American Idol: Modern Hits...or Misses?

by Lacy Hall, posted Mar 29th 2006 11:06AM

For lack of a better word or description, last night's show was weird and anti-climatic. At first, I was really excited about the contestants doing modern hits from the last 6 years, but then...nothing happened. I kept waiting for that one really great performance that would put the show into overdrive, but it never came.

First off, the show was cut down to a hour last night since there are only 10 contestants left. This made everything feel very rushed. It felt less like a national hit show and more like a filler before House came on. Secondly, all the judges were in agreement last night, and yet they were still fighting. Always weird. Thirdly, lack of time translated into lack of Seacrest zingers. Seacrest zingers are always the cheesiest of zings, and yet, I miss them when they're gone. It's like getting a dollar every year in your birthday card from Grandma. A dollar doesn't get you much (heck, it doesn't get you anything), but that first year when it's not in burns. Finally, I think Kevin might have been eliminated prematurely. I'm convinced that if given the chance, he would have performed Britney Spears' "Toxic" and it would have been the best thing to happen to American Idol since Bobby sung the praises of the Copacabana.

Ace Young- I had a dream last night where Ace was killed off by members of Tony Soprano's crew when they found out that he was a mafia informant. (I kid you not.) At first, I thought this dream was an omen that Ace might get eliminated this week. But now, I'm thinking that I watch too much TV before I go to bed. Since George Micheal hasn't really done much in the last 6 years that doesn't involve a public restroom and a greased up hand, I was intrigued at what song Ace would choose. I know the judges didn't like it, but I was okay with "Drops of Jupiter." It wasn't the best performance, but let's face it...last night sorta sucked. I think that Ace would have done better with a Justin Timberlake song. But the problem is, I don't know if Justin Timberlake could have even been an option since we don't know if American Idol bought the rights to his songs or not. The song choices all around were really weird last night. But I don't know if I should blame the contestants or the producers for not buying enough song rights? But enough about legal mumbo jumbo and back to Ace. During his performance, I thought he was going to flash us his right nipple, but it turns out he was showing us his chest scar. I figured the scar was a byproduct of a chest hair transplant procedure, but it turns out that it's a basketball injury. Who wants to bet money that the Ace was trying to dunk?

Kellie Pickler- I always knew that Kellie was wearing too much make-up, but I had no idea how much until last night. They were really geisha-ing her out before. It was a little bit jarring to suddenly see her actual face minus the 10 gallons of make-up. But she really is a beautiful girl. I don't know why they were putting so much make-up on her before? Lack of time, meant lack of Kellie dumb-baiting, so we didn't get any dumb blonde sound bytes to remember her by. I thought she sounded alright, but that song choice was stupid. "Suds in a Bucket"? I have Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas (a Muppet classic) on DVD that has song lyrics involving "putting a whole in a washtub." The entire time Kellie performed, that's all I could think about. And the thought that Taylor Hicks has probably been in a jug-band at some point in his career.

Lisa Tucker- I don't know why the AI make-up artist feels the need to coordinate Lisa's eyeshadow with the color of her shirt, but it needs to stop! Even Oprah says that's a no-no. I usually like it when contestants do Kelly Clarkson songs, but Lisa sorta blew it. She sounded really off-key at times, and her voice was just all over the place. I think this might be another week where Lisa is in the bottom three.

Taylor Hicks- From what I can tell from the pre-interview, I don't think that Taylor is going to be dying his hair. He pretty much put a nail in that coffin when he yelled out, "Parents, don't dye is hair!" But did Taylor really think that little 10-year-old boy had naturally gray hair? Apparently, he did. That was the Kellie Pickler dumb moment of the show and surprise, came from Taylor. And I'm going to take this moment to mention that in junior high school, I knew a kid named Bear who dyed his hair gray and we all thought that was pretty cool. It helped him score with older high school chicks since getting ID-ed while buying beer was unlikely. I thought Taylor's performance was okay, nothing special. I can barely even remember it and I took notes during the show. But everyone loves Taylor, so he's not going home yet.

Mandisa- This is going to sound horrible, but I couldn't stop staring at her butt during last night's performance. It looked way bigger than normal. It looked like a denim-clad butt mountain. Simon felt that her performance was a bit indulgent, but I think that Simon was just in a bad mood. Mandisa started off sorta slow, but really pulled it off at the end. I just think that the song was forgettable. It really didn't show us how well she would translate into modern pop music.  

