American Idol 2009: Grand Ole Opry, week 2

The second week of American Idol live rounds and the theme this week is Grand Ole Opry. Just as Michael Jackson week clearly tripped a few people up, singing country is going to be difficult for a few of the contestants.

[[Michael Sarver]] tackles a trick Garth Brooks tune – Ain’t Goin’ Down Til The Sun Comes Up. Having actually listened to this song a few days ago by7 the original artist, it was quite a middle-of-the-road rendition. I certainly spent a bit more time trying to work out if the harmonica player was Anoop. All the same, it was a lively stage performance.

Michael is followed by [[Allison Iraheta]], a fearsome, ballsy performance that I wasn’t totally expecting. Kara said: I’m starting to think that you could sing the alphabet. You really made that song your own and that’s not easy to do. Paula said: Another rock solid performance from Allison. Simon said: I thought it was good, it was a little bit tuneless in parts, and it looked like you were struggling with the words. Randy said: I thought it was dope.

Third artiste of the evening is [[Kris Allen]]. Singing Make You Feel My Love by Garth Brooks, he actually gives a stripped down, sensitive rendition which is quite nice. Paula said: I’m pleasantly surprised. I think it was an honest pure and vulnerable performance. Simon said: I thought that was terrific. Great choice of song, you were completely in control. I’m beginning to think you’ve got a shot of doing very well in this competition. Randy said: Tender moments from my dawg Kris! Who knew you had those tender moments? Kara said: It was very Kris Allen, it was beautiful.

[[Lil Rounds]] is next to sing with Martina McBride’s Independence Day. I like Lil, she’s a cutie, and she’s got a lovely voice. It was ‘alright’ up until the chorus, then things went up several notches. Wow. And suddenly I recognize the song! Awesome voice, Lil. Randy said: By the time you hit the chorus, it got a little bit better, but I didn’t feel comfortable for you. Kara said: We all know you’re a great singer. The second half, we got to see the Lil we all fell in love with, and we kinda missed that at the beginning. Paula said: Everything’s gone right for you tonight. It would’ve worked better if you hadn’t sang two verses, just done one of the verses and then gone into the chorus. Simon said: It came across as if you were at a wedding and forced to sing a song someone’s requested.

Here’s favourite [[Adam Lambert]] singing a bizarre ethnic version of Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire. I’m not sure what to think: I do like the interpretation, but it’s off the chart batshit crazy. No doubt. Kara said: The fire, the Egyptian thing, I don’t know what to make of that. It was strange, but I kinda liked it. Paula said: You are really someone who stands out and is true to who you are as an artist. We’re going to keep expecting more and more great things out of you. Simon said: What the hell was that? Sorry, but I would never go to Nashville if I was you Adam. I thought it was absolute indulgent rubbish. Really, really horrific. Randy said: If you can imagine Nine Inch Nails doing a country version – it’s young, it’s fresh, it’s hot!

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