Tuesday, April 11, 2006

American Idol: Top 8 Perform

Well here it is. QUEEN NIGHT. Well, we had a week to ponder the songs that our idol contestants would sing, and were treated to finding out this afternoon what songs each of them would be singing. So I had the opportunity to make my predictions based on their song choices before they even hit the stage. And I gotta say, I don't think I'm going to be too far off on this one. So of all my predicted performances I got 5 of the 8 songs right but none of the performers right! Right off the bat, I thought 3 made some odd song choices (Obviously..they went off my list!) But the choices may not affect them too badly. Well let's see if it hurts them going against the genius that is ME!

  • Bucky - "Fat Bottomed Girls" - Ahhh Bucky. I actually really enjoyed his performance. It may have been because he went first, but the thing about Bucky is...he's never awful. He's just never great. That adds up to "Mediocre" as Simon put it. But really, he hit all of the notes, and he showed some good rock antics on stage. And we even saw a bit of a personality in his film clips. And you gotta give the guy credit for singing a song about Girls with "well rounded posterior areas" on a family show. I mean, it's no Sir Mix-a-lot, but still! He's not lighting any phones on fire, except maybe in Confederate land, but I still don't think he's the guy to be sent packing tonight. Once again, Bucky is saved by someone else making poor choices and just being worse than him. And once again we'll be asking ourselves next week "How is Bucky still here?"
  • Ace - "We Will Rock You" - Now there's a reason I picked this song out for Bucky last Wednesday. It's not really much of a song! It's really been reduced to a song that they play at High School Football and Basketball games. Sure, if you're Freddie Mercury....you can rock stadiums with a song like this. If you're Ace Young and you want to mix things up and change a song to make it your own....why in the world would you pick We Will Rock You that has one of the most famous Drum Beats in the history of Music? And what about him doing runs with his voice in between "We Will Rock You's" This is just not the song you want to change. It was atrocious. I wrote one note down on my paper before the judges got to chime in. "Somebody go get the Gong!" I hated this performance. And the best thing about all of this was? We got to hear Paula say "bastardize" on live television! I think the Ace of Cheese is about to play his last hand. I just don't see who's going to take the fall for him this time.
  • Kellie "Bohemian Rhapsody" - You see people? I'm not as crazy an American Idol fan as you think. Other people do remember Constantine's performance of this song also! It was one for the record books. And "ON PAPER" this performance shouldn't have worked. (I'll get to On Paper in a second). I read about this earlier and just thought to myself "no no no no!!! Kellie! Why!?" If you recall, I said that whoever chose this song would be virtually committing Idol Suicide. But something worked in this performance. Whether it was Kellie's dominatrix-like frightening appearance (which I think she was trying to portray the famous music video for the song in the beginning), or just her crazy dancing antics, or her pre-performance clip (in which she always shines!) it was actually pretty good! Don't get me wrong...it was no constantine. Then again, he did it a few rounds later when he could sing an extra minute of the song. But it was good....and I'm still perplexed at the votefortheworst pick on her. She is one of the better performers in this thing. Yeah, I know it's because she seems phony. But hey! I truly believe this girl is just a bit clueless. And if she really isn't clueless and it's all an act? Then I think she's a genius! Because it's working. She's getting votes from all of the straight guys, all of the people trying to vote for the worst, and then other people who just love her act! And come on...who didn't laugh when she said "It must be the Accent" when she was confused with Simon's "On Paper" comment? I think we can look forward to seeing the battle of the accents next week.
  • Chris - "Innuendo" - So, I had read a quote about Chris before tonight's show saying that he wanted to do it because Queen had never performed it live. I was thinking to myself "Chris, there's a reason they've never done this song live! No one knows it!" Of course, they also probably never did it live because Freddie Mercury died not long after the album was released. But I thought it was ironic that Simon made a similar comment about his song choice except he went a notch further and said it's just a bad song. I cannot stress how I agree that Chris should've picked a mainstream song to perform tonight. I had suggested "Somebody to Love," "Under Pressure," or "Another One Bites the Dust" which would've made perfect sense...but no he picks Innuendo. I think it's a silly move. But with all this negative feedback, I do have to say that I thought he did an amazing job with the song he did pick. There were some moments of brilliance in that performance. Some runs of notes where you just think "this is why the producers want this guy to win." And Simon did also agree that it was probably one of the best Vocally proficient performances of the night. But Chris, buddy, you gotta work on that song selection! Oh and good job leaving the mic stand back stage this time!
  • Katharine - "Who Wants to Live Forever" - This one fired me up. I had a chance to listen to this song on my ipod this afternoon and knew that Katharine would do well with it. But then I saw the pre-performance clip. When she actually was performing with Queen, she rehearsed to do "Don't Stop Me Now." Guess what one of the songs I picked for her was? Yep...the same! ugh!!!! Do I know this girl or what? Apparently I know half of her. The other half is indecisive! But according to the judges it was a smart move. Fine... But it was a nice ballad and she brought a great level of emotion to the performance. I even thought she was crying at one point! And Simon is right, she did LOOK amazing too. It was a great performance and she's in no danger.
  • Elliott - "Somebody to Love" - Yeah, when I read this earlier, I almost cried. My favorite Queen song going to be sung by a guy that's a cross between a fictional fawn and Danny Bonaduce. Yeah, I may be alone on this one...and I didn't notice it until tonight. Maybe it's the fact that he used to be a DJ? Or maybe it's Danny's current reality show on VH1...but somehow I saw a similarity. But I think we'll stick with Mr. Tumnus....there's just more to work with there! Anyway...my thought on him doing "Somebody to Love," one of the most emotionally powerful Queen songs of all time, was that it's either going to make me finally get on board with the guy or just hate him forever! Well, I gotta say, I'm a bit biased when it comes to this song...but I thought Elliott did a good job with it. The first glance he gave when he started it scared me....but then he got into it...and it worked. There was an awkward transition into the "Find....Me....somebody to looooove" part....but I don't think that's his fault. It was the 1 minute 30 second arrangement! I think this song done right will help anyone's chances to stay in this competition longer. And he did it right. I love that song...and maybe after that performance more people love the song too! Buy some Queen albums people! They will Rock you! (niiiice....I'm giving Ace some props!)

