(UPDATE: Next week's show, according to Fox, will have contestants "perform songs of the cinema under the guidance of director Quentin Tarantino in an 'Idols at the Movies'-themed performance show.")
Because of a night out and a busy day, I did not get to last night's "Idol" performances until just before I watched the results show. Fortunately, I have been burned enough by "Idol" overruns that I had set an extended recording time, and didn't miss Adam's show-closer. But I have to wonder if there is no one on the show willing to tell Paula and Kara in particular to hurry things up. I wonder even more, though, whether the show cares all that much about running long, since it pushes "Idol" viewers into the next hour and ups the overall ratings for the show following it. But tonight, at least, it seemed to run on time. Notes after the jump. ...
In brief, regarding the performance show, I am having to abandon my early Adam hate. He is just too good, and miles ahead of everyone else on Tuesday night. I have mentioned here before that I haven't heard anything on the show that would send me to iTunes. Adam, and possibly Allison, did so tonight. Adam's skill needs no further praise here. But Allison also gave a smart, dramatic performance. Great start on the verse of "I Can't Make You Love Me" and then, when it appeared she was turning into booming-Allison again, she pulled back and kept it restrained -- but still powerful. So Adam was the best of the night, Allison second.
Danny was marginal, competent but with rough spots, and I have no explanation for how Ryan could refer to that as the Mickey Gilley arrangement of "Stand by Me." Kris was horrible, just butchering "All She Wants to Do Is Dance," and sometimes not even in time with the band. Lil -- besides wearing a skirt that seemed to make it impossible to move -- was unremarkable; when Simon said it seemed "like we have lost you," I could understand the sentiment since she was thought to be a serious contender. But I also think she's getting whipsawed by judges' comments that in the long run slice up her confidence and make any song seem like a bad idea. 'Noop, once one of my favorites, played his old ace of getting smooth and pretty, but on "True Colors," he was also boring. Scott wasn't good, my notes included the word "screech" -- which one of the judges also brought up. And Matt, who also think has gotten mixed messages from the judges, was OK but the tempo on "Part Time Lover" seemed off -- almost too slow for that song -- and he still has problems with his upper register. I probably would have sent Kris home first but wouldn't have kicked if Scott went home.
And so the judges, where the save question was dragged out long after the decision appeared to have been made. Bottom three, in order of announcement: 'Noop, Scott, Lil. Lil saved first (and I think the judges would have used their save for her, not least because her elimination would leave only one woman in the competition). 'Noop saved next, leaving Scott to perform for the save. Lots of conversation among the judges, and Simon said the vote was 2-2 (my guess would be Paula/Kara for the save, Simon/Randy against. Especially since Paula was teary and had to remind Scott at the end what an inspiration he is. If he were not blind, he would not have gotten this far.) It was clear Simon thought that settled it, since the vote has to be unanimous, but Ryan essentially asked for a revote, the discussion went on and finally Simon had to tell Scott he was gone. Which is not an outrageous decision, by any stretch; his vocal limitations have been ever more evident.