Thursday, February 23, 2006

American Idol - The Guys Strike Back!

First up – the recap: praises especially for Paris and Lisa… YAY!

If the starting intro order is any indication, I’m going to have to wait to hear Taylor Hicks until the last. This makes me sad. But happiness is just around the corner, as someone must have taken Paula’s barrette away because her mane is again flowing freely across her liver-spotted shoulders.

Patrick HallCome To My Window (Melissa Etheridge)
So this guy is kind of attractive without the goatee. Unfortunately, he chose the lazy route and didn’t shave his whole face today. What is the first thing we notice about Patrick (other than his facial hair)? He’s singing a lesbian anthem, okay? The bad news: Melissa Etheridge sounds more like a man on that song than Patrick does. The good news: Vocally, it wasn’t horrible. That’s about the best I can say for him. Creepy moment number one comes when they show “Patrick’s friends” in the audience and one of them looks like the infamous plastic surgery experiment gone wrong, the Tiger Lady. Paula starts her pandering early tonight by telling Patrick about all the “star quality” he’s got. Looks like we’re in for a long night of Paula’s retarded comments.

David RadfordCrazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
The baby-faced crooner tries to stick to his niche by performing a version of this song as if he were the spawn of Elvis and Michael Feinstein. He didn’t look very comfortable up there – his movements were uncomfortable, his vocals were uncomfortable, and I was uncomfortable for him. It was a weird performance, overall. Simon and Randy go so far as to call his performance a joke, but they weren’t mean about it. I feel sort of bad for David by the end of his comments – he looks genuinely upset, but he DID get some good advice. I just don’t know if he can carry a Harry Connick Jr. tribute act all the way through the competition. Creepy moment number two for this evening comes when Paula calls the girls “Paula’s Poodle Pound” and Ayla proceeds to do her best poodle imitation. I think she got so excited she peed herself.

Bucky CovingtonSimple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
I think Bucky has at least 50 teeth in his mouth, and that’s where his mush-mouth sound comes from. I also think he swallowed a couple of them before his performance, which is where his gravely voice comes from. Bucky looks homeless, like his hair hasn’t been washed since he took out the dreadlocks. I’m going to call Bucky another disappointment. So far the guys are 0 for 3, as far as I’m concerned. The Seacrest complements (?) Bucky by telling him he’s such a real, genuine, unaffected guy. I guess that is Seacrest for “dirty country bar singer.”

Will MakarI Want You Back (Jackson 5)
Who does this guy remind me of? Oh yeah! This guy is totally Peter Brady! I can already hear Paula asking this guy to help her wash her car after the show. In Paula’s world, “wash the car” means “chow my poontang.” Oh, so Paula calls him Bobby Brady – she like them younger, I see. I agree with Simon that Will’s performance was average. I’d even go so far as to say it was a bit boring. He’s young and a heartthrob though, so the Teen Beat set will eat him up.

Jose “Sway” Penala
Reasons (Earth, Wind and Fire)
The falsetto took some getting used to. I still don’t think I’m used to it. The more I hear it, the more I realize I will never get used to it because it’s pretty weird. I was hoping Sway would wow me with soul rather than turn me off with Aaron Neville. I don’t like Aaron Neville, and it’s not just because of the mole and tattoos (on his FACE). However, it was a very bold choice of song, and it showed Sway’s potential for great versatility. Simon calls Sway “pimpy,” and I think that’s because of Sway’s Panama Jack hat. What 80s closet did he dig that out of? For the fifth time tonight, I wonder where the male talent is hiding, and how these guys made it this far.

Chris DaughtryWanted Dead or Alive (Jon Bon Jovi)
Like Mandisa last night, Chris is literally on fire thanks to a flamey backdrop. I’m liking Chris, because he sounds like the lead singer of Stained, and kind of looks like him, and Stained hasn’t had a good song since that anthem to psychotherapy from a few years ago. So far, Chris has given the best performance of the night. Let’s hear it for 20-something bald dudes everywhere!

Kevin CovaisOne Last Cry (Brian McKnight)
This guy looks exactly like my senior class president. I think that guy is an accountant or something, so maybe when this guy gets booted (which he inevitably will, because let’s face it – teenage girls can NOT masturbate to this kid) he’ll have a promising future in the financial industry. Kevin’s got a really nice voice, but there is a slight lisp in there that interferes with his tone. It’s not overbearing, but it shows his immaturity. Personality wise, he’s just as sweet as can be and about as genuine as it gets. We’ll get to enjoy him for a few more weeks and we’ll all be sad when he goes, but it won’t be a surprise when it happens.

Gedeon McKinneyShout (The Isley Brothers)
Oh my god – it’s David Allan Grier with a ‘fro. What the hell was this kid thinking when he chose this song? Don’t get me wrong – the vocals were actually good. He was on pitch, he was technically superb. But the performance was like, huh? I don’t know what turned me off about him, but there was a hint of SNL in there. I think Simon got the same vibe from Gedeon that I did. That’s all I have to say about that.

Elliot YaminIf You Really Love Me (Stevie Wonder)
Is that a cassette tape masquerading as a belt buckle? Word up. Elliot looks a little like Gollum, only taller, and fully clothed. Truth is, this boy can sing. Slap some veneers on those chompers, grow out the hair, and he’ll be the total package. His performance was very good – he worked the audience, he looked comfortable, and he made it look easy. Simon called Elliot “potentially the best male vocalist we have ever had.” Holy shit – that’s a big deal. He better bring it next week, or Simon’s gonna tear him a new one.

Bobby BennettCopacabana (Barry Manilow)
He’s funny, he’s fun, he’s singing for his grandma. How cute is that? But what’s with the growling? Was that really necessary, Bobby? Bobby is a big ball of personality, kind of like the wild host of a wilder party. I’d like to see Bobby actually sing something, rather than all-out entertain – as he stands now, he would rock the house in the Coconut Room at the Palm Tree Hotel in Reno. I gotta give it to the Seacrest for standing up for Bobby and asking Simon to give the kid some real, legitimate constructive criticism. Simon must be in an especially cranky mood, because he refuses to even admit he liked the kid once upon a time.

Ace YoungFather Figure (George Michael)
He’s got the looks, that’s for sure. And he picked one of my favorite songs, so that’s two points in his favor. And hot damn, if he doesn’t sound just like George Michael. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a potential winner. Ace looked like he was really feeling that song, and when he looked into the camera at the end of his performance, he looked right into the souls of melting girls across the nation. Even the judges loved Ace – even Simon. Without the benefit of a flaming backdrop, this boy burned up the stage.

Taylor HicksLevon (Elton John)
Even before he takes the stage, I am nervous and excited and nervous again. Taylor is quirky, a little strange, an odd duck. But he is immensely talented, genuinely grateful to be in the competition, and knows who he is and why he’s good. He starts the song and I’m immediately sucked in – Taylor is sensitive at first, and then he starts belting out this soulful, powerful ridiculously good performance that has twinges of gospel and of course Ray. Everything I feared about Taylor’s performance style – that maybe he would freak out in front of an audience – was for naught. Listen to me people: Taylor is the best thing to happen to American Idol ever. Let this man stay. Let this man win.

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