My Girl McPhee is up first. She's Pickler's roommate, which is fun. I wonder if Daughtry and Hicks are roomdawgs too. Anyway, she looks frumpy in her outfit, but her hair is fabulous. She's singing a Stevie Wonder song, I think, and not doing too bad. Go Kat!! Randy said it was a little safe, but just okay. Paula agrees with Randy. Simon says "Don't just be in your own world. Its forgettable." Paula shouted out "you're still a star!"
Kinnik Sky is next. She's singing Gretchen Wilson's "Here for the Party". Mind you, Gretchen is country. And Kinnik is black. I love the risk. Not the singing, mind you. I don't know how much longer she's gonna remain in the competition. Randy and Paula were nice about not liking it. Simon gave props for the risk, but that it sounded like a theme park performance. I'd agree.
And now we get to Lisa, the love child of Lisa Turtle and Sarah from "Head of the Class". Since her song is just average, and I'm not enthralled, I'll take the time to tell you that there is another Lisa Tucker out there--but there is a definate difference in the two. Can I just say I was bored during that song? It was a Jackson Five song. Randy says "eehh", Paula loved it, using words like "amazing" and "you're a star" and "all the way" and such. Simon advised to be smart about her song choices, but that she'd sail through.
Melissa McGhee is next. I'm sure she's nice, but I couldn't pick her out of ten Starbucks customers to be honest with you. And she's trying to sing Reba. Does she not realize only like, nine people in the world can effectively sing Reba? She's not one of them. I remember going to a karaoke bar in college, and there was this nine year old chick (not making this up) who just went crazy on it. She's one of the nine. Not Melissa McGhee--gosh, what if its the same chick? Weird. Randy said "that song fit you--it was hot!". Paula used the "coming out of your shell" comment. Simon says "wrong song... for some reason, you aren't making a connection with the audience." I'll tell you why--because we've seen Melissa only TWICE, like, EVER. They didn't show her practically at all during the auditions. That's why she WILL NOT be in the top 12.
Heather Cox is singing "Hero" by Mariah Carey. Like I said last week, she hasn't given me a reason to really like her. Unlike My Girl McPhee, Mandisa or Pickles, she doesn't have the charm. Unlike Lisa Turtle or Paris, she doesnt have the voice. Unlike Ayla Brown, she's not a "long shot underdog story". At least I dont think she's an annoying gnat, like Brenna. And the song was... ehh. Just okay. Paula says "You improved. BUT... you're not Mariah." Randy agreed. Simon agreed with both Randy and Paula.
I thought I felt a bowel movement coming. No... its just Brenna Gethers. And she's singing Donna Summers "Last Dance." Why!? WHY GOD WHY?? WHY does she have to butcher a likable song? Why can't she butcher Barbra Streisand or something? "Brenna" and "sexy" go together like "John Kerry" and "backbone". And she's killing an absolutely fabulous song. Paula says "where's the magic?", and Brenna says "I think America loved it, and it will reflect in the votes." Randy is laughing at her. And Simon says "Change 'Dance' to 'Chance'. You just murdered a Donna Summer song like a guy in a cruise ship bar." She actually thinks she did well. I will now clip my toenails with a weedwhacker.
Paris Bennett. I don't want to like Paris, I don't want to like Paris, I don't want to like Paris, I don't want to like Paris, I don't want to like Paris... she's singing "Wind Beneath My Wings". She's not Bette, but she's doing it some justice. She's so friggin' squeaky. Paula nicely said "let's see the fun". Randy says "don't play it safe, ever". Simon says "Don't sound 50." I don't want to like Paris. I don't want to like Paris. I don't want to like Paris.
Ayla Brown is the chick who is playing basketball at Boston College, and also on the show. I've grown to like her, in a Jennifer Herndon sort of way. She's singing Celine Dion tonight. And she's nailing it. Paula loved it. Randy said he was surprised, but he really liked it. Simon says "you're working so hard, and you can see it."
Sidebar: Can someone just sing a song because "Well... I just like that song", not for a grandmother, or an aunt with cancer, or my brother sang this to me in our room before he died of a degenerative knee condition or something. Geez.
And now, its time for Pickles! I just love me some Kellie Pickler. She's singing Bonnie Raitt's "Something to Talk About", which to me, fits her like a glove. Maybe thats too safe. Paula really enjoyed it. Randy says "we got a hot one!" No kidding. Simon says "You can't help but like you". No kidding. Especially in that halter top. Um... who's next?
Finally, Mandisa's up in the hizzy. She just told us about DogJaw. I'll let that slide. I like this chick too. She's singing "Cry" by Faith Hill. I'm not a fan of the original, to be honest, so she doesnt have to do much to improve on it for me. She is a little spotty in her notes, though. Paula said "You're adding your own flavor". Randy "a little pitchy, but it was cool." Simon didn't like her look, but agreed with Randy.
