Wednesday, May 17, 2006

AMERICAN IDOL NIGHT 39: TOP 3 RESULTS!! WHO WILL BE IN THE FINALE?

It's Wednesday night and time for results. Tonight we get a full hour of it, and since we've got no guest performers tonight, I'm stuck wondering how we're going to make all this time go by. My guess is tons of commercials.

So anyway, I've been pondering what it is that is bugging me about this season's contestants. Something about them is just turning me off. I thought about it a little bit this morning on my drive home, and I've come up with what I think their problem is, and I can sum it up in four words:

BELIEVING THEIR OWN HYPE

Moreso than previous years, I believe, these contestants have actually begun to buy into their own press, and for some of them it has equated to heads the size of Randy Jackson's parachute pants. You can see this by the subtle affect they give off. It started early with the egos of Brenna Gethers, Gedeon McKinney, Sway and Patrick Hall. But as we got into the top 12, we started to see even more brazen egos. There was Kevin Covais, who was about as sexy as rectal cancer, but who honest-to-goodness took to heart the whole "sex symbol" thing. There was Kellie Pickler who began believing that the hokey cornpone schtick was actually endearing her to everybody, even up until the point where the huge backlash washed her away and out to sea. We had Paris Bennett and her "favor." Even Chris Daughtry seemed to think for all the world that he deserved to be there, and looked angrier than Martha Stewart on sentencing day when he got eliminated.

And now we have the top three, most of whom have totally bought into their own press and hype within the bubble that is American Idol. Elliott Yamin has probably bought into it the least, and he at least appears to be humble on-screen, but you can tell that he's keyed into this "funky white boy" schtick. Sorry, Elliott, but Vanilla Ice was also called that when he first started. Taylor Hicks has bought into the whole "Soul Patrol" thing to the point of religious fervor, and while he once believed himself to be a student of Ray Charles and Joe Cocker, it's now quite apparent that he believes himself to be their equal. (However, I do have to give Taylor credit last night, because I think he thought he blew it on "What a Wonderful World" and he appeared quite relieved to know that the judges disagreed. I feel like he would've taken criticism graciously.) On the flip side of that coin, none have bought into their own hype more than Katharine McPhee, who was genuinely aghast at the judges' criticisms last night, horrified that they should suggest she's anything less than the second coming of Celine Dion. She's impervious to suggestion from any coaches, except Peisha, her mom, and goes out smiling like the Joker on Viagra through the most wretched of lyrics. Her fits and cheekiness are not likely to win her any fans, but it feels like she honestly believes in her own vaunted greatness.

Regardless of that, though, one of these three will be the next American Idol, and two of these three will very shortly be publishing an album for the world to judge. In the end, the second event will be what measures their overall importance in the music industry, well after the A.I. bubble bursts around them and they no longer have the benefit of weekly exposure and the assistance of the staff of the nation's most popular television show to make them look good week after week.

Okay, rant over. It's time for the show to start.

We see the three gathered together on stage, all of them looking as nervous as Michael Jackson in a room full of prosecutors. Ace Young is in the house, alongside a newly-bobbed Kellie Pickler. Wonder how much that cut cost? I honestly didn't recognize her at first. Ryan is thrown for a loop and wants to know if there's something romantic going on. This guy gets thrown by a razor too, and hasn't shaved in a couple of days. He tells us there were 50 million plus votes cast last night and informs us that the race is as close as it ever was, except for the last time it was close.

Ryan introduces the judges, and Randy immediately starts in on the boo, because nobody has told him that a joke is not funny after the five-hundredth performance.

It's time for the recap of the show. There's good ol' Elliott, doing his best, but getting de-pimped like M.C. Hammer's fourth album. There's Taylor, sort of rocking, sort of not, but delivering a karaoke performance all the way. And then there's Kat, who tried to make the theme "Kid Movie Night" with songs from The Wizard of Oz and Space Jam, and there she is giggling her way through a blues song about heartbreak and despair. Which of these three goes home tonight? It's getting just the slightest bit harder to care. If it's Elliott, people will sort of shrug. If it's Kat, people will squawk a bit, but not be altogether surprised. If it's Taylor, get ready for fan backlash that will make last week's Chris Daughtry fuss look like somebody getting spanked with a feather duster.

