Tuesday, May 23, 2006

AMERICAN IDOL NIGHT 40: TOP 2 PERFORM!!!

The season has wound down to this: one guy and one girl facing off in what has to be the most anti-climactic Idol finale in the five year history of the show. It's Kat vs. Taylor in the finale showdown, the cream of the crop of this year's Top 12, most of whom wouldn't even have made it through the Hollywood rounds in previous seasons.

We have Katharine McPhee, who wouldn't know modesty if it popped a button off her dress, and who takes criticism about as well as a car's gas tank takes water.

And then there's Taylor Hicks, the runaway favorite, with his spastic tics, proclivity for vocal outbursts, and head full of salt and pepper hair.

They've been called the Best of What's Left, the top of a lackluster season, and a lot of other things that I can't print in a family venue. And they're here tonight, slugging it out for the crown, getting us ready for their emergence onto the record store shelves, and hopefully doing their regular schtick so I can make merciless snarky remarks at their expense.

Ladies and gentlemen, this...is...American Idol.

(live blogging, keep refreshing!!)

First, before the show starts, I do want to thank you, dear readers, for your support this year. You've all been remarkable, even those of you with disparaging remarks. These reviews are dedicated to you all. Amazingly enough, I've been through two break-ups during this season and have found out my best friend has cancer. It has been a hard time in my life, and you guys have been there to carry me through. Writing these recaps have really helped me through the hard times, and for that you all have my undying gratitude. Thank you all.

And now...on to the Kodak theater...

Mandy Moore and Ben Stiller are there to see the show! Mandy said earlier this week that she would've auditioned for the show had she not already been outrageously famous. Too bad this didn't happen, because then she'd never have been able to release "Candy." And the movie From Mandy to Kelly would've made sure there was no American Dreamz. Ahhh, what might have been...

The crowd is sufficiently pumped. Of course this crowd would cheer if Kat and Taylor were practicing ritual child sacrifice onstage.

And the make-up crew is pretending to like Taylor and Kat.

Time to see the judges introduced, and thankfully Randy got the memo and foregoes the booing. He says that it's now or never, and unlike the rest of the season, they have to lay it all on the line. Paula babbles. Simon suggests that the contestants put hexes on each other.

We have four hours to vote tonight. Yay.

Ryan wants to know if Taylor can break the girl/boy finale cycle. Ugly guy finally beating cute girl? Could be. We get a brief retrospective on the contestants over the sounds of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." It's what you've seen over and over and are now sick to death of. Lots of wooing, gyrating, and spazzing by Taylor. Lots of fake emotion, Mommy-stage-domineering, and vamping by Kat.

Taylor won the coin toss and chose to go second, so Kat gets the please-don't-forget-me-by-the-end-of-the-show spot. Chris Daughtry in the house, hugging Ryan for the first time. The McDad isn't crying yet, and the McMom is smiling and waiting to act inappropriately.

Kat McPhee is onstage getting ready to do "Black Horse and Cherry Tree," one of her worst performances this year, though thankfully this time she isn't sitting down. She is however squatting in a "I should have gone before coming onstage" manner. Her voice sounds wretched and stretched and nasal. She lapdances the box drummers who sit there sort of just doing their thing. Smiles and smiles and smiles. Christina Applegate sort of gets up and gives her a golf clap, then flips her off and sits down. Randy thinks she had fun with the song, but he doesn't think it was exciting. Paula Abdul causes the mic to overmodulate and there's feedback, which should be the final nail in the coffin of the sound guys this year. Paula thinks she could do a lot better. Simon, who actually put on a sport coat, thinks that Kat was only minorly good and that her performance was more like a warm-up. And, I might add, nothing like what one should do when THE WHOLE CONTEST IS ON THE LINE. Thank you. Kat can't help but show her dismay. She is shaken and nervous. Kat likes singing on the ground... and wallowing around onstage pretending to be a beached whale and talking about how much she paid for her bobos, apparently. Kat looks like she's about to melt down.

Taylor Hicks is going to sing "Living for the City." He's wearing the most hideous purple velvet jacket. Paris Bennett is shaking that thang in the audience right behind Elliott. Taylor's ok vocally. He's stretching a bit, and his voice really wears out on the notes he tries to emphasize and the high ones too. He's dancing again, and I've commented on this a million times already, so go back and read the old recaps. Paula is up and out of her chair, dancing like she's got a tin mug next to her and needs your donation. Taylor works it out, and y'all excuse me for a moment, but I heard vibrato, but didn't see it...I'd almost swear this was lip-synced! Well, whether or not this is true, and I'd like to believe it is not, I thought his performance was far and away better than Kat's. Randy thinks it was a hot one. Paula wore the double-stick tape tonight and she flips out. Simon thinks it was a great song but a bad jacket, and he gives round one to Taylor. Ryan and Taylor run out to the Bo riser and it's pimp city from here on out to the break. He makes it almost to the commercials before remembering to shout "Soul Patrol" three times. I want him to win, but I also want someone to punch him dead in the eye.

