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03.25 American Idol Recap

Tonight featured the songs of Motown with Smokey Robinson coaching the contestants and it was definitely popping. A little over half the contestants brought it this week while others were below par. Who was the best and who was the worst? Read on to find out.

Matt Giraud opened the show with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On”. Playing piano and using his falsetto he managed to start the show off with a bang and win the judges approval.

My Verdict: Safe

Kris Allen was next and sang “How Sweet It Is”, also by Marvin Gaye. He came out, slowed the song down and played along on acoustic guitar. He didn’t overdo the song vocally and stuck to the core melody. His vocals were Jason Mraz-y, but he needs to work on his personality and stage presence. Simon said he doesn’t procure star quality, that’s an accurate statement.

My Verdict: Safe

Scott MacIntyre sang the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” and did not do the song justice. In his coaching with Smokey he remarked that since it was done by the Supremes it’d be difficult for a man to take on. Maybe he forgot that Phil Collins covered the song on his 1982 album “Hello, I Must Be Going” and scored a hit out of it. Scott’s problem is that his vocals sound the same on every performance he gives. His range is limited and his voice just doesn’t stand out among the crop of other contestants. He got a pass last week but this week I don’t think he’ll be so lucky.

My Verdict: Bottom Three

Megan Joy took on Stevie Wonder’s hit “For Once in My Life” and butchered it completely. A lot of people aren’t digging Megan but personally, she’s one of if not my favorite in the competition. Why? The quirkiness of her voice is instantly recognizable, as does her fashion sense and she gives off a 50’s vibe in everything she does. Her vocals are not suited towards Motown songs or any modern type of music which is the problem here. She should be singing 50’s tunes and revamping them in much the same style that Amy Winehouse did. She’s the type of singer who could do 50’s dress, dance and posture then scat half way through the song. Her voice lends itself perfectly to that throwback style. Unfortunately Idol doesn’t really lean towards that but she’s best suited for Jazz. All that didn’t help her this week and she’s sure to be at the bottom, possibly even being eliminated.

My Verdict: Bottom Three

Smokey’s own “Ooh Baby Baby” was performed by Anoop Desai and he did the song justice. Slowing it down, not going overboard with the histrionics, he did well. Hopefully next week he chooses an uptempo song because he’s been sticking to slow jams for too long now. Will he win the competition? No. He’s just not marketable enough. It’s a sad reality but his look and his name just won’t sell to a mainstream market.

My Verdict: Safe

Country singer Michael Sarver came out with the up tempo “Ain’t too Proud to Beg” by the Temptations. Responding well to his criticism, he should’ve been more demanding in the song. The music was louder then he was and he tended to smile too much throughout. He’s singing a song begging his woman to not leave him, a more serious tone would’ve done him well.

My Verdict: Bottom Three

Lil Rounds should’ve owned Motown week. This is her forte, her music and yet with “Heat Wave” she didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. Jennifer Hudson performed it better back in season three. Lil’s a great singer but she seemed to be shouting in parts. Despite that she’s sure to make it through to the next week. She’s got a very good voice.

My Verdict: Safe

The rock theatre performer Adam Lambert was up next and sang Smokey’s “Tracks of My Tears”. He was easily the best of the night. Donning a suit, slicking back his hair and removing his makeup he performed a stripped down emotionally infused rendition of the song. He stuck to showing off his vocal range here and won out in both class and originality. Week after week he’s one of the top runners. I think he’ll make it to the final three at the end of this season’s run.

My Verdict: Safe

Danny Gokey is a gospel singer with a soulful voice. Singing Motown should come natural to him and tonight, it did. “Get Ready” by the Temptations was an energy filled homage to what made that music so fun. He was dancing with the back up singers, going all over the stage. He’s not only going to make it to the next round, he’s another one who I believe will be in the final three to win the crown.

My Verdict: Safe

Last up we had sixteen year old high-school student Alison Iraheta who sang “The Temtations'” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” Starting off a little shaky and the hitting notes I didn’t think she was capable of, it made me wonder how she got into the bottom three last week. Her stage presence for her age is great and she could be highly marketable to teeny boppers if she won. I’d be surprised after this performance if she was again placed in the bottom three.

My Verdict: Safe

This season so far is arguably the best one yet, or at least since five. The singers seem to have learned from past contestants and have been consistently giving good performances. There are a lot of strong contenders with one more set to go home tomorrow. Between Michael, Megan and Scott I’m thinking it’ll be Megan. As much as I like her she did not do a good job on that song at all. She actually sounded better singing when she was sick the previous week. It’s a pretty tight race, especially since Michael was in the bottom three last week so I could be mistaken and he could go home. But as much as I’d like him to be sent packing it might just be her.

Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert are still my picks within the top three so far to win the show.

How will these results pan out, tune in tomorrow to find out.

Written By: Kyle Bulai on March 25’th/09

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