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American Idol Recap: The Top Eight

American Idol Rundown: The Top Eight Go '80s (and '92)

Songs From Your Birth Year night on American Idol this year basically boiled down to '80s night, with the bulk of the contestants taking on songs from the middle part of the decade. There were some power ballads, some soulful rocking-out, and one performance that made me think Idol should just name its winner right now and spare us the next seven weeks.

I always get a kick out of this night for all the baby pictures and stories about the contestants as kids. Of course, Adam was a dramatic little boy, and Allison never stopped talking. Will a cute picture save any of the singers from the chopping block? Don't forget to tell me which singer you think is going home, and for my take on the performances,


Danny Gokey — OK, first, I call shenanigans on a specific version of a song counting as your birth year song if it came out much earlier — ahem, "Stand By Me." But the bigger issue is that I think this performance exposed some of Danny's weaknesses, namely his warbly falsetto and his inability to riff. The judges heard something else, apparently, because Randy and Kara praised his vocals and Simon thought the end was great.

Kris Allen — On the Matt Giraud Side Stage O' Awkwardness, Kris put his spin on "All She Wants to Do is Dance." This was vocally competent, if nothing terribly special, and the biggest thing I noticed is how much more comfortable Kris looks with his singing and guitar-playing these days. Kara thought he seemed too old, Simon said it didn't let him show off his voice, and Randy agreed with him that it was self-indulgent.

Lil Rounds — Where did confident Lil go? I expected her "What's Love Got to Do With It?" to be fierce and powerful, but she started off seeming kind of timid. Then again, maybe that was by design, because she seemed to get her groove back in the middle, right when it was time to really break it down. Paula said she didn't make it her own enough, Randy said Tina just wasn't right for her, and Kara wanted a bigger leap forward.

Anoop Desai — Smart move on Anoop's part to go back to something slower and softer with "True Colors." The arrangement was cheese city, but he really does have a pretty, smooth, and soulful voice for ballads, even if that's not going to make him the next Kanye. Randy said, "Dude, you can actually sing," Kara was impressed with his control of the song, and Simon compared him to a "singing yo-yo" but said this was an up week.

Scott MacIntyre — It's weird to see Scott anywhere but behind the piano — and that was just the start of the trouble with "The Search is Over." The whole song sounded very nasal, and the high notes were the most off. It was brave of him to try a power ballad, but I'm not sure that risk will pay off. Paula and Kara both commended him for stepping out of his comfort zone but weren't pleased with the results, and Simon just said it was horrible.

Allison Iraheta — Continuing the "well, this is different" theme, it was interesting to see Allison play it mostly straight (i.e. less growling than normal) with "I Can't Make You Love Me." But I think this experiment worked: I didn't know her voice could sound so pure, and she hit some power notes that get lost when she's doing the rocker thing. Simon liked her vocals but wanted to see more personality, and Randy compared her to Kelly Clarkson.

Matt Giraud — I'm glad to see Matt come back to that bluesy riffing that the judges like so much; he may want to be a modern rock singer, but his voice just sounds best in this zone. "Part-Time Lover" let him bust out some of his dance moves and his Timberlake hat, and it just all worked. Maybe not as amazing as the judges said, but they were running out of time and boiled it down to "great."

Adam Lambert — I've been resisting the Lambert train a little, but I'm now officially on board. His take on "Mad World" was probably the first time someone's taken a song I truly love on Idol and not just done OK but actually made me love it more. And by Lambert standards, this was remarkably restrained, down to the lighting and the hair. Only Simon had time to respond; he merely gave a standing ovation. I know a lot of DVRs cut this one off, so here's a link to the video.

Best of the night: Lambert, then Allison, Anoop, and Matt.

In trouble: Scott, Lil, and either Kris or Danny, whomever's fan base falls through first.

Going home: I think this has to be Scott's time.

