TAYLOR HICKS - American Idol 2006 (Season 5) Winner.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
TAYLOR HICKS - American Idol 2006 (Season 5) Winner.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
It's finally here. Hollywood's finest got dolled up for the event (well Mandy Moore and Ben Stiller got camera time). America's favorite guilty pleasure has reached its culmination point and it's time for the country to crown the new idol. Well, it's been quite a road, hasn't it? A grueling and over-extended Audition process, the diluted Hollywood rounds, and the pointless 3 day February Sweeps Semi-Finals, and (most shocking) 41 BLOGS from yours truly! God knows I'm excited to get this over with! But at the same time, I am also a bit sad that amateur hour is coming to a close for 2006. No fear, the 2 hours of off-key concert'ing Wednesday Night will be sure to have me prepared to do without Idol for 7 months and change!
Last year I took a stroll down Memory Lane in our Finale write-up. So, let's do it again!
- Season 1 - Kelly Clarkson vs Justin Guarini - no Brainer....there were 2 talented people in season 1 and Justin wasn't one of them. Kelly goes on to 2 multi-platinum albums (latest sold over 10 million worldwide) , 2 grammy's, and many other awards to add to her trophy shelf. Still the most successful Idol to date. (and my personal fave!) BTW...She's performing with Rascal Flatts on the Country Music Awards tonight (Tuesday) and her Ford commercial is on the TV as I write this! (I'm proofreading after she performed....she looked hideous and the performance wasn't so good. It means NOTHING!!!)
- Season 2 - Ruben Studdard vs Clay Aiken - probably still the closest season to date. One could argue season 4 was a close one, but I think the idol producers already had their winner pegged from the beginning. A lot of controversy surrounded the votes on season 2 since they were less than 100,000 votes apart out of the millions that voted. Clay Aiken is still outselling Ruben even though Ruben cashed in with his successful single "Sorry 2004" a couple years back. But his 2nd album fell short in sales when he was unable to promote it due to health issues. Clay is probably working on his next album these days...and the claymates will support him forever. (I am not one of them!)
- Season 3 - Fantasia BORINGo vs Diana Bubblegum DeGarmo - Ugh...I've made no secret about the fact that I HATED season 3. There were absolutely NO redeeming qualities of the season. (nope...not even laughing at Jon Stevens!) And if they hadn't changed the rules in season 4, the Idol ship may have sunk. Fantasia is quite possibly the worst role model that America can have. She was a teenage mother who has never learned to read! Yet, there she was singing her way to Idol gold. And God was she annoying. And I guess she's doing well these days, but I sure has heck haven't heard any of her tunes besides Tamyra Gray's "I Believe" (the other talented season 1 contestant)
- Season 4 - Carrie Underwood vs Bo Bice - My 2nd favorite season. This was the year AI established itself as a force to be reckoned with from now until the foreseeable future. It has now become a part America's culture. And Carrie was the perfect girl to root for during this transition. The rules changed...they tweaked a slowly fading machine....instead of 4 weeks of semi-finals and 32 finalists....they went to 3 weeks of narrowing down the final 24. The new rules forced a top 12 of 6 guys and 6 girls. And they thankfully raised the entry age to 28 (at time of auditions...Taylor is 29 now afterall). So there were 2 great performers that made it to the finals in season 4....and it was a tough call going with Carrie last year for my pick, but the finals seemed to be "tailored" for her to win it all. Bo is still doing well with his single "The Real Thing" and Carrie has gone triple platinum with her debut album Some Hearts, which I've already admitted to owning. She also has won 2 Country Music Awards since I've been watching tonight. (And yes...she thanked American Idol. I don't care if Kelly didn't!)
So what does this prove? It proves that American Idol, like it or not, has become a major influence on what our country and the world will be listening to for years to come. And I am totally on board with the Cash Cow that it has become! Season 5 was the first season where there were very few contestants to dislike (although we still had Paris, didn't we?). However, at the same time, there weren't many contestants with the same vocal power of the winners of the past. But still there were great storylines. The Pickler Saga, The Grey Haired Wonder, Katharine coming into her own, Elliot transforming from a Fawn to almost passing as a human, Chris having an obscene affair with a mic stand, Kevin Covais making a fool of himself and guaranteeing a life of chastity for himself for many years to come, and of course....the drama between the judges and our host. Has there ever been more drama with these crazy mainstays? It got to the point of utter annoyance this year, but I still found myself glued to that TV watching the saga unfold.
So a lot of talent this year, and it was hard to see how everything was going to go down. Taylor Hicks was a personal favorite of mine right from the start. Especially when Simon just didn't understand him. He had that love for music that just surrounded his presence in the audition room. I knew there was something special about him. But never in a million years did I think that my liking the guy would be shared my everyone else across the country. All of us united in proving Simon wrong....Taylor went from underdog to "The guy to beat." Even when this guy had an off week....he was still untouchable. The man never hit the bottom 3 (always a good sign since Kelly and Carrie didn't either), and always topped dialidol.com (which has proven itself pretty accurate this year).
Katharine was a favorite of many way back when as well. But we knew that she would have to edge out some stiff competition to get to the final 3, let alone final 2. Once she kicked Chris to the curb during the final 4 week, she had paved her way to the finals. She's got one hell of a voice and has had some of the best performances on idol this year. She and Taylor have had quite a few bumpy performances over the weeks, but both of them were able to rebound when it counted...and that's how we are where we are. Who was able to keep up the momentum for one more week? We'll find out soon enough.
