We've reached the point on Idol where the top contenders (Adam, Allison, Kris, Danny) can be crystal-clearly separated from the doomed losers (Anoop, Scott, Megan) and the awkward middle-grounders (Matt, Lil). Which means that it's time for me to stop ignoring the weaknesses of my favorite el salvadoreña, Miss Allison Iraheta, and—unlike the judges!—give her a serious critique.
It pains me to do this, but boy, does she need it. The toughest thing to do on AI is build on your momentum from a previous week, and Allison bombed spectacularly in that respect last night. She took two huge risks: The first was playing the guitar, which upped her cool factor but backfired once her vocals got ahead of the music. The second...well, we all know what the second one was. Just look at that photo! Honestly, as unflattering as Allison's dress was, it didn't bother me nearly as much as her hair, which invaded every closeup and made it really, really hard to connect with her (and I'm one of her biggest fans).
But I believe, in my heart of hearts, that it would've been all good if Allison had only taken some risks with her actual singing. She sang "Don't Speak" by No Doubt, which was by far the most relevant contemporary song choice of the night, but isn't all that difficult. (I'm pretty sure I was belting out that song in my bedroom when I was 14!) She didn't sing the bridge, which is my personal favorite part, and she didn't rearrange the song in any particularly clever or original way. The latter is actually my biggest gripe, because it's what puts her a notch below other contestants who are also vocally gifted but have proven that they have the artistic chops to rearrange a song and make it all their own (cough—Kris Allen—cough). Allison may just be too young to have a solid grasp of this whole artistic/commerical appeal balance that is so tricky to navigate on Idol (what do you really want, America?), and it could be what dooms her in the end. That, or her crazy-ass outfits. Sigh.
And yes, I know Kris is a gringo and therefore I cannot technically support him on these pages, which is why I have restrained myself up until this very moment. Kind of like what I had to do last season, when I publicly championed Jason Castro and David Archuleta but feverishly voted for David Cook behind closed doors. But after Kris' cover of "Ain't No Sunshine" last night, I simply cannot...take it...anymore. I. Love. Kris Allen. Love. Is it me, or does he get hotter the more scruffy and weary-eyed he looks? How old is he, anyway?! Wait, don't tell me...I don't even want to know. I already know he's too young for me to be crushing on him, and any more detail would just ruin it! All I'm saying is, this guy is just as talented as any other guy in the competition, plus he plays two instruments, plus he's waaay more attractive, and he never steps over the line by milking dead relatives or wearing silly costumes. Gokey and Lambert, watch your backs!
What did you think of Allison's performance last night? Is anyone else ready to profess their love for Kris Allen? Don't be shy!
WATCH: Allison Iraheta performs "Don't Speak" on American Idol
WATCH: Kris Allen performs "Ain't No Sunshine" on American Idol