Don’t fall for it though……I have been pimping Kris Allen all along because to me he’s the more genuine artist and has more universal appeal, and he’s a great natural singer. But if you listened to the judges on tonight’s “American Idol” showdown on FOX, they all but handed Adam Lambert the title, again. It was close, mind you, but I still think Kris deserved to win. (and you can still vote by the way (up until around midnight central time), and the best way is by texting the word “VOTE” to 5702 for Kris, 5701 for Adam. Now, on to the recap…
Kris won the coin toss that gave him the right to choose whether he wanted to go first or second, and he smartly chose to let Adam go first, robbing him of yet another pimp spot. Each finalist would sing their own favorite of the past season, a song chosen for them by show creator Simon Fuller, and then the obligatory schmaltz-fest that is the closing Idol song, this year a song co-written by rookie judge Kara DioGuardi.
Adam’s first choice was what many thought to be his best showing this season, the subdued version of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” Once again, Adam did a great job with it, although a bit more dramatic this time. Randy said he liked the sensitive side and gave Adam an “A-plus,” Kara said she was happy he chose that song, Paula said she was unbelievably proud and practically drooled all over herself, and Simon thought it was very good but a bit too theatrical.
Kris then came out and did the Bill Withers classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and I was really hoping he’d pick this one. Behind the piano, Kris’ arrangement of this song and the way he delivers the arrangement are one of the reasons he was there on the stage tonight. It was phenomenal. Randy said he loved it and that it was one of Kris’ best of the season, Kara agreed with Randy, Paula said “you have awakened the spirit in all of us and ‘Allenized’ it, the true mark of a great artist”…no really, she read (I mean, said!) that…anyway, kind of reminded me of Beavis as Cornholio, saying, “You have awakened my bunghole and now you must pay!”….and Simon said that while he was surprised that Kris made the finale, after that performance he wasn’t surprised, and he even gave Round 1 to Kris. Wow.
Adam’s Simon Fuller choice was the Sam Cook classic, “Change is Gonna Come,” and he did an extremely awesome job with it. Of course, as Adam does, he showed us too much of his tongue while displaying his range, but he really did knock this one out of the park. Randy said Adam can sing his face off, Kara said it was his best performance yet and a great interpretation of the song, Paula said “it’s the best I’ve ever heard you sing” and “you look like a superstar!”…..yikes, easy Paula. Simon said that now Adam is 100% back in the game after that performance.
Kris’ Fuller choice was Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and it was a very understated acoustic version of the song. All along I kept thinking that it was a good Kris performance but compared to Adam’s second song, it was well below the standard that had been set…there was just something missing. Randy said it was great but a little “light” for this stage of the competition, Kara said that she liked Kris staying true to his artistry and liked the socially conscious message that Fuller was trying to portray through Kris (huh?), Paula said Kris tore it up and “made Marvin Gaye proud,” (so she’s answering for a dead dude now), and then Simon said he loves the song but the performance was too laid back, like three guys playing guitar in the bedroom. I can’t say I disagree, but it wasn’t that bad either. Simon then gave Round 2 to Adam.
So now it was even heading into the final performance, the Kara song “No Boundaries,” which, as Simon pointed out after Adam sang, had a lot of “mountains” and “hurricanes” in it. Ha!
Adam’s version of this song, and mind you we had no reference point yet, was awful. It was pitchy and pretty much all over the place, and, well, he’s not suited to sing schmaltzy crap like that. Randy said he knows Adam can sing anything but that it was “just aight” for him and kind of pitchy, Kara said it’s an amazing feeling to have someone so talented sing a song she co-wrote (someone please remove the finger from my throat), Paula said “adjectives can’t express how great your season was”…I’ll give you an adjective, Paula…”overrated!”….Simon said that he wasn’t going to judge the song (good idea) and then said that Adam has been one of the best all season, and that he thinks they have found the star they set out to look for, in Adam. There’s that crowning thing again.
Kris then sang the same crappy song and did a much better job with it, partially because it suited his style just a bit more than Adam. But really, the melody of the song, if there is one, was so all over the place that I can’t imagine it’s easy to make it sound good, at least live. Randy said he was very proud of Kris and that the song may have suited him better than Adam, Kara went on and on about Kris’ compelling artistry, and then Paula and Simon basically handed the keys to the city to Adam. Paula said something like, “you’ve done an amazing job, best of luck,” and Simon said “your highlight was the first song tonight, but you deserved to be here.” What? They didn’t even judge his performance, which to me was clearly better than Adam’s.
So if you’re keeping score at home, I’m giving Kris a slight edge overall tonight.
I’m not saying Adam doesn’t have superstar potential and I’m not saying Kris is light years better, but I’m just sick of the judges trying to control the outcome. If you remember, though, last season’s finale was David Cook vs. David Archuleta, and Simon declared it a “knockout” victory for Archuleta. But America had other ideas, and Cook was crowned the Season 7 champ the following night.
Tomorrow, will it be the glam boy Lambert or the country boy Kris? I think Kris is going to win, and not just because I think he deserves it. I think America likes who they like, and I think they like Kris better. But nothing will surprise me either way….we’ll see. So go vote, and let me know what you all think…..