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TV Review: American Idol 2006, Top Twelve Fellows’ First Eliminations

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Image hosted by Photobucket.comOn Wednesday, 2/22/06, on a night following the premiere of the top twelve American Idol 2006 female contenders, the boys stepped up to the microphone. Judge Randy swears this year’s contest is there for the boys to lose, i.e., Randy, at least, thinks a fellow will win this year.

Come to think of it, it is time for the guys to take a bow. So far, by my rough math, there’s been more female winners than males. In fact, there’s only been one male winner in this series so far. So perhaps Randy is right.

[ADBLOCKHERE]Thus we looked over the top twelve male contenders with a jaundiced and critical eye. And I think I’ve spotted just the winner Randy sees.

First, the guys I don’t think are going to walk away with the prize.

First up, a likeable fellow, 27 years old and very cute. Patrick Hall sang “Come to My Window,” a song I normally like but Hall’s performance was more of a good karaoke version than that of a professional singer as the American Idol would be expected to perform. With all the flirting going on between Hall and Judge Paula Abdul if nothing else, Patrick might find a place next to Paula on a more personal basis (insert wink here).

David Radford performed “This Thing Called Love” and I couldn’t clear my mind of the visions of Las Vegas and little chapels along the highway. Which is where Radford would be a fine performer but as the country’s next Idol? I don’t think so. Judge Randy hated Radford’s performance almost viscerally.

Buck Covington is a fellow with what he thinks is a voice like Bruce Springsteen. Covington had The Boss’s somewhat raspy voice only … not so good. Buck performed “Simple Man” and again, a karaoke performance.

The next contender I considered not a possibility for the grand prize wore a white fedora, sung in a high falsetto voice and had parents who sung him some odd bedtime tunes. I speak of Jose “Sway” Penala who sang “Reasons” by Earth, Wind and Fire. This is the song Jose says his parents sang to him at bedtime. An odd bedtime melody as I see it. Jose’s had a nice moment of glory in the 2006 series of American Idol. I don’t see him walking off a winner.

I don’t see Elliott Yamin making it to the top spot either, but I must caution that Judge Randy couldn’t say enough good things about this fellow. Yamin sang Stevie Wonder tune “If You Really Loved Me.” First, Elliott is a really bad dresser and I wonder if these contestants dress themselves for these first rounds of elimination. Second, and I say this softly, but Elliott doesn’t really have the “look” of a major pop singer. Which is not just because Elliott’s not all that handsome but add this to his awkward performance style and his bad dress, well it’s not winning material. His song choice was rather bland as well.

Bobby Bennett is a heavyset young man but a fine dresser. Bobby sang Manilow’s “Copa Cabana,” a kicky tune but no, I don’t see Bennett winning this thing. Although I will say Bobby seemed to really be enjoying himself as he performed.

There were three contenders in this introduction to American Idol‘s top twelve males in this year of our Lord, 2006, that I think have a chance for the top spot but for now they’re not, for various and sundry reasons, not my top three picks.

Kevin Covais is from New York and he is 16 years old. He looks like a puppy. Covais performed “One Less Cry” by Brian McKnight and I loved it. Kevin has a great voice. Judge Simon called Brian’s performance “excruciating,” but I say not.

Gedeon McKinney is a contender that is alleged to always sport a smile on his face. Gedeon performed “Shout,” a fast paced tune and McKinney displayed a good voice range. Someone needs to help Gedeon choose his outfits because his performance of that song in his nerdy outfit was a tad incongruous. Judge Simon, God love him, said Gedeon’s smile “bothers him.” I thought Gedeon’s smile to be his best asset.

The last performer of the evening, Taylor Hicks from Alabama, left me unimpressed. To my complete surprise, the judges loved him. I thought he had a nice voice as they all do on some level. Hicks sang “Levon,” an Elton John tune. First thing, Hicks’ penchant for snapping his fingers as he sang struck me as an odd and not appealing affect. But since the judges loved him so maybe they see something in this fellow’s rather sloppy dress and most ordinary of looks.