Ryan plugs the CD that is in stores today and the Idol tour that hits the road this summer. Got cash? 19 Entertainment would like some of it.

Kat is onstage. Sitting down. Somebody at some point has actually told her this is a good idea. She tries to recapture the magic of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," doing it exactly like she did the other night. I'm sorry but if that's the best song that showcases your talent, you aren't a pop star. Period. She fails to get to her feet. She looks like she wants to smile, but fights it off. Some pot-heads in the audience do that side-to-side hands-in-the-air wave thing that just screams "I wasn't well-liked in high school." Kat leans over, stares at the ceiling, and pleads with the camera via her eyes for us to find something redeemable in her egotistical body. Then she involuntarily breaks into a smile, followed by an extremely nervous look. Vocally, yeah, you know how it went. It was good. Hate the song, want her to fail, but she sang it well. And her obnoxious father is crying in the audience again. I'm beginning to think the mom pepper-sprays him when she starts singing. Randy thinks it started off as anti-climactic but that she works it out. Paula showers her with praise, and Katharine eats it up completely. Paula says every dad was crying. Mine probably was, but it was in frustration that she was still on stage. Simon says she got, and I quote, "slaughtered" in the first round, but that she made a comeback this time around. C'mon, somebody be honest and tell her that this was a completely safe performance!! The stage parents get camera time again. Kat talks about how her ear monitor didn't work. I wonder what does play through those things? Probably Dr. Phil telling Kat to believe in her own greatness.

It's time to chat with Taylor's fam. Taylor Hicks is singing Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "Levon," a great song, and perfectly safe for Taylor. Ahhh, much better jacket. Wait just a minute...where is the soul in this song? He comes out HIGHLY off key and looking as nervous as R. Kelly in a room full of thirteen year olds. He doesn't look like he's even feeling this, and he's sort of walking around the stage, not so much singing the song as just sort of delivering it to our doorstep. The sycophantic crowd sways as they are apparently contractually obligated to do. I mean, will a bouncer come and yank them out of the audience if they don't? This is not a good performance by Mr. Hicks, unfortunately. He's just not hitting it right, somehow. I can't put my finger on it. I hope this sounded better in person. Taylor did, at least, go for the mix of slow and spastic today. Randy is about to dump on him, though. Randy thinks it was a little pitchy. I was hoping pitchy would show up at the finale. Pitchy is too kind. It was way off. Paula says something that makes no sense whatsoever. Simon thinks Kat has taken the second round. Constantine and Bucky think so too. Taylor almost refrains from saying "Soul Patrol." I like him much better when he's just standing there. Vote for him, please. I'm having a hard time selling him.

After the break, we get to the original songs...

More of the McParents, and I fail to see how the Earth has refrained from opening up and swallowing them. Thankfully, after this week I never have to lay eye on the McCrybaby and the McExCabaretSinger again.

Kat is singing her song, and taking a long time to get on with it. She waves and smiles like a goon. Oh dear, I hope this is not the winner. This song sounds like butt right off the bat. I have a Hoover vacuum cleaner that is sitting over in the corner getting jealous out of its mind at the suck power of this song. This makes "Inside Your Heaven" sound like a classic by comparison. She sort of sings it half-heartedly and all kinds of flat. Kat cannot sing low notes. Dusty Springfield, she is not. The girl has missed her calling with musical theater. Not a pop star. No sir. Will you be buying this single? Don't lie. You know you won't. You'll download it illegally, and then delete it before your friends find out you have it. She majorly flats out on one incredibly missed notes, and then she launches into the money portion of the song that is supposed to bring us to our feet, but rather moves us to take an impromptu bathroom break. She is as flat as Kansas. Her mom looks up at her like she just turned water into wine onstage. The whole "it's my destiny" line is sure to fire up the Kat haters. Maybe my local affiliate is messing up the sound, but this one sounds lip-synched too. Smiles and smiles. Randy stutters a lot, says she looks amazing, and you know by now that he hated the ever-loving bull crap out of the song. Paula thinks Kat is brilliant. Simon is about to dump all over it. He thinks she is a great great POTENTIAL artist, but that the voters better remember the second song. I feel like he wants her to win. I don't. She is NOT better than the song. No more Kat on this show...uh...until tomorrow...

Brad Hicks is ultimately more likeable than McDad. I just wanted to put that out there as a selling point.

