My, but Kara is shiny tonight, and Simon looks like they dragged him out of bed. His t-shirt uniform is a bit odd next to the two ladies. I can't tell if Paula's dress has roosters or flowers on it. I wouldn't be surprised if Randy busted out some Cosby sweaters, so I won't even mention him. The lighting crew had some fun briefly for Saint Patrick's Day, but only briefly.
I suppose we should get on with it... Country Night/Grand Ole Opry Night... (and, though they did play at the Ryman Auditorium for their Union Street tour, sadly Erasure is not a member of the Grand Ole Opry... sigh.) There was a montage of how great Randy Travis is, and I still don't care much. He's the mentor of the week.
Michael Sarver (Aint Going Down 'til the Sun Comes Up - Garth Brooks) This song is dense with lyrics, and that could be a problem. Michael's from Texas, and is the only one that I could think of s not having a hard time with country. He did a good job, but it seemed really karioke and mumbly. I don't know if the song is really a good showcase for a voice as it is a showcase for memorization skills. Michael's tone is very throaty, and I don't really like it. So, he got the words. Congratulations, but... eh. Randy said it showed a fun side to him, but didn't really show off his vocals. Kara missed his big notes, but was impressed by the lyrical memory. Michael said that country music is about having fun. Paula liked that he had fun with it, and then stumbled over complimenting the harmonica player. Simon said that he couldn't understand a single word Michael sang, he might as well have been singing in Norwegian, and called it clumsy. I would agree with that. Hey, Simon also called it karioke. Thank you, Simon. Michael talked back to Simon (bad idea) and said that if they were all perfect, they wouldn't need the show. He bugs me.
Allison Iraheta (Blame it on Your Heart - Patty Loveless) - Her leather jacket nearly matches her hair, and it's pretty cool. She's also got a flower in her hair that is the same color, and it's pretty. I've never heard the original song, but Allison has such a great voice, she can rock it out. She had a couple breathing problems in there, but nothing fatal. She impresses me. Kara broke out the "you could sing the alphabet" praise, saying that Allison made it her own and sounded great. Paula called it a rock solid performance, but wants Allison to experiment with her vocal capabilities more. Simon thought it was good, and a little tuneless in parts, and agreed that she is rock solid, but verging on precocious. Randy had time to say it was dope before getting cut off by the bwah-wahhhhh. Still trying to figure out the timing with four judges I think.
Kris Allen (To Make You Feel My Love- Garth Brooks) - Kris is pulling out the guitar again in rehearsal, but ditched it for the performance. Randy Travis was impressed with him in rehearsals, and I have to say, Kris could be a dark horse. He knows how to use his voice, and has a good tone. His falsetto is really beautiful. His ennunciation is strange in parts, though. I never like it when someone tells me to listen to their art. His last note was a little shaky, but overall, it was nice. Paula was suprised (pleasantly) at the honest, pure, and vulnerable performance. She did worry that he had some pitchy moments, but thought it was a smart choice to go without his guitar. Simon thought it was terrific, and loved the way he was in control of his vocals. Randy thought it was really cool, and enjoyed the tender moments, and called him a tender dawg. Kara said it didn't even seem country, it was just very Kris Allen. Nice. I would have to agree. I enjoyed him.
Lil Rounds (Independence Day - Martina McBride) I think Lil is wearing a prom dress. Not sure. It's odd looking, that's for sure. Lil got a little interview time with Lil, who talked up the Mansion. I like Lil's hair tonight. It's looking less like the top of a pineapple (it is looking a little like prom hair, though... oh well. Can't have it all). Lil was determined to honor the country and not put too much r&b into the song, and she did sing it as country. Some of her high notes seemed a bit strained, and she sounded a little sharp. Just a tad. She didn't need to put in the run at the end, in my opinion, but her last power note was strong. It was decent. Randy thought it was an ambitious and interesting song choice, and didn't like the beginning. He didn't think she sounded comfortable in the song. Randy wished she had sung I Will Always Love You, and I'm so glad she didn't. Kara liked the second half of the song more, and still questioned the song choice, but admired Lil standing her ground on her choice. Paula thought everything was going right for Lil tonight, but she wanted more of the chorus. Simon kept calling Lil "Little," which was funny. He said it sounded like a song she was forced to sing, and didn't like the song choice. Lil also talked back to Simon. Just stop.
Adam Lambert (Ring of Fire - Johny Cash) Randy Travis was left completely speechless by Adam, who is doing a strange sitar-infused version of the song. Adam's hair is looking a little peacockish tonight, and it was like Jim Morrison doing Johny Cash. My husband hates everything about Adam. I have to say, this is the least I have hated him so far. He did find a way to put some of his high notes into a song that doesn't have high notes, and his high notes always sound so Liza Minelli to me. I know that people who love Adam will drool over this performance. It was unique, that's for sure. Kara was left nearly speechless, and said it was all a little strange, but she kind of liked it. It left her confused and kind of happy. Paula stammered about how much she loves Adam, and said it sounded like Kashmir Led Zepplin. Simon said "What the Hell was that?" and warned Adam to never go to Nashville. He thought it was indulgent rubbish. Thank you. I think that about Adam most of the time. Randy said it was Nine Inch Nails doing country, and loved it. Gah. It was just so over the top theatrical, and not in a good way... but I know there are lots of people who love him.
