Hey, it's "Simon hates Country music" night! They really should just give him country week off.
I'm getting started late, but I'll catch up (that's the beauty of TiVo). Dinner with the hubby always trumps AI, but that doesn't mean I didn't watch in on Slingbox mobile on his phone all the way home.
I'll come back and add my Michael comments during a commercial break. Refresh at will ;)
BTW, I LOVE country music. I (heart) Randy Travis, too.
Michael Sarver, "Ain't Goin' Down 'Til the Sun Comes Up" (Garth Brooks)
This is not the song I would have picked. It is chock full o' words, and, like Randy Travis said, it doesn't take much to get completely off course. While it was nice to see Michael have fun, it seems like he. was. just. dragging. along. Also, for country fans, this song is just too closely identified with Garth, and no one can sing it as well. Randy said it was a cool song choice for the fun factor, but it didn't show off his vocal abilities. Kara missed the big notes (that's 'cause he didn't sing them where they are in the original). Paula liked that it let us see him have fun and included a harmonica player. Simon didn't understand the words, comparing it to Norwegian, and said it was clumsy.
Allison Iraheta, "Blame in on Your Heart" (Patty Loveless)
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song! I think Allison is doing a good job with it, and she's not making it too cutesy at all. I like the country rock feel she gave the song, too. Kara said the performance was very solid, and Paula, as usual, parrots that assessment. Simon said it was good but thought she struggled to remember the words and was a little precocious. Randy said it was dope.
Kris Allen, "To Make You Feel My Love" (Garth Brooks)
Wow, that picture of him on the floor made him look rather...um...large. My husband sings this song to me, so Kris has big competition. Not as good as the hubby, but he's doing really well. Like Randy Travis said, he's doing a really good job of singing it in his own style instead of a Garth copy. Paula is surprised (has she not been listening to him so far?). Simon said it was terrific and a smart choice of song. Randy said he took a chance to showcase his vocals, which showed he is a "tender dawg." Kara said she didn't know it was OPRYLAND. Hey, dummy: Opryland is an amusement park!!
(I LOVE those Old Navy commercials - my husband thinks I'm insane.)
Lil Rounds, "Independence Day" (Martina McBride)
Lil says she wants to honor the original country artist by not trying to make the song into an R&B song. She's definitely not a country singer, but she's doing a good job. Looking forward to hear rip into the chorus, which can really show off her voice. Her voice is very strong going into the chorus, even if some of the notes are a little off. Randy called it an ambitious song choice and said it sounded like it wasn't comfortable for her. Kara agreed with Randy that the chorus was the strongest part of the performance. Paula said she was spot on but should have sang only one verse in order to get into the chorus sooner. Simon can't figure out what her name is, and he said she seemed like she was forced to sing something that made her uncomfortable. Why does everyone keep interrupting the judges tonight? Simon said she could have picked a better song.
(I don't get the Twilight thing. Then again, I'm about 25 years older than most of those girls.)
Adam Lambert, "Ring of Fire" (Johnny Cash)
Why does the thought of Adam singing country make me cringe? Middle Eastern Johnny Cash?! Even my husband looked up from his laptop and asked, "WTH?" Yuck. Sounds like Johnny Cash on LSD. 'Nuff said. Notice that Randy Travis' wife didn't clap? Kara said "Adam does country music." No, he didn't. Kara said it was strange, but she liked it. Paula salivated over him, as usual. Simon said, "What the hell was that?" Simon also recommended he not ever go to Nashvile and said it was horrific, self-indulgent rubbish. Randy said it was Nine Inch Nails does country.
(The Simpsons go to Ireland...LOL)
Scott MacIntyre, "Wild Angels" (Martina McBride)
Randy Travis doubted the song choice at first but became a believer, so who am I to question? He is doing okay, but he doesn't have the strength of vocals to really pull the song off. Again, a little pitchy, so I'm wondering if his nerves are getting to him. His piano playing is very good, as always. Paula said that, while he works harder than anyone, she's afraid the piano is becoming a crutch. Simon said that Paula's piano comment is stupid; Elton John always sat behind a piano. Simon said he still isn't choosing good enough songs. Again, the contestant is interrupting the judge. Shut up guys! Randy said he isn't giving them the "hot, crazy vocals" they're looking forward. Kara says they want him to up his game. Scott doesn't look happy.
