Wednesday, March 18

AI8 - Top 11 (3/17/09)

This week's theme: Country, but limited to Grand Ole Opry members' songs. Randy Travis was the mentor and wow, he's showing his age, eh?

Michael Sarver "Ain't Goin' Down 'til the Sun Comes Up"- Well, he's the only country-ish singer in this year's finals, and he does a somewhat overdone song that we all know Simon hates. He's ok, I mean the song doesn't showcase vocals, it's just a lot of lyrics and some running around. Randy pretty much said the same thing, and Kara agreed, saying she missed the big notes. Michael replied that for him country is about having fun, and that's what he did. Simon said it was clumsy & lacked star quality.

Allison Iraheta "Blame it on Your Heart" - decent. Crowd & judges loved, though Paula wants her to show a more vulnerable side in the future.

Kris Allen "To Make You Feel My Love" - I wasn't familiar w/this Garth song but Kris was very, very good. A slow ballad without his guitar really showed off his strong vocals. Randy Travis said ballads are his strength and liked how he "made it his own." Paula was pleasantly surprised though she said some of the low notes were off-key (I didn't notice); Simon said it was "terrific," a great song choice, and that he was "completely in control of the song."

Lil Rounds "Independence Day" - Interesting choice! She said she specifically kept it subtle vocally to honor the song and writer. It was fine, though she only did the 1st verse so the point of the story & chorus was somewhat lost. I think Paula was trying to say something to the same effect; all the judges would've liked her to stay in her 'box' and do something more belty r&b. Also Simon doesn't understand that her name is not an abbreviation.

Adam Lambert "Ring of Fire" - Hmm. Dilana did this on RockStar a couple summers ago & this arrangement is similar; I really liked hers but his, notsomuch. She kept it low & sultry; he went high as he is wont to do and I think I agree with Kara, my main impression was "strange." Paula thought it was a good choice for him and Randy called it current & fresh. However... in practice Randy Travis had been polite but obviously didn't care for what Adam was doing with it and was somewhat at a loss for words. Simon commented, "I think what Randy was tryin to say was, 'What the [xxxx] was that?!'" ;-) He called it indulgent rubbish and I slightly agree; Adam really, really needs to do a ballad to show the smooth, pretty vocals some of us fell in love with instead of the continuous wailing and screeching that's starting to feel repetitive.

Scott MacIntyre "Wild Angels" - He finally got a hair cut, yay! He does a good job w/this, it's slow & soft until toward the end and fits him, & he seemed to do great on the piano part (impressed Randy Travis, anyway!). Paula said he "works harder than most people" on stage (huh?) but that the piano could become a crutch & she'd like to see him without it. Kara said he brings class & poise to the stage. But all the judges pretty much said he needs to up his game & show some versatility.

Alexis Grace "Jolene" - She said she wanted to show her softer side & some versatility. Randy Travis was very impressed & didn't even have any suggestions for improvement! Well, I thought she started out well, but the falsetto was way off-key and she went downhill from there (plus the one repeated hand gesture annoyed me). Randy & Simon thought it was just ok; Kara missed her edge; Paula liked it.

Danny Gokey "Jesus, Take the Wheel" - another interesting choice! Poor guy, during his rehearsal w/R.T. he messed up again and againandagain!! But he did fine once on stage. Randy T. did say that once Danny got going he liked his soulfulness. The crowd loved his performance; Kara said she liked the 2nd half. Paula said she liked it all, it's better to have a build-up to the strong part than sing that way all the time, & called it "brilliant."

Anoop Desai "You're Always on my Mind" - Woo-hoo! Anoop is back, dawg!!! I will love him forever for choosing this song. (1) He soooo needed to do a ballad and restore our love of his gorgeous voice. (2) I now have this version to 'replace' Willie's in my brain - yay!!!! (My father - and husband - love Willie, but I basically can't stand him.) Randy Travis loved it & predicted it would be the best performance he's had on the show so far, and I agree! Just awesome. The judges loved it as well; Simon said he went "from zero to hero" and took back last week's statement that he didn't belong in the Finals; Kara said it was the best of the night so far.

Megan Corkrey "Walkin' After Midnight" - I wasn't a Kelly Pickler fan but she did a good job on this song; I don't know if that bodes well for Megan or not! Turns out not... I still can't stand her. The voice... just wrong, grates. It's just on the edge of being cool, unique, and great, but it's not. Randy said it was the perfect choice for her; Kara agreed. Kara also commended her for singing so well while sick, but the way she said it was like no one else has ever in the history of *performing* had to do it while sick. Um, yeah, Kara, people are sick on Idol every year & still sing, and other performers do it all the time. It's part of performing. To her credit, apparently Megan was so sick she had been to the hospital, and she couldn't stop coughing after she was done performing, so it was obviously somewhat serious, and I couldn't tell at all while she was singing (though she was twisting & bouncing a bit less than normal). She also looked a bit like Reese Witherspoon w/the hair & the dress, & though Simon said she looked nice he also said the stylists are taking away her quirkiness which they liked. (Stay in the Quirky box, Megan!)

Matt Giraud closes the show with "So Small," a Carrie Underwood song I don't know. Apparently he slowed it down & arranged it quite differently than Carrie's, and it was a good performance (and for the first time during one of his or Scott's songs, the camera/director actually showed us shots of his hands while playing!). The judges loved it of course; Simon said he's got a similar voice to Danny but outsang him tonight; Randy said it was his favorite of the night.

It's a hard one to call this week, but I think the girls are in trouble. I'll pick Alexis, Allison, and Kris for bottom 3 with Alexis leaving. Looking forward to hearing Carrie & Randy T. duet tomorrow night!!

1 comment:

tractorbladderr said...

I'm picking my bottom three as Scott, Lil, and Alexis, with Scott going home.