Lil Rounds

"American Idol" meets the Rat Pack


This is a pivotal week for "American Idol" fans. After all:

-- Today is Allison Iraheta's 17th birthday. For those of you waiting patiently, she's now a year from being a consenting adult.

-- Tuesday is "Rat Pack" night, with the remaining contestants singing songs done by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin or Sammy Davis. They could also do the music of Joey Bishop or Peter Lawford, but I wouldn't advise it.

Disco dies; so do Lil and Anoop


All over America tonight, children were looking accusingly at their parents and asking: "You listened to THAT?!? Why?"

The medley on "American Idol" seemed determined to assure that disco, already dead, would stay that way.

I'm not talking about the opening bit, with the seven finalists dancing to Paula Abdul's choreography. That was goofy fun.

It's Adam and ...


Let's imagine that forces conspired against Adam Lambert. They decided he had to return to his home planet, the one where people can sing like that, people can create like that.

If so, this would be the closest "American Idol" ever. As it is, it's still sort of close: For the first time, I have no idea who will be ousted Wednesday. I also have no idea who will be the runner-up to Adam in the show's finale.

Here are a few of my comments; please add yours:

"Idol" pulls a surprise rescue


OK, that's a twist I didn't see coming.

After Tuesday's "American Idol" (see previous blog), I predicted that Matt Giraud would have the fewest viewer votes, with Lil Rounds second-fewest and Anoop Desai third.

That much turned out to be true. What I never would have guessed was that judges would use their rescue -- the only one they get all season -- to save Giraud.

They did, which sort of makes sense. He's a good singer who just never quite got anything special out of his song this week, "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"

It all starts with Adam


"Anerican Idol," like life itself, starts with Adam.

There are no average singers left; there are six very good ones and Adam Lambert, who is on a different level. Like the best "Idol" singers (Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, etc.), he has a great voice. Like a few (Taylor Hicks, Bo Bice) he commands a stage. And then he goes a step beyond, packing originality. This guy has dared to do a song Mick Jagger did ("Satisfaction") and a song everyone did ("Born to Be Wild"); he Adam-ized them. He keeps doing that.

"Idol": Grand drama ... almost


Simon Cowell has a great sense of music, but not of drama. Tonight, "American Idol" barely missed an epic moment.

The viewers had put Scott MacIntyre at the bottom, with Anoop Desai next and Lil Rounds -- a great singer who had an average week -- third from the bottom.

The viewers got it right, but there was still a chance for the judges to save him. For a while, this seemed like it had been scripted for one of those feel-good menus.

"Idol": OK is no longer OK


So they announced that everyone on tonight's "American Idol" would sing songs from the year of their birth. Danny Gokey started by singing "Stand By Me," the 1961 classic.

1961? Wait, is this guy 48 years old?

It turns out that Mickey Gilley happened to record it in 1980, the year of Gokey's birth. Sure, that's what we think of whenever someone mentions Ben E. King's soulful classic -- some guy in a Stetson sang it in Pasadena, Texas.

An upside-down "American Idol"


Tonight's "American Idol" seemed like a crazy, upside-down pyramid. It was awful at first, then got better and better.

Anoop Desai was kind of OK, which isn't the way to win a contest. Megan Joy was kind of awful, which isn't the way t do anything.

And then everything clicked. Most of the others were good; the final two -- Adam Lambert and Kris Allen -- were wonderful. Here are a few of my comments; please add yours:

"Idol": some mixed Motown moments


It was the right advice tonight on "American Idol," even if it was given to the wrong person.

You can't just choose a great song, the judges said. You need one that lets you stand out. There has to be enough space to do something special; you need room to make moments.

As it happens, they were saying that to Lil Rounds, to whom few rules need apply. She chose "Heat Wave," a bullet train of a song; all the singer can do is run at top speed, jump on and hang tight. Fortunately, Rounds is good enough to do that; she nailed it.

For once, Simon is wrong, wrong wrong


Until tonight, Simon Cowell was having a great year. Time after time, his comments have been strong, to the point and correct.

Now, alas, he's been terribly, brutally wrong. In particular, his Adam Lambert comments were the exact opposite of the truth.

Sure, we're used to the Johnny Cash version of "Ring of Fire." But when you listen to the words, you realize that Lambert's version fits. Cash sang of mild discomfort, Lambert sang of writhing, Hellish pain; both served the words beautifully.