what’s up with the Bryan Adams fixation? Fortunately, there were a couple of bright moments, particularly Kris Allen’s take on the Oscar-winning song from Once, and, of course, Lambert. But other that those two now obvious frontrunners, the rest of the Season 8 kids are starting to bore us silly. Read on for our best to worst rankings of movie week…

Kris-ai 1. Kris Allen – “Falling Slowly”
Quentin Tarantino said it best and we couldn’t agree more: Kris Allen truly “got” the point of this week’s theme, choosing a song from a film that actually meant something to him (the brilliant Once), as opposed to the most obvious former hit that’s tangentially tied to a forgettable flick. Moreover, he picked a very challenging tune, with hard-to-hit lows, subtle key shifts and falsettos. Its ending may have been a bit abrupt in how it just petered out, but every moment leading up to it was spot-on. Bravo!

2. Adam Lambert – “Born To Be Wild”

Commanding the Idol stage and looking like Elvis crica his 1968 comeback special, there’s no doubt Adam’s Grease Lighting version of "Born to Be Wild" was in a league all its own. Put him next to the other contestants and it’s like an elephant in a room full of mice. Only problem is finding a good balance between the freak and the fantastic — and perhaps showing a bit of shriek restraint. Still, he’s not going home. Not this week. Not next week. Not anytime this season.

3. Danny Gokey – “Endless Love”
Just based on song choice alone, it’s fair to say Danny Gokey won America’s heart before letting out his very first note. “Endless Love,” after all, is just about the biggest tearjerker in movie history and made all the more poignant considering Danny’s tragic back-story. And while his at times shaky performance was by no means stellar, it had the sort of raw emotion that you just can’t deny. Another week down and the finish line is in sight for Danny… Time to put the glasses back on.

4. Anoop Desai – “(Everything I do) I Do It For You”
While this song from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was a good choice for the Grannies, it bored us to tears. In fact, we’re convinced Anoop’s parents forbade anything other than easy listening music in his youth. Poor thing. All that aside, Anoop managed a competent performance, with few stumbles and just as little charisma. But balladeering, he’ll soon learn, doesn’t win this competition. It’s time to take things up a notch.

5. Alison Iraheta – “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”
Maybe Allison didn’t want to miss a thing, but sadly, she did miss a few key notes. But of course, we have to cut her some slack for being the last girl standing at this juncture, and the first contestant up on Tuesday night. And while the word “screechy” was never mentioned — in fact, Simon applauded her vocal performance — we couldn’t help notice that she’d lost her footing during the latter half of the song. The lower, quieter portions she nailed with ease. As for the clothes? Allison still looks like she’s getting dressed in the dark with her eyes closed, but at least she’s having fun with it.

6. Matt Giraud - "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Matt is still struggling to figure out what he’s all about — outside of a nice guy Justin Timberlake clone. There’s no denying that he has a great voice, and his piano playing is lovely, but song choice has been his biggest misstep throughout the competition and this week was no different. We’re waiting for him to knock it out of the park, but so far, he's just been squeaking by (literally, as his Tuesday night performance proved) and there’s only so much time. Will Matt get another reprieve this week or has he hit the end of the road? We’ll find out soon enough.

7. Lil Rounds – “The Rose”
In concept, Lil’s gospel take on the Bette Midler classic was a novel idea, and might have reinstated her contender status if she could pull it off, but that’s not what ended up happening. Instead, Lil got so lost in the twists and turns of her heavily ornamented version that she’s undoubtedly in danger this week. With messy pacing that felt more like an exercise of vocal runs than a song performance, we couldn’t wait for it to be over. Of course, our DVR cursed us once again and we didn’t get to hear Lil shoot back at Simon for calling her on this major stumble. But generally, Idol audiences resent the talk-back, and even view it as egotistical, so we’re thinking it’s Lil’s turn to say her last Idol words. Sniff.

April 15, 2009 in American Idol | Permalink


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It was a pretty disappointing night overall, and I would have liked to see them save time by only having QT do the judging; give KRaPS the night off!
I agree somewhat with your ranking, though I'd switch Adam and Kris. I didn't know or appreciate Kris' selection as much, but it was definitely a standout in an abysmal night.
And I think both Anoop and Allison were better than Danny, especially Anoop.

Posted by: Emme | Apr 15, 2009 12:32:59 PM

Adam was definitely best of the night.
Kris was ok, kinda boring and the back up singers were more like in a duet with him.

Anoop was third and solid but snooze.

Danny was not good. He was all around notes but not hitting them.

Allison (one of my favs) was not good. I am very glad the judges did not call her on that vocal mess.

B2 should be Matt and Lil

But someplace has it Kris and Matt with Kris lowest.

That will be wrong but who is gonna beat Adam? So it doesn't matter at this point.

Posted by: Aubry | Apr 15, 2009 2:14:57 PM

How was Kris the best of the night? He has neither the vocal ability nor stage presence to pull off that song and it was painful to listen to and watch. Not to mention that his unpleasant facial expressions were out in force.

The arrangement of Danny's song demonstrated his failings. Danny tried to do the stripped down Adam thing and failed embarrassingly.

With the exception of the outstanding Adam and then more than competent Allison, the others are an ocean of mediocrity and Danny and Kris are the most overrated among them.

Kris should be going home tonight but sadly the judges would probably save him despite two inadequate performances back to back.

Posted by: Callie | Apr 15, 2009 5:48:00 PM

Kris was the best as always. :) <3

I couldn't stand Adam's performance. Ugh.

Posted by: Ana | Apr 16, 2009 6:52:25 AM

Kris Allen was the best this week.

Instead of singing song that everyone has heard a zillion times before Kris took a risk and picked a song many people don't know and made people love it.

I also liked Adam's but Kris took a risk and I like that. Plus Kris showed he is more than just a mere singer, but Kris is also an artist.

Oh and for you people who try to compare Adam with Kris. Here is something most of you aren't aware of.

Adam has worked on the stage and in theater as a paid profession. Meaning he is already a professional. Adam is also 30 years old, and the oldest contestant. Adam said he started working in theater at age of 19. This means that Adam has had A DECADE OF BEING A PROFESSIONAL being paid under his belt before he appeared on the show.

This means when Adam started working as a pro, Kris, Anoop and Matt were still in Junior High School. Plus two of these guys are NOVICES (Kris and Anoop). One sings in church and the other in his University singing group. You can't compare professionals with novices and bad mouth the novices for being what the show, American Idol, was originally about. American Idol was about finding unprofessional singers and making them stars. Just in recent years have they changed the rules and let pros and semi-pros compete against novices, and that is how you got people like Adam and Allison, who I love.

So you better recognize the

Posted by: Sasha | Apr 17, 2009 7:04:38 AM

Kris and Adam will be the final two. The thing that will decide who wins is what does America want this year? A delicate, soft voice that can charm anybody, or the rocker, hard-core type that will fire you up?

Posted by: Landon | Apr 17, 2009 10:29:51 AM

I have to agree, that the only 2 of note, on movie night were Kris, and Adam. Kris by far was the best of the evening. He totally hit, the right feel of that song. Other than his mediocre When you were born performance, he is the most consistent , other than Adam. Adam should win, for his originality, and shock value, and Kris should place 2nd, for his arranging abilities, and his ability, to
show true feeling with his vocals. Danny is a great singer, but at times, makes it seem too much like yelling, without much feeling.

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