'American Idol' Rock Week -- Danny Gokey Kills a Cat
Tune in here for the weekly "American Idol" performance show recap. Will any of my predictions hold true? I am still holding out for Allison/Adam doing "Close My Eyes Forever." Let's find out! Leave your comments below!
We revisit Adam's trip to the Bottom 3 from last week which may as well have been the Who Shot JR? cliffhanger for how they are treating its shock value. Frankly, I didn't think Adam did as well as he normally does so it didn't surprise me much he was in the Bottom 3.
Seacrest tells us the show is coming to us "very live" tonight. Hmm. Is that like extremely historic or very unique? He then talks about an accident on the set during dress rehearsal, which kept the Idols from a proper run-through. Oooh.
Video of this week's mentor: Slash. I'm pretty surprised he's appearing on Idol, but good for him. He's no Peter Noone from Herman's Hermits, but I guess he'll do. Heh heh. Slash mentors the Idols with a band in a club. It's pretty bad ass, not gonna lie.
Adam Lambert, "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin
Interesting that he's first, guess they assume he's safe this week with the theme. Great song choice, excellent. Slash comments that Adam "has some pipes." That's an understatement. He also advises him to do more in his lower register, which is interesting. Adam is back looking like the lovechild of Freddy Mercury, David Bowie and Dr. Franknfurter, it's fabulous. This song is right in his wheelhouse, he gets to wail without screaming at us, which I appreciate. Just when you think it's over and you go,"Huh?" there's a great big ending. Awesome.
Randy says nobody will think about Broadway when he does stuff like that. Kara, rocking a studded jacket and some punk hair, calls him a "rock God!" Paula word-salads that he's a whole lotta perfect. Simon jokes about the performance being "understated." Snerk. Then Simon says that nobody can top it, but I disagree. If Allison picks the right song, she can top that. Why? Because Adam does this a lot but Allison hasn't rocked out since "Alone."
Allison Iraheta, "Cry Baby" by Janis Joplin
Man, I was really hoping for some Heart. Ah well. In her stool interview with Ryan she sounds like a valley girl and a stoner at the same time, which I didn't think was possible. Is it just me, or does Allison look super-pretty tonight? Slash likes her natural rock n roll swagger but he advises her to get past the fear. The low verses are perfect for her, very sultry and the first chorus is great, but I hope she leaves room to build. Hmm. She doesn't change much from chorus one to chorus two and I wish she would've really blown it up. It was too much the same. I still liked it but she could've chosen a better song.
Randy didn't love the song choice because it's so repetitive. Kara likes the Janis choice but wanted "Piece of My Heart" because there is more melody. Paula calls her fearless and thinks Allison should play Janis in a biopic. What about Jenna Maroney? Simon says she had confidence and the vocal was terrific but he wanted a little more originality. He says she should've done "Somebody to Love" but thinks she meant the Queen version and she actually meant the Jefferson Airplane version (duh, Simon) and then she talks about how much "Piece of My Heart" has been done on the show and then Simon gets a little ass-y telling her just to "beg" at this point and she fires back that he wants her to talk more so she's talking more and he knows she's gotten him there. He then compliments her on arguing for herself. Good save, Cowell, because you were lookin' like a big ol' douche for a second. Sorry for the run-on sentence, but it was kind-of an incident.
Kris Allen and Danny Gokey, "Renegade" by Styx
They share the acapella lead and Kris out-sings Danny on that, but then they sing in harmony and it's really nice. Huh. When the fast part kicks up, they just take turns, there isn't much "duet" to it and they also sound off-key. Can they hear themselves? I don't know if they can. Whereas Kris out-sang Danny on the acapella part, Danny overshadows Kris on the fast part. Kris's voice just isn't rock enough and Danny's is. They break it down at the end again and do some more harmony, which is nice but Kris is still getting overpowered by Danny's grizzled shouting. I know it's not a competition for who can sing the best duet, but still. Rein it in a little, Gokey.
