Wednesday, May 6, 2009

American Idol Season 8
Top 4 Results

Safe: Kris Allen

Crap, that must mean Allison Iraheta is doomed. Damn!

Safe: Adam Lambert
Safe: Danny Gokey

Yes, Allison is gone.

Eliminated: Allison Iraheta

For women, this season on "Idol" sucked more than any other. To begin with, only 5 finalists of the Top 13 were women, even though we saw many, many talented ladies in the auditions and semifinals. Next, Alexis Grace, who should have made it to the Top 5, was eliminated in eleventh place, summarily dismissed without a thought to saving her. Instead, the "sage" judges saved Matt Giraud twice, first selecting him as a Wild Card choice, then saving his ass from elimination in the Top 7. There wasn't much quality in the other female finalists -- Jasmine Murray and Megan Joy were viewer rejects thrown back in as Wild Cards by the judges, and Lil Rounds, who showed great promise early on, was picked on and pummeled by the judges -- especially Simon Cowell -- until she disintegrated into a ball of nothing. Allison Iraheta, the last lady standing, was perhaps the season's biggest surprise. Only 16 when the process started for her, she made it to the Top 4 in spite of the fact that her full audition video never aired (she was seen for literally 5 seconds during the audition stage in a clip), a feat not seen since Bo Bice became Season 4's runner-up. She carried on with bravura performances week after week, though she perplexingly never developed a strong fan base, and tied Anoop Desai for the dubious distinction of placing in the Bottom 3 three times prior to elimination. That she was eliminated before receiving her hometown parade after giving the second best set of performances in the Top 4 seems so unfair. Surely she deserved to live another week more than Kris Allen, but then, "American Idol" has always been as much a popularity contest as a singing contest, no matter how much the judges deny it. So let's hear it for petite powerhouse Allison Iraheta. We tip our hat and bid her a bittersweet adieu. Ultimately, we think her star will shine longer and much brighter than either Kris Allen's or Danny Gokey's. Adam Lambert? Well, no other contestant this season is likely to outshine him.

Ryan Seacrest opens the show saying that there were over 64 million votes this week, an almost 20 million vote boost over last week and the highest total outside of a finale. Set to "Move Along" by All American Rejects, the Ford commercial has the Top 4 as cutouts. It is lame. They really don't seem to be even trying to make these commercials creative any longer. Has Ford cut the budget?

Watch video of Ford Commercial to "Move Along"

Slash rocks out on lead guitar, accompanying the Top 4 for the Group Number, Alice Cooper's "School's Out." The band overpowers the vocals and Kris and Danny look ridiculous trying to be rockers, especially next to the band and authentic rockers Adam and Allison. It's like Kara DioGuardi said when they sang "Renegade." It just doesn't compute. These guys aren't outlaws; they're the guys who help little old ladies cross the street. After the song Slash talks to Ryan about his upcoming first solo release, saying it will feature a lot of guest artists, but he's not saying who.

Watch video of Group Song "School's Out"

Next Seacrest chats up the Top 4, who are sitting on stools -- too few to pull out the couches. Kris tells Seacrest he didn't expect to make it this far and feels blessed, but Simon tells him, "We don't want humble any more." Adam again tells everyone how great it was to be able to do Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" and, laughing, that he liked his outfit. Danny talks about his final note from hell on "ScreamDream On," saying that when he watched it back on TV, he laughed all night. It was so bad, his aunt even muted her TV. He calls it his funniest moment on "American Idol" and says that his horror scream will probably be in movies pretty soon. Ryan talks to Allison about her feistiness with Simon Tuesday night. She says, "I'm not that kind of person who talks back, but it's just that she(?) was asking for it, so it was fine, I'll give it to you!"

Watch video of Ryan chatting with Top 4

There's a lot of time to fill tonight to ensure that the show runs into OT (and it does), so there are three musical numbers, two of them (Paula Abdul and No Doubt) prerecorded. The first features Paula Abdul performing, according to Ryan, for the first time on the "Idol" stage. She sings her new release, "I'm Just Here for the Music." If you like Abdul's music, you'll like this piece of pop confetti. It's in the same league as last year's "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow." Although she's wearing a headset to look cool, Abdul unquestionably was lip-syncing, but for her age she looks -- with the exception of her plastic-surgery destroyed breasts -- like hot stuff.

Watch video of Paula Abdul singing "I'm Just Here for the Music"

Too few contestants to start the eliminations (or, in tonight's case, safetys) just yet. It's time for the second prerecorded number, Gwen Stefani and No Doubt singing "I'm Just a Girl." After the performance, Ryan asks Stefani why they're launching this "massive tour" without a new album, and she blames it on the kids she's been pushing out and staying at home, but promises that the point of the tour is a new No Doubt CD.

Watch video of No Doubt singing "I'm Just a Girl"

Ryan says that the Top 3 will get to return home for hometown parades and a clip reel of previous finalists' visits is shown. When they get to Elliott Yamin's mom in the parade car, we choke up a bit. Time to -- briefly -- get down to business. Ryan goes over the Top 4's critiques from the night before and says he's going to release one of them to safety, in no particular order. We figure it's gotta be Danny or Adam. But, no! It's Kris! Kris looks as surprised as we are. We're thunderstruck, angry, disappointed. This means Allison is roadkill. No way they're going into the finale without cash cows Danny and Adam.

Watch video of Kris Allen being declared safe

It's time for a breather and to let the shock set in -- for us and poor Allison. Ryan introduces Daughtry, who sing the first release, "No Surprise," from their upcoming CD. We love the song, but it sounds tinny on TV. It's much better online. Go to Daughtry's official site to get a good listen. You'll love it. Ryan chats up Chris Daughtry after the performance and they relive his inauspicious fourth-place elimination. Seacrest asks Daughtry how vivid the memory of his elimination is. Chris says very vivid. At the time he thought his world was coming to an end ... but he got over it about 30 seconds later. Heh, yeah. And then made bitter remarks for weeks in interviews. Is Seacrest trying to plant the seed that maybe Allison is going to knock off one of this season's sure things?

Watch video of Daughtry singing "No Surprise"

And so, the moment of "truth" arrives. Ryan is going to release someone else to safety. It's Adam. Dare we think it? Could Allison outlive Danny? Nah! Maybe? Please? No. Danny is safe. We cry with Allison during her journey video, then she rocks the house even better than Tuesday with "Cry Baby." Ah, those prophetic song titles. Perhaps she should have sung "Somebody to Love." Sigh.

Watch video of Allison Iraheta being eliminated

As Ryan tells us that next week the Top 3 will sing (only) two songs (ugh!) -- one the judges' choice, the other the contestants' personal pick -- the camera pans to Simon, who has a particularly sour, pissed-off look on his face. Why?

On Wednesday night, Katy Perry will perform her latest release, "Waking Up in Vegas,” and Jordin Sparks will sing her new single, "Battlefield."

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© 2009


Anonymous said...

I don't get you. Danny had a performance that was unilaterally panned by everyone who saw it, yet you're pissed that KRIS was the one who stayed instead of Allison? IMO, Danny's butt should be on a bus back home, and not for a parade. You are right that Allison got the wrong end of the deal, but you're dead wrong on who the villain of this story is.

Anonymous said...

Get ready! Kris is going to win.. Adam runner up.
I cant wait to see Danny's face tonight when he goes home.