It’s not a musical genre that I’m particularly fond of. And you could tell most of the Final 11 felt pretty much the same way.

That said, there still were some more than solid performances on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, Adam Lambert’s wasn’t one of them. After he tried to put his twist on Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, Simon could only mutter: “What the hell was that?”

Simon has never been so right.

Our selections for the cuts will come in the morning. This needs some “mulling” over.
That said, here are the critiques for the evening:

Michael Sarver – “Ain’t Goin’ Down Till the Sun Comes Up” by Garth Brooks

There seemed to be more talking in this song than singing. The guy actually can sing better than I first gave him credit for and one would think this would be his thing. It isn’t.
And it certainly didn’t help him any when he retorted to Simon’s critique: “If we were all perfect we wouldn’t need this show.”

RJ: “It was a cool song choice, but I’m not sure it showed your vocal capabilities.”
KD: “We got to see a lot of your personality, I miss the big notes.”
PA: “This is the genre that suits you so well.”
SC: “It should have been good, I couldn’t understand a word you were singing. A bit clumsy, karaoke.”


Allison Iraheta – “Blame It on Your Heart” by Patty Loveless

Someone really needs to check this girl’s birth certificate. Is she really only 16? The poise, the stage presence, the voice. Kara said: “You could sing the alphabet.”
Right now, this is the only 1 of the 11 who could make a CD that I would purchase.

KD: “You bring your own spin to everything. You’re getting better and better.”
PA: “Another rock-solid performance. Experiment with all sides of your vocals.”
SC: “I thought it was good, a little tuneless in parts, verging on precocious a little bit.”
RJ Randy says, “I thought it was dope.”


Kris Allen – “To Make You Feel My Love” by Garth Brooks

He did everything right – song choice, attire, vocals – but one thing: he still needs the guitar. “You are a tender dawg,” Randy said. Well, the spaniel will make it through.

PA: “I’m pleasantly surprised, honest, pure and vulnerable.”
SC: “I thought that was terrific. I am genuinely beginning to think you have a shot of doing well in this competition.”
RJ: “Tender moments from my dawg Kris. Wow.”
KD: “It was very Kris Allen.”


Lil Rounds – “Independence Day” by Martina McBride

Lil actually did this song a lot better than I anticipated. It was a good song choice and she just didn’t try to do more with it than it needed. Lil took out the 3-wood and hit it down the fairway. Good way to get to the next round.

RJ: “Interesting, ambitious, it got better after you hit your power range.”
KD: “We all know you’re a great singer. We get the Lil we know in the second half.”
PA: “You look beautiful. It would have worked better if you didn’t sing two verses.”
SC: “For me, it came over like you were forced to sing something at a wedding.”


Adam Lambert – “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash

A Middle Eastern, sitar-sort-of flavor to a Johnny Cash song. WHAT!!?? As Kara said: “It was Egyptiony.” Or as Simon said: “It was rubbish. Really, really horrific.” The best performer/singer of the Final 11 had the worst night.

KD: “That’s very interesting. All a little strange. But I kinda liked it. It left me confused and happy.”
PA: “You are true to who you are as an artist. I loved the sounds. You’re raising your own bar each week.”
SC: “What the hell was that? Sorry, but I would never go to Nashville if I was you. There are lots of people throwing their TV sets out the window. Indulgent. Horrific.”
RJ: “It’s current it’s young it’s hot. 9 Inch nails doing a country song.”


Scott MacIntyre – “Wild Angels” by Martina McBride

A couple of things about Scott – 1) since he first appeared at the tryouts it was apparent he could sing; 2) to this night he still sounds the same, there is a certain sameness to every appearance.

It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not a good thing either. He can’t win with this routine.

PA: “To me tonight was another impressive, lovely performance. You work harder than most people on the stage. The piano may be a bit of a crutch now. Mix it up a little.”
SC: “I don’t think you’re choosing the right songs.”
RJ: “For me, it’s not the songs. I’m looking for those hot unbelievable vocals from you.”
KD: “We want you to up your game a little bit. You bring class and poise to that stage.”


Alexis Grace – “Jolene” by Dolly Parton

She loves C&W but it didn’t show tonight. “It’s the kind of song we’ll forget in about 10 minutes,” Simon said. He’s right.

RJ: “There was a bunch of pitch problems. It wasn’t a great performance.”
KD: “I think you lost your edge a bit … a little flat.”
PA: “You took an artistic approach, you were able to tell a story from beginning to end.”
SC: “I thought it was OK. A little bit sound alike. I didn’t hear a lot of originality.”


Danny Gokey – “Jesus, Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood

Gokey played his “Jesus card” so now he’ll have to take a new avenue. And he wore what was arguably the worst coat in the history of the show. “You look like you are going on a polar expedition,” Simon said. The performance was good, but not gushingly good like the judges made it sound.

KD: “When you hit your stride it’s like none other. The front have was not spectacular. Danny came out of his shell.”
PA: “I love when artists build a story. I think you were brilliant. I think Carrie Underwood would buy that record.”
SC: “I don’t like what you are wearing.”
RJ: “I didn’t like the verses.”


Anoop Desai – “You Were Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson

Solid performance by Anoop. Huge comeback from last week. He took a classic Willie song and made it his own.

PA: “Anoop is back! I’m so proud of you. It fit you like a glove. You touched my heart.”
SC: “You’ve just managed to go from zero to hero. Good choice of song. One of my favorite performances of the night. I take it back you deserve to be in this show.”
RJ: “This is the reason we really wanted you in the competition..I like the arrangement.”
KD: “Untouchable song, but you did it. The biggest surprise.”


Megan Corkrey – “Walking After Midnight” by Patsy Cline

She battled through the flu grabbing for the Kleenex after her song. But she made it through without missing a note and just for that effort she deserves to advance.

RJ: “I was quite impressed. It actually all really worked.”
KD: “Perfect song, perfect look.”
PA: Paula says she wasn’t at the run through because she was at the hospital.
SC: “You were better this week than last week. I don’t like your dress.”


Matt Giraud – “So Small ” – by Carrie Underwood

Before the song, Paula was smelling Simon’s arm. Draw your own conclusions… The effort was good, the song was emotional and Simon offered high praise. Good way to end the evening.

KD: “Amazing.”
PA: “Your authenticity and honesty is unparalled tonight.”
SC: “I don’t think you’ve had enough credit in this competition. You remind me of Michael Buble.”
RJ: “You got it goin’ on.”