In the meantime, we can break it down ourselves! If you read the Season 4 finale write-up, you will know I like to write up this one a bit differently. We will score them up song by song and then issue the final verdict! You guys know the rules, sing well, perform well, and America will love you...now let's get it on!!!
Randy: It's ON tonight!
Paula: Hopefully they are IN good voice! (Seriously, Paula? 2 weeks in a row?)
Simon: Pray the other one forgets their words
Favorite Previous Round Performance #1
"Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"
Was it disturbing that the McPhans and the Kat Pack took up a collection to send her 1000 roses tonight? Hells Yeah it was! But how was her performance? Well, I think Katharine standing this time around (instead of singing from her knees) may have hurt her a bit. But I still thought she sounded well. The crazy box drummers returned to employment for one more night. One even got some lovin from Kat's posterior while she pranced around the stage. So, it was a decent performance from Katharine, but I think her original performance was better. Here's what the judges thought.
Randy: Yo Yo Yo, so Check it out. You're finally having fun. Better than first time! (ugh Randy! Get your ears cleaned!)
Paula: Fun. More of you, Better of you to come. (??? Sometimes it's better to say no words at all Paula)
Simon: Good with a small "g." Occasion tonight is bigger than that song. I call it a warm-up.
"Living For the City"
Wow. Besides that ridiculous Velvet Jacket he was sporting, did Taylor come tonight to play? Hells yeah he did! I recall him doing this song during Stevie Wonder week, but it seemed like he brought his game to a whole other level this time around. He just rocked it out. A few disappearing lower register notes, but I don't think he was really trying to hit them. He just let the background vocals do their thing as he danced his way into America's living rooms. Good Stuff.
Randy: Yo Yo Yo, so Check it out, Right? I was worried when you picked Stevie but you don't care! You made it your own. We have a hot one right here America!
Paula: We Match! Your jacket looks like blueberries and I AM Blueberries!!! I got your dance down! (yes...blueberries were not mentioned, but I love my ongoing pointless joke! leave me alone!)
Simon: The Audience hated you! (ba dum ching!) Great Start. Smart Song Choice, Worst Jacket I've ever seen in my life (agreed!)
Round 1: Katharine 0 - Taylor 1
Favorite Previous Round Performance #2
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
So Kat went with both previous performances where she sang from the floor. For this 2nd number, she stayed on the floor. And boy was she excited that she was singing in the right key (with the ear monitor malfunctions and all). I'm sure this song will be a B-side on her inevitable Idol Single release (all of the final 2 contestants have released singles). It was a good performance, but I don't think it was quite as good as her jaw dropping rendition last week. But it is the song to look at if you want to see what genre Katharine excels at.
Randy: Yo Yo Yo so Check it out! For me? Yo Yo. Same song again and you worked it out again!!
Paula: God Given Talent. You are Possessed! And all the fathers are crying! (I don't make this stuff up!)
Simon: In Round 1 you were slaughtered. But you've come back with your best performance of the competition.
I thought Taylor performed the Elton John classic with more conviction (thanks for the word, Paula) than when he last sang it during the semi-finals. I remember back then hearing pitch problems all over the place and the judges praising him for his performance. I also remember disregarding the pitch problems in favor of his love for music, which still shines in this guy. But now he's got a confidence of 30 million people watching him from week to week, and he sang that thing like he wrote it himself (he looks old enough to have written it!). Still, probably his weakest performance of the night. But even the weakest was really good.
Randy: Taylor Hicks (wow..that was new Randy!). So Check it Baby! (ugh) Nice song. To be honest it was a little pitchy for me (HUH???)
Paula: What may be pitchy to you is the essence of what Taylor is (...)
Simon: That doesn't make any sense Paula! (agreed) Katharine wins 2nd round.
I guess I'll agree with Simon on this one. Even though I love the Elton tune, it's tough to argue when Katharine rips out the song that dropped jaws across America last week.
Round 2: Katharine 1 - Taylor 1
Awful Cheesy Idol Songs
Okay...it's May. You know what that means, we are introduced to at LEAST 2 songs made purely of home grown CHEESE. I'm talking about leaving the milk in the fridge months after its expiration date and then opening the fridge, and broadcasting what's inside for all of America to see, smell and hear (oh yes..you can HEAR cheese!). And American Idol did not let us down this year! Enter "MY DESTINY." Katharine begins to sing with a crazy back-lighting. Was this an attempt at an illusion to make us think that this song was actually COOL? I was almost worried that they wouldn't bring out the crazy Idol Finale Choir this year when we were almost done Kat's song....but my fears subsided when DESTINY took a dramatic swing, the crazy choir came out, and Kat fell back into her off-key singing. Now, we know the contestants are already handicapped with these tunes due to their awfulness, but you have to find a way to shine with these songs and make them your own. Kat kinda just seemed like she was happy to make it that far. She wasn't convincing us that it was her "destiny" to win the crown. And that final note? Talk about Anti-Climatic and Ear piercing. I've been a Katharine fan since early on, but this isn't the final impression you want to leave on America. JUDGES, what do YOU say?
Randy: So I'm keepin it real 1.) You look amazing (ouch) 2.) You Sounded really Good 3.) I did NOT love the song.
Paula: That's not your fault! You are brilliant! (constructive!)
Simon: I am sorry. You went from Brilliant to "quite good" in one song. America if you want to vote for Katharine tonight, remember the 2nd song.
Simon went on to say how much potential Katharine has. And he's right. Even if she doesn't come home with the crown, she should be just fine.
