'American Idol 8' Wk 4: What the judges said
Here's what the judges had to say:
Anoop Desai - 'Caught Up'
Randy: "You know what's interesting? You really picked up your swagger. The vocals were really good considering I didn't think it was the right song for you. Usher is more the dancer singer and you were kind of just going through it."
Kara: "When you pick Usher you kind of need to go up in your range and do riffs and crazy stuff but you played it safe and did what he did. I didn't feel there was a big difference, I get the feeling a bunch of frat guys dared you to get up and sing Usher."
Paula: "I wasn't sure at first but then I loved the fact you went back to the playful side. The last two weeks you showed beautiful vocals as a balladier. I would work a little bit more on your stage presence, instead of a lot of stuff going back and forth. Create a few signature hits and stabs with the band, take some liberties."
Simon: "Forget all the signature whatever she was on about, I thought it was a complete and utter mess, if you want my honest opinion. You came over as a wannabe, there was no originatlity. It was like college boy trying to be a popstar and failing, it actually gave me a headache."
Megan Joy - 'Turn The Lights Down Low'
Kara: "I really like you but I think you're in trouble. Here's the thing, it's just not the song choice for you. I want to hear Adele 'Chasing Pavements', that part of your register was getting irritating, there was no falsetto, you never used it."
Paula: "I think at this stage of the competition you need to take us by surprise and dig deep to an area that might not be comfortable, but that's where beauty develops. By you sitting on a stool with only a centre spotlight, with no distractions of movement, just singing a sensitive and vulnerable ballad that rips the heart of everyone, that's what you need to be doing at this stage of the competition."
Simon: "Megan, the problem was that the song was boring, it was indulgent, monotonous and all the things we liked about you are disappearing. You are becoming indulgent, nobody is going to like that song, it was not you. It is about song choice, because it was just so boring."
Randy: "It was like watching paint dry, it took forever. You can love a song but it doesn't mean you will sing it great."
Danny Gokey - 'What Hurts The Most'
Paula: "Danny, this is where you thrive, you thrived from the first note and left me wanting more. A performance that would make me hit repeat in my car."
Simon: "Danny, we weren't on same page last week. This week if I'm honest I thought it was your best performance of the series. I know we're only three in but it was so much better than the first. It was like two snails competing with a racehorse. You were so far better than the first two, that's what it's about. Get a great song, sing it brilliantly and do your versions."
Randy: "I kind of feel like tonight's show starts here. You brought it crazy with the vocals, it's about choosing something you can really sing, show your range. The cool thing is that you can do this, keep this swagger and showing all that emotion. Very nice baby!"
Kara: "You moved everyone in this room emotionally tonight, that is hard to do. you gave as much of your heart and soul and that's when you connect with the audience, I had goosebumps."
Allison Iraheta - 'Don't Speak'
Randy: "A couple of things here. Vocally you can sing, but you were a little ahead of the beat, a little nervous. I liked that you played the guitar, I didn't realise you could, but what are you wearing? What is with that outfit? I got mad love for you, but I don't get the ensemble tonight."
Kara: "The rock in you comes out of you whatever you're wearing. Whatever song you do, you sound that way. You don't need to put all that on yourself, it was distracting, it felt a little bit forced. You don't have to try so hard, you are! You are a great singer but not your best performance, but good!"
Paula: "I'm glad you brought your axe out, it added a certain edge that I didn't know you possessed. I think your vocal prowess rivals singers twice your age. Your intonation and delivery is masterful and effortless, it shows me you are serious about this, you are skating by right to the finish line."
Simon: "We can't ignore the outfit, it was like something from the Adams Family. It bothered me because it was a bit like a slightly precocious daughter trying to dress and sound like a rockstar. It was a bit dressy-uppy. I think we lost your identity a bit, plus you shouted the song."
Scott MacIntyre - 'Just The Way You Are'
Kara: "I think you made some very smart decisions by picking that song. Billy Joel is right in the area of what you should be doing, stripping it down and singing it to the audience. You were coming from an honest place, which is what you do well. And I love the new look."
Paula: "I must say that out of all the contestants I am most proud of you. It has nothing to do with your challenge, but everything to do with that it makes me forget about that challenge. It must be a thrill to sing one of your idol's song. You took a risk not having an orchestra, but it paid off for you."
Simon: "Your best performance by a country mile so far! It's a different Scott with your Ryan Seacrest hair. Very lucky you didn't listen to madam's advice about not playing the piano! That is what you do best."
Randy: "One of the best of the night, Scottie!"
Matt Giraud - 'You Found Me'
Paula: "I appreciate that you went for a contemporary song and that you love The Fray, but I feel you aborted the things we love most about you - your magnificent riffing and the beautiful falsetto voice we love. It became more of a sound-a-like and was reminiscent of when you sang that Coldplay song. We know who you are, but this wasn't a great performance for you, I'm sorry."
Simon: "You should be happy, because we don't like you this week! I didn't get it at all. It was like someone trying to be somebody else, it felt very put on - the gravel in your voice, very uptight, not a good commercial song. You can frown all you like but you're becoming all these different people in the hope of staying in the competition. You should have done something like Danny or Scott, where you just choose one great song."
Randy: "The problem for me is that it was the wrong song. We say you're more like Justin or One Republic. 'Apologise' woud have been more you, you're not a rock singer. You got soul and need to let that flavour out."
Kara: "You keep going between you rock pop side and a R&B side of pop. You need to commit so that we can see what type of record you will make. You are a talented guy and I don't believe you should go home."
Li'l Rounds ' 'I Surrender'
Randy: "Once again this wouldn't have been my song choice, I want you to have more swagger, but you sang it really well and showed that you got unbelievable vocal skills. Young up a bit, though!"
Kara: "I could have heard something Mariah or Mary J Blige, I was surprised too. Your vocal is effortless, unbelievable. You hit a few notes! I think tonight we got a glimpse of what we saw in the beginning - a singer who can just let it out and wow us, I think we need to see more of that. You're back in the rounds!"
Paula: "I don't want to see an adult contemporary Li'l Rounds, I want the joy and raucous that was there at the beginning."
Simon: "I'm going to echo the others, this was you singing a safe song to stay in the competition. It was similar to a wedding performance, it's too soft. You should have chosen something like 'One' by U2, which Mary J Blige did, you could do that. It was too old fashioned, your personality is being sucked out of you, we have to stop this."
Adam Lambert - 'Play That Funky Music'
Paula: "Adam, true genius does not fulfill expectations, true genius shatters it. There are artists who have longevity in this business because of their unique and riveting performance, I'm going to name a few - Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler and Adam Lambert."
Simon: "That was very brave Adam, I've got to hand it to you. At least we get rid of some of the karaoke nonsense we've seen tonight. It was original, it won't make you as popular as last week, but I don't think it matters with you anymore."
Randy: "When I heard you were doing this song, I thought it would be corny, but you got the voice and worked it out and are definitely in the star zone."
Kara: "Every week I cannot wait to get to the show and see what you are going to do next, it was like studio 57 up here tonight!"
Kris Allen - 'Ain't No Sunshine'
Randy: "Right now at this moment, for the last couple of weeks, you've been slaying them. You're in your zone now. That was definitely one of the best performances tonight, so creative and cool. I'm loving you."
Kara: "I got three words for you: that is artistry!"
Paula: "You're pacing this competition to play it to your strengths. You're taking a 30-year-old song and making it your own. That could be the first cut on your album. It was your best performance to date."
Simon: "When we spoke last week about showing confidence, that's exactly what you brought on tonight, that was a very good arrangement. I like seeing you behind the keyboards, very good, well done!"