From the Top 13 to Top 11, "American Idol" is looking forward to chop down one more in the show. The remaining contestants are fighting for their chance in the performance night before their fate is determined through the live result on March 18. The show picks up the Grand Ole Opry theme this week with country singer Randy Travis serving as the mentor.
The first to sing some country is Michael Sarver who picks up Garth Brooks' "Ain't Goin' Down Till The Sun Comes Up". Travis warns him that he could not miss any word as the song is rich in lyrics. Randy Jackson thinks it is an "interesting choice of song" but it does not highlight him vocally. Simon Cowell, who openly reveals that he is not a fan of country music, says he cannot understand a single word. Michael answered back "If we were all perfect, we wouldn't need this show."
Allison Iraheta is next in line, belting out Patti Loveless' "Blame It on Your Heart". Randy calls it "dope", Kara DioGuardi praises her effort to inject it with rock, Paula Abdul thinks it is a "rock-solid performance" while Simon cannot feel it and says that it looks like Iraheta has forgotten the words.
Third to perform is Kris Allen with "To Make You Feel My Love" by Garth Brooks. He makes a bold move of not bringing his guitar up the stage, but sits on a stool anyway. Simon rants about him going far in the competition, Paula points out some pitchy tunes, Randy calls it "tender" in a good way and Kara says it's a beautiful performance.
Lil Rounds is up next with Martina McBride's "Independence Day". She tells Ryan Seacrest that she is definitely going a hundred percent on making it a country song. This results in Simon calling it uncomfortable, Kara hating the first part of the song, and Randy wishing she had sung another song. Rounds says in defense, "I wanted to show America that I can sing country."
Adam Lambert opts to sing some Johnny Cash, predictably picking "Ring of Fire" which has been made as a musical on Broadway. The judges basically think it was strange but not so bad at the same time. "What the hell was that?...self-indulgent rubbish," Simon calls it.
The first cross-gender is brought by Scott MacIntyre who sings Martina McBride's "Wild Angels". He sits behind the piano and makes it a ballad. Paula and Simon have a moment of argument with the former thinking that the piano stands in the way of Scott and the audience that actually give him a standing ovation. Simon reminds him that it is the same kind of performance like in the last two weeks. Kara echoes to this, wanting him to bring it on.
Alexis Grace takes the stage with Dolly Parton's "Jolene" but has off-tunes in some parts when she takes liberty on the song. Kara is disappointed that Alexis has lost her grittiness but Paula says she does not care about the pitch problem and rants on her admiration for Alexis.
Fan favorite Danny Gokey is up next to sing Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel". Kara says she cannot feel the first half of the song but likes the rest. Simon meanwhile, chooses to comment on Gokey's white polar jacket, saying he hates it.
Anoop Desai decides to go slow with Willie Nelson's "Always on My Mind". Paula Abdul applauds him "Anoop is back" while Simon raves, "You went from zero to hero". Kara sums it up with "It was the best performance of the night".
Megan Corkrey brings her rendition of Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight". She reveals that she is having a flu, but the performance is actually far from the truth. Kara and Randy both say that they like it. Simon makes it a joke, saying that she should have flu every week.
Matt Giraud, the last performer of the night goes contemporary with Carrie Underwood's "So Small". He plays the piano to give it a little soul. Kara says, "Matt, there ain't nothing small about you" while Paula rumbles on his "authenticity". Simon brings it back to earth, saying that it was over-sung.