American Idol: Ryan's Beard

by Lacy Hall, posted Apr 5th 2006 11:45AM

american idolLast 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.

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Denise

It's ironic that the writer of this article made a comment that Bucky should have sang a song about dead wives. Gary Allan remade this song for his wife that committed suicide over a year ago.

April 07 2006 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary

Here's the thing about Kelly P. She's cute and has pipes for sure. The dumb thing works for her to a point. I think she's dumb like a fox, but whatever. Honestly, I could take or leave the girl. But the dumb thing....when she's making fun of herself or saying dumb things herself, then it works, sort of. However, last night after that Ford commercial aired, and Ryan made the comment, "I think Kelly thinks that's how cars are actually made," I cringed. See, when Ryan says things like that, it's just plain hurtful, and that doesn't make for such great TV. Replay the show, and look at the shot of Kelly they got after Ryan said that. Her smile is frozen on her face and, honestly, she looks hurt. Ryan made himself look like the tool that he is. It was a pot shot and it wasn't funny. So, I won't cry any tears for him if he was hurt by what Simon said about his beard. Ewwww.

April 06 2006 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
virtuous

Heartily disagree that Chris Daughtry's "Making Memories of Us" was boring. Combine the beautiful masculine voice with very touching lyrics and his 100% male appearance and he makes married dads very sexy.

April 06 2006 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
play games

First thing I thought when I saw Seacrest was "Dude, you forgot to shave". Yes, it's kind of fashionable with us guys nowdays, but some can pull it off, and some cannot. He cannot, and I can't either (too thick). You don't have to follow all the trends, Ryan.

April 06 2006 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
T

P.S. Lacy don't feel bad about calling "Fancy" a Reba song, though... I guess few people know that... Michael Slezak of "Entertainment Weekly" made the same mistake and I corrected him, too.

April 05 2006 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
T

Chris B. and Rabbit, I agree with all of your assessments.

Lacy: good overall review, but Andra is right about you needing to do homework. Not only is there no 'd' in "Rogers", but "Fancy" was written (and recorded first and *better*) by Bobbie Gentry. It is not a Reba song, it's a song Reba covered.

First passionless performance by Taylor. I am forgetting the name of the person who said The Soggy Bottom Boys version of "Man of Constant Sorrow" would have ben a good selection for him, but I agree it would have been brilliant. I hope he survives this week...for the first time I feel he is vulnerable.

Still cannot stand Katherine, Ace, or Kelly and want them gone, but in reality I think it will be Bucky. I don't really care one way or the other about him...

April 05 2006 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris.B.

I couldn't agree with you more jude. Last night as I listened to Taylor sing " Take Me Home,Country Road", I kept asking myself, "What's up with Taylor?" He was so unlike himself. He sang the song without his usual heart & soul.IMO, with his voice & often displayed passion for the songs he sings,he could have & should have blown the audience away with that song. But he didn't. He was obviously disconnected to the song,and sadly,he didn't seem to care.IMO,a person who has a real gift to sing & has a love for music(as Taylor once declared that he did love music & loves to sing),is usually able to sing any song with his heart & soul, no matter what the style of song....Taylor disappointed me last night... For me, Paris was the best singer, and Ace was better. I also feel that Katherine has a nice voice, but what ruins it for me with her, is that she seems to be a bit over-confident- a bit cocky. In her mind, she probably believes that she has already won the American Idol title. But, as we all know, time will surely tell.

April 05 2006 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jude

If people were voting based on last night's performances, Taylor, Chris, and Mandisa would be in the bottom three. Unfortunately, people pick their favorites way back in the audition stage and stick with them no matter how many times they mess up. Chris needs to learn that you can sing songs that aren't rock and still not put us to sleep. I don't know what was up with Taylor last night, but it was the worst performance of the night for sure and Mandisa had a lot of trouble, too. These three have been my favorites on other nights, but last night, they were just plain bad.

April 05 2006 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rabbit

I have gotten to the point that the only thing I look forward to is Simon and Ryan's sniping at each other. Frankly, I am bored with all the performers and I don't care who wins anymore. I have stopped calling in my favorites. There just doesn't seem to be any electricity from any of them. They all need to work on their stage presence. What are the AI producers doing? Aren't their people supposed to work with the contestants to bring out the best in each one. This isn't a competition -- it's a joke. And I agree with the earlier writer who complained about the guest singers -- they are all pushing their albums so AI is a good venue for them introduce themselves to a younger audience (translation -- increased sales volume). Are Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow, and Kenny Rogers really giving the contestants any constructive criticism to help them along? If they are, none of this crew is listening..... they seem to be making the same mistakes over and over again.

April 05 2006 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Terri Atkinson

From day 1 I haven't been able to see why anyone would think Elliot is Idol material. He is so strange looking and his teeth are hideous. I don't think he is that good of a singer either. I think Elliot and Taylor did the worst last night. I like Bucky but I have a feeling he's going home tonight.

April 05 2006 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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