Tuesday, May 02, 2006

AMERICAN IDOL NIGHT 34: TOP 5 PERFORM!!

It's Tuesday night again. I haven't written much this week (been crazy busy) but I'm back with more American Idol coverage. Also coming up on the blog this week, coverage on the A.I. inspired movie American Dreamz! So check back during the rest of the week for more!

So only five are left, and I'm celebrating my first full week of having no Pickler in my life. Of course, that's going to make the jokes harder to come by this week, but hey, you gotta sacrifice humor for talent sometimes!

(live blogging, keep refreshing!!)

Seacrest again looks all dapper, as though somebody must've threatened to kill his whole family if he ever wore a blue jeans and sport coat combination ever again. Ryan reminds us it's our fault that Albemarle now has its Village Idiot back. Thanks for encouraging us, Ry-guy.

Tonight, the contestants will sing two songs: one from the year of their birth and one from the current Billboard charts.

Randy Jackson in da house, and Paula Abdul in da hair salon, because I mean, dawg, she's lookin' kinda rough. Simon is just sorta there.

Elliott Yamin bit his fingernails a lot, so he never gets to be a hand model. Seriously, though, that's really the only kind of model he could be, right? Unless of course he's modelling for new creatures at Jim Henson's Muppet Shop. I mean, let's be real, Elliott could be Splinter in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie without any CGI (and truthfully, without too much costume or makeup.) He's singing "On Broadway" with about as much stage presence as he can possibly muster up from his toes, but it just seems sort of exaggerated to me. It's like Ben Stein doing interpretive dance; it just doesn't look natural or real. Ace Young is back in the audience, begging for more camera time. Randy thought it started rough, but liked the end. Paula says "way to go." Simon thinks it wasn't his best performance and was disjointed. And bing bang boom, on to the numbers. Did anybody else think that went by super-fast?

After the break, Paris...

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I think we could do without calling Paris Bennett by Princess Pee. It's just too easy, as jokes go. Paris is singing "Kiss" by Prince, which... gee whiz... this just isn't the kind of song you show off vocal chops with. If you're going to sing a Prince song, sing "Purple Rain" or "When Doves Cry." Paris tells us about what kind of tomboy she was and talks about ripping off ruffled dresses, which is ewww, no matter whether you think about her doing it then or now. This is such a bad song choice, because only Prince can pull off a Prince song like this. Good thing Paris has a second performance tonight, otherwise she's going to be following in Pickler's footsteps and taking her career to some seedy Alabama lounge. Wow, these songs are short tonight. I hated it. Randy likes that she had fun. Paula likes when Paris sings old songs. Simon says simply "screechy and annoying." Absolutely. Paris thanks him in her best cartoon voice. This is who should go home this week. No question.

Chris Daughtry likes dressing up as a superhero, as long as you consider the Joker a superhero. Betcha didn't know that. He's dressed completely in black this time, and if he was channelling a superhero tonight, it would have to be Ghost Rider. Seriously, I can see him on a motorcycle with flames shooting out of his head. He's singing some song that I didn't catch, and just watching him makes me feel like I have to go to the bathroom, because he's obviously holding back one himself, to the point where beads of sweat are forming on his brow. So now his short but painful song is over, and wow, Nikki McKibbin is looking TORE UP. Randy says it's a hot one here, Paula loves it, and Simon thinks it's a million times better than the first two performances.

After the break, Katharine and Taylor...

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Katharine McPhee addresses her wardrobe malfunction last week. She apologizes for it, and she assures us she will not be popping out of this one, even though it looks like she might possibly have been taken apart and put into this tight little number. She's singing "Against All Odds" and absolutely murdering it. She's way ahead of the band, and the drum roll at the beginning just seemed way out of sync. Oh dear, this is bad. I mean bad in a sense that Pickler is at home, pointing at the TV, and saying "look Grandpa, I'm still on TV!" Kat has a look on her face that shows she KNOWS she blew it. Randy thinks it was a key problem but that it only got OK at the end. Paula says it's not her favorite performance. Simon thinks it was a hot mess and that the song ran away from her. Katharine admits that she lost it from the very beginning. Somewhere out there, Scott Savol is smiling to himself. Simon corrects himself about it being her "best performance" versus it not being that. Duh, Simon. We know.

