On March 10, 2009, the 8th season of American Idol officially began. This year’s Idol began its season with 13 contestants rather than the 12 that there have been in the previous years.
The show started out with an announcer announcing each of the judges as well as Ryan Seacrest. After a brief intro from Ryan and some comments from judges the contestants were introduced. Then the theme of the night was announced. The contestants would be singing songs from Michael Jackson.
First up was Lil Rounds. Lil sang The way You Make Me Feel. The judges were very impressed. They thought it was great way to start out the show. Simon liked the performance but thought the beginning was a little boring and hated her outfit which was a strapless top with a bow over the should and white pants. I tend to agree Simon, not on the outfit, I thought it was not the best song choice for her, but she did pretty well.
Next up was 23 year old Scott MacIntyre. Scott is the one who has been nearly blind his entire life. He also plays the piano. He sang a song Keep the Faith from the Michael Jackson’s album “Dangerous.” I have personally never heard the song before. He did a nice job on the quieter notes. It is a pretty song. He did a little falsetto, he gets a tiny bit shaky when he adds power, but over all he did a nice job of singing and accompanying himself on the piano. The judges were glad that they got to see him behind the piano. They thought maybe perhaps it was a brave choice because the song is not well known, and Simon hated the performance because of that, not because of Scott but because of the song choice. Randy thought it was a safe performance. The lady judges were kinder than the male judges.
3rd to go was Danny Goeke. Danny is one of the favored contestants. Danny is the contestant who looks a bit like Robert Downey Jr. His wife died just a few weeks before he tried out for Idol. Danny sang P.Y.T. He started it out a little slow, and it was pretty cool, then he powered it out. I thought vocally it was brilliant. He danced a bit all over the stage, which I thought was fine, but of course Simon had to criticize him for that. Paula was up out of her seat, and couldn’t stop raving about Danny’s performance. She said, “Danny I think you are on your way to the finals.” Simon said, “The vocals were amazing but the dancing was hideous.” But he added that it didn’t matter because he thought it was a fantastic performance. Randy loved the singing and the dancing. Kara enjoyed it all as well.
4th Contestant Michael Sarver sang, You Are Not Alone. Micahel is the oldest contestant of the top 13 at the ripe old age of 27. Michael is from Texas and is an oil rig worker. The performance was strong and solid. The judges thought he gave his performance a lot passion and heart. Randy thought he was one of the best so far. Kara also liked his passion and his performance, Paula found him to be very likable.
The 5th Competitor was 16 year old Jasmine Murray, I actually thought she was older. When she sings she seems so mature. When she talks you can tell she is younger, but when she performs she seems older for some reason. She sang I’ll Be There. I think it was an excellent song choice. Out of all of Michael Jackson’s this is one that I think suits a female voice. In my opinion she gave a good solid performance. Randy name dropped Mariah Carry and the fact that he worked with her on this song. But he was impressed with how she mixed Mariah’s version and Michael Jackson’s versions of the song. Over all the sense from the judges was that it was a good performance over all but not quite perfect.
The 6th Contestant was Kris Allen. Kris is a 23 year old newlywed from Arkansas. He sang remember the time. He brought out the acoustic guitar which didn’t really seem to go with the song, not to mention that you couldn’t really here it as the backup music was too loud. The performance would have seemed less clumsy and more relaxed without the guitar. Vocally the performance was good and strong and energetic. Kara had to mention that the ladies love him, he is a cute young guy. She also mentioned how nice he was and how he helped out the other contestants this week. Paula said he is, adorable/sexy. Simon said what I did, that the guitar made the performance a bit clumsy. Randy liked it and said he liked the guitar but also said the song was not really suited for that song.
The 7th contestant was the other 16 year old in the contests Allison Ihrheta. Allison talked about her Salvidorian background, and how she has been singing since she was 5 years old. Allison sang Give In To Me. She did a nice original interpretation. She sang it with a nice combination of blues and rock style. In other words she rocked it out. She sang with such maturity it is hard to think she is only 16 years old, with her deep sultry voice. The judges found her to be very confident and capable.
The 8th Contestant to sing was 21 year old Anoop Desai who seemed to be the one that made the judges want to add a 13 contestant to the top 12 this year. Anoop already has a nickname on the show. He is now known as Anoopdog. His parents were so sweet and supportive in his intro video they made my eyes tear up. Anoop sang beat it which conjures up memories of High School pom poms for me. Anoop commands the stage when he sings, he is a good performer. Vocally it was OK. It reminded me of a High School performance, or a karaoke performance and for both of those it would be a good performance. Was it recording artist good, probably not, but he is always fun to watch. The judges were underwhelmed and even Paula said it was very karaoke which is one of Simon’s key phrases, and Simon of course agreed. Randy and Cara agreed the song choice was a bad one, and this is a song that no one will ever do as well as Michael Jackson.
The 9th Contestant Jorge Nunez. Jorge is a 20 year old Native of Puerto Rico. Jorge sang Never Can Say Goodbye. Jorge has a beautiful effortless voice. I don’t think he will ever be the big power singer but I think that he will always sound nice. The song just sounded really pretty. His posture seemed a bit off to me, and he didn’t perform a lot, but he sang so nicely that I could close my eyes and enjoy the music. Randy, Kara, and Paula did not like the song choice. Simon thought it was corny and that he was out of his depth. I thought Simon was a bit harsh. I obviously thought it was better than the judges did.
The 10th Contestant was 22 year old Megan Corkrey. Megan sang Rockin Robin. Let me start out with the positives. She looked good and she is curvaceous. Unfortunately Megan had probably the worse performance of the night, at least in my opinion. The song was just really odd for her. She did not seem right singing it. She also danced kind of oddly about. Kara was really polite and said she would like to hear more range from her. Paula was also polite. Simon did not like the performance at all. Randy was also polite and blamed the bad performance on the song choice. The camera cut over to Gordon Ramsey in the audience. We could not however hear what he was saying.
The 11th Contestant was seasoned competitor Adam Lambert. My husband I were both hoping he was going to sing Dirty Diana, that would have rocked. But he sang Black or White. Adam sang the song like it was all his. He took over the stage like he was putting on his very own Adam Lambert concert. A couple of his notes were a little sharp and odd for me, but that does not matter. The performance was spellbinding, I could not take my eyes off of him, and I hung on each note wondering what direction he was going to take the song next. The audience howled for an extra amount of time. Paula was brought to tears, and brought Adam to tears. She called him the whole package. She sees him in the finals. Simon said he was in a totally different league from everything else they had seen that night. Randy called him current, and said he could make a record right now. Kara said he hit notes she did not even know existed, and hoped Michael Jackson was watching.
For more on Adam Lambert please see: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1512255/adam_lambert_stands_high_above_the.html?cat=39
The 12th Contestant blues singer and piano player, 23 year old Matt Giraud. Mass sang Human Nature. He accompanied himself on the piano. He sang in a nice calm bluesy style. He hit some cool notes. It was a nice a smooth and entertaining performances and with some good appropriate falsetto thrown in. He was one of my favorites of the night. Randy said it was really good performance with a couple of pitch problems, Cara and Paula said he was very talented. Even Simon said he had a nice solid meat and potatoes performance.
The final contestant of the night was 21 year old Alexis Grace. She sang the song that we had so wanted Adam to sing; Dirty Diana. Alexis prides herself as being a blues singer. She started out the song really strong. She had great emphasis on her words. The chorus could have been a bit stronger, but she did pretty good overall, it could have been a little better, but it was not bad. Kara liked her naughty performance, Paula thought she over sang it, so did Simon. Randy was with me and thought it was good not great.
Who will end up in the bottom 3 tonight? It is kind of hard to say. Based on the judges critiques I would say it will be Megan, Anoop, and Jorge. This was just based on what the judges said and not my own opinion. But we shall see. I liked Jorge a lot better than the judges did, but I think the majority of the contestants had solid performances so it will be interesting to see what happens on tonight’s result show.