“American Idol” takes on the 80’s

I did an entry when the now-cancelled “X-Factor” covered my favorite decade, so it’s only fair that I do the same with “American Idol” this season.

The last time they did it, I only remember that Colton Dixon did a different arrangement of “Time after Time” that I really enjoyed. Mostly because it was a departure from the original, which has been somewhat overdone.

Just to suit my own curiosity, I dug out the tracklist from Season 11’s 80’s night. There were also a few duets here as well.

*Deandre Branckensick went home with his DeBarge “I like it” cover.

*Elise Testone did “I want to know what love is,” which I remember being slightly off and it was one of her many trips to the bottom 3.

*Phillip Phillips ruined his 2nd Phil Collins song [in my view] with “That’s All”… oddly enough after that cover, I listened to that song like crazy 😛 so he did kinda turn me onto it

*Joshua Ledet did “If you don’t know me by now”… knowing him, it was probably one of many amazing perforamnces of his. Great song.

*Jessica Sanchez did “How Will I know” by Whitney Houston. Definitely an iconic music video and I think it was one of the rare times she didn’t do a ballad. I believe I enjoyed it.

*Hollie Cavanaugh completely the bottom 3 with the theme song from “Flashdance”… c’mon, nobody can really do that song but Irene Cara herself.

*I already mentioned Colton doing “Time after Time” but I also really enjoyed his “Islands in the Stream” duet with Skylar Laine (my favorite girl that year and I was SO bummed that she didn’t win, although not as devastating as Colton not winning… as of that time anyway).

*Skylar ended the night with “Wing Beneath My Wings,” another overdone 80’s song merited as “cheesy,” but if I remember right, she freaking shut it DOWN with that. Really good.

*The other duets included Elise & Phillip Phillips don’t “Stop Draggin’ my Heart Around”… I loved when Jessica and Caleb did this last week, so I’m a little biased in their version.
Then Joshica (Joshua and Jessica) did “I knew you were waiting for me”… love this song and they did great.
And DeAndre and Hollie did “I’m so Excited”… hmm, no wonder they ended up in the bottom 3, that couldn’t have gone well.

Interesting… this last 80’s night was also at Top 8… hmmm

The only thing I really ask when these shows cover the 80’s is that the contestants don’t all pick the same tired 80’s songs that even I have gotten sick of already…

already off to a bumpy start with Jena Ascuitto doing the super-predictable “I love rock n’ rock”… I was over that song after it ended up on Britney Spears’s third album and haven’t really recovered.
To her credit, Jena started out on the piano and the arrangement brought me back to “Rock of Ages” (in a good way).

But when it comes to this decade, I want to be blown away and I want to feel some nostalgia too.

Dexter Roberts did a rockin’ country anthem (they had country music back then?) “Keep your hands to yourself”… firstly, didn’t know that was an 80’s song. secondly, he stood out a little more with this rocking number than he had these past few weeks. I’m still not convinced that he should be the winner of this thing. It’d be like Phillip Phillips all over again and anyone who’s followed my blog knows how I feel about him.

To be honest, though, I’ll be the least happy if Dexter or CJ win this thing. Even though it’s unlikely because they’d been in the bottom 3 before.
And I’ll be happiest if Jessica wins, followed closely by Caleb and Alex. Alex has been very much like Kris Allen for me, white guy with guitar that redoes songs that I know pretty well. But he’s got a little extra quirk in him that sets him apart. I’d always liked Alex, but after he did “Story of my life,” I’d been a super fan.

So far, I’m not super enthused about this 80’s night.
And I thought they learned their lesson last week with the duets :/

Up first: Season 13’s “save”d contestant Sam Woolf and Alex Preston with…

OMG, they got a Light-Brite and Chia Pet back stage 😛 awesome

…anyway, they got “The Girl is Mine” by Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney.
I hadn’t heard the original in a couple years, but it felt different. The combination of the two of them worked out surprisingly well. Alex kinda stands out over Sam because he owns his quirky style. I really enjoyed it in an easy-listening sort of way. Just want to kick back and listen to more 😎

Malaya’s doing some Chaka Khan… not sure if I know “Through the Fire”… I guess they couldn’t clear “I feel for you” because Prince wrote it? lol… it’s the only song of hers I really know.

And am I supposed to feel old because none of these contestants were even BORN in the 80’s? 😕 don’t know how I feel about that. Then again, I don’t remember any of the 4 years of it that I lived through, so whatever.

Malaya, I could see winning this thing. I just don’t see myself buying her album because I’m not crazy about the kind of songs she sings. A lot of R&B and soul with a show-offy sort of range. She did this really well, although there were a few shouty parts towards the end where I could feel her naysayers rolling their eyes or simply putting their TV’s on mute. She forced it a little too much in places.

And Harry just disappeared in a crowd of screaming girls just before Jena and Caleb did “It’s only love” by Bryan Adams and Tina Turner.
They did really good too. Almost as good as Caleb did with Jessica last week. They were probably begging for this duet to happen since “I’m with the band” week when their show-stopping performances were back to back in the end.