I'm guessing Heather Cox or Melissa McGhee is going home... though I'd throw them both in to chunk Brenna.
Next up... let's hear the guys sing.
Taylor Hicks is singing first, doing "Easy" by Lionel Richie & the Commodores. Careful now... great, tough song. I love watching this guy sing... its one of those "doesn't matter how he sounds, he just looks fun" kind of things, only he can sing. He did the song justice. Lots of "woos" and such. Randy says "not my best choice, but I like you", as did Paula. Simon has never liked T-Hicks, and says "watching it back, you'll think it was average." I liked it.
So Elliott Yamin pronounces his name "Yah-mean", like Joaquin pronounces his name "Wah-keen". So, Elliott Yahmean is singing a song I've never heard. Not too bad, though. I call it now, though... Elliott Yahmean DOES NOT win American Idol. Mark it down. Randy and Paula freakin' loved him--AGAIN. Simon loved it too.
Steph's man Ace Young is singing "If I'm Not Made For You" by Daniel Beddingmen. No wonder Steph likes him... she loves that song. Ace just admitted that he saw Beddingmen in concert... not with his girl, not with his mom, not with a female pal... but with his BROTHER. That's pretty Brokeback. Again, I love My Girl McPhee and Pickles... Steph loves Ace with the Ace Hair. He's doing the falsettos decently well, but I still think this song is crap. Randy liked it. "You sing better than you let on..." is what he said. What does that mean? If you're in American Idol, shouldn't you sing as best you can? Paula liked it. Simon says "you struggled... and you're going to be disappointed when you hear it back."
Gedeon McKinney is on stage now, singing Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come", which is a tough sell. I like Gedeon, though. He's got a George Huff charm about him. And the song is great. He did really, really well. Randy and Paula both liked lots. Simon said that Gedeon's soulful sound was brilliant. And it was.
Chicken Little is singing "Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye. Interesting. He just gave a very disturbing interview about being a sex symbol. Randy and Paula just love him... somehow, I can see him making out with Heather Cox on Beauty & the Geek. Simon said "if I heard you on the radio, I'd turn it off". I agree. Apparently Paris calls him Chicken Little. I don't want to like Paris, I don't want to like Paris.
Here comes Sway. Another Stevie Wonder song, "Overjoyed". He wore the pimp hat last week. No pimp hat this week... I think I saw him at Moe's on Monday, serving up my John Coctostan. He's actually singing the song well--its a great song. Randy says "It wasn't good for me", and Paula says "you seem disconnected". That shows how much I know about music... I liked it. Simon says "This is how not to do well on this show. Its karaoke." Wow. They ripped him.
Here comes Jon Peter Lewis Version 2.0, singing Kenny Rogers "Lady". What? Kenny Rogers? He just said "it was really cool to meet Justin Guarini." What? Randy didn't really like JPLV2.0, while Paula says "too safe, a little bland". Simon says "it was like a broadway audition... you're target audience is 11 year old girls."
Its Bucky. Bucky singing Garth Brooks. Bucky singing Garth Brooks "The Thunder Rolls". A song about a woman who is cheated on, so she shoots her husband as he comes in late smelling like perfume. A crime you might see on Cops, with Bucky wearing a wife beater, whizzing in the bushes. Randy liked the Dirrty South Representation, while Paula loved the hits on the notes. Simon likes Bucky's sincerity, though he seems like a "supporting act" to the bigger stars on the show. I can see that. Bucky.
David Radford is singing now, or John Stevens II: John Stevener. He's singing Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight" and getting nowhere close. Stephanie really like him too. I see him singing at a frat party, swooning the girls, only to have those same girls actually go home with the cuter party boys, leaving Radford with the drunk chick to drive home. Randy, Paula, Simon and I were all bored.
After fast forwarding through the preview for Fox's new show "Free Ride" about 23,499 times over the last two weeks, I actually watched the commercial. And it looked funny.
And for the finale... here comes Chris Daughtry. He's doing Fuel's "Hemorrhage" and doing it well. Bucky is in the back, rocking along. Bucky. As for Chris... HE FREAKIN' NAILED IT. The whole place erupted when he finished, Randy just said that he could be right on the charts with Audioslave and Incubus, and Paula said "Amazing". Simon said "out of all the performances... remember this guys (looking at the guys on the balcony)... this was the only one that really stood out."
I'll be honest... after last week and this week, Daughtry moves ahead of T-Hicks as my favorite buy on the show. I think I'd like to hang out with T-Hicks, but Chris is bringing the rock.
I'll be at a banquet tonight, so I wont get to see the Idol results until late, or even tomorrow, so I'll just comment later.
Entertainment Weekly said it best: "Riddle me this: Is there a single Idol viewer who'd have objected if the show's producers had eliminated David, Sway, Will, and Bucky in a single swoop and allowed Chris to rock out with a five-song mini-concert?"
My vote is for the mini-concert.