American Idol 2009: Week Three

Posted by admin - 17/03/09 at 01:03 am

Week three was one of those strange moments where American Idol, which doesn’t create country stars (Carrie Underwood the obvious exception), makes everybody sing a country song. It makes for either a nice genre-bending performance, or a head-scratching “what was that?” moment.

To start things off, Jasper’s Michael Sarver did Garth Brooks’ “Ain’t Going Down (Till The Sun Comes Up).” He seemed like he was having fun with it, but that’s not really a great song to show any range on. It’s like a forced march, a country version of “It’s The End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine).” There’s too many words to be serious.

Up next was Allison, who did whatever the name of that Patty Loveless song is. You know, “Blame It On Your Lyin’ Cheatin’ Twelve-Sandwich-Eatin’ Beatin’ Bleepin’ Cheatin’ Stealin’ Heart,” or whatever it’s called. Nice growl with this one, but you just know she’s waiting for a Heart night, or Alanis Morissette to show up as a mentor.

Kris performed “To Make You Feel My Love,” which is definitely not a country song. Nice job, but just because you can find a version of it recorded by Garth Brooks doesn’t put it center stage at the Opry. It was written by Bob Dylan, for crying out loud.

Lil Rounds admitted the only country songs she knew were from movies, then did Martina McBride’s “Independence Day.” This is one of the dichotomies of the AI format, singers are forced into formats and cover songs they’d never do, and if they make it big, will never do. R&B singers don’t do a whole lot of country tunes. If she had a record deal and wanted to cover a Martina McBride song, her manager would tell she’d gone “Whitney and Bobby crazy.”

For the unintentional comedy segment, Adam did “Ring Of Fire,” but not in a way anyone who’s ever heard the song would recognize. It was a good job, but roughly as country as, well a guy with emo hair and nail polish. Halfway during the performance, right about the point where Johnny Cash’s casket began to spin, I realized that Adam’s in this to be famous, and not necessarily to be the next American Idol. And good for him on that note.

We had our second McBride sighting, as Scott did “Wild Angels.” The song was fine, but led us into a catfight between Simon and Paula about whether or not the blind guy should have a place to sit. Fascinating.

Ryan Seacrest said that Alexis had been compared to Dolly Parton before her performance of “Jolene.” I’d love to hear in what possible way that comparison is made.

Danny showed he had by guts not only by usurping Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take The Wheel,” but by doing so while wearing a jacket he apparently bought at a Color Me Badd yardsale.

Up next was a big moment for me, because for the first time ever I got to type this sentence: “Randy Travis meets Anoop.” Anoop does “Always On My Mind,” and nails it well enough to make us forget last week’s Michael Jackson experiment.

By the way, if anyone ever mentions the phrase “Michael Jackson experiment” around you, call the authorities.

To set herself apart from the rest, Megan does Patsy Cline’s “Walking After Midnight” with what appears to be a Jersey accent. We don’t find out until after she finishes that she’s sick with the flu and has been in the hospital. That makes a shaky performance pretty impressive.

Matt does yet another Carrie Underwood song. He really seems more Michael Buble-y every week. His song leads Paula to complement his “authenticity,” which only takes her three tries to get through.

Top Three: Anoop, Matt G, Kris
Bottom Three: Lil, Megan, Scott

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