American Idol elimination Round 2 tonight - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

American Idol elimination Round 2 tonight

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EAST TEXAS - American Idol watchers will learn the fate of their favorite contestant tonight.  It's the elimination round of Grand Ole Opry week. 

Michael Sarver of Jasper opened Tuesday night's Grand Ole Opry episode of American Idol. 

Randy Travis is this week's mentor, so each contestant selected and performed a song made popular by Opry members. 

Judge Randy Jackson said he thought Sarver made a "cool song choice," but he wasn't sure that he "brought it and used his full capability."

Judge Kara DioGuardi said, "We got to see a lot of your personality," but it was the big notes that were missing from his performance.

Judge Paula Abdul said, "Great Garth Brooks song."  She commended him for his artistic ability to take a harmonica playing accompaniments and make it a fun experience."

Earlier this season Judge Simon Cowell expressed his disdain for country music, so many of his responses were no surprise.   He said he thought Sarver would be well suited for "this type of music," but felt Sarver's rendition fell short of expectations.  "I couldn't understand a single word you sang."  "I thought it was clumsy.  I give it a 1.2 on a scale of 10."  Sarver replied, "At least it wasn't a zero."  Sarver also told the judges that country music was all about having fun and that's what he tried to do with his performance.

One contestant from Tuesday night's performance will be eliminated Wednesday.

Last week, Sarver was the fourth contestant to perform on the first night of the finalists competition of American Idol.  He sang "You Are Not Alone," by Michael Jackson.

AI Judge Simon Cowell said he wasn't the best singer, in his opinion, but he made up for it with passion and heart.

Judge Randy Jackson said it was one of the best performances, so far (at that point of the competition). 

Judge Paula Abdul said he was likeable and picked the right song.  She said he "sounded lovely tonight."

Judge Kara DioGuardi said he showed he really can sing and can hit those (high) notes.

Michael's family cheered him on from the audience.

Michael made the finalists list after his performance during the first round of Top 36 contestants.  He was among the top voter getters, which automatically propelled him to a spot among the finalists.  He auditioned in Phoenix, Arizona and sang "Thank You," by Boyz Two Men.  All four judges gave him a thumbs up. 

Michael is an East Texan native.  The 27-year old is married with two children and works as an oil rig workers.  He plays piano, drums and guitar.

All thirteen of the season's finalists performed last Tuesday night  -- Murray, Corkrey, Giraud, Desai, Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre and Jorge Nunez.

Contestants sang a Michael Jackson song of their choice. 

Two contestants were eliminated last Wednesday.

Kendall Beard of Lufkin made the Top 36 and was eliminated from the contest two weeks ago.  Kendall is back in her hometown and KTRE will have an exclusive interview with her tonight on the KTRE's East Texas News at 10.  If you miss the interview on KTRE, check it out on, just go to the Big Red Box on the home page. 

Keep up with Michael Sarver and what's next for Kendall Beard on KTRE's East Texas News and here at

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