  • Taylor - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - Okay, well it's a better choice than "We Are the Champions" which I think is what he was going to do. But has anyone forgotten yet about David Radford's unbearable crooning performance of this song during the Semi-Finals yet? We got to see Taylor Twist and Shout all across the stage and do his thing. And what can I say? I love the guy...he's great...and he's the most popular contestant by far. Dialidol.com has had him at #1 since day 1....all of the message boards are flooded with Taylor related propaganda.....he's got that likability factor. But I was thinking more along the lines of Simon tonight...and I may get blasted for saying so....but I may be getting a little tired of Taylor's routine! I'm allowed to give the guy criticism because he's in no danger of getting voted off, and I want him to succeed! Yeah...it's been 3 weeks since we've seen him run around the stage twisting and back spasming....but 3 weeks ago when we did see him do it, wasn't it the same as what he did tonight? Just different lyrics and melody? The guy loves music...no doubt...and he rocked out Queen 1000 times better than Radford. But we're not looking at the top 24 anymore. We're looking at theoretically the 8 best singers that auditioned this year (oh come on...it was funny and you know it!...if not...now it is!) Does this performance rank up there? I dunno. Maybe I'm expecting too much. Maybe I'm just still laughing over the fact that Taylor had problems with his stage show and couldn't knock down his mic stand! But I am finding myself questioning whether I feel ANYONE deserves the title of American Idol this year. I haven't felt that way since the dreaded Season 3! Oh speaking of Fantasia...guess who was in the audience tonight? Yep! Awesome! Have I ever mentioned how much I love Fantasia? Yeah, and I never will!
  • Paris "The Show Must Go On" - And in an ideal world it would go on without Paris! So paris was sporting a Tina Turner "do" tonight complete with leather pants (I think. Well that's the image I was left with...it doesn't matter if I was right!). Seriously...who lets their 16 year old daughter wear this stuff? Anyway...this was the 3rd song that I questioned being chosen. But I do see why Paris would've chosen it. We can guess Paris has never heard of Queen before. When the Elite 8 walked into the Arena where Queen (with Paul Rodgers fronting the band) was doing a private performance for them, the band was performing "The Show Must Go On." Paris was probably awe struck by the performance and figured she could do it just as well as them. I wrote down a couple notes on what transpired. "What the hell is she saying???? I can't Understand!" She sang half of the song under her breath. I think this is what encouraged Randy to state how it "started rough" then "got a little rough in the middle"....but "DAWG you pulled it off in the end!" What for 2 bars??? Seriously, is this a compliment? I dunno, I talked to some other people that were impressed with the end. And I just thought to myself..."Really? Did I miss something?" Why is it when I think Paris was good, everyone else thinks she was awful, and when I think she was awful, people are awestruck? I just don't get it! When will we all get on the same page and vote this girl off!? lol At least Simon agreed with me that it was just a weird performance. And I started to notice it last week and even more so this week. It sounds like she's singing with a stuffy nose or some kind of cold all of the time! Hey I just write your reading material..you don't have to agree! Like I said before, I think there were maybe 2 bars of "oh wow...she can really sing" melodic notes in this performance. And maybe that was enough to make people think it was good. But I went back and watched again just to make sure I wasn't crazy....and my mind didn't change. But come on....let's be real. Lisa Tucker - voted off 2 weeks ago, Mandisa - voted off last week. Could you imagine what would happen in Los Angeles if Paris Bennett was voted off this week? Can't we all just get along? (Am I going too far with this stuff? am I going to get hate mail? lol)

So it comes down to this...compared to the last 2 weeks, the Queen Week was a good time. If anything, it got me re-listening to some oustanding music for 7 days and actually anticipating tonight's performance. But, as always, there are just performances that don't fit the bill. And my friends, I don't think we're going to have a shocker on our hands come Wednesday. Here's my picks.

Bottom 3 Picks: Bucky, Ace, Paris (Wildcard: Katharine Bonus Wildcard: Chris)
Elimination Picks: Ace Young - Ace, did you have your lucky hat with you tonight? You've jazzed up way too many songs unnecessarily for my taste and now you must go. Who would've thought that a QUEEN would be the downfall of an ACE? (ba dum...CHING!)

Yeah, we're just getting to that point where our bottom 3 should be pretty standard. Bucky, Ace, and Paris are the ones that need to get out of this competition. And it's anyone else's game to lose. Elliott is still hanging on by a thread, but I liked his performance tonight (due to my own biased opinions) so I didn't even put him in danger. I'm throwing Katharine and Chris into the wildcards for picking unknown songs...you just never know with America what's going to happen!

At this point I'd like to revise my statement on dialidol.com. The site was not right 2 weeks in a row, as I stated in last Wednesday's blog. It was exactly right last week, but the week prior Lisa Tucker was actually ranked 3rd best on the list and was still sent packing! This just goes to show that the website isn't spoiling anything! I think where that site can get misguided is with potential West Coast Idol voters having different opinions than the East Coasters. Not to mention all of the Cingular Wireless customers who text in their votes. I mean the margin of error in tracking busy signals in itself is a ridiculous concept. There's just no science to it! We can compare my picks with their picks and what actually goes down tomorrow when the field is narrowed to 7. See you then!

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