Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Idol - The Country Square Dance

American Idol - Top 11 - Performance Night - Theme: Grand Ole Opry

So, if you're new to my blog, you may not realize that I'm a gay Chinese-Canadian city boy who has lived in Europe and Montreal and I'm a sophisticated urbanite at heart (if I do say so myself). But I'm a BIG COUNTRY MUSIC FAN. BIG. I've actually been to Nashville and visited the Grand Ole Opry museum, though there wasn't a show there that day and I've always wanted to go back just to see a show there. So while most of you probably groaned this week, I was loving it, because if anything can change things up, it's country week, where the real stars can still stand out beyond their comfort zones, and the fakers crumble and fall.

And boy, tonight did just that. The switch ups, like in a square dance, continued this week. Early frontrunners are slowly sliding back (Lil Rounds, Danny Gokey? What happened?), while others are taking the stage front and centre (Kris! Allison! Anoop! even Megan!). And Scott McIntyre still sucks.

At this point, my favorites (Kris! Allison!) are no longer my pool picks (Lil, Danny, Adam) which is putting a damper on my loyalties, but at this point, I'm siding with my heart. I've also been loving Entertainment Weekly's Idolatry videos with Michael Slezak and guest (last week, Kristen Baldwin) because I swear, it's like Michael read my blog entries and repeated them on the videos because didn't I say the same things in my post last week? (Here's Top 13 commentary: video 1, video 2, video 3)

Anyways, here's my thoughts about this week, you know, before someone else thinks the same way as me, cause you know, I'm such an individual: (yes, that was a joke).

Michael Sarver
27 years old
Home: Jasper, TX
Audition: Phoenix, AZ
Song: "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)" (by Kent Blazy, Kim Williams, Garth Brooks, made famous by Garth Brooks)

Grade: B

GARTH BROOKS! I LOVE Garth Brooks. I know. You're probably shocked that I have almost ALL his albums. Considering it's such a fast song made for a HIGH ENERGY PERFORMANCE, Michael did better than I thought he would and while it wasn't perfect or great, I still enjoyed it. Maybe just because he even tried to attempt something like this. I'm not sure non-Garth fans would have liked the song, but I love it. So it's probably more a testament to Garth than Michael but eh, it was enjoyable.
Hear the mp3 here.

Allison Iraheta
16 years old
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Audition: San Francisco, CA
Song: "Blame It On Your Heart" (by Harlan Howard, Kostas, made famous by Patty Loveless)

Grade: A-

I didn't love Allison early one. Her rock growl scared me.

Now? I think she's switched places with Adam for me, because she hasn't overdone the growl and just worked it into each song. She has easily become my favorite girl. I still don't know if I'm digging her koolaid red hair, I mean, I get that's her vibe but it just seems like she was dunked in a vat of candy apple sauce, but even her swagger is confident but not cocky (I'm talking to you Danny Gokey)
Hear the mp3 here.

Kris Allen
23 years old
Home: Conway, AR
Audition: Louisville, KY
Song: "To Make You Feel My Love" (by Bob Dylan)

Grade: A

And a star is born! Crisp and clear and beautiful. Oh, so was his voice!

No guitar. No problem! It's always nice/relief/comforting to hear that his voice is as strong as his hot looks (if not slightly unfair for the rest of us schlubs)
Hear the mp3 here.

Lil Rounds
23 years old
Home: Memphis, TN
Audition: Kansas City, MO
Song: "Independence Day" (by Gretchen Peters, made famous by Martina McBride)

Grade: B

Lil still hasn't had that big sound we all hoped for and kind of a disappointment considering what we would have all hoped. It was a decent rendition but nothing astounding. I was slightly bored by it, though she looks fabulous (if I can be Paula for a second).
Hear the mp3 here.

Adam Lambert
26 years old
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Audition: San Francisco, CA
Song: "Ring of Fire" (by Johnny Cash, June Carter, made famous by Johnny Cash)

Grade: B+

Well, it was weird but I actually liked it but maybe because it reminded me of Bowie or something.

I thought his vocals were off in one section but at least he didn't YELL THE SONG THIS WEEK. It was pretentious but I kinda dug it.
Hear the mp3 here.

Scott MacIntyre
23 years old
Home: Scottsdale, AZ
Audition: Phoenix, AZ
Song: "Wild Angels" (by Matraca Berg, Gary Harrison, Harry Stinson, made famous by Martina McBride)

Grade: C

I'm sorry, but I just can't watch him anymore (no pun intended). I also think if I have to hear him more, I'm going to go deaf. This week wasn't as bad as recent ones but he's still rarely on key. When he is, like in the chorus of "Wild Angels", he sounded momentarily decent, but even then, it wasn't great, and has been far surpassed by all the other contestants.
Hear the mp3 here.

