Tonight's American Idol will have the Top 8 singing songs from the year they were born. This pretty much makes it '80s night, except for Allison Iraheta, who was born in 1992. Last week's theme was similarly wide open, and the finalists made some weird choices, but it remains to be seen how they do with this one. Let's see, shall we?

Um, who is random stone-faced dude in the audience? He kind of looks like a Blue Man Group guy out of makeup.


Host Ryan Seacrest embraces the theme wholeheartedly, introducing the judges with baby pictures. Awww, cute. We'll see the contestants' pictures, too. Simon Cowell claims the picture they put up is not him. Then Ryan's picture shows up, too.

Danny Gokey is first, and the oldest, born in 1980. He kind of thwarts the whole theme by singing Mickey Gilley's version of "Stand by Me." This means it starts kind of slowly (and frankly, it's a tad on the whiny side at the very beginning) and then gets all jazzy about halfway through (and this part suits his voice way more). But I'm still irritated by the song choice. Randy Jackson says he didn't love the arrangement, but he's such an amazing singer, he made him love it anyway. Kara DioGuardi agrees about the arrangement but says he killed it at the end and "turned it on its head and made it your own." Paula Abdul says he has set the bar so high everyone else is going to have to run as fast as they can to catch up. Simon laughs at Paula's technical talk and then says the beginning was good, the middle was lazy and the end was terrific, and that's all he has to say about that.

Kris Allen was born in 1985, which he is all about, choosing "All She Wants to do is Dance." He has also chosen a jazzy arrangement, and he's on the weird part of the stage where he is totally surrounded by the audience and has like zero personal space. I hate that part of the stage, but he gives a great performance even though this is an odd arrangement. Kara says it felt like "jazz-funk homework," like it was a class assignment to interpret a song. "It was," Simon chimes in. Paula says he's heartfelt and genuine and changed up a very one-note song. She adds that he is one of the most likeable contestants they've ever had. Simon calls it indulgent, boring and forgettable. He goes on that he came across as a guitarist who wanted to sing. Randy agrees that it was self-indulgent because the arrangement made them lose track of him as a singer.

Lil Rounds was born in 1984, and her mother clarifies that she was named "Lil" after her grandmother Lily, so her name's not Little, as Simon called her a couple of weeks ago. She's taking on Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It." Toward the end, she changes up a few of the runs, which is good because she was on the verge of a total soundalike performance. Paula says she looks hot tonight (uh-oh). She says this was the week that it was important that she take some liberties and go outside the box. What? They have been telling her to get back in her box for the past three weeks, and rightly so! I get what she's saying, that's it's a little too karaoke, but her statement is weird. Simon says it was a second or third-rate copy of Tina Turner and that she was even mimicking how she walks. He says she's either getting bad advice or making bad decisions. Randy says they all love her and her voice, but that Tina is not her, and it's not clicking. Kara says she's struggling to make the leap from singer to artist.

Anoop Desai goes all mea culpa for his cocky overreaction to the judges' critiques last week. He was born in 1986, and he's going to sing "True Colors." I'm not sure about the choice at first, but his voice is a lot stronger on these ballads than the up-tempo songs that he seems to like singing more. Randy says he pulled it back and gave a very nice, controlled vocal. Kara says he controlled the song and didn't let it control him, and that he interpreted the song with soul. Paula says the choice was flawless and "where it sat in your voice was magical." Simon says he's a singing yo-yo and going down and up. He says it wasn't fantastic and then kind of mocks him for apologizing about last week.

Scott MacIntyre was born in 1985 and says he always wanted to be a train engineer when he was a little kid. His song choice is "The Search is Over." He adds a little bit of a rock vibe (he's playing guitar), but his voice is just not there at times, especially when he tries to take it to falsetto. Kara commends him for playing the guitar and taking on a very difficult song. She adds he had some good moments and some off moments. Paula gives him credit for getting out from behind the piano, but says reaching for some of the high notes, he screeched a bit. Simon suggests going back to the piano next week because the song was horrible and the guitar playing "wasn't much better." Randy says everything was "just all OK" and didn't show him off as a star. Scott says he wanted to show versatility before he goes home.

Allison Iraheta's mom says she talked all the time when she was a baby, and she actually took her to the doctor, who said not to worry, she was going to be a singer. That led to voice lessons, and now here she is. She was born in 1992 and is singing Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Aww, no Pearl Jam? Darn. But the song actually works really well with the quality of her voice. Paula says it only takes one note to know undeniably that it's Allison, and you can't put a price tag on it. Simon says it was very good and they just need to "sort you out a bit and make you a bit more likeable." He is worried that her personality is not coming through. Randy compares her to Kelly Clarkson, which, yes, she has reminded me of her for a while now. Kara says she took "adult content" of that song and made it young and believable, which takes true talent.

Matt Giraud was also born in 1985, and we see footage of him in a play when he was a kid that's pretty funny. He sings "Part Time Lover." Well, please, please be better than Kevin Covais. And he is, but honestly, that song and Idol will always call Kevin to mind. Forever. Randy says he was one of the best of the night. Kara calls him unbelievable. Paula says "standing O!" Simon says it was a million times better than last night. Apparently, we're running out of time, so Matt gets the short critiques. That's always so unfair!

Adam Lambert is last, and the show is actually supposed to be over before his segment even starts, the show is running so late. He was born in 1982, and he's going to sing "Mad World." He does a haunting version of it, a la Gary Jules' version from Donnie Darko. I haven't been in his corner for most of the season, but this is a brilliant choice and a really great performance. Simon says he is the only one who gets to talk because they are out of time, but words aren't necessary: He gives him a standing ovation. (The video links might not last long, but for the moment, you can see clips of his performance here. iTunes has a pre-order available for the video, as well. Not sure when that will go live.)

What do you think about the night's performances? I hate to say it, but Adam just totally stole the show. (And unfortunately, a bunch of people probably didn't get to see it because of how late the show went.)