AI8 Top 7 Performances: The best review I’ve read so far


I watched the whole episode (Top 7 performances, Songs of the Cinema) of American Idol 8 three times today and my opinion on the contestant’s showing still stands as it is. But browsing through the net just now, I came across Entertainment Weekly‘s review and I think it is the best review or critique, to be precise, of the Top 7 performances that I’ve read so far.

This is the best part, not on the contestants but on the judges (this one is a bang!):

Yes, Dawgs, let’s take a moment to talk about the fourth wheel on the busted shopping cart that is Idol’s judging panel — you know, the one that makes a relentless squeaking sound and keeps locking up at odd angles, thwarting any possibility of smooth, forward momentum. And no, I’m not talking about Kara ”The Terrible” DioGuardi. You see, my rage this year against Idol’s newest judge has sprung from my long-since-abandoned expectation that she’d be using her knowledge as a recording artist, a producer-songwriter, and a label insider to champion unique voices that wouldn’t typically be heard in this Auto-Tuned, focus-grouped world. But not even if Kara had had her head slammed repeatedly against Paula’s bejeweled/metallic bustier-thingie (an homage to the just-canceled Sarah Connor Chronicles perhaps?) could she have offered up a critique as inarticulate and wrong-minded as Randy’s review of Kris Allen’s ”Falling Slowly” tonight….

At least Kara had the sense and the courage to disagree, even if her observation that ”Falling Slowly” was one of Kris’ ”best moments ever” was a little too muted for my taste. I mean, what does the puppy-eyed crooner have to do to get a ”best of the night” or a ”you have a chance to win it all” critique from someone (anyone!) at the judges’ table? (Maybe if he stands in line at the Post Office tomorrow and gets Paula, Simon, Kara, and Randy’s taxes postmarked?) Kris certainly deserved more praise that his six rivals tonight, for starters because he chose a delicate flower off the Once soundtrack rather than the industrial-floral bathroom air-freshener most of his competitors seemed to fancy. Admittedly, the opening line or two of the ballad seemed a little low for Kris’ range, but he quickly recovered, and proceeded to deliver a nuanced performance in which emotional depth won out over hollow vocal acrobatics.

I should think that the author (Michael Slezak) knows his music!

4 thoughts on “AI8 Top 7 Performances: The best review I’ve read so far

  1. Hands down, Kris was the best of the night. Personal bias aside. Come to think of it, Kris doesn’t have the best vocals among the finalists but he’s like Elliott Yamin – CONSISTENTLY good (not wow! great but good enough to deserve proper credit) but is overshadowed by other contestants’ theatrics (Lambert/McPhee), drama (Gokey/McPhee), and pointless hype (Iraheta/McPhee).

    I think people find Kris boring because he doesn’t have any story to tell unlike say Deadwife Gokey or Lambert (’nuff said).

    They say that people like Kris just because he’s pretty. Well, it’s a big part of that but, no.

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