24 of the current Top 100 iTunes downloads is from American Idol Season 8. If we add past American Idol contestants, that is another 7 – 31 pop tracks total in the iTunes chart. David Cook, Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler and Jordin Sparks singles are among included.
As of May 23, 2009 Kris Allen’s single “No Boundaries” is number one on the iTunes downloads chart beating finale rival Adam Lambert’s own version of the same song currently in number 16 spot.
“No Boundaries” is an original song written by Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, along with Cathy Dennis and Mitch Allan. When the song was first heard on the American Idol finale, Simon wasn’t impressed and laughed on the lyrics of the song. Most bloggers followed suit and called it among the worst songs ever written for Idol. With a strong lead in the iTunes chart, who is laughing now?
Overall, Kris Allen’s 12 American Idol performances is in the Top 100 with 4 songs in the top 20. Adam Lambert on the other hand has only 9 songs in the chart with “Mad World” at its highest in number 6 spot. Interestingly, only one of Danny Gokey’s songs is in the charts; “You are so Beautiful” currently in number 75.
These numbers of course changes from week to week yet no matter what most people say about how American Idol’s popularity and spark is dying beats the charts in contrast. American Idol still clearly dominates the pop charts and that says a lot to a 6 year old reality television show.
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We were not totally surprised, but we also felt that America let us down, or somehow the system did. Idol prevented the first openly gay idol to emerge. Adam clearly won the competition. Even Kris knew it. Adam has more range, more diversity, more power. But he has black fingernails and he wears a guy liner.
What does Kris have? He is humble. He has an honest feel. And he is likeable. But most of all, he isn’t gay.
So when it came down to 100 million votes, Kris won. And we think Danny was better. And we think it showed during the final show’s duets. Danny sang with Lionel Richie and kept up with a genius.
But you know what? We like all three. We want to hear records by all of them. In fact, some of the top 13 could be big talents this year, depending on how they are promoted.
And we will concede that during the season and during the finals, we heard songs from Kris we want to hear again.
So, CONGRATULATIONS KRIS!!! You won, and you know what, it doesn’t really matter why. It is all conjecture. You won because overall, you were the best talent. And we know we will pay to see you in concert, just like we did Daughtry. But we will pay for Danny and Adam too. Shoot, we have to buy a ton of tickets this year.
“The Acoustic Rocker vs the Glam Rocker. Conway vs California, The guy next door vs the guy liner.” Kris Allen vs Adam Lambert.
This week was rather surprising for us. Kris did an excellent job on his first two songs, especially his first, to make it at least seem to be a horse race.
1 Adam Lambert – Personal Favorite- “Mad World” by Tears for Fears
By the luck of the drraw, Adam had to go first, which did give Kris an advantage. Adam started off with “Mad World” which we could imagine being a huge hit right here, right now. His falsetto was flawless, but what strikes most about Adam is how effortless it all is for him. His range is super-human, his screams from the planet Krypton and his creativity from Mozart.
2 Kris Allen – Personal Favorite- “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers
Could Kris follow? Kris followed with an incredible rendering of “Ain’t No Sunshine”. We didn’t think we would be impressed, and we were wrong. This was an excellent and creative version of the song and Kris could do this as a hit as well. This was a performance with the piano, and we believe it is the instrument that clearly gave Kris an advantage no one else had, because he is actually quite talented as a musician as well, not just a vocalist, and it clearly adds to his appeal.
3 Adam Lambert – Producer Simon Fuller’s Choice – “A Change is Gonna Come” by Patti LaBelle and Sam Cooke
The producer picked the next song for the contestants. Adam did “A Change is Gonna Come”, and wowed us again. What was most amazing is we feel the choices for both artists were second rate. Perhaps that is just us, but we don’t think so. Still, Adam made us love it, which as we said before, it doesn’t matter what song it is for the truly talented, and Adam is miraculously talented.
4 Kris Allen – Producer Simon Fuller’s Choice – “What’s Goin’ On” by Marvin Gaye
Kris followed with“What’s Goin’ On” on his guitar. Again, it was not a great choice, but what is key here, and something always missed when the judges judge, is he didn’t choose it. Yet he was criticized for its not being the right song. Geesh, guys, get real. At any rate, Randy and Simon did a poor critique of the song and were negative on it, which was ashame, because Kris did a commendable job of keeping in the competition, but the judges ended any chance he had with their comments.