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
emalove emalove 8 years
Adam was amazing. I love "Mad World" so much, and he did a great version of it. I think Scott or Lil should go home...they were both awful.
missbrooke09 missbrooke09 8 years
I didn't get Danny's performance last night. The arrangement was horrible and the singing was only okay yet he gets praised to no end. Ridiculous. Kris was no worse than Danny, IMO, but he totally got thrown under the bus. Sure, last night was his worst performance, but it still wasn't that bad. Ugh. I'm tired of Lil. The judges keep going on about how she's a great singer and she has yet to prove it after how many weeks. She is ridiculously overrated and I can't wait for her to leave. To be honest, I can't really remember Anoop. I just remember his sweater. Scott does not belong in the top 8. He didn't belong in the top 12 or 13. He really just is not good. I've been waiting for him to go home for a while now and if he does not go home this week, I'm going to be mad. Every week, he sounds the exact same. Oh, but this week had the guitar instead of the piano. That makes everything different. I really can't take anymore of this guy. Allison was good, but it wasa kind of weird singing her sing that song. Love Matt. He was really good this week. I was scared for him, but he did great. Adam is in a league of his own. But at the same time, he may be the most polarizing contestant the show has ever had, so that may stop him from the win. But he's amazing. Last night, he was brilliant. I love him. I think Kris is in big trouble. Danny should be, but he has a huge fanbase so, unfortunately, he's not going anywhere for a while. Scott should go home, but I really don't see him going anywhere this week. Ugh.
ktc71 ktc71 8 years
Adam killed it last night!! Love him! I only really like 3 contestants....Adam, Matt, and Allison. Everyone else is just blah to me.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I thought everyone was awful (truly - awful - offkey) except for Allison, Adam and maybe Matt. Really, Allison's my favorite, but Adam was my original favorite, and I think Matt is really talented. Also, let's not forget Adam's been on Broadway for awhile, and ya gotta be good to get to Broadway. His voice reminds me of the lead singer of Deep Purple (who sang the role of Jesus in the original cast recording of Jesus Christ Superstar). It's really unique, he has a ridiculous range and he'd definitely be awesome fronting a 1970s style rock band.
Rally-RE Rally-RE 8 years
Adam - YES!!!!! He's awesome. Bye bye to any of the others ... except for Henna Girl - i hope she stays around for a while. But, I want Adam to win.
care0531 care0531 8 years
I agree with you RAIEVEN I thought Kris was making John Mayer type movements with his face! It was distracting. I forgot 3 performances last night- Scott, Danny nad Kris. I don't get the obsession with Adam either- yes he has talent with arranging a song and making it his own but that would be good in the studio working with other artist. I don't get the dark...strange...side and all the screaming either. Matt has the best vocals that I can see on an album that I would want to buy. I think Adam has a big fan base and could help him win it but it will be another season where the winner doesn't sell as many records as the runner up.
zeze zeze 8 years
Scott and his brother look like vampires - its their pointy teeth! lol I still don't get Adam - ya he has a voice and range, but he is too weird, nothing I would listen to or buy - sounds like theater music and way too whinyyyyy - and he looks like he is crying when he sings. Gokey is another one i don't get, his voice is not nice. Lil, Scoot, and Gokey/Anoop should be bottom...
eckielauren eckielauren 8 years
Thank you for posting the link! I was SO mad when my tivo cut off and I missed Adam - he is the only reason I am watching this season!
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
raieven I have also noticed that too! Its very husband hates watching him perform for that reason! Bing he does look like a vamp! I really hope he goes home..I feel bad for him but after last night..uh uh.
bingbingboom bingbingboom 8 years
Scott is a bit creepy to me. The way he smiles just reminds me of a Dracula. I agree with everyone above, it's surprising that Adam has not been discovered by now with his ability and range to sing.
kathy6343 kathy6343 8 years
dialidol has it predicted that Kris is going home :( He didn't do great, but I definitely think he's better than others (coughcoughSCOTTcoughcough)
Mel475 Mel475 8 years
