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'American Idol': On the scene for Top 10 performance night

Mar 26, 2009, 06:24 AM | by Whitney Pastorek

Categories: 'American Idol 2009', On the Scene

Iraheta_l

I wish I could say it has been too long since I've been back in this spot, PopWatchers, but my god, has it really been just short of a year since I last set foot in the Idoldome? Can it be true that I was but a wee youngster of 32 last time I parked my car at the Grove and stashed my assorted electronic devices/gum in the glove compartment to avoid their inevitable confiscation, then walked that agonizingly short block to the gates of CBS Television City to enter the gaping maw of our nationwide obsession? It seems like literally yesterday. And yet, I think back on the musical experiences I've had since last we spoke -- Pearl Jam at Bonnaroo, Rage Against the Machine at Lollapalooza, Prince at the Avalon, Metallica at SXSW -- and I...

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN BOYS AND GIRLS ARE YOU READY LET ME HEAR YOU MAKE SOME NOISE HOLLYWOOD! SOMEBODY SCREEEEEEEEAM!!!!!!

Ah, Cory. I've missed you.

And I've missed you, too, my Idol-loving PopWatchers. So without further ado, I will now take the baton from Adam "The Beav" Vary and stride forward into three straight weeks of the unique joy that can only come from watching tweenaged girls sell their souls for iTunes gift cards.

Kind of uneventful night in the I-Dome tonight: Our celebrity weigh-in was limited to Spring Break director Ryan Shiraki (big Giraud fan), Fox weatherchick Jillian Barberie, and Olivia Newton-John. I didn't even notice the latter until she was pointed out to me after the show. But follow along after the jump anyway, won't you? It's my first On the Scene report of the season and I'm not burned out yet, so I promise I will natter on until you're questioning the meaning of life!

When I at last summited Mount Scream-amanjaro (does that work? maybe not), I was pleased to find myself seated next to a journo friend attending her first-ever Idol performance taping. "Is it gonna be really loud?" she asked, as I pulled my earplugs out of my bag and stuffed them in place. I'm not sure I even fully answered before she learned the hard way that if Cory won't kill you, the dude sitting behind you will: The loudest man in Arkansas responded to the warm-up comic's pleas to make some noise with the shrillest pig-callin' whistle I've ever heard in my life, right in my friend's virgin ears. Even if they hadn't planned to pre-tape Ruben Studdard and Jennifer Hudson's performances for tomorrow at the end of the show, it was going to be a long night.

For some reason, they thought it would be a good idea to walk Smokey Robinson to his seat right in the middle of Cory's adorably intolerable act, but this week's mentor was calm and patient as we "got it crazy," seemingly unaffected by the sight of grown men on stage dancing like fools -- one throwing in a very PG-13 gesture to accompany his pelvic thrusts that I will not describe except to say that I assume he considers tramp stamps to be a handy guide for hand placement during intimate moments. The crowd, too, was unaffected as a whole -- I've rarely seen that room so dead -- so Cory moved on to the rules of engagement with the first in a long series of questionable comments he'd make over the course of the evening. "You in the bleachers, you can sit down," he said. "But those of you right here" -- gesturing to the swaybots -- "you can never sit down." Later, he would inform those same overburdened children that they represent "the millions watching," and if they don't cheer hard enough, Tinkerbell will die. "Don't be afraid to boo," Cory further instructed us, neglecting to include the part where he hands out bloody lamb shanks and encourages everyone to tear the flesh off the bones with their teeth while watching the gladitorial festivities. But his real capper was the following: "You're in Hollywood. You can lie. We do it every day." Um. We got kids here, dude.

Quick scan of signs (heavy on the Adam, Danny, Kris) before Your!Top!10! emerged to take their places for the cold open, and I spent most of Ryan's intro trying to figure out if Adam Lambert looked more like Mario Lopez or a waxy Bobby Darin. THIS was American Idol -- but sadly, my regrettable Seacrest crush of '08 appears to be no more. For that, I blame this year's Oscar red carpet: Once you've helped hoist a toppled Mickey Rooney to his feet with someone, it's hard to think about sticking your tongue down that someone's throat. I'm not quite sure why that is. But I digress worse than usual. Let's talk about someone else. Like Kara! Who did not say a single thing I agreed with tonight, beginning with "Alexis picked bad songs" and continuing through every reference she made to "artistry." Coming from a woman whose stated preference is "Last Name" over "Jolene"...need I go on here? No. I need not. She is on notice until further notice, and unlike Stephen Colbert, I do not acknowledge the existence of people on notice. She's gonna have to earn her way back into these recaps.

Enjoyed the happy little journey to Detroit immensely, especially given all the bad press (and bad point guards) that city's gotten of late. Enjoyed the smattering of applause given to Berry Gordy by the smattering of adults in the room. Both of these things paled in comparison to Matt Giraud's opening performance of "Let's Get It On," which knocked my socks off, and had the crowd on its feet from start to finish. I espoused a controversial opinion a couple weeks ago that Scott MacIntyre could not win this competition because he was fundamentally incapable of selling out, of kicking over the piano bench (even metaphorically) and knocking our socks off. All those who poo-poohed me may now reference Matt's performance to see what it's gonna take. That junk was right.

