Top Eleven: Grand Ole Opry


We’re going country this week with Randy Travis. Rumored guest appearances for tomorrow evening are Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley! That’ll be nice.

Keep checking back here, as I will be adding to this post; writing live time as the night unfolds.

As usual, I will also be opening a poll immediately following the show-so be sure to share your own opinions!

Randy Travis called this season’s group the strongest he has seen yet on American Idol. Very true.

Michael Sarver is opening this night with “Ain’t Going Down Till the Sun Comes Up”. I thought he would do very well in country night…but it proved to be just a “fun” song, and didn’t end up really showcasing his voice; in my opinion.

Randy ; to be honest, I didn’t catch what he said.
Kara loved the personality Michael showed; but was sad that “we didn’t get to hear the big notes”. She did find it “impressive that you got all those words in!”
Paula said it was a great song; “allowed us to see you having fun and let us have fun consequently. I love the harmonica player!”
Simon thought it should have been good, given that this genre is the one that Michael would seem to do quite well in. “But,” Simon said, “I couldn’t understand a word”. He called it a “bit clumsy. Point is, this is about you coming over as a star. Instead, you came over as a likeable guy…at a kareoke night. On a scale of 1-10 I’d give you a 1.2”.

Allison Iraheta seems to be the one contestant that I always miss the song title of their performance. But I think she’s proving to be quite good in her selection.

Kara said Allison could sing the alphabet and sing it well. “You made that song your own. You keep getting better; really solid”.
Paula called it “another rock solid performance”. Commenting on the “power of your voice and rock edge. Amazing artist!”
Simon thought it “good”, but “a little tuneless in parts”. But said it was rock solid, only verging on precocious a little bit.
Randy “thought it was doped!” What exactly is that suppose to mean?

Kris Allen is singing “To Make You Feel My Love”. I thought this was really nice; this is a solid performance, and he did an amazing job of truly making it his own.

Paula was pleasantly surprised; and loved his “honest, pure, and vulnerable performance”. Commenting on how this song reminded her of “how nice your vocals are. But, make sure your lower vocals are on pitch”.
Simon called it terrific. “Really, really good. A great, great, great choice of song. You were completely in control; didn’t go over the top. This is the first time I genuinely think you have a shot in this competition”. Some good words here.
Randy said Kris “went out on a limb. Tender moments from my dog Kris. I loved it!”
Kara thought it “was beautiful. I didn’t even realize this was country”.

Lil Rounds is singing Martina McBrides “Independence Day”. This was amazing! My favorite performance of hers to date. Of course, I like the song anyway. 🙂

Randy thought it a very interesting, ambitious song choice. “The front part was struggling, but chorus got better. Didn’t feel comfortable on you. Just keeping it real”.
Kara said “part of being an artist is to do what you feel. You’re a great singer. There were other songs you could have chosen. But props for standing your ground on this one”.
Paula thought that tonight, “Everything’s spot on for you. But you should have only done one verse and headed on to the chorus ’cause that’s where you shone”.
Simon said that “kinda’ came over as a girl forced to sing at a wedding; it felt and looked uncomfortable. Just wasn’t you”.

Adam Lambert chose “Ring of Fire”. Randy Travis said this version of the song “threw me for a loop”. Hmmm. Props to Adam to staying true to himself. There are some wonderful moments in this…but to be honest, this performance is creeping me out completely. My mum called it “Phantom of the Opera meets Johnny Cash”. I’m sure the judges love it though.

Kara said it was definitely “Adam does country music”. Saying she’d “never seen that rendition” coming,; and calling it “all a little strange. I got the drama…” but she was almost speechless, “strange. I kinda liked it”.
Paula said he was “really someone who stands out; who is true to who you are as an artist. Choice of song was great. Loved the version”. She called him a “quick study and natural talent. We’ll keep  expecting more and more from you”.
Simon‘s comment: “what the h-ll was that? There must be a lot of people throwing their TV’s out the window at this point. Was absolute, indulgent, rubbish!”
Randy: “nine-inch nails doing country! Current, young, fresh!”

Scott MacIntyre is singing “Wild Angels”; what a choice! There were some pitch problems in the verse. But the chorus is really quite nice. The back-up singers and the band really were doing some awful stuff. There were good and bad moments in there; but that last note was superb!

