Last night’s American Idol was the first time in a long time that I really enjoyed the bulk of the performances on the show. Who would have thought that these classic standards would treat all the prospective idols so well? As a group, I would say that the performances were classic, well thought-out, and generally performed above average. Also, as a first-time watcher of the show, it will be interesting to see how the voting plays out tonight.
But first, the highlight performances. . .
[ADBLOCKHERE] First up last night was Chris Daughtry taking on “What a Wonderful World.” Chris did a nice job overall, but he did have some rough spots, specifically when he tried to be soft with his voice. Chris is definitely a belter and has some trouble when it comes to the notes and tones at lower volumes, which is why we end up with performances of songs like “What If” by Creed.
Paris did “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” and it was OK. She still seems like a young girl playing dress-up to me. She, like Chris, also has problems with the low-volume sections of songs. I think she probably has the most potential to grow out of anyone, but she really isn’t quite at the level to take on the more advanced and experienced singers left on the show. That being said, she had a decent week and seemed to be one of the more popular ones.
Taylor Hicks did “You Send Me” and he continues to surprise me with his performances week in and week out. I expected the cheesiness of it all to catch up with him, but apparently America likes its music with a bit of cheese. I guess this explains LFO’s short career. Anyway, Taylor doesn’t show any signs of tiring and America apparently likes him more than Ace and Elliott who have been sitting in the bottom week after week.
Finally on the good side, Katharine McPhee did “Someone To Watch Over Me.” While I don’t think that she was quite as good as Simon thought she was, I thought it was one of the best performances of the night. I do think that Simon will have some slightly different thoughts when he watches the performance back on tape. I really think that the judges are sometimes fooled by the live performance with the mix in the room vs. the mix that the audience sees on television.
And now for the not so good performances . . .
Elliott Yamin was close to getting himself in the other part of my article, but there was just something so cheesy and ridiculous about his performance last night. The vocals are decent, but I just don’t get it when he is singing. I don’t feel like he has any emotion or compassion. I know a lot of people say that Taylor is kind of like a Vegas lounge guy or something, but Elliott is probably even worse.
Taylor sings with a lot of passion and emotion which is against the idea of the hired-gun-doing-it-for-the-money-Vegas-lounge-act type of performer. But Elliott on the other hand is so void of any kind of emotion when he is singing that he ends up coming off more robotic or something. I can’t totally grasp it, but I have the feeling that America feels the same way as he ends up in the bottom three all the time.
Ace Young stinks. His consciousness of his looks and fashion give me the douche chills every single week. He just seems so contrived all the time. Even his partial beards seem like a purposeful thing that he thinks will earn him the chick vote. This guy isn’t about the vocals at all. He is like the fourth or fifth member of the boy band. He doesn’t have the pipes to be Justin Timberlake, but he looks good enough that he will sell enough t-shirts and lunch boxes to earn his keep. He is like Danny Wood from the New Kids on the Block.
Kellie Pickler hammered through “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” and might be the only one who can save Ace from his own crappiness. She admitted to “butcher”ing this one and she wasn’t lying. She was awful.
Which brings me to the interesting question of how the voting will play out. Is it possible that this is a week where the performances won’t matter? Will America look the other way because Kellie admitted to having a bad night and kick someone else off who might be less likable? How great will it be to see Ace’s face as he is getting kicked off in a week when he thought he was safe due to the lackluster performance that Kellie put on?
I am hoping to see this happen. It would be so great to watch Ace get surprised. I can picture him standing there all wide-eyed with his mouth agape in his ego-fueled, mildly retarded Abercrombie model way.
This is what I want to see. This is what we all need to see. Here’s to hoping.