MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

special american idol power rankings – the best of the reviews

Hey Guys!

So in celebration of the Idol finale that is taking place this week, I decided to dig through my archives to compile my favorite review of each contestant.  I’ve also put them in order of my preference, while placing the top 5 in their actual order.  Yes, Kris Allen is number 1!  Let me know if you agree or disagree with my selections!

Hope you enjoy!

1.  Kris Allen (review from Top 3 week)

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Kris was very impressive last night and I think that he deserves to win this competition.  He’s been a quiet force throughout the season, his wife has endured the weekly covetous cries of the American female youth, and he has successfully shed his monkey likeness to become a bonafide star.  He has yet to show that he’s able to pull off a falsetto as proven in his rendition of “Apologize” last night but 1) my falsetto sucks too so I can’t knock his and 2) he makes up for this one weakness by being awesome in his ability to sustain meaningful notes, hit the high ones, and instill his flavor into every song; all the while, carrying himself in a manner of humility that breeds respectable confidence.  He’s ready to win this.  His version of “Heartless” was pretty sick… totally gutsy, original, and blew Kanye and The Fray’s versions out of the water.  In fact, I think it’s always a good move to choose songs featuring the auto-tuner and turning them into more artful interpretations like Kris did there.  America, you are stupid if Kris is not in the top 2.

2.  Adam Lambert (review from country week)

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If you were not creeped out by Adam’s performance tonight, you are A) Marilyn Manson, B) Tim Burton, C) an employee at Hot Topic, or D) both deaf and blind.  That was the worst (and scariest) rendition of “Ring of Fire” ever and along with his over-the-top sultry theatrics, I’m sure he caused Johnny Cash to thr0w up in his grave.  Yes, Adam is a GREAT singer and yes, he has charisma but my fear that his ridiculous range could be his crutch is becoming a reality.  As Simon would put it, his performance was “indulgent nonsense” and I think Adam enjoyed it more than anyone else.  Adam will probably finish somewhere in the top 3 and could still win it all, but you seriously have to wonder what his album would be like.  Would you really buy it?

(review from top 3 week)

Cilantro. You either love it or you hate it.  Adam Lambert is Cilantro and the judges love them some Carne Asada.  Can Kris and Danny overcome the shameless endorsement of the judges?  It was proven a couple weeks ago that Simon Cowell’s words are not strong enough to sway the public opinion (most of the time) but now it will be a test of who has the more loyal fans and who captured the hearts of those on the fence.  I decided I hate Adam Lambert only because he absolutely murdered one of the greatest songs of all time last night, “One” by U2.  Supposedly the U2 camp gave their hearty approval and permission for Adam to sing the tune but I’m pretty sure Bono fell ill last night after the atrocious rendition. Are we caught in an alternate universe where the same screaming non-sense is praised as originality and virtuosity?  I literally feel like I’m taking crazy pills!  The judges keep saying that Glambert is a Rock and Roll guy but there is absolutely nothing about Adam that screams (pun intended) Rock or Roll! He is more of an actor taking on the sound and likeness of a rocker and Adam lacks the edge and “street cred” to be a rock star.  His voice is too polished, too theatrical to be considered rock.  Even if you are a fan of Adam, this is something you must understand and acknowledge!  It feels good to spit truth!

3.  Danny Gokey (review from country week)

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Ok, so I don’t know what’s more impressive… Danny’s weekly soulful vocal offerings or the fact that he owns 1,849,049 pairs of glasses.  Seriously, he is to designer frames what John Mayer is to guitars.  My question for him is, how does he afford all of them?  Isn’t he a church music director?  Am I not also a church music director?  How am I not swimming in designer eye-wear?  At any rate, Danny gave us what we expect of him every week which is a consistent, dependable performance.

