Home / TV Review: American Idol Watch: Top 7

TV Review: American Idol Watch: Top 7

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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.

Each contestant shone (minus one “butchering blonde“) and the judges were actually coherent and poignant (even PAULA!).

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.

Grade: A-

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.

Grade: A

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.

Grade: A

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.

Grade: B

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.

Grade: C-

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.

Grade: C+

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.

Grade: A-

Best Vocal Performance: Paris Bennett

Most Original Performance: Katharine McPhee

Best Overall Performance: Paris Bennett and Taylor Hicks

Going Home: Ace Young

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  • Cindy

    I never though Rod Stewart to be such a tender gentlemen. Kudo’s Rod.
    Chris’s verbratto scares me. It has this very earie tone, no matter what he sings. Even though he is a front runner..not my favorite.
    When Paris opens her mouth to sing..the voice of angels are heard.
    Elliott has a great voice but could use more stage presence.
    Kellie is adorable and can sing. I think her looks and “southern innocense” will bring her through her fau pax last evening and remain.
    Ace is gorgeous and the only one with a hot falsetto.
    Taylor is a breath of fresh air…don’t think he is the most talented singer, but he definately has it. I think we will see him around for a while still.. Hope so.
    That leaves KATHERINE. SHE is classicly beautiful, presents herself in a very elegant mannor and can sing her ass off. Her arrangement of Watch Over Me (this song has been done to death and can be very boring) was fresh, exciting and tactfully done.

    I think KATHERINE and Taylor were the front runners of last evening.

  • muggle

    #1, why you leave out paris?

  • muggle

    sorry just ignore my comment above

  • anonymous

    Kelly should stay for the second place- last night was the only night bad for her!
    Taylor is the best, followed by Chris.
    Katherine was good last night but she will have to work on her “high horse” personality!
    Ace should go tonight, followed by Prissy from “gone with the wind”(Paris)-she can sing to any church…
    New jersey

  • Going home tonight should either be Ace or Kellie…but I’m really tired of Paris. Yes, she can sing, we all know this–musical family, blah blah blah–and she sounds good enough singing jazz standards, but I wouldn’t compare her to Billie Holiday or anything. I think Paris is overrated, she sounds like she’s holding her breath or something when she sings, its worse than nails down a chalkboard. And if she cries again tonight when Kellie or Ace leave, I swear I’m going to slap someone.

  • I’m hoping it’ll be Ace outta there this week. I know he’s “cute” but…! I personally thought the hairdo looked greasy and think you’re spot on with your critique of it. And, I can’t help but hear his nasal inflection in every song he sings, including last night’s performance. As for the falsetto, if I want to hear really great falsetto, I’ll dig out some old Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons tunes.

    I’m still mesmerized by every Taylor Hicks performance. I love watching that guy even if he perhaps doesn’t have the technically best voice in the competition.

  • I’m really scared because I really don’t want Elliott to go home tonight.

    He was amazing last week and was in the bottom 3. So I have an inkling he could possibly be going home.


  • Dawn

    I couldn’t agree with you more on every single assessment. Man, you are on the money. I think Elliot’s voice is phenomenal, but he’s just not shining – maybe he just doesn’t shine, but is blessed with a wonderful voice.

    Kellie was a disaster.

    Paris was awesome.

    Chris showed a nice side.

    Taylor has a lot going for him.

    Katharine – something bugs me about her. I am not sure if it’s precousiosness, her flawlessness or just the way the judges fall all over themselves for her, but she just doesn’t do it for me.

    Ace sounded nice, but he really is just a pretty boy. His hair was lame and distracting.

  • Paris can already get a record deal

    You wish Ace was going home, but tonight, just like last week, the worst performer of that week is safe (Ace).

    Paris d-o-n-e. She doesn’t belong in this competition because of her grandma connection and the whole country knows that.

    Sayonara Paris!!!

  • The Prof

    Singing professionally for over 30 years, I have to give kudos to the entire group. They are all GREAT! I’m positive they will all find professions in the music business, one way or another. My favorites however are Taylor and Paris. The Young and the old going against each other like the professionals they are. I remember Holiday and Cocker and each had their individual style. Singing in 2000+ has brought on a new set of responsibilities for an entertainer. (Looks, personality, vocals, and soul inside), Unfortunately, the public can’t see it all at the same time. So, sorry Paris or Ace.

