Tuesday, May 02, 2006

American Idol: Top 5 Perform

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!

Elliott Yamin aka TUMNUS 2.0
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
As I alluded to, the contestants got a little crafty this year with how they finagled the song selections. Prince released "Kiss" in 1986, but our poster boy Tom Jones (zing!) did a cover of the Prince song in 1988. Which actually makes me wonder why a cover was done only 2 years after initial release. But hey, it was the 80's, I'm sure everyone was just all "coked up." (If not, maybe they were trying to get the taste of NEW Coke out of their mouths by revisiting Coke Classic! Man I am just full of the jokes tonight!) Oh yeah...Paris. So, I had predicted Paris doing "Kiss" would be a trainwreck. And maybe I expected the worst. While it was still really bad, it was actually better than what I thought she'd do. I mean, most of it was on key....but how is performing this going to win you American Idol? And I couldn't get out of my head that she is 16 (or 17 I dunno anymore) and performing a sexually energized anthem and moving her hips around like she's a stripper! I think Paris could've come up with a little better of a song choice than ruining one of the best 80's songs ever! Don't get me started on performance #2 and her Mary J Blige cloned performance. Well maybe cloned everything but wardrobe. Paris was sporting some "Camo" gear tonight and Moon Pants topped off with a large Red Belt wrapped around her belly button.
...I don't know why I never thought to do that...
Anyway Randy and Paula danced around the idea that Paris shouldn't have done an MJB (cause me and Mary are close like that!) song since her voice is so unique. But they still dug the performance. And Simon surprisingly called the performance very good! I don't know, maybe it's just me hating Paris with a passion these days, but I couldn't find a single enjoyable thing in that performance! And while the weird Faces and Nasal Singing took a hiatus in place of "I Feel Like Dancin" Hip Moves for the Prince performance, they returned in FULL FORCE for Performance #2. I think we may know who will be dancing in our bottom 2 this week, it's just a question of who America felt more sympathetic towards!
Chris Daughtry aka
The Future father of Half Bald Human/Half Mic-Stand Offspring
Birth Year - 1979
  • 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

Thanks Shanna!)


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

you're welcome! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Dude, you totally forgot to mention the hilarious running that Elliott and Ryan did when Elliott went the wrong way across the stage! I almost pee'd my pants laughing!
And the whole big red belt over your belly button look WOULD be flattering on you! You should try it on a casual Friday.

Mike V. said...

Yeah, it just goes to show that I never read my notes anymore! I totally rambled on and on in my notes about Elliott running. It WAS hysterical!

I also forgot to mention how Paula dropped an "F" bomb while trying to say how Taylor has "FUNK" lol... And how it was convenient that AI was having audio difficulties right when paris was singing a word that started with "SH" I still haven't looked at the MJB lyrics to see if Paris actually cursed during the song!