Our soon-to-be guest blogger Claire Meyerhoff called it.
She advised Anoop to sing Willie Nelson's "You Were Always on My Mind" and he did and he NAILED it. Take a bow, Claire!
Read all about it here.
UPDATE: Our guest blogger Lenni Gustafson's voice should be heard. Here she is....
I LOVED Anoop's Willie, otherwise known as "You Were Always On My Mind". What a fabulous, tender (per Paula) rendition of this classic. Even got Simon to admit he'd gone from "zero (Simon's opinion only) to hero" (our opinion from the start). If he keeps this up, you can be sure there will be some heavy partying down on Franklin Street come the last week of the competition.
Michael Sarver was first doing Garth Brooks' Ain't Goin' Down (til the sun comes up). Thought he did really well on a song that is hugely lyric heavy. And he did seem to be having fun with it. The judges responses were sorta tepid as was mine - good not great.
Next came Allison Iraheta, my total fav for the evening, doing Patty Lovelace's, "Blame It On Your Heart". Wow, can this girl knock it out of the park or what! As Randy said, her act was "Dope". Thought she would be one who would improved consistently, but this is ridiculous.
Kris Allen did another Garth Brooks that was, to me, a pretty basic, vanilla performance. Totally disagree with Simon that it was "terrific". But then, Simon is usually hearing things the rest of us don't.
The Memphis gal, Lil Rounds, did Martina McBride's "Independence Day". While it was not her best performance, and C & W is certainly not her genre, I thought she put a lot of energy into the song and hit all the right notes the right way. Once again, I found the comment that she shouldn't have done the verse twice to be a little off point. first it's her clothes and now it's the verse twice - what about her singing, judges?
The next performance has to be one of the most bizarre in the annals of American Idol. Adam Lambert sang the weirdest version of Johnnie Cash's "Ring of Fire" I have ever heard. Hate to give props to Simon, but I have to agree with his, "What the hell was that" comment. Even Joaquin Phoenix did a better job on this song and JP says he's a rapper. Oh well, I'm sure Adam is glad Grand Ole Opry week is over.
Thought Scott McIntyre's pick of "Wild Angels" by Martina McBride was a good one, though Simon disagreed. What a surprise! He has such great tone to his voice and expresses his emotions so well. And judges, make up your minds. First you want him with the piano, now you want him without the piano. How does the piano, no piano thingie relate to how well he sings. Just keep singin', Scott - we love ya'.
Had to agree with Kara that Alexis Grace's "Jolene" by Dolly Parton was a bit "flat", not in tone or pitch, but in energy. I think Alexis might have been a bit nervous doing a C & W number and was a bit too cautious in her interpretation.
Danny Gokey is the bravest man on earth taking on "Jesus Take The Wheel" by Carrie Underwood. Totally agree with Paula's assessment of "brilliant' and whoever said that Carrie would have liked it. Once again, though, Simon wanders into superfluous territory by criticizing Danny's wardrobe choice. Until Simon said something, I didn't even notice - guess I was concentrating on his SINGING.
Megan Corkrey justified being brought back with a very capable version of "I Go Walking After Midnight". Agree with Paula that it was the perfect song for her. Now Megan, I'm not wishing you ill health, but the flu definitely brought out the best in you. Your singing was "sick" and I mean that in the best possible way.
Closing out the night was Matt Giraud with another Carrie Underwood, "So Small". Next to Allison, this was definitely the performance of the night for me. He is just so confident in a laid back kinda way. And, he gets to play the piano and none of the judges suggest he shouldn't. How cool is that! I agree with Kara here that the whole thing was "amazing".
For the night, think Allison, Matt and Anoop were definitely the standout performers. Also think that Kris Allen may be at the end of the road. Tune in later.