Was deafened by the compulsive whistler behind me yet again as his fellow Razorback Kris Allen took the stage, and yes, that was him bellowing "ARKANSAS!" on your teevee after the critique. Retained enough hearing to really enjoy Kris's take on "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)," especially his killer last note, and I have something to tell you now that you will find SHOCKING and you may want to BRACE YOURSELF FOR: Remember that one time when, at the end of Kris's song, Paula complimented him on said killer last note, because it was "a high A or something like that"? Yeah. I checked. It was more or less a high A. Zwa-huh? Dummy say what? DOES PAULA ABDUL HAVE PERFECT PITCH? I do not know. I am equal parts terrified and impressed by that woman's sudden flirtation with lucidity. Debbie the Stage Manager -- who is, as regular readers know, my true American Idol -- hugged Kris on his way out.

They've put journo row stage right instead of left this year, which means I have lost my view into the wings where Ryan gets his hair smoothed during commercial breaks, but I had a clear shot at poor Scottie Mac (he'll make ya jump!) being walked to and then abandoned on the space stools by his brother before the cameras started rolling again. As the judges re-entered and gave Smokey Robinson a round of hugs, Cory suggested that perhaps these tapings would be more fun if we were all drinking (the children, Cory!). Then we learned that Scott would be doing his second straight lady song. "Oh no," muttered my newbie friend. During his rather unnecessary take on "You Can't Hurry Love," the audience was finding it difficult to muster up enough energy to keep the clap going, and I wrote "I do not think the inherent problem here is going to be solved by dancing girls" in my little notebook. When Simon made a crack about "how much more can I take" (and earned himself some crayons from Paula), I guffawed so loudly I started to worry that Mr. Arkansas was gonna shush me. To Scottie Mac's credit, however, I've noticed that he needs only slightly more assistance getting around the I-Dome than Paula does. And whoever put that poor boy in pink pants should be killed.

During the ad break, Debbie sat down at the judges' table to do a little coloring, while Cory chatted up a girl behind me. "How old are you?" He asked. "6," she said. "How old?" Cory asked. "8," she said. (For those of you who do not remember these things forever, as I do, 8 is apparently the minimum age for Idol attendance.) "Who told you to lie?" Cory asked her. She pointed to her father, Mr. Arkansas, with a perfect tiny-child deadpan. "It's okay to lie," Cory told her, and then gave her an iPod. I am never having children, if this is the society in which I must raise them. Ryan came over to talk to Debbie, did not color.

I had been informed earlier in the evening by sleeve-tat-loving Idol junkie Richard Rushfield of the LA Times that Megan Joy (formerly Corkery) is a closet metalhead -- and I got a huge kick out of watching her squirm like Brittany Murphy in Girl Interrupted while waiting for her pre-commercial closeup -- but not even that could really salvage her hack job on Stevie Wonder's "For Once In My Life." I think Smokey hit it right on the head when he pulled the rictus grin back even wider than usual to tell her, "You are so different!" After she finished being ripped to shreds by the judges (which Rushfield insists was a travesty), she skipped off the stage.

Boring commercial break. Simon stayed in his seat to make some calls. When we returned, Anoop dared ask the question, "Can I pull off a heartfelt version of 'Ooh Baby Baby' while dressed like I just came back from an intramural bowling tournament?" Answer: Maybe! My heart was especially warmed by watching the three not-dead-inside judges swaying in unison as the Noop-Dawg sang. I got kind of sad, though, when I suddenly noticed Anoop's parents sitting in the front row -- where they had not previously been -- and realized they're rotating the families in and out of the good seats this year, instead of letting them all stay put for the whole show. During the next break, both Mr. and Mrs. Desai got hugs from Smokey, and Cory went back to talking to adults. He's weirdly better with kids. I don't mean that in a creepy way, either. Kids are just funnier when you hand them a mic.

Cringed at Michael Sarver's man-flops in his mentoring video; determined that he looks like a villain from Buffy the Vampire Slayer when he sings; felt bad for his family, who were the only people in the house standing up as he performed. In fact, I noticed that we'd all been sitting a whole lot since the big Matt Giraud dance party, and that even Mr. Arkansas had for the most part given up on making any noises whatsoever, except for the occasional overzealous "BOO!" or "AW!" when he snapped to and realized he hadn't been doing his part. While Paula was delivering her drawn-out critique of Sarver's "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," Randy made some sort of choking gesture, and I did a little choking myself at Mr. Sarver's second straight gee-whiz boy-howdy post-critique speech.

It was somewhere around here that the energy level in the house dipped to dangerously ordinary levels, which meant Lil Rounds sledgehammered her way through every last Vandella but received only half a standing O, with several of the people who got up looking like they needed to stretch their legs more than anything else. The judges swooped into interesting territory when they suggested that, by tanking Motown week, Lil had blown her "moment." Coming on the heels of Randy's comment last week that she should have  sung "I Will Always Love You" for country week... blurg. Also, please note: If the judges do not intend to use their save on Lil Rounds and only Lil Rounds, I will eat my hat.

Adam Lambert strode on stage during the next break, blinding us all with his brylcreemed hair. "Adam couldn't make it tonight, we got Elvis in the house..." joked Cory, going over to fist-bump the wayward Wicked prince. "Adam couldn't make it??" gasped the 6- and/or 8-year-old new iPod owner behind me. Debbie shoved Seacrest down into a seat about four seconds before we came back live, but he delivered his usual flawless teleprompter read introing Adam's self-indulgent omg brilliant take on "Tracks of My Tears." This is because Seacrest is a pro. Adam is also a pro, and with all of his Hot Topic + Twilight + Emo Jersey Boys style choices, he is working this show like a shiny shiny pole -- even as I can't quite figure out why on earth he would want any part of what happens to you when you win. (That discussion -- along with my treatise on why no girl will ever again be crowned America's Next Top Idol -- can be found on my non-existent blog, Whitney Applies Entirely Too Much Thought To This Show Dot Com.)

