This week, American Idol is already in the Nokia theater. Ryan Seacrest is somewhat reprising his spiels from Season 7’s finale. Well, I also would like to think that this season’s finale is another battle of two opposite poles. Kris Allen and Adam Lambert have different styles and approaches to each song they sing and this is proven all throughout the season. What’s similarly consistent between the Final 2 is their originality.
I am obviously a Kris fan. Totally. But I am already in cloud nine when Kris was announced in the Top 2 last week. I’m sure he will really do good outside American Idol. Hence, I would like to have an objective review of their final performances. I’ll try. It is up to the voting America now to decide who is their eighth American Idol.
Round 1 – Contestant’s Choice
Adam Lambert – Mad World (by Tears For Fears)
As expected. He’s been singing this song (first sang it during the Top 8 performances) during his homecoming last week so it must be his favorite. And wow! I really liked the stage effects – all those smoke and lightings and the grand staircase, with a matching trench for Adam. True enough, I thought I was watching Phantom of the Opera, a scene in the underground river. Adam went for the full theatrics in his performance. It is his forte considering his musical background. BUT! BUT! BUT! This is American Idol and we are looking for a pop star, not a Broadway diva.
Kris Allen – Ain’t No Sunshine (by Bill Withers)
I was waiting for this. His first performance of this song was during the iTunes popular downloads week (Top 9) and it was his first great re-invention. He first sang this song with just a keyboard but with a string quartet. This time, he worked on the grand piano, looked more confident about it and delivered it very well. I thought it was even way better than he first sang it and fitting for the finale. I could not fault his singing. Saving the best for last huh? I bet.
Round 2 – Simon Fuller’s (producer) Choice
Adam Lambert – A Change Is Gonna Come (by Sam Cooke)
I like the song choice. I especially liked the performance of this song last season by Syesha Mercado. But all Lambert did was scream through the lyrics. He was a bit connecting with the audience with his obviously fake (it is!) emotive expressions but all that was overshadowed by his screeching. It is a beautiful song but “the change” already happened Adam!
Kris Allen – What’s Going On (by Marvin Gaye)
It’s R&B/Soul song but Kris made an acoustic rock twist to it. The approach was actually light for this stage of the competition (yes to Randy’s comment on that) but it is Kris singing, not Gaye or anyone else. It’s his style. Though the performance is actually good, I bet it was edged out by the screams for change from Adam.
Round 3 – Coronation Song – No Boundaries, co-penned by Kara DioGuardi
Adam Lambert – No Boundaries
It’s over the top. I should admit that the range of the song is for Adam. It worked well for him but it’s pitchy especially during the first run of the chorus and again, the whole performance is over the top.
Kris Allen – No Boundaries
I was expecting for a really acoustic performance with his guitar but Kris went faithful to the arrangement of the song and let the band accompany him. The range is a bit high for his voice but he was not pitchy. Every note is spot on.
No Boundaries is another cheesy coronation song. I’m still trying to absorb what it is all about. No mountains, right? Haha
So who is the new American Idol?