Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Idol Re-Cap: Finals, Week One

We're on the big stage tonight with Stevie Wonder songs as the theme. I am grateful beyond measure for TiVo, as it is 8:42 - 18 minutes left in the actual show - and we're about to zap through lots of unnecessary filler and go straight to the performances. And if anyone sings "My Cherie Amour," I will be hurling large objects at the television. Now that we're clear on that, here we go:

Ace Young - "Do I Do" - My first impression is that he's waaay off. And then he tried to break out some choreography, which made me slightly embarrassed for him. Here's my problem with Ace: I don't get him. He's cute as he can be..but maybe modeling is his thing. Not so much the singing.
Kellie (Dawn) Pickler - "Blame It On The Sun" - First of all, I think she looked really pretty. But aside from that, it was a Miss Mississippi preliminary round talent performance. She seemed uncomfortable, and the song dragged, and all in all, I was just bored. I think her song choice did her in this week...but I think she has the fan base to keep her in it. Aw, shucks, y'all, she's just tryin' not to bust a seam and wear those fake eyelashes that are like tarantulas, and gosh golly yuckity yuck she's just a sweet lil' country girl.
Elliot Yamin - "Knocks Me Off My Feet" - It seems like if the Stevie Wonder theme is good for anyone, it would be good for Elliot. But he looked scared to death, y'all - trying to follow the cameras whirling around him and "connect" with the audience at the same time. But about mid-way through, he found his groove. I like him a lot. He seems real, and humble, and grateful to be there.
Mandisa - First of all, let me say how excited I was today when Emma Kate told me that Mandisa is on Beth Moore's praise team. Y'all, I saw her live in Knoxville back in September and didn't even realize it! But once EK gave me the news, I remembered Mandisa bringing the house down with her version of "Shackles Off My Feet." So there's our bit of Mandisa trivia this week. She's singing "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" - and I promise that she looks prettier every week. It's not her strongest performance. Again, I think the biggest problem for her was the song choice. That reggae-ish vibe didn't seem to suit her much. That being said, if she's good enough for Beth's praise team, she's getting my vote. ;-)
Bucky Covington - "Superstition" - Careful, Bucky. Careful (and as a side note, I believe that Bucky rolled his hair this week). Now I didn't love his performance, but I thought this was his best week so far. I just feel like there are 1,000 guys out there with Bucky's voice...nothing particularly distinctive or memorable about him to me.
Melissa McGhee - "Lately" - For what it's worth (nothing), I think this is a beautiful song. It's actually prettier when someone remembers all the lyrics. And she flat out screamed the last two verses, which for some reason I didn't mind so much. I actually really loved the end of the song - something about her husky voice and the key change worked for me. I liked her more this week than I have at any other point, but she's got a tough road ahead.
Lisa Tucker - "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" - Hey, y'all - I used to play this song on the piano. Just a bit of BooMama trivia for you. She definitely didn't dress "old" this week, as Simon has accused her of in weeks' past. I did want to reach into the television and ask her to calm down a smidge. It was a little over the top for me. But she sounded okay. I think part of the problem is that she's 16, so she's not really sure of who she is as a performer, and as a result she shifts gears every week.
Kevin Corvais - "Part-Time Lover" - Okay. This has gone entirely too far. Here's a sweet guy who you might let sing one song at your sister's wedding reception. But about two-thirds of the way through the song, you'd be wishing for it to be over because you're a little embarrassed for him. And that's exactly how I felt about his performance tonight.
Katharine McPhee - I LOVE HER VOICE. Tonight it's "Until You Come Back To Me." She gives these subtle, controlled performances that are, for me, light years ahead of the rest of the females. And she nailed this song. Does she remind anyone else of Joss Stone? And big ups to whomever did her eye make-up tonight. It rocked, too. Definitely best so far.
Taylor Hicks - Now that sweet Alabama boy just called Stevie Wonder "Mr. Wonder." Taylor is singing "Livin' For The City." I could not love him more. I adore him. He makes me so happy when he sings that I scarcely know what to do with myself. The end.
Paris Bennett - "All I Do" - I don't like this song, so Paris is at a disadvantage with me from the get go. Here's the thing. When she auditioned, she sang a beautiful, simple Billie Holliday song. And it seems like ever since she's been over-complicating songs. At least for me. So I appreciate her talent. I do. But I don't relate to her as a performer, at least not when I can't hear the melody for all the runs and "hey heys" and whatnot. It was good - just not my cup of tea.
Chris Daughtry - "Higher Ground" - Vastly different than any other performance tonight. And he's a star, y'all. No doubt about it. Contrast what he did with what, say, Ace did - and there is no comparison. I love that he went back by the background singers...and I think he's just great.

My top three: Katharine, Chris, Taylor
My bottom three: Kellie Dawn, Bucky, Kevin
Should go: Kevin Corvais
Will go: This is tough - but I'm gonna predict Ace Young, just because he was first and meh. David predicts Lisa Tucker, but he just amended it by saying, "I don't know, dog." Because he's street like that.


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