The final performances of American Idol Season 8 are finally here.
With seven thousand people in attendance at the Nokia Theatre, Adam Lambert and Kris Allen are to each perform their favorite song of the season, a song chosen by American Idol creator Simon Fuller, and the winner’s song for the season, which was co-written by Kara DioGuardi.
Adam leads off by reprising his performance of “Mad World”. This was the song that was entirely cut off by DVRs, given American Idol’s inability to keep a live show running on time. Frankly, he was somewhat lucky to survive that week, as many people probably didn’t see the performance during the time the voting lines were open.
The Wife and I usually watch the show 30-45 minutes after it starts, so we can fast forward through the commercials. (I know, that’s a horrible thing for an advertising guy to do.) We were doing that the week of “Mad World” and didn’t see the performance until the next day when we could find it online.
In any case, we downloaded “Mad World” afterwards, and the song has really grown on me each time I hear it. Tonight was no exception. The Wife asked if he ever sings a bad note.
And I don’t care what Simon says; I liked the coat, although it looked like something out of “The Matrix”.
Kris chose to sing “Ain’t No Sunshine”. It was also a great performance. I particularly loved the opening. The Wife said, “This is going to be a throw down!”.
Simon Fuller chose “Change is Gonna Come”, a Sam Cooke song, for Adam. I loved seeing Adam go a bluesy R&B direction. It was something we hadn’t seen. The Wife asked, “What can he not sing?”
I didn’t love the screeching part as much as the opening, but it was all very good. The Wife loved it from start to finish.
For Kris, Simon Fuller chose “What’s Going On”, one of Marvin Gaye’s greatest, and a fantastic pick for Kris. I loved the simple acoustic arrangement.
Kris was able to take a classic, but rather old song, and make it sound completely current.
Now we come to the winner’s song. This is always sketchy at best. It’s generally sappy, syrupy, feel-good crap. (No, I’m not jaded, although the word curmudgeon may apply.) But Kara helped write “No Boundaries”, so maybe it won’t suck completely.
Actually, it does suck completely. We finally found something Adam can’t sing. His performance is truly bad. He now needs to lose this competition, so that he doesn’t lose all rocker cred by having to release this horrible thing as a single.
I did love the way Simon pointed out that the song sucked without actually saying that it sucked.
So, will Kris’ version will be better? He’s probably better at sentimental claptrap than Adam.
No, this is no better. He simply doesn’t have the pipes to sing this song. He misses a lot of the notes and forgets some of the words. Even Adam’s version was better than this. At least Adam was able to stay on pitch.
The Wife points out that the flow of the words doesn’t match the flow of the music. It’s like they’re trying to squeeze too many words into too few notes.
So, the final two performances were a bit of a buzz kill, after four great performances. I agree with Simon that the first round went to Kris, but think that the second round was much closer to a tie. And, while Adam was clearly better on the third round, neither of them should be proud of what they did.
Last week, Adam and Kris were within one-million votes of each other, and I’m not sure either did enough over the other to swing those votes much one way or the other. The question is, where are Danny’s votes from last week going to go?
Adam is a great performer, but he’s also polarizing. I would expect the majority of Danny’s voters move to Kris, who is much more approachable. If he was able to convince a number of these to actually vote, he should win easily.
The Wife says that while she prefers Adam and thinks he should be the winner, she actually hopes Kris wins. That way, Adam can put out the album that he wants to.
He also might be able to sign for a bigger deal than the preset American Idol record contract.