Alexis Grace
21 years old
Home: Memphis, TN
Audition: Louisville, KY
Song: "Jolene" (by Dolly Parton)

Grade: B

Alexis reminded me a little of Faith Hill there. It wasn't great but there were moments. (I'm talking both Faith and Alexis, so like, even the pros aren't all perfect).
Hear the mp3 here.

Danny Gokey
28 years old
Home: Milwaukee, WI
Audition: Kansas City, MO
Song: "Jesus Take The Wheel" (by Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson, Brett James, made famous by Carrie Underwood)

Grade: C

Oh Jesus Christ. Of course Danny does this song. (And I actually like the song, bonus points that Gordie Sampson wrote it).

Still, I thought his vocals would have killed it. Was he sick? Cause he killed it. But I'm talking in negative terms. Was he ever on the right note? He was WAY flat through almost the whole song, and only got them right when he shouted the chorus.
Hear the mp3 here.

Anoop Desai
21 years old
Home: Chapel Hill, NC
Audition: Kansas City, MO
Song: "Always On My Mind" - (by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson Thompson, made famous by Brenda Lee, then Elvis Prestley, then Willie Nelson)

Grade: A-

Okay, he was not good last week, but I really do like him and want him to do well.

Thank goodness for tonight. Who would have thought Country would have saved Anoop? Seriously? He started off with a shaky moment that sounded slightly off, but then he hit his stride and it was smoldering and luscious. I actually really want to hear that again. It really IS always on my mind! If it weren't for that minute little off moment at the start, it was nearly an A.

Plus, the way Anoop is looking these days, he's starting to be always on my mind too!
Hear the mp3 here.

Megan Joy Corkrey
22 years old
Home: Sandy, UT
Audition: Salt Lake City, UT
Song: "Walkin' After Midnight" (by Alan Block, Don Hecht, made famous by Patsy Cline)

Grade: B+

I thought adding Megan into the Top 13 was a BIG mistake.

Yet I actually enjoyed her "Rockin' Robin" and I really enjoyed her country here this week. She still can't dance and her moves on stage consists of putting the back of her hands on her waist and shaking her butt as she wiggles her arms but her twisted tonal singing is kinda fascinating. Her pitch wasn't perfect, though she was sick as we find out after the song,
Hear the mp3 here.

Matt Giraud
23 years old
Home: Kalamazoo, MI
Audition: Louisville, KY
Song: "So Small" (by Carrie Underwood, Hillary Lindsey, Luke Laird, made famous by Carrie Underwood)

Grade: B-

I think the idea of this performance was better than how it actually came out. I thought Matt sounded off and didn't blow it out of the park the way it could have been. There were some moments but it wasn't quite there yet.
Hear the mp3 here.

The Final Round Up:

Best of the Night: Kris Allen
Second Best of the Night: Anoop Desai
Third Best of the Night: Allison Irahetta
Fourth Best of the Night: Megan Joy Corkrey

Again, none of whom I have as my pool picks. Though Adam would have placed 5th for me.

Worst of the Night: Scott MacIntyre
Second Worst of the Night: Danny Gokey

Is it me though or is Lil becoming... gasp... FORGETTABLE? She's becoming LaToya London more and more every week.

Bottom Three Predictions: Scott MacIntyre, Megan Corkrey, Michael Sarver

Going Home: Oh please let it be Scott MacIntyre and save us all. Though I have a bad feeling he might actually be safe and someone far better is going home but I don't even want to contemplate who it may be. Maybe Michael Sarver.

For more on American Idol:
Click here for the most recent posts.
Season 8:
Top 2 Performance
Top 3 Performance, Top 3 Results
Top 4 Performance, Top 4 Results
Top 5 Performance, Top 5 Results
Top 6 + Matt (Top 7 Redux) Performance, Top 7 Redux Results
Top 7 Performance, Top 7 Results
Top 8 Performance, Top 8 Results
Top 9 Performance
Top 10 Performance
Top 12 Performance, Top 12 Results
Top 13 Performance, Top 13 Results
Top 36:
Group 1, Group 2, Group 3
Wild Card, Wild Card Results
Pre-Top 36:
Who Are You Going To Vote For?
Handicapping the Alleged American Idols

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1 comment:

Action Wolfe said...

Michael and Kris are frikkin HAWT! lol.

I wanna watch american idol and im australian. hahah.


xxx Action Wolfe