Time for footage of the three Idols' homecomings, but not till the end of the Ford Car-Mercial though. Dear mercy, the Idols are rappin' while made up as geriatric people. It's an odd take on Run DMC, and I'm sure Jam-master Jay is whirling in his grave right now. Just awful.

It's time to pimp X-3 with a visit from Wolverine and Mystique. They all get DVD screeners which are sure to be on bittorrent by now. So anyway, enough with the commercials. Let's get with actual show content.

Taylor Hicks took a southern food tour and had ribs and pancakes for breakfast. The good news for those of you who don't like Taylor is that he will be dead from atherosclerosis by age 35. Taylor gets his turn on The Rick & Bubba Show which is the Howard Stern show for redneck types. Taylor is still shouting "soul patrol." For some reason, they bring a beaver out to the parade to support Taylor. I am going to be hearing that "We Are...Soul Patrol..." chant in my nightmares tonight. Taylor wooos a lot when he gets the key to the city. Taylor went to Hoover High, which is in a fairly nice part of town as I remember. At the very least it has a great minor league baseball stadium where Michael Jordan once played. Taylor performs with his old band of soon-to-be-looking-for-new-gig musicians at the Galleria in front of a bunch of women whose average age is about 60. Taylor goes to the Governor's mansion for a bunch of PR baloney. He gets a proclamation of Taylor Hicks Day. Do y'all remember when they did this for Bo last year? Bo actually cried about it. Taylor just sort of looks like he feels entitled.

Taylor and Ryan have a very scripted conversation, and now Taylor is going to perform "Taking It To the Streets" as originally done by the Doobie Brothers. He starts off whiny, and then he gets up on the risers with the other contestants, sharing the spotlight a bit. That's at least a bit classy. They get up and Taylor-dance with him on the stage. Not a great vocal, but then again not a bad vocal either. I sort of like him in this zone, not too sedate and not too spastic. That was actually a little bit fun.

I've made up a song for Katharine to sing while smiling her face off:

Katharine's Favorite Things:
(to the tune of "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things")
Nuclear winter and germs and diseases
Babies dying from epileptic seizures
Death and destruction and pricey gasoline
These are a few inappropriate things


And you just know she'd smile until her teeth cracked while singing it.

Anyway, Kat didn't have far to go home, since she lives in Sherman Oaks. She's all kinds of excited about it. Kat gets all smiley and energetic. She shoots over to KROQ for the Kevin and Bean Show which is a decent show, but not my favorite. Then she goes on a chopper ride to her high school. They have a huge pep rally for her at her school, where she dances and gets marriage propositions from 15 year old boys. Mayor Villarilongname gets her to sing, and let me just say that gymnasium acoustics do not agree with her. She then gets up in the stands where she is subsequently groped and mobbed and Suge Knight dives in to rescue her. Time to shoot home and kiss the doggy, hold the god-daughter and get back just in time to put another preggo shirt on.

Another pre-scripted conversation. She is a bit miffed that she didn't get the same huge reception the others did. I guess Governor Terminator must've been otherwise occupied, because he put the Mr. Freeze on greeting her personally. But for now it's time for her to sing "Think" as done by Aretha Franklin. She kicks off the shoes and that's just a bit weird. Heaven help her, she's flat and sharp all over the place, to say nothing of nasal. Down in the audience, Pickler is giving her thumbs-up approval while secretly poking her Kat voodoo doll. I thought that ghetto booty might hurt somebody while Kat was running back onstage. Guaranteed that last movement was why she kicked off the shoes. She mentions Simon in the song, which was a cute way to kiss up, but a little bit late. I don't know. I just couldn't like her singing that song, and it makes me think that Shoeless Kat might be going home to her Field of Dreams tonight.

