Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Final nine cross the line

Mountain man Ryan is growing out a beard. Is this a tribute to Kenny Rogers night; I bet he shaves it off before the results show. Will he be singing duets with Dolly Parton soon? The first sign in the audience the camera catches says “Taylor Hicks (Kicks) Butt.” I think the person making the sign intended for the parenthetic thought to include both the Kicks and the Butt, however, it really looks like it only covers the Kicks. Since the parenthetic is included to provide context and not spoken aloud, that effectively means they are holding up a sign honoring Taylor’s Hick’s backside. Nice sign dude. Hey look Whoopi is in the audience. Shouldn’t she be filming Hollywood Squares or something? Kenny visits the contestants and none of them cry, not even Bucky. Kenny replaced his flowing hair with a Ryan like haircut. Men over a certain age should not have spikey hair. Men named Kenny Rogers who are country stars should never have spikey hair.

Taylor – Take me home country road

Taylor has a pretty good knowledge of music, but how much does he know about country. He is singing a John Denver song, and no one can rock out like John Denver. If they ever remake the “Dear God” movies I think Taylor could fill in for John; maybe get Larry King to play God. Uh oh are they foreshadowing? Kenny says that Taylor’s first run through of the song felt weak; Taylor was not taking people on a journey with his first note. Perhaps it’s the song Kenny, rather, the ENTIRE GENRE. Hey they have a fiddler player at the front of the stage, which is kinda cool. The song is pretty boring and Taylor is stationary for the second week in a row. His vocals are pretty good, he is hitting all of the right notes, including some nice higher ones, but I don’t think he ever really connected with the audience. Taylor is an ‘event’ singer; you feel like you saw something happen when he sings. Probably think to yourself ‘wow I’m glad I caught that.” The song tonight provides no such moments. Taylor did not do anything wrong, he gave the best performance he could, but he selected a weak song. Randy wearing some red vest thing, he looked like a jacketless pimp. Randy thought it was a pretty good choice for him, and the vocal was just ok, not great. Didn’t see him exude any personality. Paula thought the song didn’t let him shine tonight. Simon said Taylor’s song sounded safe, boring, and lazy. As if he picked out the song 10 seconds before he hit the stage and said, “I’ll just sing a country song whoopee.” Did Simon just give a shout out to Whoopi? Ryan, still glowing from his Kelly joke he used on Simon last week hit him with another great line “safe boring and lazy, sounds like Simon’s love life.” I’m sure the Fox execs like Ryan talking about sex with all the little kids watching the show. Once Mandisa goes Idol will lose all the Christians viewers! Taylor is my favorite remaining contestant. Actually he has been my favorite all along, its not like he replaced Kevin, Lisa or Melissa. However, tonight he was sub par per his standards; we will get a good reading on the size of his fan base tomorrow night. The producers put him in the death spot (first) and he sang a crappy song. If Taylor is really an Idol monster with a massive fan base capable of winning the entire competition, he will avoid the result show’s bottom.. I think the Soul Patrol will call in with more passion than those Minute Man guys patrolling the border, ensuring Taylor’s safety for another week. Is country music night over yet? I wonder when Chris will perform tonight, he almost never goes early, and has never gone earlier than 4th in the show, could the producers be protecting their rock shouting prodigy?

Hillary Duff is doing Kohl’s commercials now. She has sold out with these commercials, she used to be so original and independent, just like Bob Dylan in the early days. What a waste. As Ryan walks through the audience Paula yells out “I love you Ryan.” He walks over to the judges’ table and Paula turns her back to him. As he returns to the crowd, one of the main producers of the show declares his love for Ryan too! I don’t know if this is funny, weird, or creepy. A little of each I suppose. Ryan wonders what everyone is drinking. We know what Ryan is drinking – man juice (it would explain the beard).

