TV Guide Network's Justin Guarini (inset) cites Kris Allen as one of this week's breakout stars.
Throughout American Idol's final weeks, as each sing-off signs off, TVGuide.com will be checking in with TV Guide Network hosts/Idol alums Justin Guarini and Kimberly Caldwell for their particularly qualified take on who soared, who stumbled, and which judge's review most rang true.
This week, Guarini shares his thoughts on who came out on top and who hit bottom during Top iTunes Downloads Week.
TVGuide.com: Even I thought the judges were a bit hard on Anoop. I mean, if this guy has any chance, he needs to come off as current. Right?
Justin Guarini: There's something that really connects when Anoop sings the soul ballads. I'm all for him singing up-tempos, but they have to be chosen wisely. I don't get the usual feelings of amazement when Anoop does the "tough-guy" songs like last night, and like he did on Michael Jackson night. I hope he'll have more time on the show to find his niche.
TVGuide.com: Are you as disappointed as I was in Megan Joy's song/artist choice? With all that she had to choose from?
Guarini: I think that Megan has an amazing future in jazz or an indie genre. Her sound is so unique, and lately I feel like she has to shoehorn it into genres that don't quite fit her. Song choice is the most difficult aspect of Idol. When you have a unique sound but not as much experience with the ins and outs of performance like some of your competition, song choice becomes an Achilles heel.
TVGuide.com: Last week we talked about singers being devastated by Simon's slams. What about the rush they feel when they earn a "your best performance" rave?
Guarini: While all the judges have weighty opinions, a lot of people place emphasis on Simon's opinion. So when you get a great review, it's a huge bonus for your chances.
TVGuide.com: How funny is it to see Randy get hung up on a singer's outfit! Simon sometimes, but Randy?
Guarini: More than ever, Randy has really stepped away from his "Yo, dawg" persona and has made some great technical assessments this year. I think it makes sense for Randy — who has made a variety of style choices on the show — to critique Allison. Did I agree with him? No.
TVGuide.com: Justin, what is the energy like, there in the theater, when Adam performs? He brings so much vibrancy just to the two-dimensional TV screen.
Guarini: Adam blows you out of your seat, as do all the Idols when they hit their stride.
TVGuide.com: Who else wowed you this week?
Guarini: Kris was the breakout performance for me. I think that he showed his musicianship by switching to piano, instead of guitar. He, along with Ricky Minor, created a great arrangement. And he chose a great song.
TVGuide.com: Megan, Matt and Anoop took some serious dings. Who do you suspect might be in trouble at this week's results show?
Guarini: Megan was able to avoid the bottom three last week, but I'm not sure that she'll be able to do it again. It is April Fools, though! You never know what Idol has up its sleeve.
For the latest on American Idol, tune into TV Guide Network's Idol Tonight every Wednesday at 8 pm/ET and Idol Wrap every Friday at 8 pm/ET with co-hosts Kimberly Caldwell and Justin Guarini. Plus get more on your favorite Idols every Friday with American Idol Rewind at 7 pm/ET.