After last week’s disaster/fiasco/catastrophe, things could only go up. Way up. Year You Were Born, however, wasn’t quite a masterpiece of a night. It had its high – and low – points, but a smooth ride? Nope. Not even close. Still, in Idol-land, all we fans can ask for is a semi-decent night. Last night was that, but not much more.
Best of the night, by a pretty far margin, was Adam Lambert. The ridiculous lighting for Mad World aside, everything came together for Adam tonight: his vocals were up to the job, he was able to connect with the song’s emotions, and he didn’t let the theatrics get in the way of the music. Easily Adam’s best performance of the season, and possibly the most well-rounded one of the season to date.
Second-best, by a pretty decent margin herself, was Allison Iraheta. Her vocals are always going to be on; she made a pretty good song choice as well. It was an emotionally loaded song that she pulled off with the requisite amounts of believability; this was perfectly, and completely, believable. Well done.
Anoop Desai is reminding us a lot of Phil Stacey from Season Six: when he’s good, he’s very good – but he is just as capable of dropping a clunker. Fortunately for us, he was in the former mode this week. It was a solid, well-sung performance. It didn’t quite have the special “X-factor” that elevated both Allison and Adam, but it was well-executed and pretty good to listen to.
Matt Giraud and Danny Gokey faced a similar problem: they were both saddled with difficult, complex, bordering on the nonsensical arrangements that did them no favors. This was the Idol equivalent of walking into a gunfight with a spork. On pure vocals, Matt was probably a little better, but he also had, by far, the worse arrangement. More often than not, despite his okay signing, he had me scratching my head thinking, “what was that?”. There’s a lot of your-mileage-may-vary for these two – as it is, both can only be put in the “okay” category, and some might say I’m being a bit generous.
From there, though, it gets a little ugly. Kris Allen had the momentum coming into this week… but lost an awful lot of it this week. Memo to all future Idol contestants – this idea of starting in a mini-stage in the mosh pit is dumb beyond words. It didn’t work for Matt last week, and it didn’t work this week for Kris either. It was competently executed, but there was a vague paint-by-numbers feeling to it. There was no excitement, no passion, no emotion. Musical wallpaper is how I’d describe it.
Lil Rounds… oh boy. What in the world was that? Has Lil made one good song choice since the finals? Again: she couldn’t sing as well, or as artfully, as the original (Tina Turner). It was just an utterly dull, meandering performance that was, well, nothing. Easily her worst performance to date.
And then we get to Scott Macintyre. It’s never a good idea to sing a song that has any connotations of ending, finishing, etcetera, on Idol. It’s tempting the Idol gods, to be honest. And boy, did they come down hard on Scott. The electric guitar was just… out of place. And then we get to the vocals… no. Just no. He did his best, I’m sure, but this was a clear disaster.
Tempting the Idol gods: The “obvious” pick to get eliminated is Scott. He’s been steadily slipping throughout the finals, showed up in the bottom three two weeks ago, and turned in a complete and utter trainwreck Tuesday night to boot.
However… there’s a distinct possibility that the Mighty Mouse effect could be in play here. The only real solid fanbases right now that are strong enough that I won’t call vulnerable is Adam’s and maybe Danny’s. They’re not going to end up in the bottom three. The rest of the field is weak enough that they can be beaten by Idol voting patterns, regardless of how good or bad they are.
While it may be possible, I don’t think it’s probable here. If Scott had showed any signs of becoming more competitive, I’d be more open to the possibility of one – but right now, I think Scott’s fanbase is so weak that frantic power-voting or not, he’s going home.
Just like last week, the more interesting story is in who ends up beside Scott. The obvious suspect here might well be Lil, who has been just that bit better than Scott so far – but not by much. However, if DialIdol is to be believed, Anoop and Kris might find themselves in danger there – both, in fact, are lower than Scott in their ratings. DI isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of Idol predictions.
Kris might not be strong enough to escape the bottom three, but one so-so performance is probably not going to send him home. Meanwhile, Anoop was actually pretty good last night, so him going out right now seems unlikely too. Given the wide margin-of-error this week, I’m not as convinced of DI’s utility this week.
So, ultimately, the pick is:
Scott Macintyre to go home.