“We can only do what we know how to do, and hopefully it works.”
Yes, Kris Allen. It works. Believe me, it works. We can all agree that The Way You Look Tonight is simply this: like a winner.
American Idol’s sweetest guy won our hearts immediately with his soulful charisma, flawless vocals, and impressive instrumental skills.
Superstar recording artist and American Idol in his own right, Jamie Foxx, was immediately impressed by my favorite American Idol contestant. Foxx has won Academy Awards, American Music Awards, Grammys, and a long list of others including those from MTV and BET.
Visiting the Idol set to mentor the vocalists as they tackled songs from the “Rat Pack” era, the Ray star is ready to collaborate with the guitar-playing crooner.
“This dude is a dude I’ll do a record with,” the multiple Golden Globe and SAG Awards Winner proclaimed.
And why not? Kris Allen is an incredibly skilled musician, and refreshingly humble. I can’t think of a bad thing to say about this future superstar.
Coupled with Jamie Foxx’s smooth stylings, Kris Allen’s vocals will undoubtedly pop in a way we can only begin to imagine.
Blame It, Foxx’s latest big R&B hit featuring T-Pain would be even more outstanding than it already is with a few Allen riffs peppered throughout.
But it’s his genuine personality that makes us really love Kris Allen, and it shines whether he is speaking or singing, smiling or blushing.
In this week’s American Idol performance, he continued his superb record. Even more charming than Jonas Brothers, this soft-spoken boy from Arkansas will melt your heart.
The Way You Look Tonight is one of those classically beautiful songs that you hear at weddings, wish had been written about you, and can’t help but love. It may even bring memories of the wonderful movie Father of the Bride to mind, further proving that Allen’s song choice this week was a remarkable one.
An instant artistic connection between the two performers was clear, and a future collaboration will make for one phenomenal record.
“I’m not trying to sing the ‘Throat Olympics,’ I’m right here and I’m performing the song,” Foxx said of Allen’s approach to his musical performances on American Idol.
Compare Allen’s performance to Idol “sibling” Allison Iraheta’s throaty, big vocals and you’ll know just what Jamie Foxx is talking about.
While Iraheta most certainly rocks the “Throat Olympics,” Allen proves they are not necessary to make an impact with a song.
In fact, if Iraheta had chosen to approach Someone to Watch Over Me with more of a subtle tone, bringing more of the innocence Jamie Foxx detected in Idol rehearsal, it would have been even more powerful than it already was.
Taking a cue from Kris Allen’s soft delivery may have caused Cowell to refrain from warning that the recently turned 17-year-old Idol contestant may wind up in the bottom 3 this week.
Kris Allen routinely makes his songs sound effortless with a cool, carefree attitude that would put anyone at ease. He always puts on a show, and he is always brilliant.
“They’re gonna be blown away and not even know it.”
Yes, Mr. Foxx, we were blown away. But believe me, we knew it.
With a kind sparkle in his eye, Kris Allen takes the stage and prepares to take our breath away. Dashing in his suit, Kris Allen delivered musical gold with classy style and elegant melodic riffs.
Without delay, we are warmed with smoothly rounded vocals, flowing like honey, sweetly filling our airspace and delighting the crowd.
Emitting true passion and love with his eyes, Kris Allen has the ability to charm the pants off the most bitter individual. You can’t help but smile when this young talent commands the stage.
Kris Allen’s interpretation of The Way You Look Tonight, while not overly inventive, was definitely the work of a fantastic artist. Channeling the true lounge aspects of the “Rat Pack” does not always call for intensely different melodies in the ever-changing style of Adam Lambert.
With his undeniable stage presence, Kris Allen has the innate ability to captivate an audience with a mere smirk… but he doesn’t stop there.
Sweet smiles, alluring choreography and brief falsetto stylings akin to Justin Timberlake are interspersed perfectly throughout the flawlessly delivered ditty.
Then brass comes in, the tempo quickens, and Kris Allen playfully dances along. The crowd could not be more thrilled.
A truly original and positively “Kris Allen” style outro is delivered with precision and poise. The crowd jumps to its feet, roaring with excitement, beaming right back at this rising star. Kara DioGuardi has to be proud of this original artistry as Kris Allen enraptures television audiences around the world.
The Way You Look Tonight is one of Randy Jackson’s “favorite joints,” and he declares that tonight’s American Idol performance was Kris Allen’s “best performance to date.”
He is also impressed by Allen’s “R&B Stylings,” which only further enhances our anticipation surrounding a possible collaboration between the Idol star and this week’s “Rat Pack” mentor Jamie Foxx.
Kara DioGuardi maintains, “You have set the technical standard so incredibly high for this evening,” which could not be more true of the amiable entertainer.
I don’t believe I have ever heard Kris Allen hit a sour note. As Kara DioGuardi praises, he has a great level of technical skill as a singer and a musician paired with a likable personality, and this is what American Idol has been all about since we were first blown away by superstar Kelly Clarkson.
She also complimented his diction, which has always been impressive. Flawless line delivery, a unique and irreproachable sense of rhythm, and “impeccable phrasing” make Kris Allen American Idol’s “dark horse,” according to DioGuardi.
Kris Allen being a “dark horse” means that he is one the general populace doesn’t necessarily bet on, but will “emerge to prominence” by definition.
Paula Abdul calls Kris Allen a “contemporary crooner,” with “quiet confidence,” and she is no doubt correct that he has transitioned from our favorite “adorable boy-next-door” to the “ever-so-handsome, sophisticated gentleman.”
Simon Cowell is not convinced, saying Allen’s cover of The Way You Look Tonight was “wet.”
Ryan Seacrest prods the Idol judge to further extrapolate this critique, to which he replies, “Um… not dry.”
