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TV Review: American Idol – Ten Goes to Nine

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The music of Tuesday, March 28, 2006 featured songs of the 21st century; thus my middle-aged ears didn’t know one single song and didn’t like any of them at any rate.

Top Ten American Idol 2006In fact, the entire American Idol presentation was a big disappointment across the age spectrum it would seem, at least as I judge by my readings across the Blogosphere.

Be that as it may, I still watched dutifully and on this night, only one stood out as a winner and even I am amazed at who it was.

First, some Idol tidbits.

We are not sure how true this rumor is and it does seem to pop up every year as a possibility. It’s Paula Abdul and there’s always something going on with her. The publicity rule of thumb is there is no such thing as bad publicity and following this maxim, I wonder if yet another Paula rumor wasn’t thrown out and about to keep public interest heightened as the competition plows on. This time the allegation is that Paula is high maintenance and subject to medical hysteria involving exhaustion and dehydration.

Imagine that in the United States of America.

This “Paula is nuts” rumor has an added dimension with the additional tidbit that Jessica Simpson or Britney Spears were possible replacements for Paula.

From SF GATE:

‘American Idol’ Producers Nearly Fired Abdul
AP / Chris Carlson

“American Idol” producers came close to sacking judge Paul Abdul earlier this month — and wanted to offer her job to Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson.

Tensions on the set of the hit TV show were running high and producers were considering firing the former singer for her erratic behavior.

A source tells Us Weekly magazine, “Paula was being very difficult. (She was) crying all the time and arriving late for meetings.”

The stress from the situation drove Abdul to seek medical attention and she was treated for “exhaustion and dehydration.”

Kevin Covais on Judges and Being a Sex Symbol

As contestants are eliminated, there is always the post-elimination appearances on the morning talk shows. Kevin Covais was a cute little thing but his resemblance to Chicken Little precluded his stature as any sort of Idol, much less the vaunted American one. Which doesn’t mean that Covais’ singing career is over by any means. For one thing, he has a lot growing to do, but the fellow does have a magnificent voice. There’s a future for Covais and I’m sure he’ll find it.

Below some cute quips from Kevin regarding his relationship to the AI judges and his tongue-in-cheek status as a sex symbol.

From AOL:

I try not to analyze it and say Simon’s opinion is 10 times more important than anyone else’s. I take what each of them has to say and I respect what they all say. But I love the feedback I’ve gotten from Randy best.

I’d gotten nothing but negative feedback. He was always like, ”I like you. I like you.” But he never said anything about my voice. I was fed up and the New Yorker in me came out. I wasn’t expecting to say anything to him that night, but I think he respected me for standing up to him.

What was the best advice you got?

I think what Simon said to me, which was, ”You had a lot of courage. You’re a really brave guy on the show.” I’m going to take that with me, because I know if I can stand up to Simon I can stand up to anyone.

The sex-symbol thing … In all honesty, it was like a joke. I was just trying to be funny and lighten the mood. People sometimes can’t tell when I’m serious or joking, and that was me joking when I said I was a sex symbol. I consider myself a pretty funny guy.

Now for a quick rundown of the final ten and their performances.

Lisa Tucker sang “Because of You” by none other than former Idol Kelly Clarkson. The judges excoriated Tucker for her song choice, but I thought it was clever as all get out. Not to mention an indicator of how far this contest has come when the contenders for one contest sing songs from the winners of earlier competitions.

I thought Lisa’s performance, no mind the clever song choice, was really off. She was screechy as my aging ears heard it. Simon told Lisa the song was “too big for your voice” and the performance was “painful”.

Kellie Pickler sang a song titled, I am not making this up, “Suds in the Bucket”. I thought she was out of tune and go on, that song was just silly. Simon deemed it “horrible” and “gimmicky”.

On to one of my faves, Ace Young. Ace sang a tune called “Drops of Jupiter,” which I’d never heard. Randy said it was not only the wrong song, he stipulated that Ace “didn’t sing it well”. Ace’s performance did nothing for me.

Taylor Hicks sang a tune — “Trouble” — and he displayed good vocals. This week, Taylor remained still as he sang rather than do that crazy chicken dance he normally does all over the stage. Paula made the same comment. Simon said Hicks’ clothing reminded him of Clay Aiken.

Mandisa was a major disappointment with her gospel performance of “Shackles”. Mandisa is probably a singer of the gospel genre and, while this is a well-respected musical category, it’s just not a winning genre in this contest. Simon pronounced Mandisa’s song and performance as “not for me”.

