The final three contestants on American Idol season 8 performed two songs tonight. The first was a pick by the judges, and then they picked one of their own.
None of my suggestions/predictions from the weekend were even in the right ballpark, so we’re going to pretend that those never happened.
Suggestion by Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi: “Dance Little Sister” by Terrence Trent D’Arby
His energy tonight was certainly better than it was in week’s past. He also sounded pretty good, but he looked very uncomfortable during the performance. And the dancing was nothing less than tragic.
Suggestion by Paula Abdul: “Apologize” by One Republic
Really liked the performance. The song built and ebbed several times.
One the other hand, it was a bit safe. I hate agreeing with Kara, but she’s right that an acoustic version would have sounded better.
Still, it was quite good.
Suggestion by Simon Cowell: “One” by U2
I absolutely loved the performance. Adam may be at his best when he gives a somewhat restrained performance.
Then he opened it up, and Drama Boy Adam came out. I didn’t like this part nearly as much. If he’d held it back even a bit, I think it would have been a better performance.
His Choice: “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker
Great song choice, and a very pretty arrangement. I really liked the string backup.
It was a good performance, especially for Danny, but I wish he wouldn’t take so many liberties with the melody. Riffs and runs should be the spice of a song, not the meat, and there were parts of the performance that were unrecognizable.
His Choice: “Heartless” by Kanye West
Really. Wasn’t. Expecting. That.
Didn’t love the opening, but once he started up with the guitar, it was a very cool performance.
An acoustic version of a Kanye West song. That’s certainly a brave, original choice, and now I understand why he didn’t go the acoustic version on his first song. He already knew he was going this way on his song.
His Choice: “Cryin'” by Aerosmith
A bit of an odd arrangement, but that’s probably because of the time restraints of the live performance. As it was, it didn’t quite work for me, but I expect that the studio version is going to be very good.
As one would expect at this point, they were all solid performances. I even liked Gokey more than I usually do. None of the performances completely blew me away, but I think Kris won the night.
The smart money is probably for Danny and Adam to make it to the finale, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Kris knocked one of them off.
No matter what happens over the next eight days, Adam Lambert is going to have a record contract. In fact, he might well be better off if he could negotiate his own terms, rather than have to take what American Idol forces on him.
Kris Allen is also most likely going to be signed. He’s shown great charisma over the last few weeks, and has had some of my favorite performances of the season.
Danny Gokey probably has the most to be gained by winning. Yes, even if he loses, he’s likely to get a contract, but he also might be hard for a Hollywood record producer to pigeon-hole. He could use the guarantee.
Wednesday’s results show will feature performances by Katy Perry and American Idol Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks.