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TV Review: American Idol – It’s Raining Men!

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Now you know I’m a fan as much as the next guy, but four hours of American Idol in two days is, like, waaaaaaaaaay close to head-busting.

It didn’t help that the guys got off to a slow start, with “slow” being a euphemism in this case.

While Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul thought Jose “Sway” Penala’s “Reasons” falsetto-fest was “hot” and “truly amazing” (Simon, bless him, found it “pimpy” and “third-rate”), in this living room the party didn’t get rolling until Chris Daughtery was up with Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

True, Chris sang full-throttle, all-body-parts-to-the-wall all-the-time, and he didn’t exactly major in the Phrasing Department. But he hit the notes and, more importantly, tapped into his own personal brand of charisma.

The next hot act was Elliott Yamin, he of the “I’m not into that do-re-me stuff.” (Kids, please don’t tell Julie Andrews.) The first thing I liked about Elliott was that he had the temerity to mention the “k” word, admitting that he actually sang karaoke and sang it well. Eliott floated Stevie Wonder’s “If You Really Love Me”, building it up, patiently, effortlessly until he filled the house.

Simon — mark your calendar — enthused that Elliott was “potentially the best male vocalist” American Idol had ever had.

Take that, Justin Guarini!

(Okay, is that fair?)

But I digress.

Then there was Fabio Man, Ace Young.

Proving once again that witnessing the live performance must be different than what comes across the small screen, Randy Jackson went on and on about how well Ace worked the room and worked the camera and worked the girls. Paula was Paula. Simon opined that Ace hadn’t had the best vocals that night, but that the presence of the “x” factor more than made up for any deficiency.

Me, I thought Ace’s performance — at least as it conveyed through the small screen — was surprisingly lifeless and his “working” (the camera, the room, the audience) bordered on off-putting. But never mind. The man can do the music industry equivalent of the Three R’s: he can sing, perform, and look good.

Moreover, he has, so far, escaped the kiss of death — that kiss of death being labeled a “rocker” by the American Idol Powers That Be.

No wonder they call him “Ace.”

The man who escapes all labels, however — the veritable Houdini of Label Chains — was saved for last.

Taylor Hicks came out singing the Elton John/Bernie Taupin classic, “Levon.” The key seemed a little high for him, leaving his voice a pinch — and just a pinch, mind you — thin.

In the end, it mattered not at all.

The man rocked. He amazed. He enthralled.

He made Simon admit he was wrong (about Taylor not being right for the Top 12).

And best of all, he made Ryan Seacrest break out into a crazy-abandon Joe Cocker performance art dance.

You go, Taylor! Ba-da-bing!

So, ladies and gentlemen, these are our top male contenders. There were a few interesting points in some of the other performances, but let’s face it. Bobby Bennett will go this week, and the others soon enough.

For the men, unless someone really breaks out (and that can happen), Chris Daughtery, Elliott Yamin, Ace Young, and Taylor Hicks are the ones who got it going on.

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  • Peter

    Say goodbye to:

    Mandisa, Paris, Bobby, and Gedeon.

    These are the 4 people gone tonight.

  • http://www.idolhabit.blogspot.com Sticker

    Hey, Peter.

    Totally agree with you on Bobby and Gedeon. I’ve been surprised at the sentiment against Mandisa and Paris.

    I think Paris has the chops to go deep into the competition. However, like the Velvet Teddy Bear, I think as the weeks go by, she’s going to start sounding the same-o same-o.

  • bb

    Paris needs new clothes but can sing well.
    Bobby belongs on the Love Boat and will do really well there.
    Stevie Scott was awful and didn’t have to be.

    The real talent is Lisa. She is a star and will be a super star later in life.
    The guys were a joke last night although I do believe ACE will hang in there with his looks.
    The woman have it this time around

  • Diane Millenbaugh

    All that I can say is WOW. Chris Daugherty!!! This should be the next American Idol! He not only blows me away with his voice, looks, sex appeal.. but he seems like an honest to goodness good man! Voting him all.. the … way !

  • ANNIA

    SURE, CHRIS CAN SING, BUT HIS ONE DIMENSIONAL GROWLY VOICE IS GETTING TO BE PREDICTABLE. HE NEEDS TO BRING SOMETHING ELSE BEFORE HIS AUDIENCE & VIEWERS AT HOME GET BORED WITH HIM.

    TAYLOR IS BLUESY & SOULFUL. HIS JERKING MOVEMENTS ARE NOT ACTING. I FEEL THAT HIS MUSIC MOVES HIM, AND SOMETIMES THE “SPIRIT” MOVES HIM AS WELL. WHAT IN HIS DRINKING CUP, REALLY? HE IS VERY ENTERTAINING, INDEED.

    ACE NEEDS TO STOP THAT “SEXY STARES” ALREADY. IT’S GETTING OLD. HE GOT THE POTENTIAL IF HE TRULY BELIEVES IN HIMSELF. THERE IS SHYNESS & INSECURITY UNDERNEATH THAT SEXY STUFF!! COME ON, ACE, ROLL WITH IT.

