Country music on American Idol! It’s a shame that Dice is off this week. His deep love for country music would have been evident in his commentary on tonight’s episode. In my own personal homage to the songs of the south, I will pepper today’s entry with the occasional, authentic, southern slang phrase.
I predicted before the show that country music would separate the “grits from the gravy” as the saying goes, and I couldn’ta been more right.
I was a bit upset that no one chose to sing a song from the king of country music—Willie (for those of you who may not know him on a first-name basis . . . that’s Willie Nelson. For those of you who are really out of the loop . . . No, Willie is not the 3rd son of Ozzie and Harriet). You may notice that I’m a bit of an extremist on the grading scale. Needless to say, I don’t grade on a curve.
Well, before this gets too “Crazy” (Patsy Cline), we’d better get “On the Road Again” (Willie Nelson), or I might get “So Lonesome I Could Cry” (Hank Williams Sr.), and start singing “The Theme Song from Duke’s of Hazzard” (Walon Jennings). [Dice, those are names to country songs and their singers intermingled seamlessly into a transitional paragraph in an effort to be quaint.] So here we go . . .
Phil Stacey – “Where the Blacktop Ends” (A)
For the first time we finally got to see who Phil Stacey is! We knew he had a voice, but we didn’t know why. Then he acted like he has wanted to sing country music all along! “Phil? Phil like the Ground Hog Phil?” You didn’t get an A+ because of a couple cracks and your apparent attempt to deliberately lose this competition by hiding your country roots. (I would’ve done it too, Phil. The last country singer to come out of American Idol hasn’t done squat!)
Jordin Sparks – “Broken Wing” (A+)
This was an amazing night for Jordin Sparks. I was blown away not only by her voice, communication, height, and age, but also by her “guts” to sing a Martina McBride song! But she wailed like a stuck pig! (that’s supposed to be a compliment.)
Sanjaya Malakar – “Let’s Give ‘em Somethin’ to Talk About” (F)
No need to comment on Sanjaya’s song, or his pipe dream of doing “Bonnie Rait justice” with his rendition of this song. He sounded like a stuck pig. (In this reference, this is not a compliment.) What I’m most amazed about is from the interview question. Of all the judges and songs to choose from he didn’t choose Paula Abdul singing “Straight Up”! Sanjaya must go.
Lakisha Jones – “Jesus Take the Wheel” (F)
Lakisha ain’t got the sense God gave a goose. Who in their right mind is gonna choose a former Idol winner’s hit song. She might as well have auditioned with “A Moment Like This.” There’s only one way to do something that gutsy—you’ve got to knock it out of the park. Lakisha didn’t. In the words of my wife, “Jesus, don’t just take the wheel, take the microphone too!”
Chris Richardson – “Mayberry” (F)
Elliot, I mean Chris, was stinkin’ it up tonight. This was just bad. I’ve never been a Chris fan, but I have no clue what he was thinking. Let’s just say it hurt me, and in the words of the late Barney Fife, “Nip it in the bud. Nip it!”
Melinda Doolittle – “Trouble Is a Woman” (A)
This was a great performance, and it was nice for Simon to finally ask for an end to humility. Humility is so offensive. She must be so arrogant to be so humble! (On a side note, I once got an award for being the most humble person in my class. I got a ribbon with a pin; but they took it away from me because I wore it.)
Blake Lewis – “When the Stars Go Blue” (B)
I didn’t get this. I think it’s because he destroyed a perfectly good country song trying to make it something it’s not, and maybe a little because you rarely see his teeth when he sings. (Now you’ll never be able to watch him sing again without noticing it.) But I still like him just for the anticipation that he might beat box.
”Please, Lord, if TV is going to be a source of enjoyable entertainment for me, if I’m ever going to be able to relax with the remote in my hand again, I need Sanjaya to go. Granted, this is not a prayer that probably ranks very high on any list of priorities. But I want to bring my every need to You. So please do all the other more important things first, and then eliminate Sanjaya tonight. Amen”