Taylor Hicks shows us his hair evolution, and he's going to be singing "Play That Funky Music," which should absolutely be in his element. We're going to see plenty of tics, and Taylor comes out demanding we all stand up while he spazzes out all over the stage. He does his little abdominal cramp, just-had-hernia-surgery dance. And then he gets out in the audience and gets nuts among them. Then he goes back up onstage and lays down. The singing sucked, but the energy was there. Randy thought it was like being in a bar and being drunk. And on X. And being hit upside the head with a board. Paula says Taylor had fun. Yes, Paula, but did he sing worth a crap? Simon thinks it was like a horrible horrible wedding performance. He liked the end, where Taylor collapsed. Probably wished it were for real. Ryan feels it's necessary to re-enact this portion of the performance onstage. Taylor's fat face keeps shouting "Soul Patrol," and I just sort of hope one of the cameras will fall on him while he's laying there.

After the break, we move from past to present...

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Time for a retrospective of Billboard magazine. We've been extra bad lately, because Idol is punishing us with another playing of Daniel Powter's "Bad Day," which has become number one with all the brainwashing we get from Wednesday night results shows. I actually liked the song until they started beating it to death.

Prepare yourself for a shock. Elliott Yamin is going to sing a Michael Buble song. I liked Buble until every Idol in the world started worshipping him. This is just an average song in my mind. Either that or Elliott is just doing an average job singing it. I'm leaning more toward the latter. I keep expecting Elliott to chomp down on the microphone like a squirrel eating an acorn. Thankfully, this song is short, but unfortunately, it may just be enough to get Elliott a ticket back home. Elliott runs to the wrong side of the stage, and Ryan drags him right back. Paula laughs like she's just turned up a bottle of Jack. Randy and Paula both liked it. Simon thinks the lyrics "I want to go home" may be prophetic. Yaminions, you better vote this week.

Paris Bennett is singing Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You," which should be dynamite coming from her. Unfortunately, Paris is trying to do the old-school version of it. Wow....did they just dump the sound?? Did Paris say the S-word?? That's a first. The seven second delay mechanism kept us from hearing Princess Pee say a very dirty word. The rest of the song is just sort of okay, and I fear that Paris will be taking the long road home next week. Randy thinks it was pitchy but she rocked it. Paula thinks it was good. Simon thinks she did rather well. Paris smiles like the cartoon character she is, and maybe she'll make next week.

After the break, Chris and Kat...

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Chris Daughtry is up next. Chris has been near about to mess his pants to get to sing an alt-rock song for the last few weeks, and now it's finally time for him to do it. Sing the alt-rock song, not mess his pants. He picks a Memphis band, Shinedown, and is going to sing "I Dare You." I wish this show would've happened a couple of months ago so he could sing "45," which is a much better song and much more suited to his voice. I think this is an okay song for him, but it's not going to make me buy an album. I think he falters a little bit on the high notes, but overall it's not horrible. I wish he'd use the stage a bit more instead of standing completely still. It's not like he has a whole lot of time to do his thing, though, because he only gets to do one verse. Randy thinks it was just alright. Paula didn't like the song, but she loves Chris. Nice advice, Paula. Simon thinks that Chris' voice is going. Chris explains that it's been a long day, and that he's had to sing that song five times today already. Sorry, Chris, but most normal concerts last longer than five songs, and your voice is going to have to be stronger than that to hold out. To quote Stevie Scott again: "a professional cannot make excuses as to why they may not be 'on' at any given time." Chris is feeling fatigued. Still, he should last for a while longer.

