Randy Travis as a mentor? Actually, I think that’s cool- old style country cool. ( I admit to being a sucker for ” Forever and Ever Amen”.) Idol country weeks are generally a mixed bag, where favorites get eviscerated and others surprisingly shine.
This year- no different.
BTW, still hate that opening judges walk thing. Talk about indulgent, Simon.
Michael Sarver sings Garth the Great’s ” Ain’t Going Down Till The Sun Comes Up”, an ambitious choice, since it’s quick paced vocal lines can bring down some of the greatest singers. In fact, the only version of this song I like is the original. That has not changed one iota. It was competent, pitchy, and he fell behind the melody more than once.
It looks like the only judge that would be hired back this week will be Simon, but not yet. I think he was being unfair to the song itself.
My personal fave Allison came out and sang Patti Griffin’s legendary ” Blame It On Your Heart”. She got breathy ( it’s another quick song with machine gun lyrics), she dropped a few notes in the process, but overall, for sixteen, mucho impressed. Simon, though, called her ” precocious”, so he can bite me.
Kris Allen singing Garth’s ” To Make You Feel My Love” was dreary and bland, so I have no idea what the judges are talking about.
Lil Rounds tackled Martina McBride’s soaring ” Independence Day”, but she should have gone with Martina’s gospel infused ” A Broken Wing”. The songs are similar in theme and style, but the chorus of the latter struck me as a better fit. But she didn’t read my mind, and ended up disappointing. She didn’t hit the notes I wanted her to hit, and the verse was pretty pitchy.
Adam has talent, but he’s making choices that makes it really hard for me to like him. Johnny Cash is up there with Dylan as an artist you don’t touch in my books ( unless you are Joaquin Phoenix pre-breakdown/Kaufman impersonation). I admit though ( all Adam fans, I know)- the first part of the song was well sung and I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would when I heard the word ” sitar-like”. Then he started to go all wild over the back end and he lost me again. This song doesn’t need the theatrics. He really needs to learn to edit and reign it in.
Scott went with another Martina song, ” Wild Angels” and I have to say, it was better than last weeks. Pretty good. He is, however, a much better pianist than singer, and he’d make a great session guy.
Alexis tackled “Jolene”, and I really like it, despite her pitch problems. Certainly better than Brooke’s last year ( and I liked Brooke’s version). She sounded a bit breathless on that series of high notes. But overall, solid.
Danny- oh, Danny. This confirms my belief that all the judges are smoking some strong shit. That was TERRIBLE. He started too low, was completely off pitch, off tempo, he strayed from a great melody for indulgent craziness. Awful awful AWFUL.
Anoop…oh, Anoop… ” You’re Always On My Mind”- not on the sacred list ( I love three versions- Elvis’, Willie’s, and my personal fave, The Pet Shop Boys), but it’s one of those amazing, legendary songs that shouldn’t be messed with unless you are Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant. He does it as the sweet ballad Willie Nelson intended, and he sang it on pitch, with a modicum of soul, sweetly, mournfully, lovely. I also really like the haircut. Anoop is back, indeedy do. Needs to take the cockiness down a bit still, though.
Megan, whom I adore for reasons beyond my comprehension ( I know what’s wrong, but somehow, I really don’t care, she makes me smile. She makes ME, a raging misanthrope, SMILE). ” Walking After Midnight” is an overdone song, so I worry a bit. She looks gorgeous, though. And the slightly jazzy tinge she gives the vocal suits her and the song surprisingly. She’s never gonna be one of those singers that his every note in the song, but she is a fantastic interpreter. No weird dance this week. Those high notes are really squeaky. I’m impressed. And with the judges telling us about the hospitalization and every thing, I’m even more impressed. She saved the hacking for after her song. That might even explain some of that squeakiness.
Matt is up last this week, and his song is Carrie’s ” So Small”. I’m beginning to think Carrie is gonna be an untouchable. I get that uneasy feeling every time I hear her name on this show in conjunction with the contestants song choices. He reconfigures it to be a soulful pop ballad, which suits him, but there are vocal issues. Another great pianist, though, another guy qualified for being a session dude if necessary. I’m actually enjoying this more than I thought, though. Simon’s Michael Buble comparison was spot on.
As for the judges being rehired? Well, they were better this week. But there was still some wackiness. They are currently on probation.
A much better week than last week ( almost anything would be better than last week).
My bottom three- Michael Sarver, Danny Gokey, and sadly, Lil Rounds. I think that Adam and Scott could be in trouble as well. ( I apologies to the Adam fans, but the rest were stronger, I’m sorry. I don’t think he’ll hit bottom three, but he’ll be on the lower end of the scale). Megan could also be down there, as she’s become quite polarizing.
And now, till tomorrow’s results show, everyone, I bid you adieu.