Two weeks ago, the round of Michael Jackson songs sent two American Idol contestants packing—Jorge Nunez and Jasmine Murray. Then last week, the 11 remaining Idol hopefuls attempted to tackle songs by the inductees of the Grand Ole Opry, which is the heart and institution behind legendary country music. Let’s do a quick recap of the performances before moving onto tonight’s newest episode.
Season 8’s Top 11: Michael Sarver, Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Adam Lambert, Scott MacIntyre, Alexis Grace (pictured) , Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai, Megan Joy, and Matt Giraud.
· 01 Michael Sarver- "Until The Sun Comes Up"
Though Michael is becoming more comfortable and believable on stage, and though both country and a Garth Brooks song should have fit him like a glove, Michael was just so-so. He ran out of breath and poorly showcased his vocal abilities.
· 02 Allison Iraheta- "Blame It On Your Heart"
The Patty Loveless tune was a great choice for Allison, as it allowed her to show off her pipes and her maturity on stage. Though it didn’t stand out as much as her previous Heart performance, it was still rock solid.
· 03 Kris Allen- "To Make You Feel My Love"
Kris was smart to go without his guitar for once, and he’s even smarter for targeting his role and honing his skill as the balladeer of the group. And quite possibly, I think he is becoming more likable and convincing as a performer.
· 04 Lil Rounds- "Independence Day"
Lil looked a lot better this week, and she showed off her amazing vocal talent during the chorus. The problem was the song’s predictability, and her inability to master its verses.
· 05 Adam Lambert- "Ring of Fire"
The Middle Eastern, sitar-tinged rendition of the Johnny Cash classic may have scared some viewers and annoyed others, but vocally, Adam was spot on. The performance showed his personality, his willingness to take risks, and most importantly, his impeccable singing range.
· 06 Scott MacIntyre– "Wild Angels"
The good news is the Idol crew attempted to tame Scott’s hair. The bad news is his style of song selection has remained the same: “inspirational,” or better said, cheesy. Scott has a decent voice, but his song choices are not allowing him to stretch his vocal ability. He’s okay, but he needs to get better.
· 07 Alexis Grace- "Jolene"
I don’t understand why people think they can touch this lovely Dolly Parton classic; it just can’t be done, at least, not with the proper conviction. Alexis sounded and looked pretty good, but there was no sense of power or believability to the performance. It was second only to Scott’s performance as the most forgettable of the night.
· 08 Danny Gokey- "Jesus Take The Wheel”
Sorry, but no one can touch a Carrie Underwood song, especially singers who think they’re better than they really are. I’m looking at you, Gokey! Though this was better than his Taylor Hicks-esque performance of “PYT” last week, there was more shouting than singing.
· 09 Anoop Desai- "You Were Always On My Mind"
Anoop Dawg is back! Anoop’s take on the Willie Nelson tune was tender, effortless, and beautiful. His masterful performance was definitely a surprise comeback, and unlike other performances this night, it showcased his ability to sing above all else.
· 10 Megan Joy- "I Go Walking After Midnight”
Megan is cute, quirky, and “joy”ful, but by sticking to that niche, she is getting a bit too predictable. Her performance was pleasant and fun, but she needs to step up her game. Plus, the dancing is no longer adorable. It’s just annoying and needs to cease to exist.
· 11 Matt Giraud- "So Small"
Men should not cover Carrie Underwood songs. No, all people should not cover Carrie Underwood songs (unless you are skilled—for example, David Cook). Despite the mistake in song choice, Matt was pretty decent. He has a nice, raspy quality to his voice, but I’m still not convinced that he’s Idol material.
Who Stays & Who Goes
· After a nationwide vote, America decided (and the judges chose not to save) a one-time fontrunner, Idol contestant Alexis Grace.
Due to Obama’s press conference, Idol was moved to Wednesday and Thursday night this week. Tune in tonight at 8-10pm on FOX, where the Top 10 contestants will be performing songs according to one of Idol’s favorite themes: Motown hits. Results will follow on Thursday night at 9pm.