Chris Daughtry-  Chris wasted no time this week giving Live props for their version of "Walk the Line" that he did last week. Read the "controversy" here. It was also mentioned that Live is one of Chris' favorite bands. Seacrest brought it up and Chris almost seemed a little bit embarrassed by it. It is a bit odd that Chris gave props to the Chili Peppers for "Higher Ground," but not Live. Here's my take on the whole thing. I blame AI producers. I don't have any evidence, but it just seems like they are at fault here. In the same way that they are making Kellie the dumb blonde, I think that they are molding Chris into Mr. Original Rock n' Roller/Out of Controller. I think that's Chris' schtick. Each week, they are trying to prove to us how "original" he can be. But now, it's sort of backfired. I don't think producers even realized that anyone would know the Live version. No bother, I think they learned their lesson, and I don't think it'll hurt Chris in the votes even slightly.

What may hurt him is the judges bad words last night. It wasn't my favorite Chris performance, but I thought it was fair. But they really need to lay off the strobe light while he performs. It's pretty rock n' roll cheesy, if you ask me. I'm afraid that next week, they will incorporate a fog machine into his performance. Finally, I don't agree with Simon's comment that Creed wouldn't be caught dead on AI. Scott Stapp is about a few more sex tape scandals away from being a contestant on AI, and then getting kicked off when the whole thing is revealed on  

Katharine McPhee- That top was horrible, but I think she sounded pretty great tonight. My guy roommate actually walked into the room and said, "her voice sounded as pretty as Christina Aguilera's." As pretty? Ha ha ha. That was the queerest thing I've heard him say since he noted that Steeler's QB Ben Roethlisberger does look better with longer hair. What is it about AI that can make straight men sound gay?

Bucky- I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think that the ol' Buck sounded awesome tonight. I think he made the best song choice of all the contestants and I didn't even mind the cowboy hat. In fact, I would be so bold to say that Bucky was my favorite performer last night, but I can't totally explain why. He just looked confident and comfortable on a night when everybody else looked unsure of themselves. Still, I think he'll be leaving us soon.

Paris- First off, she sounded great. She absolutely nailed that song, but I actually wished that she would have picked a different Beyonce song. True, that song is from the past few years, but it was a throwback song, which sort of ruined the point of last night. I liked the booty-shaking dance moves and I liked her outfit during her performance. BUT...she looked more like Jay-Z during the pre-interview and less like Beyonce. Androgyny is not always a good idea.

Elliott Yamin- He went all gangster tonight, but Gavin DeGraw is not a gangster performer. That was a little bit bizarre. Okay, a lot bizarre. It felt like Eminem goes to the mall and makes a karaoke video, while his friends drink Orange Julius in the food court. I know that Elliott is from Richmond, Virginia and I've been there about a thousand times. Sure, it's got it's rough spots. But mostly, that's because the colonial settlers lined the streets with cobblestones. I'm not a fan of the ghetto-fied Elliott. Bring back the white blazer and too-wide tie.  

My pick for elimination- Lisa Tucker

My vote- Bucky...I guess.  

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March 31 2006 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show STUNK and I was totally disappointed. Not that they are any worse singers than before, but the songs were boring and I almost turned it off, but I kept thinking maybe the next one would be better, which they never were. Elliott, last, was mildly good and so I voted for him for the first time.

March 31 2006 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tuesday nights performances virtually allowed me to skip the Ambien. Halfway through the show--or NOshow--I started paying bills. I'd rather perform origami with my fallopian tubes then pay bills.

The comment on Ace by Chris? I can't be sure but I think I may have cackled when I read that. I for sure snickered. Truly, Ace of the OutStretched Arm and Tremulous Stare..that whole scar thing?? I actually had to turn my head and grimace. Cackling, snickering, grimacing...oh MY!

And props to whomever it was that called mcphee a Stepford Wife. She is a pretty girl with a beautiful voice; yet, I would love to smack her across the head with a salmon (uhh, unbidden thoughts of Kellie). Kat is the girl who laughs too loud and too hard at inappropriate times. The girls reading this know what I mean...

