American Idol: to cha ching or not to cha ching

Last night before the 11 hopefuls took the stage on American Idol,” judge Simon Cowell told Ryan Seacrest and all of us who cared to listen that he thought it was a critical night for the singers. That’s because the one that goes home this week will miss out on the American Idol summer tour. Only the Top 10 go (I’ve never quite figured out why the 12 finalists don’t all go), which means the 11th place finisher may miss out on all that tour dough. Seriously, that’s huge…and I’m glad Simon pointed it out. However, not too many of the contestants sounded like they were singing for their lives last night. Again. Oh yeah, and Miley Cyrus was the “mentor” this week, and I think we have to use “mentor” in very loose terms here. Here is the recap….

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American Idol: Judges try hard to crown Adam

We are rolling down the hill toward the “American Idol” finale, and the judges last night were over-impressed with one Adam Lambert on a night when I thought he was good, but not nearly as good as the judges’ collective frothing at the mouth indicated. Here is how it went down…

First of all, I’m quite sure that in previous seasons at this stage, they showed the three finalists going to their hometown with a whole montage on that before performing, but this time they shortened the show to an hour and though I haven’t looked at the listings, I’m expecting a longer results show tonight. But anyway, each contestant would sing something a judge or judges picked for them, and another song of their choice.

Danny Gokey went first and the song was Paula Abdul’s selection of Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Dance Little Sister.” Not a bad choice at all, with the tone and funky chorus that is right in Gokey’s wheelhouse. The problem is that the song never really goes anywhere, but Danny did a fine job with it. Randy said it was “dope,” Kara said the song was in Danny’s money spot but that she didn’t like the dancing, Paula said she was proud of Danny, and that she as a choreographer DID like his dancing (say what?), and Simon agreed with Kara but said it was a good vocal.

Kris Allen was next, and since there are now four judges, Kara and Randy tag-teamed on this one, picking One Republic’s “Apologize.” Kris played it painfully safe, sitting at the piano and doing a good job with it, but wowing positively no one. I was bummed that they kind of gave him a lame choice. Randy said the song fits who Kris can be, Kara liked the choice but wished Kris would have changed up the arrangement and said it wasn’t a home run, Paula said she understood the song choice and that she was proud, and Simon thought it was too copycat and he gave Kara a really hard time about Kara giving Kris a hard time about the arrangement of a song she chose for him. Ha!

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American Idol: Final four rawk

Last night “American Idol’s” Final 4 performed, and it was rock week, and I do mean RAWK, with Slash as the mentor and the mentoring taking place at a club with Slash’s band. How cool for these contestants to have that opportunity? But there was a damper right from the start, as Ryan Seacrest told the world that there was an accident on the set yesterday and one of the giant glass props burst and started spewing shards of glass everywhere. No one was hurt, thankfully, and it’s quite a stroke of luck that this didn’t happen during a show…but the contestants did not get as much practice in as they would have liked.

The show went on though, and in addition to the four performances there would be two duets as well on which the contestants would be judged. Here is how it went down….

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American Idol: Changes, but not really

Last night the Top 7 performed on “American Idol” and while some changes were made, nothing really changed in the end. Last week, you’ll remember that Adam Lambert was in the pimp spot, but didn’t perform until after 9pm ET, with the show running almost 10 minutes late. So those who set their DVRs missed his performance, though with Adam being a favorite, the votes were not affected at all. Still, something needed to give and they decided that this week, the judges would have to scale back their comments….meaning, after each performance only two judges would comment instead of all four. Considering that there would be one less performance this week anyway, that should help shorten the program, right? Well, not really. Not when the judges see it as a chance to banter on incessantly, and not while Ryan Seacrest can’t keep things moving along properly, and not when they book more commercial spots than necessary. Actually read that last part back, because I am quite sure that’s your real culprit in all this.

But anyway, superstar director Quentin Tarantino was the mentor this week, a guy who makes movies but has a passion for music and a knack for marrying songs with his films. And the theme was songs from movies. Easy enough, right? Well yeah, but Bryan Adams’ two sappiest songs reared their collective ugly head.

Here is how it went down:

THE GOOD

Allison Iraheta went first and sang Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing.” It wasn’t her best, but when she kicked into the second half of the song, holy crap. Paula and Simon both draped her with praise. Paula said that while she knows she champions Adam every week (that’s an understatement), Allison is remarkably talented as well, and Simon said that Allison is the girls’ only hope left, and that she is getting stronger every week and believing in herself.

Anoop Desai sang the first of the Bryan Adams’ sap-fest with “Everything I Do (I Do For You)” and he did a really nice job with it. Honestly, I loathe that song the way Newman from “Seinfeld” loathes Keith Hernandez, but Anoop played with the melody a bit and made it soulful and interesting. Randy said Anoop has found his zone, and that it was in tune and had some nice emotion, and Kara said Anoop added some nice soul to a pop song and that it was one of his best performances so far. No argument here.

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