I'm not sure if last night's "American Idol" semifinal show occurred more on stage - or among the four judges! There were squabbles over critiques, one mouth-covering, fingers pointing, rolling eyes. You name it, all while the three finalists stood awkwardly with Ryan Seacrest.
One thing's for sure: I believe Kris Allen made some inroads on Adam Lambert's seemingly insurmountable grasp on the title. As for Danny Gokey, his fan base better hope they wore out their fingers texting or phoning in votes for him.
The Top 3 performed a judge's choice song and one of their personal favorites. It was a mixed bag of tunes, so here's a recap - including the spats between the judges.
* Danny: He was up first with Paula Abdul's pick, "Dance Little Sister" by Terence Trent D'arby. She liked it, as did Randy Jackson. Kara DioGuardi thought Danny's dancing was too "gyrating," and Simon Cowell quickly hit back with "It's not a dancing show." He thought it was the wrong song but the right artist.
* Kris: Kara and Randy doubled on his pick, which was "Apologize" by One Republic. Everyone in my home thought he sounded like a cross between Gavin DeGraw and, well, One Republic. Here's where things got nutty. Kara called it a "competent" performance, which pretty much translates to "Ugh!" She wanted Kris to take more chances. "You could have made it your own if you had played the acoustic guitar instead of the piano." Simon retorted by accusing Randy and Kara of not working with Kris on the arrangement. "That's a cop out," he said. "You can't choose the song and then blame him (Kris) for doing a competent version of the original. You should have put in the work on the arrangement."
The next thing I saw was Kara standing behind Simon with her hands over his mouth!
* Adam: No surprise, Simon got to pick the front-runner's song and he made a ginormous deal about having personally spoken to U2's Bono on Saturday to get the go-ahead for Adam to sing the group's monster hit, "One." So the pressure was definitely on Adam's pipes to get this one right. The strategy paid off. Paula said she was staring at the next "American Idol." Simon, of course, said it was a brilliant song choice (natch). "If you're not in the final (next week), it would be the biggest upset ever."
As for the Top 3's personal choices, my favorite was Kris's reinvention of Kanye West's "Heartless." This time, he did play the acoustic guitar (pictured). Randy thought it was better than Kanye's version. Kara offered up these adjectives: "Bold, brave, fearless." Paula said it was "a song about Simon." Simon said he thought that it was a lame song choice when he initially heard about it. "I had written you out. That, however, has all changed after that performance."
Adam's take on Aerosmith's "Cryin' " was just so-so for me. (Maybe because it's not one of my favorite Aerosmith songs.) Again, he gets props for his stage performance. That's why I believe he'll wind up in Vegas - at the Palms! The judges gushed. All except Simon who said he wasn't going to "suck up." "It's easy to assume (you'll win). But we're finding a star. And fans should vote because you deserve to be here." Meaning any of the three finalists.
I had high hopes for Danny's "You Are So Beautiful," and he played it safe by using his raspy vocals to replicate the Joe Cocker version. Paula thought it was a mix of gospel and R&B. And Simon called it "a vocal master class." This was also the same comment he gave to Season 5's Elliott Yamin - the night before he was eliminated in the No. 3 position.
Predictions: Someone has to go, and I feel like it's going to be Danny. Check out the live results show at 9 tonight (FOX40). And feel free to tell me if I'm way off the musical mark!