"Do I Make You Proud?"
Okay, so maybe this wasn't the WHOLE Milk left in the fridge. Just the LOW-Fat milk. It wasn't as painful of a song to endure. But it just showed how much of a treat it is to watch Taylor bring a song to life. He may have not been the best singer in the competition (even though he's pretty darn good) he was able to sing each song convincingly and emotionally. Taylor probably hated the song he was singing, but he sucked it up and performed the hell out of it. He knows what road is before him after he gets past this single. Taylor sealed the deal with this showmanship. If you don't believe me, listen to the pack of screaming fans jammed in the Kodak theater and the judges' reactions.
Randy: Yo Yo So Check it out! Slightly better song. But YOU know who Taylor Hicks is and you made it your own dawg!!!
Paula: You were better than the song! I love you! I love Blueberries! I love pancakes! I love Blueberry Pancakes!
Simon: Assuming I was right that the show was tied, then you have just won American Idol.
Round 3: Katharine 1 - Taylor 2
It is now we must remind America that Simon had initially passed on Taylor Hicks, which brought us to this point in the first place. The raging Soul Patrol fanbase has stuck with Taylor through it all. And with that, there's not much more to say. Once Chris was booted out of the competition, it seemed cut and dry to me who was going to win Idol. We have just been going through the motions the past week. So, let's do it!
Elimination Pick: Katharine McPhee
WINNER OF AMERICAN IDOL 2006: TAYLOR HICKS
Like I said, love him or hate him, when you think back on Season 5 of American Idol you will remember "THAT GUY WITH THE GREY HAIR." Taylor is not just a performer, he lives and breathes music and people have recognized that. Never in a million years did the Soul Patrol think that Taylor would make it this far, but as the weeks went by it became more and more possible (obviously). He came out strong, fizzled in the middle, but rebounded BIG time. And in a season with no clear favorite, he has earned the title. Now let's just see if America agrees with me and the judges.
Well that's it kids. I went all out tonight with the blog (since I had the time), you can be sure that tomorrow's recap will be quite short. The excitement is in the suspense. After the winner is crowned, there won't be much to talk about. And let's not kid ourselves. Lost is 2 hours tomorrow night too! I'm splitting my time!
I'll save my BIG goodbyes for tomorrow, but it has been a fun ride. And I hope you all have enjoyed the 40+ write-ups that have come your way this season. I never see any comments so I can only assume there are people reading this! (besides the little side emails I get)
Let's have one more goal before this season ends. If you have read and enjoyed these blogs this past season, click on comments, and POST something! I dare you! Can we get 10 comments? That's my dream! (I dream small these days). And if you, dare I say it, disagree with my Taylor pick....go ahead and prove me wrong! Some of you tried to convince me my Carrie pick was bad last year (Oh yes...I remember!). That was different though, it was a tight race. This is all but a sure thing at this point, but comment anyway! I'll admit it, I'm shameless when it comes to my ego!
Okay, tomorrow night, 2 hours of pointless interviews with the hometown crowds, cameos from previous idol contestants, the top 10 or 12 of season 5 return for a summer concert preview, Paula will say something that will prove she is drunk yet again, and then during the final 8 minutes of the show the crown of American Idol will be passed! ENJOY the show, and I'll see you here after the results!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Eliminated: Elliott Yamin
Dialidol.com: 3.) Elliott Yamin
Mikey V: 3.) Elliott Yamin
It was ashame to see him go, but we all knew it was his time. There's really not much else to say! FAREWELL TUMNUS! We'll Miss you! See you next week at the finale! (ZING!)
And for those of you that DID endure that hour long trainride of obvious suspense, you got to see a presentation Clive Davis for 33 Million American Idol related sales. Actually, it's a pretty impressive number (and we can thank Kelly Clarkson for 10 Million of them!!!)
So the showdown is set. McPhever vs Soul Patrol. I have a feeling both will do well next week, but I think my mind is already set on who will be the winner. If only for the fact that AI is so desperate for a GUY to win this show. And if you're going to remember anything from Season 5 of American Idol, it's going to be that crazy 40 Year old Man that was allowed to compete! Taylor IS Season 5. But I've loved the two of these contestants from the very beginning. My votes helped get them here....so I won't count Miss McPhee out. Maybe she will be able to sell-out to the IDOL SONG CHEESE that we'll have to painfully suffer through. Maybe Taylor will be too proud to even attempt to sing the crap justly.
Bigger questions. Who will we see next Wednesday? Will ALL of the previous Idol Champs return? We know Kelly won't be there since she no longer associates with the show. Will we get to see R.J. Helton perform us a little ditty? Oh man...I know I've been waiting for that! I heard Kellie Pickler's Dad is out of prison and will be at the finale. Awwww what a message to send to the kiddies out there!
Lots of questions....all will be answered....NEXT WEEK Stay tuned for the final 2 blogs of the season. (and like i said last night.....BE PATIENT!)
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
- Song #1 - Industry Mogul Clive Davis unwisely chooses tunes that awfully showcase our contestants.
- Song #2 - The judges pick pretty decent songs and show the contestants the songs we've wanted to hear them sing since day 1.
- Song #3 - The contestants are given one more chance to pick their own tune and show us what they're made of.
So how did they do? Let's find out!