It was at about this point that the judges started to whiz through their comments; I will do the same for Danny "Ghoulish Widower" Gokey by simply pointing out that I really hate it when the mentoring video is all about mentoring that goes unheeded during the subsequent performance, and that he seems to have curtailed his drunk-frat-boy-at-ex-girlfriend's-wedding dance moves somewhat.

And then I will begin another paragraph by saying that Allison "Hope For A Brighter Tomorrow" Iraheta was worth the long, long wait; that her performance of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" energized the room like no one since Matt Giraud (who might as well have sung last Friday, given how long the show felt tonight); that for the first time I understood exactly what that song was about; that a friend in Chicago who had never seen the show before texted me to say she should win; that she received a completely unchallenged and not-obligatory standing ovation (trumping Lambert's by far); and that when all the contestants came out during the song clips to close the show, young Allison was swept off her feet by Kris Allen in the biggest DUDE YOU JUST ROCKED THAT hug I've ever seen. Those two continued to party with each other under the video, spreading their lovefest to Adam by fake-bowing when his clip played, and grooving to everything else. I like the idea that Kris and Allison comprise some sort of Actually Have A Soul Patrol. I'm going to keep an eye on those two.

That was a wrap, except for how they still had to pre-tape Ruben and J.Hud's performances. Despite the fact that we were all trapped in the I-Dome until well after 8 p.m. Pacific time, there's not much of note to talk about here -- I apparently missed an audience-member singing competition while I was interviewing Simon in his trailer for a video coming to an EW.com near you soon, and I'm assuming you are not interested in the details of the time-killing contest Cory held in which four kids under the age of 15 stood on stage and tried to see who could talk about Idol the longest without stuttering or saying "um." Basically, both former Idol contestants sang through their songs once, Ryan chatted with them, you'll get to see it all tomorrow night. And so will I, which is why I plan to sign off now and go to sleep.

I leave you with but one question: What did you think, PopWatchers?

Read more:
Michael Slezak's 'Idol' recap: The Mo(town), the Merrier
'Idolatry': Alexis Grace stops by the EW office
Gallery: The 11 Most Awkward 'Idol' Mentor Moments

HD Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 08:26 PM EST

Loved your article, I laughed so much in regards to the man from Arkansas, I live in Arkansas so can just see him going hog crazy. Well at least he enjoyed the show. Yes my vote correction votes goes to Kris. He is kick awesome. Alison is the best female singer. Adam does not need AI to get into the bussiness, he just needs a good agent, he is a professional and should not be there. Thanks for the entertaining article.

Whybother Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 09:14 PM EST

And great job on the recap Whitney! It's so refreshing to read a review from someone who doesn't take this farce, oh sorry I mean fierce, show seriously.

Whybother Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 09:11 PM EST

I noticed Adam didn't eye-f*** the camera once. Someone's not too confident without his panda eyes. He gets points though for being the only contestant on there who can dress well. I felt so sorry for Scott in those pink pants... I can't believe a stylist could be that cruel. Or that one of the other contestants didn't help him out with 'Dude, DONT go out there like that'. Sad

E. Marie Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 08:36 PM EST

For those of you that are still complaining about Rings of Fire, there are now kids on YouTube doing group dances with it. They loved it!

Rings of Fire was brilliant and creative. End of discussion.

Donna Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 05:44 PM EST

I kept wondering who Adam looked like too. Then, it dawned one me that he looked (with the suit and slicked back hair) like Kirk Russel with black hair!

Jennifer Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 02:48 AM EST

Hey Whitney, LOVE your recaps. It would be so much fun to hang with you at an Idol taping. You know, as long as I could sit through it that long without hanging myself, a la that guy in the movie "Airplane". I love your funny, sardonic, sarcastic recaps. Hell, you can even call me a binder clip without my pitching an enormous hissy fit! Pay no attention to the haters, they just want a total milquetoast (I've always wanted to use that word, Yay!) writing pablum.

Love ya, girl!

anoop Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 01:03 AM EST

oooo baby baby
that is all.

Lisa Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 12:55 AM EST

Adam is in a league of his own, period. This is the first season I've ever watched more then an isolated show and it's all because of him. Finally a contestant that's not homogeneous and boring. Adam is relevant, unique, and a true star. If he doesn't win it will be absurd.

Hanna Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:17 PM EST

I'm sorry you can't see anything good about Adam. He's a genuine, humble, extremely talented man, and he's loved by the other Idols. Your comments about him have shown me that I'll have one less blog to read in the future. That's good because there are so many good columns/blogs out there that I won't miss yours.

fighting Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:37 PM EST

My friend told a me a hot dating place .....wealthyfish.com.....where you have the opportunity dreaming about dating a millionaire or hot girl ,supermodels and so on.First i can't believe,then i sign up there. i really got many friends including celebrities.it's so exciting

Joe C Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 07:51 PM EST

Well Whitney, as I write this, your boy Matt is in the bottom two. OOps!!!

Genie Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 07:40 PM EST

Kara is a nitwit.
Alexis was only on the show for a total of 3 weeks where the viewers got to vote, and she sailed through the first two, with good or excellent comments from the judges as well as enough votes to keep her solidly in the competition.

So where does Kara get this "you've just picked bad songs the past few weeks" crap?

