American Idol: To save or not to….

Last night’s “American Idol” results show was just a bit shocking as Ryan Seacrest promised at the start of the show, before or after boasting that 31 million viewers voted on Tuesday night. Dude, we’re proud of you for keeping the network and the producers smiling. Anyway, Grand Ole Opry week continued with a recap of Tuesday’s performances, a group number, a behind-the-scenes look at the little party they threw for Jorge and Jasmine after being eliminated last week, and the Ford video in which the finalists were having a water balloon fight. Nice.

Then it was on to the results….Danny Gokey, safe; Lil Rounds, safe; Anoop Desai, safe; Allison Iraheta and Michael Sarver, both in the bottom 3. Okay, I get Michael, but Allison? She was awesome Tuesday. I’m telling you people, Scott and Megan are stealing votes from better singers. Then Brad Paisley came out and sang his incredibly bland new single, “Then.” Look, I live in Nashvegas but I’m not a fan of most of the formulaic crap that Music Row spits out. But Paisley plays a mean guitar, I’ll give him that.

Then back to business. Scott McIntyre, safe; Megan Joy Corkrey, safe. At this point I’m doing the math. Someone is going to be eliminated that shouldn’t be. Matt Giraud, who is rocketing up the likeability chart, safe; Kris Allen, safe. That left Alexis Grace and Adam Lambert. Adam’s weird Jeff Buckley version of “Ring of Fire” really hurt him, but it was Alexis in the bottom 3. She looked pissed, and understandably, quite surprised.

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American Idol: yee haw, y’all

It’s Grand Ole Opry Week on “American Idol,” meaning the contestants last night had to sing country music songs by anyone who belongs to the Opry, including recently inducted member and former Idol champ Carrie Underwood. Opry veteral and country music legend Randy Travis spent the week in Hollywood training and mentoring each contestant. Country week can be challenging for most of the finalists at best, and painful for viewers at worst. But honestly, there wasn’t anything last night that was so hideous you knew for sure what tonight’s results would be. At least, that’s how I saw it. Here is a recap of the very good, the good, and the mediocre:

THE VERY GOOD

Allison Iraheta sang Patty Loveless’ “Blame It On The Heart” and while I had my doubts about this young (16!) hopeful, Allison proved last night that she is not only going to hang around a bit, but that she could be a contender to win it all. Her voice is just sick. Kara said Allison can sing anything in her own style, Paula said it was rock solid, Simon said it was good but tuneless in spots, and Randy strongly disagreed with Simon, saying it was “dope.” I agree, it was dope.

Danny Gokey came out dressed in this weird white jacket that made him look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from “Ghostbusters.” Really, whose idea was that? Danny started off slowly with Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” but in the chorus he soared to heights that few in this competition can match. And to be honest, I hate this song. Kara said the second half of the song was amazing, Paula said it was brilliant, Simon agreed with Paula but said he hated the marshmallow suit and that it looked like Danny was going on a polar expedition, and Randy agreed with Kara that he only liked the second half of the song.

Anoop Desai was close to being eliminated last week, so he knew he had to step up his game. And he did just that, with a solid performance of Willie Nelson’s “You Are Always on My Mind.” Paula declared, “Anoop is back!” and that he touched her heart (please…), Simon said Anoop went from “zero to hero” and that it was an excellent song choice, Randy said he showed great skills and that he loved the arrangement, and Kara said Anoop took a classic song and made it sound amazing. Indeed.

Matt Giraud closed the night with Carrie Underwood’s “So Small,” but did a really cool piano version of it. This kid is a dark horse…..remember, his day job is as a dueling piano player, and his only blemish so far was that awful Coldplay song a few weeks ago. Kara said there is nothing small about Matt and that he is a true talent, Paula said it was authentic and honest, Simon said Matt doesn’t get enough credit for his vocal skills the way Adam and Danny do, and Randy said it was his favorite performance of the night.

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