Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Idol Re-Cap, Final Two

The best part of each season's final Idol show is the debut of the Power Ballad that becomes the winner's first single. Said ballad usually contains images of climbing mountaintops or flying without wings or soaring into the sky or soaring above the clouds on the way to the mountaintop while flying without wings.

So, in a HUGE step-out, I'm going to predict water imagery for this year's single...perhaps we'll have a river of love, or a sea of faith, or an ocean of truth, but my prediction is that it will in fact be a body of water filled with a universally valued attribute. And a soaring note at the end. You heard it here first.

(Now we're watching on TiVo. David and I are cracking up at seeing Mandy Moore and Ben Stiller in the audience - guess this show has pretty broad appeal, huh?)

Katharine McPhee -
"Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" - Probably a wise move for her to come out and show her fun side right off the bat - especially since her competition is Mr. Fun Happy Man. I loved this song the first time she sang it, and it was rock-solid again tonight. Honestly, though, sometimes I feel like she works really hard to seem like she's having fun! We're having fun! Y'all! She did seem sincerely touched by the reception of the audience - those were real tears. And good grief she's pretty, isn't she?

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" - Perfection.

"My Destiny" - Definite imagery of a journey, a quest...but I may have stepped out too far with my water imagery prediction. :-) Anyway, this song sounds like it's in the wrong key for her. The low parts are giving her a little trouble, and plus I imagine that it's difficult to sell lyrics that are quite this cheesy. I'm gonna go ahead and say it: it's a pitchy performance. She's all over the place. But I am happy to see the ubiquitous gospel choir, which I believe is an Official Requirement for an AI anthem.

Taylor Hicks -
"Livin' For The City" - MY that's a fuschia jacket. And he definitely gets crowd-pleaser points. I think his voice sounds great - way stronger than it has in the last couple of weeks. I actually still have his first performance of this song on TiVo, and what struck me tonight is that he didn't sound like a recording of that first performance. Good grief the crowd loves him.

"Levon" - I have a deep, abiding love for this song. And I think tonight's version of it is leaps and bounds better than the first time Taylor sang it - he's calmer, more confident, and seems more at home on the stage. All that being said, I think Katharine wins the slow song round.

"Do I Make You Proud" - This type of music doesn't really suit him, but this song works better for him than Katharine's Power Ballad worked for her. Taylor got to "do his thing" a little more than she did, so I think Round Three goes to him. Even though the song is cheesy, he still sounds like Taylor - doin' the best he can with some wretched material.

By the way, we have no idea what Paula is talking about tonight.

So, here's the bottom line: I think Taylor will win for three reasons:
1) The South will vote in droves.
2) Most of the people who previously voted for Elliott are more likely to vote for Taylor than Katharine.
3) People seem to adore Taylor. His fans are rabid - did you hear the crowd? And for old time's sake, I looked back at some old posts and found this - I've loved him from the very beginning, y'all. :-)

But I think David just gave the best reason why Taylor will win: he has personality. Katharine is beautiful, and her voice is distinctive - but she doesn't come across as having the level of personality and likeability that Taylor does. Plus, in her third song, she didn't offer anything special...it could have been any other good singer doing a similarly average job. On the other hand, Taylor took a weak song and made it his own - I can't imagine that's easy to do.

Looks like we're gonna have another Idol from right here in B'ham.

Soul Patrol, everybody.


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