Wet or dry, The Way You Look Tonight was performed with sophistication and class, meaning that Kris Allen has already won, with or without the American Idol title.
We all know by now that early “Idol predictions” paint Adam Lambert as the clear winner of the 2009 American Idol.
The reality is, it’s still anyone’s game. American Idol 8 is wrought with stiff competition, and the wildly popular television show has never so entertaining as its first season with the incomparable Kelly Clarkson.
The top five of 2009 are incredibly talented, and no one can really say for sure who will take the prize.
The beautiful and spunky Allison Iraheta agrees, saying, “I think all of us have that chance right now.”
My fellow musician hailing from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Matt Giraud, is another gifted musician who wowed Jamie Foxx with his rendition of My Funny Valentine, which came close to besting our darling Kris Allen’s performance.
Giraud used to play at my favorite bar in Kalamazoo called “Monaco Bay,” a fun environment teeming with dueling pianos, great drinks and staff, and unforgettable memories.
The bluesy My Funny Valentine was a perfect choice for another Idol who bears brief, yet frequent resemblances to Justi
Danny Gokey seemed almost a bit put-off at first by Jamie Foxx’s methods as he channeled Micheal Mann, concentrating just inches from Gokey’s face. The Idol seems to like his “personal space.”
Michael Mann is an Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated American film director who worked with Foxx in the film version of the TV hit Miami Vice.
However, after his resplendent Idol performance of Come Rain or Come Shine, Danny Gokey is no doubt thanking the musical mastermind now.
Simon Cowell further enforces my point by commending Foxx in his critique of the impressive showing, which naturally included Gokey’s trademark belts.
In true headlining style, Adam Lambert really was Feeling Good as he topped off a truly entertaining evening on the Idol stage. I have been impressed with him from the beginning as well, but Kris Allen and Adam Lambert are like apples and oranges and simply cannot be compared.
Feeling Good is a timeless song performed by everyone from Nina Simone to the Pussycat Dolls. Adam Lambert really knocked one out of the park with this number, as we have come to expect.
Paula Abdul calls Adam Lambert “our Michael Phelps” and tells him, “You make me feel better than good.”
Yes, he is phenomenal. And sure, his ultra-confident mix of Broadway and emo styles alongside flashy, dramatic showings lead me to believe he truly will win American Idol 8 and will no doubt have a hugely successful career as a recording artist.
Here’s the kicker: I can just as easily see the lovable Kris Allen coming in second.
And isn’t that better anyway? He will earn a great record deal as well, ride a John Mayer style groove across the airwaves, and parlay this worldwide exposure into a fantastic career as a beloved musician.
Before you know it, Kris Allen will be tweeting on Twitter with Mayer himself about his upcoming album and single with Jamie Foxx.
Brian Dunkelman, Ryan Seacrest’s former co-host, has been notoriously vocal about American Idol “owning” its winners. Kelly Clarkson has certainly fought her share of battles since taking the first Idol title. I surely hope Lambert does not find troubles in his almost certain success in winning American Idol.
Clay Aiken, Katharine McPhee, and David Archuleta are just some of the Idol runners-up with fantastic careers.
The dynamic Jennifer Hudson finished in seventh place during the 2004 American Idol contest, and she now has a Grammy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award to her credit.
Hudson is currently the only Idol to win an Academy Award, which she earned for her work as Effie White” in “Dreamgirls,” which she starred in alongside Beyonce Knowles and Jamie Foxx, this week’s Idol mentor.
In summation, it’s really okay that Simon Cowell does not believe Kris Allen will win American Idol 8.
Those infamous, brutally honest comments have always been a vital part of the American Idol tradition, and the singers are better for them. In his years of extensive experience, Cowell has developed a finely tuned ear and a great sense of the inner workings of the music industry.
Whether you like what Simon says about your favorite Idol or not, he is merely presenting helpful critiques, and direct as he is, consistently makes important points.
“You’re like taking a very well-trained spaniel for a walk … it’s gonna be safe, it’s gonna be quite nice, but I didn’t think it was incredible,” Cowell argued, eliciting a humbled laugh from the first performer of the night.
Aside from the “puppy dog eyes,” Allen is far from a “spaniel,” but he is indeed precise and it appears that he tends to deliver each note with pre-imagined meaning instead of fulling letting loose and freely riffing a few bars.
A bit of “twittsessed” singer-songwriter John Mayer’s best advice would do him well: “Close your eyes, get out of your own way, and jam.”
Many technically perfect singers often focus so greatly on precise pitch and diction that they will not allow themselves to lose themselves in the music. That is when the true magic occurs.
What I’d really like to see on American Idol is an original song written by the multi-talented Kris Allen, performed his way with his guitar and that same incontestable sparkle that America has come to look forward to each week.
Of course, this particular television show model instead treats us to themed covers each week, which is also quite fun.
All in all, tonight’s performance was beautiful. I’m certain I’m not alone in saying that I would love to have Kris Allen sing The Way You Look Tonight at my wedding someday.
Thousands will agree, and surely even more will go as far as to say, “I want Kris Allen to sing The Way You Look Tonight at our wedding! I’m going marry my favorite Idol!””
I don’t know about you, but I am definitely getting in that line.
“American Idol 8” Setlist for April 28th, 2009, The 2009 “American Idol” Top Five sing “Rat Pack” Classics:
“The Way You Look Tonight” — Kris Allen
“Someone to Watch Over Me” — Allison Iraheta
“My Funny Valentine” — Matt Giraud
“Come Rain or Come Shine” — Danny Gokey
“Feeling Good” — Adam Lambert
Weekly Mentor: Jamie Foxx
Hear more of my American Idol thoughts live as I watch the results show on Twitter!
Weigh in and let me know who *you* think will take the title of 2009’s American Idol!