Polish off your spittoon and find a cousin to sleep with, Grand Ole Opry night has come to Idol. We’re not sure what was more uncomfortable: Randy “Cryptkeeper” Travis’s mentoring (his awkward moments with Adam Lambert were dadgum hilarious) or Paula’s catfight with Simon toward the end of the show. What we do know is that, once again, most of the performances were utterly tiresome. The one surprising bright spot was Anoop Desai’s version of “Always on My Mind.” We were pretty tough on Anoop last week but, like the people that thought turning lesbo would do good things for La Lohan’s career, we stand corrected.
We’ll divulge all the details of last night’s show in just a sec. Before we do, we’d like to tell this season’s contestants (we’re sure some of them are reading) exactly what their futures hold: Mid-size concert venues packed with the homeless and destitute. According to TMZ, tickets to Taylor Hicks’ upcoming show at The Roxy are being given away for free. That’s right. FREE. We’re pretty sure that’s not something the producers told Scott MacIntyre during Hollywood week.
Grab a handful of chew, and read more about AI’s Nashville pop parade after the jump.
7:57: Tonight is country night on Idol and I’m back in Brooklyn sans Mom and Cousin K. I’m sure I’ll be hearing from them throughout the night though.
8:00: We’re down to 12 tonight and Ry-Guy opens the show by saying, “On this stage, anything is possible.” How Field of Dreams.
8:01: Paula and Kara are looking rough tonight. Paula’s got on this weird retirement-village-in-Coral-Gables dress and Kara’s outfit looks like something the Wicked Witch of the West would wear if she were on Solid Gold.
8:02: Psychedelic St. Paddy’s Day set change.
8:03: So, apparently the contestants who make it past this week’s elimination will join the upcoming Idol summer tour — coming to a bathhouse near you.
8:04: Adam Lambert is rocking a Joan Jett look tonight: She’s wearing a distressed leather jacket and skin-tight pants with an exposed zipper up the crotch.
8:05: Snoresville Grand Ole Opry historical retrospective. I can tell tonight is going to be very painful.
8:06: Please tell me Randy Travis isn’t mentoring this week. Oh no! He is!
8:07: Oil rigger is up first. Randy T does not look impressed. “You can sing a lot of great licks. Just don’t lose yourself in the licks,” he says. What the F is a lick?
8:08: Singing some dumb Garth Brooks song with a weird epileptic man on harmonica. PS: It looks like oil rigger has been hitting mess hall buffet hardcore. He’s gotten chunkier. He’s Girth Brooks!
8:09: He’s remembering all those licks though. Whatever they are.
8:10: I bet the judges will like this performance. It seems suited to him. Randy thought it was a cool song choice, but didn’t bring anything out in his vocal capabilities. Sorry, dawg.
8:11: Kara tells him that she’s impressed that he remembered all the words. That’s the cowardly way of telling him he sucked.
8:12: Simon says he couldn’t understand a single word he sang and that he could’ve been singing in Norwegian.
8:13: Girth gets sassy with Simon. Simon’s response: “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 1.2.” Ouch. Allison and Kris are up next.
8:14: Mom calls in. Says she’s looking forward to Allison’s performance.
8:16: Irahetes is singing “Blame It On Your Heart” by Patty Loveless. Randy T says he hasn’t seen maturity in a voice so young. Pops a woody.
8:18: So far, so good. Not crazy about the song though. We need to get some Dolly up in this piece.
8:19: She’s not giving us her crazy belts and I don’t think the judges will like that.
8:20: I was wrong: Kara thinks she made the song her own and that she gets better every week. Paula says she has a powerful voice but that she should experiment with it more.
8:21: Simon says it looked like she struggled to remember the words. Irahetes denies it. Randy says he wants to smoke some dope. Whoops, I mean, he says the song was dope.
8:22: Kris Allen is up singing “To Make You Feel My Love.” Mom calls and says Randy T’s smile from the audience is really creeping her out.
8:23: OK, this is a total cop-out. Garth Brooks did a cover of this song, but it was originally a Bob Dylan. This isn’t really a country song and I hope the judges rip him a new one for it.
8:25: Yikes. Final note is sour. Let’s see what judges think: Paula was “pleasantly surprised.” Says it was an honest, pure, and vulnerable performance and a smart song choice. Huh? I totally disagree.
8:26: Simon says it was terrific and that it’s the first time he’s heard Kris sing and thought that he could actually win the competition. Are they serious? It’s NOT a country song.
8:27: Randy says, “Wow, tender moments from my dawg Kris. He’s a tender dawg.” A tender dawg?
8:28: Ry-Guy asks Kris if it’s hard hearing all those compliments and waiting for the “but.” I bet Ry’s waiting for the butt. From tender dawg. Zing!
8:29: Rounds is up next!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8:32: Rounds is looking a little too soulful for country night. Ry-Guy asks her what they all do in the AI house together and she says something about a hot tub. The audience let’s out a suggestive “oooooohhhh.” Please. The wildest thing that goes on in that hot tub is an aquatic version of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This isn’t Flavor of Love people.
8:33: Back to Rounds: She’s singing Martina McBride’s “Independence Day.” Randy T looks perplexed during rehearsals.
8:34: She’s not so great tonight. I’m disappointed again.
8:35: OK, getting better as she hits the chorus. Bring it home Rounds!
8:36: Paula looks pleased. Randy says it was an interesting and ambitious song choice and agrees with yours truly that the chorus was better than the beginning.
8:37: Randy suggests that she should’ve chosen “I Will Always Love You.” You know, like Whitney Houston.
8:38: Kara “gives her props for standing her ground.” Paula says, “Lil, I think everything is going right for you tonight.” Did she just wake up?
8:39: Simon says: “Look, little…” Oh no, he didn’t. Continues with, “It sounded like a girl wedding singer who’s forced to sing a song she doesn’t like because somebody requested it.”
8:40: Oh well, I still love her. Ry-guy says “Simon, you should know that Randy calls you the ‘Lil’ judge behind closed doors.” And what do YOU call him behind closed doors, Ry-Guy? My guess is “daddy.”
8:41: Oh, God. Arch-nemesis Adam Lambert is up next. Did I mention that I HATE her?
8:44: Randy T is speechless when he meets AL during rehearsals. Says, “I don’t see men wearing nail polish all the time.” Oh Randy, we bet you don’t see a lot over in Dogpatch.
8:47: Singing “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. I don’t like the way she’s looking at the camera. She’s trying to be seductive and it’s giving me the willies. I think the judges will like her performance though — and it makes me so mad.
8:48: The camera scans AL’s butt and she has a total panty line tonight. The screeching is especially ridiculous during this performance.
8:49: Kara says it was “all a little strange” and that she “doesn’t know what to make of it.” Unfortunately, she “kinda liked it.” Lesbian.
8:50: Paula says AL is true to who she is as an artist and that she raised the bar. Simon asks, “What the hell was that?” and calls the performance “indulgent rubbish.” Finally!! I thought Simon was going soft on me this season.
8:51: Randy calls it “Nine Inch Nails doing a country song.” I’d like to jam some nine inch nails in her throat!
8:52: Blind is singing Martina McBride next. I bet dumb Randy T will like him. Country people are such saps.
8:57: Playing the piano and singing “Wild Angels.”
8:58: He’s doing his white Stevie Wonder act again. Seriously, this sounds the same as his performance last week.
9:00: Paula calls it another impressive and lovely performance. Adds that his piano is becoming a bit of a crutch and that people need to see him as a showman. (At this point, I’m giggling. I know it’s wrong, but I’m giggling).
9:01: Simon asks, “What do you expect him to do?” Calls Paula’s idea stupid. Why doesn’t he just say what we’re all thinking: If he does anything else, he’ll fall off the stage. In my opinion, he should be strapped to that piano bench with a seatbelt.
9:03: Kara tells Blind he needs to up his game.
9:06: Alexis Grace is up singing Dolly next. Yes! Finally!!!