I think Kara just blurts out whatever inanities pop into her head, without bothering to check that they make any sense (e.g., musically) or fit reality.

G

Justin C. Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 06:42 PM EST

I wish I could watch the show with you! Wait, what - why don't you think there will be another female winner? I've wondered the same thing, but I don't really have a solid basis for such an opinion. I'm more worried about an ongoing Survivor sausage fest.

sara Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 06:22 PM EST

I LOVE ANOOP!!
i thought he did fabulousss

jj Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 04:49 PM EST

Hey EW

How can Whitney Pastorak be SO BAD, when your other writers are so good (I love Doc Jensen).
These "at AI" articles need editing by a freshman English teacher. BORING!!! POORLY WRITTEN. SORRY.

Sam Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 04:29 PM EST

The judges should have egg on their faces right now for putting Megan and Michael through before other deserving talent. Every year they end up with a few huge mistakes in the top 12. This year was no different.

Mike Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 04:12 PM EST

I'm surprised to hear Adam is gay. I should have seen it but for some reason I didn't

Carebear Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:58 PM EST

Wow John, you say that Adam is Elvis reincarnated then call Matt a wannabe? *rolls eyes

cra Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:57 PM EST

Like him or not. Ask any singing teacher - Adam has INCREDIBLE vocal skill. Megan, on the OTHER hand, is just cute. Adam's Ring Of Fire was unusual - but the vocals were amazing. So why didn't the judges mention the vocals? Then you have Megan whose performance was flat and boring, and yet the judges didn't mention her vocals either. They just commented on how good she looked and how fun she was. Do I smell a conspiracy on the hands of the judges who are pushing for Megan to be a britney-wanna-be "package artist" they can sell? Funny how during auditions they'd say, "It's a singing contest!" but now that their Megan hasn't turned out to be that strong of a singer, they're de-emphasizing the singing ability and talking about wardrobe and personality. I know it's a "star" they're looking for, but give Adam his dues - I haven't heard anyone who can hit those notes in YEARS! It's like Steven Tyler or something. Amazing.

Tim Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:47 PM EST

It continues to be clear that Allison is going to be huge at radio, regardless where she finishes. Also, Adam has a big future, but he will be one of those "either you love him or you hate him" polarizing entertainers. If anyone other than those two are in the final two, it's a travesty. There's a handful of performers that might have a future at adult contemporary radio, but Allison and Adam are the only two true stars on this season's roster. Alexis had an outside shot, but America seriously screwed that up last week by putting such marginal finalists as Oil Rig Dude and Tat Girl in the top 10 over her. You'd really rather hear them on tour than Alexis, America? Really? With the right songs, I think Allison could easily have a Kelly Clarkson-type of career...and Adam has the potential to sell out arenas as I think he'll play tremendous live, but radio may be a little tentative to give him a chance.

Jim Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:44 PM EST

I'll be so glad when AI is finally over and done...what a travesty. Don't the know the definiton of a travesty, you say? Herein lies the problem.

ken Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:41 PM EST

To Can't read this crap - It's because you are boring, un-original and have no sense of humor.

Tom Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:37 PM EST

People, get real. Adam su^cked last week with Ring Of Fire. (Is that what it was?) So he did well this week. Big deal. He has plenty more performances to shriek through. Many more roles to play as he tries to pull it off. It's rediculous when people call a winner this early in the game. So far, Allison posseses the most raw talent. No gimmicks, just a phenomonal, gifted, 16 year old girl. Anything can happen, but it's a given that Megan, Scott and Michael are history. God Bless David Cook. The best, most original, likeable Idol winner in history. We miss you, bro.

Nick Marino Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:29 PM EST

Allison = best.

Adam = great.

Anoop = good.

CANT READ THIS CRAP Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:23 PM EST

Your writing style is so wordy and tangential, it is unreadable.

RICEANDEGG Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:15 PM EST

Adam was so amazing with his performance. He just made other singers look so AMATEUR! SHAME ON YOU if you want him out of the competition because he is GAY! You are so ignorant!

Lisa K Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:13 PM EST

Didn't ANYONE beside my husband and me notice Scott say that he was looking for that special "person" and NOT that special woman? He's definitely gay. I could see him working as an Elton John impersonator! HAHAHA!!!

Sally in Chicago Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:02 PM EST

All right -- starting stuff. Can somebody tell me out of 100,000 auditions, the judges couldn't find at least 3 maybe 4 "black" singers. Black singers come from the church and jazz, and it is stumping me why most of the chosen (best?) singers this season are white males?
Maybe, and this is a theory, black singers don't present themselves well enough stage-wise? Somebody give me a reason why this happened this season?

Scoobie Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 03:00 PM EST

Fo shizzle! Allison is da bomb!

Who Me? Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 02:59 PM EST

WHITNEY... Just wondering about one more detail we didn't see on air. Were you able to see Smokey's reaction to seeing Anoop sing "Ooh Baby, Baby" for the live show? I'm interested to know how it compares to his reaction to Adam's performance.

Sally in Chicago Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 02:55 PM EST

"FunkyC Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 02:10 PM EST
Allison flubbed her lyrics at the end of the song. Listen back."

Well, admittedly she was having problems with the lyrics and Smokey acknowledged it as so.

Skimble7 Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 02:51 PM EST

Thank you for mentioning the "why is Adam even on AI". I too am hoping he's out before the Top 5 with a credibly intact career.

And yes, I did catch Randy's comment and Paula mentioning the "cleaned-up" look. STFU! None of the judges have a clue or they do and are playing it that viewers don't have one.

