American Idol 8 Finals: Round 2 (11 performers)

While I ponder my first AI trading card purchase… or whether Constantine Maroulis on Broadway is worth $100… it’s time for week 2 of the possibly-predetermined road to the AI Final Four… because THIS… is American Idol! *music cue*

Oh look, they let Mark Thompson do the silly intro again.  I was sure that’d be dropped.

Um, Ryan, did you really want to say that this show would be better after a few pints? 🙂

It’s Grand Old Opry Week.  The train-wreck potential is massive.   Let’s get this hoedown started!  And the worst country singer misses the Idol Top 10 Summer Tour!

Oh, look… guest appearance by Randy Travis.  Maybe he’s singing tomorrow, do you think?

Michael Sarver – “Ain’t Goin’ Down” (Garth Brooks) – OK, I don’t know the song, so I’m going to go figure it out on the break (thank you, Google)… Wow, I got tired listening to that.  Give him credit for energy and enthusiasm, and this is clearly his genre.  It’s not a singer’s song, more of a country rap, but I think he did enough to make it through.

Oh, goodie… the teen Latino rock chick doing country… NEXT!

Allison Iraheta – “Blame It On Your Heart” (Patty Loveless) – Good for her.  She pulled this off pretty well, putting a rock spin on the song but keeping it mostly country.  She has no chance of winning AI, but she has a future in music (and if she wants to prove me wrong, I’d be cheering if she did win).  Barring a run of huge performances, she’s back next week.

Kris Allen – “Make You Feel My Love” (Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Billy Joel, Adele; written by Bob Dylan) – Well… with that many covers, it’s a safe song.  Kris chose to leave the guitar behind.  The tweens will love this.  I didn’t.  I think we have our first Bottom Three performance of the night.  It was just there – nothing special or memorable.  OK, what the hell did the judges hear?  Or is this pimping?

Hmm… they’re tossing Lil out here early tonight.  Interesting… at least they give her a Product-Placement Red Room interview…

Lil Rounds – “Independence Day” (Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood) – Oh my… not sure what she was going for here, but she almost didn’t make it.  I think she let the genre beat her a bit… She pulled it back a bit in the second half of the performance, but that one veered toward the edge.  OK, and I think she gets through, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she passed through the Bottom Three *if* everything broke badly for her.

Hold on to your corncob hats… Glam Broadway Guy is next… and he gets pimped in the Product-Placement Red Room…

Adam Lambert – “Ring of Fire” (Johnny Cash) – OK.  The good news: he made it his own.  The bad news: it was awful.  This might be your Vote For The Worst performance of the week.  I hated it.  The tweens will put him through, but I just want to drop him into a pit of fire right now.  Simon: “What the hell was that?”  Good question.

Scott McIntyre – “Wild Angels” (Martina McBride) – Interesting take on the song.  He seemed a bit reserved until the chorus… where I think he saved the performance.  Not my favorite, a mite screechy at times, but it’ll get him to next week.  Paula, please shut up.

Have I mentioned lately that Gordon Ramsey is loathsome?  Good.  And here’s Alexis Grace in the Product-Placement Red Room…

Alexis Grace – “Jolene” (Dolly Parton) – The pattern of slow starts continues… I kind of liked it, but I can see this dipping into the Bottom Three… I hope she gets through, I think there’s potential here that hasn’t been tapped yet.

Danny Gokey – “Jesus Take The Wheel” (Carrie Underwood) – Oh, for crying out loud.  Pander to the faithful much? OK.  He’s not leaving.  That said, the first half of the song really sucked.  Only his decision to power through the second half (leaving country behind) was enough to salvage it.  Not good.  But I have no doubt he’ll be back.  Paula’s really medicated tonight, isn’t she?

After he beat up “Beat It” last week, what country song will Anoop Desai murder tonight? NEXT!

Anoop Desai – “Always On My Mind” (Willie Nelson, Brenda Lee, Elvis, Pet Shop Boys, hundreds more) – Well, it’s not “Beat It”.  It’s also not that great – a thin, unremarkable version of the song.  The fact that it needed the reverb says a lot.  He’ll get by.  But… eh.  Geez… either I’m watching the wrong show or the judges are.

Interesting that two less touted performers get the Pimp Spot treatment…

Megan Joy (it’s official, she’s dropped her married name)“Walkin’ After Midnight” (Patsy Cline) – Interesting choice. Interesting performance.  Kind of a callback to the late-‘50’s origin of the song.  Kind of quirky.  I liked it.  I’m not convinced America will.  Ah, she’s under the weather.  Wonder if that makes a difference…

Matt Giraud – “So Small” (Carrie Underwood) —  Like everyone else, slow start into a big finish.  Nice job, not the best tonight, but good.  Going last and doing a song written by an Idol winner… should put him through.

MY BOTTOM THREE: Adam, Kris, Anoop

AMERICA’S BOTTOM THREE: Allison, Michael, Megan


GOING HOME: (sorry to say) Allison (which, if it happens, will parallel rocker Amanda Overmyer’s 11th-place finish last year)


The results air at 9 Eastern tomorrow.  Your late local news is next.

EDIT: VFTW picked Megan again?  Adam’s performance was horrible.  I know they’re pimping him, but still… oh, wait… of course… they are as concerned with screwing up the pimpage as they are finding the worst performance.  OK, I get it.


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