By Sohyung Kang
It’s that time of year again — time for the “American Idol” contestants to sing songs from the year they were born. This usually makes for a lot of disastrous performances, but surprisingly, there weren’t too many last night. Here’s my take on the top eight:
Danny Gokey, singing Mickey Gilley’s version of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”
How obnoxious was that pre-performance video package? “I can sing.” OK, we get it. You are full of yourself. What puzzles me is that after Danny blatantly took a massive dump on a classic song, the judges did nothing but fawn over him — is this a cruel joke? Are the judges and producers trying to get America to vote for the lamest contestant on purpose? I’m starting to have traumatic flashbacks of Taylor Hicks. We do not need another Billboard chart bottom-feeder winning this competition. Danny, please make your way back to the cruise deck for your next performance. The buffet crowd is getting antsy.
Danny makes the same face I was making while he was singing.
Kris Allen, singing Don Henley’s “All She Wants to Do Is Dance”
Kris looked like he was having a ton of fun out there in the mosh pit. On this side of the TV, I was filing my nails and wondering when the song would end. I like Kris and I want to see him make it to the top five, but after this disaster, I’m worried he may go home. At least he has his cab-driving talents to fall back on.
The audience is very good at pretending to like this performance.
Lil Rounds, singing Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It”
Shrill, I mean, Lil is the most overrated contestant left in the competition. She is not a singer; she is a shouter. The judges repeat the same critique, week after week. “Lil, you’re hot and you have a big voice, but you need to figure out who you are (and you’re Mary J. Blige).” When even Paula rips you apart, you know it’s time to go. She is way past her expiration date. What will it take for her to get a plane ride home? Should I send a check?
Anoop Desai, singing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”
Welcome back, Anoop. You lost me last week with your laughable, wannabe performance of Usher’s “Caught Up” and ridiculous, snarling scowl, but you won me back this week with your smooth, controlled vocals. Please stick to R&B ballads and leave the party back at school.
Scott MacIntyre, singing Survivor’s “The Search Is Over”
Scott likes trains, huh? Well, I don’t like train wrecks. Scott must go ASAP. It sounded like he was being stabbed with hot pokers. He belongs at a bar playing piano with a giant tip jar, not as a contestant on this show. Let’s stop leading him on.
Allison Iraheta, singing Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”
Yes, her wardrobe looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie. Yes, she’s awkward. But the judges do not give Allison enough credit. She is the only contestant I would legitimately buy an album from, and her voice is fantastic. Simon is wrong about how her personality doesn’t show through — it does. She has tons of personality. It’s just that, unfortunately, America doesn’t seem to like it.
Matt Giraud, singing Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover”
My DVR cut off during his performance, and let’s just say I wasn’t heartbroken over it. Since the judges rushed through their critiques, I will rush through mine. Two words: It sucked.
Adam Lambert, singing Tears for Fears’ “Mad World”
Adam was 100 percent deserving of Simon’s standing ovation. He made me wonder why I didn’t just fast-forward to the end, ’cause all the other performances seemed amateur in comparison. It helped that he kept the banshee shrieking to a minimum. Adam consistently picks great songs and performs them in unique, memorable ways.