Tomorrow: Joss Stone and Smokey Robinson sing a medley. Ruben Studdard sings his new single, “Together” and Stevie Wonder performs a Motown medley.
Stick around while I live blog tonight’s Idol show!
Tonight…the music of Motown. Ugh. I hate the way they introduce the judges and Ryan. Did I just stumble into The Price is Right? Ryan says everyone is healthy this week.
Motown video package reminds me of what an incredible legacy Motown music has left… Berry Gordy Jr. and Smokey Robinson are both sitting in the audience.
The iTunes songs are recorded with the original Motown instrumentals. Hm.
- Motown and Smokey with the kids – VIDEO
- Matt Giraud – “Let’s Get it On” by Marvin Gaye VIDEO – iTunes
- Kris Allen – “How Sweet it Is” by Marvin Gaye – VIDEO – iTunes
- Scott MacIntyre -“You Can’t Hurry Love” by The Supremes – VIDEO – iTunes
- Megan Joy Corkrey – “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder – VIDEO – iTunes
- Anoop Desai – “Ooh Baby Baby” by Smokey Robinson – VIDEO – iTunes
- Michael Sarver – “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations – VIDEO – iTunes
- Lil Rounds – “Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandellas – VIDEO – iTunes
- Adam Lambert – “Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson – VIDEO – iTunes
- Danny Gokey – “Get Ready” by The Temptations – VIDEO – iTunes
- Allison Iraheta – “Papa Was a Rollling Stone” by The Temptations – VIDEO – iTunes
Matt Giraud – …Let Get it On by – Marvin Gaye – Matt is so excited to play piano for Smokey. “Marvin would like that, ” he says. Matt starts at the piano, and then gets up to work the stage–he serenades the judges a bit. The vocal is a bit of a copycat of the original, he’s trying too hard–nerves maybe? But overall, it’s a decent vocal. His riffing didn’t bug me as much this week. Randy says, “You set this off on a tone…there are other front runners…but you are challenging them for the top spot.” Kara says, “There are a lot of girls out there going…yeah…a solid performance. Paula says, “You showed a sexy, cool vibe, your riffs are tasteful, classy, spot on…great job.” Simon says, “Brilliant choice of song, middle was corny, but it was cool…this is exactly what you should be doing.” Simon anoints him, again as one of the front runners. 1-866 – 436 – 5701
Kris Allen – …How Sweet it Is by – Marvin Gaye – “Kris blew me away, ” says Smokey. He starts slow, and then kicks it up a notch. Very James Taylor, but the arrangement is original. Kris is making this song his own, as they say. Very soulful, upbeat–great vocal. Good stuff. Dude is really come out of his shell. Bravo. Kara says, “You did Kris.” Kara says it’s about artistry! “You did everything right, ” she says. Paula says, “Brilliant…I”m proud of you.” Simon says, “That was smart…but you have to start believing in yourself.” Simon says he needs swagger and confidence. “You have to be conceited, ” he says. “Just keep it in the stride…It’s all good, ” says Randy. 1-866-436-5702.
Scott MacIntyre – You Cant Hurry Love by The Supremes – In a pre-performance pimp interview, Scott tells Ryan that he’s decided to play piano, despite what Paula suggested last week. Smokey thinks Scott brought the song up to date. The background singers join Scott at the baby grand to do their thing. It’s not helping. This is just awful. He missed some lyrics, his phrasing is awkward. The entire performance is off. The arrangement is pure cheese. He’s going flat on the high notes. It’s a terrible song choice. Paula likes the arrangement, but doesn’t critique his vocal. Simon is honest, “It wasn’t a great version of the song…it was completely the wrong song for you…cheap. I think you’re better than that.” Simon’s really laying into him. Randy agrees, “A very hotel kind of performance…you’ve gotta take some risks…nothing great happened with it. Kara says, “I think you brought tempo tonight, but you did take liberties with the melody…the execution wasn’t perfect.” Scott was going to sing “Reach out and Touch” but he changed it. Simon thinks that would be better. Oh, hell NO. Ryan asks Paula how Scott compares to the other guys, but she won’t answer the question. Simon is irritating her…Paula reaches under the desk (what is she doing?) pulls out a coloring book and crayons and throws it in front of him. “Here, for the six year old!” she says. Simon cracks up! Crazy. The short of it: Scott sucks, and it’s time for him to go home! Please? – 1-866-436-5703.
Megan Joy Corkrey – …For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder – Smokey calls Megan “half jazz/half cabaret” and “original” – Holy sh*t, this reeks. Horrible horrible phrasing. This chick just does not know how to interpret a song. So leaden, this is very weird. It’s not jazzy, not pop, not soulful–just really bizarre. She’s belts out the notes at the end, willy nilly. Pitchy, pitchy pitchy. I do not like this. Randy says, “Dude, that song was a trainwreck for me…you needed to slow it back a bit.” Kara says she should have sung “My Guy”. She calls her phrasing and rhythm weird. “You weren’t dominating the song, ” she says. Paula compliments her outfit and looks, then says, “You weren’t as comfortable as you usually are.” Simon says, “Oh dear, dear, dear, it was horrible…atrocious…I think you could be in serious trouble tonight.” 1-866-436-5704.
