American Idol Recap: Top 11 Week (Grand Ole Opry)

Well, kiddos, country week is always make it or break it on American Idol and that’s one thing that didn’t change this season. As Married Brother put it “I was shocked that except for Randy Travis’s face lift, there were no train wrecks last night. Frankly, I think this could be the best talent Idol has ever had.” I’m not ready to bestow such accolades, but I enjoyed last night’s show immensely. I would argue that Mr. Adam Lambert was the epitome of a train wreck, but as you’ll all read, Lambert is the cause of majorly divided opinions.

This week’s panel is me, Mike, Eric, Amy, and Married Brother, with additional commentary from Barbara and my parents. As always, full commentary is below the fold.


  • Worst of the Week: [Editor’s Note: In his first “normal show” recap appearance, Mike wouldn’t follow the format of predicting bottom 3] Adam Lambert, nobody else was even close. This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life and was a complete f*** you to the audience of the show.
  • Going Home: Scott MacIntyre
  • Best of the Night: Matt Giraud, nobody else was even close.


  • Bottom 3: Should be Scott MacIntyre, Lil Rounds, and Michael Sarver, but will be Scott MacIntyre, Allison Iraheta, and Adam Lambert.
  • Going Home: Scott MacIntyre
  • Best of the Night: Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai, Kris Allen, in that order.


  • Bottom 3: If I only can pick three, Alexis Grace, Megan Joy, Scott MacIntyre. But Adam Lambert was TERRIBLE and should be in the bottom three. Also, Michael Sarver was crap, bad song choice for him.
  • Going Home: Hopefully Scott MacIntyre, but I could be underestimating the blind sympathy vote.
  • Best of the Night: Matt Giraud is fabulous, love him, and again he totally shows up Scott on the piano. Anoop killed it, the Indian sexpot is back. Lil Rounds hit some fabulous notes, and while Simon did not like her singing country, I really enjoyed it. Kris Allen did a great job but it was a little boring.

Married Brother

  • Bottom 3: Michael Sarver, Megan Corkrey, and Lil Rounds
  • Going Home: While Michael Sarver definitely should go home, and we need to start cutting some guys, I would be happy if Megan Corkrey left us, too. However, I have a sad suspicion that Allison Iraheta is out.
  • Best of the Night: The top performance hands down was Matt Giraud. He showed that a performer could connect from a piano. If he went to Williams, guaranteed that he would be a Springstreeter. Anoop Dog was great in second, while Adam Lambert and Alexis Grace tied for third.


  • Bottom 3: I would like to say Adam Lambert and Megan Corkrey, but I’m going with Allison Iraheta, Michael Sarver, and Scott MacIntyre.
  • Going Home: Scott MacIntyre
  • Best of the Night: Matt Giraud followed by Kris Allen and then Anoop Desai.

So I need to start the recap with a little comment on Kara’s outfit: she looked like she was wearing a spacesuit kimono. Married Brother thinks I hate Kara because she flirts with contestants, as he says, “No female I know likes Kara.” Frankly, I just resent anyone ruining the panel’s chemistry, as she has. New for this week was the overuse of the term “artist” by both Kara and Paula.

Michael Sarver chose “Ain’t Going Down Til the Sun Comes Up” and I think it’s the first time I’ve ever had to listen to a contestant whine about too many words. How I long for the days of “word nerd” David Cook… anyway, I thought it was a lazy performance with more personality coming from the harmonica player than Sarver. Eric agreed, “it was just kind of… sedate.” Married Brother was also unimpressed, “You couldn’t hear is voice over the music and he just seemed to lumber around the stage like a water buffalo.” On a scale of 1 to 10, Simon gave it a 1.2.

Allison Iraheta’s up next with “Blame It On the Heart” and I was kind of “eh” about it. I just can’t connect to her… and I don’t think I’m alone on that. Simon thought it verged on precocious, Randy thought it was dope and Paula said “rock solid.” Oh Paula, you’re so clever!Despite thinking she may be going home, Married Brother loves her. “She easily has a top 5 voice, but she’s so young that she comes off a little amateurish (but not the cutesy amateurish that can take you to inside the top 6). To sum up, she is just too young for some voters, way too cool for most voters. If I have a daughter, I hope she’s as cool as her at 16.” [Editor’s note: If Married Brother’s daughter is anything like Married Brother at 16, she will NOT be that cool.]

Kris Allen went with “To Make You Feel My Love” and while I’d love to feel his love, it was kind of boring. I mean, he has a lovely voice and is so so so good looking, but there’s no “x” factor. Eric thinks “he kind of has a little Archie [David Archuleta] in his face.” I can see that. Simon thought it was terrific and Barbara astutely noticed that the cameraman has started cropping his wife out of the frame.

Lil Rounds’ take on “Independence Day” left me cold. She has a strong voice, but isn’t a very skilled artist. I just think she’s hugely overrated. Married Brother gave her two thumbs down: “Just not good. No feeling in the way she over-enunciated words.” Randy, oddly, put it right when he said “that didn’t feel comfortable to me,” a sentiment that Simon echoed.

