American Idol Top 11 Take The Stage

Can I say how much I hate the intro of the judges coming out of the screen? I mean, really. The show is long enough. We know who the judges are. None of them look like they want to do the stage walk. Can we cut it now? Please? Then we have to do a stupid St. Patty’s Day theme.

Then we get info on the Grand Old Opry and Randy Travis. He seems like a nice guy, even if he does have an incredibly huge head.

Michael Sarver — Ain’t Going Down Till The Sun Goes Up by Garth Brooks
He’s probably the most comfortable contestant with this theme. I have a feeling that’s why he’s getting the death slot. Country fans will remember him because he’s going to have the most country-ish take on a country song. His performance style consists of standing and smiling. The harmonica player is way more animated than Michael is. Randy thinks it was a cool song choice, but he’s not sure if it showcased him. Kara misses his big notes this week, but is impressed with his ability to remember words. Wow! You remembered all those words! Paula states the obvious that country suits him well. Simon couldn’t understand a single word he was singing and thought it was a bit clumsy & karaoke. Michael gets all back-talky and says ‘If we were all perfect, we wouldn’t need this show.’ Um, no, it’s not about perfection. It’s about marketing, Michael. (sorry about the lack of ‘video’ in this video. MS fans apparently aren’t in force on You Tube.)

Alison Iraheta — Blame It On Your Heart by Patty Loveless

Randy knows Alison will do a good job with any song. He warns her to not try & be too cute. She’s rocking some ’70s hair for her performance. She’s got a really powerful voice for a 16-year-old girl. Kara pounces on Randy’s ‘sing the phone book’ line, but mixes it up by saying she ‘could sing the alphabet.’ Paula thinks she should start working some variety into her performances. Simon thought it was good, if a little tuneless. Simon warns her to not be precocious. Randy declares it dope.

Kris Allen — To Make You Feel My Love by Garth Brooks

Kris feels the need to bounce his knee while sitting on a stool. The knee bouncing doesn’t help his performance. This song is a pretty ballad, but it’s also a bit boring. He’s singing it quite slowly. I don’t know if that’s how it was written, but it seems really slow. I think Kris should’ve Chris Gaines-ed it up. Paula is proud & was pleasantly surprised. Simon thought it was terrific. Randy is wowed by the tender moments from his dog Kris. Kara blathers something. I missed it. Simon wraps it up by calling Kris a tender puppy.

Lil Rounds — Independence Day by Martina McBride
Ah yes, a Daddy beats Mommy song. How patriotic. What the heck is ‘let the right be wrong’ supposed to mean? I am so not a country fan. Randy struggled with it & thought she should’ve sung ‘I Will Always Love You.’ Never mind that she would’ve gotten dinged for not stretching out of her comfort zone. Simon thinks she sounded like a wedding singer who got forced to sing something she didn’t want to sing. He thinks she should’ve picked a country song & made it more R&B to suit her.

Adam Lambert — Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
Adam is rocking the gloves and black nail polish. Randy Travis doesn’t know what to say about this boy. He doesn’t see many boys wearing nail polish. He selected the song because of its lyrics. Of course he did. He toured with Broadway shows. Broadway shows are all about the lyrics as they, you know, move the story along. The Vote For the Worst spoiler said that every woman in the audience wanted to jump him during the dress rehearsal. Ding! Correctamundo. Simon said what the hell was that. Ok, they’re dinging Adam for making the song something different, yet Lil got dinged for not being true to herself. Ok, Idol judges. Make up your mind. And can at least one judge give the guy props for hitting some crazy-hard notes? Anyone? No. Right, here I go thinking it’s a singing competition again. Randy’s the only one being consistent at this point. He points out that if Nine Inch Nails did a country song, they would do it in a way similar to Adam. Thank you, Randy.

Scott MacIntyre — Wild Angels by Martina McBride

Randy wishes he could play piano like Scott. That’s nice, Randy, but it’s not Piano-Playing Idol. We assume the American stands for ‘Singing’ Idol. Other than that, I’ve never heard the song & find Martina McBride cloying like high-fructose corn syrup. Paula actually gets the nerve to say that he uses the piano too much. Simon disagrees, but doesn’t think he’s picking the right songs. Randy wants more standout vocals. Kara thinks he should up his game, but he brings class to the stage. I just don’t think he’s that good.

