OK, Adam Lambert haters, if you're still out there, come over into my corner so we can have a little talk. I had a feeling that after last week's over-the-top performance, he would play this week smart, come out with some stripped-down version of a song, sing it straight-on, and rock everybody's socks off. And there he was, sans nail polish and eye makeup, doing his best to look like some mix of Joe Jonas and Zac Efron, singing a mostly-falsetto version of "Tracks of My Tears." It wasn't absolutely one hundred perfect (which I only know because I went back and watched it again), but it was vintage Lambert: surprising and challenging and insanely ambitious.
I'm going to make a prediction here: Adam versus Allison in the finals. She's wonderful, too, and fun to watch, gravelly and coarse far beyond her years. You have to admit, she made Danny Gokey look like an amateur tonight. And if she winds up in trouble, the judges will save her, and the voters will be chastened, and they'll fall in line.
(While we're on the subject of the judges, by the way, here's my plea: Can we put a moratorium on the word "artist?" As in "This show is about artistry, and who you are as an artist, and the sort of art you do"? Not only is it fuzzy and meaningless, but now the contestants are starting to pick up on it, and they're not charming when they try to sound pretentious.)
All right, back to the singers. Matt and Kris were probably the third- and fourth-best tonight, but they couldn't come close to the A-team. Anoop sang nicely, but he looked as if he were trying to get a roomful of four-year-olds to take a nap. Lil, as various judges said, picked a song that was too peppy for her voice. Michael is in serious trouble, and he knows it. As for Scott...Well, come on, America. It's time to stop being so nice. You're not usually nice, anyway, so why keep up appearances now?
And then there's Megan. When she started singing "For Once In My Life," grinning madly and hitting perhaps a quarter of the notes, I felt like my internal organs were starting to attack each other.
Hence, my predictions: Megan, Michael, and Lil in the bottom three (because it's still Be Kind to Scott Month.) And Michael will go. And the judges won't save him.
Agree? Disagree? Comment away, then come back tomorrow morning at 10 for our weekly "Idol" chat!
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsKatie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Sarah Rodman is a TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Meghan Colloton is a Things to Do and Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.