American Idol is coming down to the wire as the remaining eight finalist sang hit songs from the year they were born last night, April 7, on the popular television reality show.

Here is a quick recap. The top three performance, in my opinion, included the following:

Alison Iraheta, born in 1992, is the youngest contestant and sang Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Her smoky vocals and raspy, rock and roll flavor really shined in this softhearted ballad. Iraheta should keep doing what she does and her talents will go far. All the judges liked her performance. She is really a great performer with a wide vocal range and can pull off just about any music genre.

Annop Desai, born in 1986, sang Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” Desai picked another ballad showcasing his ability to rock the soft falsetto, and it’s working for him. His song choice was right on, and he is one of my favorites. He’s playing it smart and picking songs that allow him to showcase his vocal ability without overstepping his range.

Adam Lambert, born in 1982, sang “Mad World” by Tears for Fears. I didn’t care for the song, but his performance as usual was a spectacle and he was given a standing ovation. Lambert is definitely the one to beat this year. His vocals are truly wicked, and if he keeps doing what he does and continues to show outstanding range and high vocals that shock audiences, he will make it far. He proves that each week.

My not so favorites last night were the following:

Kris Allen, born in 1985, sang Don Henley’s “All She Wants To Do Is Dance.” Allen struggled with his performance and came off boring and forgettable. His song choice was off the mark, and his guitar playing got in the way of his ability to do what the show asks: just sing and do it well.

Lil Rounds, born in 1984, sang Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” Rounds continues to make bad song choices, and her performance was too karaoke and lacked individuality. All the judges blasted her and said she needs to choose her songs more wisely. She has great talent, but she needs to be better equipped when she sings songs that are hard to reinvent.

Scott Maclntyre, born in 1985, sang Survivor’s “The Search Is Over.” Maclntyre came off screaming at times and the song was a poor choice again. He continues to struggle with picking songs that young people could relate to. He’s young but seems like an old soul who loves to sing but his performances are weak.

And, finally, those in limbo for me last night include the last two.

Danny Gokey, born in 1980, sang country singer Mickey Gilley’s version of “Stand By Me.” I like Gokey, and he has a good gospel voice but his version did not impress. The judges think he did a good job, but I think he needs to better connected with his audience and stop putting on a show. He should make us believe he’s personally and emotionally invested in his song choices.

And Matt Giraud, born in 1985, sang Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover.” Giraud has a great voice, but it’s really hard to pull off a Stevie Wonder tune. While the judges liked him, I’m not sure he has the star appeal.

My guess is that Maclntyre, Allen and Rounds may fall into the bottom three tonight, and I have a feeling we wont be seeing Maclntyre next week.

All the Idol contestants are extremely talented and some can play either the guitar or the piano. The most important thing they need to execute, however, is to choose songs that complement their musical styles and their great voices. In such a competitive music industry with so much talent out there, Idol finalists must sing songs that are fresh, hip and innovative. They should show something new even if they sing classic pop hits. Being able to sing good really works but being able to standout with a unique vocal twist during their performance is even better.

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