The Little Fawn that Could
Well, the producers didn't do Elliott any favors by putting the guy first. Man, what a road this guy has been on. Can you remember how many times I picked him to go home just because I didn't think America would keep him in? Well they've stuck by him and got him to the final 3. And he's gotten nothing but better with each week. And, in my opinion, he still did fantastic tonight. But the judges were all singing the same tune as me. SONG SELECTION. Sure, he only picked one song. But it's his style of music that just doesn't ring true with the masses. It's great to hear this guy sing every week because he CAN sing. As Paula said, he's "one crazy funky white boy." (then again she also said "You are in excellent voice" Make sense of that!) Even when Clive tries to throw Elliott a bone and lets him sing the POWER BALLAD "Open Arms" from one of the greatest bands ever (I agree Randy), it just seems off. Didn't help that Elliott screwed up the lyrics to the chorus. But he kept going without skipping a beat. I thought he did well on all 3 songs. But the tunes that make Elliott who he is just won't make him an idol. And that's a shame, because he's done so well! But at least he stayed true to himself. And who knows? Maybe America will vote him through for that! If there's any larger testament I can give to Elliott, it's that I went through this whole recap of him without calling him Mr. Tumnus (ok, so I called him a fawn. That doesn't count!). He's come a long way since those awkward early stages of this competition. Good Job TUMNUS!
- Song #1: "I Believe I Can Fly" - R. Kelly (Clive, seriously, quit your job!)
- Song #2: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg (Simon's Pick)
- Song #3: "I Ain't Got Nothing But the Blues" - Duke Ellington/Don George/Larry Fotin(e)
If we hadn't had enough Scott Savol flashbacks to endure during season 5, Clive Davis makes us relive one more with picking an opus by pedaphile R. Kelly. He may as well have picked "Trapped in the Closet - Chapter 36B.3" (If you haven't heard the Trapped in the Closet Saga by R. Kelly yet, you are totally missing out!) Can't say much more about this than the judges did. She totally oversang it. But, how can you NOT oversing an R. Kelly song? R. Kelly's whole career is BASED on the concept of OVERSINGOLOGY! I guess there were tiny moments of brilliance as Simon alluded to, but clearly she saved her good stuff for her next performances.
There's no denying that "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was absotooooootely fannnnnntastic. Quite possibly the best performance of the Season (as Simon alluded to). But let me get into some conspiracy theories here. Did anyone notice how short some of the performances were tonight? Maybe the contestants had a choice how to break up the timings of the songs (as Kat's song #3 was quite short) but it seemed like she was able to sing the ENTIRE "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for the full effect and complete stupifying of the crowd. And Kat returned to her knees to give the performance. It was novel the first time, this time it got a little eyeroll from me. And the lights dimmed, we got a Bo Bice-like Acoustic beginning, slowly brought in the band, and zoomed in on Kat's lovely face. COME ON!!!!! What IS this? It just seemed to be a rigged performance to me....and it didn't help that Simon picked the song. But like I said, it was still an amazing performance and showed why we loved Katharine in the first place. This girl has got PIPES! But I just think that the producers gave Katharine some extra attention to make the performance a little MORE special. All of this to ensure her spot in the final 2 with Taylor.
As for song #3. I loved it. I have no idea what the judges were talking about. She looked sexy, she had on leather boots and she sang the hell out of that bluesy ditty. And it was a very SHORT song, which kinda made me feel better about her getting so much time for song#2. Simon, kinda incriminated himself by revisiting HIS song pick for her to try and get America to REMEMBER THAT PERFORMANCE! (hint hint anyone??) Hell it worked for me, I voted for her again! But I would've anyway. GOOD JOB KAT!
- Song #1 - "Dancing in the Dark" - Bruce Springsteen
- Song #2 - "You Are So Beautiful" - Joe Cocker/Billy Preston (Randy's Pick, hell it was MY pick!)
- Song #3 - "Try a Little Tenderness" - Otis Reading
I'm all about revisiting my former blogs when I totally call stuff. Well, here we go kids! Last Wednesday's Blog:
"The judges will probably pick one, and He'll probably pick one. For the one he picks, he has to find a balance where he can showcase his talent, but also unleash his inner Taylor. "
Well, tonight, we saw Taylor find the balance! The Wild and Crazy Taylor was Balanced by calm collected DENIRO HICKS and we got ourselves one hell of a trifecta of tunes. Apparently Clive put a special call into Springsteen to get permission to sing "Dancing in the Dark." Good thing he did. Boy, what a good time that was. SURE, he mimicked the video that made Courteney Cox famous (which, in turn, led us to one of the greatest sitcoms ever!) by pulling Paula up onto the stage extension. But who out there didn't LOVE that? (besides Simon?) It was awesome! And the best part was, usually Taylor would resort to not putting his all into the vocals on these up tempo tunes. But I saw the REAL taylor coming out in this one. And I was loving every minute of it!
With "You Are So Beautiful," we have to dig up ANOTHER Results show Blog of mine when we were discussing the "greatest love songs of all time":
"Hmmmm Greatest love songs of all time. Anyone want to put bets that Taylor chooses this week to whip out some Joe Cocker and sing "You Are So Beautiful?" "
So, he didn't do it on Love Songs week. HE SHOULD'VE!!!! And I think Randy agreed with me. Taylor is like Joe Cocker 2.0. I shouldn't say that. Taylor is NO Joe Cocker....but he's got the same mannerisms and the raspy voice. So we finally got him to sing it. I'll admit it, when I thought Taylor would do the tune a few weeks back, I downloaded the ditty on itunes. And as I was listening, I started thinking "man....this song may quite possibly have the least amount of lyrics EVER!!!!" And then I started to doubt that Taylor would actually perform it. But for some reason, with that song, it just doesn't matter. It's such a simple yet "beautiful" (no pun intended) song. And Taylor really did it up nice. Probably a wise choice that he didn't try to do a carbon copy of Cocker's version. When Joe gets to those high notes, he kinda just screams them in a whisper. It works on the recording and for Joe Cocker. But Taylor is in a SINGING competition. So Kudos to HICKS on this one!