5 Adam Lambert – Original Winner’s Song – “No Boundaries” by Kara Dio Guardi
Finally, both artists sang a new song written by Kara. It was written as a canned hit song to be done by any artist, and Kara is excellent at that. The tune has melody and is very catchy. But the song is different from the others. It has not been performed before to an audience. It wasn’t a hit last week and the artists do not get a chance to see what worked before. It is new. Here is where Adam truly separated himself from anyone we have seen. He took the new song and made it a smash hit. A song we had never heard and we loved it.
6 Kris Allen – Original Winner’s Song – “No Boundaries” by Kara Dio Guardi
Kris took the song and decided to sing it sans instruments. We think he should have stayed on the piano. It is just the artist we see him as being. Kris had no idea where to go with the melody. He started off incredibly pitchy and by the time he got to the end was an octave too high for his vocal. While he did a commendable job, it was just enough for the boy scout merit badge. It wasn’t a smash.
So, there you have it. We said before that unless Adam got laryngitis or died this past week, this year was his. Adam is the best and most diverse talent we have seen on this show. When we first discovered how good he was, we captioned our article, “The Scream Is Back”. His scream is effortless and is on par with the greats of rock like Robert Plant and Roger Daltry. There is no song he cannot do and do well. His falsetto is flawless and never off key. His range is beyond anyone we have ever seen, including the women performers. We believe if there were a contest for the best American Idol, Adam would win easily. And so Kris never had a chance. But then, neither did Danny. There were bad calls along the way, but Adam is untouchable, and if the audience did not vote for him, it would be a travesty.
If a judge ever had a negative impact on a contestant, Paula Abdul did it to Danny Gokey.
Each judge had to pick a song for an artist and Paula picked an outdated and mismatched song, “Dance Little Sister” by Terence Trent D’Arby. Danny performed it well, but it was not memorable and it was unfair. There clearly should have been a restriction on what the judges could pick so the song choices were all relevant.
So tonight, we watched Danny get eliminated from the final 3. That leaves Kris and Adam to duke it out next week. Fact is, neither Danny nor Kris can touch Adam. So, that probably won’t matter much. But we are nearly certain, had Paula been forced to be more fair in her choice of song, it would likely have been Kris that was eliminated. But there was never any doubt about Adam.
Well, Kris is good, no doubt. Better than we thought and better than we expected. There is nearly nothing he could do to win next week. Adam would have to get laryngitis or die. Short of that, this one is a done deal.
What we liked about Idol tonight was originality. What we didn’t like was the fact that Paula picked a rather obscure song for Danny, which is sang brilliantly.
Danny Gokey – “Dance Little Sister” — Terence Trent D’Arby — Danny got picked to do a song that was rather unknown from most of the audience’s perspective and still nailed it professionally. There was nothing about Danny’s voice we didn’t like. And someone has to remind those that didn’t like Danny’s dancing, this isn’t a dancing competition. Danny nailed this. (9/10)
Kris Allen – “Apologize” — One Republic – We are not huge fans of Kris. We find him consistently mediocre. But on this tune, he showed that he can sing a major hit and make it enjoyable. As Simon pointed out, it was not as good as the original. What Simon forgets is that the original was done in a studio and we doubt it was any better live. The criticism that he should have used a guitar instead of a piano was grasping for nonsensical strraws. (9/10)
Adam Lambert – “One” — U2 – Spectacular begging with falsetto that no Idol performer could ever perform. Follow it with strong diverse vocals and screams and you have Adam. No one in Idol history could touch Adam. (10/10)
Danny Gokey 2 – “You Are So Beautiful” — Joe Cocker – Now Danny took a very slow tune that it had the chance to be boring. But what he did brought out something we could listen to again and again as we hold each other. Beautifully appointed and planned. It left us thinking that Danny has to be the most unlucky of Idol performers next to Kris. Why? Adam Lambert.
