Tuesday, April 04, 2006

American Idol: Top 9 Perform

You gotta know when to hold on to certain theme nights, but more importantly, know when to FOLD them! Please producers, if COUNTRY NIGHT shows up on any of the cards in your hand....put them on the table face down and just wait for the next round! Like my metaphor folks? Yeah, I'm getting so deep on my American Idol blog. But there is a reason. Why we had one more great America storyteller, KENNY ROGERS teaching our amateurs a thing or two about being a successful performer. Maybe Kenny should stick to singing his hits, because these kids didn't learn a thing! And for 2 weeks in a row, we have seen a subpar and unnecessary week of American Idol. And, I think, this week one of the favorites may be on the chopping block. You know what time it is, time to break it down!

  • Taylor - "Take Me Home Country Road" John Denver - Or as I like to call it "that song that I hum until I get to the WEST VIRGINIA part!" Well Kenny said it best. Taylor seemed a bit unenthusiastic to be singing the song right off the bat. And it didn't get much better as he performed it. I mean it just seemed like he was at a karaoke bar, a country music lovin friend said "you should do this one! come on...you'll be awesome at it!" and then he got up there and didn't really know it and just kinda tried to do his thing to it...but not at 100%. Sound like I know what I'm talking about? Yep, I've been there Taylor. But the thing is...he didn't just get up there. He picked the song...and stuck with it. He should've had enough sense to know this song didn't work for him. But did you hear that applause afterwards? Can this guy do no wrong? I mean, I still voted for him. Should be interesting to see where he ends up come Wednesday night.
  • Mandisa - "Any Man of Mine" Shania Twain - Or as I like to call it "my theme song!!!" Seriously...I'm straight! Well maybe it's a tie between this and "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" for my favorite guilty pleasure singing song that I hope no guy ever catches me singing. But, you know what? After Mandisa's performance, I don't think I want to hear anyone except Shania sing the song ever again. It was just bizarre. She tried to add her big crazy voice to a straight-up twangy sexy song. It didn't work. I gotta be honest. I totally overestimated Mandisa. I thought she was going to smoke tonight. But it just didn't work. She just has to hope she is not the frontrunner to fall in this dreadful week. And as for the Simon/Ryan spat: I gotta say that I had thought the same thing about Ryan's scruff this week. Kinda ironic that it coincided with the news that he's dating Teri Hatcher and now he resembles Mike from Desperate Housewives. (Seriously...Shania AND Desperate Housewives...and I'm still holding onto my manhood! I deserve a medal!)
  • Tumnus - "If Tomorrow Never Comes" Garth Brooks - Why didn't Elliott try to tie into his performance how The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe was released on DVD today. I mean it would multiply his exposure and votes by the millions! Think of all the talking beavers out there that don't even watch American Idol! I may be in a minority here, but I actually thought this was a better one of his performances. He did seem a little nervous, but he was at least a little more under control and not hoppin and boppin and doing his rap dance and I could ALMOST concentrate on his performance without laughing at him. And if "Careless Wreckless Abandon" isn't a ringing endorsement from Paula, then I think he's got the Narnia card in his pocket for a future day. Not sure where our favorite fawn will end up on the 9 stools wednesday night, but it'll all come down to how everyone else measures up.
  • Paris - "How Do I Live Without You" Trisha Yearwood/LeAnn Rimes - Yeah I'm sure some of you thought I'd just put LeAnn Rimes. I'm not totally Country Clueless! But a lot of America is. And that's why I thought this was a smart song choice on Paris's part. Besides her messing up where she was in the song (she recovered okay) I thought the performance wasn't TOO Bad. I've talked to some who thought it was awful. But I think she hit some power notes in there that will get her through the day. I really thought she'd struggle with this theme. Some would argue she did. But jury's out for me. And History was made tonight as Paula got booed and Simon got cheered for being the only judge that liked the performance. Early Dionne Warwick? Was he just milking his moment in the sun? I dunno. I don't know if it was THAT good. But I don't think it was the worst performance of the night. By the way, if you rewind your TiVo to immediately after Paris's performance you'll hear simon say to Paula "Try and incorporate the word 'Mongoose'" Crazy stuff. He just loves messing with that Paula, doesn't he?
  • Ace - "Tonight I want to Cry" Keith Urban - awww Ace, I want to cry too. You sitting on that stool, making puppy dog eyes to the camera....awwwwww. Anyway...yeah he was pretty good tonight. Boring...but good. And it's the type of music he needs to be singing. It's where he can make the ladies swoon....and where he doesn't get into ridiculous "look at my scar" rhythmic dances. But the question is in this. Was it good enough? In another week of miserable performances....and with him being a bottom 3 dweller last week, does he have enough support to keep him out of that bottom 3? I'm still thinking about it.
  • Kellie - "Fancy" Reba McEntire - Ahhh more damage control. Notice how Ryan is forced to address all the negative media buzz that is hitting some of the contestants. Last week was with Chris doing LIVE's version of "I Walk the Line" without giving them credit. This week, we're addressing Kellie being a Phony. Sure they covered calamari, which apparently her friends never heard of either, but they didn't address the whole "What's a Ballsy?" comment. Hey, I'm fine with that. To me she's still fun to watch perform and just chat it up. And hey, did you catch her $300 Hairdo? Apparently she paid to have some acclaimed hairstylist from North Carolina come out and do her hair. (I'm guessing HE may sing "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" and mean it!) I didn't think the hair looked THAT much different, but it still looked good. I had the same thoughts on Simon after she was done performing. How could she not do well this week? This is her Genre. But pre-performance, I was worried about another "Suds in the bucket" incident. But she rocked it out tonight.... with being one of the better performances of the night and the oxymoron (yep still a deep blog) of being on votefortheworst.com, she'll be just fine.
  • Chris - "I'm Gonna Love You" Keith Urban - All I'm going to say is, I WAS RIGHT! Past 2 weeks I've been saying Chris should do a ballad and once Simon told him to switch it up, that's exactly what he did. Now, having said that. Did he do well with it? I think it would've been helpful if it didn't fall on Country Week when he was forced to break down and do a ballad. Then again, could you see him going country crazy? Chris is starting to show signs of weakness, but he still delivered a decent performance, but it was still a bit boring. One question how did Paula come up with the fact that he "Stayed true to who he is" ????? Crazy Paula. Simon isn't a big country fan and has said that the contestants are really picking boring and uninteresting songs and America deserves better (2 weeks running). Now Keith Urban is a hot item right now (and showing some crossover potential), but I gotta agree of all the songs, why pick this one? I mean Urban is a ballad machine! (notice we saw 2 of his songs performed tonight) It was still a decent performance, but when you do a ballad, there's gotta be something in the song that you can make stand out so that the crowd remembers your performance. And that performance? I don't remember a second of it.
  • Katharine - "Bringing Out the Elvis In Me" Faith Hill - Well Katharine is back! She was heating up the place once again. And on a night where there were 4 ballads before her, this was probably a good call on her part. She lit the place up with her smile, her pizazz, and personality....oh yeah and she sang pretty well too. Katharine and her bff Kellie easily had the best performances of the night. She should be able to shake her bottom 3 scare from last week with no problem.
  • Bucky - "Best I Ever Had" Gary Allan - Well Kenny Rogers was pretty sure that no one would know this song, especially those out of the country listening realm. SURPRISE KENNY! This song hit the mainstream alternative world as well. I'm not sure where I've heard it before, but the 2 Hit wonder 90's band Vertical Horizon has also recorded the tune. Not a bad tune for Bucky. The guy knows how to pick songs that he can handle. But my problem with him still is that he just isn't strong enough for this competition. He got drowned out by the band. But he did hit all the notes, and I think once again we're going to see him stay in this competition to fight another day. It was country, and country is his thang.....And he also went last so this helps him too. You know what this means? Someone we're not quite ready to say goodbye to, may be on their way out of the competition.