Song #3? Who doesn't love a little Otis Reading to cap off the night? When I heard a couple hours before the show (too late for a preview blog!) that Taylor was going to do "Try a Little Tenderness" I couldn't have picked a better song to showcase Taylor. And the best part was Taylor picked it himself (even though Paula tried to steal credit for it). This tune was almost WRITTEN to showcase the 2 Taylors! So needless to say from my quote (referenced above) from last week's blog, Taylor needed to pick a song that shows a healthy balance of Crazy and Talented Taylor.....HE DID IT! It was outstanding. Apart from Simon criticizing the ending of the tune, he was on board too. How could he not be? He's already crowned him winner. America loves that Grey Haired wonder this year. He may not go on to sell millions of albums, but it's been sure fun to watch him perform every week! And we may get to see One crazy funky WHITE boy finally win American Idol! whoops! I think I was supposed to just suggest what I wanted to say without saying it. That's very UN-PC of me. Well, hey if PAULA can say it, why Can't I? She defines what is PC, doesn't she? I mean, she talked on Live television about taping some of her female anatomy to her blouse with double-stick tape! (oh NOW I get PC!) Anything goes after that folks! Sorry!
So there's not much to say here that I haven't already said. I think this week is pretty straight forward. If it doesn't go this way, I will genuinely be surprised (well...that is...until I go read dialidol.com right after I post this).
Bottom 2: Get Real!
Eliminated From Competition: Elliott Yamin. I've said it time and time again, but it may be time to get out your magic flute, cut your hair down to reveal your little horns on your head....take your shoes off and let your hooves breathe....and trot your way back to Narnia to be in service to the Castle of the 4 Thrones. Lucy misses you!
Well that's it kids. We'll know tomorrow who is partaking in the less than anticipated Season Finale this year. I'll admit it, I'm already having conflicted feelings about watching the Lost finale over Idol next wednesday, even though Idol is LIVE. At least Idol is on from 8-10 and Lost is 9-11, so I can work some TiVo magic...somehow!
But this reminds me. As an early warning, due to an intense night of TV watching on May 24th, blogs will most definitely be delayed the following day (or even maybe the day after that! sorry!!!) But hold on to hope. I've been known to pull writing miracles before. Just setting expectations for my impossible situation as we wind down with all of the shows!
I do love rambling! Anyway, hope you enjoyed this lovely write-up and I'll see you for some more elegant and UN-PC writing tomorrow when we find out who will face off in the Kodak Theater. GOOD NIGHT!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Eliminated: Chris Daughtry
Bottom 2: Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry
Dial Idol.com: 3.) Katharine, 4.) Chris
If Idol history has taught us any lesson, it's that sometimes one of the favorites to win a competition may fall out during the Top 4 performances. Look no further than Season 1 (Tamyra Gray) who was beaten out by Karaoke Queen Nikki McKibbin or even Season 3's LaToya Londan who sported about the same amount of personality on stage as Chris. She was beaten out by Tone Def Jasmine Trias and Bubble Gummy Diana DeGarmo. Only in Season 2 and 4 did we get our best 2 contestants to stay in until the end. Alas, here is season 5 where it's anyone's game to lose. Katharine garnered the sympathy vote while people just assumed Chris would be safe. And...well. Dialidol.com got it right one more time.
Did anyone see Katharine's face the whole night? She barely cracked a smile. Which would probably lead to Chris's shock when Ryan announced his name. He didn't even try to hide the fact that he thought he was going to win the whole thing. This just goes to show you that Personality goes a long way. Especially when you don't have Carrie Underwood's pipes!
So, we got the scenario that I thought would never happen. Katharine, Taylor, and Elliott. And you know what? It's the 3 most likeable contestants. So, I don't even care who wins! I've voted for all 3 of them! Would be silly of me to continue to do that. So who will be our final 2? Is it even possible to guess at this point? I think we need to judge based on their performances. But if you go by dialidol.com the past few weeks...you'll see that Taylor and Elliott have been sticking around at the top of the bunch. But we all know that Katharine can turn her A-Game on whenever she wants. This should be a pretty exciting run to the finish line.
I'm just rambling now....but did anyone think that the Elvis Group Medley was maybe one of the best ever in Idol history? They really enjoyed themselves out there and put on a good show. Sure, some of the parts where they all were singing together was cheesy as always....but I like me some cheese every now and then!
And what about Chris singing "Love Me Tender" and leaving Molly behind? Didn't he look so much more comfortable on stage? Why didn't anyone tell him to do this more often? We'll probably find out all of the mysteries on LOST before we figure this one out! (whoops! wrong blog again!)
Well, like I said, I'm rambling. But, I'm excited for the final 2 weeks this year. Should be interesting how it all goes down. See you next week!