Charles Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 02:10 PM EST

I thought Kara was spot on for most of the show. Her tongue bath of Allison was a bit contrived but all in all a good night for her Ms D

FunkyC Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 02:10 PM EST

Allison flubbed her lyrics at the end of the song. Listen back.

John Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 02:00 PM EST

Adam doesn't just look like Elvis.

Adam is this generation's Elvis. It's like the King was reincarnated.

Oh and Matt G. is a wannabe.

May Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:59 PM EST

hi, let's have an experiment, find people who don't usually watch AI and have them listen to the songs... do not sell your favorites ok, let's see who will get the most liked votes...

gregr Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:59 PM EST

Why do the idols always seem to choose the wrong song? Why doesn't the mentor help them choose a song? The mentor just seems to be there to say how great they are and that's it. I think Michael or Megan will be voted off. Adam sounds like John Davidson when he sings.

may Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:57 PM EST

froggy, i really begin to doubt if you are actually watching american idol, you are probably commenting from hearsays, try to watch sometimes and then start commenting....

EntertainmentBlogger Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:55 PM EST

Alison and Adam were really good last night. Megan should leave tonight. Wow -- Lil has really slipped down. So this could be an all boys event pretty quickly.

My only gripe with Adam is that he is not unfound talent. He's been in the biz a while. I would prefer this show to be truly about raw, unfound talent.


http://movies-tv-entertainment.blogspot.com/

RAMON Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:47 PM EST

SIMON AND PAULA OWE AN APOLOGY for their disrespectful childish behavior while ALLISON 's moment was still in progress. Totally unprofessional and distasteful. Pay attention to the other judges while they are working, FOR GOD'S SAKE.Have some RESPECT for the singer and your fellow JUDGES.Thanks.!

Mariyas Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:46 PM EST

Adam is a STAR. He is the whole package handsomely wrapped. He's got everything: the vocals, the range that is out of this world, the looks, the appeal, the moves and versatility. Matt is a great singer and piano man. He should play on his sexiness to go with his sensuality in delivery. Allison is an outstanding talent and truly rocks. Danny has great vocals but that's all I can say. Kris is a big surprise this past 2 performances. Same with Anoop. And it's why Danny has become a mediocre.
Lil has not wowed me yet and has not killed a song. I don't know what Simon said that Lil sang the blew him away before.
In all these, Adam is a stunning standout. He is just electrifying.

Sara Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:44 PM EST

"He is on notice until further notice"
"DOES PAULA HAVE PERFECT PITCH" -- that was super interesting, by the way...
"Actually Have Soul Patrol"
Thanks for the awesome recap... too funny!

mrstmaxd Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:39 PM EST

Whitney!! I was so worried when you didn't write last week's Pop Watch. I missed you so much. I love your attitude and the attention to detail and color. Please say you'll last more than three weeks!!

Anna Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:37 PM EST

Whitney's back! =D

That's it. Don't care if he's married, I'm shipping Allison/Kris. Ahahaha. j/k

Allison has been my favorite since her squirming reply "I'm always nervous" in Hollywood Week, and nothing yet has changed that.

CB Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:29 PM EST

I have no idea if Idol contestants read this drivel; but if they do, I want to request that Adam performs Dire Straits "Romeo and Juliet". I would love to hear his interpretation!

wg Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:25 PM EST

"Adam is also a pro, and with all of his Hot Topic + Twilight + Emo Jersey Boys style choices, he is working this show like a shiny shiny pole -- even as I can't quite figure out why on earth he would want any part of what happens to you when you win."
...
Exactly. I'm a major Adam fan, but I DO NOT want him to win! Being the AI would hamper any real chances of him as an artist/performer for at least a few years. I want him in second or third place and then onto Broadway where I can buy every soundtrack he records.

Dan Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:18 PM EST

CJ: I see where you're coming from on that. I thought the same thing, Adam needs to Gay it up big time next week. Any word on the theme?

whatcha Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:13 PM EST

Oh, Mz Whitney, I missed you. Thanks for another insightful (inciteful?) commentary.

CJ Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 01:12 PM EST

Did anyone else have a "oh no, he di-int" moment when Randy commented about Adam having "straightened out" this week?

Mg Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:59 PM EST

Man, sometimes i wonder if these people on here can actually comprehend true vocals...Anoop karaoke?? R u guys mad?
Anoop, Matt, Kris and even Adam, i feel rocked the Motown theme hands down

To_FROG FACE Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:56 PM EST

Well, u r either apparently deaf, blind (cos you didn't watch the show) or musically retarded. Which i think in this case its all 3. Did you NOT hear the judges and Smokey? So who are YOU to judge when you can't even sing

Sally in Chicago Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:56 PM EST

Lee and Froggy: FYI Anoop is not a "Star" at best he's high-quality karaoke.

em Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:55 PM EST

paula was sooooo funny last night. god i just love her

KasimMuburak Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:53 PM EST

Don't vote for Danny or Anoop.
Vote for Adam and Allison.

Dan Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:52 PM EST

My Quick Recap best to worst (cumulative):
Allison: Unique sound, young, unlimited potential
Adam: Creative, different, will need the right record company to let him shine.
Matt: Soulful sound plus instrumental talent that kills.
Kris: great voice, good look
Danny: could be big in Xtian rock
Lil: clear vocal chops, but is lacking originality
Anoop: inconsistent performer, great when he's on, but horrid when he's not.
Michael: pleasant enough voice, but not at the level of anyone above him
Scott: Lite-FM does not need anymore songs, Matt seems to blow him away instrumentally.
Megan: no real talent, clearly there because she's eye candy for Simon, who is voting for her?

