Tonight's theme on American Idol is songs from the movies, which explains why Quentin Tarantino is there. He's apparently a superfan, and he even gets to join the Top 7 on stage for the uber-dramatic intro today.
Before the singing, Simon Cowell says it was because "the girls" talked too much that they overran last week (eight minutes!), which is totally stupid. It's just that there are too many of them (judges, I mean). That said, each finalist will only get feedback from two of the four judges this evening.
Tarantino was a guest judge in season three, in case you were having deja vu. He met the Top 7 to help them figure out what songs they should sing. In fact, he says, he will directing them.
Allison Iraheta worked on "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" from Armageddon. When she first starts out, she's pretty quiet, but going into the chorus, she works it a little more, and even more toward the end. Paula Abdul says she has "vocally championed Adam since day one," but "you possess the same special sauce that he does." Simon Cowell says it was barbecue sauce she was talking about: hot and spicy. He goes on to say that she is the "girls'" only hope in the competition. Well, unless Lil does something spectacular starting tonight, duh.
Anoop Desai is going to take on "Everything I Do, I Do It for You." Quentin tells him to "rough it up" as much as he can. In the performance, he does a little, but it's mostly very smooth, and it really works for him (though his face gets a little overwrought at times), and it wasn't a soundalike performance. Randy Jackson says he was worried about the song choice, but he did a really good job. "Congrats!" he closes. Kara DioGuardi says he's found "his place," taking pop songs and adding soul to them. She adds that the changes to the melody really worked.
Adam Lambert is going to sing "Born to be Wild" from Easy Rider. He tells Quentin he is going to do something electronic with it. Hmm, interesting. He works the entire stage, interacting with the band and the backup singers, but for me, it's more back to his theatrical side. I mean, it's interesting, and he hits every note, but it seems more like a stage show than a singing competition. Paula: "Take it all in, my dear. The reason, Adam, that you're shaking up this whole competition is that you dare to dance in the path of greatness. You do. And I'm going to tell you: Fortune rewards the brave, and you're one of the bravest contestants I've ever witnessed, ever." Simon: "Adam, I think you've got to learn to express yourself." Snerk. He says vocally, it was great, but at times it felt like watching the Rocky Horror musical, adding that it won't be as popular as last week's performance.
Matt Giraud gets interviewed by Ryan, and is it just me, or they should just skip this segment if they are having trouble fitting the show in time? He's going to sing Bryan Adams' "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" from Don Juan DeMarco. He has some good moments, but he, unfortunately, has some really off-key ones, too. Something just seems off-kilter about the whole performance to me. Randy Jackson says it was an interesting performance and that he had a rough patch that didn't work at all. He also calls him out for doing "all that stuff" with a simple melody, and he lost more than he won with his changes. Kara says it has to be a masterpiece if he's going to flip a song like that, and it didn't work. (It seems to be killing Simon that he can't offer commentary -- he is making weird faces the entire time that Kara is talking.)
Danny Gokey also has an interview segment with Ryan, and he tells him that he bought a guitar because he was bored. He's going to sing "Endless Love," with harp accompaniment. It's nice, but where are the glasses?? Paula says she thought at first it should have been in a different key, but he gave a beautiful rendition nevertheless. Simon says he can't fault how he sang the song, but he's disappointed by the harp and the very traditional rendition. Still, he says the song clearly means a lot to him personally, and he congratulates him for that.
Kris Allen is singing "Falling Slowly," from Once. Oooh, nice choice. He talks with Quentin about whether he should play guitar during his performance or not. He doesn't, but that's OK because he does a pretty great job with it. Randy says for him, it never quite "caught on" even though he loves the song. He says it was "pitchy from note one." Kara says it was one of his best moments ever, even though it was an obscure song. Next to last, as usual, means hardly any feedback. Gee, if only they had, I don't know, not chatted with the judges for three minutes coming back from the commercial? Who is directing this mess?
Lil Rounds sings "The Rose" with a gospel twist, and her performance is kind of all over the place. Paula says the song has the most beautiful lyrics and that the road has been very long, but it's been worth taking, "especially when you've made it this far, Lil." Huh? Simon says the song was "too soft, too middle of the road." He says she is not the artist they met seven or eight weeks ago. She says they told her to be an artist, so she put her own bead on the song. But, Simon says, it's a Bette Midler song.
Shockingly, the show is running late yet again, but at least this time it wasn't so late that performances were cut out of the hour.
Anyway, what do you think about the night's performances? I think Matt and Lil are in trouble. We'll see tomorrow. By the way, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson will be there.