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
American Idol. Elvis Presley. Shocking that it took 5 seasons to bring the 2 together. Of course, this crop of kids were probably the best to showcase the KING's Music on the current King of Television. So why is it then that tonight's show still left me singing the same song of "What is wrong with this season?" I mean it's great that no one can exactly pinpoint a winner this season, because it changes on a weekly basis. But, that just means that none of these kids have consistently "brought it" like winners in the past. And that's what makes it so difficult for me to enjoy this season for the same reasons as I have enjoyed it in the past. This season just seems like there have been more likeable and/or entertaining (for the right or wrong reasons) people on the show. I still have a hard time putting any of these guys up against the likes of Kelly, Clay, Ruben, Carrie, Bo, and Craptasia. But, sometimes I just have to accept that it's only a TV show! And I have to accept that this is just a recap OF that TV show. Therefore...Let's get this "show" on the road!
Our remaining 4 got to visit the Mecca of Rock and Roll and meet the 1st Lady of Rock n' Roll Priscilla Presley as well as Mega Record Producer Tommy Mottola to help them with their tunes this week. Here is the result!
Song#1 - I Can Dream
Song#2 - Trouble
- Katharine: Hound Dog, Can't Help Falling In Love
- Taylor: Jailhouse Rock, In the Ghetto
- Chris: Suspicious Minds, A Little Less Conversation (duh)
- Elliott: Trouble, If I Can Dream
My initial thoughts? 6 Songs I know, and 2 I don't. The 2 I don't? That's right....Mr. Tumnus picked them again! (sidenote: I probably do know them, but the song titles don't ring any bells for me, and well that just means they're less popular and already give Elliott a tougher road!) I actually think Kat, Taylor, and Chris went exactly with Simon's advice and picked GREAT songs. But, in a predictable move, Chris naturally picked a song that has gotten the most recent radio airplay in "A Little Less Conversation." Problem with Chris is...he's gonna have to show some life on stage for that song to work! But I think he picked a perfect song for him in Suspicious Minds...I'm sure we'll see the ongoing love affair with his mic stand while he utters the words "We Can't Go on Together." Katharine should rock the house in her sexy style with "Hound Dog" and bring that same house to tears with "Can't Help Falling in Love."
But as we know with Idol, there's always a chance for surprise performances, but my gut instinct is that we're going to follow the trend of people getting voted off at the right time for one more week. Let's see if I'm singing the same tune Wednesday night.
Enjoy the show! More Blog to follow!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Bottom 2: Elliott, Paris (Oh yeah...got it right this week!)
Eliminated: Paris Bennett
Dialidol.com: 3.) Elliott 4.) Katharine 5.) Paris
Is it me or are people getting elminated off this show according to all of our plans? There has been no ULTIMATE SHOCKERS this season. One could argue Mandisa was a shocker, but she did have a god awful week when she got the boot. Now, we are left with 4 genuine singers. Not one of those 4 are someone you can really hate with a passion. I think, if anything, people have developed a hatred for Chris because they just don't feel like he is a deserving winner this year. Hey, I agree with that group. But we may have to face the fact that it just might happen. The crazy thing is, ANYTHING can happen. I mean all bets would say that Elliott would be next to go. Especially with Elvis Week coming up (we think...they are going to Memphis for a little workshop in Graceland. Hmmm I wonder if the Wednesday Results show will be when Elvis finally comes out of hiding and performs for America! We know he's still alive!!!) I don't know if Elliott quite has developed a charisma large enough to handle the KING. Then again, has Chris? Chris has that brooding quality that Elvis always had....but he's gonna have to let loose on that stage if he's gonna dance to the Jailhouse Rock.
So what does this mean? It means it's anyone's game. Last week we saw Katharine and Chris as a surefire Final 2. But Taylor bounced back and evened the playing field this week. Song selection WILL be key in the final rounds.....and WOOing the crowd is even more essential. Pretty exciting stuff!
Ok, so before I get out of here for the night, I just wanted to jot down some of the most ridiculously funny things that happened on tonight's results show.
- Justin Guarini was there. Enough said
- Paris said hi to everyone in the audience individually during her Prince performance and sounded absolutely awful singing! (yeah...i find this funny.....especially when it's topped off with Ryan dancing his white boy dance and carrying Paris's mic equipment!)
- The crazy IDOL choir came out 3 weeks in advance for when they are truly needed. And not only did they come...but they brought some crazy flamboyant guy in a tanktop going crazy on stage!
- The Idol Song - oh the Idol song....so horrific that it was worth watching. The best part was watching Chris and Taylor trying to take the performance seriously. ahhh good times.
- The judges spatting about poll percentages. Randy booing Simon every week (seriously??? dude you're lame!). Paula's dancing in support of Paris. The list goes on and on! but come on people....what was really the funniest thing? we have to say it again...
- Justin Guarini was there.
And with that I'm off. See you next week where the King returns in the form of 4 amateurs who will attempt to end his post-humous career.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I wanted to open up this write-up tonight saying something witty about why I chose to watch American Idol instead of indulging in one more period of a 1-sided Playoff Hockey game that the Philadelphia Flyers...(I'm sorry...that the buffalo sabres!) played tonight. But, I really couldn't think of anything witty to say about being down 3--0 after the 1st Period! So yes my friends...TiVo and all...I watched every minute of American Idol and every commercial with it. And thank God I did! Did anyone catch that Ford commercial during the 1st Break? Now, if my obsessive ears didn't deceive me, that sure sounded like a never-before-heard KELLY CLARKSON song that we were being treated to! Look out kids! Album 3 will be in stores by the end of '06/beginning of '07. And I just know that you all will be snatching up your tickets to the her summer tour! (whaaat? I won't be there! Me at a Kelly Clarkson concert? what?? oh yeah...I already admitted I went last summer, didn't I? oops). Well, unfortunately, our ears weren't treated all night to the likes of our first Idol. Instead, we have the 5 wannabe's vying for the crown of the 5 year old Talent Show.