Scott MacIntyre (Wild Angels - Martina McBride) - Randy was unsure about the song choice, but in the end, he thought it would be ok. I think that Scott got his leather coat at the same place as Allison. Someone smoothed his hair down some, and it looks better. The song is boring and I don't enjoy his voice. I think he is a better piano player than he is a singer, honestly. I think I fell asleep halfway through. When the tempo picked up, it just seemed weird. He's ok, but I just don't like his voice. Blah. Paula thought it was impressive and lovely, and thinks he works harder than others. She worried that the piano is a bit of a crutch, and said that people need to see him as a showman. Scott was funny and said they could push the piano closer. Simon thought it was a stupid thing to say, wondering what else she would like Scott to do. Simon worried more that the song choice was very similar to the previous week, and said that both song choices were forgettable. Randy wanted hot, crazy, unbelievable vocals, and he was just hearing kind of nice. Kara wanted Scott to up his game, and wow them. Simon said the key is to just pick better songs.
Alexis Grace (Jolene - Dolly Parton) Hey, Alexis remembered to wear her dress! It's another kind of prom-dressy, but at least it's a dress. Brooke White did a joyful version of this song last year, which could be ok, if the song wasn't a kind of angry song. Right from the beginning, Alexis seemed to understand the song better than Brooke ever did. Her high notes are not the stongest if she doesn't put a lot of power behind them, but I really love her lower range. It is not my favorite performance of Alexis', but it kicked Brooke White's butt. Randy wasn't sure if she hit the notes right, and thought she tried to make it too bluesy. Kara wanted edgey angst from Alexis. I'm actually glad that she stepped out of the box they've put her in. Paula thought that she took an artistic approach, and loves seeing the vulnerable, soft side. Simon thought it was ok, but didn't think it was totally memorable. I liked it quite a lot and I am glad that she did something a bit different.
Danny Gokey (Jesus Take the Wheel - Carrie Underwood) He had a really rough time with the lyrics during rehearsal. I don't really like this song, and I think it is a weird choice for Danny. He wandered around stage looking a little bored, until he hit the chorus, and then he got a little more into his stride. I thought it was a little off, still. Not my favorite. I love him, though. Kara loved it when he hit his stride, but agreed with me that the front half of the song was not that great. Paula loves when artists build a story, and would be upset if he always sang at the full tilt, because then we wouldn't appreciate the power. Simon hated Danny's outfit, but thought that the light and shade in a song was necessary. Randy thought that the verses were pitchy and needed more support.
(Kara needs to stop telling people to be the same all the time. She's bugging me, and I really like a lot of what she says, but people should be allowed to change it up and take chances sometimes. Just saying)
Anoop Desai (You Are Always on My Mind - Willie Nelson) I enjoy the Pet Shop Boys cover of this song, and the Willie Nelson version, and the Johny Cash version. Can Anoop measure up? Someone also got at Anoop's hair with a brush or a comb and some styling products, and it looks good. His voice is really great tonight. I don't know about wearing a hoodie with a jacket, but that's neither here nor there. That a pretty good performance, and I am happy, because I like Anoop and want him to do well. Paula is proud of his song choice, and said it fit him like a glove, unlike last week's choice when the glove did not fit. Simon said that Anoop went from zero to hero, and loved the song choice, and likes that Anoop can take the criticism that he got last week and improve upon himself. Randy really wanted Anoop-Dawg in the competition, dude, and thought the arrangement was dope. Kara said it was a classic, almost untouchable song, and he made it his own.
Megan Joy (Corkrey) (I Go Walking After Midnight) - I think this song choice is brilliant for her voice. Her dress is coordinated with her tattoo, I think, and she put on some of her waggle dance. She's got such a unique sound, and she made the song very bluesy. Her transitions into some of the high notes were very weak. Overall, much better than last week, much more herself. She seems to have a cold. Randy said it could have been a trainwreck, but ended up being a perfect choice for her. Kara said that not a lot of people with the flu would be able to go out and do a performance like that. Holy cow, Paula said that Megan has been in the hospital and back and missed dress rehearsal, but still did wonderfully. Simon thought if this was what she sounds like with the flu, she should always have the flu, but thought that Megan was a bit too made up. I think she looks lovely. I think I will be voting for her.
Matt Giraud (So Small - Carrie Underwood) Randy worried about his song choice, but enjoyed Matt's version. Behind the piano again, the dueling pianist sounded very very good. I've never heard the original song, but for the most part, I enjoyed Matt's version. I'd like to see a piano duel between Matt and Scott. I wonder who would win. Just curious. Sadly, Matt's final high note was weak. Kara thinks that Matt is an artist and a true talent, and thought he was amazing. Paula thought Matt brings authenticity, but had a hard time pronouncing it. Paula then congratulated Carrie on being so good. Simon said that Matt deserves more credit for his vocals. Randy thought it was his favorite performance of the night.
I think that Allison (02), Megan (10), Anoop (09), Matt (11), Kris (03), and Danny (08) were the best. I also like Alexis. Oh, and I forgot about Michael by the time the recap came, and that's not good. I think it could be him or Scott going home. All in all, it wasn't as bad a night as I expected. Still, I would have liked nearly any other theme more. They will always have country night, and I will never look forward to it.
What did you think?