Thanks for the live look ins, I like this article as much as Slezaks.

To Lee Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:48 PM EST

Couldn't agree with you more my brother!!!!

Froggy Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:47 PM EST

Anoop once again FAILED. How many times will we have to suffer through more of Anoop's failed attempts before his idiot fan club gest a clue? They are only gonna make Anoop a laughing stock.

Lee Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:44 PM EST

Anoop has arguably the smoothest voice in the competition and one of the most soulful. I think that's why he chose a tough song like Ooh Baby Baby--to show off how smooth and soulful his voice is. As far as I'm concerned, he pulled it off.

Loranat Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:40 PM EST

Thank you! I have long said that as long as tween girls are aloud to text/call whatever, no girl will win AI. Annoyed by the Simon/Paula/Mustache diversion during Allison's performance - and am so tired of Lil Rounds being shoved down our throats - I wonder if the judges save will back fire - she will get save one week just be sent home the next because people will be annoyed.

Sarah Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:40 PM EST

This blog is right now.

http://www.zimbio.com/American+Idol/articles/1442/American+Idol+Season+8+Commercially+UnMarketable

Beck2 Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:39 PM EST

Oops...forgot about Anoup. He also did a great job. Should be with Allison, Adam, Chris & Matt in the top 5.

Beck2 Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:36 PM EST

I am SO-O-O thrilled that Allison hit it out of the park! She really needs the judges behind her to promote votes. She & Adam tied for #1 in my book. Love Adam's revised look...it gives the over 50's a better image to root for...we loved his sound but were afraid of his goth look. Chris and Matt come after A&A. Dump the rest.

rachel weiz Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:30 PM EST

Loved Anoop's vocals! Loved Adam's new look! Loved Matt's performance! Loved....that's it!!!

bth Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:28 PM EST

I didn't like Adam's performance AT ALL. He wasn't as bombastic this week as in previous weeks but it was still theatrical -- not at all authentic or organic IMO. Alison was awesome -- but she's also in danger of doing the same thing to every song she sings. What's next week's theme?

SexyBeast Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:22 PM EST

Kris don't listen to Simon on the conceited crapp.
Stay cool and not conceited.
That is why we like you because you are not an ego maniac like the rest of Hollywood.
Don't listen to Simon on that advice Kris.

Leo Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:19 PM EST

I must say all the "A"s in this competition are doing WELL! and all of them bring a little something to the table. Adam, Anoop, Allison...

i do like Matt and Kris too, their characters are really sweet...

mmmm Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:09 PM EST

Gosh...wonder who is more bimbotic? Kara, who can't count and uses the same word (artistry) over and over and over again...or our dear Paula, who's unseeming drunken stupor matches with her amazing clarity and lucidity???

I personally would go with Paula anytime...

Boomerang Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:04 PM EST

Whitney! Loved your column! Next time, please keep an eye on my darling Kris's wife and confirm my suspicions that she's as bitchy as I like to pretend she is on TV.

elr Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:58 AM EST

Loved Adam's look but, I hate his voice.

Nancee Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:55 AM EST

Argh. I thought I was going to be able to avoid all the high school bitchy/Danny Gokey stuff in your column. Slezak actually suggested he sing a song about a weak heart - talk about ghoulish. What's wrong wtih you people these days?! I want my fun EW gang back! [sigh]

Alessia Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:55 AM EST

Loved Allison! She is so talented and did an amazing job last night. Too bad Simon and Paula could not be bothered to pay attention to her or give any kind of coherent feedback because they were busy acting like 3 year olds. I know they think they're funny, but their act is getting to be boring, atrocious and self-indulgent. That's Simonspeak so he should understand it.

Jill Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:50 AM EST

Wow, Kris sounds like a really sweet person. He loves to hug. I love a guy who isn't afraid to hug people.

Lucas Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:47 AM EST

Allison, Kris and Anoop!! Adam is all right, but those three have genuine soul. Please vote Randy and Kara off.

Snark Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:39 AM EST

Glambert RULES. There will never, ever, ever be karaoke from Adam. He is why I tune in every week, and Simon was so wrong about him LAST week- we'd love for Adam to come to Nashville. He'd like it, despite what the incorrect national perception of Music City is! DialIdol has him at numero uno. Sweet.

TooOldToBeWatching Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:29 AM EST

I like to say I watch AI for my kids, but they are not even in the room when it is on. Adam should not win. He is very good, but the type of style & music he would put out is not AIish, if you know what I mean. He may pull a Daughtry, leaving early, but still finding success with a certain group of people. The 16 year old amazes me. How can someone that old have so much soul? They need to help her out with her fashion style. I like the kid with the guitar. My 11 year old would buy his music and develop a massive crush. He is an AI kind of winner. The oil rig guy, blind man, and Danny bore me to tears. The pretty blond needs sleeves, but I don't think they will let her get past this week. Lil, just the usual, over singing, and over confidence. Boring. Kris, has soul and will have a long career.

Belle Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:23 AM EST

I love Adam. He so amazing and cute! Allison and Kris are good too

idolbeat Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:21 AM EST

to sallyinchicago - ummm, maybe the right chart stealing guy hasn't made it yet?

Yay for the great review of Matt and I'm glad to hear he was so well received live - I heard him last week and it was the same - he was awesome!

