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American Idol Season 8 Top 4

Published May 6, 2009 in Television
By J Rodgers | Image property of Fox
American Idol American Idol
Ryan declared this was Rock Week. The night would be full of firsts. The Idol contestants each performed a rock song and then a duet. There would be six songs to be judged in total. Seacrest also told us there had been an accident earlier in the day and our idols hadn’t had a ‘proper rehearsal’.

Tonight’s mentor was Rock guitar icon, Slash. His time with Guns 'N Roses netted sales of over 100 million albums. He followed with Velvet Revolver in 2002. Slash is now recording his first ever solo album. He would mentor our Fab 4 at The Roxy on the Sunset Strip.

We will break down the individual performances from the First to the Worst, and then we will discuss the duets.

American Idol: Top 4

Adam Lambert – “Whole Lotta Love”, by Led Zeppelin (first time a Zeppelin song performed on AI) – Slash said range effortless – sporting all out rocker look, range is insane, went traditional with the arrangement, last note sick – Randy said this is the Adam I love, no Broadway a rock star tonight; Kara said not a rock star a rock god, should record classic 70’s rock with Glamrock and Nine Inch Nails; Paula said whole lotta perfect; Simon said one criticism is performance understated (teasing), could have been a disaster but one of my favorite performances from you, nobody can top it now.

Allison Iraheta – “Cry Baby”, by Janis Joplin – Slash said natural rock and roll mannerism and swagger, needs to get past the fear – at her best, perfect song choice, how she has matured, love the extensions (courtesy of Adam’s stylist) – Randy said you can sing anything, didn’t love this; Kara said Janis right choice for you, but maybe “Piece of my Heart”, you become larger than life on the stage; Paula said if there is a bio-pic of Joplin you got the role; Simon said the difference in 8 weeks is staggering, trying too hard to sound like original, would have chosen a Queen song (Allison finally defended herself and Ryan said her feistiness came out)

Kris Allen – “Come Together”, by The Beatles – Slash let Kris use his guitar during his mentoring session (Kris said he almost “peed his pants”) said if he can pick it up in the live performance he’d be fine – played guitar, nice effort, slight arrangement changes – Randy said for me I appreciate you picked something that you can be yourself, loved guitar; Kara said softer side of rock, not a great performance, trying too hard, not a great song; Paula said risky to do Beatles song but your signature is all over it, you are an artist; Simon said did not like it that much, like eating ice for lunch not satisfying, boring, safe, bit of a ‘jam’, nothing will top Adam.

Danny Gokey – “Dream On”, by Aerosmith – Slash said naturally gifted, picked a tough song, could go either way – phrasing odd at beginning, moved on to screamy, added a do do do, last note a huge miss, train wreck – Randy said not your genre, ‘ahright’ for me, not perfect, A+ for valiant effort; Kara said took swagger comment too far, don’t see you on this kind of song, commend you on taking chances; Paula said don’t know it was right song for you, A++ for going for it; Simon said last note like watching a horror movie, scream like “Friday the 13th”, I still think you’ll be safe tonight (how can that be?), (Ryan added Danny is the only contestant not to be in the Bottom 3).

Now as far as the duets, I would like to know how the pairings were determined. I’m hoping it was totally random (somehow I think not). Should it not have been one rocker with one non-rocker – I’m just asking?

Kris and Danny – “Renegade”, by Styx – I’m sure this was really tough for two non-rockers, song selection seemed to favor Danny – Randy said liked the harmonies, individual vocals ok; Kara said Renegade doesn’t compute, pitchy moments, together united and strong; Paula said powerful and compelling; Simon said Danny you were better than Kris.

Adam and Allison – “Slow Ride”, by Foghat – enjoyable, this is their genre – Randy said two seasoned rock stars, should do duet on album, da bomb; Kara said rock god and goddess, this is when a duet is right, pushing each other to be better; Paula said perfect blend, totally in sync with each other, a beautiful thing; Simon said you win in the battle of duets, Adam you may have given Allison a chance to stay in the competition with that.

Did the Idols Rock you tonight? Are you as irked as I am at the premature coronation of Adam Lambert? America is not finished voting. Tomorrow night marks the return of Daughtry, performances by a reunited No Doubt and Paula Abdul. American Idol results Wednesday night on Fox.

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J Rodgers
Sources: Image property of Fox

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