Paula said “to me, it was another impressive, lovely performance. You work harder than most people on that stage”. But she thought that the “piano may be turning into a bit of a crutch”; to which Scott replied “we can move it closer!”. Paula said she just wanted to see him “mix it up a bit”.
Simon thought Scott should sit behind that piano as much as he wants. “Both performances last week and this were very similar. I like you a lot; but you’re picking songs that go over my head and I forget them after-wards”.
Randy is “looking for those hot, crazy, unbelievable vocals from you. Looking for the standout vocals”.
Kara summed up the judges comments, saying “we want you to up your game. But you always bring class and poise to that stage”.

Alexis Grace chose a song from Dolly Parton; “Jolene”. I remember Brooke White sang this song last season. But I think Alexis will do a far better job. I’ve got goosebumps listening to her. I love her transitioning from her high register to her low one…it’s hard to make those smooth, but she did an awesome job.

Randy was not sure Alexis “hit the notes quite well. Good song choice but not a great performance”.
Kara thought she lost her edge a bit. Personally, I really liked seeing this part of her.
Paula
disagreed, saying it was “more effective than the others think”. Paula loved how Alexis “took an artistic approach. Enjoyed the vulnerable soft side of you”.
Simon said it “was okay. A little sound alike; just not a lot of originality. I think this is going to be one of those performances we’ll forget about later tonight”

Danny Gokey is singing the so popular Carrie Underwood hit, “Jesus Take the Wheel”. In the early part of this song, I really want to see some more personality. The verse was a little bland. Had some great notes in there. The chorus is pretty good. But overall, this wasn’t a great, solid performance by Danny; not like what I know he is capable. Still, it was good. I do like seeing him stay true to who he is. It would be easy to think “That song is way to popular” and not do it. But the message is such a good one. Props for braving it out, Danny.

Kara said “when you hit your stride it’s like none other. The front half was not spectacular”. But she said he “came out of your shell and went soaring straight up”.
Paula disagreed “in some sense. I love it when an artist tells a story. I think Carrie would not only be proud of that, but I think she’d buy the single”.
Simon doesn’t think Carrie would rush out to buy it, but he does “agree with Paula; you can’t start that song head on”. Simon did, on the other hand, have a problem with Danny’s outfit. “What you’re wearing is like you’re going on some polar expedition!”
Randy agreed with Kara. “You got to support the verses; they were a little pitchy in the middle”.

Anoop Desai is singing “Always On My Mind”. I agreed with Randy Travis–“heck, that was good, man!” I don’t think I have anything else to add.

Paula announced that “Anoop is back; he’s back everybody”. She loved how that song “allowed you to have your own interpretation. It fit you like a glove; when you’re allowed to have that space you have such tender, honest, amazing, sweet vocals”.
Simon said Anoop managed, in one week, “to go from zero to hero”. He thought it a great choice of song, and called it “one of my favorite performances tonight. Take it back from last week; you definitely deserve to be in this show. Glad to have you back.”
Randy: “let me just say; this is the reason we wanted you back in this season. I like the arrangement; that was dope!”
Kara called the song a classic one, “almost untouchable”, but thought Anoop did a fantastic job.

Megan Joy Corkrey picked “Walking After Midnight”. I think this was a good choice…given her quirky and very different voice. Not my cup of tea; so I’m afraid I can’t offer much commentary on this one.

Randy was impressed; saying it was the “perfect choice for you”.
Kara agreed; “perfrect song; perfect look”. Kara also shared with us that Megan has the flu. Given that consideration, she did quite good.
Paula commented that Megan had already been to the hospital and back; calling her very professional.
Simon thinks Megan should have flu every week; “Quite good”.

Matt Giraud is the last performer tonight. I’m curious to see how he does in country week. Matt chose “So Small” by Carrie Underwood. I think this was also a good choice, one that Matt can lend his bluesy vibe to. Matt, like Scott did, is playing piano with his performance. Crutch? I don’t think so; the piano is a part of Matt and his artistry. Have you watched those hands of his?! Incredible as they run over the keys; and even in the midst of all that, his vocals still stay strong. This is one talented guy.

Kara said there is “nothing small about you. You’re a true artist; amazing. I just love you”.
Paula applauds the “autheniticity that you bring and your honesty is unparrelled. You are piercing peoples hearts”.
Simon doesn’t think Matt’s had enough credit for his vocals. “Tonight you out-sang Danny. You remind me of Michael Buble”.
Randy called it the “performance of the night. You got it going on!”

Personally, I would place Scott, Adam, and Megan in the bottom three tomorrow night. However, I believe the bottom three will be Scott, Megan, and probably Micheal Sarver.

As always, would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

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