The Farr Side: Guys get a jump on 'Idol' Season 8
Season 8 of "American Idol" is off to a great start, even if the judges seem a little more annoying than before.
This go-round has the guys once again ruling the competition. It was about this time last year that David Cook and David Archuleta began to move to the head of the class. It became a no-brainer that one of them would win.
Danny Gokey is my favorite of the guys this season. He looks like he could be a clone of Robert Downey Jr. but sings like no other person on the show. He’s a natural, and that’s what it takes to make it in the music business.
Gokey lost his wife just 28 days before his audition. In true “Idol” fashion, they looped us in with his story. In Gokey’s case, his talent far exceeded any sort of sympathy voters might have. He’s good.
Matt Giraud is another favorite, but unfortunately, he failed to make the Top 12. That doesn’t mean he won’t reappear again and make it.
Giraud didn’t win me over at his audition, but his Hollywood week performances did. His take on “Georgia On My Mind” was one of the best performances during that segment. His version of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” didn’t woo the judges, but I honestly didn’t think it was that bad. He said he sang the song because it was the kind of music he would want to make if he had the chance.
There are a few girls who excel and perhaps could become contenders, such as Allison Iraheta and Alexis Grace. Both girls possess a voice and a talent beyond their years.
Iraheta is the best of them so far to move into the Top 12. She can sing, and sing well. When she belted out Heart’s “Alone,” I thought, “OK, everybody needs to pack up their belongings … this girl is it!”
Grace’s performance, however, of “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Do You)” surprised me. I totally expected her to do the Avril LaVigne thing and — wow! She channels Aretha Franklin. It wouldn’t have been my song choice for her, but she pulled it off.
Song selection seems to be biggest response when the judges don’t know what else to say. I used to think that myself, but as I’ve watched the show and maybe even matured, I need to disagree. Besides, if there are songs they don’t think should be sung, by all means remove them from the list of songs to choose.
I tend to believe it’s more about relevance than anything else. A true artist could sing anything and make it believable, but someone who can’t seem to grasp the song’s intent or simply screams the lyrics (insert Adam Lambert here) is not someone I care to hear.
Lambert screamed his way through “Satisfaction” and the judges fell all over him. Lambert is about as artificial as my Christmas tree, and to compare him to Steven Tyler was an insult to Aerosmith fans everywhere. I was bummed to see him in the Top 12, while someone like Giraud wasn’t.
America, please watch. And if the judges bring back Giraud for the Wild Card show, show him your support. Vote him through to the Top 12.
David T. Farr is a Journal correspondent. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.