American Idol: Ryan's Beard
Last night's Idol was one of the liveliest shows in the past few weeks. Not because of the performances, but because of everybody else. First off , Whoopi and Chris Rock? When I first spotted them in the crowd, I rewinded my DVR five times to verify that it was them. On the fourth rewind, I had them pegged as impersonators...and darn good ones. But nope, it was them. How funny is it that Chris Rock & Whoopi show up on country night? They're both huge Kenny Rodgers fans, I'm sure.
And it appears that Ryan (like so many men recently) has gone the way of the beard.
I've always hated the beard, but lately I've become a big fan. (Bearded Ryan Reynolds? Nice!) What I'm most shocked about is how quickly he's been able to put on some stubble. I first spotted the stubble while he was on E! over the weekend. Some men can grow a beard in like a week. But I always had Seacrest pegged as the type of man who would need 3-4 weeks just to grow a 5 o'clock shadow. That's not a slam on Seacrest, that's a slam on his dad for not passing on enough of the Y chromosome. But the shadow looked good, and I'm excited to see if it's going to matriculate into a full beard. But mostly, I'm excited to hear Simon making fun of him while it grows out. We already got a good Teri Hatcher/Desperate Housewives zinger last night, and that was just with some stubble. So I say, let the beard grow.
Taylor Hicks- I thought that Taylor gave the lamest performance of the show. It was boring and bland, and his voice sounded weak. Now, country music is not Taylor's cup of tea, or rather, his tin of chewin' tobacco. But, he should have done more with it. It's like he didn't really even try. And, who was that long-haired dude assisting him on the fiddle? For a second (knowing Fox), I thought it was Dove from Free Ride. I seriously did. But after further rewinds, I decided that it was the love child of Eddie Van Halen and Dudley Moore circa Arthur 2: On the Rocks.
Mandisa- Uhhhhhh. Not a bad performance, but not super great either. Honestly, I sorta forgot about Mandisa tonight. She wasn't a stand-out, but she didn't screw it up either. Hopefully, slipping through the cracks will let her survive another week.
Elliott Yamin- This was one of my least favorite performances. I know, not his tin of tobacco. And it showed. I sorta felt sorry for the poor guy cause (unlike Taylor) I really thought he was actually trying. I think that picking a Garth Brooks song was a mistake. It's an amazing song, but Garth is so well-known and well-loved. I wouldn't think that Elliott would want the audience to make comparisons between him and the great one, and that's inevitable by picking a song like that. He just doesn't have the voice for country music. But don't get me wrong, that's a good thing.
Paris- I thought she sounded great last night. She looked amazing in her "chill" ensemble and she really pulled off a powerful performance. But what was best about it was Paula getting booed. Of all the millions of times that she has kissed a contestant's ass unnecessarily by giving them false positive feedback, why did she go negative on Paris' performance? Paris sounded great. And yet, Paula had nothing nice to say ,and she got booed. What a great moment! I don't know who the brave soul was that started the boo. I don't know if they are an avid Paula hater or if Kenny Rodgers ran by with a "Boo Paula Now" sign. But it was awesome. And I'm just glad that Simon took his time relishing in it. He really seemed to enjoy it. In fact, I think he's going to have it dubbed on to one of those talking greeting cards, mass produce them, and send them out for Christmas.
But, speaking of talking greeting cards...
Kellie Pickler- Amazing performance of "Fancy." Great song choice (love Reba) and Kellie looked incredible in her minimal make-up and sexy red top. Now, let's talk some crap about her. Last night, Ryan asked Kellie about the accusations that she is playing dumb. She assured us that she is as naive as she seems and that she had never tried calamari before and was unaware of the silent 'L' in salmon. First off, I always love it when someone "defends themselves" by saying, "Yes, I am really that dumb." But secondly, I did believe that she had never tried calamari before. Tons of people have never had calamari before. The problem is that they played it up as a bit and they went too far with it. Everybody loves a dumb, giggling blonde. But when they went to "What's a ballsy?" they took it too far. They played up the dumbness bit to the point of absurdity. It's one thing to insult the intelligence of Kellie Pickler, but when you insult the audience's intelligence, by actually thinking we're going to believe this little shtick, then you're being dumb.
Ace Young- I thought Ace was going to crash and burn on country night, but I think he sounded pretty good. I thought it was a good song choice and the sexy stares were not as overt. They were more subtle and sophisticated. But why do you think Ace's brother was wearing that sheriff's badge on his shirt? Is he really a deputy on assignment from McGruff the Crime Dog, cracking down on the the underground heroin trafficking that is happening on American Idol? Or, did he just get that in the gift shop? I don't know. But why did Ryan announce that Ace is single? Did Ace and his girlfriend just break-up? (Which is sort of cruel for Ryan to do that, if you think about it.) Or, was it an overt move to squash the Ace gay rumors? Cause, Ryan did prequel the entire announcement by addressing the ladies in the audience.
Chris Daughtry- Not a good night for Chris. Pretty boring, and I thought it was a poor song choice. See, I know he did that because Simon kept complaining about him being too rock n' roll. But we like Chris rock n' roll. We like him manipulating song choices (and sometimes stealing re-arrangements) to sound more rock n' roll. This is the Chris we know and love, and we want him back.
Katharine McPhee- I thought she did a good job with the Faith Hill song, but I would have liked her too act a little sexier and less goofy at times. She just looked like she was about to die in a fit of laughter. I like it that she's not taking it all too seriously and keeping it fun, but with a song like that, I think you also need to "play the part" a bit. I thought Simon's criticisms of her were a little unnecessary, but I was a little surprised at her getting lippy back with him. It didn't really play off that well (as it did with Kevin Covais) and sorta made her look a bit like a kid talking back to her parents.
Bucky- I was disappointed with Bucky tonight. It should have been his night, but I think he picked the wrong song. I absolutely love that song, but on a night where country is king, he picked the pop-iest sounding song. It was really weird. If there was ever a night to sing about holes in washtubs or dead ex-wives, tonight was it. But he didn't. It wasn't horrible; I was just a little disappointed. I wanted Bucky to like come out on a horse that was hauling a mobile home that had all his ex-girlfriends on-board, eating a delicious chicken fried steak dinner, and watching Dr. Phil. I guess with expectations like that, no wonder I was disappointed.
My pick for elimination: It should be Taylor, but I think it might be Bucky
My vote: Kellie Pickler
Random questions that didn't fit in anywhere else: When did Sally Jesse Raphael start doing wardrobe consultations for Randy Jackson? And why did she coordinate his vest with his glasses? (Revise that) Why was he even wearing a vest? Isn't coordinating your eye wear with your vest, the male equivalent of matching your eyeshadow to your dress? It's a bad move for both sexes.