Taking a break from the iPod project, we're back with another Idol review... Ryan is onscreen right now, telling us "if you didn't vote, you can't boo". I just got off work at Starbucks (which, by the way, I'm leaving Vestavia for 280 the first week of May) and I havne't heard or seen anything about this night's show.
Tonight's famous singer working with the Idols is Rod Stewart... I like Rod quite a bit, actually. "Maggie May" has to be one of the best songs to come out of the 70s. In fact, when someone named Maggie orders a drink, I will put it up on the bar and say "Wake up Maggie, I think I've got a grande soy latte for you." Usually, when the Maggie in question is like, 14, she doesn't get it, but I crack myself up.
Old Rod has been doing "The Great American Songbook" lately, a collection of old standards from the 40s, 50s and 60s, and I think he's done... four volumes of them? Maybe three. I thought of checking them out, but I will stick with the traditional Rod--"Maggie May", "Infatuation", and two of my favorites, "My Heart Can't Tell You No" from 1989, and his unplugged version of "Reason To Believe", from 1993.
On with the show...
Daughtry is up first, doing 'What a Wonderful World". I'm wondering if its the Louis Armstrong version, or the "Don't know much about history..." Sam Cooke version--either way, its something different for him, so hopefully he can pull it off.
It's the Louis Armstrong version, which is a fantastic song. Daughtry is on the stage, with a single guitarist guy strumming along. The song sounds great--which is great because before, he's been rocking out and belting out his music, so its good to know he can actually sing without screaming. He looks like he's stepped out of the set of "Queer Eye" with that vest, however. Randy said "You just slayed 'em... man, it was da bomb!". Paula loved it, of course. Simon is smiling, and since he's been saying "You should change up your style some to show what you can do", and Chris did, Simon is happy. "I thought it was a GREAT performance." As did I... as did I.
Just saw a promo for Mission Impossible III... Tom Cruise is whacked out about Scientology (and Katie Holmes had her baby tonight) and everyone in the world thinks he's weird, going on and on about his religion. Christians, however, are not called weird... we're intolerant bigots who are naive to the real world. Perhaps thats why we are so reluctant to share our faith like Tom is doing. Now back to our show.
Annoying Paris is up, and it just struck me that this night is right up her alley. She was awesome doing some Billie Holliday during her audition, so this shouldn't be too far removed from what she's done. I think she closes her eyes and sticks her hand in a box of wigs and ends up wearing whatever comes out. She's singing Lady Holliday's "These Foolish Things", and like Daughtry, knocked it out of the park. I think if I knew Paris, I would never let her talk to me unless she was singing, because I can't stand to hear her talk.
Randy says "Your best performance" and Paula loves her. Of course. Simon says "You bewilder me. You talk Minnie Mouse, and yet, you sing in that very grown up way." I agree.
Taylor Hicks is singing Sam Cooke's "You Send Me", which, like most Sam Cooke songs, is a great song. Apparently, SNL or Mad TV did an American Idol parody, including one of Taylor Hicks--I would have liked to have seen that. Soul Patrol, baby. His voice is pretty good... waiting for the dance. He's just walking and singing... waiting for the dance... wait for it... wait for it... and... there is is. Spaz that he is, Taylor is the man.
Randy says "Keep it real, baby, keep it real--that was hot." Paula loved it. Of course. Simon says "It started with lame cabaret... and then... magic." I liked it all the way through. Soul Patrol indeed.
Okay, so I just pulled up MSNBC.com to confirm what Paris was singing (I was right, its Holliday." I scrolled down, and apparently, Pickles SUCKED tonight. This might be bad for me. I haven't seen what My Girl McPhee has done--that might hurt me too much to know.
Here comes Elliott Yahmean. He's singing classic crooner song "It Had To Be You", and Rod Stewart comments that since Elliott is 27, he was born the same year that "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" was #1. While I'm standing with my hand on the handrail to climb aboard the Elliott Yahmean Bandwagon, I'll have to admit, he can sing great--but he's got the performance stylings of a green scrubby pad. Not sure thats something you can fix.
Randy liked it alot. Paula loved it. Of course. Simon says, "It was a good vocal, but it lacked personality... I am slightly concerned for you." Remember, Elliott, as long as Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair is in the show, there's a chance you won't go home.
She's singing "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", a song that I'm not sure I've ever heard before. Rod's a dirty old man! Pickles says, after having him help her practice, "You took a load off my chest", and he smiled and laughed in that "You bet I would" sort of way. Perv.
Now to the performance... While she looks fabulous, its not a very good performance. She just doesn't sound good... and on a night like this, thats not good. Simon has his head on the desk. Right out of the gate, after the song, she says "I butchered it." with an almost tearful smile. Randy says "it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't good." Paula loves her. Of course. Simon says "Boring. It didn't suit you. You could have just done 'Bewildered'."
If Latoya London and Jennifer Hudson can get voted off early, so can she. Oh Pickles.
The Yutz Currently Known as Ace Young is up now, singing "That's All". Rod said "It was brilliant." Um... right. Oh dear allah... Ace has his hair pulled back in pony tail. If George Michael were younger, I could see he and Ace being twins. Ace Young is a goob.
Randy says "Fals' (falsetto) is your thing, dude." Paula loved it. Of course. Simon says "It wasn't bad... a little bit nasally... but charming." Man, bring back Chicken Little, bring back Bucky, heck, bring back Brenna... no, don't do that. Get rid of Ace.
Finally, My Girl McPhee is coming up. She's singing "Someone to Watch Over Me", one of those great, sultry songs that I've always liked. The bigger and better the song, the easier it is to screw up. And she's not going to screw it up, I can tell. She's sitting on the edge of the stage, doing her thing. Wow she sounds amazing. Between the words "thing." and "Wow", instead of typing like I usually do during the song, I sat in silence, mesmerized--not by her looks (though that might do it) but by her voice. Amazing.
Randy says "You sailed on this... excellent." Paula loved it. Of course (she used the words "Mr. Holland's Opus" and "elegwant"). Simon says "you made everyone else look like good amateurs... it was a completely and utterly different league." You know what I think?
During American Idol 3, Fantasia (whom I never cared for) sang "Summertine" from the show "Porgy and Bess". It was one of the most riveting, elegant and beautiful performances I've ever seen--not just on Idol, but anywhere. Ditto for the Ruben Studdard performances of "Superstar" and "Kiss and Say Goodbye". I might be willing to consider arguments in favor of putting Katharine McPhee's "Someone to Watch Over Me" in that list. Yes, that good.
Also on this list: "Take Me To The Pilot" by George Huff (Idol 3); "Whippin Post" & "Vehicle" by Bo Bice (Idol 4); "Sin Wagon" by Amy Adams (Idol 2)... but McPhee might rank above all of these--if I'm talking about it during season 8, we'll know. Time will tell.
I just voted for the first time, ever.
Tomorrow's bottom three--Elliott Yahmean, Ace Young and (gulp) Pickles.
I've also decided, if I can work it out, I'm doing a running diary for the Idol finale, which will have My Girl McPhee and Daughtry in it.