Kris Allen Takes His Disco Ball To The Streets

noah | April 22, 2009 10:00 am

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]