Let’s go straight to the action with the Top 5 remaining contestants as they take on tunes from the year they were born and current fare.
Elliott Yamin – “On Broadway.” I felt like the performance went so quickly that it almost didn’t happen. And I think this is because I was patiently waiting for the performance to get great, and it never happened. Yet another solid performance from Elliott, and he even colored up the runs a bit, but it’ll go into the basket of Elliott performances that were good yet immemorable. Hopefully he’ll wow us with the next one.
“Home.” We return to classic Elliott with the button down shirt and suit. I just have a question. Has Elliott Yamin EVER been off pitch? Ever? Not the most bombastic performance, but he definitely added a layer of smooth heart and soul to Michael Buble’s already beautiful song.
Paris Bennett – “Kiss.” What a great song — it’s hard to go wrong with Prince if you have the energy and the vocals. Unfortunately, Paris didn’t bring either of those to the stage. The pacing felt very weird, she didn’t add anything new to the song, and I was honestly the most bored I’ve been this season. Looks like Paris is carving a spot out for herself mid-stage for Wednesday night.
“Be Without You.” This was a redeeming performance for our cute and cuddly Paris. She did the song justice, and without trying to emulate the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul Mary J. Blige (which is impossible by the way). Will it save her from leaving tomorrow night? I’m not sure. This season has shown that just when you think you’ve figured it all out — something unpredictable happens.
Chris Daughtry – “Renegade.” What a great performance from probably the best bet this year for a lock in the final two. Once again, Chris showcases his raw and edgy vocal prowess and turns out another stellar performance.
“I Dare You.” Not sure how I feel about the choice of song, and the fact that the poor guy’s voice nearly gave out in the middle of the performance goes without saying. It was not a great performance, but America will forgive him.
Katharine McPhee – “Against All Odds.” Interesting how after Kat’s panty wardrobe malfunction last week, she wears what is essentially a fashionable straight jacket. She looked like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 — strapped in and waiting for her sedatives. As soon as I heard the first bars of the song and realized what it was, I knew it would be horrible. Why anyone picks this song I don’t understand, but her rendition of it was particularly painful. Bad note here, off-pitch there — it was just all over the place. Maybe those strappy-straps are a little too tight.
“Black House and the Cherry Tree.” Great song choice? Yes. Great performance? Yes. But why, Katharine, are you straddling the floor and crawling and bopping around like an unruly child at daycare? The world may never know. Good to see her return to her soulful roots and depart from the Mariah/Whitney power ballads that she’s not too great at.
Taylor Hicks – “Play That Funky Music (White Boy).” Simon: “I liked the end…when you collapsed.” Quote of the night. Listen, I’m all for Taylor’s fun, upbeat performances that get us all snapping and dancing around our bedrooms naked — or maybe that’s just me — but after a while the jerking around and seizing onstage gets a little old, especially when the vocals aren’t up to par (and when I can see man-boobs). And the falling down at the end was rather awkward — particularly when Ryan joined him after the performance, and Taylor gave us a peek of his hairy gut.
“Something.” How a Beatles song fits into the theme, I’m not sure, but either way, it was a great choice of song. I’ve always been a bigger fan of Taylor’s slower, sentimental performances than his on-stage seizures, (see Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble”) and this one definitely delivered. His vocals were on point every step of the way, and he made making a Beatles song your own seem effortless.
Best Vocal Performance: Chris Daughtry
Most Original Performance: Taylor Hicks
Best Overall Performance: Chris Daughtry
Going Home: Paris Bennett or Taylor Hicks[ADBLOCKHERE]