Mandisa – Any Man of mine

Kenny mentions that Mandisa is going to sing a lot of words; a lot of words for a lot of woman! I wonder if she noticed the lyric “last years dress is just a little too tight.” That’s the official Mandisa motto. She sings any man of hers better walk that line. What is it with country music and lines? Jonny Cash walked the line, this Shania song wants guys to walk a line, is there a lot of drunk driving down south? She falls behind the beat a little in parts and the lyrics feel rushed, and there are a few less than stellar notes. This song is not right for her, or her voice. It’s a cutesy song that only works when you have a really attractive girl singing, i.e. Shania Twain, or for Idol purposes Kellie. When Mandisa sings it, the song feels beneath her, which has to hurt the song, since that’s a lot of stuff to be under. As Mandisa is finishing up her song the cameras cut to Rachel Bilson (Summer on the OC) sitting in the crowd. Sitting! Everyone else is standing and cheering for Mandisa, but not Rachel. Obviously Rachel heard there was an Adam Brody twin on the show and came to see for herself, but she is too late, Will didn’t make the top 12! Mandisa is only ok tonight. Just like Taylor, she picked a song that limited her abilities. Randy says it is an interesting night for him (translation: this show is gonna suck), that she got it together and showed some personality in the last 5 seconds of the song. Paula says Mandisa could sing the phone book and still sound great. Simon liked the 4 seconds right after the song the best. Simon also got his revenge on Ryan by pointing out he looked like one of the guys on Desperate Housewives since he has a little beard. What? Simon you fool! Why mention another network instead of plugging House, a show with a facial hair growing main character. OH yeah, I know why, because ABC picked up your invention show, very clever Simon, very clever. This show is shaping up a lot like last week where no one ‘brought it’ and Kat ended up in the bottom three. Therefore, anything can happen and Mandisa could end up in result show purgatory – the bottom three!

Elliot – Is it Stevie Wonder week again yet?

Kenny says Elliot has a tendency to over sing because he has great skills. However, on some lyrics, its important to just sing the note straight; you are trying to make people cry, not impress the audience. Have they done something to change his hair? I must ask why do we bother doing country night? For people that want to watch this stuff we have a network called CMT, a show called Nashville Country Star, and the entire state of Alabama. Go there if you need to hear this stuff, not to American Idol. Especially since most of these songs aren’t ‘country’ it’s the country/pop amalgamation so popular these days. He sounds good tonight, like always. He limits his runs and eliminates the manic bopping move he employed last week. I don’t really like this song, because its country, but he sounds good on it, even though it’s not as big as his voice and a little easy for him to sing. Randy says the show has finally started and says he has a careless reckless abandon about him. Huh? For what? Singing this song? He picked the most boring song Garth ever sang, how is that reckless? It is stupid maybe, but not reckless. Simon feels Elliot lacked some confidence tonight and was a little nervous. Elliot agrees he was and says he was nervous because you get out here in front of the judges and “walk the line.” Stop it with the line references IDOL! I think Elliot is nervous tonight because this is way outside his genre of music and he is afraid he might break into Stevie Wonder doing country, which the judges probably would not like, except Paula, who loves everything, especially rodent looking untalented idol contestants. We are 17 minutes into the show so far and it’s still really boring. I’m considering turning on the NCAA women’s basketball final on ESPN…ok that moment has passed, I’d rather watch commercials.

Paris – How do I live

Paris tells us every different hairstyle she wears shows us a “different side of me.” If she starts painting, I’m going to call her Gedeon. This is the first week in awhile that Paris isn’t whoring it up, I wonder if she will lose votes. Kenny says she has a great voice and he believes her when she sings. She is wearing jeans, a vest, and boots. It looks like the uniform at a western restaurant. Paris feels a lot like a more talented version of Lisa tonight. She basically stands still the entire time and has intense facial expressions. I am not sure if she is trying to look convincing on the song or if she is concentrating so she hits all the notes. Either way she is devoid of the Paris sparkle, hence Lisa like. She sounds pretty good on the song, her lower register is strong and she soars on the extended high notes. There are a few pitch problems, more so at the start, but nothing major. I give her credit consistently picking a song that I would never think she could/would sing. Even if she doesn’t hit a homerun every time, she is swinging for the fences, unlike oh I don’t know, a contestant who sings the same thing every week, what’s his name? Randy thinks it is a really tough song to sing, and Paris did ok on it, despite some rough spots at the front. Paula says Pairs didn’t have her normal joy tonight and therefore failed to connect with the song, and then it happened. An event more startling than Jesus coming back, again, you know to hunt down and kill all those guys who killed him and his friends like Charles Bronson did in those awesome 70s movies. PAULA GOT BOOED. Wow the girl finally makes an intelligent constructive comment about a contestant and the crowd gives her grief Simon style. Simon disagreed with Paula and thinks Paris is very good, then compares her to an early Dionne Warrick. About 20 million teenagers just looked over to their mom, dad, or kidnapper and asked them “who is this Dionne person.” I think Paris was good enough tonight to escape Ace’s hang out.