(Hey, Sugarland is coming to town!)
Alexis Grace, "Jolene" (Dolly Parton)
Ryan said Alexis has been compared to Dolly...by who?! I think she may do a good job on this song. I was worried she was going to pick "I Will Always Love You," the most oversang song EVER. I'm glad she is singing it in a more modern style that suites her. I think she's the first one tonight to actually have some emotion while she's singing. Randy said she was too pitchy and wasn't great. Kara said she lost her edge. Why, because she didn't dress like a streetwalker this week? Paula liked that she showed a softer, more vulnerable side. Simon said it was okay but sounded too much like the original. Will they quit telling her to dirty it up? Geez...
(The E-trade baby is probably just as good at managing my 401k as the broker.)
Danny Gokey,"Jesus Take the Wheel" (Carrie Underwood)
Randy Travis made Danny nervous...stupid nervous. If I were him, I'd be nervous about picking Carrie Underwood's worst song. Yes, I said it: I don't like this song. I give him props for singing a religious-themed song, when others have not gotten a good reaction for the same. Danny is doing well, and you can see the worship singer come out in him. The backup singers are killing him with their off key backing, though. Kara said that the first part of the song was not good, but the chorus was strong. Paula said she thought the build up was good. Simon agreed with Paula (SHOCKER!) but hates what he's wearing. (The first thing my husband said: "What's up with the coat?") Randy agrees with Kara, dawg.
(Don't throw away those rollover minutes! You can cut the mold off and still use them!)
Anoop Desai,"Always on My Mind" (Willie Nelson)
OMG, Anoop is taller than Randy Travis! Wow, high praise from Randy, too. Anoop the torch singer, who'da thunk it? I knew there was a great voice in there! I like that he didn't sing it as a Willie-clone. Very good, very good. And the girls holla! Paula liked the song choice and said it fit him like a glove. Simon said he went from zero to hero. Randy said he really showed his vocal skills and gave props to the band. Kara said the performance was amazing and the best tonight!
(I definitely want to see "I Love You, Man." My husband will be thrilled when "Fringe" is back.)
Megan Joy Corkrey, "Walkin' After Midnight" (Patsy Cline)
My theory of the evening is Megan can't possibly pick a worse song than last week. I think she could do a lot with this song with her unusual voice. Oh, no, she's camping it up too much. Just sing, girl. Someone needs to tie her hands to her sides. She's got a good voice, and she doesn't need to do that. Randy liked it and said she did it in a good style. Kara said she did a good job and was strong to sing through her illness. Paula mentioned that Megan was in the hospital with the flu and commended her for singing so well. Simon said she did well but didn't like her styling clothes-wise. Poor girl coughed through the entire judging. I'm amazed she didn't cough during the song!
(I didn't think "Lie To Me" would be good, but it's actually not that bad.)
Last singer of the night, guys!
Matt Giraud, "So Small" (Carrie Underwood)
What's it with the guys singing Carrie Underwood songs tonight? Matt is singing with the piano, which always make his singing seem more personal. Matt has a great voice, and he's singing this song with a lot of emotion and depth. His build up to the bridge was very good, too. His soft, almost off-key ending was perfect. Kara said he is a true talent and amazing. Paula said he is an authentic performer and has an honesty delivery. Simon said he hasn't gotten enough credit for his vocals and remind him of Michael Bublé. Randy said it was his favorite vocals of the night.
Oh, my, it will be hard to predict the one going home this week, but do it I must. My prediction is:
I hate to say it, though. I think Adam was horrible, and Allison, Lil, and Megan will be low in votes. However, the judges will absolutely use their veto if Adam or Lil are at risk of being kicked off. Especially if this story is true: