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American Idol Recap: The Top 11 Sing Songs from the Grand Ole Opry on Country Night

American Idol Rundown: The Top 11 Go Country

Country night is often a cringe-worthy evening on American Idol, but this year, the top 11 did a pretty decent job turning songs from the Grand Ole Opry artists into relatively contemporary songs. There were several strong performances and not too many trainwrecks — though there's also at least one performance that will definitely be a love-it-or-hate-it number.

So, which singer do you think is going home tonight? To see my thoughts on Tuesday's performances, just


Michael Sarver — It says something that I spent this performance focusing more on the harmonica player than on Sarver himself. He didn't do much of anything with "Ain't Going Down (Till the Sun Comes Up)" except mumble through it, and breathlessly at that. Randy wasn't sure it showcased his voice, Kara liked the personality but missed the big notes, and Paula found it charming.

Allison Iraheta — "Blame It On Your Heart" was basically one of Allison's comfort zone Heart power ballads with twang. But hey, I respect that; she could have taken the song and made it a straight-up rocker. Good for her for working with the country arrangement. Paula wants to see her experiment more, Simon said it was precocious, and Randy simply said it "was dope."

Kris Allen — Kris ditched the guitar for "To Make You Feel My Love," and you know what? It was simple and sweet and pure. I was nervous when he geared up for that last high note, but he nailed it. Color me impressed, even if it wasn't the most exciting song. Simon called it terrific, and Randy appreciated all the tender moments. And then he was branded "tender puppy."

Lil Rounds — Lil was worried about bringing too much R&B to her country performance, and "Independence Day" was pretty restrained by Lil standards. Her voice is there, for sure, but she was maybe trying too hard to prove she could be country. Paula said everything was going her way, but Simon said it wasn't her and refused to pronounce her name correctly.

Adam Lambert — Hey, Randy Travis? I don't even know what to say about this boy, either. It's a unique take on "Ring of Fire," I'll say that. And I felt kind of dirty watching it, but I also didn't outright hate it . . . until the wailing at the end. Then I hated it. Kara was confused but happy, Paula liked his trust in himself as an artist, and Simon urged him to stay out of Nashville.

Scott MacIntyre — I love Scott as a pianist, and I think there's definitely a market for his music, but every song he does sounds to me like the same adult contemporary music I hear in my dentist's office. "Wild Angels" was another one that just made me go "eh." Paula called it impressive and lovely, but Randy wanted to hear more unbelievable vocals, not just the safe songs.

Alexis Grace — "Jolene" was like a great choice for her, and she seemed to be into the emotion and story of the song. I also liked her phrasing, especially in the first half. But there were a few parts where her voice sounded weaker than I expected, especially when she was moving around the stage. Randy said it was pitchy and too bluesy, but Paula liked her soft side.

Danny Gokey — "Jesus Take the Wheel" for Danny is like "God Bless the USA" for Kristy Lee; it's smart gamesmanship. I don't love the song anyway, but Danny's version didn't do anything special for me, though it did pick up at the end when he got into his comfort zone. Kara and Simon were "meh" on it, but Paula thought he was brilliant and Simon just laughed at his jacket.

Anoop Desai — Maybe "Always On My Mind" was safe for Anoop, in that it was a straightforward ballad that let him really show off his voice, but after the judges have piled on him so much, I think it was smart. It's also cool to hear him bust out a power song. Paula said he touched her heart, Simon said he went "from zero to hero," and Kara called it the night's best.

Megan Joy Corkrey — She's like some kind of '30s radio singer, isn't she? There's such an interesting, old-fashioned quality to her voice, which made "I Go Walking After Midnight" a perfect pick, even if there were some spotty notes (I blame the flu). Randy said it all came together, and Paula and Simon suggested she should get sick every week if she'll sound like that.

Matt Giraud — I'm starting to come around on Matt. I like the way he took Carrie Underwood's "So Small" and made it something a little more modern rock than country. (I think he's cooler than Simon's Michael Buble comparison, too.) He's also so obviously comfortable behind the piano. Simon said he needs more credit than he's gotten, and Randy said it was his favorite.

Favorites of the night: Anoop, Matt, and Megan

In danger: Michael, Scott, and Allison if people forget about her (I needed the replay at the end to remember what she sang).

Going home: My guess is Michael.

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
popcorn19 popcorn19 8 years
I agreed 100% with Kara's take on Adam-- I felt so uncomfortable... but at the same time-- I loved the song! I'm very interested to hear some of his post-Idol music...
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
If nothing else I think Adam is entertaining. He would be great in Cats. I think he's going for a look that is a cross between Elvis and Pete Wentz. I didn't care for his song this week but it was original. I think Scott and Anoop should be the next to leave. Scott would be great in a piano bar ~ his singing is okay but unspectacular. Kris, Megan and Allison are my favorites.
emalove emalove 8 years
I watched this season's Idol for the first time last night, and I was completely underwhelmed. No one really stood out to me.
xrawk_starrx xrawk_starrx 8 years
Idgaf what other people say. Adam has the best voice there.
missbrooke09 missbrooke09 8 years
Kris was my favorite last night. His performance was simple and beautiful. I loved it. He has such a nice voice. And he's really cute. I adore him. I also really liked Anoop and Matt. I love Adam, but I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about his performances. I think some of it was pretty amazing, but there were parts that I absolutely hated. If Adam wasn't polarizing before, he sure is now. I don't really get the Danny love. I mean, I was a fan in the beginning, but I really don't think he's as good as everyone's making him out to be. He can sing. But he's also the most overrated contestant this season, IMO. He can sing, but I think he's getting too much credit that others are just as worthy of. Michael is karaoke, at best. Allison is growing on me. Scott sounds the same every week. Megan was okay. I don't even remember Alexis. Lil was not good. I think it's Michael's time to go, but I'd be fine with Alexis leaving. I just don't like her for some reason. Scott's time is coming to an end too.
Briandiesel Briandiesel 8 years
Kris took the biggest risk by really stripping down the accompaniment and just singing it and I thought it was gorgeous. I love him basically I want the oilrigger or the visually impaired guy to go- they just dont do it for me-
blondie829 blondie829 8 years
Loved Matt Giraud last night. As I said in the other AI post, Adam seriously creeped me out last night. Especially his little shirt grab...weird. I'm hoping that Lil Rounds goes tonight, but it will probably be Michael or Scott.
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
oh megan, you looked so gorgeous in that dress. but the tattoo. ick. ruined such a pretty girl with that hideous thing! she did great last night though, so she def proved me wrong after seeing her last week.
em1282 em1282 8 years
Liking the fact that Matt Giraud keeps getting love. He gets better each week and I loved what he did with that song last night. I think he physically resembles Buble, whom I like too, but...yeah, not really the same in terms of style...
Tvmegafan Tvmegafan 8 years
annebreal annebreal 8 years
None of their "original" arrangements are ever original. I think Adam could have plugged the person who did the arrangement before him, because he did say he found it somewhere, but who cares. He murdered a classic no matter who gave him the gun to do it with.
alesimas alesimas 8 years
The whole thing is not either he mentioned it or not, but even the things that Idol edit to make him seems like this amazing original performer come out wrong.I'm sorry, I just don't see it. I find Adam extremely annoying and I don't find him a little bit charismatic. He creeped me out last nite , that's all. Yes, Cook followed Cornell's version, but you could see how that happened. Cook had a style, had knowledge on music and it was always so humble on his performances. Adam on the other hand is always so full of himself, like he's much much better than anyone else, and err, he's not. Ok. I'm done with Adam for the day.
Yv Yv 8 years
So it's the same "originality" as the one with David Cook's take on "Billy Jean". No one ever mentioned that it was Chris Cornell's interpretation. But that doesn't change the fact that both Adam and David sang theirs better than their predecessors.
ktc71 ktc71 8 years
I had forgotten that Dilana had done that song on Rock Star. I don't think its a big deal that the details of where he got it weren't mentioned. Like someone said before me...he may have mentioned where he found it but it could have been edited out.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I didn't really like Adam's performance, but I don't think it's a huge deal that he didn't mention where he found it. He didn't act like he came up with it or anything. (And, there's a good chance he did mention to Randy or someone else where he found and it and we just didn't see it.)
alesimas alesimas 8 years
So I was reading another comments on Adam performance and someone mentioned that his "original" version was actually done on a show called Rock Star by this chick called Dilana. I youtubed it and yup, she did the whole thingy first. And no, he didn't mentioned it. He said he found it, but never cared to say where. So not even his weird self is really that original.
annebreal annebreal 8 years
I think the thing that made me the most angry about Adam's performance is it showed the clear hypocrisy of this show. Anoop got blasted last week for "Beat It" because it was untouchable?? Really?? I thought that the way Adam handled the song was basically disrespectful to a deceased country legend. Also Randy Jackson's comment that it sounded like NIN made me want to rip my hair out.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
Kris and Anoop were my faves!!! Megan's boobs looked odd... just saying :shrug:
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Michael is awful - he needs to go home. I thought Matt and Anoop were by far the best.
ktc71 ktc71 8 years
I made a comment last night about Adam sounding like the Doors! :) He was strange but he is different. Michael would be my pick to go home.
Yv Yv 8 years
I generally hate country music, but I LOVE "Jolene" and unfortunately Alexis botched it. She has gorgeous figure and skin though. ;) Megan - most beautiful person in the competition. She looked like a goddess, didn't she? I couldn't take my eyes off her. I didn't like these theatrical performances from Adam so far, but this one was quite amazing. It had something from "Love Hate Love" - great Alice In Chains song. And he sings absolutely flawlessly as far as hitting notes goes. Going home: I hope Lil, but I think Michael.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Buzz, I agree with your three favorites. I liked Kris a lot, too. Although, I don't think making that song non-country sounding was all that difficult, considering the fact that it's written by Bob Dylan and was recorded by Billy Joel just before it was recorded by Garth Brooks. Adele recently recorded a great version of it, too!
fireyelectra fireyelectra 8 years
Renees3, I think you hit it on the head comparing Adam Lambert's performance to an old Doors song. It was definitely a weird choice, but I will remember it forever because I have never, ever heard "Ring of Fire" like that. It was one of those things that was just so much to the left of horrendous that it came full circle and became awesome again.
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 8 years
Kris is cute and talented and all that, but he does something awkward with his jaw when he sings and it REALLY bothers me. Has anyone else noticed this? I freaking loved Anoop.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
i know everyone hated Adams song, but I didn't think it was that bad. He didn't make the arrangement so don't blame him for that. I thought it was cool almost like an old Doors song. Megan could do great if she could just stop being so ackward on stage! It's painful to watch her not know what to do with her hands and body!
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