Alexis Grace — Jolene by Dolly Parton

Oh, bummer, Alexis isn’t doing the angry version of Jolene. She’s doing the soft version. Randy loves it. I was hoping she would do it like Paula Cole did — tell that Jolene, instead of asking her. Apparently the man of their affection is a pod person who can’t resist Jolene’s temptations. Maybe the narrator of the story should be talking to someone other than Jolene. Randy thinks it wasn’t there for him. Kara thinks she lost her edge. Paula thinks she showed her soft side. Simon thinks it was ok & a little sound-alike. She guarantees if she’s around next week, she’ll dirty it up.

Danny Gokey — Jesus, Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood

Jesus allowed me to take this class called Driver’s Ed. That class taught me to always hold on to the freakin’ wheel. Jesus has much more important things to worry about. I have been given the skills to grab the wheel, practice defensive driving, hit the gas or the brakes depending on the situation. Jesus approves. Danny screwed up many, many times in front of Randy Travis. Poor Danny. Man, this is a crappy song, and really not suited to his voice for the first third of the song. Pretty much up until he sings ‘Jesus’ he does a pretty bad job. Then he gets to scream ‘Jesus!’ and he gets better. But it’s better like last week’s song, or the week before that. It’s not new better. Kara calls that ‘hitting his stride.’ She hated the front half, though. Paula thinks he was brilliant & thinks Carrie Underwood would buy that record. Simon agrees with Paula, but thinks he’s dressed to go on an Arctic expedition. Danny tells us that someone backstage thought he was going to jump out of a plane. Randy thinks he needs to support the verses.

Anoop Desai — You Were Always On My Mind by Willie Nelson

Anoop won Randy Travis over with his version. That’s pretty cool. Yay Anoop! Now if only Anoop could stop dressing like it’s casual Friday, we’d be all good. They’ve totally styled him all Slumdog Millionaire for tonight’s performance. He does a pretty fine job with it. It’s simple & classy. Paula declares that Anoop is back. She’s glad he took his own take on the song. He touched Paula’s heart. Simon declares that he went from zero to hero & says it was one of his favorite performances. Simon also appreciates Anoop’s lack of whining about the whipping he got last week. Randy declares the arrangement dope. Kara calls it the biggest surprise.

Megan Joy Corkrey — Walking After Midnight by Patsy Cline

Megan gives us a slightly psychotic wave before going to commercial. Is she going to pander to the Vote For the Worst, fans? Randy Travis thinks it’s totally unique, but he likes it. Patsy Cline is a good pick for her, but MAN! she’s got Carol Burnett doing Norma Desmond boobs! They’re grapefruits in sacks! I haven’t been listening to her because I’m too distracted. Kathy’s not, though. She thinks Megan sounds like Björk singing Patsy Cline. That could be a good thing. That could be a bad thing. Randy notes that she seems glad it’s over. He thinks it was good though. Kara thinks it was the perfect song, with the perfect look & gives her props for performing with the flu. Paula notes that she didn’t get to do the run-through because she was in the hospital. Simon also thinks she should have the flu every week because it’s the best she’s ever done.

Matt Giraud — So Small by Carrie Underwood
I haven’t heard this particular Carrie Underwood song. Again, Randy thinks Matt is making a bad choice, but then he listens to the contestant & says it’s pretty good. Randy’s mantra of ‘if he sings like that, it’ll be great’ continues. Matt’s looking very Michael Bubble in his gray suit. Sorry, Bublé. Whatever. The drunk guy who subbed for Tony Bennett when Tony Bennett got sick last season. Hopefully the pimp slot will help Matt, because he is a good singer. He’s just a bit forgettable at times. Kara thinks there ain’t nothing small about him. Paula loves his authenticity. She has a hard time saying authenticity. Simon agrees that Matt is a heart piercer. He also thinks Matt outsang Danny tonight and compares Matt to Michael Bublé. Did it first, Simon! Midwest throwdown! Rumble on the Great Lakes! Randy calls it his favorite performance of the night.