Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment


March 18, 2009
'American Idol' goes a 'Little' country


FOX


Why on earth do we need - once again! - the formal introduction of the four "American Idol" judges, especially when Simon Cowell still chooses to wear a T-shirt that's about five sizes too small?!

Last night was the country music hoedown, and I think fans were probably both pleasantly surprised and somewhat shocked. Grand Ole Opry member Randy Travis was around this week to mentor the contestants. And there were a couple of unusual song choices - and arrangements - but getting 11 contestants to keep it somewhat in the musical ballpark was pretty amazing, considering there really isn't a country-esque crooner, except for perhaps Michael Sarver of Texas.

As it happens, Michael, 27, sang first, tackling Garth Brooks' "Ain't Going Down 'Till The Sun Comes Up," a song with about a kazillion words! Simon said he couldn't understand a single word. "You could have been singing in Norwegian." Michael retorted with, "Country music is about havin' some fun."

Allison Iraheta, 16, blew both Randy T. and Randy Jackson away with her super updated version of Patty Loveless's "Blame It On Your Heart." This season, instead of "That was dah bomb," Jackson has a new accolade: "That was dope!"

Cute guy Kris Allen, 23, put down his guitar and sang one of my favorite Garth songs, "To Make You Feel My Love." Randy called him a "tender dawg." Paula Abdul thought it was "vulnerable," and Kara DioGuardi said the performance "wasn't even country. It was very Kris Allen."

Lil Rounds, 23, however, struggled - probably for the first time - because she tried to stay true to the musical genre instead of her R&B riff. She tackled the monster Martina McBride song "Independence Day." Simon said she reminded him of someone forced to sing at a wedding, performing a song she didn't want to sing. "It just wasn't you." But the night will be remembered for his ridiculous mispronounciation of her name. It's "Lil" - not short for Lillian, Lily and certainly not "Little."

And then there was Adam Lambert, 27, channeling Elvis Presley via Alice Cooper. Sorry, but he's starting to creep me out big time with the sneer and the heavy foundation and the fingerless black leather gloves. And he had poor Randy Travis scratching his head with the black nail polish and a bizarre sitar/Egyptian/crypt-inspired version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire." If Adam was trying to do what Season 7 winner David Cook did with Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," he should be tossed into a ring of fire. Kara thought it was a little strange, and Randy said it was like Nine Inch Nails doing country." Simon, of course, called it "absolute, indulgent rubbish."

My least favorites? Unfortunately, it was Scott MacIntyre, 23, performing another Martina hit, "Wild Angels," which sounded exactly like last week's song, which I can't remember. Paula worried that his piano was becoming a crutch and that he might need to be closer to the fans. "I can move the piano closer," quipped Scott.

My other concern was Alexis Grace, 21, who has always been a popular contestant. She tackled Dolly Parton's "Jolene." The thing is, Alexis looks like a younger version of Dolly (minus the bustline), but there wasn't a lot of her own twist on the song. It just sounded like Dolly singing it back in the '70s. The ill-fitting dress didn't help much, either. If she stays, she promises to bring back "the dirty."

Neither I nor Simon could get past Danny Gokey's white Michelin Man coat. Danny, 28, also wrestled a monster with Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel." Randy thought it was pitchy in spots. Kara and Simon disagreed on Danny starting the song slow and building. But Simon had the best line: "It's not about the vocals, it's what you're wearing. It looks like you're going on a polar expedition, and it's 80 degrees outside!"

It was redemption week for "Snoop" Anoop Desai, 22 (pictured). Maybe it's because his UNC Tar Heels got a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but Anoop - the balladeer - had me clutching a hanky with his rendition of the great Willie Nelson classic, "Always On My Mind." "Anoop is back everybody!" shouted Paula. But it was Simon, of course, who found himself apologizing to Anoop for saying last week that he didn't belong in the Top 13. "You've managed to go from a zero to a hero. And you deserve to be on the show."

OK, so I'm guessing most viewers didn't know how sick Megan Joy, 23, has been this week. She's been battling the flu and made at least two trips to the hospital. But last night, I actually appreciated her raspy, rocky, bluesy version of Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight." Kara said it was the perfect song and the perfect look. Will there be pity votes? Most definitely. But I think Megan should stay. The competition needs her.

Last, Matt Giraud, 23, proved he deserved to get the Wild Card nod from the judges. He also performed a Carrie U. song, "So Small." Simon said his performance was similar to Danny's. "In fact, you outsang him," he said. "You remind me of Michael Buble. Terrific!"

Predictions for tonight's live results show (9 p.m. FOX40)? Dialidol.com has Michael near the bottom, and Votefortheworst.com still is trying to keep Megan safe. Talent could be a problem for Michael becauase likeability won't get you into the Top 10. And remember: Only the 10 get to go on this summer's "Idol" tour.

Oh, and guest performers you won't want to miss tonight include Carrie Underwood, Randy Travis and Brad Paisley. It's must-see results!

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



Categories


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives