Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

“Idol” judges throw stones on Rock Week

May 6, 2009

In contrast to last week on “American Idol” when it seemed the contestants could do no wrong, the judges found plenty of stones to throw at the Top 4 on Rock Week. Except for Adam Lambert, who as usual thrilled the panelists.allison-iraheta

Lambert, coming off his shocking first trip to the Bottom Three last week, sang British supergroup Led Zeppelin’s hit “Whole Lotta Love” and struck all the high notes, jerking his head to the side in rhythm with the band and glowering with an expression Elvis Presley might have worn if he was fused with John Travolta. The judges loved it. 

“You are a rock god,” said judge Kara DioGuardi, who was wearing a studded leather jacket that looked a lot like Lambert’s own outfit.

Even alpha judge Simon Cowell was impressed. “No one can top that now,” Cowell told the contestant nicknamed “Glambert,” who on Tuesday night sported his usual eyeliner.

But after Lambert wowed everyone, the rest of the contestants all ran into some criticism. Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash was the night’s guest mentor, and told the camera that 17-year-old contestant Allison Iraheta had a natural rock style, but had to get past her “fear.” 

Iraheta went on to earn mixed reviews from all the judges, except the easily swayed Paula Abdul, with her version of “Cry Baby” from the late Janis Joplin. Cowell and a couple other panelists faulted her for poor song choice, which prompted an interesting exchange when Iraheta explained why she picked the song and was interrupted by Cowell. “Allison, at this point just beg,” he said. “Beg.”

“I’m not,” Iraheta said. “And you always say that I don’t talk enough, so maybe I should just talk a lot.”

That caused the crowd to roar for Iraheta, elicited a smile from Cowell and got host Ryan Seacrest to say the contestant displayed “feistiness.” Will being feisty pay off for Iraheta when the fans vote? 

Kris Allen picked “Come Together” from the Beatles and left Cowell so unimpressed that he compared listening to the performance to “eating ice for lunch.” Danny Gokey sang “Dream On” by Aerosmith, and again it was Cowell who let the rock axe fall, when he told the contestant that his last note sounded “like a horror movie.” At least Cowell was in top form, if the contestants were not.

In the first time the contestants performed duets, Gokey and Allen again failed to inspire the judges with their version of “Renegade” from Styx, while Iraheta and Lambert got good reviews for their rendition of Foghat’s “Slowride.” Both Gokey and Allen heard from the judging panel that rock was not their genre, something they seemed to already know, while Iraheta and Lambert appeared to be in their element.

In other developments, Seacrest opened the show by acknowledging that an accident had occurred on stage before the show, but he gave no details. Celebrity Web site reported that the show’s stage manager was following Seacrest down the set’s retractable stairs when they were pulled back too soon and she fell, suffering a gash that forced her to be hospitalized.


What kind of idiot would call Adam Lambert a Rock God? He is a ringer, has made recordings for/with Randy Jackson, has been trained and paid for his work in musical theater, why is he allowed to be in the competition. America, vote him out, how can he be a true American Idol?

Posted by rontianjin | Report as abusive

I just want to say Kara DioGuardi should not be back on this show. To be a judge you should know a little something about music, yes? After Danny sang she said she wanted to see earlier Aerosmith, like cryin’… ummmm Dream On was done in ’79 I believe and cryin’, in the 90s… enough said.

Posted by Shelby | Report as abusive

Oh, this whole Disqualify-Adam-because-he’s-professiona l rant smacks of the conspiracy=theory folks who don’t believe Obama isn’t really American and thus can’t be president.

AI isn’t an amateur contest — Melinda Doolittle and others were professionals too. It’s for people who don’t have record contracts but deserve one. Adam more than qualifies.

Posted by Lizzie | Report as abusive

I am quite aware that Adam has talent and that he will probably win, however I feel that the judges were a bit too obvious…Even though Adam did deserve the praise, I felt that the judges were not professional with their comments ie Nobody can beat that performance – not once but twice. The other three contestants must have felt very low because then they had to perform. It was almost like the judges wanted Adam to win, but I am sure he could do that on his own merit. Like any other year when the last 3 or 4 contestants were to perform, the judges gave their opinion WITHOUT stating that no one could beat their performance. I was disappointed as it is almost like we found our winner so so long to the others…thank you for you time….I just LOVE AMERICAN IDOL – don’t ruin it…

Posted by Judith | Report as abusive

Adam did have the best performance. Wake up Danny Gokey who has been getting by on safe and unoriginal even mediocre-snorish songs ruined the Aerosmith song tonight. If he stays it is only due to his deaf-toned fans. You are suppose to vote for the best singer but they don’t care they just vote for him. Kris Allen’s song was dull as he is. When asked to make it more lively by SLASH he does what? Nothing. Sure he changed the song to be more him but on a SLASH ROCK WEEK did he step up his game? No. Allison at least did her best. She still mumbles her words at one point her song ran together and I thought she was singing Cry Ho, Ho baby. So…she still has to get the marbles out of her mouth for me. Adam Lambert was completely in Rocker Character. As SLASH SAID, he grew up with this stuff. It is about Attitude, a lifestyle and Adam Lambert delivered out the goods. I would say that was such a natural performance for him that Rock is what he should be doing. Kudos to Slash for keeping Adam in the lower registra and like he said, by doing that it sounds cool. Man…is Slash ever the coolest guy there though? His voice just talking was fan-freaking-tastic. And who was the new guitar player in the American Idol band! Mad Talent! Looks familiar but I can’t place him. AI props for bringing him on! Oh and back to Adam Lambert. Where did he get that necklace with the key on it? My brother wants one.

Posted by Baseballfanatic | Report as abusive

well, I think Simon cowell is not honest. He is a big fat liar who thinks he knows it all. Last week America proved that his comments about Allison was nothing but bunch of bologny by voting for her. He was very embrassed when Ryan pointed it out. So, When Allison disagreed with his comments this week he just couldn’t take it and made sure she got eliminated. I think this whole voting system is fraud and manipulated by Mr. Cowell. The dumb Idiot.

Posted by orchardvalley | Report as abusive

rontianjin – Didn’t Allison win $50K in a Telemundo singing contest? Didn’t she appear on that show fairly frequently? I’d count that as experience and getting paid for it. So don’t go on this rant about Adam having all this experience, please.

Now, before anyone gets all mad I think Allison got totally and without a doubt royally hosed.

Allison, sassy girl that she is (and that’s a good thing) will be fine, she’s too good not to be.

Posted by Kacey | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see