Tuesday, May 09, 2006

American Idol: Final 4 Perform

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!

Taylor Hicks
"Admit it, you wish you had a Soul Patrol!"
Song #1 - Jailhouse Rock
Song #2 - In the Ghetto
Just like last week, we got the tale of two Taylors (alliteration intentional). Song 1, Taylor takes the risk with Simon and goes crazy for the crowd pulling in the anti-Simon votes. And I'll be the first to tell you, if this was the only side of Taylor we saw every week (which happened in earlier weeks), I'd be saying it's time to put this guy out of his misery. But when it's part of a package deal, it's a welcome change to see Taylor energize the crowd with his crazy performance antics. Not to mention his Red Pinstripe Suit was nice bold choice for him. Plus...this is Elvis Presley we're talking about. Elvis had his own crazy moves...why not let Taylor do his thing? Did it come off like an amateur Karaoke performance like Simon said? Well, at times during the performance, it may have seemed like it. But, still, there was a genuine Taylor Hicks to that performance that you don't see in your average karaoke bar. And I think Chris should take notes on how to handle a Mic Stand...cause Taylor did an outstanding job! I give performance#1 the thumbs up.
But "In the Ghetto" is definitely the Taylor I prefer, personally. The one where he showcases the gift that made America root for the "underdog" (at the time). You know what I'm talking about....The DENIRO HICKS! When he pulls out this stuff, and rips out the occasional unexpected High Note perfectly, you can actually picture Taylor winning this whole thing. And it also makes performance #1 a bit laughable in comparison. Next week, (he'll be here next week), he'll be doing 3 songs. 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. Good Luck Hicks! You still have my vote!
Chris Daughtry
"I love you Mrs. Mic Stand, do you have children I can adopt too?"
Song#1 - Suspicious Minds
Song#2 - A Little Less Conversation
It's confirmed everyone. Chris wears Boxer-Briefs, so stop filling my email inbox with the damn question! I mean seriously, who really cares what kind of underwear this skanky guy wears? I have to give the readers of this blog the benefit of the doubt that it's not any of you! I mean, did you check out that hoody and Sunglasses he was sporting during Suspicious Minds? Hey, Chris, Tom Cruise called and he wants his aviators back! I think the key to all of the Chris segments was when Tommy Mottola stated for the cameras that Chris has a voice that will sound "amazing on record." That is why our Idol team loves the balding buxom beauty of a buffoon. So Suspicious Minds, it's one of my preferred Elvis tracks. Maybe I couldn't get past the obscene and distracting Mic Stand caressing, but the performance just seemed kind of bland. He brought nothing really special to the performance. He kinda just sang it. And he sang it like he sings everything else. But hey according to Paula, we experienced something amazing. I mean, we couldn't even remember how good the song was until Chris sang it! Well she's convinced he's in the finals. Should we be too? I'd say it's probably still a safe bet. But things still got interesting tonight!
Oh yeah..forgot...song #2. I think I know what Chris was TRYING to do with this song. As I mentioned in the Preview Blog (did everyone enjoy that today? oh yeah...I'm a freak!), if Chris was going to sell this song....he was going to have to step out of his shell and SANG IT (grammar error intentional)!!! And well, I think we saw Chris half out of his shell and half clutching onto Molly (you know...the Mic Stand). And of course, he tried to sing 3/4ths of the song in the Low Elvis Tone. He was trying to make it seductive and intense....but for me he just couldn't sell it.....and then when he finally got back into his vocal range...it was just more of the same Chris and then WOAAAAA look out for that Final Note....."AHHHHHHHHHHHHHCCCCHCHCHOOOO!" Bless you! That was one hell of a scream, don't you think? Simon summed it up best when he simply said "it was ok. not you" He may get a scare this week (if they even do a bottom 2), but for some reason I can't picture Taylor, Elliott, and Katharine being the final 3...without Idol's Season 5 Posterboy in there. And I'm pretty sure he had a saving grace this week.
Elliott Yamin
"Taylor has Grey Hair, Chris is having an affair with a stage prop, and people are still making fun of me!"
- I Can Dream
Song#2 - Trouble
Awww Tumnus. It's great to see this guy get better with each week. I don't want to toot my own horn. But remember back when the kids had to select queen songs and I said whoever did "Somebody to Love" would be helped out immensely from there on out? Well that was definitely Elliott's turning point, and he hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. I know I know. I said that Elliott would struggle this week. But, I was also thinking that it was his time to go with the other 3 powerhouses still around. But Elliott just has that potential to upset one of them (a certain one has been declining in appeal in recent weeks). He whipped out 2 flawless versions of his songs. And I had stated that I didn't know the songs (and actually Simon said the same as me...he came in as an underdog and picked songs people wouldn't know), I actually knew "I Can Dream." And it was a good time. This guy just has a spectacular voice. Sure, it's better if you look the other way when he's singing....especially when he whips out those pearly white 2 front teeth for his final notes that he holds out. But his great performances can't be ignored!
