Kris Allen Takes His Disco Ball To The Streets

Apr 22nd, 2009 // 11 Comments

Last night, American Idol showed the world just how finger-on-the-pulse its method for finding this country’s newest music superstar was by holding Disco Night, in which Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, and Yvonne Elliman finally got their due. The night went pretty much as expected–Lil went diva, Danny was cheesy, Adam rendered a radio staple somewhat unrecognizable in a good way–although one surprising development came when Kris Allen took the stage, and maybe the front-runner position as well.

7. Danny Gokey. Barreled through Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” in such a way that, as a reader pointed out, resembled Michael Bolton more than Michael McDonald. And yet the judges stayed on the Hokey Gokey Express, telling him his vocals were “brilliant.” (Only Simon tempered his criticism with a note that he had no star power, which would have sounded so much better if he’d couched it in a Susan Boyle-related barb.) Paula even repeated the “see you in the finals” mantra that was obviously the result of some forced hypnosis that took place at the season’s outset. It was so weird and so flat-out wrong that I was wondering if the judges were basically trying to reverse-psychology his legions of fans into believing he was safe.

6. Lil Rounds. You had to figure that Lil–who has been forcibly crammed into the Mary J. Box all season by the judges–would sing the Whitney-approved “I’m Every Woman.” But her version was just not very good, with notes all over the place and awkward choreography that had her climbing the platform behind the judges and then almost immediately turning around and going back to the stage in such a way that I thought Simon had banished her from that area of the Idoldome underneath his breath. (And what was that jumpsuit?) Loved her glittery makeup, though.

5. Anoop Desai. Closed out the show with Donna Summer’s “Dim All The Lights,” but I had to go back and rewatch his performance to remember just why I found it so blah. Which is not such a good thing when you’re, you know, the final performance of the night. (I did like his pink-and-gray suit a lot–does that count for anything?)

4. Matt Giraud. Singing “Stayin’ Alive” was a bit cheesy given the fact that he was saved last week. But I liked the Tom Jones-y spin he gave to the track, which if nothing else should serve as a gateway to fans flinging their underwear his way in the coming years.

3. Allison Iraheta. Remade Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” as an anthem for one of those summer days when all you can do is lounge around in as little clothing as you can get away with. How old is this girl again?

2. Adam Lambert. A slowed-down version of Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You” that sounded pretty lovely, until his Obligatory Glory Note at the end, which was a wee bit screechy. (But I bet Vince Neil–who was in the audience–must have been so jealous.) And once again he played it classy, giving credit to Idol associate music director Michael Orland for helping him with the arrangement.

1. Kris Allen. Switched up “She Works Hard For The Money” with a band that seemed ready for Kris’ pre-album busking tour, coming soon to a flooded-with-teens mall promenade near you. But did it remind anyone else of this?

I have to say it, though: Tonight was the first time I thought he could win. How Kara held herself back from saying the words “package” and “artist” during his critique I have no idea.

WHO I WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR: Kris. And maybe Adam at least once or twice.

WHO SHOULD GO HOME: Lil and Danny. Dare to dream.

WHO WILL GO HOME: Lil and Anoop? Lil and Matt? Lil and someone, for sure.

American Idol [Official site]


    Last night you saw the essential case for Why Gokey Supremely Sucks More Than Anyone Else in the World, Ever. Anyone who voted for that should have their rights revoked and their fingers removed. It was like having that drunk uncle at a wedding barrel onstage and take over and then expect that everyone will love him and his 16-year-old third cousin removed will finally see that he’s a good person, a Christian person, and that she’ll let him do all the nasty things that Jesus told him not to do. Danny Gokey is a living Josh Allen Twitter waiting to happen.


    Oh, and Kris was good if that’s yer thing, liked the Adam, everyone else seems to have gone to American Idol Finishing School thus removing any uniqueness or hint of personality, but loved Anoop’s suit, THE END.

  2. Bad night all-around, except for Kris. I didn’t even like Allison much, and Anoop botched what should’ve been a perfect song choice (Simon was too harsh on the vocals, however).

    I predict Lil won’t be the loser tonight. In fact, I think it could be some combo of Allison, Anoop and Matt in the bottom three. Just a guess.

  3. No mention of Kara’s awesome criticism of Adam? “You look like Saturday NIght Live-meets-Clark Kent!” Sometimes I feel like I’m watching George W. Bush reading Randy’s cue cards…

  4. Some are predicting that Kris or Allison will get shock-booted. I liked the latter’s arrangement of “Hot Stuff” very much, age be damned. Good on her for re-arranging the song, even though I think she could have done it “straight” and done just as well. Oh, how I wish she would have sung “On the Radio.”

    For the first time, I wasn’t jazzed about Lambert’s performance. It just seemed very blah and rushed, but I’m sure the full studio version will be quite something.

  5. Oh, and: Adam, that screech was very unnecessary. Knock it off.

  6. Oh, and this, via Slezak: “Number of times Randy Jackson attempted to pass off the phrase ”you can sing” as a legitimate critique of contestants in what’s still ostensibly a singing competition: 4.”

    If Randy has any sense of what’s current and popular, and what makes a successful song/singer, Freemantle’s got him so neutered that he comes off as completely out of touch, and he’s a human pull-string toy now more than ever. Either that, or he really is out of touch, for the most part.

  7. the thing with Danny is he does a really good job of masking his inability to sing with… i don’t know, the vocal performance equivalent of cheap, store bought icing i guess, but every time he performs i find myself going “wow he’s really bad… but…”. i can see how he manages to pull a fast one on the public at large.

    lil’s performance, on the other hand, had zero redeeming qualities. terrible. i don’t know why they even let her talk back to the judges, she has no idea what she’s saying and comes off sounding like a whiny child every week. and talking over ryan while he’s telling america what number to dial to vote for her? how rude and counterproductive Lil.

    the opening guitar part to Kris’ performance was toooootally long train running. so great.

    i think your top 4 right now are THE top 4. i hope.

  8. @insideoutbox Ah yes, The Gokey. Is he getting votes because of the religion, the backstory, or do people just genuinely enjoy his relatively inoffensive voice?

  9. I also loved Allison’s arrangement of “Hot Stuff”, but I readily admit to being deep in the tank for Allison. (Off-topic: Who else would’ve loved to hear Allison take on “Don’t Leave Me This Way”?)

    And speaking of arrangements, who else was annoyed that the same judges who are constantly criticizing contestants for not making the song “your own” hammered the contestants all night long about…the arrangements?

  10. @RobMurphy: I’ve given up expecting any consistency or logic from any of them. I’m not even entirely certain why they’re there.

  11. @KingofPants: Oh, and: Adam, that screech was very unnecessary. Knock it off.


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