Seacrest shared his introduction duties with Quentin Tarantino, before the camera man passed out and took the shot of Seacrest coming down the stairs. I hate that shot. Ricky Miner and the band are down on stage this week, which is fun. Randy is wearing an ill advised sweater that looks like someone took a poo on the Swedish flag. As a Swedish-American, I find it a little insulting.... just saying. Paula again reached into her bag of old prom dresses. Simon tells us that because of the time mis-management last week, each contestant will only get feedback from two judges. Somehow, I don't think we'll miss much.
We did get an overly dramatic intro of Quentin Tarantino, though. So much for time saving.
Allison Iraheta (I Don't Want to Miss a Thing) - Allison ends up looking a little like a muppet when she has her hair all 80's spikey, and it's a foolish choice. The song started a little too low for her, which is unfortunate, because she's got such a range, it's sad to see her sell herself short like that. Her poor ennunciation continues to bug me somewhat. I think this is my least favorite Allison performance yet. I can think of so many other songs she could have sung better. This was just... a little boring. Paula said that Allison has some of Adam's Special Sauce. I don't think that she means it as dirty as it sounded. Simon called her the girl's only hope in the competition, and said she is getting stronger and more confident. I don't know what they were hearing... I like Allison and everything, but I thought this performance was pretty bland, actually. Humph.
Anoop Desai (Everything I Do I Do It For You) Quentin wanted him to rough the sound up a little, and I think that's a good critique. It's a good song for his voice, and brings me back to what... 9th grade? Now I feel old. Anoop continues to get really motley fashion advice - geek plaid button down shirt, striped tie, what looks like a sleeveless suit jacket, and white sleeves with a band on an arm... jeez. It's distracting. He tried to go for the earnest and rough sound, but in the end, I think it ended up sounding a little nasal.... not bad, though. When he wasn't going nasal, he sounded quite lovely. Randy said that Anoop has found his zone, was in tune, and had some emotion "jumping off." Kara said that his zone is really pop songs with some Anoop Soul thrown in, and she felt connected. I can see that. Simon looked peaved at not being able to speak.
Adam Lambert (Born to Be Wild) Quentin liked Adam's amuse bouche in rehearsal, and looked forward to the entree. I have to say, it was a wise song choice for Adam. There is something about his power notes that ends up being screechy to me, still... I think it's the musical theatre training. I am starting to like him more, though. This take on the song was definitely upbeat and rocking. I could have dealt without his last bit of indulgent shrieking, though. The crowd, predictably, went wild. Paula stood up. Predictably. Then she mumbled something about bravery and treading in the path of greatness. Simon joked that Adam needs to learn to express himself. He said vocally, it was good, but thought part of the performance was kind of like watching Rocky Horror. I can see that. Simon said that last week was more original and current. I would agree with that.
Matt Giraud (Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman) It's another Bryan Adams song from Matt. He's getting back behind the piano, and I like that. His outfit makes more sense, and looks like it came off of the same mannequin instead of random assembled parts. There were a couple notes that were a little shakey, but nothing that spoiled the song for me, and his high notes are so pleasant. His voice broke a bit in the middle, and that was disappointing, but he made up for it in the end. Randy called him on going off tune on the bridge, and thought he did too much extraneous stuff with it. Kara said that the struggle between the rock and soul is hard to pin him down. Simon made faces, and I really wish we were hearing from him.
Danny Gokey (Endless Love) Danny bought a guitar to play with, but says he will not be playing it on the show this season. I miss his glasses. Quentin urged him to minimize the hand gestures and focus his emotion in his voice and his eyes. Danny didn't listen, and I don't think that Danny detractors will like this song at all. I think he did a really really beautiful job vocally, but I wonder about the song choice. Wish he had done something fun. This just harkened back to the dead wife, harp and all... Paula loved it, and said something about it slaying the listener in the end. Simon said he sang it well, but didn't like the harp, and wanted something more unique. He said he could see the song meant a lot to Danny personally, and congratulated him for that. I really wanted him to do something fun.
Kris Allen (Falling Slowly) Kris decided to let the band to play the guitar for him tonight. This is from the movie Once, which a co-worker has been trying to get me to see for a long time - it's somewhere around #25 on my Netflix list. Kris showed his range off masterfully. I wish he had sung a more known song, but again... I love his higher register. It's soft and controlled. I think he sounded wonderful. Randy said "for me for you tonight, dude, it never really caught on," and called it pitchy. Kara said it was difficult to pick an obscure song, but called it one of his best. I would agree with Kara.
Lil Rounds (The Rose) Some say love, it is a river. A really meandering and pitchy river. With rocks in it. It was strangely disconnected when she brought it into the gospel style. It didn't work for me. It sounded really dated and boring. This song is so emotional, and I think Lil missed the emotion. Paula congratulated the lyricist. Simon said that she got it completely wrong (thank you, Simon), saying the song was too soft, and too middle of the road. He said he was frustrated. Lil talked back to Simon and said that she put her own spin to it.
(And even limiting the judges comments, they went over again.)
Listening back, I like Allison (01) more, and Adam less. Kris (06) won the night for me, though. I think I am only voting for Kris and Allison. My husband thinks that the problem with Adam is that he is buying into his own hype too much, and is into himself. I think that's true. He's good, and at times really good (like last week), but I don't think he is as good as he thinks he is. Danny disappointed me tonight with song choice, though his voice sounded really nice. Anoop... it was good, but boring in parts, and while Matt (04)'s strong parts were really strong, his weak parts were pretty dang weak. I might have to toss him a couple votes just because. Bottom 3? Lil, Anoop, and Danny for me, I think.... With probably Lil going home? Danny could probably do to be in the Bottom 3. He might also be a little too big for his britches.