“American Idol,” 3/31

Hey y’all – Sorry this is a touch late, but a pal of mine is moving this week and we threw her a going-away party last night. I didn’t get to watch “Idol” til late, and I highly doubt anyone was up at midnight when I was finally done watching “Idol,” waiting on these recaps…

Anyway, last night was contestants’ choice, so long as it was on iTunes (equal parts “can you vague that up for me?” and “let’s suck up to iTunes!”).

Anoop Desai went first, singing Usher’s “Caught Up.” Seemed totally karaoke to me.
Randy said: He picked up his swagger but it still wasn’t the best song choice.
Kara said: He played it safe and it was too close to the original.
Paula said: She loved seeing his playful side but he needs to work on his stage presence.
Simon said: It was a “complete and utter mess.” He came over as a wannabe.

Megan Corkrey sang “Turn Your Lights Down Low,” previously performed by Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill. I think the song should’ve worked, but it just didn’t.
Kara said: She may be in trouble – wrong song choice.
Paula said: Megan needs to “take us by surprise.”
Simon said: It was a boring, indulgent song choice.
Randy said: It was like watching paint dry.

Danny Gokey sang Rascal Flatt’s “What Hurts the Most.” I’m certainly not a Danny Gokey fan, and this didn’t win me over. I have no idea what the judges’ heard, but his version was the same as the original. I didn’t hear anything great about it.
Paula said: “This is where you thrive.”
Simon said: It was his best performance to date and he was so much better than the first two.
Randy said: He can really sing and he needs to move more on stage.
Kara said: He moved everyone emotionally and he gave so much of his heart and soul.

Allison Iraheta sang No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak,” and she played a guitar. I really liked this, but then I’m a huge No Doubt fan.
Randy said: She rushed the song a little, liked the guitar, but didn’t like her outfit.
Kara said: She’s a rocker so she doesn’t need to dress the part.
Paula said: She liked the guitar and her voice is as strong as singers twice her age.
Simon said: It sounded like she was trying to be a rock star and she shouted some of the song.

Scott MacIntyre sang Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” while sporting Flock of Seagulls hair. The song was pretty; the hair, not so much.
Kara said: It was a smart song choice.
Paula said: She’s the most proud of him – not because of his “challenge,” but for “everything that makes me forget about that challenge.”
Simon said: His best performance so far.
Randy said: One of the best performances of the night.

Matt “Sheena’s Mama’s Favorite” Giraud sang The Fray’s “You Found Me.” I thought Matt did a good job of bringing life into such a boring, generic song.
Paula said: It was too soundalike.
Simon said: He didn’t get it and it was like he was trying to be somebody else.
Randy said: It was the wrong song choice.
Kara said: He’s talented and doesn’t deserve to go home, but he needs to define who he is as an artist.

Lil Rounds sang “I Surrender,” by Celine Dion. And, egads, I don’t know why. She can sing anything and she chose Celine Dion?
Randy said: It was the wrong song choice but she sang it well.
Kara said: We got a glimpse of what we saw in the beginning and we need to see more of that.
Paula said: She needs to have more fun.
Simon said: It was like a wedding performance.

Adam Lambert was next, performing “Play that Funky Music.” It was equal parts kinda good and kinda…well..Adam. Take that as you will.
Paula asid: “True genius does not fulfill expectations; it shatters it.” Likened him to Mick Jagger.
Simon said: It was very brave and original.
Randy said: He worked it out.
Kara said: Every week she can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

Kris Allen finished the night singing “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Ladies and gents, rarely will I ever tell you to rush out and buy an “Idol” contestant’s version of anything, but go buy this. While nothing is as good as the migthty Bill Withers, this was really, really good. It made me hear the song in a whole new way. It was gorgeous.
Randy said: It was “so creative, so cool.”
Kara said: “That is artistry.”
Paula said: He took a 30-year-old song and made it seem new again. Best performance of the night.
Simon said: He’s finally showing some confidence and it was a very good arrangement. His best performance so far.

What say ye, Scenesters?