And then there were three. It’s our first all male top three. I know everyone is clamoring for the Adam Lambert/Danny Gokey finale, but I honestly don’t count anyone out of this race, as it’s already taken some weird twists and turns. It’ll be interesting to see how this one falls.
The Idols went back home this week for the traditional hometown visits, and Danny Gokey is up first showing off his visit to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Danny got his song choice from Paula Abdul via text message, Dance Little Sister by Terence Trent D’Arby. He’s not sure how to feel about it. Paula explains she picked it because Terence became iconic almost overnight, and she thinks Danny possesses the same magical quality in his voice. There’s something there that I haven’t seen in Danny before. He’s either trying too hard or really nervous. I can’t decide. Eventually he becomes much more comfortable with it. Once he scats with the sax player, he seems to be totally in his zone.
Randy Jackson notes, “Let the games begin.” He thinks it was a way to “jump it off” with a lot of energy and sounding good in that kind of hoarse tone. It was “dope” for him. Kara DioGuardi liked that Paula picked this song for him, as it keeps him in his money spot in the tone. The dancing was too gyrating for her, though, Danny is a great singer, but she isn’t sure she’ll remember it tomorrow. Paula states she’s a choreographer and thinks he danced really good. Kind of like Star Jones saying she’s a lawyer. She thinks it’s great that he let the magic part of his voice carry out throughout the song.
Simon Cowell wants to remind “the girls” that it’s a singing show and not about funny little dances. He does agree with Kara that the dancing was a little bit desperate, but vocally it was very good. His biggest problem was the saxophone solo in the end which sounded like one of those toys from when you were little. He also isn’t too sure about the song choice. Danny realizes he isn’t the most instinctual person out there, but it doesn’t matter to him, as he’s gonna sing that song. Simon blocks Paula’s mouth from saying something, and it gets worse as Ryan begs the cameras not to go there.
Kris Allen went home to Arkansas and received a nice new phone from AT&T which happens to have a text message from Randy and Kara telling him that they have chosen Apologize by One Republic for him. Kris checks with the fans and finds out they do want to hear him sing this. Randy says it’s a big song and big range and with his big voice they think he needs a big moment. Kara calls it a dark, melodic line which she thinks Kris excels at, so they want to see his interpretation.
Singing from from behind the baby grand, Kris starts a little quietly as he must be dealing with some of the same nerves as Danny, but he kicks it in after just a few bars and does really well with it. I have to give it to Randy and Kara on this one for picking the perfect song for Kris. He seems to know just went to slow it down a little and seems to have lost the blue nail polish he was sporting in Arkansas on his thumb.
Randy knows right now it’s about who’s going to win this thing, but what he loves about Kris doing this song is he can have a song like this that could sell a lot of records and is the kind of artist he could be. It shows him who he could be in the future and thinks it was nice, very nice. Kara calls it a really confident performance, but says at this stage, he needs to be swinging it out of the park. She knows he can interpret in such a unique way, that she wanted him to make this one more his own and maybe get out from behind the piano.
Paula understands why Randy and Kara picked Apologize, because it does sit in just the right spot of his voice. She’s used to him taking artistic license, and there was a bum note there, but she is so proud of him, as at this stage all three of them are worthy of being in the top three. Simon asks how Paula can say he had a bum note, yet be proud of him. He then goes after Kara and calls it a copout that she chose a song for Kris then blamed him for doing the song. Kara fires back asking how much he knows about interpreting songs, asking if he has ever had to do that before in his life.
Back to the critique, Simon found it to be a competent version of the song, but not quite as good. He thinks what Randy and Kara should have done is work out the arrangement, as he says if they wanted him to play it on the guitar, they should have asked him to do it that way. Kris tells Ryan he’s always going to be who he is, as Kara is now covering Simon’s mouth, and he looks none too happy about it.
Adam Lambert traveled back to San Diego, California, and got a text from Simon telling him to sing One by U2. Simon explains it’s one of his favorite songs in the world and he had to get permission from the band and literally got a call from Bono this weekend telling him it would be U2’s pleasure to have Adam sing it. Adam either cut his hair or is wearing it differently. He does what Kara wanted Kris to do, interpreting it really well, but he puts a little too much of that scream into it. I just don’t think the song needed that, as it was very beautiful without.
Randy tells Adam he is definitely still in the zone as one of the hottest of the final three. One of the hottest of the three? Huh? How many hot ones are you going to have in three? What kind of a backended compliment is that? It was unbelievable vocals, but Randy didn’t love him going off the melody so much as he lost the song then. It is a great song, and Adam is a really talented guy. Is he trying to get back at Simon or something for not liking Randy’s choice? Kara tells Adam he is a strategist and he proved you can take a song in a completely different way, change up the melodies and instruments, and make it unbelievable. He didn’t just sang it the way U2 or Bono would do it, but his own version.