I thought Chris Daughtry gave one of the better performances of the evening, although I did not recognize his song, but I did see it as Chris’ genre and I can see Chris winning this thing. It was a rock song, titled “What If”. If nothing else, Chris was different this evening and his performance demonstrated where Chris will probably go in his singing career. Randy said he was “sharp” and Simon said Chris had gone “too far”.

Katharine McPhee gave one of the better performances of the evening with a tune called “The Voice Within”. I loved her outfit, thought she presented a good voice range, and considered this a good song choice. Paula said McPhee’s performance was one of her best and Simon dubbed it one of the better performances of the evening.

Up comes country/western rocker, Bucky Covington. Bucky sang a song titled “Real Good Man” and I noticed on occasion his voice completely disappeared! I did like Bucky’s interpretation of a country line dance.

Perhaps I missed them, but I didn’t hear any judge’s comments on Bucky’s performance.

Ah, Elliott Yamin. Not wanting to be cruel but unable to control myself, let me say that Elliott looked like a homeless fellow with that construction jacket and tattered threads. It could be just me, but I thought Elliott tried to act black. His bobbing up and down thing he did looked stranger than strange. There is just no way Elliott Yamin is going to be America’s next Idol. Simon called Elliott’s dancing “hideous” and yeah, that’s the ticket.

Paris BennettFinally, the best performance of the evening — know now that I have never seen Beyonce perform, do not know who she is, and really don’t care.

Paris, with my ears devoid of any preconceived notions, gave a great performance and hey, I enjoyed watching her. What better judgment than that, to give the audience entertainment? Paris Bennett sang “Work It Out” and she looked the part of the song with her hip clothes and sassy rap moves. Randy called it “the bomb” while Simon, who didn’t seem to like anything from the top ten, said Paris looked like a “little girl pretending to be Beyonce”.

My Prediction
Bucky Covington will be sent on his way home.

The Elimination
The bottom three this week were Lisa Tucker, Ace Young, and Katharine McPhee (this is a surprise).

No Bucky?

Sent on her way on the evening of March 29,2006, was Lisa Tucker.

This is no surprise, but it should have been Bucky Covington.

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About pat fish

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    I don’t get the love for Ace. I think he’s creepy looking and can’t really sing. He needs to stop staring in the camera with the same “reach out and touch you” move and actually entertain us.

  • Jim

    What does black “act” like, exactly? I notice that you had nothing to say about Elliott’s vocals, which the judges praised, and which kept him safe, while Katharine, who Katerwauled off-key for her entire song, was put in the bottom 2.

    I think Elliott is amazingly talented, he seems like a very nice guy, and he has a great backstory. He also looks better each week. I don’t know why he doesn’t deserve to win and someone like Kellie is supposed to be a frontrunner.

  • mandarinorange

    You couldn’t here Bucky because the band was too loud (not a rare event). The sound mix guys on this show have sucked for several seasons now. Sometimes I wonder if they do it on purpose.

  • Samantha

    Bucky was awesome…..he has this knack for singing country songs. Didnt care for mandisa nor paris…taylor was very good!

  • sal m

    shakira – as the celebrity guest performer – can’t sing and wouldn’t have even made the final 12 based on her “performance” last night…she was embarassingly bad…if i was a contestant on the show – especially lisa who is boring but has a great voice – i would have been thinking “this person is a star?!?”

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    were people actually able to hear Shakira’s voice? the band seemed to drown her out.

  • SHERRY

    The whole show Tuesday was awful, except I loved Chris.His song was great. I hope next Tuesday is better, I look forward to Idol night and boy was I disappointed last Tuesday!! Also, some of these should not even be up there, such as Mandesa who opened for Shania Twain, Paris who has been on broadway, Lisa who was in Lion King…why, why were these allowed to participate?? Oh, and Ace, who has been on TV?? Well, all my votes from now on go to Chris, Bucky, Elliott…the ones that didn’t have all the wonderful experience the above had..

  • http://www.ninevoltstudio.com Joy Islam

    - It is very easy to sit in a position to judge: I like all the judges. Out of this three judges they have a balance. I really do. If I had to rank this judge I would start with Simon, Randy and Paula. Simon does bring lots of personal matter to his judgement which is little rough but that is Simon. He doesn’t like arrogant behavior. Randy, great with pitchy voice and Paula is good with boost their moral. So there is the balance. You don’t want to have 3 Simon sitting on judge table..

    Thats it for now..

