Part of the set fell in near the Coke Stools, so Ryan tells us that the contestants haven't had their dry run before the show proper. They're going straight into it, y'all. Each contestant will sing one song rather than two, and there will be two duets. Twenty bucks says that the Carly Smithson/Mike Johns connection gave them the idea. Hope it works out. One point gained already - with six songs total instead of eight, we'll actually hear more than 83 seconds of each song tonight. I'm wondering if Adam and whomever will try "Under Pressure," just so Adam can fulfill his destiny.
Slash mentored, because it's rock week. I think it was lame that neither AI nor Slash himself mentioned that he recorded a song with Chris Daughtry for his album. (Arguably the best song on the whole LP.) I do like that the rehearsal was with Slash and his band backing the Idols in a club. Good stuff.
Adam and Allison will be one duet, Danny and Kris with a K the other. Adam will solo first. Be advised, he has something to prove tonight, and it's rock week. I don't see anybody getting too close. He's doing Led Zeppelin, "Whole Lotta Love." Uhm... wow. Lots of plain old obvious single entendres. And Adam is not exactly Mr. Subtlety. I'd have thought they would make him sing something else. It's not like he can't pull off Plant's banshee wailing, but why not "Heartbreaker" or "Immigrant Song" or "The Ocean" or, well... anything else?
Lord Emo power scream aside, it was pretty good, actually, like B+ good. He'll be fine. Kara calls him a rock god. She's dressed like she was just in a Bananarama video. She's babbling about 70's classic rock, 80's glam rock, and Nine Inch Nails. I think Trent Reznor just threw up in his mouth a little. Simon is of the opinion that this is pretty much the high point of the night.
Allison is perched under the Coke Stools, directly below the half-crumbled bit of the set. Good call, AI! Ha, she went to Adam's "hair girl" for her do this week. So many jokes here... She ruins the fun by suggesting that she wants to do Joplin's "Cry Baby" or Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love." Yes to the second, a huge NO to the first. Grace Slick pronounced her words, m'dear. At all costs Allison should be distancing herself from Joplin, not inviting the comparison. And of course, being 17 and all, she went with "Cry Baby." Complete mimicry. It hurts her in comparison with the real thing, and especially following Adam. Kara thought it was a good idea, but everyone else knows better, even Paula. Randy gave her a "keeping it real" and Simon suggested she should have done Queen instead.
The first duet is Danny/Kris, doing "Renegade" by Styx. I saw this live last year at the Basie Theater, by the genuine article. This is pretty good stuff, though. The harmonies are excellent. Enjoyable.
It's the K's turn. He wanted to do "Revolution." (Funny aside - my iPod player at work drops half the songs out on certain tunes; Hendrix, the Doors, and the Beatles are the most common victims. Today I heard what Revolution would have sounded like without George Harrison. It doesn't do that with the earphones or in the car, so I think it's the docking station itself.) At the last moment he wasn't feeling it so he chose "Come Together" instead. He's hilarious during the jam with Slash, who gives him a guitar so he can play with the band. "I'm using Slash's guitar and he's playing right next to me, I almost peed my pants." Hahahaha!
Performance time. I think he's good and all, though it's clearly not his thing. The judges were a little harder on him than he deserved. (Randy liked the guitar playing.) Personally I'd put him above Allison this week - she could have and should have done much more, considering. Kris got more out of himself than she from herself, but he could be in real trouble, and that's a shame.
Danny's turn. He's singing "Dream On." Mistake. Michael Johns was actually good on this last year (though it's the week he went home, it was bogus - he really was being punished for his "Day in the Life" the week before). Plus, there's an omen in the club jam, when Danny can't get on top of that insane high falsetto at the end. Slash says that last wail at the end is super-important...
Oooh. Oh dear oh dear. This is bad. He's pitchy all over and the last wail is more of a screech. Simon calls it a "horror film scream" and that's about it. Ladybug calls it "a valiant effort." I call it the worst of the night. Simon says he thinks he's safe. Not if there's justice.
It's the second duet - Allison and Adam, performing "Slow Ride" by Foghat. (Chortle.) Seemed a lot more like tow soloists than a true duet, though they're very good rockers. Kara says they made each other better and forced each other to raise their game. I got just the opposite: there's just a difference between a duet and two people trying to outdo each other. In retrospect they were wise to avoid the Bowie/Mercury example, because it would just emphasize that difference. Those guys worked for each other, not strove against each other.
Adam calls Allison "his little sister." (Must... not make... obvious joke... must... resist...) The DVR loses Paula and Simon's comments. The crowd chants "top two" at the pair, and that's probably correct but a little misleading - it's more like a Top One and a distant two/three, with an afterthought. The trouble is, I badly fear that the K is the afterthought. Didn't go last, didn't go first, and despite the name spelling, he isn't the last girl. It's classic middle child syndrome. I really think he was the second best tonight, and has the strongest overall body of work this year outside of Adam. Danny should have cost himself the contest tonight, but Kris is in peril.