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We move on to my top three choices, at least based on the performances of the first evening. Beginning with a Bobby Brady doppelganger, one Will Makar from Texas. Makar sang the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” and my goodness this young man is a cutie pie. I can see teenyboppers across the land furiously hitting their speed dials to vote for this appealing young man.

Chris Daughtry performed an impressive version of “Wanted Dead or Alive.” This fellow has a great voice and the word “outstanding” leapt immediately to my listening ears. Judge Simon thought it a great choice of a song.

We end with a soft whisper, listen closely to the willows rustling in the spring breezes. “Ace,” the willows say softly to the passing wind. Listen closer and you’ll hear the word softly spoken on the morning talk shows. “Ace”, the soft words say.

Thus I heard of Ace Young way before I either met or heard him. The whispers continue across the Blogosphere and it seems the world awaits Ace Young, a betting choice for the 2006 American Idol.

It wasn’t that Ace Young was the best singer of the evening because he was not. Ace – what a great name for a singing Idol, eh? – sang “Father Figure” and his voice was fine and sturdy.

Ace Young has that star quality, that “x-factor” as Simon referred to it. He’s hip, current and cute.

If this is the year of the boys as Randy alleges, Ace Young is very likely the boy who will bring it home.

I looked for the first two guys eliminated to be Jose and Bobby Bennett. I predicted in this post on the American Idol girls of 2006 that the first two girls to be eliminated would be Stevie Scott the opera singer and Heather Cox.

It wouldn’t be long before I would see the results as in that same week that the top twelve males and females performed, on Thursday 2/23/06, the first of the eliminations began. Two girls were eliminated, two boys were eliminated.

The females eliminated were Becky O’Donohue who I described in this post as “not having much of a voice”, and Stevie Scott who I predicted in the same post would be eliminated this first round.

The males eliminated were Bobby Bennett and Patrick Hall. Check above. I predicted Bobby’s elimination and didn’t think too much of Patrick.

So I accurately predicted 50% of those eliminated and panned those not predicted. Tune in as the process unwinds.

Let’s all watch Ace win this thing.


Pat Fish is a published author and her books have drawn attention from her fellow reviewers on Blogcritics. Reviews of Memoirs of Josephine Fish and Mystery and Mirth have been conveniently provided for your reading pleasure.

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  • kelly

    I agree with you about a guy winning this year – BUT – you’r calling Ace to win? Ace is another “googly-eye” guy like Constantine (and he’s posing him too) – he is not half as talented as Chris Daughtry or Taylor Hicks. Like Simon said Taylor is interesting b/c he has the weird moves/twitches, etc and he is soulful. Chris is just pure talent – his voice is pure and like Simon said has a “great recording voice”. Sorry, hun – but I think you’ve got it wrong about Ace – he won’t be the winner. I call Chris followed by Taylor!

  • http://taylorhicksblues.blogspot.com Jewels

    As a person firmly addicted to American Idol (we’re talking 12-step program, shock therapy, or possibly hypnosis and/or all combined to drive this singing monkey off my back) I understand your choice of Ace *cough* George Michael *cough* to potentially win. He certainly will garner a large following in the LGBT community. (Insert “Seinfeld” quote here; “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”) Seriously.

    My person preference, Taylor Hicks. I love old blues music, soul music, he’s a throw-back talent to the music that begat current Rock. Do I really think he’ll win this, no; not at this point, but that’s what makes American Idol the insidiously addictive beast that it is.

  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    I think everyone called Bobby Bennett as out. I called Bobby and either Patrick or Gideon out in my review. Would that make me 75% right? ;-)

    I think we might see an Ace win this season just looking at the hype and judge push. Me? I’m most intrigued by Taylor Hicks in the long run. Maybe it’s those grey hairs of my own…

  • Ty

    Everyone hates David because he’s a “crooner,” but I think that is his appeal. And unlike John Stevens of AI 3, David is a very handsome young man. He’s definitely the next Michael Buble, if anyone here even knows who that is.