Katharine McPhee is singing K.T. Tunstall's "Black Horse and Cherry Tree." OK, here's the thing about this song. The ONLY thing that's important about it is the "woohoo" part. If you can't get that part right, the rest of the song is rubbish. Kat doesn't get the "woohoo" part right. I'm also very confused about the way she gets down on her hands and knees onstage. I mean, I get that she's supposed to be prowling around like a sex kitten or something, but it really really doesn't come off right. Otherwise, she just doesn't nail the song vocally. She doesn't really sound horrific, but I'm not blown away either. Maybe it's because I'm too distracted by her bouncing around on her knees. The studio audience must be wondering where she is at this point. Randy thinks it was more like the Katharine he grew to love. Paula likes the choreography. Okay, stop, pause the tape. WHAT CHOREOGRAPHY??? She basically got on her knees and wallowed around on stage! That's not choreography or dancing. Y'all know I'm a huge Kat fan, and I have the McPheever, but pleeeeeease. Simon thinks it was a good choice of song, but also expresses his confusion over the "on-the-knees" performance. Ryan figures out what a box drum is.

After the break, Taylor...

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Taylor Hicks is cheating just a bit by singing an old Beatles song on a new album that's on the charts. Taylor's slowing it down, which is always disastrous. He sounds wretched when there's no gyrating to distract us. The deep knee squats don't even help him squeeze his mediocre voice out enough to impress me. Yelling the notes doesn't help me either. Sorry, Taylor fans, but I'm just not buying him tonight. Randy likes it. Paula thinks it was tender and not the least bit overdone. Simon thinks it was clever of him to sneak a thirty year old song into tonight's contemporary theme, but he enjoys Taylor's performance, which causes Taylor to woo a couple of times, which causes me to fail to pick up my phone to vote.

MY PREDICTIONS:

To be honest, I think the whole lot are sounding like rank amateurs tonight. However, Elliott and Paris better watch it tonight. I wouldn't be surprised if Taylor made a bottom three visit either.

See you tomorrow night for results!

9 Comments:

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

JD- my stupid thingy didn't record it- do you know if there's a place i can watch it on the computer?

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

The only way I know is to download the whole show via bittorrent from mininova

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

via what?

 
At 2:03 AM, Blogger bad kitty said...

Unlike you, I really liked Kat bouncing around on her knees while singing KT Tunstall. I thought it was kinda sexy and reminded me of some of my favorite strippers.

 
At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen to the .mp3 of Kat's song so as not to be bothered by the floor show. After the first rough Woo Hoo, she does well. And her vocals on the other lyrics are incredible.

 
At 9:01 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

Well, I listened to half the song with my eyes away from the TV. I sort of have to do that sometimes because I type these recaps live as the show is happening. Combine that with the fact that I have that CD and listen to that song constantly, and I just didn't think she measured up to the original. Although it's not always about measuring up to the original singer's performance, it should at least be close to par, or taken in a different direction that makes it your own, and unfortunately (I love her!) Kat's wasn't either of those.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger RealityCheck said...

Hey buddy,

Look at what Kellie Pickler has done to you. She's gone so you have no one to make fun of and now you're all pissed off at the world. Terribly sad thing.

Honestly, still a quality recap from you. Mine's up.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Kat said...

Wow, lots of disagreement this week! I think Elliott is quite dashing/cute/attractive. Paris obviously annoyed some, but I can't imagine anything in "Kiss" that could've come across as screechy. (I'll come back to Chris...) Didn't hear anything amiss w/Taylor's vocals in "PTFMWB" either. As you know since you've already read my recap, I loved Kat's "BH&CT," though I agree the opening "woo-hoo" was off. ;-) And Taylor's last song? Awesome vocals, both technically & emotively (if that's a word)! Very, very far from "wretched," nor did I hear any screaming. I haven't dl'd the mp3 yet but definitely plan to.

Lastly - first a disclaimer that I love and respect you, etc., ;-) - but... you call yourself a music critic yet describe a Styx classic as "some song that I didn't catch"?! For shame! I'll chalk some of it up to your age and try to forgive you. "Try." ;-)

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Well I'm old enough to remember the song, but it's just been so LONG since I've heard it!

 

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