    ELLIOTT, OMG, ELLIOTT! THIS GUY CAN DEFINITELY SING. SO WHAT! IF HE DOESN’T HAVE THE PERFECT LOOKS, WHO CARES? MAY I REMIND YOU PEOPLE THIS IS A SINGING CONTEST, NOT MR. UNIVERSE PAGEANT! SO START FLEXING THOSE DIALING FINGERS! WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, WHEN YOU LISTEN TO HIS CD, YOU WILL NOT BE LOOKING AT HIM. ONLY IF HE SINGS TO YOU LIVE IN PERSON. FRANKLY I THINK HE IS ADORABLE, HUMBLE & FULL WITH HUMILITY & SURPRISES FOR BEING WHERE HE IS NOW.

    BUCKY, WELL, I DETECT A WILD & LOOSE GUY HIDDEN INSIDE THAT INNOCENT FRONT. HE CAN SING, IF HE’D JUST LET LOOSE. IT IS UNLIKELY THAT HE WILL BE IN THE TOP THREE. IF I WERE HIM, I WOULD LEAVE MY MARK & ROLL WITH IT. VOCALWISE, HE IS NOT BAD…NOT BAD AT ALL, BUT NOT IN THE SAME LEAGUE WITH ELLIOTT & CHRIS & MANDISA & KATHRYN.

    AS FOR THE LADIES, MANDISA HAS THE MOST POWERFUL VOICE, POWERFUL ENOUGH TO WAKE THE DEAD & MAKES THE CRIPPLED JUMP UP AND DANCE. SHE HAS TO REMEMBER TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SONG IF SHE IS GOING FOR A SOUL-STIRRING RENDITION. MAY I SUGGEST “GOOD, GOOD LOVE” BY LARI WHITE. I GUARANTEE HER AUDIENCE & VIEWERS ALIKE WILL RACE TO CHURCH WITH SATAN HIMSELF!

    KATHRYN NEEDS TO BELIEVE IN HERSELF MORE. SHE HAS A GREAT VOICE & VERY SEDUCTIVE & SENSUAL & (AT TIME) INNOCENT LOOKS. BRING IT, GIRLFRIEND. YOU CAN DO IT!

    KELLIE NEEDS TO PICK THE RIGHT SONGS THAT CONNECT WTIH HER EMOTION. IF SHE CAN DO THAT, SHE WILL CERTAINLY CONVEY THE AUDIENCE & VIEWERS AS WELL. BELIEVE ME, THAT “DUMB BLONDE” ACT IS NOT AN ACT. NAIVE & NOT WORLDLY ARE HER FLAWS. QUIT PICKING ON HER PEOPLE! THE GIRL IS TRYING TO MAKE A NAME FOR HERSELF & SHE HAS THE RIGHT TO BE THERE, SO JUST ENJOY THE RIDE WITH HER, OK? NO ONE WANTS TO BE STUPID & NOT EVERYONE CAN BE BORN AS INTELLIGENT AS EISTEIN.

    PARIS, THOUGH UNDENIABLY TALENTED, SHE LACKS THAT HUMBLENESS WE SAW IN HER AUDITION. THAT CHILDISH SPEAKING VOICE COMES ACROSS AS AN ACT. KNOCK IT OFF ALREADY. IT IS VOMITTINGLY ANNOYING. HOWEVER, SEEING THAT SHE CAN SING, HOW ABOUT SINGING “AT LAST” BY ETTA JAMES, TO REALLY BRING THE HOUSE DOWN.

    AGREED WITH SIMON SO FAR. PAULA, YES SHE IS SWEET, BUT LATELY SHE IS REALLY GETTING ON MY LAST NERVES! RANDY, WELL, HE IS RANDY. NO COMMENT HERE!!!

  • Tammie

    I personally am very disturbed that Chris was voted off this week — I think he personally had it all and will do great in the business with or without the idol title

  • Lynda

    Chris was and is the best on the show and I will no longer watch it due to the way he was taken off the show. There is no way you can tell me that Katherine won over him!! I can’t even believe that Elliott won over Chris. No F-ing way!!!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Taylor Hicks, he’s my man.

  • Dee

    I tried for almost the entire two hours to vote for Chris, his line was so hard to get through and they want us to believe he recived the lowest votes? The final two should have been Chris and Taylor, they are by far the best!

  • pbp

    chris should have never went home period i think he was a heck of a lot better than Kathryn (forgot her words) and elliott. it should have been chris and taylor at the end but chris will be ok. at the end will be taylor and elliott and taylor will win due to his enormous support and fan base he may be soul patrol but when i think about going to a concert i would prefer to see someone who is feeling the music and giving me a show(taylor) and not just a voice(elliott)and personally elliotts voice makes me want to climb a wall its horrible.

  • http://stacy Stacy

    I dont care what anyone says CHRIS DAUGHTERY was and is the BEST SINGER out of all of those one demential singers who couldnt find there way around a song if they where given instructions!!!!. Chris as far as I am consered is right up there with Kelly Clarkson and every other American Idol WINNNER !!!!!! Only he is way better so listen up you STUPID Americans learn how to VOTE properly…… and listen with your ears instead of your asshole….