But that was just the beginning. Rock Night’s wheels really started to come off when Danny Gokey and Kris Allen were forced to duet on Styx’s 1978 outlaw-on-the-run saga “Renegade.” The first-ever finalists’ duet was, to be kind, a mess, and maybe it was the lack of rehearsal time, but the sloppiness seemed to infect the rest of the cast as well.
While critiquing Allison Iraheta, Simon Cowell dissed her for not picking the Queen song she had also prepared that week — only she hadn’t prepared a Queen song. That comment led to an awkward exchange in which a puzzled-looking Iraheta explained that the other song she was going to do was Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love.” (Cowell apparently thought the teenage singer had been practicing the Queen song of the same name.)
Then, when fellow judge Kara DioGuardi was giving Gokey a pat on the head for his attempt at Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” she lamented that he’d picked the first single from the band’s 1973 debut — and one of their most iconic hits — instead of choosing some of their “earlier work” like “Crazy” or “Cryin’.” Last time we checked, “Crazy” was the first single from the band’s 1993 album, Get a Grip (you know, the one with the video featuring Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler), which also featured the hit “Cryin’,” neither of which are exactly considered classics from the Boston group’s canon.
Maybe I’m being too picky, but I also wondered if Kris Allen hadn’t accidentally changed the lyrics to the Beatles’ “Come Together” during his performance. In the line “He say, ’I know you, you know me’/ One thing I can tell you is you got to be free,” instead of singing the word “free,” it definitely sounded like he said “ready.” Why? I mean, there are plenty of other lyrics in the song that you could change, or might change because of possibly nefarious meaning (“joo-joo eyeball,” “toe-jam football,” “monkey finger,” “he shoot Coca-Cola”), but changing “free” to “ready”? Really?