So, here's my question: Is it fair to have duets on the performance edition of American Idol? It's a competition that's judged on individual singing, we vote for each contestant separately, and it's often hard to tell which person in a duet is better than the other — so what's the point?
If the point is to be entertaining, then I'd say the duets on Tuesday's Idol show actually worked. Danny and Kris harmonized surprisingly well; Adam and Allison got to stomp around and be loud. But is anyone actually going to change a vote for a contestant because of how he or she performed in a duet? Doubtful.
Anyway, it was rock night on Idol, with Slash dropping by (and making his rehearsal space feel like a club, sorta) to give the four remaining contestants some pointers. Have you put in your predictions for who's going home? To see my take, just
Adam Lambert — Barring disaster, this should have been Adam's week from the start, and sure enough, he came out all eyelinered and snarling and ready to rock Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." When he's on, he's got glam rock written all over his voice and his persona, and he was on with this one. Kara went a little crazy and called him a rock god, Randy said he erased all thoughts of Broadway, Paula called him "a whole lotta perfect," and Simon said nobody could top it.
Allison Iraheta — Like Adam, Allison also clearly felt most comfortable in this zone. "Cry Baby" gave her the chance to break out her power notes and really belt. It's true that she could have picked a song that would show off more of a range, but for what she does, this was good. Randy thought it was a little one-note and Kara thought she seemed nervous. Simon thought she seemed confident but a little unoriginal — and provoked Allison to fight for the first time in a while.
Kris Allen and Danny Gokey — When I heard Kris and Danny would be paired together, I got ready for a yawn-worthy performance — wouldn't it have been more fun to hear Danny with Adam? But they surprised me with "Renegade." The harmonies were awesome. I kind of tuned out during the individual verses, honestly, but those harmonies were cool. Randy agreed with me, Simon thought Danny was better than Kris, and Kara thought it was funny to see those two rocking out.
Kris Allen — Oh, I was nervous about this one. I think "Come Together" was a good (if a little safe) choice for him, because it is a relatively softer rock song, but he just didn't seem to have the vocal strength to really turn the corner and make it rock. Maybe worse, he seemed to run out of energy as the song went on. Paula said Kris put his own spin on the song, but Kara said he didn't show enough and Simon compared the performance to eating ice for lunch.
Danny Gokey — So, turns out it is possible to have too much gravelly quality to one's voice. That's what I learned from Danny's "Dream On," which I thought started with him sounding like he was literally hacking up rocks and ended with a scream that I could barely stand to hear. I appreciate the risk-taking, but . . . ouch. Randy gave him an A for effort, Kara thought there was actually too much swagger, and Simon said the last note was like watching a horror movie.
Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta — It's almost too obvious to put the show's two rockers together for "Slow Ride," but there we have it. They pretty much just stomped around and tore up the stage and were awfully entertaining. (Side note: Um, sometimes if I closed my eyes, I wasn't 100 percent sure which one of them was singing.) Randy said they should duet on their albums, and Kara liked the way they pushed each other.
Best of the night: Adam, unsurprisingly, then Allison.
In trouble: That leaves Danny and Kris.
Going home: I wish it were Danny; I have a feeling it's Kris.
Photo courtesy of Fox