Last night’s theme on American Idol was Motown week. Legendary Motown icons Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy attended the week’s festivities, and they helped the Idol contestants pull out some very polarizing performances—some strong and captivating, others not so much. After losing frontrunner Alexis Grace last week, the Idols definitely felt the pressure, and only some seemed able to keep up.
Season 8’s Top 10: Matt Giraud (pictured), Kris Allen, Scott MacIntyre, Megan Joy, Anoop Desai, Michael Sarver, Lil Rounds, Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, and Allison Iraheta.
· 01 Matt Giraud- "Let’s Get It On"
This Marvin Gaye classic was a smart choice for the dueling-Piano player because it allowed Matt to showcase his soulful side without boring us to tears. Unlike his previous performances, Matt was engaging and fun onstage. Kara said he came out of his shell, and Simon commended his “brilliant choice of song.”
· 02 Kris Allen- "How Sweet It Is"
Another smart song selection came from resident sweetheart Kris Allen. He made the song sound fresh and contemporary, and he was just so natural, playful, and fun to watch onstage. Randy noted him as a “very consistent” contestant, Kara loved his artistry, and Simon advised that Kris begin to believe in himself more.
· 03 Scott MacIntyre- "You Can’t Hurry Love"
Scott was smart to pick a more up-tempo tune this week, but the delivery was cheesy and subpar. He’s not knocking any songs out of the park. Randy said it was a “very hotel kind of performance,” while Kara stated Scott has “good ideas, but the execution wasn’t perfect.” Simon concluded, “Week after week, you are choosing the wrong songs.”
· 04 Megan Joy- "For Once In My Life"
Perhaps the worst of the evening, Megan shouted and rushed through this Stevie Wonder gem. The judges agreed the performance was hectic and all over the place. Paul said it was the wrong song, and Simon told Megan, “You could be in serious trouble.”
· 05 Anoop Desai- "Ooh, Baby, Baby"
Though not as moving as his Grand Ole Opry performance, Anoop continued to deliver excellent control, range, and phrasing during this performance. Paula once again said Anoop was sweet and tender. Simon said it was “a great vocal. You’ve have two good weeks in a row.” Randy suggested Anoop “turn up the energy” next week.
· 06 Michael Sarver- "Ain’t Too Proud To Beg"
Michael’s performance was fun, likable, and much better than last week. Despite this, he’s showing again and again that he’s as vocally strong or stylistically relevant as his competitors. Paula said it was a “Las Vegas, lounge-y” performance. Simon cited Michael’s shouting, saying, “In the real world, it just isn’t good enough.”
· 07 Lil Rounds- "Heatwave"
Personally, I believe this song should be banned. There is no way to make this Motown hit sound contemporary, or non-cheesy, in today’s world. Despite this, Lil’s performance was solid, though she tended to shout more than sing as she rushed through the verses and chorus. The song selection was poor, as it didn’t let Lil show her R&B flavor. As Simon said, the song didn’t give her “a moment.”
· 08 Adam Lambert- "The Tracks of My Tears”
Opting for subdued and understated, rather than his trademark theatrical swagger, Adam offered a sweet, tender interpretation of the song. In the end, he earned a standing ovation from Kara and the crowd. Kara said the performance was one of the best of the night. Simon disagreed, saying, it was “the best performance of the night.” Randy commended Adam’s range, stating that he “can do anything.”
· 09 Danny Gokey- "Get Ready"
The song choice was fair, much better than the atrocious “PYT,” and it allowed him to be powerful without being cheesy. However, if this frontrunner wants to maintain his status, he needs to resist the urge to dance or risk forever scaring away the audience. Though the other judges raved, Simon saw the performance for what it really was: “clumsy and amateurish.”
· 10 Allison Iraheta- "(Papa Was A) Rolling Stone”
As perhaps the only female contestant who’s still got it together, Allison delivered another solid performance. It wasn’t as strong as her Heart performance, but as Randy said, it was “blazing hot.” Kara said the girl was amazing, and Simon called her “a survivor,” adding that this performance was one of Allison’s best.
Who Stays & Who Goes
· Matt Giraud, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, and Allison Iraheta provided the best vocals and performances of the night.
· Following closely behind, Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds, and Danny Gokey also offered up some decent performances.
· Scott MacIntyre, Michael Sarver, and Megan Joy were by far the weakest contestants of the evening and should be in danger of elimination.
Tune in at 8pm tonight night for the results on FOX.