American Idol 8 Finals: Round 8

We’re down to the final five… the theme this week will be challenging (by which I mean, “old”)… the mentor is a bit surprising… but this year, only one song per singer in the round of 5…

Word is that Fox realized that with 4 judges, there was no way in hell they could fit 10 songs and four egomaniacal chatterboxes into one hour… and they weren’t going to get a second hour from the network… so we get one song per performer and a ton of time-filling junk.  Thanks, Fox.  Maybe the show needs a full reboot for season 9 – find judges who don’t think they’re bigger than the show, for a start… oh, sorry, enough italicized musing, we have a show to start…

This… is Standards (“Rat Pack”) week… and THIS… is American Idol! *music cue*

Prediction guaranteed to go wrong: I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see this come down to Adam and Allison now… Danny, Kris, and Matt are similar enough that they’ll divide up a lot of votes.  Of those three, I’d guess Danny makes the final three, but I could be wrong.  After all, I was the one who thought David Archuleta would win last year. 🙂

On with the show… as Jamie Foxx (I guess he’s this generation’s Sammy Davis Jr?) is introduced as the mentor…

Kris Allen – “The Way You Look Tonight” (1936; Sinatra; The Lettermen) – At this point, I’m really looking for someone to jump out and make me listen.  Kris… didn’t.  Nice.  Pleasant.  Safe.  Forgettable.  Second look: nobody’s jumping out.  This is probably enough to keep him around.

Allison Iraheta – “Somebody To Watch Over Me” (1926; Gershwin, Ella; Sinead O’Connor?) – Birthday girl Allison gets the Product Placement Red Zone treatment… Nicely done.  Not quite the breakout I was hoping for, and definitely not her typical “rocker chick” song, but a solid performance.  If they could get the judges to shut up, Allison could have rocked a second song and would have had a better chance to get votes.  But no, Idol isn’t about the singers, it’s about the judges…

Instant Barometer: Allison / Kris

Matt Giraud – “My Funny Valentine” (1937; Sinatra, Ella, Supremes, Barbra; Elvis Costello) – And Matt also gets a seat in the Product Placement Red Zone.  We can see who Idol thinks is in trouble… Another nice, safe, pleasant version.  I don’t think he quite took the chances Jamie Foxx wanted him to take… and he may well be in danger.

Instant Barometer: Allison / Kris / Matt

Danny Gokey – “Come Rain Come Shine” (1946; Billie Holiday, Ray Charles; Eric Clapton) – Geez, this was all over the place.  OK, I guess, and the histrionics will get votes… but I’m not really feeling it, dawg.

Instant Barometer: Allison / Kris / Danny / Matt

Adam Lambert – “Feeling Good” (1965; Nina Simone; Muse) – This song was sung, in competition, by the 2007 Canadian and Australian Idol winners.  Hmmm… Why am I not surprised that Adam (1) got the newest song of the five with (2) a recent cover version he could sing?  That said, he did a good job of making the song seem relatively fresh… and of course, nailed the trademark Idol Note at the end.

Instant Barometer: Adam / Allison / Kris / Danny / Matt

In the end, this is a terrible theme for showcasing modern pop artists.  Whoever gets voted off tonight can justifiably claim to have been screwed.

My bottom two: Danny and Matt.

America’s bottom two: Allison and Matt.

Going home: either one.  I’ll predict that Matt goes, but Allison could.

Repeating the key story tonight: The contestants were ripped off, and so were we.  Thanks again, Fox.

Fringe is next.  Results of this lost opportunity tomorrow night at 9/8c (after Fox doesn’t carry the Obama press conference) with Taylor Hicks.   See you then.


Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, slightly less occasional improv player/ref/tech, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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