It’s Country Week, which has to be better than Michael Jackson week. Right? Well…
The judges are introduced as they walk onto the stage, a new bit of fanfare I’m not digging this season. Uh, is Kara from the future? What’s with the Mylar dress?
Skeletor is the guest mentor…oh wait, it’s Randy Travis. Anyway, let’s do this thing:
1. The Roughneck goes first, singing a Garth Brooks song that sounds an awful lot like “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” He’s OK; that harmonica player, though, is WAY too excited to be there. Roughneck sasses Simon, which is apparently the new thing to do, and it’s already getting old.
2. Allison sings “Blame It On Your Heart,” a song I’m not ashamed to admit I love. She’s great…no, wait, she’s dope, a word Randy will trot out once more before the end of the show and that I predict is going to be his new go-to critique.
Simon calls Allison precocious, which I don’t see at all; she’d have to look and sound like the 16-year-old she is to earn that description, and she definitely doesn’t look 16. Like a monkey, maybe. But not 16.
3. Kris “Teddy Bear” Allen is going to sing…”And So It Goes?” THIS IS NOT A COUNTRY SONG. Billy Joel wrote and recorded it. Bob Dylan did a cover. Not country. Gotta rewind the DVR; missed the very beginning of TB’s mentor session. OK, Garth Brooks covered it, too. Still not a country song, but it’s pretty, even with TB’s not-outstanding vocals.
Simon says it “wasn’t over the top” — was he talking to Paula during some of TB’s flourishes? And what was with that lurid eyebrow raise from Travis after TB finished his practice run? Yikes. Hope he got outta that room before kindly ol’ Randy offered him some Jesus Juice.
4. Lil sings Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” and sounds good to me. Randy once again proves he’s an idiot by saying “it didn’t feel comfortable for me on you.” Uh, maybe because she’s not a country artist? Most entertaining part, though, is when Simon insists on calling her “Little,” as if it’s the name on her birth certificate.
5. Adam matches Kara in a we-come-in-peace spaceman outfit. He mentions to Travis that he’s not doing Johnny Cash’s version of “Ring of Fire,” but one with sitars and an Indian flavor. Travis: “Now you’re scarin’ me.” And then to the camera: “I was speechless. I don’t know what to say about this boy.” Further rags on his nail polish but manages to say that Adam seems like a nice enough kid.
As far as the performance, I start typing that Adam, who has not been a favorite of mine, sounds hella-awesome on the high notes. But then he goes into his falsetto, and…oof. No good. And then he starts wailing!
Kara, Adam’s UFO co-pilot, sums it up politely: “It was strange.” But then Simon, as usual, sums it up best: “I think what Randy [Travis] was trying to say was, “What the hell was that? I think there are a lot of people throwing their televisions out the window right now….indulgent rubbish. Really, really horrific.”
6. More Martina McBride from Scott “Skating on My Disability” MacIntyre. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Please vote him off, people — his voice is just NOT that good. Plus, he looks like he belongs in Madame Tussauds.
On a side note, does Randy really think there will eve be a Bruce Hornsby week? He seems to be sipping from Paula’s cup. Told Scott that he was “looking for hot, crazy, unbelievable vocals from you.” Wrong contestant, dude.
7. Alexis is doing “Jolene.” Yay! Except — boo. The arrangement is bad; the vocals are meh. “I’m just trying to bring my own little flavor to it,” Alexis retorts, which is a great way to spin “I sucked.” Paula says, “I don’t care about pitch problems.” Really? Did my TV switch channels?
And are we doomed to spend the rest of the season hearing Alexis judged based on her level of “dirtiness?” For the love of God, please shut up about that throwaway piece of audition advice already.
8. Danny’s glasses perform “Jesus Take the Wheel.” The beginning is awful, but it’s all in the name of the big-ass power chorus. He mouths “wow” when Paula posits that Carrie Underwood herself (gasp!) would probably buy Danny’s cover of her song. Perhaps not surprising considering dude seems to be wearing a reverse straitjacket.
9. Anoop is singing “Always on My Mind.” I giggle when Travis mentions that Anoop Dawg sang it before and says, “It’s hard to get willy out of your mind.” Whoops, he meant “Willie.”
He sings; it’s “dope.” I can’t believe Simon says something as cheesy as “You just went from zero to hero.” I also can’t believe Anoop wore an argyle hoodie for country week, but whatev.
10. Ah, Megan…I should probably confess that I’ve anointed her my Idol girlfriend. She is singing Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight,” to which the obviously open-minded Travis responds: “Ummm…OK.”
I gotta admit that Megan’s cute little twists and inflections didn’t really work this time, though the vocals are better than the dancing. I also think she pulled a Haley Scarnato and misunderstood the gist of the song — it’s all aching and yearning, and Megan’s delivery was pretty cheery.
But wow — girlfriend had the flu, bad enough to have gone to the hospital. In light of that, Kara’s “You’re a winner!” doesn’t seem so…weird.
11. Matt Timberlake sings more Carrie Underwood, a ballad called “So Small.” Boring! Though, to be fair, not as boring as some of the others tonight.
Kara: “Matt, there ain’t nothin’ small about you!” Er…I’ll just leave it at that.