I do feel a little sorry for Kellie and what Lacy called "dumb-bating". She's just a backwoods kid who probably DID think it was pronounced SAL-men. As for her dispirited performance, I wondered if all of the fun at her expense has started to take its toll? If AI is trying to manipulate me into wanting to vote for her because they're picking on her then, is working.

Yeppers, oddly enough lil' Buckey was the only one who even remotely made me smile (I didn't say LAUGH--Ace covered that one). Sure, he is by far the least of the talents--by far--and the least full of bovine excrement. Secretly, I think Buckey is on AI for a future scandal--we'll find out that he and his identical twin rotated performances, GASP!

And, sadly, that's what it has come down to for me at this point: who is the least aggravating? Cause, crikey, they can all sing (well, almost). For me, that would be Chris, Elliot and Mandisa. I love Taylor's voice but those Ray meets Frankenstein moves?
That contrived act has got to go.

March 31 2006 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Agreed with most of comments posted. Ace:yikes! Like I said, most of the comments, but not all. Taylor rocked! I loved that song, I think he was absolutely correct to stand and just sing and not spazz out ( although I enjoy that as well). I love Elliot's voice and bizzare dance as well (bobbing up and down like a courting lizard). Can't stand Pickler, yuck. Everybody else bore, boring and boredom. Regardless, I'm hooked.

March 31 2006 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Only a handful of singers worthy to be in the competition: Mandisa, Katherine, Taylor, Chris, and Elliot. Mandisa's voice is cliche, Katherine doesn't take enough risks. Taylor and Chris are marketable, but not the best singer. Elliot has the best voice BY FAR--versatile and always on key. And although he may not be a looker, there's something very endearing about him.

March 31 2006 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that Bucky looked the most comfortable and seemed to be having the most fun. I'm glad he wasn't voted off this week, though his days are surely numbered. And what's with all the spelling errors, Lacy? I counted three and I'll bet I missed more. Don't you proofread this stuff???? Or do you presume your readers are too ignorant to even notice? (Like when Paula compliments someone for doing "Stevie Wonder proud" - obviously misidentifying the actual artist, who it was now I can no longer recal...

March 31 2006 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bucky was by far the best this week. After all the mean comments from Simon, I think people will vote for Bucky just to keep Simon puzzled. All my vote will go to Bucky from now on. Chris and Taylor are too overated. Kellie just plained sucked. Mandisa, Paris and Ace just don't do anything for me. Elliot is getting better each week and Katherine is boring. Go Bucky, if rednecks are what it takes to win this competition than go with it.

March 31 2006 at 9:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trudy Mulvihill

One other thing, Simon lets Randy and Paula give their opionion, but as soon as he opens his mouth Paula has to hit him, or make some nasty comment. I'm so tired of it. The problem is Simon says the truth (most of the time) and he's the most popular judge. It drives Paula crazy. Get her off the show!!!! Beside her always looking like she's drugged(which I know she's on medication) and always saying something nasty to Simon, LET HIM SPEAK PAULA!!!! I think America has had enough of her.

March 31 2006 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trudy Mulvihill

As I'm reading the comments on the show, I realized how most people had the same opinion. Simon telling Chris the week before how he is the only contestant ever on AI that won't back down to the kind of music he does and this week he tells him it was too much????? I'm confused. Bucky, there is something about Bucky that draws me. I thought he was awesome last night and yet I know he will probably be voted off in the next couple of weeks, but still........Paris drives we nuts with her Beyonce want to be act, I just don't see it, Mandesa's song choice was not for AI, I think Eliot is getting to cocky like he won't be voted off and the same with McFee and yet she almost was, maybe that will bring her back to earth!!!! My vote for the AI winner is Chris....This week, I had no clue who would go, they all sucked!

March 31 2006 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was so obvious that the judges were setting the stage for a negative week. Everyone now has the same opinion? PLEASE!!! We need to stop being sheep and think for ourselves. Katherine was great and so was (surprizingly) Bucky. Paris was good and Chris too. The judges are usually pretty right, but this week they were all down on everyone. There must be a reason because everyone did not suck!
I would like to see the judges switch places at their table weekly so one doesn't take on anothers views.
I would also like to see more guest judges to give different feedback.

March 31 2006 at 7:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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