This week on American Idol was exciting enough just to get to see Rod Stewart (who by the way has a really hot wife for someone that damned old), so the performances were kind of icing on the cake. And truthfully, I didn’t expect Tuesday night to be as splendid as it ended up being.
MP3s of the performances are available.
Chris Daughtry – “What A Wonderful World.” Not too sure about the valet parking boy vest, but I admire Chris for his bold and risky choice of song. Many will probably call it a boring performance, but what made this performance magical was its simplicity and tenderness. Often on this show, we become conditioned to praise the “glory notes” and oversung shouting of the songs – we forget how great a performance can be when someone has a beautiful voice and just sings a song from the heart. Chris did that.
Paris Bennett – “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You).” Aside from the fact that she looks like Lynette Scavo on the way to a meeting, the performance was very classy, and beautiful. We’ve all known since her audition that she has the perfect voice for jazz and the blues, but this performance set it in stone just how brilliant of a vocalist she is. Not since Fantasia’s “Summertime” have we seen something so authentic you almost forget you’re even watching television.
Taylor Hicks – “You Send Me.” Like everyone else, I was slightly worried at the beginning of the performance which was pretty average. But I knew Sam Cooke is perfect for Taylor and had faith that he would pull it out at the end, and boy did he. We saw a return to the infamous “jerk” but his vocals were stellar. As I’ve said before, when he’s on it, there are times when his performances run through me like blood and make me feel something. I’m not quite sure what, but I just feel floored. It’s a rare thing when an artist has that kind of capability.
Elliott Yamin – “It Had To be You.” I’m not sure exactly what to say about Elliott this week, and maybe that’s part of the problem. I very much liked the song and performance, but maybe like Simon was pointing out, it lacked enough personality to send him to the head of the pack. It’s not necessarily a performance I’m going to knock down my roommate to get onto my iPod Video tomorrow morning. The very beginning of the performance started out very cute and charming, but soon after he seemed to go into what I like to call performer auto-pilot, which kind of cheats the viewer. This is why, though Elliott Yamin is one of the best vocalists ever on American Idol, he will probably be in the bottom three tomorrow again.
Kellie Pickler – “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.” When the first words out of your mouth after your performance are “I butchered it”… odds are, you didn’t do too great. Second, how the hell do you not know words and lyrics are the same thing? But intelligence aside (I’ll leave the parodying to P!nk), the performance was near awful. I cannot in any way understand why she picked that song. She doesn’t have the voice of Kelly Clarkson but what she has going most for her is her personality. Why then, pick a song that I’d hear coming out of the mouth of Diana Krall after watching Tuesdays With Morrie?
Then of course she wears that “Too Wong Foo” metallic pink dress that makes me want to slap my head onto a window sill, slam the window shut, then shove my decapitated head up my own ass. Or wait, maybe it was the performance that did that. The beginning started off well as Paula pointed out, but after that it went so downhill not even the midgets from that show on TLC could see it anymore. Sorry Kellie. Welcome to the bottom three.
Ace Young – “That’s All” Think what you want about the new hair-do, it reminds me of a greasy waiter in a backwoods Spanish restaurant. But compared to Ace’s horrid nasally disasters of the past weeks, this was actually a pretty decent performance. And of course, he pulled out his signature falsetto (which by the way, is half responsible for him even still being here – the other half is the face) that made the performance nearly whole. I still think he’ll be going home tomorrow, but at least he’ll be leaving on a good note like Bucky.
Katharine McPhee – “Someone To Watch Over Me” What’s with the Celine-Dion-belts-it-out-on-the-deck
-of-the-Titanic necklace? I feel like I’m watching Divas Live (the original – not the new crap where somehow plastic-thin voiced Ashanti is invited). I agree with Rod’s assertion that Katharine’s genre of choice should be the standards – she’s got great instincts and knows how to put a story into a song. I don’t agree with Simon however, that she made the others look like amateurs. If anyone stood apart from the others tonight it was Paris or Taylor. But with that said, Kat was still great.
Best Vocal Performance: Paris Bennett
Most Original Performance: Katharine McPhee
Best Overall Performance: Paris Bennett and Taylor Hicks
Going Home: Ace Young