- Lil Rounds - "I'm Every Woman" (Chaka Khan/Whitney Houston)
- Kris Allen - "She Works Hard for the Money" (Donna Summer)
- Danny Gokey - "September" (Earth, Wind & Fire)
- Allison Iraheta - "Hot Stuff (Donna Summer)
- Adam Lambert - "If I Can't Have You" (Yvonne Elliman)
- Matt Giraud - "Stayin' Alive" (Bee Gees)
- Anoop Desai - "Dim All the Lights" (Donna Summer)
Disco! Disco! Disco! You know, the genre none of these artists are ever expected to actually promote their music in. Even the remix treatments they'll get won't sound like they're from the 70's. But some of them don't exactly play by the rules.
Lil Rounds and Anoop Desai were double vote-offs due to Matt's save the week earlier. Lil escaped bad comparisons to Whitney Houston but was still raked across the coals. "Bad song choice" was repeated yet again and again by each judge. I don't precisely agree, but that's only because the judges keep saying that Lil has yet to make a song "her own." I think it's abundantly clear Lil has no "her own" and if she does, the judges don't like it and should have stopped expecting her hoop jump til they agreed with her. She wasn't always great, but she did put on her best game face so she at least thought she knew what she was doing. Hell, even Kelly Clarkson was told to step back. Still, Lil hit the notes she needed and had a presence. It was one of her most solid numbers; it just wasn't what the judges were willing to settle for.
Meanwhile Anoop Desai performed "Dim All the Lights," a relatively obscure Donna Summer track and it was boring boring boring until it amped up the dance beat; the incredulous, out of place dance beat that Anoop clearly didn't match up with. It was all bad.
"I'm Every Woman": B
"Dim All the Lights": D
Should've Gone Home:
Matt, who has been told twice now to pack it in and the judges keep wanting America to like. Really, now, though, they clearly are already gearing for a Adam vs. Gokey final show, so why push so hard for an also-ran? And why for a terribly generic one? Matt sang "Staying Alive" (get it?) after his near send-off last week. Let it die.
"Staying Alive": D
How Was Everyone Else?
Kris Allen did a spin on "She Works Hard for the Money" which I think was supposed to make it sound sensitive and earnest but instead drew unfortunate attention to the less than epic songwriting of the original. And while Summer denies it, it cannot be helped that it really does sound like it's a song about a streetwalker. And, really, "She Works Hard for the Money" is one of the least disco Donna Summer disco songs she's got. Adam Lambert pulled out another slow burn of an arrangement (one-upping his "Tracks of My Tears" balladry) with the usually funky "If I Can't Have You." It was good. Not as good as everyone will say it was. But it was good. It's almost become standard for Adam to go all left-field on us. Gokey did his best wedding singer impression with "September," which made him seem incredibly relevant for a 65 year old. The blue hairs will lovelovelove him. Who am I kidding; they're the ones voting. Allison Iraheta pulled out a Pink-style slower rock version of "Hot Stuff," which again impressed upon the lackluster lyrics (poor Donna Summer; really, I do like you) when it's always been the hook guitar that made that song worth your time on the dance floor.
"She Works Hard for the Money": B-
"If I Can't Have You": B
"September": C (it was technically suitable)
"Hot Stuff": B-