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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 8, April 21 – Who's Wearing the Women's Underwear?


Matt Giraud escaped elimination last week, but now he has to really bring his A game, as two Idols will leave tonight. I’m thinking his fans will be voting incessantly, unless he has a really bad night. Anyone who has already appeared in the bottom three needs to be worried, especially Lil Rounds, as some people seem to be out for blood regarding her.

With no judges banter to kill time, Lil is up first, and there’s no package beforehand either, again saving time. She sings Chaka Khan’s I’m Every Woman, and it’s exactly the type of thing she should have been singing weeks ago. I’m afraid it might be a little too late for her, though. Plus, there are still a few pitchy moments in there before she lets it all out and just goes for it. I’ve heard this song better on Idol, though, and that’s the continuing fault with Lil. I can’t stop thinking of all the better versions. Mandisa knocked it out of the park, and that was in semi-finals. Lil fails to ever give us something we haven’t heard before.

Randy Jackson tells Lil she definitely got the party started, but it sounded so wild to him. She can definitely sing, but it still didn’t show them what type of an artist she could be. She got the crowd going, but it didn’t show her vocal control. Kara DioGuardi says all of America, including her, has been waiting for Lil to sing Chaka Khan or something like that, but she’s not sure it was worth the wait. She kind of agrees with Randy. Lil has been every woman on that stage, every other woman than herself, and she still hasn’t shown who she is as an artist.

Paula Abdul explains that Lil had no voice yesterday and was on complete vocal rest, and to make this type of recovery, she applauds her for that. Having said that, Chaka Khan made the song a classic because she tapped into her inner goddess. While Lil was hot tonight, she didn’t hit the boiling point, despite her remarkable recovery. Simon tells Lil she looks so sad, and Lil explains she really had fun tonight. Simon is glad she had fun, because he thinks it’s the last week we’re going to see her. There was no originality, it was very copycat, the arrangement and vocals were a mess, and he absolutely believes this is her final shot. Her mom is talking back to the judges and her dad is just staring with steely eyes.. Lil’s inner goddess is telling her she wasn’t karaoke, and it sounds like she says she thought she was amazing. Well, that’s not going to help her any.

Kris Allen gets the stool chat with Ryan. He jokes about his extensive training in disco, then says he was worried about the theme, but feels it worked out okay. He picked out She Works Hard For the Money by Donna Summer, and yeah, I’m worried too now. He thought it was a story about a woman with something to say and a great work ethic. He has his guitar with him tonight and does this really interesting acoustic version of the song. It’s an entirely different song! This guy is more amazing every week. It’s not my favorite performance, but I’m amazed, seeing the same type of thing that David Cook was able to do arranging songs.

Kara tells Kris he took a real risk with that arrangement, and it paid off big time. She is so impressed with him to take a Donna Summer “four on the floor song” and show us something about himself with it. It even sounds like something that could go on his record. She has to give him props for that. Paula liked the classic Santana feel to it, and she has to tell him a lot of women are known to shop in the men’s department, but there aren’t a lot of men willing to shop in the women’s. She wants him to know he shopped and found a perfect fit. It not only showed originality, but also that he’s a contender in the competition.

Simon, laughing, says he needs a translator on the show. He tells Kris it was a complete polar opposite to the first performance in that it was original, well thought out, and not karaoke. Whether Kris buys or likes ladies underwear, Simon couldn’t care less, it was a fantastic performance. Randy doesn’t care what he buys. What he’s looking for is the best undiscovered talent. Kris knows who he is, and it proves he’s ready for the big time. He performed great and picks great arrangements. Amazing.

Danny Gokey comes out with September by Earth Wind, and Fire. Somehow, after all his other song choices this year, such as P.Y.T. and Get Ready, this is totally fitting. It’s good, but that’s the problem. It’s not remarkable enough for those of us still amazed by Kris’s great effort. And it’s not that much different than those other tunes he’s pulled off that were similar. Just like every other time, he saves the power for the end of the song. Some will be happy to know his dancing looks like it’s getting better.

Randy heard this was Danny’s song choice and was worried, because while it’s a great song, it doesn’t have a very melodic range. Yet, Danny turned this into something that really worked for him tonight. He worked it out. Kara was worried as well, like asking Simon to wear a plaid shirt or something, but Danny is an incredible vocalist, and the thing is his pitch is always dead on. He never has an issue, and this was yet another solid performance, and she wants to make sure we remember it at the end of the night.

Paula loves Danny’s voice, as every time she thinks he’s at the top of his range, he takes it one step further. He didn’t change the arrangement to a song that is always performed, and chose to show his agility and brilliance. As a woman, she thinks he has one of the sexiest voices ever, and she thinks women of all ages will agree. Simon agrees with everyone, but as a performance, he didn’t get any kind of star power, and that’s because at this stage, it has to be something special, and he thought it was a little awkward and clumsy, yet Paula still thinks she’ll see Danny in the finals.

Allison Iraheta sings Hot Stuff by Donna Summer and starts off lounging on the lit up steps. She sounds a little hoarse in the beginning like her voice isn’t going to be able endure this week after week. She keeps the disco beat in this, but also adds a really interesting rock beat to it. If her voice weren’t beginning to give out, it would be remarkable. Yet, she still hits the big screaming note at the end.

Whereas Randy didn’t personally love the arrangement, finding it a little indulgent, Allison is one of the best singers in the competition. She always proves his point, and he doesn’t care what age she is, she can really sing. He didn’t love the arrangement, but loves her. Kara agrees about the arrangement, as she thinks making it slower kind of hurt the performance. Yet, she picked the right song, as Donna Summer won a Grammy for her rock vocal of this. She also agrees Allison is one of the best singers, and from a vocal perspective, it was a 9 or 10 for her.

For Paula, the word compromise doesn’t even belong in Allison’s musical vocabulary. Because of that, with the edginess she brought, Paula doesn’t mind it at all, as it doesn’t veer at all from her authenticity, and with the last note, she hit it off the charts. Simon doesn’t think it has anything to do with it being slow or fast, as Allison is always going to come into this week as an underdog. Taking everything into account, the thinks hat was a brilliant performance.


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