  • annette

    hey, I did not like the comment you made about Yamin, stated that he tried to “act black”. What did you mean by that statement?

    Why not, he tried to portray another part of his own character.

    come on, can we get pass all the race, stereotypes, and misconceptions of people and just allow an individual to thrive.

  • Grandpa Idol

    Was Shakira lip syncing? It sure looked like it. If so, that should never be allowed on a show where people have to actually sing. I also thought the background video was a bit provocative for a show frequented by children. Remember, I’m a Grandpa.

  • IdolFanJean

    I, too, thought the whole show Tuesday was a flop. Best for me were Chris and Katherine. Some people sat on their dialing fingers who should have been voting for Katherine obviously. Worst for me was Paris. I hated it. Bucky has Southern country charm. He also has charisma LOL.

  • http://www.taylorhicksblues.blogspot.com Jewels

    “Duck and cover!”; this episode of Idol reminded me of a recent program on the Discovery Channel. The program revisited drills in schools used in the 50’s/60’s in which ‘duck and cover’ beneath their little desks was the recommendation in the event of bombing raids. I evaluated the distance between floor and bottom of coffee table…

  • abw4clay

    If, in fact, you do appreciate the music of a previous (tho not long long ago)time, you must be appalled at virtually all of the contestants on this year’s Idol. With maybe 2 or 3 exceptions, there have been none who have been able to get through an entire performance on pitch. By now we should be able to at least expect that.

    I’ve asked before, and will again, what is this fascination with Ace. His voice is weak, he has yet to stay on pitch and usually looks like he overslept and didn’t have time to wash his hair, clean up and get ready.

    Last – yes, Elliot has a lot of work to do on the performance side but he sure can sing.

  • Sunrise

    I am most intrigued by Elliot and want to hear more from him. As he grows more comfortable on the stage and in front of cameras, I think he will bloom. His voice is killer; I don’t get the comment about acting black. Are white singers not allowed in the soul genre?

  • IdolBoomer

    I love Elliot. He seems so sincere and has a great voice. He does need help with his dancing or stage presence, though. I really like the country singer Sarah Evans and Kelly just killed her song (Suds in a bucket). Her cutesy dumb blond act make me ill. I didn’t care for Katherine’s song this week, but she has a beautiful voice with good range. She is also a genuine beauty. Taylor is just plain great, very charismatic. He’s looked good in everything except that light blue suit. Don’t care for Paris. She sings fantastic and I liked her Beyonce performance alot, but her talking voice is like chalk on a blackboard. If she can belt out such a powerful voice when singing, why can’t she practice talking a bit more grownup. I can’t stand hearing “thank you Randy, thank you Paula, thank you Simon” in that voice and trying to look real cutesy one more week. It sounds very fake and doesn’t make her appear cute at all. I love to listen to her sing, but will have to turn down the volume when the judges talk to her. Chris is great, needs to smile more. I hated his shouting song this week, but I hate anything that sounds heavy metal. Mandisa rocks, great voice. I have to agree with a previous poster though, that Mandisa, Lisa (who I also really liked), and Ace should not have been allowed to participate due to their previous experiences. Diana G. from the previous season had even more experiences, including being in a TV series….don’t know if she sang though. Ace drives me crazy with that bug-eyed staring into the camera. He has a great smile, but I don’t think he sings that good. Bucky is just likeable, not a great singer. I’d love for him to have the opportunity to have a professional person work with him if he doesn’t make it to improve and make it later.

  • cougarfeather

    I gotta say, I do like country music, and Bucky is just plain terrible. He is off key constantly, his southern drawl is just bad and he sings like he needs to take a dump all the time. And throwing the mike right to left hand does not look cool. And oh yah, quit blinking so MUCH!!!!! The guy is terrible, every year there is one person who hangs around way too long.

  • trooper_D

    For me, I kind of like Katherine McPhee of those that have not had any exposure to the entertainment industry. I think she can perform almost any kind of music. If a rocker is to win the competition, I probably won’t buy the music, because I’m not a fan of rock. I like easy listening stuff, something where I can hear the words being sung and the music isn’t too loud.

  • IdolBoomer

    Elliot, Paris, Kelly, Bucky, and Chris all great. Kathrine very good. Taylor, who I really like, not good at all; song sounded too high in parts for his voice. Mandisa was okay; getting tired of her singing every song week after week the same as the previous week. She sings great, but needs more versatility, like Chris showed tonight. Did not like Ace at all tonight. Hope he gets voted off tonight.