While American Idol’s Top 8 go back in time with hits from their birth year, Allison Iraheta proves that boys haven’t entirely wrapped up this contest.
One of only two female contestants left in the competition and the youngest competitor, Allison came out swinging tonight. Bonnie Raitt is not what I expected from the only 1990s baby in the contest, but I have to admit that Allison knew what she was doing when she picked “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” The song was perfect for her voice and she had an excellent delivery. Her ability to pick the right songs makes Allison the only female giving the boys in the contest a run for their money.
Also landing at the top this week is Adam Lambert who surprises us again with a rock opera version of the 1982 Tears for Fears hit “Mad World.” As always, Adam delivers a true performance with the vocals and the theatrics. Adam fans will be pleased. His opposition will not. But however you feel about Adam you have to recognize that it’s not often that Simon gives a standing ovation.
In addition, Anoop Desai was riding an up wave again in his roller coaster career on Idol. When I heard that Anoop was singing a 1986 Cyndi Lauper song, I was wondering what he was thinking. But after hearing “True Colors,” I’d have to say that Anoop pulled it off with true grace. He did a beautiful job, but now I’m wondering if he’s repertoire is limited to ballads.
But Kris Allen is up for more than ballads. In the last few weeks Kris has wowed us with his softer side, but tonight we got to see him rock out to the 1985 hit “All She Wants to Do is Dance” by Don Henley. While Kris had a solid performance, I think he might have gotten better results if he slowed it down and put a blues feel to the song.
It also looked like Matt Giraud was back on again this week with a bluesy version of Stevie Wonder’s 1985 hit “Part-Time Lover.” Due to technical difficulties, I did not get to see his performance, but the clip at the end sounded like an improvement from last week.
But not everyone shined with golden oldies from their birth year.
I felt like I was on a cruise ship as I listened to Danny Gokey’s rendition of Mickey Gilley’s “Stand By Me” from 1980. You can definitely tell we were coming out of the disco era when this song came out. Danny would have done better to keep the song stripped down like he did for the beginning. It was a little slow for my taste but it was still better than the cruise ship persona the rest of the song took on. Still, Danny can still do no wrong in the judges’ eyes. But will their influence be enough to negate the impact from going first?
On the other hand, Scott MacIntyre might not have the strongest vocal in the contest. In fact, I’m sure he doesn’t, but all of his songs have a lot of passion behind them. Tonight’s “The Search is Over, a 1985-hit by Survivor, was no different. Sure the vocals weren’t spot on, but you really feel the song when he sings it. And it was really nice to see him with a guitar instead of a piano.
But really trailing this week was Lil Rounds. For weeks, Lil has been searching for her vocal identity and unfortunately, she still hasn’t found it. This week, her rendition of “What’s Love Got to Do with it” (1984) came off sounding like just a knock off version of Tina Turner’s. It wasn’t bad; it was just forgettable. And unless Lil finds her niche soon, she’s going to be forgotten all together.
By bottom three has to be Danny, Scott and Lil. And while I hate to see the contest down to just one female, it’s time for Lil to go home.