“American Idol” Should Have Gone On The QT A Bit More

noah | April 15, 2009 10:00 am

Last night, American Idol brought Quentin Tarantino in for Songs From The Movies night, and he was probably one of the best mentors the show’s ever seen, honestly. (He was completely geeking out the whole time, and it was kind of great how he treated his mentorship like directing a movie, and talked about the whole package of each performance—hey, he tried to rein in Danny Gokey’s preacher hand movements, albeit to no avail.) But the night overall was something of a dud, thanks in large part to the unfortunate song choices—seriously, two Bryan Adams tracks?—that made me think that my idea to restrict the night’s repertoire to songs that had appeared on Tarantino soundtracks should have been employed. Although I guess doing so would have resulted in Kara calling every song “obscure,” since she gave that tag to the song that won the freaking Best Song Oscar two years ago. (This freakin’ show.) On to the rankings!

7. Lil Rounds. You know, part of me feels for Lil, in that the judges’ constant attempts to turn her into Mary K. Blige must be real annoying to whoever she might be as an “artist.” But honestly, her performance of “The Rose” just wasn’t very good—she seemed unable to stay on one note for longer than a milisecond, and when she got loud, she screeched. (Raise your hands if Lil’s ascent has made you question whether or not Syesha Mercado was underrated.) The question now is: Will her clock-running-out backtalking of the judges result in her fanbase stepping up to the phones?

6. Danny Gokey. More like Danny Hokey, amirite? I’m sure this was chosen to conjure up images of The Dead Wife, although the idea that he was singing both sides of the Diana Ross-Lionel Richie duet “Endless Love” to himself is more than plausible.

5. Matt Giraud. Who knew that Quentin Tarantino was such a Bryan Adams fan? That was pretty much the only revelatory part about Matt’s performance of Adams’ song from Don Juan, which had an odd weariness to it. Only a few more weeks, guys!

4. Allison Iraheta. Any time someone sings “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” on this show, I am taunted with memories of the spectacularly awful Antonella Barba. Unfortunately, the track lends itself to those comparisons; it’s monotonic on the verses, and has way, way too much yarling potential—and Allison, sweet Allison, fell into both those traps during her underwhelming performance. How many songs did the contestants have to pick from this week, eight?

3. Adam Lambert. “Adam Lambert sings ‘Born To Be Wild'”—you can probably ballpark it from the description, no? The musical-theater nerds of the world are so excited to be having their moment right now.

2. Anoop Desai. Let it be said that I think Adams’ Robin Hood song is one of the most annoying pieces of Walgreens Rock I’ve ever heard—it’s schlocky, it’s plodding. But on a night where the song choices ranged from “eye-rolling” to “oh boy, not more Bryan Adams,” Anoop’s velvety voice shone (OK, it faltered at a couple of points, but it was mostly pretty good). Ne-Yo, call him soon!

1. Kris Allen. I might be overrating him because of my annoyance at Kara, who called “Falling Slowly” obscure, and Randy, who continued to seem completely unable to appreciate any song that can’t be melismatically slaughtered by Mariah Carey. But “Falling Slowly” is also a tough song to translate to the Idol stage, given that it’s so delicate, the exact opposite of Glambert’s over-the-topness. Despite a few rough spots, I thought he showed a lot of soul.

WHO SHOULD GO HOME: Lil. I mean, right?

WHO WILL GO HOME: My faith that America will get this right is not very high. Kris is in last on DialIdol, and the Hokebot is in first! And Lil in second? Ugh.


REVEALING DIOGUARDISM OF THE NIGHT: I still can’t get over her tagging of “Falling Slowly” as obscure. Was there a Platinum Weird rehearsal that she just couldn’t miss in February 2008?

American Idol [Official site]