Anoop Desai – …Ooh Baby Baby by – Smokey Robinson and The Miracles – Great story from Smokey about how the song was created from a riff. The song starts off a little soft, with Anoop in his falsetto, but it really kicks off in the second half. The verses are much better than the chorus. The falsetto parts need a little more omph. But the parts that are good, are very, very good. Not as good as last week, but still solid. Kara says she liked his chest voice better than his falsetto (so did I), but she thinks he did a really good job, and is coming to believe he’s got a lot of talent. Paula says, “I want to see more confidence, but your phrasing and delivery is sweet and tender.” Simon says, “it was a great vocal, but you looked like you were half asleep.” But he adds, “Two good weeks in a row.” Randy liked it but says, “Turn it back up next week.”1-866-436-5705. Turn it up, Anoop, but please, no dancing! Heh.
Michael Sarver – …Aint Too Proud to Beg by – Temptations – Michael gets a Ryan chat–he says illness kept him from going to Detroit, but he’s feeling much better now. Michael says he’s going to take the song, “to church”. Smokey gives out the first criticism of the night–he tells Michael not to “sweet talk” the song. It appears Michael is only good singing ballads. He’s trying to go all big and soulful, but it reminds me of his Gavin Degraw from the semis. He’s trying so hard to sound soulful and fierce, but it comes off forced and pitchy instead. Ew, at the hammy ending–his voice cracks hitting a high note. I think Michael is in trouble this week. Paula says, “Oh boy…it felt Las Vegas loungy to me…you weren’t reaching the notes…I’m sorry.” Simon says, “I couldn’t wait for it to end…you have no chance of winning this competition with that vocal…it isn’t good enough.” Michael looks crushed. Randy says, “The song was just a little too big for you…it wasn’t a great performance.” Kara says, “We’re looking for an artist…you gotta bring that.” Michael insists he’s being true to himself, and he’s having a blast. 1-866-436-5706.
Lil Rounds – …Heatwave by – Martha and the Vandellas – Smokey pulls out the tired phone book analogy to describe Lil. Yawn. Lil got emotional at the Motown museum. Lil then namechecks a bunch of artists who didn’t record for Motown. This song is Idol poison. It doesn’t show off the vocals very well, and this performance is no exception. Lil sounds super shouty. She’s all bug-eyed and frentic–the yeah yeah yeahs are super pitchy. She should have killed tonight, but she did not. Randy says, “You got mad crazy vocals…the front of the songs was torture for me…you were rushing through the song.” Kara says, “You look great…this should be your week…I don’t think it was the right song.” Kara says she needed melodies that breathed more. Paula disagrees, “It feels fresh…I heard a classic song for the very first time.” I don’t think so! Simon says it was an authentic tribute, but it wasn’t the right choice of song. “You could have had a moment.” Simon says. Simon reiterates that she’s one of the best singers in the competition. 1-866-436-5707.
“If you think you’ve got Adam pegged, ” teases Ryan, “You’re in for a surprise.
Adam Lambert – …Tracks of my Tears by – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – Adam is really nervous! Smokey says he kept it tender, and sweet, and soft. Adam sits center stage with an acoustic guitar and upright bass, and a guy sitting on a box keeping time. This is very beautiful, emotional. Adam sings it mostly in his falsetto. The vocals are killer. Adam proves he’s more than a showman–he can truly inhabit a song. Adam, yet again, takes the audience to a completely different place–a new wonderful surprise every week. Like Christmas! The audience goes wild–Smokey is in the audience giving him a huge standing O. Kara says, “One of the best performances of the night…you showed artistry on that stage.” Paula says, “You have that instinct to have that element of surprise…you are exciting.” Simon says, “It was THE best performance of the night…you were able to sum up everthing we said tonight…you have emerged to me as a star.”Randy said, “You showed you could sing such tender moments…unbelievably hot.” 1-866-436-5708
Danny Gokey – …Get Ready by – The Temptations – Smokey suggests that Danny sing lines he was leaving for the background singers. Danny says he’s going to take the advice ’cause Smokey knows what he’s talking about…and then when he sings it on stage–nope, he totally blew off Smokey’s advice. Another shouty vocal from Danny…with some interesting phrasing choices (twee-ta-lee dee! Twee ta-lee dum!) Oh, and he needs to stop dancing now. The judges have totally run out of time: Paula says, “First class performance every week.” Simon calls it “Clumsy and amateurish.” Randy compares him to Levi Stubbs (lead vocalist of the 4 tops) and says it wasn’t his best vocal, but he liked the energy of it. Kara says, “It wasn’t your best performance, but I’m still a huge Danny fan.” 1-866 436-5709
Allison Iraheta – …Papa was a Rolling Stone by – The Temptations – “I’m going to show my funk side!” Allison says. She was having trouble with the lyrics, but Smokey thinks she’ll do good. I totally hate that “She’s only 16!!” crap. But seriously, this girl really does have an old soul. She’s digging into this song, bringing the heartache and passion. She needs to sing some of the words more clearly, but she’s got it. Thank god she has the pimp spot. It buys another week for Allison, who has been on the cusp. I’d love it if she were the last girl standing. “Blazing hot” says Randy. Kara says, “America you gotta go for her…that is from God, you can’t teach that.” Paula has crayon on her face…oh Simon! “You kept your rocker edge…you belong in the competition…beautiful.” Simon says, “You are a survivior, that was one of your best performances.” But he can hardly get it out, he’s laughing with Paula. 1-866-436-5710.
Berry says he was blown away. Smokey thinks all 10 are AWESOME.