(review from top 3 week)

After the great debacle of the screaming banchee moment that was last week, Danny had to bounce back this week to even stand a chance.  Did he do enough?  I don’t think so.  In the ideal world, the final 2 would be between Kris and Danny.  But given the fact that Adam Lambert has the shameless endorsement of the judges and those behind the entire show, I feel like Danny may be going home tonight.  I’m ready for surprises though.  Anything can happen.  Seriously.   On another tip, there is something nobody is talking about but I believe it’s worth mentioning and it’s the fact that Danny hasn’t used his painful story as a way to earn the sympathy vote during the past couple months.  Idol highlighted the story of his wife’s death in the early rounds but since then, Danny has quietly gone about his business and sang his heart out.  He could have very easily utilized the “point to the sky” routine after every performance bit or thrown in a “this one’s for her” speech when Seacrest puts the mic in his face but Danny hasn’t done that.  I believe this is one of the most underrated story-lines of the season: Danny is doing this with his wife in mind but he is not exploiting her tragic passing so as to garner more votes.  I respect that.  Big time.

4.  Allison Iraheta (review from motown week)

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not to belabor my point but one must constantly note, whoever goes last on a particular episode is placed there because the producers want a guaranteed show-stopping performance and strong close to the show.  In other words, the person is awesome and a bonafide contender.  Allison was that girl last night and she delivered so much punch that I feel that she is the #2 contestant (and #1 girl) in this competition!  I will admit she is getting less weird, more confident, and more impressive with each performance.  Her mother is at every show and loses it everytime, probably because of the overwhelming combination of the thoughts, “i’m so proud of her!  my flesh and blood!” and “we’re gonna be riiiich!! [blows nose, wipes tear]“

(review from Top 40 week)

her outfit last night was not that bad but she did look like a character straight out of Alice in Wonderland, the dark  musical.  I liked her take on Gwen Stefani and I don’t know how every one is not impressed by her.  She is indeed a powerhouse, a force to be reckoned with, a front-runner, and every other positive cliche in the book.  She just needs to stop taking fashion advice from the Osbourne family and she’ll be fine.

5.  Matt Giraud (review from Quentin Tarantino week)

matt_giraud_210x202Matt is starting to worry me and he is in danger of not only losing the #1 spot in my rankings but of being eliminated from this competition altogether if he doesn’t get in the zone immediately.  Matt’s been my guy from day 1 so this is my way of rallying behind him, even though he deserves to be lower based on last night’s performance.  One week he is brilliant, the next week he picks a rock tune and screws it all up again.  Is it just me or does it seem like Matt’s forehead pimple/mole gets larger and more glaring when he doesn’t do well?  For this and other reasons, Matt needs to wear the fedora every week because he also seems to do better with it on… it’s like Linus’ blanket or Samson’s hair… or Danny Gokey’s glasses!

6.  Anoop Desai (review from Top 40 week)

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Anoop is an R&B artist and that’s pretty clear, even though Kara D. seemed to imply otherwise.  What Anoop is not is the second coming of Usher.  If you’re going to do an Usher song, you’d better  1) be a crazy good dancer, 2) wear a head-set microphone, and 3) make sure the water sprinklers break onto the stage and glisten on your six-pack abs, while the background dancers take turns lunging towards your mid-section throughout the routine.  Anoop didn’t have any of those 3 essential elements going for him and that’s why his song flopped.  Quite simple, really.

7.  Alexis Grace (review from country week

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Alexis has taken the hardest hit this week and has virtually fallen out of  (excuse the lame pun) grace based on a very lackluster performance. The Country genre really jacked her up and now she is at the mercy of the voting public.  I really hope she comes back (and I believe she will) because she could still take this thing.  The thing that worries me a little bit is that she seemed a little desperate and a bit defensive during the judges critiques of her.  She needs to chill and come back with a vengeance next week or she’s in trouble!  I’m ready to put her back in the top 3 but she needs to deliver in a big way!