9:09: She sort of looks like Dolly tonight. OMG — she’s doing “Jolene.” LOVE IT. Randy T does too.
9:10: She’s starting out on the stairs — very dramatic. It’s pretty good, so far. Right now, it’s a tie between her and Irahetes for best performance of the evening.
9:11: Oh yeah: She’s starting to belt! Love her soulful ending.
9:12: Randy says she didn’t sing the song that well. Kara adds that she’s lost her edge a bit and calls the performance flat.
9:13: Paula thinks it was better than what Randy and Kara though.
9:14: Simon’s verdict: It was OK. Says he didn’t hear any originality and that we’ll forget about it.
9:15: Hokey Gokey is up next doing Carrie Underwood. Ugh.
9:19: “What went down when Randy met Danny,” asks Ry-Guy. I bet it was Randy.
9:20: Singing “Jesus Take the Wheel.” Jesus, take my eardrums.
9:21: Paula-Cam shows her doing this weird swaying motion. I think I see a small bit of drool coming out of her mouth.
9:22: Hokey Gokey pulls off another lame one!
9:23: Judges comments: Let the gush-fest begin.
9:24: Kara tells him that the front half wasn’t very good. Paula disagrees. Says she loved the build up and thinks he was brilliant tonight. Simon agrees with Paula. Makes fun of his outfit.
9:25: Randy agrees with Kara. Adds that he needs to support the verses better.
9:26: Anoop is up next.
9:31: Singing “Always On My Mind” by Wilie Nelson. Randy T liked it during rehearsals. Says this will be the best anyone has heard from Anoop. I’m intrigued.
9:32: Wow, I’m actually impressed. I think he’s sounding really good.
9:33: He’s definitely one of my faves tonight. I’m digging Anoop, dawg.
9:34: Paula says, “Anoop is back. I’m so proud of you for picking a song and having your own interpretation of it.” Says he touched her heart.
9:35: Simon says Anoop just managed to go from Zero to Hero. Limey bastard’s running out of material.
9:36: Kara and Randy agree. Kara says it was the best performance of the night.
9:37: Corkey is next. Another one I hate. PS: She’s just Megan Joy now. No Corkey at the end. The producers are onto our jabs at her last name. Foiled again!
9:39: Cousin K calls during commercial break. Thinks Kris Allen’s “wife” is a total beard.
9:41: Corkey is singing “Walking After Midnight.” Randy T is not impressed at first. Says the song has been done many times before. Then changes his tune after the rehearsal and says it was unexpected.
9:42: Girlfriend needs a bra.
9:43: I don’t think this is good at all. It’s bringing back painful memories of last week’s “Rockin’ Robin.”
9:44: Randy thought it was going to be a train wreck but ended up impressed. What a fool. Kara says it was a perfect song with a perfect look. Are these people blind AND deaf?
9:45: Apparently Corkey was sick. Blah, blah, blah. Paula commends her for performing when she’s not feeling well. Says, “If this is was being sick is all about, keep being sick.” Now, I’m going to be sick.
9:46: Matt Giraud is the final performance of the evening.
9:50: Matt is singing “So Small” by Carrie Underwood. Playing the piano again and Randy T approves.
9:51: I’m a fan of his from last week so I’m hoping he does well! (PS: What is going on behind the judge’s desk? It looks like Paula is doing a line off of Simon’s arm.
9:52: Song was OK but not that great. Paula is standing and clapping though. It’s the bump. It got her going.
9:53: Kara says, “Matt, there ain’t nothin’ small about you.” I hate it when the judges make little quips based on the song title.
9:54: Paula says he’s “piercing through her heart.” No Paula, that’s just the crank. Simon says he thinks Matt outsung Hokey Gokey and Kris Allen tonight.
9:55: It was Randy’s favorite performance of the evening. “You got it going on, baby.” Gross.
9:58: OK, so I think oil rigger is totally out tomorrow. Tune in tomorrow night (or read our recap Thursday a.m.) to find out.