Oh yes, I didn't get to this point in my life writing Free Blogs for anyone that wants to read by not knowing how to write up a nice segueway! (no, I'm not bitter that I'm really an IT professional moonlighting as an Entertainment Guru!) On with the show! So tonight we were "treated" to 2 songs from each of our final 5 contestants.
Song #1: A song from the year you were born! (with an exception!)
Song # 2: Something from any of this past week's Billboard Charts (And a twist on this one too!)
Now, thanks to our loyal readers here, I had the chance to get a preview of the songs that would be featured tonight before the contestants even set stage. I thought about posting them to share with you all, but I'm lazy! Anyway, I had some preconceived notions before even going into tonight's performances. And I'll share my pre-performance theories with you before we start analyzing.
1.) Paris will go home because she's singing Prince. Not only Prince but "KISS!!!!" I mean, who DOES that Really????
2.) I love the song "Against All Odds" but I just can't picture Katharine doing it, and I envision it being an utter mess. Plus Scott Savol did it last season.
3.) Not sure if I agree with Elliott's song choices. I don't really know that 2nd one, and well Scott Savol sang the other one!
So without further adieu...let's break things down IDOL style!
Birth Year - 1978 (representin!!!!!)
- Song #1: "On Broadway" George Benson
- Song #2: "Home" - Michael Buble (with the crazy accent thing on the e!)
Well let's start with the good stuff. Elliot soooooo was scatting tonight! And well, you gotta give props to the SKAT MAN! He was no MC Skat Kat, but Paula was still diggin "On Broadway." My big issue with Song #1 was his lower register. You can always tell when a singer is awkwardly trying to avoid low notes by changing the melody. It drives me crazy! And Tumnus was doing it tonight. But the rest of his performance was still really good. But I couldn't get visions of Scott Savol and his ghetto fabulous attire trying to sing this song last year to save his butt for one more week. But Elliott did seem to exude (my "Paula word of the week") confidence tonight with his performance. He's getting more comfortable each week on that stage. FLYERS UPDATE: 5-0 Buffalo. whoopity doo.....
As for Song #2, I didn't think I had heard the song before. But it sounded familiar after Elliott start belting it out. I thought he did a really nice job with "Home." A very controlled performance filled with emotion. But will your average Idol fan appreciate a performance like this? I would hope so. But Simon doesn't share in this hope. In fact he warned Elliott that choosing a song with the lyrics "I want to go home" may be the end of him. Will Elliott be phoning home this week? ba dum ching!!! (How did we go 4 months without an ET reference for Elliott?) We'll see.
Paris Bennett aka Fantasia 2.0
Birth Year - 1988 (ouch)
- Song #1: "Kiss" - Prince (umm,.no that was 1986.)
- Song #2: "Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige
The Future father of Half Bald Human/Half Mic-Stand Offspring
- Song #1: "Renegade" - Styx
- Song #2: "I Dare You" - Shinedown
So, let me just ask, when you all do your musical performances in front of hundreds or thousands of people, and you decide to take a walk out into the crowd, do you guys bring your Mic Stands into the audience with you? This guy has some infatuation with that thing and it's like he's slow dancing with it. He's got one arm around the waist and one up on the shoulder for the whole song! I'm a broken record with this....but can we all say this to Chris together "DUDE, You're NOT BO BICE!" Bo was one guy that could work a Mic Stand. For Chris, it seems like it's more of a life-preserver than anything. If a performance is going bad, "it's ok baby...I have you" (you have to picture Chris actually saying this as he's kissing the mic stand). Anyways...the performances. I thought "Renegade" was actually really good. Besides fixating on his posture (which I always do), I thought he nailed it and even brought his own style to the song. Man, I couldn't even tell it was a Styx song. Then again, Chris sings everything the same way, so I don't know if this is a compliment! The judges raved on performance #1 as well and Paula tried to tell him how he's distancing himself from the competition (not sure I quite agree), but all that came out of Paula's mouth was "you're....setting....far...apart....." Anyways, song #2 was a different story, and Chris (AND the judges) gave the whole sob story of how he strained his voice by screaming the Shinedown song 5 times in one day. Well, any amount of screaming won't make the actual selection of the song any better or worse! And those crazy background flames came back to haunt Mr. Clean. So what we got here was the judges trying to push Chris through even though his 2nd performance was pretty lousy. He was straining and couldn't hit all his notes. Was just screaming out there. But, at least we know now...he's been under a lot of pressure so we should feel bad for him and vote him through anyway! This show isn't very subtle these days is it?