Elliott Yamin is in the last spot tonight. Gavin DeGraw is here to steal camera time away from Ell's Bells. Elliott sits there and talks in chopped sentences about how he felt like the king of Richmond VA. He makes the regular TV and radio station stops along with his Secret Service detail. Elliott looks genuinely honored to be there, and at times he looks like he's going to choke up. He stops by the pharmacy where he used to work. Then it's on to the throng of thousands that Kat did not get who are there to listen to him sing a Michael Buble song. Wow, he sounds great in an outdoor concert setting! He's going to meet the Governor, and the Governor doesn't ham it up quite as much as the Alabama one did. There's the parade and the screaming tweens on the sidelines. Does anybody still believe this kid doesn't have fans? He's throwing out the first pitch for the Richmond Braves, the triple A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

Elliott's crying up on stage, and so is Paula. I've just got so much of an emotional investment in this guy. I've been waiting to hear him sing "Moody's Mood for Love" again. Mmmmm. I'm tempted to just stop typing and listen to this. What a beautiful song, and what a beautiful performance! I can close my eyes and imagine this on the CD player while I'm having a candlelight dinner with some gorgeous hottie. Beautiful. Bravo. If this is Elliott's last performance on Idol, then he has truly gone out in style.

By the way, American Idol Encores will be on the shelves next Tuesday. It'll be interesting to hear how this year's crop sound in a studio setting. Plus it'll be nice to have a Kellie Pickler track in my possession that I can use to torment my roommate into submission with. We're seeing a retrospective of how many successes Idol contestants have had over the years. And then Clive Davis steps out of his tomb and accepts a plaque honoring his success. Clive gushes over Kelly Clarkson in a mush-mouthed sort of way. Seriously, Clive, put your false teeth in buddy. More bragging about other Idol records. Apparently Bo is well on his way to platinum status with an album that couldn't be less characteristic of his talent if it tried. I must make a confession at this point, though. I do own a Carrie Underwood CD. Please help me through my shame.

Okay, Clive, you can be quiet now.

We're getting a Coyote Ugly bar here on Beale St. in Memphis. How fun.

So now...moment of truth time...

33.06 percent, 33.26 percent, and 33.68 percent. This was a close race, and I smell a shocker going on. Who belongs to which percentage?

The lowest is 33.06 percent and that belongs to Elliott Yamin which is not surprising, but is shameful nonetheless. Katharine and her classless mother are smiling, clapping, and happy about it. Way to not pay respects, you jerks.

Good run, Elliott, and I hope there is something in the future for you. You have been one of my personal heroes throughout this competition, and I will buy anything you put out.

As for the rest of the competition, I am going to have to begrudgingly join the Soul Patrol. I don't want Kat to win this.

Man. I'm really bummed by this.

Y'all check me out on the blog, and if not, see ya next week for the finale.

16 Comments:

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

aw,that stinks. i wanted elliot to make it. oh well, i'll have to vote for Kat like crazy, cuz i DO NOT want taylor to win.

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

After her attitude this past week and the way her family was celebrating during Elliott's send-off, I'm not supporting Kat at all. Soul Patrol!

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

I'm really sad. Elliott is a class act, an AT LEAST they made it clear how close the race was. Wow - I'm like tearing up and everything. Over American Idol. What has happened to me????

I'll be sending my votes Taylor's way next week - I can't bear the thought of another pop tart american idol winner.

Elliott - you are the best! We love you!

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

I think they should rename the Kat Pack the Brat Pack. UGH.

 
At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Bridgette said...

I think Katharine has let it all go to her head. Especially this week, her comments have made her seem like but of course she deserves this. Ever since the beginning, Elliott has performed consistently better than Katharine. I won't be able to stand it if she wins, Taylor's getting my votes.

 
At 9:18 PM, Anonymous debbie said...

