THIS WEEK'S THEME: Country
MENTOR (first this season): Randy Travis
1. Michael Sarver: "Ain't Going Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)" by Garth Brooks
Randy thought it was a cool song choice but didn't think it did enough to show a lot of his vocal capabilities. Kara agreed with me that he missed the big notes this week (I saw him mess up at the end of the chorus parts). Paula thought he had a lot of fun with it because the country theme suits him well. Simon agreed with her but said he couldn't understand the song at all. I gave him a 6.
2. Allison Iraheta: "Blame It On Your Heart" by Patty Loveless
Kara thought she could just sing the alphabet. Paula said it was another rock-solid performance. Simon said it was good but tuneless in some parts, and Randy thought it was awesome. I gave her an 8.
3. Kris Allen: "To Make You Feel My Love" by Garth Brooks (no guitar)
Paula was pleasantly surprised by his performance without the guitar. Simon thought it was terrific because in part of the song choice. Randy said he did a good job going out on a limb here. Kara didn't think it sounded like country- it just sounded beautiful. My score was 8.
4. Lil' Rounds: "Independence Day" by Martina McBride
Randy said he was uncomfortable with the performance. Kara said she only liked the second half of the performance, but gave her credit for doing what she wanted to do. Paula thought everything was spot on for her. Simon thought she sounded like just a wedding singer. I gave her a 7.
5. Adam Lambert: "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash
Kara thought the performance was strange, but she liked it. Paula thought he stands out as one who's true to who they are; she also liked the song choice. Simon thought it was nothing but indulgent rubbage. Randy agreed with Kara. But the rest of my family agreed with Simon, so I gave this performance a 5.
6. Scott MacIntyre: "Wild Angels" by Martina McBride (while on the piano)
Paula thought it was another impressive performance. Simon still thought he wasn't choosing good enough songs. Randy said his vocals weren't there for the second straight week. Kara said he needed to focus on the high notes more. I gave him a 6.
7. Alexis Grace: "Joleen" by Dolly Parton
Randy thought it was very pitchy, even though he liked the song choice. Kara said she lost her edge. Paula thought it was a very effective song choice. Simon thought it was OK. Personally, I thought the song choice was too safe for my tastes. In any event, I gave her a 6.
8. Danny Gokey: "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood
Kara only liked the second half of the song. Paula liked the song choice since it told a story. Simon liked the performance but not his attire. Randy agreed with Kara. Personally, I liked the first half of the song but not the second. I gave him a 7.
9. Anoop Desai: "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson
Paula said he was back this week. Simon said he went from zero to hero. Randy agreed with the other two, and Kara thought that was the best performance of the night. I gave him an 8.
10. Megan Joy: "Walkin' After Midnight" by Patsy Cline
She had the flu this night. Randy thought it was pretty good. Kara thought it was the perfect song choice and she looked good. Paula also said it was good. Simon said maybe she should have the flu every week, because she was better than last week. I gave her a 7.
11. Matt Giraud: "So Small" by Carrie Underwood (on the piano)
Kara thought that was an amazing performance. Paula thought that was a very authentic performance. Simon thought that was one of the best performances this evening, while Randy thought it was the best of the night overall. I gave him an 8 to close the show.