  • Steve

    I really thought Kelly was gone tonight. So I was a little surprised to see Ace go, though I did think he was near the bottom of the group before the votes came in. On the whole, it was an above average week, I agree with the poster.

  • Terry

    First, I am a HUGE Paris fan, and when people say she must go, because she has a mother and grandmother in the business. Its pretty dumb. American Idol is about singing and preforming, not who you want to see when the lottery. Regardless of whether she can make it with or without Idol is irrellavent. I think people hold her to a much higher standard, one because of who she is related to, and the other because she is so good and the alway expect the best. America seems to be more forgiving of the others that are not that great technically. I have read many blogs where they spend more time judging her for her age, hair, her clothes, or her speaking voice. Alot of people have even gone so far as to say they hate her. Noow has she really done or said anything to make you hate her? Wake up people and try to judge the talent. I suspect race might have a lot to do with why people cannot relate to Paris as easily as say Kat or Kellie. I also thought it was pretty racist to refer to her as the actress from Gone With The Wind. (still rolling my eyes), maybe what that poster said, others might be feeling or thinking. Who knows??

  • “I suspect race might have a lot to do with why people cannot relate to Paris as easily as say Kat or Kellie.”

    I’m half black, half white, and I can’t relate to any of them….don’t be so quick to play the race card.

    Black or white, Paris still annoys the hell outta me.

  • terry

    Chantel, I am also half black half white, so whats your point? I am not throwing out the race card , just suggesting a reason.

  • Judge Judi

    Oh please! It’s not a black and white issue!! It’s an “I’m pretty and really stupid” versus “I’m really good and really arrogant” issue. (I’m speaking of Kelli and Katharine, if you didn’t figure it out!)

    I feel it’s my need to remind American voters that we’re talking about a singing talent here. And although I was pretty glad to see “pretty boy” Ace booted last night, I can’t in a million years understand why CHRIS DAUGHTRY had the second fewest votes, and Kelli (“I can’t sing, but I’m really pretty, and I’m really stupid”) is in the top THREE. For crying out loud, what are you people voting on!!?? Tuesday night was NOT Kelli’s only bad performance. Are we forgetting about “Suds in a Bucket?” GEEZZ!!!!

    My only guess is that all of Bucky’s hill-billy votes are now going to Kelli. And it’s a real shame, because the poor girl can’t sing that well. Oh, she’s ok. But she’s not that good. I even read a quote from her “garage-door hanging boyfriend” back home, and he said “People think Kelli is making off like she’s stupid, but if you ever met her, you’d see that she’s really LIKE that!” Hmmm, that’s nice to know. She really IS that dumb!! Cute … but dumb. Even Katharine knew that Kelli sucked on Tuesday night, because when Ryan Seacrest told Katharine to go and stand next to Kelli, did you see Katharine’s face? It looked like she was thinking “Oh crap. I don’t want to be standing in this circle, cause you really sucked last night!”

    Which brings me to Katharine … I totally agree with Dawn (#8) that there’s something that bugs me about Katharine. But I know what it is. She is arrogant, smug, and thinks she has this whole competition sewn up! And it makes me nuts!

    Let’s talk real talent. Chris has it! And poor Elliot (who has a great, great voice) just doesn’t seem to have the fan-base, but he’s definitely got the singing talent. I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that it will probably be Katharine and Chris in the finals (although seeing Katharine’s smug face up there will make me want to PUKE). At least, that’s who it should be based on talent alone. They both “have the package” as Simon would say. But PLEASE, we have to get Kelli out of there. Her “talent” is not even IN the same class with Chris, or Elliott, or even Katharine!!!

  • Aerylyn

    I really don’t understand how you can say Katharine is arrogant and think she’s got the competition won. That’s what it seems like to you. You guys don’t even know her and i know that if she thought she was gonna win the whole competition she wouldn’t be the one that cried behind the scenes and at times felt like quitting the competition.