Kris Allen 2 – “Heartless” — Kanya West – Kris took a song that was not at all acoustic and took it to an amazingly different version and made it one of the best acoustic performances that we have ever seen on Idol. Awesome Kris, we loved it. (9/10)
Adam Lambert – “Crying” — Aerosmith – Adam decided to give Danny a lesson on how to sing Aerosmith. He showed that Danny does not have the range or the talent to do this strong of a song. Adam killed it and showed Danny the difference between mediocrity and an Idol. (10/10)
So, now what do we have? We have no idea. We know Adam was best, but Kris and Danny were so close that any yawn, sneeze or trip to the john could have left one or the other swinging in the wind. Our guess is Danny was a tad better. But Kris worked so hard that he got the exact same scores. Our only reason for choosing Danny would be it seemed easier for him. But that doesn’t sound like the best reason.
Our guess? Danny or Kris versus Adam. And we cannot call it, other than Adam is in a class all his own.
Tonight was a bit of a travesty. The second best performer from last night got sent home, and we have little idea how the voting could have had this result. But we have been surprised before.
Adam was no surprise. He was great, and safe. But of the other three, we would have expected either Kris (because of overall mediocrity) and Danny (because of the worst performance we have seen in the final four) to go home.
But sadly, it was Allison, who belted out a massive performance of Joplin’s Cry Baby. And the only thing wrong with the performance was perhaps the songs obscurity to a modern audience. Janis is barely known now and her style was an acquired taste, so perhaps the more ubiquitous sounds of the Beatles, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin laid Allison to waste.
Allison did an even better performance of the song tonight, with a fitting tear in her eye. Yes, Cry Baby, and realize how incredibly talented you are. At 16, a gal that will be remembered for years to come and perhaps have her first hit CD by next year.
Appearances by Daughtry and No Doubt rounded out a great show and we have to give kudos to Idol for having the guts to finally do an all out rock night. A night where even Led Zeppelin allowed a tune to be done on American Idol for the very first time.
From the best screams (Adam) to the worst (Danny) we loved the entire show, but we are saddened that Allison was the one to go. She is more deserving.
This should have been the week to use the save, because there is a good chance that Danny, who did a horrible rendition of Aerosmith, may likely need it to be saved from his first painful performance of the season.
But let’s get to the show. (Audio Performances at the end of the post)
Adam Lambert- “Whole Lotta Love” – Led Zeppelin – First was Adam. We had said weeks ago that Adam sounds like Robert Plant, but Plant required a studio to pull off the screams, and Adam can do it effortlessly live. We knew, if he didn’t majorly screw up and try to do the song too differently from the original, he would kill it. He got advise from the weekly mentor “Slash” to not improvise the song too much. Adam listened, and it was awesome rock. He is the only person in Idol history that could have pulled off that song. (10/10)
Allison Iraheta- “Cry Baby” – Janis Joplin – Second was Allison. This is a classic song, which requires an amazing vocal range to pull off well. Allison was not challenged by what was a classic Joplin tune. She belted it out as well as Janis ever did live. We loved it, but there is no way she could outdo Adam. (9/10)
Kris Allen- “Come Together“ – Beatles – Kris did this OK. It was a bit mundane and not overly thrilling to watch. He was on key throughout and did it well, but we wouldn’t break down a door to see him perform it. (7/10)
Danny Go Off–key- “Dream On” – Aerosmith – Nothing could save Danny here. He was already out of his element and there are so many bluesy rock songs he could have chosen instead. He tried to be Adam and scream, and that is not only not Danny’s style, but it is way out of character and his vocal range. Where Danny shines is the blues, and instead of choosing a Stones tune or a Joe Cocker song he could have nailed, he chose to do Aerosmith? Their biggest hit no less? Bad idea Danny. (5/10)
There were some duets, but none were worth much and none would make a difference in the voters minds. The solos placed Danny so far behind it was pathetic and one bad week could send him home because the judges totaly blew the save two weeks ago.
Danny Gokey could lose to Kris and Allison for the first time in this competition on one bad performance. And we coined the phrase Danny Offkey to express how bad this performance was. After weeks of greatness, Danny could well go home, unless the audience gives him a chance because he has been so great in past weeks.
As a note to our readers, Danny made votefortheworst.com, and if you vote for Danny tonight, you would be.