Ryan intros the boys with weird scary spotlights and everyone seems uncomfortable. Including me.
But “THIS IS AMERICAN IDOL!”
The finale is in a week and I don’t know what I’ll do with myself when AI is over. Is that sad for me to admit? I mean, do I need to go into counseling? If it makes anyone feel better, I’m also slightly disturbed and cringing inside at Ryan calling the top three “the three amigos.” Apparently the obvious joke is the best one?
Tonight, the guys will perform two songs: a personal selection and one chosen by the judges.
First off, we see Danny at home in Milwaukee. Paula has picked a song Danny says he doesn’t know by Terrence Trent Darby. Paula says Danny possesses the “magical” quality in his voice and will do justice to “Dance Little Sister.” It starts out well, with Danny behind a mic stand doing the soul, bluesy stuff he does best. There’s some moving to the music, but it’s not as painful as in previous weeks. I think Danny is endearing and would be someone I would like to hang out with and sing 80s love songs with on long road trips. (Mindy, he could join us!) Overall, I liked it. Randy says it was the way to start the show and a good performance; Kara says the dancing was too “gyrating” but a great song for him; Paula says the dancing was really good and that he did a fantastic job; Simon says the dancing was “a bit desperate” but it was vocally good.
There’s some off-camera weirdness between Simon and Paula—thank goodness!—and when we get back from commercial, Kris is up with a song chosen by Kara and Randy. Apparently, they’ve chosen “Apologize” by OneRepublic for Kris to sing. They say it’s because it was a big song and Kris has a big voice. Hmm, I think it’s a weird choice, but we’ll see. He actually is playing the piano, which I didn’t realize he could do. I think I have a crush on him. It starts out well. I actually the way he changes some of the melodic lines around and does some different things with his voice. And I also like that he enunciates the entire word “apologize” unlike the way the song is performed by OneRepublic. Overall, great job. Randy says it shows who Kris could be in the future of the music business; Kara says it was confident but that he didn’t interpret the song and make it his own; Paula says she understands the song choice, but wished he’d taken artistic license; Simon derides Kara, saying you can’t pick out a song and fault him for doing the song, but says it was a confident performance.
The judges fight some more. I mean, really. What is going on tonight? Kara is covering Simon’s mouth and acting crazy. No one seems to know how to respond to the crankypants judges. WEIRDNESS! Is this an episode of the “Twilight Zone”? Who peed in virtually everyone’s Wheaties?
And commercials. Then Adam will sing a song picked by Simon. Oh, geeze. Oh, boy. Adam is singing “One” by U2. And people all over the world inwardly groan. Simon says he had to personally ask the band if Adam could sing the song. I. am. scared. U2 fans are probably worried. I like the beginning, actually, because Adam has a beautiful voice and is just singing the beautiful lyrics and is very straightforward and has a pure quality. Then, the bridge, chorus thing happens and Adam is screaming and screeching. I really, really, really liked the beginning and the end. The middle made me want to die. Randy says it was unbelievable vocals but wasn’t sure about changing up the melody; Kara says he is a strategist and made it different and unbelievable (did she hear the same performance I did?); Paula says it was brilliant and a superb performance; Simon says it was a brilliant song choice and it was a brilliant performance. I really think they’ve already picked Adam to win. Which, actually, is what I think will happen, too, but I do not think that was the brilliant performance the judges thought it was. I’m just saying.
At this point, Ryan tells us that Idol Gives Back has raised a bunch of money to help people here and in other countries. I hope I don’t sound like I’m making fun, because I think it’s a nice idea. And if they’re helping people fight against malaria or have water or whatever, I’m for it. Having just read a blog post from my friend Brandy who is currently in Togo for Compassion International about a little girl who died because of anemia, I’m realizing how blessed I am and how much of a responsibility as a child of God I have to reach out to the people of the world in need. I mean, it’s what Jesus did for me, isn’t it? Yes, I realize I am preaching. Deal with it.
Danny’s up next with his personal choice. He’s doing “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. I think this is a good choice. He’s sitting on a stool and wearing a cute shirt vest combo. Christian girls across America are swooning. I like the way he changes up the melody at the beginning of the song and he seems to be going for a restrained aesthetic, which I think is smart after the first song he performed. This seems to be the exact opposite of that. He lets the song grow and lets his voice carry the emotion of the lyrics. I really think this is one of his best performances vocally and performance-wise all season. And it’s not like he just copied the Joe Cocker standard. Randy name drops on the writer of the song and says Danny had “mad” vocals; Kara says it was stunning; Paula says his performance was magical and beautiful; Simon says the song didn’t need rearrangement, but was a vocal master class. Right on! I may have to vote tonight!
Kris is up next and he’s doing “Heartless” by Kanye West. Oh. My. Gosh. I am SCARED! FRIGHTENED! AFRAID! WORRIED! ANXIOUS! (Mindy, all that was for you!) But I could be wrong, because when he starts all acapella, I’m impressed. I mean, talk about taking something and making it different and your own. I mean, I totally don’t get this song choice, but props to Kris for selling it. I really don’t have words. He took something identifiably Kanye and made it his own! Randy says he likes that version better than Kanye’s!; Kara says that’s what she wanted with “Apologize” (shut it, Kara!) and that it was bold and fearless; Paula says it was brave and disses Simon and shows Kris’ relevance; Simon says Randy and Kara’s song choice for Kris was lame and that he’d written him off after that performance but that the Kanye performance changed everything. Talk about a game-changer!
Commercial, then Adam. And apparently, we’re going over the one hour time limit. Because there are only 6 minutes left in the hour. And cutting in to “Fringe,” AGAIN! Adam is up next with his final song: “Crying” by Aerosmith. Oh. My. Gosh. This may be good. And thankfully, the pants from last week have not made a return visit. I am not Adam’s biggest fan, but I think this song choice is probably pretty smart. No matter what, I figure Adam’s in the finals. The contest is between Danny and Kris. There’s screaming and screeching, of course, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. I mean, I love the original. But it does give range to Adam’s crazy vocal skills and the effortless falsetto. Randy says Adam is one of the best ever on the AI stage and that he loved the performance; Kara compliments his ability to hit crazy notes and says it was amazing; Paula says he’s set the bar very high; Simon says he won’t suck up as much as the other judges and that Adam deserves to be in the final. Which I agree, he does. I’m just going to say this straight out: I don’t see myself buying his album. It’s just too much for me. The screaming! But I adore Jeff Buckley who also did some of that. Maybe I’m a hypocrite. . .
I’m torn. Who do I vote for? Danny? Kris?
My picks for the final: Adam and whoever wins the smackdown in the votes. I think it’s a free-for-all!