American Idol- Grand Ole’ Opry Performance Wrap-up

Another very good American Idol show tonight.  I thought we would see some real disasters tonight and that did not happen.  We have seen better performances by most of the contestants but I think each one showed that they sing any kind of music. For the most part, I think this group of R&B singers was able to find the soul in country.

Best of all the group fulfilled my hope, my warning and my prediction (see my Grand Ole’ Opry Live Blog).  Meagan Joy (no more Corkery) sang “Walking After Midnight”, no one sang “I Will Always Love You”  and Alexis Grace cleaned up her image.  Unfortunately Megan struggled, Lil was criticized for not singing “I Will Always Love You” and the judges lamented Alexis’ demure image.

Overall, good job American Idol Season 8 performers.  Applause, Applause.

Randy Travis is not very playful is he?

I just finished reviewing the performances.  there were only a few new things I noticed.  Here are my rankings:

  1. Danny Gokey continues to amaze me.  I do not like “Jesus, Take the Wheel”, but he sang it with such conviction and vocal dynamics.  I very much liked his arrangement of the song and he demonstrates such command of the American Idol stage. It was a heart wrenching performance.
  2. Kris Allen gets the second slot because his stripped down performance of  “To Make You Feel My Love”, was pitch perfect.  He brought a stillness to the show.  For those few minutes he owned the show.  He is the rising star in Season 8 of American Idol.  Watch out for him.
  3. Allison Iraheta continues to surprise and impress me.  She bent “Blame It On Your Heart” around her voice and her style.  Allison is a dynamic performer who seems to be thriving  on that stage.  I am confident there is a line of rock impresarios just waiting for her be voted off American Idol.
  4. Matt Giraud arranged “So Small” as a pop anthem. It was a thrilling arrangement, but I don’t think I like his vocal style very much.
  5. Alexis Grace performed “Jolene”.  I didn’t like it at first, but when I watched it again I was impressed.  The blues twist she added to the mix threw me at first.  She sang well and the arrangement was exciting.
  6. Lil Rounds gave the worst performance we will see from her all season and it was still in the middle of the pack.  I don’t tink she really connected with the flow of  “Independence Day”.  I think Paula’s advice to move the big singing chorus up was probably wise.  Lil Rounds is such a good singer that I enjoyed this.
  7. Michael Sarver kicked the show off with a Garth Brooks romper “Ain’t Going Down (Until The Sun Come Up).  It was fun and it got the crowd going.  I think Simon was right in that he was hard to understand at times.   This was a good performance for Michael but I wonder if we are starting to see this American Idol group surpass him.
  8. Anoop Dessai continues to disappoint me.  His version of “Your Always on My Mind” sounded like something I would have heard on the Andy Williams show in the 70′s.  Unlike Kris Allen, Anoop’s ballad was tepid rather than enthralling.  The runs he put in the song spoiled the dramatic tension of this great song.
  9. Meagan Joy selected exactly the right song “Walking After Midnight”, gave it a cool jazzy twist and then seemed to struggle throughout the performance until she fell of the song at the end.  Then we find out that she was at the hospital with the flu before the show.  Darn, I think this could have been cool.
  10. Scott MacIntyre’s singing skills are sinking him (try saying that 5 times fast).  His version of “Wild Angels” was similar in style and tone to everything he has done since American Idol Season 8 went live.  I did not like his vocals.
  11. Adam Lambert’s version of “Ring of Fire” was creepy.  As I watched it again, I found myself wanting to here a truly dangerous singer like Jim Morrison or Robert Plant sing the song.  Problem is that Adam Lambert is pretending to be dangerous.  Between “Vote for the Worst” and the American Idol judges I think will need to endure Adam’s vaudeville for several more weeks.

Predictions are hard this week.  The American Idol Season 8 performers are tightly packed and the one with the weakest performances this week have strong followings, I think.  Here we go:

  • Anoop Desai goes home
  • I would not be surprised if Scott MacIntyre , Michael Sarver or Alexis Grace was voted off.

I don’t think the judges would save any of these American Idol performers.

We will be running a little late tomorrow night.  I will be covering the South by Southwest Music festival (click this link to see all of our SXSW coverage) and my ghost writer will not be able to watch the show until 10:00 p.m. central so our thoughts on the results will not see the light of day until about midnight.

Be sure to download tonights performances and full studio recordings of tonight’s songs at iTunes below.

Apple iTunes


  1. here is my breakdown from the Idol group:

    OK..pretty solid show tonight. Randy Travis lived up to the billing as the nicest guy around. here is how I would rank them tonight:

    Kris: He did Garth Brook’s “To Make you feel My Love” This was the only song of the night I never heard before but Kris blew me away with his silky smooth vocals..kind of like David Archuleta last year when America was falling in love with him. Grade..A

    Matt: He did Carrie’s So Small on the piano and was fantastic..though he stumbled with the words once and last note was a bit shakey..a good song choice for a Christian to sing,it got a little Christian airplay. Grade..A-

    Danny…He takes advantage of the oppurtunity to sing Jesus Take the Wheel. I thought he was going to blow it when he messed it up repeatedly in front of Randy in practice. He started off a little too casuel on the verse’s but by the chorus he was in full Danny gear. Grade..A-

    Allison…Did Patty Loveless Blame it on your Heart..this girl just blows me away by her vocals..she stayed true to her rocker roots but didn’t feel like a stretch from the country roots. Grade..A-

    Anoop…He does the classic “You’re always on my Mind”, and like Kris..he keeps it simple and from the heart. He still could be a little more humble when the judges praised him..saying he expected it. Grade..B+

    Now it’s a big drop off in performances…

    Michael he led off with garth’s “Aint going Down” It was actually the best country vocal of the night but going first might make him forgetable and in danger. Grade..B

    Lil..She was a little out of her comfort zone with Independance Day but I give her props for NOT doing whitney/Dolly’s I Will Always Love you..Grade..B-

    Scott,,another song not well known in Wild Angels but a good song for a Christian to do. His vocals were weak as usual..until the chorus. I hate to say if he wasn’t blind he wouldn’t be in the top 13. grade..C

    Alexis..She looks like Dolly in the face but her version of Jolene lacked any melody to me. They want her to get dirty again next that a good thing? Grade..C

    Megan…I good song choice in “I Go walkin after Midnight” but she still annoys me with her same quirky habits and weak vocals. She did have the flu though so maybe I should grade her a little better..grade.C

    Adam..he did one of my fave songs..Ring Of Fire..and made it sound satonic. Simon agreed with me but the rest thought it was great. He gives me the creeps like no other. Grade..F I’ll have a hard time watching the final couple of shows if it’s him without one of the Christian guys to counter him.

    I’m going out on a limb and say Alexis will go home with Michael or Scott runner up.


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