It's the last competition night of American Idol's eighth season and the competition couldn't be closer as the Final 2 take on three songs in their quest for the Idol title.
Each contestant will sing a favorite song from earlier in the competition, a song chosen by producer Simon Fuller and an original song co-written by Judge Kara DioGuardi.
Round 1 – Returning Favorites
For his first number, Adam Lambert decided to reprise his very popular performance of "Mad World." After last week's mediocre performances, the decision to bring back this favorite was strategic. And if you loved it the first time, it was even better this time.
But Adam isn't the only one playing to favorites, Kris Allen has a little strategy of his own. For his opening number, he brought back "Ain't No Sunshine." I think his original performance of this song was the first time many people sat up and noticed Kris. Tonight, it was just about reveling his talent.
After the first round, I'd call it a tie. Simon gave the round to Kris. The gloves are off and both guys have come out swinging with their best performances.
Round 2 – Simon Fuller's Choice
I'm not sure that I would have picked the Sam Cooke classic for Adam, but I think producer Simon Fuller proved that he knew what he was doing when he chose "A Change Gonna Come" for Adam. For those that think Adam is too theatrical, this song stripped away the dramatics and showcased Adam's voice. And I got to say, he nailed the song.
I think Mr. Fuller was in an activist mood when he picked his song choices. He picked out another socially conscious tune for Kris. I don't think that Kris' rendition of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" was as strong as his opening number. But it had that folky fusion sound we've come to love from Kris.
I'd give the second round to Adam, but just barely. I think he got the better of the two songs. Simon also gave the round to Adam. I think the boys reverted back to their safe ground with these songs.
Round 3 – "No Boundaries"
For the third and final round, both contestants had to sing their version of an original tune co-written by Kara.
Kris clearly won this round with a much stronger version of the song "No Boundaries." The song itself seemed to lend itself more to Kris's style than Adam's. It's not that Adam had a bad performance. It just wouldn't have stood out if it was all you heard from Adam.
Overall though, I wasn't a fan of the song itself. And I think it was interesting that the judges really never graded either contestant on this particular performance, instead commenting on the contestant's season as a whole. Do you think the judges weren't that taken with the song either?
The evening closed out with a live performance of this year's farewell song, "Home Sweet Home," by Carrie Underwood.
I think the competition was very close tonight and that it's really going to come down to personal preference. Both guys are very talented and did extremely well tonight. Personally, I'm favoring Kris.