Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Idol Watch 2009

On last night's "Idol," it was country music week with guest mentor Randy Travis. I'm not a fan of his music at all, but I thought he did a decent job giving advice to the contestants.

With all the country musicians around, I thought it was redundant for there to be two songs each by Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride and Garth Brooks. If a few of the singers hadn't mentioned who they chose in their taped intro segments (or Travis making a passing reference), the audience would be totally left in the dark about who the original artist was. I think Ryan Seacrest mentioned one - the Willie Nelson popularized "Always on My Mind."

I believe it was that particular song, when the "that song is untouchable" comment came from one of the judges or Travis (can't recall which). No, it's not. It has had several popular covers over the years, including Elvis Presley and Pet Shop Boys. Even so, no song is untouchable.

Scott MacIntyre, when responding to Simon Cowell's critique, said "I've been the victim of bad hat picks." Does this mean the songs are chosen for them? I thought it was the other way around. Has Scott covered Bruce Hornsby yet? If not, he should.

Standouts for me included:

Adam Lambert(pictured above), who reinvented June Carter Cash & Merle Travis' "Ring of Fire" into a Middle Eastern tip. Randy Jackson likened it to NIN. But it was more like Marc Almond of Soft Cell. Everyone seemed flummoxed by it, but shouldn't these singers take chances?
Anoop Desai redeemed himself on the "Always" ballad, which was effective.
Kris Allen recalled Enrique Iglesias on "To Make You Feel My Love."
Matt Giraud was passionate at the piano for "So Small."

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