The Tuesday, May 5, 2009, American Idol show allowed the remaining four Idol artists the liberty of performing some of rock’s most legendary songs. Former guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, Slash, took time from his schedule to mentor the American Idol hopefuls in the fine art of rock and roll.
The May 5 edition of American Idol got off to a rocky start when an American Idol sign came crashing down from the ceiling onto the beloved Idol stage prior to showtime. Some may take this as a bad omen for the American Idol performers; however, a couple of contestants still had immensely successful performances.
The remaining American Idol contestants chose to perform some of this writer’s all time rock and roll favorites on the May 5 show in an effort to gain viewer votes. To get the American Idol wannabes into a rock and roll state of mind, this week’s mentor, Slash, held rehearsal at the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. To view more information about Slash, visit his website here. Educate yourself on the history of the Roxy Theatre by clicking here.
Here’s a run down of the aspiring American Idols’ performances on the night of May 5. This writer’s pick to go home on the elimination episode of American Idol on May 6 is Kris Allen. Remember that all of the songs are available for download on the American Idol website by clicking here.
Adam Lambert wasn’t foolin’ when he sang “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. Slash commented that “Adam’s got pipes.” I wish Lambert didn’t come off as so staged during his performance of this classic rock song. Loosen up, Lambert. You’ve got this in the bag. Randy Jackson said Lambert was a rock star tonight and Kara DioGuardi commented that Lambert was a rock god. Paula Abdul said that Lambert was a whole lotta perfect while Simon Cowell felt that nobody could top Lambert now. My hope is that Lambert can shake his Broadway demeanor and just be himself.
Finally! Allison Iraheta sings a song that’s right up her ally. Iraheta sang Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby” and was awesome (no matter what the judges say). If Iraheta had attempted to twist the song into a more original performance, the judges would have chewed her up and spit her out for butchering a classic. Slash felt that if Iraheta could pull it off, it was going to be great. Iraheta’s performance actually gave this writer cold chills and great memories of cruisin’ in my Z28 with the stereo breaking the sound barrier. Jackson said he didn’t love it and DioGuardi felt that Janis was the right choice for Iraheta. Cowell said the difference in Iraheta was staggering, but she should have done a different song.
The duet of Danny Gokey and Kris Allen performing “Renegade,” made famous by Styx, should not have been attempted. Both Gokey and Allen had pitch problems, more so with Allen than Gokey. Their rendition of the song on the American Idol stage was not good and certainly paled in comparison to the performances of Lambert and Iraheta. Gokey showed his true colors as he subconsciously threw rap style hand gestures into the performance. Jackson commented that he liked the harmony and DioGuardi said that some parts were better than others and they both had some pitchy moments. Abdul said that Gokey and Allen were powerful and compelling while Cowell said “Who was better? Danny, you were better than Kris.”
Kris Allen’s solo performance of The Beatles hit “Come Together” faired better than his duet with Gokey. Slash loaned Allen a guitar and amplifier while rehearsing at The Roxy on the Sunset Strip. Allen was so excited that he told America Idol viewers that he almost wanted to pee in his pants. This writer thought that Kris did a great job. DioGuardi said that Allen’s rendition of the hit song was not a great performance, Abdul said that Allen’s signature was all over his performance and Cowell said that he didn’t like it that much.
Another dangerous song choice on the May 5 episode of American Idol was Danny Gokey’s “Dream On” by Aerosmith. In regard to Gokey, Slash said that the main thing was to get that scream in at the end of the song and that it could go either way. It was obvious that Gokey’s musical style does not concentrate on rock. Gokey’s rock rendition of “Dream On” was not believable to this writer and the dreaded scream at the end of the song was just that . . . dreadful. Jackson said it was just alright, Abdul said this was a tricky genre for Gokey and it wasn’t her favorite, Cowell said the last note like watching a horror movie.
The last performance on the May 5 episode of American Idol was a duet with Iraheta and Lambert singing one of my absolute favorite songs “Slow Ride” by Foghat. This performance was the highlight of the night and certainly proved that these two artists go together like peas and carrots. I loved it! I just loved it! Jackson said their performance was the bomb and DioGuardi said that Lambert was a rock god and Iraheta was a rock goddess. Cowell said “In the battle of the duets, you win the show tonight.” When I heard Iraheta and Lambert performing “Slow Ride” together, I could relate to Allen’s incontinence problem in that I, too, almost wanted to pee in my pants.
Who will go home tomorrow on American Idol? Who knows. Stay tuned to the Fox channel on May 6 to find out.