Randy liked the harmonies (yes). Kara thought there was a disconnect between the song and the guys who help "the little women cross the street." We can only speculate on if she means little old ladies or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Paula calls it powerful and compelling. Simon says Danny was better than Kris. I'll admit it: yes, he was.
Also, this means: ALLISON AND ADAM! YAY! I might have a stroke.
Kris Allen, "Come Together" by The Beatles
Man, they are throwing Kris right into his solo on the heels of his duet. That's kind of harsh. Also, I associate this song with Carly Smithson, so let's see if Kris can make me forget. Kris got to jam out on the guitar with Slash during mentoring and Kris talking-heads that he almost wanted to pee his pants. Awww! And also: ewww. Vocally, this isn't blowing me away. It's like the cute little boy next door is trying to get your attention with how "bad-ass" he can be but you still just wanna pinch his cheeks. I thought this might be a hard theme for Kris and I think I was right. Whereas Carly put some rockin' wails in the song, this has stayed very middle-of-the-road and therefore very flat.
Randy says he knows Kris isn't a rock guy but he appreciates something he can still be himself on. True. But Randy also says he wasn't blown away by the vocals. Also true. Kara says he's the "softer side of rock" and that it wasn't great. Yes. Paula liked his artistic delivery and Simon compares it to eating ice for lunch (it leaves you with nothing) and says it was boring. Yes.
I think it's time for Kris to go home. He's great, but he just doesn't have the chops this particular week. Unless Danny comes out and kills a kitten with a tack hammer, I think Kris is headed home.
Danny Gokey, "Dream On" by Aerosmith
I was hoping Adam might choose this song but I'll give Danny a fair listen. The verse is nice but the slide doesn't quiiiite get up there. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's like the other guys hear Adam Lambert do the high stuff and think to themselves,"I can do that!" but they really can't. When Danny goes for the big screamy "dream ons" at the end, it is... wow. He is literally, LITERALLY, just screaming into the microphone. It's not on pitch, it's not even close. He didn't kill a kitten with a tack hammer but he certainly strangled one to death. Good god in heaven. He's also dressed like Prince and a pimp had a kid.
Randy says "aight" but valiant effort. Kara thinks he took the swagger too far. Yes. Too big for his britches this week, delusions of Adam Lambert grandeur. Kara also says she wanted him to do "early Aerosmith, like Cryin' or Crazy." Ummm... "Dream On" came out like 20 years before those songs. Also, those songs aren't eligible for tonight because they're from the 90s. Kara makes me head hurt. Paula is making more excuses about this being a hard genre for him and says she's a huge fan of his. God. If I were Kris, I'd storm the stage and stab him with a fork. The pimping is disgusting. Simon says the last note was like watching a horror movie, just a scream. YES! He then says that Danny is still safe. Oh, Cowell. You too? Gag me.
I completely rescind what I said about Kris going home. It would be a crime if Danny stuck around after that giant turd he just laid onstage.
Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta, "Slow Ride" by Foghat (does that make anybody else think of Jim Carrey dressed as a hippie and saying, "We need some more [bleep]ing Foghat!" Just me?)
We're here! The moment's arrived! I'm just beside myself with anticipation. I'm not wild about the song choice because there are SO MANY good male-female duets out there, but ah well. I'll take it anyway. They take turns on the verse and then alternate some vocal gymnastics. The chorus harmony is a little suspect but the bridge and the ending is fantastic. They kick Kris and Danny's butts.
Randy says they are the two seasoned rock stars and that they should do a duet on their albums. Totally. Kara calls them rock god and goddess and that they pushed each other to be better. Paula echoes the sentiments and Simon says they won the Battle of the Duets and says Adam gave Allison a chance to stick around. That's another kinda jerky thing to say to Allison. Hmph.
Recap: Adam just being so much in his element this week that it's not fair for the other contestants, Allison being easily second of the night even if she didn't pick the best song, Kris being very white bread tonight but surprisingly not the worst, and Danny getting an unfortunate clip on the recap because we have to relive that eye-watering, ear-bleeding, toe-curling trainwreck of an ending.
Who should go home, guys?