3/17 American Idol Top 11 Performance Night Recap: Country And Black Nail Polish Don’t Mix

There were some surprises tonight, and out of it all, not one performer in the entire show was bad. There was no single individual we could point at and say they were gone. There were our least favorites, and a surprise weak performer this week, but overall, a strong showing for everyone.

The theme was country and the group showed that talent can being out the diversity in any music style. Each performance was enjoyable, but someone has to go home… let’s see. [Listen to all the songs at the bottom of this article. Idol performance plus Full Studio recording]

Michael Sarver – “Ain’t Going Down ‘Til The Sun Comes Up” – Garth Brooks. This song is a tongue twister and Michael did well at remembering each word and hitting the verses with perfect timing. The performance did lack in a few areas though. It wasn’t unique. It did nothing to challenge Michael’s voice which he showed was powerful last week. And, while fun, it was not memorable, which is troublesome for anyone that is cursed with singing in the first spot.

Allison Iraheta – “Blame It On Your Heart” – Patty Loveless – Allison belted out his country tune with rock power. It was not her style and it was not her best performance but it was stellar overall for any 16 year old. We think she has a chance to get into the final five. She has to bring a more memorable song to get votes next time though.

Kris Allen – “To Make You Feel My Love” – Garth Brooks — Kris found his niche for us. He is a ballad singer. We do not think any ballad singer can win this competition, but those that are good at it often do hang around. Kris did a great job with the song, melding strong emotion with a powerful vocal. He won’t go home this week. But was he best?

Lil Rounds – “Independence Day” – Martina McBride – This was clearly Lil’s worst week so far. She belted out the song well, but the style wasn’t there. She did look killer though with the most professional look of any of the performers. That wasn’t enough to get her top spot, but we can’t see America sending her home.

Adam Lambert – “Ring of Fire” – Johnny Cash — If you recall, Daughty did a Johnny Cash song and rocked it by making it his own. Adam did the same, but twisted this one a bit too far. He took Johnny Cash and made it sound like it was being sung by Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame. The vocals were strong, the edge as edgy as it gets, but it just didn’t fit because the twist was so extreme. Maybe it was the black fingernail polish? Yuck. We didn’t like it much, but it still should keep Adam in the competition.

Scott MacIntyre – “Wild Angels” – Martina McBride – Scott is an excellent pianist, but we don’t care much for his vocal style. He has a pitch problem and while he had a fun performance tonight with a good finish, we don’t see him winning this. He will likely survive this week, but he isn’t a favorite.

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Alexis Grace – “Jolene” – Dolly Parton — We truly love Alexis, and we believe when she is on, she could be number one in this competition. It was hard to pinpoint this week, but we didn’t like the performance. Instead of the edgy, almost threatening style Alexis could have used on this tune, she chose a whiny begging performance that did not suit her. The song is all about a fight for her man, and it seemed Alexis wasn’t fighting all that hard.

Danny Gokey – “Jesus, Take The Wheel” – Carrie Underwood — Danny built up and hit this tune with style. Once again, this could be a hit on the radio right now. It wasn’t the best performance of the night, but it proves that consistency is what it is all about. Danny doesn’t have to be number one every week. But he will likely always be, at his worst, in the top three. When the judges are confronted by an artist like Danny, they have to search for bad things to say, because otherwise they sound like broken records. Danny was fantastic, but he wasn’t the best this week.

Anoop Desai – “Always On My MInd” – Willie Nelson – Anoop took the criticisms and the near elimination to belt out a spectacular performance this week. He had the advantage of being the underdog and played it beautifully. The judges all raved, and we were sold.

Megan Joy Corkrey – “(I Go Out) Walkin’ After Midnight” – Patsy Cline — Megan brought along her unique style and brought us into her world this week after driving is away with Rockin’ Robin last. She has such character and presence without being “over the top”. She doesn’t over perform and she finds that balance that keeps her “Always On Our Minds”.

Matt Giraud – “So Small” – Carrie Underwood — Matt had a finale to do, and if you don’t win when you get to go last, you lose. He won. He brought on the performance, he played the piano wonderfully, and ended on a fresh throaty falsetto. Nicely done to win our choice for performer of the night.

Our choices in order from first to last.

Matt Giraud (9/10)

top11_randytravisAnoop Desai (8/10)

Danny Gokey (8/10)

Allison Iraheta (7/10)

Adam Lambert (7/10)

Kris Allen (7/10)

Megan Joy Corkrey (7/10)

Lil Rounds (6/10)

Scott MacIntyre (6/10)

Alexis Grace (6/10)

Michael Sarver (6/10)

We realize this makes it a four way tie for elimination, but we don’t believe it was that close. There just is so much you can do with a 1-10 scale. We have to send home Michael this week. Alexis had a very bad week and could be at risk, but we think America will want to see her again. Scott, we just don’t see him getting much farther, so we wouldn’t miss him. Lil is way better and we think the audience and judges know it so she won’t go.

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