Harry picked up a girl and had her back at the judge’s panel with her on his shoulders, so funny.

Should I be worried that Jessica is doing “Call me” by Blondie? …because I’m kinda scared this might be too big a risk for my favorite contestant. I ripped Haley Reinhart apart when she did it only cuz I’m really partial to the original.
I guess it’s gonna be a new tradition, started last week, actually breaking away BEFORE the judges do their critique. David Cook and Randy Jackson were trying to teach Jessica how to play to the cameras in the piece beforehand and I think she took a lot of notes. She stuck to the original and sounded really. She doesn’t have Debbie Harry’s range, but in her own way, I think it worked. I’m just hoping that she’ll have the votes to carry her through and this isn’t Colton Dixon all over again (going home the week AFTER the save was used).

Speaking of that save…
why does Sam have to go and do the same song I’d just been praising Colton for rehashing?
I mean, yeah, this acoustic version was kinda cool. I felt like I was listening to Prince’s acoustic album.
Now I’m kinda wondering if there really are conspiracies in place because they purposely put in him a sea full of girls holding electric lighters with him emoting into the camera a foot away from his face… yeah, he’s good looking and sounds good, but it’s kinda like they’re trying to make “fetch” happen. and us Mean Girls fans know how that worked out.

Harry wants to go back into the crowd 😛 but Ryan talked him out of it.

and do they really have a limited number of duets? Malaya and CJ are redoing “I knew you were waiting”.
The two of them were in the bottom last week with Sam and this kinda felt like they belonged there 😕 just didn’t work for me

I’m still reeling from the angle they used with “Every Breath you Take” when they did it on “Glee”… it played up the angst building between Rachel and Santana and kinda ruined one of my favorite songs.
Hopefully Alex does a good job with this one cuz I have some attachment to it. From when Robert Downey Jr. sang it with Sting on “Ally McBeal”.

With Alex’s version, he did a pretty cool coffee shop arrangement that reminded me a lot of Ed Sheeran and how he delivers vocals on some of his album tracks. It’s a little unorthodox, yeah, but he made me love this as much as “Story of My Life” and “Don’t Speak”… I’m starting to see him a real contender for the win, and we might see another dynasty of WGWG beginning again.
Interesting, Jennifer Lopez was saying how he took the soul out of the song by making it too different. I have that issue with other songs and other people, but so far so good with Alex.

Great, now they’re talking about how the song is about a stalker. :eyeroll: My mom once said it could be Edward Cullen’s theme.

Harry’s in the balcony while Jessica and Dexter do… another revisit… Island in the Stream…
do they really have so few duets in the 80’s? geesh…
sure, they sound good together and all that, but it probably won’t be as memorable as some of the other numbers tonight. Harry and Keith were in the balconies, allowing Jessica and Dexter to be at the judge’s table after they sang, lol

They say CJ is gonna do some Tom Petty after the break.
I’m hoping for “I won’t back down” because I was over “Freefallin’ ” years ago. Just a bit of a snooze-fest that song.
sure, the arrangement was a little different, stripped down with a little country twang in there, but overall, I’m not super impressed.

I tweeted the other day about how the judges keep dogging CJ for not singing on key.
Apparently they didn’t care that Phillip Philips never sang on key 😕 he went out of his way not stray from his same old routine… dull and boring. The only times I was impressed was him was when he did Matchbox 20 and Bob Seger.

A richly deserved round of applause for David Cook. He’s been a great mentor this past week, helping with arranging and staging these songs and such.
Hoping to one day give his album another shot, now that I’m kinda over that depression thing I was dealing with the last time I listened to it.

Of course, they’ve having Caleb finish the night. With a Journey song… now I’m thinking “I hope it’s not what I think it is”… there are so many Journey songs, but… “don’t stop believing” is the song that got James Durbin sent home
..he’s doing “Faithfully”… this should be good and hopefully there’re enough soft moments in it to satisfy Harry 😛
another epic finish for Caleb :fistpump:
and Keith had a lighter app going in his phone at the time. That’s pretty cool too 😎
and Harry is finally satisfied with this subtle, softer side of Caleb

Geesh, just call him the winner already 😛

so yeah… the duets were hit and miss for me.
for the most part, the song choices were this and that for me.

Jena, CJ, Dexter and Sam had my least favorite choices.
Jessica, I got all my votes in just now. Not sure how everyone else will feel about her Blondie cover.
Malaya and Alex stood out with their choices, Alex especially.
and of course Caleb was great.

Kinda disappointed there was no Prince or Hall & Oates tonight.
That’s what I really ask for from 80’s night and I’m still waiting for that to happen, unfortunately :/

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One Response to “American Idol” takes on the 80’s

  1. Pingback: “American Idol” Season XIV 80’s Night | The Musings of DreamyPopRoyalty

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