    And Gedeon’s smile is horrible. He’s so ugly when he opens his mouth. Come to think of it, he’s pretty ugly all around AND “Shout” is not a song where you can show off your singing talents. For Gedeon, as the only black man still here, to impress me, he needs to show me what he can do in the rock/country scene before he is FORCED to do so in a finals “theme” week.

    We’ve seen too people like Gedeon: this whole soul/R&B thing. If he’s the next Lajon Witherspoon (lead singer of SEVENDUST), or at least of that mold, I would actually want the guy in the finals.

    For right now, if you want a guy winner, we need this top 6:

    1.) Ace (he’s pretty good and his looks alone with take votes away from girls who feel like voting for girls)

    2.) Chris (the fanbase that propelled Bo into the finals will back this guy, and he’s pretty good looking too which helps with getting that 13-year old girl vote)

    3.) Taylor (the most original sound ever on Idol, his growing popularity can easily knock out sub-par women in the competition)

    4.) Kevin (He’s young which appears to 13 year old girl viewers, can really sing, and doesn’t look the part, which gives him the whole “Clay Aiken” vibe, which AI voters love [why do you have to look a certain way? I don’t give a sh*t considering I am LISTENING to your music])

    5.) David (He’s young, very handsome [a big plus over John Stevens of AI3], and is awesome in his element (singing classic American songs). As long as the finals do not have a “Motown” week, he can go very far because he can do showtunes, songs from any decade, including recent hits (Michael Buble), and of course country (Remember John Stevens rendition of “King of the Road?” David could top that easily). His appeal may not take him to the final 2, but he could do damage to the ladies and easily knock out any of the talentless hacks who could emerge from the girls.

    6.) Elliot (He’s also not one of the most attractive people which helps his charm a la Kevin, and Simon is really hyping him up)

    If NOT Elliot, then Sway. Why Sway? Go to SF Bay Area or LA and you will see hoards of asian singers who sound like Sway. In those areas, everyone has heard the Sway sound.

    BUT in most of the country, Sway is deemed “Fresh.” If he was in the finals, this could help knock out some sub-par women.

    Last thing:
    For the guys to win, the right combo of girls must be there.

    Without explanation, the final 6 girls should be:
    Katherine (the best girl singer and really cute), Kelly Pickler, Alya Brown, Heather Cox, Melissa McGhee, and Mandisa.

    The guys need to pray that Lisa and Paris don’t make it.

  • RZ

    I’m a huge fan of Taylor, but you either have to be a fan of his style music, or wait a little while, I think he will grow on you. He is a huge fan of music you can tell just by watching him listen to his fellow contenders sing – he is so into the music. I agree with most of your comments Pat and I can’t wait to see the next show, but be very careful…I think Will is a Peter Brady Look alike not Bobby.

  • Cathy

    First off, Bo did not need to be propelled….he is an awesome talented young man. And he’s a dream to look at too. And if you have ever seen him perform live…..live, as in being in the audience, live….you would go nuts! He is incredibly talented…he plays the guitar like a true rock star and his vocals and growly voice is the sexiest ever! I so badly wanted him to win last year…..I am NOT a fan of country music….I like Carrie, she’s sweet, she’s cute, she has a nice voice….but she can ONLY do country….and Bo can do anything and capture your heart.

    This year, I’m rooting for Taylor Hicks. He’s incredible….his voice is great and he has that “X” factor that Simon always talks about, he’s likeable and fun to watch and you can tell he’s having fun up there. I want Taylor to take it this year…..if not Taylor then I vote for Chris or Ace. I want a guy to win this year’s Idol!

  • SlPtRl

    actually ace was voted off last week so this must be pretty old, go taylor!!!!! WHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dede

    well whatever i dont care but ace “snezze” u must be fucking joking, it must be chris and only chris