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American Idol Season 8 Episode 23: The Top 10 Perform

AI8 Top 10Tonight, the top 10 are singing Motown songs, with Smokey Robinson as the mentor. There’s the usual video package showing the history of the genre and mentor and then we start with the whoring for America’s votes!

Matt is singing “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. He starts at the piano but gets up after a few bars. That’s a mistake because he’s got soul on piano but is the dorkiest, most rhythmless white boy in the world without it. He sounds good but relies too much on his falsetto. Randy thought Matt set the tone for the night. Kara wanted him to do more but says it was solid. Simon says it was a cool performance and what Matt should be singing all the time.

Kris is also doing Marvin Gaye – “How Sweet It Is.” He’s on his guitar and doing a bluesy take on the James Taylor version. It’s awesome and I love it but mostly I’m so distracted by how Kris looks more like Hal Sparks each week. Kara says he did everything right and Paula thinks he’s come into his own. Simon thought it was a smart performance but advises him to have more confidence.

Scott is singing The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love.” As usual, Scott could be a star on easy listening radio. It’s hard coming up with new ways to say that Scott is boring. And blind. But mostly boring. Paula thinks she always has to praise Scott or people will think she’s awful, but Simon and Randy are totally over him.

Megan‘s singing “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder. She’s toned down the weird vocal inflections, which is good, but she’s offkey through most of the song, which is bad. Ouch. Randy says it for everyone: “that song was a trainwreck.”

Anoop is the first to take on a Smokey Robinson song – “Ooh Baby Baby.” This is lovely. His vocals are gorgeous and controlled. Paula loved his phrasing and delivery. Simon thought it was a great vocal but a slightly dull performance. Randy advises him to not get stuck in the balladeer box.

Michael is singing “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” by The Temptations. Michael plans to “church it up” and I guess by that he means “suck it up.” He tries but it’s terrible. Paula apologizes for not being nice and calls it “loungey.” Simon says he couldn’t wait for it to end and Michael doesn’t stand a chance at winning. The other judges agree it was bad.

Lil goes with “Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandellas. I love Lil but this song has been done so many times on AI and she brings nothing new to it, although her vintage ’60s look is fantastic. She’s good but she can be so much better. Three of the judges think she chose the wrong song, but Paula loved it.

Adam is singing Smokey’s “Tracks of My Tears.” First of all, he’s got his hair slicked back and a suit on and the boy is looking fine. Second, he proves once again that he’s the best thing about this years competition because he’s never predictable. His voice is restrained and stunning in this stripped-down, emotionally raw performance. I’m trying not to care who wins this year but, seriously, Adam for the freakin’ win. Kara gives him a standing ovation and Simon says it was the best performance of the night.

Danny is singing “Get Ready” by The Temptations. He seems a little rushed and breathless through the song, but his voice is strong and it’s a pretty fun performance. I’d be more impressed if he didn’t have to follow Adam. Paula and Randy loved it but Simon found it amateurish and Kara thought it was good, not great.

Getting the pimp spot is Allison with “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by The Temptations. There’s something about Allison that annoys me but this is by far my favorite performance by her. Her voice is powerful and rich and she rocks it out. This is the first time I can see the Kelly Clarkson comparison. She gets a round of well-deserved unqualified praise from the judges, including an embarrassed Paula, who’s had a mustache drawn on her by Simon.

So who’s getting the boot tomorrow? Megan was undeniably the worst but her awfulness stood out. The same can’t be said for Scott, Lil or Michael, who were bland and forgettable. I think it’s going to be the end of the road for Michael.

Topics: American Idol | Comments Off on American Idol Season 8 Episode 23: The Top 10 Perform

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