Country week. BLEH. I seriously don't get country week. I guess with Carrie Underwood and Taylor Hicks they have some kind of country audience, but I really don't like this theme.
And just as a note to remind everyone, I type up my thoughts as the contestants are singing, before the judges make their comments. If I have something to say about the judges' comments, I'll make a *Note:.
That said, here we go:
Michael Sarver - Ain't Goin' Down Until the Sun Comes Up - This is definitely his genre. He reminds me a lot of Josh Gracin. He did a good job and it's a fun song, but again I just don't see anything interesting about him.
Allison Iraheta - Blame it on Your Heart - This girl has such an amazing voice, and this was a really fun song. She did a great job as usual, particularly since this isn't her genre - she made it kinda rockish and I just love her.
Kris Allen - To Make You Feel My Love - I absolutely love him and his guitar playing just tugs on my little ole heart strings. I was really excited to see him playing the guitar in the rehearsal part, but he didn't in his performance. I was disappointed but I really think it was a smart move to make us focus on his voice instead of his instrument. It also shows his comfort level and talent doesn't lie only in hiding behind the guitar. And what a voice!!! He did a fabulous job. My favorite performance of the night so far. Oh, and have I mentioned he's super adorable?
Lil Rounds - Independence Day - I think it was really smart of her to choose a Martina McBride song because of the big notes. This is not her genre, and it was the best thing she could do to stay in the running and sound good. She has a strong voice and did a good job.
Interjecting: I don't understand the judges picking on people during country week who are obviously not country singers. The judges are so big on knowing who you are as an artist and knowing your style, yet the contestants are forced into weird theme weeks that don't fit most of the singers. Who cares if someone can "sing every style"? That's not what being successful is about, in fact... I think it's the opposite of what they should be looking for.
Adam Lambert - Ring of Fire - I was very curious to see what he was going to do. What a weird week for Adam. But then... he chose Ring of Fire. What a phenomenal choice - this guy knows exactly what his style is, precisely what will work, and totally how to express himself. He's kind of creepy, kind of vampirey, very dramatic and sort of gives me a throw back feel to glam rock. I wasn't sure about the arrangement but once it picked up a bit, I absolutely loved it. The wicked thing for me is that I LOVE the middle eastern feel, and the fact that he could put it onto this song made me feel all tingly in my special purpose. His range is so impressive... he just needs to make an album so I can obsess over it already! Holy wow... it was just an epic, seasoned, rock solid performance. In fact, it's up there with my favorite performances ever on American Idol along with David Cook's performance of "Eleanor Rigby." -- Legendary. Simon was totally wrong on this one - of COURSE he's not going to Nashville... he knows who he is, dammit! Randy was right. Nine Inch Nails doing country. That's it.
If you didn't catch it, here it is:
Scott MacIntyre- Wild Angels - Rob mentioned last week that he found himself trying to like Scott more than he actually liked him, and I will have to agree. I like what I've seen of him personally and he has a pleasant voice. He can play piano. Unfortunately I don't get pimply goosebumps when I hear him. This week I really didn't feel anything for his performance.
Alexis Grace - Jolene - I really don't like many country songs, but this is a PHENOMENAL song. I think it could have been a good choice for her, but I'm used to Mindy Smith singing this song, and I wish Alexis played the piano, or didn't move around. I didn't like the arrangement very much - it should have been slower, and she didn't capture the tortured pain any singer of this song should show. I also didn't like the run she did in the middle.
Danny Gokey - Jesus Take The Wheel - I understand why he chose this song... he's a worship leader. It's really not my favorite song, and I find it to be quite cheesy. I did think it was adorable how nervous he got with Randy Travis. I liked his jacket a lot. *Note: I knew Simon would pick on him for it. I was happy he got over his nervousness, remembered the words, and he sang the hell out of the song. I liked it a lot more than the original. I also realized he really reminds me of my friend Mark Leyba (also a great singer... check out www.mestizorocks.com.)
Interjecting again: I wish Paula would get her freakin' words together and figure out a freakin' sentence before she opens up her freakin' mouth. She drives me nuts sometimes.
Anoop Desai - You Were Always On My Mind - This is a BEAUTIFUL song. I'm feeling much better about Country Week at this point... people are choosing really good songs. This was a perfect song choice for Anoop and gets me back to what I loved in the first place about him - he's got a really wonderful R&B type of voice. This was really good. His big notes are fabulous.
Megan Joy - Walking After Midnight - I like her sleeve tattoo more than I like her. Great dress today too. She has a lot of weird and (what could be) interesting things she does with her voice, but I think she needs more training before she is actually good. *Note: Apparently she has the flu and went to the hospital. Having said that, she did a good job, and I don't want to sound like a bitch. However, my comments on her voice also come from the last few weeks I've seen her perform.*
Matt Giraud- So Small - I really like his piano playing, and he does remind me of Justin Timberlake as they said last week. I don't know this song, and I'm sure if I'd heard the original version I would have appreciated his performance more, but as it is, I really don't feel anything in particular about this one. *Note: Randy's favorite performance of the night, really?*
So! Who's going home? My guess is that it'll be between Megan, Alexis or Michael. If I had my way it would be Megan. Second choice for me would be Michael. With the way voting seems to go, I think it'll be Alexis. That being said, I have no idea what will happen with the judges new veto power, so it's anyone's guess.
Now I'll open up the comments... I'd love to see what you all thought!