Ace – I wanna cry

Kenny says Ace is a very passionate kid who sings with his heart (actually it usually with his nose), see, even Kenny cannot resist the drop dead gorgeous Ace. Kenny says Ace’s song matches up with him really well; I wonder if that means that both Ace and the song suck? The song begins and Ace is sitting on a stool, obviously to convey the serious nature of this song. Instrument less people sitting down while they sing is universal for ‘not a happy fun song.’ This lets people know moshing is inappropriate. I wonder if Ace will sit the entire time or stand up halfway through the song to create drama. He sounds pretty decent tonight, much better than in previous weeks: still nasal, but at least a little better. Ace has trouble whenever he 1) holds out a note for more than a few seconds and 2) whenever he jumps around between notes. There are a couple really ‘icky’ moments in the song, but they only last a second or two. When the notes have a gradual progression he normally stays in tune. He sits on the stool the entire time, which is appropriate because the song really is that boring. He finishes with his trademark falsetto. Oh Ace you devil you, giving the ladies just enough falsetto. Randy thinks the song was really boring until the end when Ace showed up, and Paula, well Paula says something stupid even by her standards. She commends Ace for his knack of always picking the right songs for his voice. Huh? The judges have been telling Ace for a while now that his song selection is as poor as Kat’s fashion sense. If that wasn’t bad enough, then Paula spends 10 minutes trying to pronounce the word signature. Simon says Ace finally picked a good song, and sounded pretty good. Ryan joins Ace on stage and tells us that Ace is officially single. What? Was there some question about this? Have people been checking out Ace’s profile on Why does Ryan share this info? Could it be that teenage girls vote more for a single guy? Of course it does! Same reason the studio heads did not want Elvis to get married. Once the illusion of you having a chance with your sex symbol is gone, you don’t like them as much. How silly. That being said, now that I know he is single I’m voting a thousand times for Ace! Candidly, its why I used to vote so much for Kevin Covais. Speaking of Kevin, he was on the Ellen show today. He sang a song and surprisingly, sounded worse than he ever did on Idol. It’s like he wasn’t happy being an average singer, no, he wanted to go all the way and become a horrible singer. Way to go Kevin! Can we get the cameras to pan back onto Rachel Bilson? I bet she is standing for Ace! Ace could easily be back in the bottom three again.

Kellie – Fancy

There have been some rumors going around that Kellie the country girl is just an act. Ryan gives her a chance to refute these rumors before she sings. She says she really is that dumb. You have to give her credit, who else would admit to making Jessica Simpson look professorial. Kenny says he loves Kellie because of her wonderful charm. Kellie looks better than she has in weeks in a bright red top with her old hairstyle back. She starts the song in the audience and walks up onto the stage. Once on the stage she employs her standard performance: prance around the stage, then stand still and convey her emotions through eyebrow movements. She sounds really good tonight, WAY better than last week, and her final note is even in tune! This is maybe her best performance since the final 12 were selected. Randy likes her in her element and Paula says it’s a song Kellie really sunk her teeth into. Simon says Kellie performed a horrible song really well. This is the best performance of the night. Kellie looked comfortable and avoids the pitch problems that plagued her the last few weeks. This is why we have been picking Pickler. If this whole Idol thing doesn’t work out maybe we can get her on the OC as Ryan’s cousin from South Carolina who comes to town to visit, but is then haunted by Jonny’s ghost. Kellie is safe from elimination.

Whoopi and Chris Rock are sitting next to each other in the crowd, but ironically, Chris is most obstructed by someone’s sign! Can we get Oprah there next week?

