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'American Idol''s Top 9 Sings iTunes Top 100
Copyright 2009 Frank Micelotta / FOX
"American Idol"'s Top 9 got to show how relevant and current they can be in today's music business when they performed songs from iTunes' most popular downloads.
Anoop Desai kicked off the evening's competition with an R&B tune from Usher: "Caught Up." Judge Randy Jackson wasn't feeling it. He said, "You definitely picked up your swagger. The vocals were good considering it wasn't the right song for you." Kara DioGuardi advised him, "When you pick Usher, you have to go up in your range and do riffs. You played it safe and did what he did. I felt like a bunch of frat guys dared you to get up and sing Usher." Paula recommended that he work more on his stage presence and create some signature moves. Simon Cowell was brutal, saying, "I thought it was a complete utter mess if you want my honest opinion. You came over as a wannabe. It was a little bit like a college boy trying to be a popstar. It gave me a headache."
Megan Joy picked Bob Marley/Lauryn Hill's "Turn Your Lights Down Low." Kara told her, "I really like you, but I think you are in trouble. It was just not the song for you. I want to hear [something like] Adele's "Chasing Pavements." Paula said, "I think at this stage of the competition, you need to take us by surprise and dig deep to an area that might not be comfortable, but that is where beauty develops." Simon declared, "The problem was that the song was boring, it was indulgent and it was monotonous. All the things we liked about you are disappearing. Nobody is going to like that song and I agree with Kara. It wasn't you." Randy compared her performance to watching paint dry. "You can love a song, but that doesn't mean you are going to sing it great," he said.
"What Hurts the Most" by Rascal Flatts was Danny Gokey's song choice. Paula complimented him, saying, "This is where you thrive. From the first note to the cadence, you leave me wanting more." Simon told him, "We weren't on the same page last week, but this week, if I am being honest, I thought it was your best performance. I know we are only three in, but it was so much better than the first two." Randy agreed, saying, "I feel like tonight's show starts right here. You brought it crazy with the vocals. You chose something you can really sing." Kara pointed out, "You moved everyone in this room emotionally and that is hard to do. You gave so much of your heart and soul. That is when you connect to the audience."
Allison Iraheta broke out her guitar for the first time for No Doubt's "Don't Speak." Randy said, "You can sing. You got the voice. You were a little ahead of the beat. I like that you played the guitar, but dude, what are you wearing? I got mad love for you, but I don't get the ensemble." Kara advised, "The rock in you comes out in you no mater what you are wearing. You are that. You have that raspiness. This felt forced. It was a good performance for me; not your best, but good." Paula told her, "I think that your vocal prowess rivals singers twice your age. Your intonation and delivery are masterful. I think you are going to the finish line." Simon pointed out, "We can't ignore the outfit. It was like something out of 'The Addams Family.' It bothered me because it was like a slightly precocious daughter trying to dress like a rock star. Plus, you shouted the song, as well."
Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" was performed -- at the piano -- by Scott MacIntyre. Kara said, "I think you made some smart decisions tonight by picking that song, stripping it down and singing to the audience. This was a moving performance, coming from an honest place." Paula told him, "Out of all the contestants that grace the stage, I am most proud of you. It has nothing to do with your challenge. It has everything to do about what you do that makes me forget that challenge." Simon complimented, "Your best performance by a country mile so far. Absolutely, it is a different Scott." Randy simply said, "One of the best of the night."
Matt Giraud picked a song he liked this week, not one he felt the judges would like -- "You Found Me" by The Fray -- and, unfortunately, he was right. Paula said, "I appreciate that you went for a contemporary song, but I feel that you aborted the things we love most about you: your magnificent way of riffing and your falsetto." Simon commented, "You should be happy because we don't like you this week. I didn't get it at all. It was somebody trying to be somebody else. It felt put on. Not a good commercial song. You are becoming all these different people in order to stay in the competition." Randy told him, "The problem for me is it was just the wrong song for you. We say you are more like Justin Timberlake, but this is not you. You have more chops than that. You have to let that flavor out." Kara added, "You keep going between the rock side of pop and the R&B side. You are going to have to choose. You are a talented guy and I don't believe you deserve to go home."
Lil Rounds went for "I Surrender," a Celine Dion power ballad. Randy said, "For me, for you, once again, this would not have been my song choice. I've got to tell you, I was, 'Oh, no. This is going to be rough.' You sang it really well. You have vocal skills, but young it up." Kara wanted to hear Lil sing something by Mariah Carey or Mary J. Blige. "I was surprised, too, because when you go up there, it is effortless. I think tonight we got a glimpse of what we saw in the beginning, which is this singer who can let it out and wow us," she said. Paula advised, "I don't want to see an adult contemporary Lil Rounds, I want to see the joy that you brought us when we first saw you." Simon told her, "This was you singing to stay in the competition with a safe song. This was so old-fashioned. Your personality is being sucked out of you."
Adam Lambert went crazy with Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music." Paula enthused, "True genius does not fulfill expectations; true genius shatters it." Simon pointed out, "That was very brave. I have to hand it to you. At least we got rid of some of the karaoke nonsense. It was original. It isn't going to be as popular as last week." Randy admitted, "When I heard you were going to do this song, I thought, 'This is going to be corny.' You have the voice; you are in the star zone." Kara added, "Every week I cannot wait to get to the show and see what you are going to do next. It was like Studio 57 up in here."
The final performance of the night was Kris Allen playing keyboards to Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine." Randy praised, "For the last couple of weeks, you are slaying them. You are so in the zone. That was one of the best performances of the night." Kara agreed, simply saying, "I have three words for you: That is artistry." Paula enthused, "You are pacing this competition and playing it to your strengths. It was your best performance to date." Simon made it unanimous: "It was a very good arrangement of the song. I liked seeing you behind the keyboard. I agree. It was your best performance."
The "American Idol" results show airs Wednesday night at 9 p.m. on FOX, when someone will go home and the Final 8 will be announced.
Posted March 31, 2009 7:30:00 PM
See All: adam lambert allison iraheta American Idol anoop desai Daniel Gokey kara dioguardi kris allen Lil Rounds Matt Giraud megan joy corkrey Paula Abdul randy jackson Scott MacIntyre Simon Cowell tv