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American Idol Season 8 Episode 27: The Top 8 Perform

American Idol Season 8 Top 8The theme is Songs From the Year the Contestants Were Born. If I were on this show I’d sing Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” Go on, Google that. Now you know how old I am. Ryan shows pictures of the judges and Ryan when they were wee. Randy and Ryan were darling, Kara and Simon look like surly assholes, and Paula looks freakishly the same, except shorter.

First is Danny (1980), who was spoiled by his enormous family and told from birth that he was the awesomest thing ever. He smarms his way through a ridiculously overwrought arrangement of “Stand By Me.” His voice is strong but the raspiness has gone past interesting Elliott Yamin territory and to the level where it’s barely holding out. Danny’s top 4 at least because of Dead Wife and Jesus; he needs to pace himself. The judges blow smoke up his ass, although at least Simon says he hated part of it.

Kris (1985), who wanted to be a taxi driver when he was little, is singing Don Henley’s “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” on a platform in the middle of the pit and while playing electric guitar. I love his voice but this song and the arrangement of it is wrong for him. He’s trying too hard to prove he can be funkier than his sensitive acoustic thing and he’s failing. Paula says he’s one of the most likable contestants but that’s the only praise he gets.

Lil‘s mom explains how her daughter’s name is actually Lil and not “Little” or “Li’l” or any kind of diminutive or stage name, and then Lil (1984) is singing Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” I say “singing” but I really mean “mimicking” because Lil does nothing different with the song. Simon scolds her for losing her originality and giving them a copycat performance. All the other judges agree.

Anoop (1986) apologizes for being such a dick last week. He’s singing “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper and it’s a gorgeous, R&B-influenced arrangement. He’s the best of the night so far, no question. Kara loved his control and Paula says it was flawless. Simon is pleased Anoop is on another upswing but doesn’t think it was as brilliant as the others did. Then he tells Anoop that he didn’t need to apologize for last week, probably because Anoop was an asshole to Kara and Simon hates Kara.

Scott (1985) is rocking out on the electric guitar to “The Search Is Over” by Survivor. Oh, lord. His voice is decent in his mid-range but he tries for too many high notes that sound like when I accidentally step on my cat’s tail. It’s embarrassing and awful. Kara says he was too ambitious. Paula’s like, “It’s good you took my advice and got away from the piano…too bad you sucked.”

Allison (1992) is doing Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” She completely owns it. Her phrasing, control and interpretation are amazing. I’m apparently back to liking Allison this week. Simon thought it was very good but says her personality is being lost. He wants her to act more like the teenager she is. Randy again compares her to Kelly Clarkson which, no. Allison has been very good several times but she’s not at the level Kelly was even back when Kelly was on this show.

(1985) is singing “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder. He shines in this R&B style and he’s terrific in his performance; his voice is confident and soulful. The show is running late so the judges rush through variations on “that was awesome.”

Last is Adam but I won’t be able to recap him because my DVR cut off. Oh, I’m kidding. I tracked it down on YouTube. Adam (1982) is doing the Gary Jules version of “Mad World” by Tears For Fears. Unlike Scott and even Anoop and Matt, Adam’s got perfect control over his high notes. Most of the song is in his upper register and he sounds close to flawless. This is beautiful, haunting, and captivating. Because of the overrun, only Simon gets to give a critique and he wordlessly offers a standing ovation. That’s the magic of Adam Lambert, y’all.

Who’s going home? It should be Scott but Kris was hampered by a weak, forgettable performance. Lil deserves to be in the bottom three but Anoop or Matt could land there again, despite giving great performances.

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