Chris – Making memories of us

Chris joins Kenny while wearing a skull on his shirt, nice touch Chris. Kenny says the performance will go one way or another, but he thinks Chris will put enough heart into it to make something special. Chris is singing a ballad tonight. Finally Chris, you are showing you can do something more than rock! I would prefer if you picked a song that didn’t suck, but hey at least its not Creed. Like Ace, Chris starts the song sitting down on the stool of emotional songs. He sounds a lot like Rob Thomas tonight actually. Once he reaches the middle of the song he stands to show us he is serious now! See Ace, this is what you should have done. Nothing gets the girls more than sitting down when the song starts and then standing up halfway through! This is the first performance from Chris sans an elaborate light show or wild camera cut-aways. I feel bad for the lighting guys; I bet they love it when Chris rocks out since they can play with their toys. Chris sounds pretty good tonight, but its nothing special. He can sing a ballad, but I’m still not sure he can hold anyone’s interest when he does, and he has the stare of death. Why dude? I get when you are singing rock you are looking tough because hey its rock and roll. But this is a love song right? So why are you trying to kill me through my TV. I’m not saying you are too intense, but that stare would scare Jack Bauer. Also, why doesn’t Chris ever sing first on the show? They always keep him way back buried near the end. This ‘protect Chris’ thing is getting a little old. Randy says it was a nice change and Paula says he stayed true to himself. How did he do that? By keeping the stare of death? Simon says it was great to see a different side to him, upon hearing this Paula has some kinda nervous breakdown saying that Simon double talks when people perform. Huh? Simon continues his comments and says the contestants keep picking boring songs. Very true Simon. Chris is such a frontrunner he should be safe this week.

Kat – Bringing out the Elvis in me

Kat tells Kenny country isn’t really her favorite style of music, so she wants to sing something sultrier. Kenny likes her song choice and thinks she will do great. Kat’s hair is out again instead of hair disaster she had last week. And she looks better this week, it’s not the best outfit in the world, but at least she doesn’t look like a 50-year-old woman tonight. She says ‘you are bringing out the Elvis in me” over and over again. I hope that does not mean she will end up dead from an overdose while sitting on her toilet. Man I’m glad I do not have to listen to country music everyday. Kat shows more emotion tonight than the last three weeks combined. She even walks off the stage and then runs back up the stairs. For someone who had such trouble getting off the stage when they picked the final 12 she is much better on the stairs tonight. This might be the dumbest song ever written, but she sounds great tonight. She hits the right pitches and her voice is much fuller tonight than last week. Randy liked the bluesy country feel to the song and Paula says she was sexy, hot, and cool. Simon does not know what to say about this peculiar song. Kat says he just doesn’t like country music, and Simon agrees. Kat rocked tonight and she will not be in the bottom three again this week.

During the commercial I switch over to CNN to see if the world is ending or anything and they have breaking news about a Homeland Security Official getting arrested on child porn charges. He tried to pick up a little girl online. Well I feel safer with hurricane season right around the corner. Is that why they were so awful during Katrina? They were too busy hooking up with 14-year-old girls online?

Bucky – Best I ever had

Kenny tells Bucky to make sure he overenunciates the words so people can hear what he is saying. Good tip Kenny. Bucky starts off the song staring up at the camera affixed high above the stage; this is the first and hopefully last time all season they do this little camera trick. Buckman starts off a little higher tonight than past weeks. Since he falls apart every time he goes low its good he start in a higher key. Buck goes low , and I cannot tell what he is singing. Entire lines of lyrics disappear as if Bucky swallows them whole. If they included subtitles when Bucky sings I think it would really help his performances. Randy says it was a good song choice, but a little out of tune. Paula tells him toe wear his hat proud. Simon feels the song was ok to him; he is obviously relieved this night of country music if over. Bucky is ok tonight, but nothing special. Since this is his genre, he really should have been better, and it might cost him some much needed votes.

Final Thoughts – Ok country week is over. Whew, I survived it somehow. Granted I still need to sit through Kenny Rogers sing tomorrow, but at least its not Barry Manilow. Picking the bottom three tomorrow night will be hard. There was not a horrible performance tonight, so no one truly deserves to go home. Mandisa, Bucky, and Ace will make up the bottom three. Ace and Bucky have been in the bottom three, and Mandisa seems to be losing steam, especially with the whole ‘she might hate gay people’ outrage last week. I wonder why no one sang “Proud to be an American” tonight. Lee Greenwood is a country artist, if you sing that people have to call if they love American. You get 20 million votes easy that way. Maybe none of the contestants love America! I hope none of them are immigrants because they are going to be arrested and sent home quicker than a Mexican can jump a fence. Going home this week, in a mild surprise…Bucky.


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