Adam - Mad World: My favourite Lambert performance of the entire season. He did awesome on the reprise, but I still like the first one better where he sat on that chair and just sang the song. The walking down the stairs/cape/walking was a tad distracting. Love him changing it up vocally though; it sounded more like how he sang it on the studio version than the original live version.
Kris - Ain't No Sunshine: I decided last week that, despite my mad love for Heartless, ANS is STILL my favourite Allen performance. This time, he brought out the real piano, not a measly set of keyboards, and he SLAYED. IT. Vocally it was largely exactly the same, save for a short phrase towards the end, but it was even more intense than the original, as if it's possible. Absolutely loved, LOVED this. LOVED.
Simon also finally starts talking sense. Took him one season long to catch on, but I have no choice but to agree with him that Kris bagged round 1.
Round 2 - Producer's Choice
Simon Fuller, you fail at picking songs.
Adam - A Change is Gonna Come: The beginning sounded rough to me. The high notes sounded weird. The whole song just sounded weird and Adam looked angry singing it. I don't know, it was just weird.
Kris - What's Goin' On: What the fuck is this song? Some anti-Vietnam War protest song? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? I dig the acoustic vibe, but honestly, I had no idea what Kris was singing. No idea. The song has no hook, has a thin melody, and I just didn't get it. I only liked the last bit at the end, literally the last phrase ("what's goin' on").
This has got to be the worst producer's pick I'd ever witnessed on the show. Adam bags Round 2, but just barely. What a waste of a Kradam final. But wait, it gets worse...
Round 3 - Idol single
The song is No Boundaries, co-written by Kara DioGuardi.
Adam - He actually sounded out of tune. His voice isn't suited for this kind of cheesy, bubble-gum pop shit. The Lambert high notes felt out of place and too deep for a stupid, run-of-the-mill quasi-inspirational song. I didn't like it at all.
Kris - Hate to say this, but my poor Pocket Idol's performance totally had shades of Blake Lewis struggling big time with This Is My Now (I'm serious about the song title) during the season 6 finale. It started off okay in his lower register; he sang it lower than Adam did, for obvious reasons. But as it progressed, as he had to sing higher and higher, louder and louder, he just seemed short of breath and tired, as if he was straining his voice just to be heard above the inherent loudness of the song itself and the backing music. It was, frankly, pretty atrocious, and quite sad to watch. He wasn't out of tune (for the most part anyway) and he really gave it his best shot, but this is just not the kind of song he should be singing. It's just not his vibe. His vocal range is about 2 octaves, but I love him not because of his range; I love him because of his musicality, the kind of things he does with a song, the emotional connection he has with a song. He tried to connect with this dredge, but because it sucks, it just...fell flat.
So round 3? Both failed. Or rather, I should say, the song failed, and the show failed for forcing them to sing it.
What a waste waste waste waste WASTE of a could've-been-great Kradam final. The first round was absolutely stellar. I just wish we could've gotten more of that - scrap the stupid producer's choice and let them choose another song. Since there must be an Idol single, they should've let them sing it at the beginning. It was easily their worst performances out of three, and they had to put it at the end? Seriously, this is so stupid. It would've been perfect if Kradam could've sung their reprises last, with Kris closing with Ain't No Sunshine and getting the Moment he deserves.
Sigh. I'm very disappointed. I don't blame Kris and Adam at all; I blame Simon Fuller for his heavy-handed and uninspired choices (clearly he was going for some stupid message thing - A Change is Gonna Come and an anti-war song. Seriously, your two contestants embody that message; you don't have to hit me over the head with it you numbskull), and I blame the stupid Idol single for being shitty. I prefer last year's format where Cookie and Archie chose their own Idol song out of a shortlisted list of entries submitted to the song-writing competition, and Cookie totally turned his into a fun, pop-rock performance. This year, it was just so blah.
I'm almost hoping Kris doesn't win because I don't want to hear him sing that song ever again, and I sure as hell have no interest in him releasing that song as his first single. On the other hand, Adam's voice doesn't go well with that song at all, and I don't want to hear him sing it either, and it'd be hilarious if he had to release that shit as his first single. It's lose-lose either way, really. It's just a horrible song.
I'm so disappointed. To make myself feel better, I'll just pretend the second and third performances never happened, and that the finale consisted only of Mad World and Ain't No Sunshine.
Having said that, the Kradam cuteness at the end totally made me feel better. The hug, the "this guy!" and pointing to each other...I love them so. With all this talk about change and tolerance and celebrating differences instead of eradicating them, I really feel that the Kradam friendship embodies what the world can be if we just accepted each other's differences. Seriously. Apart from the slashy hotness that's Kradam (which I won't talk about because I feel iffy slashing a married man with another man, though...ugh, damn hot Kradam is), what I totally love about them is their unconditional friendship. They accept each other despite their differences and they show that it's really not that hard to get along. This recalls the whole AWARE saga and crazy Christian fundamentalism, how some people try to drive a wedge between different factions of society, when you really don't have to. You really don't. Their friendship utterly warms my heart, because it's so genuine and adorable, and because it's a faint glimmer of hope amidst an otherwise-intolerant and cynical world.
I know, I know, this is just a television singing contest. But Kris Allen and Adam Lambert are fundamentally real people, and to see them so close in a very interesting point in human history is just...well, at the most basic level, it's interesting. On a deeper level, I'm just happy that two people so different can get along so well. Religion doesn't have to be divisive, homosexuals don't have to be marginalised or shunned. Kradam, for me, is living proof of that - and that is why 1) I'd be happy whoever wins; and 2) I wish they could BOTH be crowned American Idols.