I, too, am bummed. but knew it would probably be him. Not fair but that's life and it is only a tv show. I probably won't watch next week. It doesn't seem like a competetion and I'm not overly enthused by either.

 
At 9:26 PM, Blogger Stacy said...

I've never seen Taylor as close to puking as he was when he saw the percentages. I'm REALLY glad he saw them. And I'm REALLY glad Elliot saw them. Poor dude. I'm SO proud of him! And man....doesn't he look better now than he did at the beginning?? Thumbs up to the stylists. Hair is definitely an important thing for the El-Train.

Again, I'm glad Taylor saw the percentages. I think it knocked him back down to earth a little bit and will force him to work his hiney off for next week. I think we'll see him REALLY shine.

Ain't no way Kat is gonna win this thang.

Alabama's Soul Patrol certainly showed up for Taylor, didn't they? Kudos to the girls who are in the picture on my blog (with my kids) -- they got a massive close-up during the hometown footage. YAY FOR CAROLINE AND MADELYN! I know they must have peed their pants tonight! :)

SOUL PATROL, SOUL PATROL!!!!

(FYI - I will be posting this comment in my blog - would love for others to come visit)

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger Me said...

Well, JD...I've lurked for every week of the competition and now I'm finally commenting. Thanks for a good laugh each week. And welcome to the Soul Patrol. We're glad for any new members.

I agree with you whole heartedly about your statements of class: Taylor showed some by dancing with his peers, Kat and her mom showed NONE with their giddiness, and Elliott was the man of the hour--as he deserved to be. He should have been there next week.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

i am watching her sing aretha franklin right now and really, she bugs.

 
At 12:25 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Soul Patrol, Soul PATROOOLL!!

I like Taylor. Don't even get me started on the Chris Daughtry fiasco.
I agree with Lisa. We don't need another forgettable teeny-bopper idol.

 
At 12:29 AM, Blogger Kat said...

Interesting thoughts. I disagree about Patrick and Kevin though, I fully believe that what came across as arrogance was mostlly snark and playful attitudes. Wish we'd gotten more time to get to know Patrick.

Um, Taylor didn't sing "Wonderful World."

Elliott did in fact sound great in the "outdoor concert setting"... making all the more excited to see the tour in 3 months! (Ours is at the state fair grandstand.)

I wish I could be impressed with Taylor's personality off stage - actually just while not singing - as when he is singing. My husband & I were both ready to throw things at the tv last night to get him to shut up after the 700th Soul Patrol shout out!!! Talk about attitude... granted they power vote, but way to alienate the rest of your "fans," dude. Really, really annoying.

But no way Kat deserves to win, at least if there's any hope of retaining quality singing as a qualification for the winner (say what you will about personality or lack thereof, but at least all 4 previous winners can SANG).

I could see myself supporting future careers of Elliott, Bucky, and Lisa & Will if they have any. Well and Chris. But not the winner or runner-up... sigh.

 
At 12:38 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

I meant to say he sang "You Are So Beautiful," not "What a Wonderful World."

LOL, 39 recaps...I was bound to make ONE mistake! :P

 
At 7:34 AM, Blogger Sailorcurt said...

Reading your recaps almost makes me want to start watching the show...almost.

I've really enjoyed it this season. Thanks for the effort.

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

"Reading your recaps almost makes me want to start watching the show...almost."

Bingo! I just realized I read through this post because I wanted to see who the finalists were for a show I've never watched this season. Course I really wanted to see what JD had to say ;)

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger bad kitty said...

If Katharine were *really* cool, she would've been on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" with Nic Harcourt on KCRW. But she wasn't.

File me away under "Elliott fans who probably won't be voting at all next week" ...there are things I like about both Tay and Kat and things I don't like about both of 'em, too. I think I'll just watch and, if one of 'em blows me away, then maybe (MAYBE) I'll vote.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Personally, the main thing that keeps me going is that I get to take one last pot shot at Kellie Pickler next week!

 

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