March 25, 2009 06:56 PM by Candace Young
Ryan Seacrest begins the show by saying that the most talked about singers in the world and the most influential songs in the world will combine for Motown week on FOX’s American Idol. The Top Ten contestants are ready, and the judges are introduced. Ryan says all of the contestants seem to be over the influenza B virus, but are maybe not over the ousting of Alexis Grace. He asks Paula Abdul what she would like to see tonight – she says for the contestants to mix it up and surprise them. Ryan Seacrest gives a brief history of Motown, which started out as Hitsville! The contestants traveled to the historic Hitsville building and met founder Barry Gordy and Smokey Robinson! Smokey then joined them back in L.A. to be their mentor for the week!
Matt Giraud is the first to perform on American Idol. He had earlier practiced his song with Smokey Robinson, and noted how nervous he was! Smokey told him that the Marvin Gaye would have loved to hear him do his version of Let’s Get It On. Matt is blown away. Taking the stage in gray jeans and a cardigan sweater, Matt bops to the tune and handles the vocals admirably. Randy Jackson says Matt set this off on a tone – he thinks he’s a challenger for the top spot! Kara thinks a lot of girls would appreciate his performance! Paula says she’s glad he is comfortable out from behind the piano, and compliments his vocals. Simon calls it a brilliant choice of song – his voice absolutely suits that kind of song – he agrees that he is now one of the front-runners in the competition!
Kris Allen is going to be singing How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You, also by Marvin Gaye. Smokey Robinson is very enthusiastic about Kris’s arrangement of the song with his guitar! He takes the American Idol stage dressed in a gray button-down shirt, black jeans and a black tie. He gives an upbeat and catchy version of the famous Motown tune! Kara loves that he did ‘Kris’ – he made his mark on the song! Paula notes that there is a comfort level with him now on stage – it was brilliant! Simon says he is having a good competition, but he needs to start believing in himself – he hasn’t got some of the confidence and swagger of the others. Randy thinks Kris is very consistent – it’s all good!
Scott MacIntyre is up next on Idol. Ryan Seacrest notes that Scott was the subject of a debate between Simon and Paula last week. Scott says he agreed with Simon – the piano is part of who he is as an artist and he would like to be true to that – he’ll be playing the baby grand again tonight. Scott, dressed in a suit, sits at the piano to sing You Can’t Hurry Love by Diana Ross! He delivers an up-tempo arrangement of the song – complete with back up singers! Paula thinks that Scott did bring something different, but stayed true to himself as well. Simon says it wasn’t a great version of the song – he thought it was completely the wrong song for him – he’s better than that as an artist! Simon continues to say that he is consistently choosing the wrong songs week after week – he has to prove himself to be a relevant artist. Randy jumps in and agrees with Simon – nothing great happened, it was very average. Kara says Scott brought tempo to the song, but he took liberties with the melodies. As they debate Scott’s performance, Paula pulls out a box of crayons and coloring book for Simon – due to his six year-old insults!
For Once In My Life is Megan Joy’s choice for Motown week on American Idol. Smokey Robinson says her voice is part jazz, part cabaret – it’s refreshing! He calls her one of the most original contestants ever on the show! Megan comes on stage with her hair up, wearing a little teal dress, and accompanied by a horn section and back up singers. Randy Jackson says he has mad love for her, but that song was train wreck for him – she needed to slow it down a bit. Kara says it’s true – she should have done My Guy or something like that – the song dominated her. Paula says her stunning beauty takes her breath away, but she has to agree – it was not the right song for her. Simon calls it horrible, saying that whoever is advising her – he would fire them! He worries she may be in trouble after that performance.
Anoop Desai is the next competitor on Idol tonight. He is singing Ooh Baby Baby, which Smokey Robinson is really excited about, saying Anoop does a great job of it! Anoop has chosen a muted ensemble with a dark jacket, and croons a heartfelt version of the tune. Kara says it’s a beautiful song – and hard to sing – overall he did a pretty good job. Paula wants to see more confidence from Anoop – he’s doing a good job. Simon calls it a great vocal, but he looked like he was half-asleep – it was boring. Randy suggests that next week he turn it back up – bring it on!
Ryan introduces Matt Sarver next on Idol. Ryan notes that Matt was too sick to go to Hitsville with the rest of the group. Michael practiced his Temptations song, Aint To Proud To Beg, with Smokey Robinson. He is ‘taking it to church’, and Smokey advises him to really pound it. In jeans and a blazer, Matt struts around the stage giving a strong rendition of the song. Paula Abdul says for her it felt old Las Vegas-loungy for her – he needed to really drive that song instead of the other way around. Simon announces that he couldn’t wait for it to end – he says he has no chance of winning the competition based on that type of vocal. Randy adds that the song was a little too big for him. Kara says that at this point, it’s about artistry, and she didn’t feel that this week. Matt tells Ryan that he is being true to who he is, and is having a blast!
Lil Rounds tells Smokey Robinson that she will be singing Heat Wave by Martha and the Vendellas on American Idol. He remarks that Lil is one of those singers that could sing the phonebook! The pair discusses the meaning of Motown. Ryan introduces Lil, who takes the stage in a black and white flapper-style dress and a 40s hairstyle. She gives an energetic performance that has the audience clapping along! Randy says the front of the song was kind of torture to him, and he felt like she was rushing the song because there is so many words. Kara agrees, telling Lil she looks great, but this wasn’t the right song. Paula disagrees completely – she thinks she owned that song. Simon says that it was an authentic tribute to Motown, but he wouldn’t have chosen that song, because it didn’t give her a ‘moment’.
Adam Lambert is nervous when he meets Smokey Robinson on Motown week on Idol. He is doing one of Smokey’s songs, Tracks of My Tears. With his hair slicked down conservatively and wearing a cream-colored suit, Adam takes the stage and sings the song ‘unplugged’! The audience goes wild after the last note! Smokey Robinson himself gives Adam a standing ovation. Kara also stands up. She then says it was one of the best performances of the night. Paula says he is in his own league – he had an element of surprise, but it’s still an extension of him as an artist. Simon disagrees with Kara – it was THE best performance of the night – it summed up everything they’ve been trying to say to the other contestants. Simon tells Adam he has emerged as a star tonight. Randy says he showed that he can do anything – unbelievably hot!
Next to perform on American Idol is contestant Danny Gokey. Earlier, Danny met Smokey Robinson and says he plans to sing Get Ready – he wants to get people moving! Danny takes the stage in a black shirt and does a groovin’ rendition of the song, playing to the audience with an edgy vocal. Paula says it was a first class performance. Simon says he’s a good singer but that was clumsy and amateurish. Randy says it wasn’t his best performance, but he loved the feel of it. Kara says it was good, not great, but she’s still a huge Danny fan!
Last performance of the night on Idol is sixteen year-old Allison Iraheta. She practiced with Smokey Robinson as the others did. She chose Papa is a Rolling Stone. Smokey notes that she put herself into the song and did it her way! Allison comes out in black tights, a blue dress, and a cream cardigan. She delivers the song in her usual crunchy vocals and totally nails it! Randy says she is one of the dopest singers in this whole thing – that was hot! Kara says she is amazing – she sings like she’s been singing for four hundred years – you can’t teach that! Paula, who has a mustache drawn on with Simon’s crayons, tells her she is awesome, amazing, and beautiful. Simon says it was one of the best performances she’s ever done – she’s a survivor!
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Photos Courtesy: FOX