Matthew "Matt" Giraud (born May 11, 1985) is a dueling piano player and a finalist on the eighth season of the reality television series American Idol from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was born in Dearborn, Michigan, but was raised in Ypsilanti and graduated Lincoln High School in 2003. He plays at clubs in Kalamazoo, where he also graduated from Western Michigan University. He released an album called Perspective in 2003 and another in 2006 called Mind Body and Soul.
Giraud auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol in Louisville, Kentucky. He was considered a judges' favorite in Hollywood, with Randy Jackson naming him among his "top 5" early favorites. During Hollywood week, he performed "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5 as part of a group called White Chocolate, along with fellow finalist Kris Allen. He did not make the finals initially, but was brought back for the Wild Card show. The judges unanimously lauded his performance of "Who's Lovin' You" and he became a part of the Top 13 (along with Anoop Desai, Megan Joy, and Jasmine Murray). Giraud was also the first and only recipient of the new judges' save for his season on April 15, 2009.
After his Top 13 performance of "Human Nature", Kara DioGuardi remarked "I hope we see you for many more weeks." On Top 11 night, he performed "So Small", provoking Simon Cowell to state “I don’t think you’ve had enough credit in this competition", and compare him to Michael Bublé. On the night of the Top 8, Giraud sang "Part-Time Lover". Paula Abdul kept her compliments short (due to time constraints), simply saying "Two words: Standing O". The next week, however, Giraud received poor reviews from Jackson and DioGuardi. The following night, the results revealed that he received the lowest amount of votes. However, for the first time in American Idol history, Giraud was spared elimination when the judges utilized Season 8's new twist. The consequence of this, for all of the contestants, was a double elimination after the second Top 7 night. On that night, Giraud performed "Stayin' Alive" and received mixed reviews. Nevertheless, he survived the vote this week and even avoided placing in the Bottom 3. Then when he sang "My Funny Valentine" Simon Cowell remarked his performance as absolutely brilliant and Paula Abdul thought he did an excellent job. Nevertheless, he was eliminated.
|Week #||Song choice||Result|
|Audition||"I Don't Want to Be"||Advanced|
|Hollywood||"I Want You Back"||Advanced|
|Hollywood||"Georgia on My Mind"||Advanced|
|Top 36/Semi-Final 2||"Viva la Vida"||Eliminated1|
|Wild Card||"Who's Lovin' You"||Selected|
|Top 13||"Human Nature"||Safe|
|Top 11||"So Small"||Safe|
|Top 10||"Let's Get It On"||Bottom 2|
|Top 9||"You Found Me"||Safe|
|Top 8||"Part-Time Lover"||Safe|
|Top 7||"Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" - Don Juan DeMarco||Saved2|
|Top 73||"Stayin' Alive"||Safe|
|Top 5||"My Funny Valentine"||Eliminated|
- Note 1: Giraud was initially eliminated, as he did not receive enough votes to advance immediately into the Finals. However, on the March 4 results show, Kara DioGuardi selected him as one of the 8 Wild Card contenders.
- Note 2: Giraud was about to be eliminated; however, the judges decided to use their one save for the season to allow him to remain in the competition, resulting in two eliminations the following week.
- Note 3: Due to the judges using their one save to save Giraud, the Top 7 remained intact for another week.
|Kris Allen · Adam Lambert · Danny Gokey · Allison Iraheta · Matt Giraud · Anoop Desai · Lil Rounds · Scott MacIntyre · Megan Joy · Michael Sarver · Alexis Grace · Jorge Núñez · Jasmine Murray|