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

American Idol 8, April 28 – Stellar, Stellar, Stellar


No one is quite sure how tonight is going to go. It’s traditionally a time for the five finalists to sing two songs apiece, but they ran into trouble timewise with that last year, causing Paula to stumble in her critique. Now they are crammed even more with four judges, and on top of it, Jamie Foxx is the guest mentor with the Rat Pack as the theme, so they most likely won’t be cutting the intro packages. I have Fringe set to record, just in case we go long.

The Idols weren’t sure who their mentor would be, with Matt Girard guessing Michael Buble, Tony Bennett, or Rod Stewart. Kris Allen points out all those people in the Rat Pack are … dead. Thanks, Kris. They’re all surprised to see Jamie walk in. Something we forgot thinking about his credentials is that he was in Dreamgirls with our own Jennifer Hudson. He’s successful in both movies and music. Jamie is hoping he’ll be the mentor to help them understand these standards are going to live forever. He loves all five, and is honest in saying he didn’t think he’d feel that way. Jamie promises to say exactly what’s on his mind tonight.

Kris Allen is up first and says everyone of the five left is amazing, and they can only do what they know how to do to stay, and hopefully it works. He’s singingThe Way You Look Tonight, and Jaime appreciates he’s not trying to sing the Throat Olympics; he’s right here performing the song. Jamie tells him he’s already the artist and he’s his number one. He’d do a record with him if this whole thing doesn’t work out. For Kris that meant a lot, because he doesn’t think he matches up with anyone vocally. Jamie promises we’ll all be blown away and not even know it.

Kris starts the song tonight and is ultra smooth and romantic. Girls are dropping all over. His wife’s a lucky lady. He does well on the song, and even kicks it up a little at the bridge picking up the beat, but also picking up a crack in his voice. He gets in a great falsetto at the end, too.

Randy Jackson tells Kris that what all the judges do is look to see who’s in it to win it and who has the steam to take it all the way. He sang a song that is one of his favorite joints, and Randy thinks it’s one of his best to date. He took his time, told a story, had some R&B stylings, and “mad, nice vocals.” Kara DioGuardi says songs from this era give you a unique ability to show technical abilities, and tonight Kris set the technical standard so incredibly high. His impeccable phrasing, diction, rhythms, timing, and also a unique approach to the song making him a truly “dark horse in this competition.”

Paula Abdul tells Kris he’s made an amazing transition from the adorable boy-next-door to the ever-so-handsome sophisticated gentleman. His quiet confidence makes him this contemporary crooner, and it made his performance near impeccable. Simon Cowell thought it was good, but isn’t quite as enthusiastic, as he thought it was a little bit wet. Kris is “like taking a very well-trained spaniel for a walk.” It’s going to be safe and quite nice, but he didn’t think it was incredible. He doesn’t get the feeling tonight Kris can win. Ryan Seacrest asks for a clarification of what “wet” means, and Simon explains “not dry.” Okay.

Allison Iraheta gets stool chat with Ryan and explains it’s scary to be the only girl left, then admits she’s joking. It feels great, although she misses the other girls. She celebrated her 17th birthday yesterday and a guy from the audience says he is too, so Ryan tries setting them up.

As Allison singsSomeone To Watch Over Me, Jamie explains it’s absolutely innocent. He can’t believe at 16 she’s like this, saying she is leaps and bounds ahead of her time. He realizes she’s too young to be in love, and she admits she’s too young for a boyfriend. Jamie advises if her family watches over her, she should imagine how much love flows from her family into her and then out to the whole world. If she does that, he thinks she’ll shock the world.

Singing tonight, Allison is indeed incredible, but I think everyone left at this stage is incredible. The question is if this will be enough to save her after being in the bottom three three weeks in a row. She’s able to bring in some subtleties in her performance that we haven’t seen before, yet also belts it out, perhaps a little too much. Yet, no one could have sung that song like she just did.

Randy goes first again, and says when he was hearing about the genre, he thought it might be tough for her being so young, yet she comes out looking dope like Brittany Murphy, and she sings “sounding like PInk, except with like 9,000 more octaves.” He doesn’t care what anyone else says, that was the bomb. She did it in her own rough, kind of gruff style, and he loves it. Kara was starting to worry Allison needed someone to watch over her, but she’s not worried anymore. She converted new fans tonight and is not a one-trick-pony and not just a rock chick. It was “a gut-wrenching deep emotional way-beyond-her-years rendition,” and if that doesn’t land her in the finals, she doesn’t know what will.

Paula has been waiting for so long to see how Allison would approach a ballad. They all know the driving force her vocals possess, but what she delivered tonight had “an innocent sensibility that was both alluring and tender.” Simon asks Allison if she thinks she can win, and she they all have that chance right now. He asks because he doesn’t feel the belief in her still. It was a great performance, and was great to hear her singing a song like that, and maybe she’s just been overshadowed by some of the other personalties. He has a “horrible feeling she could be in trouble tonight” because of her lack of commitment, and Kara says she loves Simon, but he’s crazy.


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