American Idol Top Four Performances

Rock and roll comes to American Idol. Or, at least, something vaguely resembling rock and roll. Each of the four performers will sing along, plus they will be each paired for a duet.

Guitarist Slash is the mentor of the week. I don’t know if he knows anything about vocals, but he certainly knows rock and roll.

Adam
What We Suggested: “Dream On” by Aerosmith and “Who’s Crying Now” by Journey
What He Performed: “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin

From the first note, I really liked it. He’s giving it the Adam touch, but it’s not over the top like he’s been some weeks. In fact, I think he may have done it straighter than Robert Plant did on the original.

Adam certainly has the rock and roll look and attitude. And I loved the ending.

Allison Iraheta
What We Suggested: “Barracuda” by Heart and “Piece of my Heart” by Janis Joplin
What She Performed: “Cry Baby” by Janis Joplin

Another solid Joplin song. This could be good.

And she delivers. This is why I’ve been hoping for Allison to stick around these last few weeks. I knew she had a performance like this in her.

Damn, she’s got big pipes. And I love the understated ending.

The judges didn’t love the performance, but I think they were way off. It’s hard to follow Adam, but I think she did a great job.

Kris Allen and Danny Gokey
What We Suggested: Didn’t make a suggestion
What They Performed: “Renegade” by Styx.

The harmony between the two sounds really good. I never would have expected their voices to match so well.

The individual parts did not sounds so good. The Wife pointed out that both looked terrified.

Kris Allen
What We Suggested: “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart and “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
What He Performed: “Come Together” by the Beatles

I love the song, but rock like this needs to have an edge, and Kris doesn’t have one. It sounds ok, but didn’t quite “come together”.

The Wife says that something is off for Kris this week. He seems uncomfortable and distracted.

Danny Gokey
What We Suggested: “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
What He Performed: “Dream On” by Aerosmith

Well, I can’t accuse him of playing it safe. This is certainly a gutsy choice, but can he bring the scream?

And why is he wearing a vest for an Aerosmith song? Has he never watched a rock and roll performance?

Most of the song wasn’t too bad. Not great, but not too bad. Until he started adding a run or two. No, you shouldnt’ do that.

Then we got to the scream. I’m not sure what was worse, Danny’s scream or the noise the Feline Monochromes made in response.

The Wife felt he was trying too hard on the scream.

Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert
What We Suggested: “Time Stands Still” by Rush with Aimee Mann
What They Performed: “Slow Ride” by Foghat

Great song. One of my favorites. I really wanted to like their performance, but it felt like a Results Show group number.

The Wife reminded me that it was better than the first duet.


Ok, the duets were a stupid idea, which means they’re bound to become an annual tradition. If you must do a duet, pick a song that’s actually meant to be one. Otherwise, it comes across as bad karaoke.

Slash’s advice wasn’t too bad. Much better than I expected.

I wasn’t expecting things to go downhill so badly after the first two performances. Ranking the performers for the night from top to bottom, here’s what I have:

  1. Adam Lambert
  2. Allison Iraheta
  3. Danny Gokey
  4. Kris Allen

Adam blew the doors of, and is certainly safe. Allison should be safe, be she hasn’t always brought the votes commensurate with her performances. Danny and Kris were both bad, with Danny being just a bit better than Kris.

This is the week we find out if there’s any weakness to Danny’s voters. They, along with VoteForTheWorst, may keep Danny out of the unhappy seats. Given that he hasn’t showed any real weakness thus far, I’m not expecting to see it this week.

Assuming they do a Bottom Two, it’ll be Kris and Allison. I expect Kris to go home. His voting has been weak even when he’s performed well, and this was not a good week for him.

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