I agree with Buzz's assessment - Scott and Lil should definitely be in the bottom. The other spot will likely be filled by either Danny or Kris. Stand by Me is my most favorite song ever and I felt that Danny totally hacked it to pieces (and I usually like him). Not sure what's happening with Lil - thought she was better at the beginning but she sure is struggling these days. Also thought she was doing a poor imitation of Tina from the outfit to the actual sound of her voice. Scott seems like a nice guy but I think he's run his course. I generally like Kris and Danny but they've been running in the middle lately so they might be in trouble. However, I was surprised to see Allison in the bottom 3 last week so even though I liked her performance this week, it could happen again if she doesn't have a strong enough fan base... BYW, I thought Adam's performance was awesome and I agree with others that he's beyond the AI competition. Regardless of what happens, I'm sure we'll see him in the future.
annebreal annebreal 8 years
Yeah I will still not be blown away by Adam. I think it's funny that he avoids two of the judge's bigger cliches - that he's "indulgent" or that they have no clue what kind of artist or genre he would be. Personally I think one Lady GaGa in this world is enough, and we don't need a male version, and honestly that's the only niche I can see him fitting.
MeggyPoodles MeggyPoodles 8 years
I am seriously starting to think AI is punking me with this Adam character, and everyone else is in on it. I usually love the show, but this season is blah to me.
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 8 years
Adam was amazing last night. Go screw yourself Bill O'Reilly
Elsa2 Elsa2 8 years
I am still mesmerized by Adam's take on Mad World... I agree with Yv and cherrygirl : he is in a league of his own, way beyond AI. And I've said it since a few weeks : Lil and Danny are way way overrated. I still can't believe Danny got good critiques after his "cruise-ship" performance,
mga1115 mga1115 8 years
I think Scott or Lil are going home
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 8 years
raieven - I've been saying that for weeks! I thought I was the only one! If you just listen to him and don't look at the TV, you can enjoy the songs - that's what I have to do. My tivo cut off the entire end so I didn't even see Adam. I had to search frantically for it online. As usual he was good. I think Danny and Lil are BEYOND overrated and I am so ready for them to go home. Loved Anoop, thought Scott was better than he got credit for.
cherrygirl143 cherrygirl143 8 years
I agree with Yv...Adam is way beyond American Idol...he is already bigger than many of the stars out there that have music contracts. And he already has a HUGE fan base...including me! Go Adam!
Yv Yv 8 years
Adam blew me away once again. He doesn't belong to AI. He is beyond it. How come he hasn't recorded an album yet. He has flawless voice, absolute control of it. His singing is thought through and smart. Maybe he was a little over the top at the beginning of the competition but for the last few weeks unlike Lil he just doesn't care if he makes a splash, and because of that he makes it. As for Lil, a month ago I said she's overrated and mediocre, now I'm already annoyed. She's such a copycat. I couldn't believe my eyes when she showed up with this Tina's look and walk last night. And singing was also an awful attempt to sound like Tina. Does this girl listen at all to the constructive criticism? Each week she promises to be better next time, and she's not. Or maybe she just doesn't have the guts to be an artist. Like I said a week ago, having a voice is a gift and not your merit (BTW Lil doesn't even have that much of a good voice), smart singing is what makes you great. And last night Allison and Matt WERE great. Actually Allison should win this season (as Adam is a different league than the rest). Her voice and her phrasing are astounding. I love her. Danny and Kris are good enough to stay. Lil should go, Scott after her, and then Anoop.
Briandiesel Briandiesel 8 years
Scotts hopefully going home. Lauren, I don't ever really like when the audience is in their performance like that.. it's always distracting and sort of dumb imo. I do love Kris though. I hope he's in the clear. I hate to say it but I hope Lil is in the bottom 3. I think she needs to be scared into really thinking about her song choices. I am a HUGE fan of hers but I think what the judges said was spot on.. shes a singer to me, not an artist.
raieven raieven 8 years
Also, does it annoy anyone else that Kris' mouth goes sideways when he sings? Argh!
raieven raieven 8 years
Thanks for the recap, I missed all but Matt and Adam last night! From the tiny bit I heard at the end, I have to say I think I agree that Scott M might be going home. I really like having him in the competition though because he brings something different than the usual contestants. Adam for the win!! Also, I cannot believe they liked Adam Gokey?!? From what I heard he sounded 'wedding singer'ish.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
I agree with you completely. I did not like how Kris was standing in a circle of girls, it was weird, imo. I like his voice and thank he sang it well, but the whole set up was odd. I am so hoping that Vote For The Worst does not pull it off and save Scott. UGH.
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