8.  Megan Joy (review from country week)

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Back in his heyday, Michael Jordan had a legendary game where he was battling the flu but somehow managed to score 55 points.  While Megan’s performance wasn’t that inspiring and dramatic, she did manage to do a more than decent job with her tune, despite being sick. . . allegedly.  She still needs to learn how to move on stage a little better because everything she does with her arms is a bit spazzy (I’ve been told that I’m this way as well) but I think as long as she picks the songs that are right for her voice, she’ll do ok.  Since the girls in general were weak this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if Megan gained ground in America’s collective AI standings.

9.  Lil Rounds (review from Disco week)

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OK, so I mean this in the most non-sexual, non-objectifying way possible but Lil Rounds has got a BIG BUTT. I just realized that her name is a complete oxy-moron because there is nothing Lil about her Rounds. Just an observation but wouldn’t you agree. In any case, Lil Rounds is a shoe-in to be eliminated tonight along with either Anoop or Matt. I hope Matt stays one more week, though! Lil needs to be put out of her misery and it will serve everyone well. I can see Sir Mix-a-Lot knocking on her door for a classier remake of “Baby Got Back.”. Do it.

10. Jasmine Murray (review from week 1)

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She’s a few years away from stardom so I don’t know if this is her time.  My wife also thinks she looks really weird despite the judges’ apparent love affair with her star quality.  My wife has a lot of bearing on how I feel about some of these contestants, because my wife is hot. It’s pretty clear that Jasmine has a great voice but she’s been extremely inconsistent.  Wait your turn Lebron–er, I mean, Jasmine.

11.  Jorge Nunez (review from week 1)

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Probably the guy my wife hates looking at the most.  She swears he looks like a claymation or “animatronic” character and that’s a problem if you’re a human being.  He’s a good singer but I now have a thing against robots that sing.  It was also a bit annoying that a week ago he insisted his accent was gone.  Embrace the truth, young man!  You’re out.

12.  Michael Sarver (review from week 1)

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I still wonder how this guy made it this far.  He has a very average voice, has a lumberjack body, and was voted in over Anoop in the round of 36. To make matters worse, he was the guy along with the other big dude who was accepted over Jamar which is a crime I will never forgive.  He seems like a nice guy but I can’t help but detest him.  I also can’t help but assume that he won the votes of the millions in the mid-west who wake up every morning to that “proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free” song.  Bleh.  So cheezy.

13.  Scott Macintyre (review from country week)

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Am I taking crazy pills?  Am I missing the point of this competition?  It is a singing competition, is it not?  Then someone tell me why Scott is still in this thing!  If this was a show on fruitless charity or “Let’s Patronize Someone and Feed Him Lies,” then Scott belongs.  I’m not a heartless person but it’s clear that the only reason Scott is still in this show is because the judges have an unhealthy need to show America that they have compassion, but man, please spend that energy to adopt a child or give your millions toward the AIDS crisis in Africa!  Scott, you’re a great guy.  Don’t take this personally.  I’m more angry at the judges and America’s ugly, patronizing butt.

What do you think??

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3 responses

  1. Bradd F

    DK,
    I sooooo agree on the your opinion of Adam. I personally think the final 2 should have been Kris and Danny. I think Adam should have been gone weeks ago. Keeping him around has only made his head even bigger than it was to start with and caused him to be even more “Over the top”. I seriously get sick every time I hear him sing. I have this visual of him singing one of his falsetto high notes with his tongue hanging out…as he does and….oh wait, I just threw up in my mouth. my bad.
    Hopefully America wont disappoint, based on the judges using their influence to bring Adam this far! This was a perfect case study of how people with a stage can influence the public to believe something unbelievable. I wonder if that is how so many things in our society got to where it is today… like maybe skinny jeans on boys. LOL. Who the heck ever said…”this is cool”, you gotta try them!

    May 19, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  2. yo dk, great post.

    just fyi…your rss is set up only to show summaries in people’s readers (google reader for me). you can change that setting if you want, it makes it easier for people to read 🙂 i think it’s under…settings > reading > full text

    May 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm

  3. DK

    oh good word… i think i changed it. let me know if its still just the summary..!

    May 20, 2009 at 8:15 am

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