Theme: Dolly Parton
Except for a few of the divas, I generally hate country music. It's usually my least favorite week on Idol because my favorites never do it well (remember Blake Lewis doing "When the Stars Go Blue"?) and only gives a boost to the singers I hate the most. This year it's apparently Kristy Lee's turn to get that boost.
I'm glad this year they choose to use a specific artist to center their country week on- especially someone as fabulous and divariffic as the incomparable Dolly Parton. I'm not hugely familiar with her repertoire- I really only know "9 to 5" (but everyone on the planet does), "Islands in the Stream" because my parents love Kenny Rogers, "I Will Always Love You" because my mom prefers it to the Whitney version and "Travelin' Thru" because it got fucking screwed at the Oscars by Three 6 Mafia- but I figured "How bad could it be?" And, for the most part, it wasn't too bad.
The best of the night, I must say, had to be Michael Johns, who completely surprised me with his rendition of "It's All Wrong But It's All Right." Without returning to the safeness of "We Will Rock You," Michael actually made a song memorable. It was so different I almost couldn't believe that at one point it was a Dolly Parton song. I'm glad that there's more to him than that sexy accent. I thought Syesha kicked ass as well last night, no matter what the judges said, combining the good parts of both Dolly's and Whitney's "I Will Always Love You" into one song. The only thing that fell flat was, of course, the big note, but it was still quite an affecting performance. Archuleta gave another fantastic performance, this time with "Smokey Mountain Memories," although I wish he hadn't sung a ballad yet again. On the other hand, would you really wanna see him do a hoe-down type song either? I wasn't crazy about Carly Smithson's "Here You Come Again" but her voice was flawless and it's nice to see someone who can just stand there and sing. My only concern is that I'll never find her as good as she was with "Come Together." Let's hope that's not true.
I loved David Cook's new haircut, but thought his rendition of "Little Sparrow" was painful and awkward. The first "little sparrow" of every chorus, where he went into a falsetto, was excruciating and made me want to die a little. Brooke White has been kind of agitating me lately. I was surprised I liked her at first, because normally my singers have enormous voices and hers is so tiny and definite, but she definitely worked with what she had well. The last few weeks, however, have not been kind on her. This week was simply okay for me, the song definitely suited her voice, but one day later and I don't really remember anything about it. Not really a good sign.
As for the losers, let me just sum it up in six words or less for each:
Ramiele: Still a souless karaoke singer
Jason: WTF? Why butcher this song?
Kristy Lee: Dolly didn't have any patriotic songs?
As for the results, I'm definitely glad Ramiele went home. I still really dislike Kristy Lee (she is truly an awful singer) but I've gained a new respect for her after her shameless vote-getting tactics last week. I'll allow her this one last week and then she needs to go. If she starts outlasting Brooke, Michael and Syesha, I will be pissed all over again. Let's part with good memories Kristy Lee.