Taylor's song starts out with a piano lick that was written by Mrs. McFarland's fourth grade music class. Still the song is a bit more engaging than Kat's, as slow sappy Idol ballads go. It's still far and away behind most of the others, but once it gets to the chorus it starts to sort of be good. I bet it would sound amazing if I could hear the studio version. I think Taylor is doing a pretty good song singing it, and it's the right blend of Taylor's soul versus his subdued side. I loved the key shift, and for once I don't mind his enthusiastic performance at the end. Ladies and gentlemen, THIS should be your next American Idol. Despite 7 repeats of "Soul Patrol." Randy thinks the song is slightly better than Kat's and that Taylor did a good job of it. Paula says something. Don't care what. Simon thinks he has just won the show. Mandy Moore is happy about it. Taylor freaks out and duck walks over to Ryan. There's some argument between Paula-Randy and Nigel off-screen. I know who this crowd is voting for.

Vote for Taylor. Send Kat and her parents away.

In one of the most inappropriate moves ever, special guest Daniel Powter will further allow me to hate his song "Bad Day." Seriously, is this the night to sing it? On the other hand, if he'd dedicate this song to Kat on air, I'd go buy three copies of his CD right now. I'm so tired of this song. Thank you, Idol, for making me hate it.

MY PREDICTION:

Two words: Soul Patrol. That's all.

Catch you tomorrow night.

11 Comments:

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And did you see Kellie's recently released dad? I thought he wasn't allowed to leave the state????

 
At 9:32 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

If Katharine wins, I'll have to concede that AI is nothing more than a well-engineered farce of a show. She was HORRIBLE. And that last song - not that it was great anyway - was hard to listen to. Kat singing with a choir = fish out of water. Blech. Soul Patrol indeed! (although my heart still lies with Elliott!!! But did you see him saying Soul Patrol in the audience???)

 
At 9:32 PM, Blogger Michael said...

JD.

I know i need to do a final tribute post to Season Five on my blog and I may before the night is over, or you know I might decide to chuck it.

You, my friend have had some rough times this season. I pray the blessings will pour forth and you will receive and acknowledge them for what they are. Reguarding your friend, I hope that you will be able to offer comfort to them as you strive to understand the why's behind it all, and struggle to accept and make yourself ready for the end. It has been a pleasure to at times consider you a adversery as well as a friend with our frequent disagreements with American Idol. American Idol is a cheesy show, that in the reality of daily life means nothing at all, but it has been fun. I appreciate all the kind and sometimes hateful comments you have left this season. It's was amazing that with the start of Idol this season we quickly jumped on the road to being adversarys, and with that one event in West Tennessee that we both became apart of a larger picture called life. I do tend to agree (waiting for the walls to come crashing in) that of the two remaining contestants.. that Taylor Hicks should break the curse and run away with the title.

Tomorrow night will be the deciding factor, I would like it to be close.. but with Soul Patrol and VFTW backing TAylor how can he lose. Besides the girls in the audience seemed more vocal for Taylor than the guys did for Kat.

Hey as always, prayers and well wishes for your friend and of course for your relationships.

Be seeing you. God Bless.

 
At 11:18 PM, Blogger Stacy said...

Taylor's gonna win this thing for sure.

Lisa, YES, I saw Elliott saying, "Soul Patrol!" Sweet ol' boy.

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger Kat said...

Much agreeance tonight! Can't wait for tomorrow with all the finalists returning & all the guest artists!

 
At 1:40 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

The Soul Patrol have got this one in the bag.

And once again I agree with JD whole-heartedly...Let's just say it will be more than just a 'bad day' if I ever have to hear that song again.

Speaking of which, both of the originals, their first singles, were awful. It's lucky for Taylor that he put some Soul "Petrol" (get it?) into the end of his, or it might have been too close to call.

 
At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Ann Handley said...

JD -- Once again, your play-by-play had me laughing OUT LOUD...made me relive all those moments last night, but somehow it was much funnier filtered through you. (As a side note to Blogging Addicting, I was wondering as I was watching with my family how YOU would be spinning it just then...)

Anyway, great job. And by the way, I came to the conclusion last night during Taylor's Tourettes-style outbursts ("soul patrol! soul patrol! soul patrol!....") and cheesy mugging that the guy is on meds.

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger Hannah said...

JD- ur a dork. :D

I don't even wanna watch it (but i'm going to) because i don't want either of them to win. Mandisa and Chris should still be here.

 
At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Billie said...

HELP!!!Do you know where I can get a` download of the show? I just accidently deleted it from my tivo. My family is ready to kill me

 
At 12:35 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

Try mininova.org

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger superclosetnerd said...

I thought I'd share a neat site I found when I dug deep into a search engine the other day. This is good when you really start looking around. A hidden gem really. But I digress.. here - golf school

 

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