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American Idol Rundown: Seven Cinematic Songs

OK, I'm officially annoyed with American Idol. After last week's Lambert-eliminating overtime debacle, the producers decided that this week, to get the show in on time, they'd only let two of the four judges talk for any performance. Then, about five or six performances in, they started to run late and cut even those comments down to single sentences — and the show (not the performances, just Lil and Simon's bickering and the recap) still ran into Fringe. Know what? It's the eighth season of doing live shows. How do they not have this figured out by now? Cut the pre-taped segments and the couch babble, not the actual feedback!

Another thing that bugged me on movie songs night with Quentin Tarantino: the song choice. Overall, it was an hour of blah and Bryan Adams. Nothing against Bryan Adams — I mean, he's got some good movie songs — but an hour of the same power ballads and love songs we hear nearly every Idol season anyway doesn't make for great TV. Even Adam Lambert was relatively tame. Were you also less than thrilled with this episode, or did you find some gems in the seven performances? Don't forget to vote for which singer you think is going home, and to read my thoughts, just


Allison Iraheta — Allison's "rocker girl goes to the movies" pick was the now totally obvious "Don't Want to Miss a Thing." She has the growl for Aerosmith, and she's definitely got the stage presence. The arrangement played it a little safe in terms of letting her sing notes in her comfort zone, but still, another solid outing. Paula said she's vocally distinctive, while Simon said she's the girls' only hope to win.

Anoop Desai — Anoop just sounds the most solid on romantic ballads. Whether he wants to be a crooner or not, the dude totally is, and "(Everything I Do) I Do For You" was another good example of the soulful stuff what he does best. Plus, he looks less awkward and more romantic, which has to help the voting. Randy said Anoop has finally found his place, and Kara was happy to be feeling a connection with him again.

Adam Lambert — Ohh, the punk/electronica version of "Born to Be Wild." That's something I never thought I'd hear but I guess that's what Adam Lambert is for. After last week's quiet "Mad World," he amped things up, worked the stage, flirted with the band, and reminded us of his rocker side. It actually wasn't my favorite vocal of his, but does it matter? Paula said some psychobabble, while Simon said it was a bit too Rocky Horror.

Matt Giraud — "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman" could have been a sexy, breakthrough moment for Matt, but here's the thing: The flip side of him being good at riffing is that he's not great at picking a note and sticking with it, and on this song, that came off warbly, not soulful. Randy and Kara both said that when he chose to change the melody, he also had to make every note perfect — and that didn't happen.

Danny Gokey — I'm harsh on Danny from time to time, but he does have a nice, rich tone to his voice, and "Endless Love" was a smart choice for demonstrating that. I wasn't in love with the harp, gotta say; that made it Disney-cheesy. And it wasn't the most exciting performance. But, again, solid. Paula again praised his unique voice, while Simon was bored by the arrangement but couldn't fault the singing.

Kris Allen — Well, I love this song, and I was so happy to hear a song from a recent movie that I might be utterly biased. But I thought Kris did an admirable job pulling off "Falling Slowly" — especially considering the original is a duet. Randy thought the whole thing was pitchy, but Kara thought it was Kris's best moment on the show.

Lil Rounds — "The Rose" seemed perfectly calculated to show off Lil's vocal range, and it . . . did, but something just seemed off about it. I didn't hear as much of the gospel flavor as Lil had when she sang for Tarantino, and she doesn't seem to be performing with a lot of attack right now. Paula said some unintelligible but positive things, but Simon said Lil's going about this all wrong and isn't the artist they met at the start.

Best of the night: Adam, Anoop, and Danny — and I'm on Kara's side about Kris.

In trouble: Lil and Matt for sure, and I could see Allison ending up there — or even Kris, if the voters agree with Randy and not Kara.

Going home: I have a feeling it's Matt.

Photos courtesy of Fox

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