It's Motown Night. With Barry Gordon and Smokey Robinson's wax statue. The Idols get a tour of Motown studios and Smokey Robinson looks over them, with the penetrating stare of his fake alien eyes. And I'm thinking of that old K-Tel records commercial where that girl on the street says, "Smokey? He's the greatest!!" (anyone?)
Matt Giraud "Let's Get It On"
Matt starts a slower tempo at the piano, and then kicks it up with a soulful ballad-y thang. Probably a good move for Matt to get out from behind the piano, and with this song, he's in his element. Matt has the potential to be a dark horse in this competition, but I doubt the judges will let him get too far. The judges like.
Kris Allen "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"
This is quite good. I think Kris changed it up just enough. And he's got good vocal control with his slight growl-sing moments. Kara sort summed it up with "you did everything right."
Scott MacIntyre "You Can't Hurry Love"
Scott is still behind the piano - because, c'mon, truly - do we really want the poor guy singing sightless mid-stage? It's an OK performance, but I don't think it's ultimately a good song choice for Scott; His range is just below what we're all used to hearing in this oft-heard song. It amounts to a poor cover song they might use in a movie too cheap to spring for Diana Ross. The back-up singers provide some visual... something, but they aren't in harmony with Scott at times. The judges didn't like it much, and I can't say I blame them. Simon sums it up: "It felt cheap."
Megan Joy "For Once In My LIfe"
Smokey uses words like "original" and "different" to describe Megan. He appears to dig her "jazzy cabaret" vibe, but I can't tell how sincere he is about her, for reals. Me? I like the idea of Meagn, but somehow the performances she gives leave me cold. I think she may have a big moment in her, but she is scrambling around blind trying to find it. She sounds a bit strained with this one. Kara is right, she should have sung "My Guy" or something like that. She needs to strut and show attitude with her singing. The judges don't like at all.
Anoop Desai "Ooh Ohh, Baby Baby"
It's good. Technically good anyway. A little dull. Anoop has lost some of his ANOOP!ness. Simon says: "It was a great vocal, but you looked like you were half asleep." Yup, that's about it.
Michael Sarver "Aint Too Proud To Beg"
Michael wants to "Church it up". Yes, Michael, go for the Jesus votes. I think this one is a little over-cooked. Michael is smiling and holding onto notes at random. And way too many runs. I think Michael also missed Smokey's note about the song: It's about a man pleading for the very last time for his lover not to leave. It's not a Happy-Time-Chili-Cookoff Musicale. The judges - they do not like. They hammer him, actually. Michael, only Jesus can save you now, so you better hope he takes the wheel.
Lil Rounds "Heatwave"
Lil admits to getting emotional at the history of Motown. I tell ya, Lil is a class act. Ryan introduces her from the alterna-mosh pit, where someone let some uggos and fatties in. Security! Anyway, Lil is rockin' the whole Motown look; She looks like one of the Pips. The vocals are solid because, well, it's Lil. Kara and Randy have some good points, and there were spots that could have been better. I think Simon may be right - this week could have been "her moment" - and it wasn't.
Adam Lampert "Tracks Of My Tears"
Adam is sporting a Ricky Valens look this week. No wallets with chains. No guyliner. No black nail polish. It's a slow, somber interpretation of the song, if it was sung by the Bee Gees. He gets a standing ovation. A. Standing. Ovation. I feel like Stewie Griffen when he was so bemused his head slowly tilted sideways and was stuck that way. I think everyone needs to calm down. What goes on here?!? Randy gives some bullshit about "knowing from day one..." which, if I recall, they gave him the oft-times dead-man-walking label of "Broadway Singer." Wow, The Show really wants this guy in the finale for some bizarre reason. If he wins, you will see the tracks of my tears.
Danny Gokey "Get Ready"
Good song for Danny. It's totally "in his pocket," as Paula might say before the meds kick in. Danny does a nice job with it, but I'm getting the feeling that Danny has flatlined. I don't think there's much originality in there, ultimately. Another observation: Gokey is such a white-boy dancer. Simon even calls it "clumsy" and "amateurish." Idol Gods, if you have abandoned Danny is favor of Adam, I weep for our future.
Allison Iraheta "Poppa Was A Rolling Stone"
Allison does a nice job with this one, although it may be a tad overstylized. Good song choice on her part, though. A good showcase of her vocals. The judges love, as The Show valiantly tries to save Allison from "bottom threeing" this week.
So who's going home this week? I think Michael Sarver is returning to the oil rig from whence he came.