And then there were two...
Adam vs Kris
Kris vs Adam
Southern California vs Central Arkansas
Thing 1 vs ... nah, that's not fair...
However you look at it, regardless of your personal preferences I think it is truly anybody's ballgame. Well, maybe not Danny's or Allison's or any of the previously eliminated constestants. But for as popular and pimped as Adam has been all season, Kris came into the competition as a relatively unknown "Dark Horse" and surpassed a lot of expectations as the season progressed. A week ago I figured tonight would be just going through the paces because Adam has been so strong all season long. Kris spent more than one week in the bottom 3, I think, and Adam, although it was likely for suspense purposes only, did spend only one week there.
Again, Idol has chosen to fall back on having both contestants perform the same "coronation" song, No Boundaries, written by Judge Kara. I thought maybe they had given up on that after Jordin & Blake battled with This is My Now back in season 6. In Season 7, the Deuling Davids didn't have to give separate versions of such a song, but we did get to hear David Cook's song following the announcement of his win.
Performances tonight as a whole:
Contestant's choice song: Mad World
Simon Fuller's choice song: Change is Gonna Come
Coronation Song: No Boundaries
For Adam starting off tonight, it was like a flashback to Melinda Doolittle. Week after week Adam has brought it, so while I know his fans will love it, I wonder if the average viewer isn't a bit de-sensitized to him now. While technically perfect, I have to hope that Adam is planning something spectacular later in his next performance.
And he did. His second song, an R&B song from Sam Cooke, was just spectacular. He went high, but reigned it in just enough to keep it from getting out of control. NOt something I would have expected him to do, but it was just another challenge and genre that Adam shows he can handle.
The coronation song was performed true to Adam's style, lots of high notes, but nothing really screechy, not over the top in any way, but something I can imagine being played on the radio. Simon chose to ignore the final song and not judge it, instead he unabashedly proclaimed Adam the champion that the show hopes to find each year.
Contestant's choice song: Ain't No Sunshine
Simon Fuller's choice song: What's Goin On
Coronation Song: No Boundaries
When Kris did his first song tonight, he sounded different. Not so much in his voice, but he just sounded so relaxed and at ease. Randy called it, it was one of his best performances. Simon gives "round 1" to Kris.
When I saw the song title for Kris' second song, the only version I could think of was 4 Non Blondes. Thank God that wasn't the version he was singing! I thought it was true to Kris' style and very well done. Randy's criticism seemed a little unfair because Kris didn't pick the song. Kudos to Kara for reminding everyone that Mr Fuller picked it. Simon thought it was too lite and laid back and not fitting for this stage of the competition and gives Round 2 to Adam. What would this show be without a little suspense?
The coronation song for Kris is difficult to comment on because we just heard it done by Adam. The critique can't go well for him, but I can picture Kris' version being played on country radio. I think it sucks that the judges seem to be writing him off after that performance, basically a "thanks for playing" attitude. Me personally, I liked Kris' version better but then again I like country over male high pitched pop/rock music.
Wow - is that it? The final competition performances for season 8? We still have Carrie Underwood to come tonight singing Home Sweet Home, and I can listen to her sing all night long...
Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, final comments...On the season, I will agree with Simon when he basically said that Adam was the one who consistently brought it week after week. Kris was someone who first came in a bit unsure and really I don't remember his audition or his hollywood performances. Kris hung in there every week and survived despite a few bottom 3 appearances I'm sure he'd like to forget. Had he been voted off during the season, I don't think the judges would have used the save on him.
Tonight, the person who gave best performance will undoubtedly depend on who you talk to. I preferred Kris and I will cast one vote tonight for him. In the overall scheme of things it may not matter, so anyone who cast two votes for Adam will quickly cancel mine out. But Adam has his strong fan base and Kris has his. I think its safe to say that Adam's is probably a bit stronger, so I think what will decide the winner this week will depend a lot on the direction taken by Danny Gokey's fans. How will they divide their support among Adam & Kris?
Last season, the judges declared Archuleta the winner based on the peformances on Tuesday night. But a funny thing happened when all the votes were counted and announced on Wednesday night. More votes went to the bartender/rocker than did the high school crooner. Archie's fans were mostly teen age girls and while their voting power was able to carry him to the finals, teens and tweens have bed times and were not able to keep voting for the full 4 hours after the performance show ended. Cookie's fans however were mostly older, college-aged, bar-going people who probably made a regular habit of staying up til all hours of the night. Staying up and voting and voting and voting was not an issue for them.
I can see a possible situation this year as well with Adam & Kris. Adam has the teen vote locked up, but Kris is a 23 year old college student....see where I'm going with this? The pair has also been compared to Elvis vs Pat Boone in a recent Newsweek article, with Adam assuming the role of the King and Kris being the more toned down and parental-friendly Boone. Elvis put a lot of folks off before he hit it big, and Adam just might have the same effect on adults today.
But this isn't the 50's anymore and society is much more diverse. Will Adam's adult fans pick up the slack tonight? Will Kris pull off the "upset"?
We'll find out tomorrow...