American Idol: Mexicans for Taylor
Anna Johns asks a very important question -- with Chris gone, does anybody still care about American Idol? My answer is yes and no. Chris was my number one dude, and I'm destroyed that he's gone. The thrill of the game has left me. I no longer feel the shrill of excitement every Tuesday when Chris takes the stage. I am now filled with blood lust, and I thirst for the demise of Elliott. I don't blame America for Chris' untimely elimination. I blame Elliott. I'm not exactly sure why, but somehow he is at fault. It's certainly not me. Taylor deserves to be in the finale, and so did Chris. Katharine? Eh, I guess. Elliott? Not so much.
With Chris gone, I have a new reason to watch Idol. I want Taylor to destroy them. Destroy them all. When we first met Taylor, he seemed the most unlikely candidate for American Idol. He's got gray hair. He's kinda tubby. And he looks like he's taking a dump when when he sings. This whole season has been absurd, so why not end it with a fireworks display of absurdity. I want Elliott and Katharine to be buried alive under the avalanche of votes that Taylor will receive. I want every man, woman, and child to vote for Taylor. I want more Americans to vote for Taylor then there are actually in America. I want Mexicans to illegally swarm over the border like locusts, with their Cingular Wireless phones in hand, just so they can vote for Taylor. I want him to destroy those other two. I want Taylor to rise from Chris' fallen ashes and pour acid rain all over Elliott and Katharine. I know that being bitter over Chris won't bring him back, but it makes me feel a hell of a lot better.
Elliott Yamin- Whatever magic juice Elliott drank last week has worn off because he was back to his boring self last night. I'm not sure of the ingredients of that special brew, but apparently Paula was his dealer. I thought all the song choices for Elliott tonight were pretty lame. I actually feel bad for him that Paula picked his judges song. Of all the judges, that's the last person I would want to pick my song. Well, she tried to take all the credit for his success so I guess she can now take credit for his failure. I know that a lot of you say that Chris always sounded the same in all his songs, but I feel that way with Elliott. Every song sounds exactly the same to me. Even when he sang the Journey song, it just sounds like he's gargling with the lost souls of a thousand fallen cabaret performers. And I don't know why he picked that Ray Charles song for himself. I don't think it highlighted his talents very well or made him unforgettable. It just felt like more of the same old Elliott that comes back week after week. After week, after week, after week, after week.
Katharine McPhee- If anybody looked like they were on the brink of a nervous breakdown tonight, it was Katharine. I have actually been pretty surprised at her rapid emotional withering in recent weeks. During the early stages of the competition, Katharine looked like she was one of the strongest performers, and I mean that in the emotional sense. She seems like a great young woman with very little ego or reservations about herself. She is geographically closer to her home, then many of the other contestants and she has always seemed to shine with confidence. But this past few weeks have really chipped Katharine's smile.
There were several times tonight when it looked like she was about to absolutely break down in tears. There was one uncomfortable moment when she said to the judges, "You guys have really been hard on me the past few weeks." And she's right. Without a doubt, Katharine is the best vocal performer left, and yet the judges just tear her apart week after week. Sure, she has screwed up. Her lackluster performance last week was evidence of that. But tonight? She did pretty well. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was absolutely magnificent, and the judges heavily praised her for it. But they were really harsh on the other two songs. No, she didn't do as well on the other two, but they were still pretty freaking good. Was there any reason for Paula and Randy to rip on her? They seem to be harsher on her than any other contestant, and I don't know why. But the thing that bothers me most is doesn't seem like Katharine can handle it. When she is praised, she absolutely beams. But when she is criticized, she just withers, and it's uncomfortable to watch. I just don't think she has the strength to be the next American Idol. If she can't handle Paula's lame quips then how is she going to handle Howard Stern saying she's got a fat butt?
Taylor Hicks- I think I've already covered my feelings about Taylor. He's not my first choice, but he's my number two. I really do just love the guy. He just has that star quality, and on top of it, he can really sing. Sure, he looks like he's pooping while he's singing, but hey, whatever. I'm amused by it. Sure, it's over-the-top and completely absurd, but it's fun as hell to watch. I thought Taylor absolutely nailed it tonight. He gave us all the dimensions of Taylor that we love -- sensitive, microphone-squeezing Taylor, crazy-squeal-and-hug-himself Taylor, and (my favorite) windmill-dance-moves Taylor. And he gets a million coolness points for recreating the Bruce Springsteen dance sequence with Paula Abdul. But it would have been a lot cooler if he actually pulled Courtney Cox Arquette out of the audience instead. I mean, was she not available for a Fox cameo? She couldn't be that busy since Friends went off the air. Humping David Arquette and being a shoulder to cry on for Jennifer Aniston couldn't be taking up that much of her time.