Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Idol Top 11

This is country week. Yee-Haw! Randy Travis came to help the idols out this week.

Despite that, this is a big week because whomever is left after this week gets to go on the Idol summer tour.

Michael sings “Aint Going Down Til The Sun Comes Up” This is not the easiest song to sing because of all the words and how fast they have to be sung (spoken really). And there’s the problem…much of the song is spoken instead of sung. Also, there were definitely times when I was afraid he was going to run out of air before getting all the words out. I still believe Michael is an average singer. However, he’ll probably continue to advance due to his “good ‘ol boy” popularity. Randy thought it was a cool song choice, but didn’t show anything new vocally. Kara said they got to see his personality, but missed the big notes. Paula thought it was fun and country suits him. Simon said it should have been good, but he couldn’t understand a word Michael was saying. He said it was a bit clumsy and karaoke.

Allison sings “Blame It On Your Heart” Her voice is just as suited to country music as it is rock. I thought she did a great job with this song both vocally and with making it her own. I still can’t believe she’s only 16! She is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Kara said Allison could sing the alphabet and that she made the song her own. Paula said it was another rock-solid performance. Simon thought it was good, but it was a little tuneless in parts. Randy said it was “dope”.

Kris also sings Garth Brooks…without the guitar. I really think he should stay behind the guitar, it gives him the personality he lacks without it. I’m still not buying into the hype surrounding Kris. He’s okay, but not as good as the hype. I think his voice is a little annoying…maybe because it’s slightly nasally at times and a little boyish. He stays on key most of the time and hits most of the notes though. Paula said he needed to watch the low notes. Simon said it was terrific and the first time he’s actually thought Kris had a shot in this competition. Randy liked the “tender moments”. Kara said it wasn’t even country…it was beautiful. I can’t believe Paula was the hardest on him.

Lil sings “Independence Day” Although I’m not a country fan, I did listen to it a million years ago and this is one of my all time favorites. I wondered how she’d get the whole story in and she managed more of it by leaving out the chorus at least once. Lil did an good job with the notes, I just didn’t buy her as the narrator of this story. Randy said the song didn’t feel comfortable on her to him. Kara also thought there were better songs Lil could have chosen. Paula liked her vocals, hair and make-up, and thought Lil should have done one verse and gone strait to the chorus so Lil could show off her vocals. Simon’s having problems with her name and kept calling her “Little”, which was pretty funny. He felt like she looked like someone forced to sing a song someone requested at a wedding and looked uncomfortable singing it (I think he’s spot-on by the way).

Adam sings a sitar version of “Ring of Fire” (and Johnny Cash was rolling in his grave). Randy Travis struggled to say something nice about Adam; it was amusing. I wasn’t into this arrangement. I would say that Adam made the song his own, but he admitted he heard this from someone else. I’m sure, however, that he will get props for making the song his own. Kara said it was “interesting” and “strange”, but she kind of liked it. She said the song left her confused and kind of happy. Paula said he’s true to who he is as an artist (and then she kissed his butt with a lot of other stuff). Simon said, “I think what Randy [Travis] was saying was…'What the hell was that?'” Then Simon said it was indulgent rubbish. (I’m so glad Simon feels this way.) Randy said it was current and like Nine Inch Nails singing a country song (as if I would want to hear that).

Scott sings “Wild Angels” and plays the piano. I think he did a good job; there were a few notes that were a little shaky, but not necessarily off key. I still think Scott will get into the top 5, no problem, but probably won’t win the whole thing. Paula said it was impressive and lovely, but the piano might be a bit of a crutch that separates him from the audience. Simon thought what Paula said was stupid (and then there was a whole argument with Paula) and that Elton John always sits behind the piano. Simon still thinks that Scott’s not picking the best songs. Randy said he’s still looking for the “hott, crazy, unbelievable” vocals. Kara said that they just want him to “up his game”.

Alexis chose “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. I didn’t like how she tried to change the song by shortening the last “Jolene” at the beginning of the song…it just sounded odd because it was so different from original, but there wasn’t much else that different from the original version. Overall, I think it was good, but not great. There were a few missed notes and it wasn’t a stellar performance. I still like Alexis, but this was not one of her best performances. Randy said there were pitch problems and it wasn’t a great performance. Kara said Alexis lost some of her edge. Paula thought it might have been a good choice because Alexis showed a different side of herself. Simon thought it was okay, but a little bit sound-alike and forgettable.

Danny sings Carey Underwood’s “Jesus Take The Wheel”. I really don’t like it when Idol contestants sing past Idolist’s songs. It feels like they are trying to get brownie points... but that’s probably just me. Danny does a great job as usual. I wasn’t sure at first, but then he hit the big notes that are in the chorus…no problem. Kara said the first half was not spectacular, but the second half was great. Paula disagreed because she loves when artists build a story and thought he was brilliant. Simon agreed with Paula because he thought the song should have some light and shade. Randy agreed with Kara and said he needed to support the verses better because they were a little pitchy.

Anoop sings “You’re Always On My Mind”. This is why I love Anoop. To me, it’s not just his singing, but his stage presence and connection with the audience. I think he made this a modern song again. This could be a top 20 hit on the pop charts right now. Paula said the song “fit him like a glove” and that he had tender, honest, amazing vocals. Simon said Anoop managed to go from Zero to Hero and said it was a good song choice and one of his favorite performances of the night. He took back the remark from last week and said Anoop definitely deserves to be here. Randy loved the arrangement. Kara said it was almost an untouchable song and hard to do what Anoop did and it was probably the best performance of the night.

Megan sings “I Go Walking After Midnight”. She takes the song and twists it around and makes it sound like something from Etta James. Although it wasn’t necessarily my type of music, I could definitely appreciate what she did with the song, and I think she did a good job. I would have said great job, but she missed a couple of notes. Randy thought it was going to be a train wreck, but he was impressed. Kara said it was the perfect song, and the perfect look. (Apparently Megan had the flu and had even been to the hospital. If that’s the case then I take back any mention of wrong notes because I’m sure it was due to the coughing, sore throat, etc.) Paula said she was fantastic. Simon said she should have the flu every week. Poor Megan coughed through the entire judging.

Matt sings Carey Underwood’s “So Small” (great… more ex-Idol) while playing the piano. He does an okay job. Not my favorite performance. Nothing spectacular in my opinion, but a solid job nonetheless. Kara loved it. Paul said he was “piercing through so many peoples hearts.” Simon said that Matt out-sang Danny tonight and that Matt reminds him of Michael BublĂ©. Randy said it was his favorite performance of the night.

I think Lil is in trouble, and will probably be the one going home tomorrow night. I also believe Michael should be in the bottom, but probably won’t be. Alexis might find herself in the bottom tomorrow night, but I don’t think she’ll go home.

Who do you think is going home?


Gina Marie Wake said...

Randy once again shows his brilliance with his little comment about Nine Inch Nails b/c Johnny Cash actually did a version of a Nine Inch Nails song before his death, so the reverse wouldn't be that much of a stretch. Randy is completely useless on this show, even moreso than Paula.

P.S. I wished that I had DVR'd that ep rather than watched it live b/c I found it physically painful at times. I cannot stand country and I really cannot stand that vampire boy. Megan still hurts my ears too with her strange pronunciations.

Smalltown Girl said...

@Gina - I will admit that I would rather hear Cash sing NIN, than the other way around...especially if it sounded like Adam's version last night. Oddly enough, that was a Jeff Buckley version and I like some of his work.

I usually tend to agree with Simon, and think that the audience is too hard on Simon with all the booing, just because he is telling the truth.