AMERICAN IDOL 8: TOP 3 ANALYSIS

I always enjoy the strategy of Top 3 night. What will the judges pick? What will the contestants pick? What will Clive Davis pick? What’s that? They’re only doing two songs a piece this year? Let’s see what we got:

“DANCE LITTLE SISTER” – Danny Gokey

I have to admit I was stunned by Paula’s choice of this song. If you’re going to have Danny sing Terrence Trent D’Arby, why not make it one of his Top Five hits, “Wishing Well” or “Sign Your Name,” rather than a song that only hit # 30 that not many people remember? Yet the song choice ended up working for Danny. He pushed his voice hard in the first verse and sounded pretty good, then made the mistake of doing some jazz scatting. Still, the performance was fun for the most part and was one of Danny’s better outings on the Idol stage.

“APOLOGIZE” – Kris Allen

Unfortunately, Kris came in second in my mind to David Archuleta’s take on this song during the finals last year, when Archie even surpassed One Republic’s Ryan Tedder when they were on stage together. This would have been an impressive performance during say Top 6 week, but Kris needed a knockout punch and didn’t deliver. With the exception of improving on the high notes, I’m not sure there’s much Kris could have done with the song. While Randy and Kara were hoping Kris would rearrange it, this wasn’t really a song that gave him any leeway to do that. It’s a pleasant ballad but not exactly a deep lyric. Maybe they should let Simon choose all the Judges’ Choice songs…

“ONE” – Adam Lambert

At first I was so wowed, I didn’t take any notes… but then Adam started shouting a bit and I thought lost some of the emotion inherent in the song. He’s certainly not playing it safe. It was nice to see Adam speak a bit after the song.

“YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL” – Danny Gokey

Danny sounded a bit like Michael Bolton on this, and I mean that as a compliment. Could Danny be purposely bad some weeks just so he can come back and redeem himself the following week? Of course not, but that’s exactly what he did on his two songs tonight and it should put him in the finals next week.

“HEARTLESS” – Kris Allen

You have to hand it to Kris. He chose a song that was popular during the last few months, which should help bring in some votes. It was brave to redo a rap song with just his guitar. I thought there were so many words in the verses that it made it hard to sing, but the chorus was catchy.

“CRYIN” – Adam Lambert

Now that was a vocal master class, even if the female background vocal took away from Adam’s performance a bit. I did think the showiness of his vocal lacked the proper emotion in the song a little, which should be sadness. And yet I can’t wait for the Idol tour to hear Adam wail live. I have a feeling my television hasn’t come close to capturing his voice.

Next week, it’s goodbye to Season 8! See you then!

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