Katharine McPhee aka That Girl that Sang on Her Knees
Birth Year - 1984
- Song #1: "Against All Odds" - Phil Collins
- Song #2: "Black Horse and The Cherry Tree" - KT Tunstall
Oh I love when I'm right. If you do go above to my predictions (would be a lot more convincing if I told you all BEFORE the performance, and some of you know I did, so speak up!) I mentioned that I thought "Against All Odds" would be a trainwreck for Katharine. I'm not sure why I knew, but the song just didn't seem to fit her. I kinda knew exactly how she'd perform it. And let's put aside the bland performance and take a second to note how OUT of Tune she was for the entire song! It was horrendous! It even fooled Simon into accidentally saying that this was her "Best performance ever!" He awkwardly corrected himself in front of 30 million people. But she definitely made up for it with her weird, yet awe inspiring performance of Song #2. I was thinking today "who the hell is KT Tunstall and what is this country hick song Katharine is doing?" Little did I know, that when I was watching VH1's Top 20 Countdown last week (oh give me a break...I watch mindless TV when I'm on that treadmill!) I actually saw this crazy KT Tunstall and thought "hmm..that's actually a pretty decent song" So, MY BAD Katharine! But let's take one moment to point out the obvious. She sang the song....on her knees. the whole song. every note. yep...she's still kneeling. Has anyone ever done this before? Maybe that's why it worked. It was so crazy that it might just have been her winning ticket! It's at least enough to hopefully erase people's memories of her Phil Collins aspirations. Let's put it this way. I was going to be only voting for 1 person this week after Song #1. But Katharine won back my vote. (hmmm....maybe she won Ace's vote too since he told ew.com in an interview that people would have to win him over for his vote..... I'm sure that's exactly what they're doing, stud.) And we can't finish up talking about Katharine without giving a shout-out to all of the BOX DRUMMERS in the WORLD! YOU GO BOX DRUMMERS! There is a surplus of need for the talent you provide!
Taylor Hicks aka Gramps
Birth Year - 1976
- Song #1: "Play That Funky Music" - Wild Cherry
- Song #2: "Something" - Beatles (ummmmmm)
Ahh Taylor, the man I had written off comes back with a vengeance. I knew he'd listen to me eventually! And even more importantly, I knew he had it in him! But this guy was just annoying me week after week with his ridiculous antics on stage or even sometimes his lack of energy in his performances. Now there's a middle ground to be found between ridiculous Antics and lack of energy, and I think Taylor found that ground this week. Taylor didn't just do the TWIST during his rousing rendition of Play that Funky Music. He had some other moves....and he just flat out worked the crowd and sang his heart out. I don't know what Simon was listening to, but I saw a fantastic performance in that Paisley Patterned Grey-Haired wonder. And Song #2 was even better. But let's talk about "Something," a Beatles Classic, written by George Harrison and hailed as one of the greatest ballads of all time. We're doing songs from Today's Billboard Charts, right? So Taylor craftily, or cowardly, finds the POP CATALOG chart and finds this ancient song still selling strong. Wouldn't this have been a better performance for maybe the "LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME" theme last week? It was a perfect suit for Taylor, but I just can't fathom why they allowed him to do it. I agree with Simon that it was a sneaky move on Taylor's (and/or the producer's) part. But, hey, the man put on a great show. Sure, he slipped on a word in Verse #2. "Something in the way she mooo-knows!" I don't think anyone caught it, though except for musical me and musical Taylor. And Taylor and I both shared a secret grimace of personal despair for screwing up an otherwise perfect performance. Yet, to the average listener, it WAS flawless. And that's all that matters. Taylor got my other vote tonight. And if it wasn't for the great performances, it may have just been because I saw a hint of AUDITION TAYLOR in his "Something" performance. Yep, it was DENIRO singing the Beatles! God I've missed that. Keep Deniro around Taylor, and you may keep yourself around for the Season Finale!
By the way...for anyone that was still watching the Flyers game at THIS point, it was 7-1 in favor of the Buffalo Sabres. Yes, my friends Forsberg and the Flyers crew will just have to bounce back next year. Sounds like such a familiar comment coming from a Philadelphian (well maybe except for the Forsberg part).
Ok, so Chris had a great song 1 and a bad song 2 and positive judge reinforcement. Katharine had a bad song 1 and a great song 2 (always a lasting impression for the 2nd song to be better). Taylor had a great song 1 and 2 and is already a popular guy. Elliott had 2 decent performances but nothing that brought the audience to their feet. And well Paris is just a teenage disaster. So is there a need to do a bottom 3 this week? I'm thinking they'll just bring 2 to the center of the stage for elimination. I'm going to guess that Katharine, Chris, and Taylor are safe.
Bottom 2: Elliott, Paris (Wildcard: Chris Bonus Wildcard: Katharine)
Eliminated: Elliott Yamin - I've picked him before to head back to Narnia, and maybe he's just not ready to find the magical wardrobe to return just yet. And during our time together, I've grown to enjoy the furry little fawn. I also thought he did really well tonight. But I also mentioned in the beginning of this write-up that I wasn't thrilled with the song choices. Add that to him going First, Simon saying he's worried for Elliott, and for turning in performances that won't be remembered 4 performances later, you have yourself a worthy candidate for elimination. And since my record with these picks are so bad this year and since I really want Paris to go home, I decided I'd just pick Elliott to see if my Reverse Psychology works!
All joking aside, wouldn't it just be great for American Idol if 2 girls and 2 guys were in the final 4? awww how cute! Of course, I'm sure they'd prefer 3 guys since it's been quite some time since a guy has won. Let alone a guy of the rare demographic that Elliott, Chris, and Taylor represent. I mean seriously, in 4 seasons, not one guy of their demographic has won! You know what Demographic I'm talking about. Come on RUBEN is the only guy that has won? This raises a very controversial question. What does this say about America's feelings on fawns and pre-mature Balding and graying men in this country? (yeah....I'm just a joke machine tonight!)
Have a wonderful Wednesday folks and let's all cross our fingers that we can finally FORGET PARIS!
(PS: It's been confirmed. That WAS Kelly Clarkson in the ford commercial. Man I have good ears! http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060425/AUTO01/604250344/1148/rss25