Adam Lambert decided to terrorize “Ring of Fire” in a way that I hope I never hear again. Randy Travis tipped us off to what was coming when he said “I don’t even know what to say about this boy.” I literally just kept typing “Wow” and “WTF” while I was watching. First of all, Lambert could give Constantine a run for his money in the f*** me eyes department. Second of all, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? Maybe when he heard “country” he thought “foreign.” To say Mike hated it is an understatement: “Lambert revealed himself to be an arrogant, self-absorbed asshole, to be so fucking dismissive of the rest of the world that you can’t even make a slight effort to engage with people different than you is gross.” Kara said “it left me confused and sort of happy” which could be the response to a number of uncomfortable experiences. Simon thought it was “indulgent rubbish.” Agreed times 1000. Married Brother was a huge fan. “I really liked Adam. I realize that Adam is controversial, but the dude just gave the finger to Nashville and did a great homage to Jim Morrison. If voters watched him again at 2 am on Sat. night, I guarantee you he would win.” Eric thought, “he should have gotten fully gothed out,” but said he was “awesome” and “still the most interesting singer.” Eric and Married Brother had liked Lambert before, but he lost at least one fan: Barbara who said, “if I wanted to hear wailing, I would have a baby.”

Scott MacIntyre sang “Wild Angels,” sticking with his consistent “miracles” theme. He’s just so out of his league here. Paula thinks the piano may be becoming a crutch… ummm… if a blind guy wants a crutch, it’s not a crime to use one… and is probably better than him standing there. For Barbara, “Scott’s just not my kind of disabled… I enjoy Luke from Amazing Race so much more.” Simon says “choose better songs.” Married Brother “just can’t get past the fact that Scott looks like Greg Brady.” Maybe if Scott channels Johnny Bravo, he’ll be able to stick around?

Alexis Grace picked “Jolene” and also decided not to look like a whore tonight. Frankly, she’s no Dolly. I mean, it’s a really tough song, but her pitch, control, and phrasing were all way off. Married Brother wasn’t a huge fan of her singing, “Alexis is not here for her musical performance, which was subpar. However, her performance after the song when she promised to go back to being “dirty” next week single handedly saved her. Who does not want to see that? Kara sure does.”  Mike thought she was “middle of the road.” Kara, Mama Slutbag for this season, thinks she lost her edge. Paula proclaims, “I don’t care about pitch problems.” Alexis ends it by promising to “dirty up next week.” Honestly, with Lambert raping our eardrums on stage, I’m happy to have everyone else keep it clean.

In a night when it was easy to go to church, Danny Gokey had no choice but to sing “Jesus take the Wheel.” While it was subtler wife-pimping than showing her picture, it still made me sick. The clip package showed that Danny had a lot of trouble learning the song and he was going to have to just try without knowing the song that well. As Eric said, “he’s just going to let Jesus take the wheel tonight.” Oh, Danny, what a missed opportunity… you should hire Eric to write your lines for you! Question #1: Why is he wearing a parka? My mother was not a fan of the coat, saying “that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.” Eric thought the white jacket was a “nice touch” since he’s “pumping that angelic look.” He’s not atrocious, but he oversings everything and I hate him. Danny Gokey is everything I hate about American Idol. Mike just doesn’t “get any “star” vibe out of [him].” Eric also hated “that they are giving these contestants so much time to explain themselves and why they sucked.” In the good old days it was sing, hear the judges, talk to Seacrest, next up… what’s with all the back and forth? Eric blames the recession, “gotta make America feel good again.”

Anoop Desai’s “You Are Always On My Mind” was his best performance since his time with the Clef Hangers. Unfortunately, he looks pained when he sings the big notes. Simon says he went from “zero to hero.” Kara says best performance of the night because it was the biggest surprise. My mom was confused by Anoop’s hoodie: “Why are they all wearing outer jackets? Is that the theme?”

Megan Corkrey, now trying to call herself Megan Joy (cue: Karen puking) sang “Walkin’ After Midnight” and while the judges loved her look, I thought she looked terrible. I hate the weird dancing and I don’t like the way she stylizes the song. The judges give her a pass because she “has the flu.” According to Married Brother, “Flu or no flu, I thought she plain sucked. I can’t take her cutesy dances anymore and her arrangements have been just plain bad. The only way she is relevant in today’s music scene is singing retro tunes for a traveling “live organically” festival.” Eric sees a slightly different future for her, “if she was singing like Raffi songs to little kids, she would be awesome.”

The final performance of the evening was Matt Giraud singing Carrie Underwood’s “So Small.” I was nervous; I don’t care for the song and I couldn’t imagine a guy singing it, but Matt hit it out of the park. He looks so much less douchey when he’s in a suit. Simon says “I don’t think you’ve had enough credit for your vocals… tonight I think you outsang [Gokey].” Randy said it was his “favorite performance of the night.” Barbara agreed, “I think that was the best performance of the night… I’m def buying that off iTunes.”

So there we have it… don’t mess this up, America.



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5 responses to “American Idol Recap: Top 11 Week (Grand Ole Opry)

  1. Mike

    WTF? Yes, it’s technically my “first” regular show recap appearance, but there’s only been one other so it’s not like I just parachuted in out of nowhere. And in terms of not fitting the format, I easily could’ve written:

    1. Adam Lambert
    2. Adam Lambert
    3. Adam Lambert

    but that seemed kinda 7th grade clever. Regardless, I hate him.

  2. Sorry, but the point was to predict the bottom three… even if you hated Lambert more than anyone else, you needed two more people. You could have done all three as Adam Lambert, but then you would have been guaranteed wrong on two of the three.

    Regardless, you’ve made enough appearances that I’m sure no one thinks you “parachuted in out of nowhere.” Although many blog readers may be more familiar with your behind-the-scenes JG Melon’s lobbying role in the great Unterekkie upset of 2008.

  3. Eric

    Why do we universally hate the blind so much?

  4. Mike

    How was your bacon-cheeseburger at Melon’s last month?

  5. Agree with pretty much everything. Matt was the best, and Corkery’s weird dancing disturbs me. It’s like she’s any toy figure made in the 80s… twist at the waist… mini-robo arm movements… stiff posture… box it up… throw it on the shelves.

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