I still think he is the most radio ready of all the contestants right now! You give him a funky r&b and he will rocket to the top of the top 40 charts!

victoria Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:04 AM EST

I really liked matt annop adam and kris
reaaaaaally great.
I have to give anoop props.. thats hard song to sing.. I youtubed it and dang... he did good.
Matt kudos for not making look corney(sp?).
adam.. way to tone it down. it was good.
kris I Just love him1!!!

Betsea Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:04 AM EST

Adam really blew everyone away I think, and he, Allison and Matt should be the final three if all is right with the world. On a negative note, Paula and Simon irritate most people I know, they take attention away from the contestants with their silly actions. They need to just get a room for pete's sake, they cannot keep their hands off each other and half the time do not even listen the the contestant singing! Grow up!!

Betsea Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:04 AM EST

Adam really blew everyone away I think, and he, Allison and Matt should be the final three if all is right with the world. On a negative note, Paula and Simon irritate most people I know, they take attention away from the contestants with their silly actions. They need to just get a room for pete's sake, they cannot keep their hands off each other and half the time do not even listen the the contestant singing! Grow up!!

Julie Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:53 AM EST

Oh, and my favorites by far were Anoop, Allison, and Adam. But Anoop FTW! :)

Julie Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:52 AM EST

Loved your comment about Paula referring to Kris' high A! I didn't believe it either while watching the show, but DOES PAULA ABDUL HAVE PERFECT PITCH?! She has been frighteningly lucid in her remarks this season.

Karrah Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:47 AM EST

Kris and Allison are my two favorites, so it makes me really happy to hear that they are close.

believer Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:39 AM EST

My favorites were Allison/Matt/Anoop. They way I judge these idols, I would ask myself: Would I buy their CD's? And I must say these are the voices I want to hear on the radio. The person to go home should be Michael more than Meaghan because I feel she is just not picking the right songs for the type of voice she carries.

Broadway Baby Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:38 AM EST

Hey Sally in Chicago - where is your blog? Honestly - you should be writing one if you are not.

fidi Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:28 AM EST

adam and allison are the best

Barker Bill Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:28 AM EST

Megan's performance reminded me of the old TV show from the 1960s, Hollywood Palace, where old stars reduced to playing Vegas lounges would come out and sing rock era songs to show how "with it" they were.

Allison picked one of the hardest songs to sing, especially in a condensed down version, and she did a great job. Very compelling.

Scott would have been perfect as the piano player for the Grateful Dead, adding his bland harmonies to the background behind the lead vocals of Jerry or Bob Weir. But as a lead singer, he is not that good.

Michael should have played this show to get a country music contract out of it, should have stuck to singing ballads and country songs. Instead he sings uptempo stuff he is not remotely capable of. It's odd.

Danny is sinking into mediocrity. Right now its like Michael McDonald (Danny) competing against David Bowie at his peak (Adam). No contest there.

Dave Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:19 AM EST

Come on, Whitney. Don't try to make us think the tramp stamp ISN'T a handy guide. It's a perfect guide. Just imagine it's Matt Berninger's hand.

jim Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:17 AM EST

My friend recommended me a very hot place ___wealthyfish.com___, where you have the opportunity to make friends and chat with millionaires hot and sexy girls,supermodels and so on.First i can't believe and then I signed up there , i've got many friends including celebrities there,It's exciting.

Ashley Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:15 AM EST

Haha, I checked Paula's comment about the "high A" too, rewinding on my DVR and checking on my piano! I personally think someone tipped her off on the last note. No way she has perfect pitch.

disruptive pantsuit Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:05 AM EST

Axl Jonas can sing without shrieking?? Heavens. That was his "moment," I'm sure, and everyone else can pretty well say "adios" to their chances to win. Allison, of course, was far and away the best tonight - hopefully, it qualifies her for the Judges' Save because America can't seem to understand how she'd be the best thing to happen to this show since Carrie Underwood. Lil Rounds? OVERRATED. That performance tonight, which by rights she should have killed, was as leaden as an x-ray vest. The Ghoulish Widower was far too white to have sung ANYTHING Motown, and poor Scott MacIntyre should be packing right now for that horrendous performance. Megan Joy? Eeeeeek...

Original Pechanga Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:55 AM EST

We gave our votes to Allison. Sadly, we had NO problem getting through. That doesn't make us feel that she couldn't be in the bottom three again. She rocked that song.

lisa Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:54 AM EST

My favorites? Allison, Kris, Adam, in that order. If Allison doesn't make the final after pulling out a performance like that, I will cry. I really will. Those three in the final would be AWESOME especially since they seem like such good friends.

SoccerMom Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:48 AM EST

Whitney, I did not like your recap!! I sucked, What happened to whoever was writing it before you came back. His was funny and entertaining, yours was just stupid......Whatever, Bring him back; please!

Kristian Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:47 AM EST

Whitney -- thanks for the play-by-play. I had tickets but couldn't fly out on short notice. It's nice to read the details about what might have been.

Uber iDOL Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:46 AM EST

I said last week that Adam's rendition of Ring of Fire was brilliant even when all of you said it sucked. He was brilliant again this week. This guy is amazing and he is blowing everyone else away. He's this year's winner. Hands down.

RTA Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:39 AM EST

Excellent writing, dude! Smokey's "rictus grin" will have me chuckling all day. Priceless.

Dana Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:36 AM EST

To go home, Megan or Matt I hope

Sally in Chicago Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:34 AM EST

Thanks Whitney. BTW, Tell Slezak to fix his sign-on screen in that other Idol section. It's not working.

Anyway, yep, I agree Allison is energy personified. She's a threat to Adam. And folks remember this -- girls rule the recording charts and arenas. Has anyone seen David C & David A lately? All the Idol Girls from Kelly C. to Carrie to Jennifer H. are ruling the charts and touring up a storm. Producers take notice, you need a girl to win.

EbovaArt Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:26 AM EST

Adam: So unique, so refreshing, so original, so creative, so entertaining! He has outdone his competition long time ago and now he keeps outdoing himself. TRUE ARTIST! BRILLIANT!

Blossom Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:25 AM EST

I actually read somewhere that Paula does have perfect pitch. She has more hutzpah than she given credit for. That fact that she treats people with respect and compassion and is trashed for it says more about our society than it does her. I love Allison!! She rocked the house and then some.

lulu Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:22 AM EST

adam rocked! he is the reason I am watching...
kris & allison are also my fave...think they are not given enough credit from the judges.

PLEASE SEND DANNY & LIL ROUNDS HOME.UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Tyler Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:21 AM EST

Hi Whitney, I'm glad you experienced Allison just rocking the house because she blew my TV screen off its wall! Seriously, that was a magnificent performance. I'm glad she and Kris are performing so well and still keeping things real and not succumbing to the package artist syndrome. If America is not mature enough to recognize that, that's America's loss. While Adam may have been technically proficient, the Meatloaf just doesn't touch my heart. He's too aware of himself, his hair, his cameraman, his mascara, and on and on and on. And for some reason, Danny Gokey thinks he's Justin Timberlake, stalking the stage with his horrendous body movements that can hardly be called dancing! He has somewhat of a nice voice, I admit, but is too cocky to sing consistently. Lil Rounds is overrated. If by some miracle AI Finals end up with Allison and Kris, I will truly, truly love American Idol forevah.

Sasha Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:20 AM EST

Adam's performance was out of this world! He is absolutely amazing and I cannot wait what he does next! It is like having Christmas every week! ADAM is BRILLIANT!

Erika Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:18 AM EST

ADAM: One BRILLIANT performance after another! Beautiful Mind, Beautifu Heat and INCREDIBLLE TALENT!!! NEXT MUSIC ICON!! BRAVO ADAM!!!

Whitney Pastorek Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:08 AM EST

time4bedlam: you are a genius. I am stealing that. you will receive credit.

AA Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 08:52 AM EST

Oh Whitney, so glad to have you sitting in and listening to this semi-frequent torture-fest of a show! Keep up the good work, and your supply of ear plugs!

time4bedlam Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 07:46 AM EST

How about "Mount Killimaeardrums"?

Idol Watch Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 07:22 AM EST

I can not believe an article can have so many words and say so little. I found myself skipping paragraphs just to find something interesting. Horrible Article!

alternate Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 07:14 AM EST

"(That discussion -- along with my treatise on why no girl will ever again be crowned America's Next Top Idol -- can be found on my non-existent blog, Whitney Applies Entirely Too Much Thought To This Show Dot Com.)"

I WANT TO READ THIS!

Kath Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 07:06 AM EST

You didn't agree with ANYTHING Kara said? Not even when she said Allison didn't belong in the bottom 3 last week and needed votes? I cannot believe you people. GIVE KARA A BREAK ALREADY!

Lily Painter Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 07:05 AM EST

Loved Lil's look, but not the singing -- sheesh! Too bad Memphis went all Church Talent Show on Motown night.

Just when you think it's Boys Night Out, along comes Alison to do it for the ladies. Well done her!


Adam's a Gay Pop God, no matter what anyone says. He's gonna win, get some serious dermabrasion, and we'll never hear from him again til he starts doing stunt-casting replacements on Broadway or more likely Broad-Vegas.

Matt's really, really good, but I fear limited -- even with those Mr. President ears.

Scott, Sarver, (No) Joy: can't we vote off all three this week???

Of all the 10, I think Kris has the best chance of making it to true pop stardom. He's cute, very talented, got some sense of what America wants to hear on the radio, and can appeal to tween girls and Lite FM listeners. He's my bet for 'might win, might not, but watch me ride this thing to a real career.'

Cakenbake Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 06:56 AM EST

I got a kick out of Kris-Allison-Adam relationship. It's great that group 2 has been really close. I read that Kris/Matt are close too. It good seeing them getting along and having fun with each other.

kat Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 06:39 AM EST

loved Allison. She slammed it. Also really loved Anoop. Although his song was not a high-energy foot stomper, I REALLY love hearing his voice. Also like Adam (for once) Matt and Kris. Not so much Danny, Michael (NO NO NO), Scott (just eh) and Lil (shouting)

JillS Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 06:25 AM EST

Ok, it's like Week 42 and Megan has YET to wear sleeves. Ughhh.

JenR Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 06:18 AM EST

I loved Allison's reaction to the mustache drama going on at the judges table while they were supposed to be critiquing her. She seems so genuine and sweet, and she killed that song! She was perfect last night.
I wish Megan had sung like she did in the rehearsal footage. I think that overblown arrangement threw her off.

Lori Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 06:06 AM EST

I love the fact that Allison and Kris are really close. He is like an older brother to her younger sis for him. And that they spread the love to Adam.

That was so cute.

Joshua Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 05:58 AM EST

Whitney - You are by far my favorite popwatch writer. I love everything you write.
I loved Allison tonight. I have been a fan since "Alone", but this performance blew me out of the water. Adam was especially good tonight. Followed by Matt, Kris and Anoop.
Keep up the good work!

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