Song 2 was also a great outing for Elliott. And sure we got tons of Band Shots (I totally forgot to mention Ricky Minor or whatever his name is and his dancing with his guitar during Jailhouse Rock with Taylor...crazy stuff), and the crazy dancing background singers, and the drummer having more fun than any of the idol contestants......but Elliott sang the hell out of it. But what Simon said in the end rang very true. He said that Elliott "DESERVES" to be in the next round. It may have been a play on words, since maybe he won't get there due to the popularity of other certain contestants. But, I think with the way this season has been progressing, it IS being judged on the performances from week to week. So Elliott technically should earn his way into that top 3. Good Luck Elliott! I voted for the first time for you this week!
And if his performance wasn't enough of a sale.....we got to see Paula do a Striptease, Ryan make a comment about it, and Simon scold them both! Ahhh another day in the life of Reality Television folks!
Katharine McPhee
"I'm Hot, I'm seductive. I have talent, but I just choose not to use it anymore!"
Song#1 - Hound Dog
Song#2 - I Can't Help Falling In Love
Kat, Kat, Kat....what happened to you? Sure, she had a moment of brilliance and seduction last week with an "on her knees" performance. But last week was also a clear sign of Katharine at her worst with the Phil Collins "Against All Odds" performance. Well...this week continued more on the Phil Collins trend. "Hound Dog" was a mess of a performance. Forgetting the lyrics may have been the least of the problems with it. I won't even comment on Paula giving her props for choreographically making up for her missed words (crap...does that count?) She definitely was enjoying herself prancing all around the stage, flopping herself in front of Randy, but she just wasn't singing! As Simon said, she was shrieking! And I agreed that it did sound a bit theatrical.
And Song# 2 was even worse. I was actually a bit worried about her taking on Elvis's most famous song. Started off really well, but progressed into one more train wreck. Did she overdo it as Simon suggested? That could be it. What did Simon mean that she came in this week with a disadvantage? Because she's a woman? Didn't he call Elliott the underdog this week? Mr. Contradiction anyone? I don't know if Kat is going to be able to appeal enough to her "McPhans" with her 2 sub-par performances. And I can only wonder how she went from one of the best singers in this competition, to reducing herself to the strategies of Constantine or Ace or any of our previous camera seducers. I think I'm actually intrigued to seeing the all-boy showdown! And if that doesn't confirm my straightness to everyone....well...what will?
So, best performers tonight? By far Taylor and Elliott.
Mediocre performer? Chris
Worst? Katharine. I'm not going to get all scientific here. I am putting my trust in America that they'll do what is right.
Bottom 2: Katharine, Chris (Wildcards: You're kidding right?)
Elimination Pick: Katharine McPhee - Sorry Kat, you were one of my favorites. But if you really wanted to win, you would've BROUGHT IT!
So, maybe Elvis was Idol's way of guaranteeing a female leave the group tonight and getting closer to their dream of a male winner of Idol. I'm sure they didn't know it would work out to 3 guys and 1 Girl for Elvis Night, but still. Let me ask you this....who, among you, are going to go out and buy the first Taylor Hicks album? How about Tumnus sings his Narnian Hits? Chris Daughtry and the Screaming Bald Guys? Fuel? (oh my bad...same thing, but with hair) That's what I thought. Actually, it probably doesn't matter who wins this year. I'm sure all of these guys will sell equally as well, but none of them will even be in the same stratosphere as our previous top idols. So, as I said before, let's just accept the show for what it is....a TV Show. It's main goal is to entertain. They will still bring the ridiculously large ratings in next year, and they will keep churning out crappy music that a percentage of those viewers (mostly teens) will definitely buy. But, we can always hold onto hope that in a future year, we may see another contestant with an amazing gift, that will sail through the competition and go on to have a great career. If not, we still got Kelly Clarkson and Fembot Underwood, and that's enough for me!
And with that...I'm out! See you after the results!

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