Prettyboy entertainer Adam Lambert pulled off a miracle on American Idol on Tuesday night. He turned The Redhead into a believer.
Lambert’s weird rendition of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire on a night dedicated to the Grand Ole Opry proved to be a show stopper. Set to a spooky, minor key, sitar plucking, seductive rhythm, the arrangement mesmerized the audience and the so-called judges.
At age 27, Lambert is a seasoned performer who goes to extremes unthinkable by the other contestants, most of whom cloister themselves in safe material, lest they screw up. No risk, no reward. You can’t hit a home run if you don’t step up to the plate.
Another risk taker is this year’s tattooed lady, Megan Joy, who bet the farm that she could make us forget Patsy Cline while listening to Megan’s version of Walkin’ after Midnight. She did. Her sexy arrangement was much more Peggy Lee than Patsy Cline.
Although Simon dissed what he referred to a prom dress, it was a sexy, sultry, gauzy thing that showed off Megan’s best features. My only criticism is that the brown of the boulder holders clashed with the red/green of Megan’s gigantic right upper arm tattoo.
Anoop Desai, on whom I had all but given up, having predicted that he would go down last week, came back strong. He also took a risk, singing Always on My Mind, a country classic strongly identified with Willie Nelson. Anoop succeeded in “making it his own”, delivering one of the standout performances of the night.
Allison Iraheta, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, and Matt Giraud also sang well, although they didn’t pass the Mouse’s Morning After Test: if I can’t remember anything other than that they sang well last night, I wouldn’t buy their recordings. This is not to say that they were bad. They were fine, just not memorable. Nevertheless, I think they’ll be safe for another week.
Michael Sarver, the roughneck, had great fun up there and I think it rubbed off on the audience. Country is a good genre for Michael. He won’t wind up in the top three or anything, but I believe he’ll be safe this week.
So, who’s going to leave?
I believe it will be either Lil Rounds or Alexis Grace.
While Scott MacIntyre’s bland performance left the so-called judges making lukewarm, waffling comments, this Mouse believes that he’ll squeak by yet another week.
Back to Alexis, she injected no energy and left no memories. Actually, I agree with the so-called judges about Alexis. She doesn’t smile and she did well with her hard-ass, bluesy, down and dirty stuff during the auditions. Leaving that behind for straight renditions of wan material is a mistake. That was her only edge. She pledged to “get dirty” next week if she returns. But that return is in doubt due to the weak performance this week.
Lil was out of her element doing country and it showed. She took a huge risk by choosing Independence Day by Martina McBride, her signature song. She made the further mistake of trying to sing it like Martina, which could only lead to unfavorable comparisons. The song has been overplayed, and much of the audience knows every note. Lil provided no surprises in an uncomfortable performance.
So, it will be goodbye Alexis or goodbye Lil, as we pare the group down to 10. This cut has additional significance: the remaining 10 will participate in the Idol Summer Tour.