Something is oddly familiar this week, with a special appearance by that highest musicological expert in all the land, film director Quentin Tarantino. He’s the guest for Movie Music theme night, something that also happened five years ago. I am not an obsessive cataloger of American Idol moments, but I wouldn’t forget a night when Jennifer Hudson, in Season 3, tore a new hole in Whitney Houston’s coke-addled nostril on Bodyguard soundtrack monster-song “I Have Nothing” and Tarantino congratulated her for it.
There’s some banter about how all the useless commentary last week caused TiVo users to writhe in agony over missing Adam Lambert’s performance. Hint if you missed it: it was highly theatrical, over-the-top, and slightly homosexual. That should set it apart from all his other weeks. Anyway, the solution to this time crunch is that only two judges per contestant will comment tonight, rendering their influence all but worthless.
So our montage is about Tarantino’s career, instead of the usual history lesson on some genre of music. Flashback to Season 3 when Tarantino humiliated Diana DeGarmo by telling her he just didn’t care–in a delivery swishier than that of Norman Gentle. But this year, Tarantino’s sitting in the audience, so will we get his ruthless commentary or what? We will!
Tarantino coaches her through “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” which she sings like a flat, marble-mouthed Eliza Doolittle. Still love her and her auburn mullet, though. Just wish she’d lose the black wrist-gloves. Paula tells Allison that she and Adam both possess the same special sauce. Pretty sure that’s genetically impossible.
Noooo, he’s singing “Everything I Do.” Tarantino agrees. He growls in Anoop’s face and it’s hilarious. If I close my eyes, I’m kind of into Anoop’s performance. But looking at him? Bushy eyebrows and another college-bar outfit, grr. Eyes closed? Awesome. Dude, what is on Randy’s sweater? Sorry. Anyway, Randy and Kara love it.
Tarantino’s already a fan. Oh, Adam Lambert. Singing “Born to Be Wild.” What can I say? For someone so eye-liner encrusted and newborn-baby-shrieking (but on key!), Adam’s becoming awfully one-note. He’s just great every week! Where’s the fun in that? Says Simon: “Adam, I think you’ve gotta learn how to express yourself a bit more.” Simon, you funny!
Well now that Adam Lambert’s performed, who cares? Not Quentin. Kidding–he seems to like Matt’s rehearsal of “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” How is it possible that Bryan Adams made it into the show twice in one night? Matt tries to make some Adam-level shrieks, but really he excels at the more down-to-earth style at the piano, all contained and pretty. It’s soothing. Randy and Kara say some of Matt’s risks didn’t pay off. And Kara just quoted Paula’s “Opposites Attract.” Snap.
That’s not Danny Gokey! Where are his glasses? Is he trying to be the new Blind Guy? Gokey tells Ryan that he just bought a guitar to help his ease his boredom. Yeah it must be such a bore to be on the number-one show on television. Clearly, it’s time to get a hobby. Danny’s singing “Endless Love.” Quentin tells him not to use any hand gestures, and Gokey does not heed. Simon’s disappointed by the harp on stage, and the (speaking for Simon here) continuous desperate appeal to viewers’ heartstrings.
Awww, he’s singing “Falling Slowly” from Once. So sweeeeeet. He’s even got a replica of a slightly retarded Slavic girl singing backup from somewhere off-camera. This is such a smart pick, it’s such a beautiful song, and Kris is good at acting like he’s feeling it. Randy says it’s pitchy, but Kara loves it.
She better be good, finally, if she’s closing the night. In a total shocker, she’s not singing something from The Bodyguard or What’s Love Got to Do With It?. Instead, we get a ballad/bluesy version of Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” Well, I like it for her balls alone. But who is Lil this week? She looks dramatically different every show, to the point where I don’t even hear her ’cause I’m distracted by her latest hair. Paula’s touched by the lyrics, but Simon sends Lil packing.
Who’s going home this week? Lil Rounds has been a foe of Simon since the beginning of finals, and when she talked back to him after his judgment, she sealed her fate.