Brilliant Segueway Mike! (thank you!) Ok, enough self-praise (or delay), it's time for the picks. So should I get all statistical again this week or just go with my gut since it worked last week? Maybe I'll be statistical and THEN go with my gut! That sounds fun...let's do that!

Who have been the favorites to win? Mandisa, Chris, Taylor, Katharine
Who have been predicted to go the furthest by Simon? Kellie, Chris, Taylor
Who else are really good singers in this competition? Paris, Elliott
Who didn't we mention? Ace, Bucky
Who is inexplicably sliding through round after round because there have been people worse than him? Bucky

Who was great this week? Kellie, Katharine
Who was decent, but not great this week? Elliott, Paris, Ace, Chris, Bucky
Worst performances of the night? Taylor, Mandisa
Who is asking too many questions to avoid guessing a bottom 3? Mike

Bottom 3: Mandisa, Elliott, Ace (Wildcard: Paris Bonus Wildcard: Taylor)
Elimination Pick: Elliott - Man, you should've plugged the DVD to get the Narnians to vote too! I hope I'm not right on this Mr. Tumnus, but get your crazy flute polished to play your exit music.

I know I said I liked his performance, but the more I think of it (No Mike..don't think it's bad!!!), his performance was decent mainly for being the 3rd performance of the night following subpar Taylor and Mandisa songs. But seriously, are Taylor and Mandisa going to get voted out yet? I just can't see it. I'd be shocked if it happened. I just have this feeling, by the applause, that Taylor is untouchable for now, but this performance (combined with that 50's song he did) may tarnish his image come later rounds. Mandisa may get a taste of the bottom 3 this week to put a little fear into her song choices. Many (myself included) don't like Paris. But along with an OKAY performance, I think she's got her fanbase to pull her through this round. But we must keep in mind she's 16 so her clock is ticking! But I'll give her a bye this week. And maybe it'll come back to bite me in the butt. But I'm going with my scientific gut! I may be giving Bucky too much credit too, but I'm going with my gut on that too! Then there's Ace. I just have a feeling he'll be hanging out in the bottom 3 a bit before he gets the boot. But what do I know? I'm just a blog writer!

Alright, that's enough for me tonight. Hope you enjoyed and I hope you don't find me any less entertaining when you start rereading my blogs and notice how many bad picks I've made! See you after the Results Show!

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