AI5 - Top 8: Queens for a Day

Note: This entry is cross-posted here.

OK, party people. I know the update is late, but I had a follow-up to my Very Important Appointment this morning, and I didn't feel I should fill my morning hours with American Idol blogging. That's what afternoons are for!

It's fair to say that for the most part, the singers weren't overly familiar with many of Queen's songs, except for those which made it big, big, BIG. And in such situations, I would normally expect them to avoid these fan favourites and opt for the more obscure, to avoid comparison -- something they didn't do, with one exception.

Moving along... here is my recap of last night's AI performances, which I'm calling Queens
for a day (you go right ahead and interpret that as you wish):

Bucky Covington ("Fat Bottomed Girls") - Possibly the most un-politically-correct of the songs last night, Bucky did a pretty good version of it. He of course sounded karaoke with some gravelly country mixed in, but who's not going to sound karaoke trying to sing a Freddie Mercury song? All in all, a 6/10 for the Buckster.

Ace Young ("We Will Rock You") - Here's a pretty simple song with limited lyrics, basically hung on a great beat and some raunchy guitar riffs. All in all, something anyone could sing (and about eleventy million sports fans do so annually) -- and Ace is nothing if not an "anybody". Har. The one thing I did like about his performance is he was called upon to show some vocal power (i.e. belting it out), which we don't often get from him. He was also criticized for it by the judges, but hey, you can't please everyone, and Ace won't lose any votes for picking a well-known tune. Not bad, Ace. Probably in your top 5 performances, by my judgment.

Kellie Pickler ("Bohemian Rhapsody") - This song introduced Queen to anyone not born in prior to 1980 - and I'm not going to do the math on Kellie Pickler's alleged age, but when she says she's liked them for a real long time (or somesuch silly remark), I highly doubt she can name more than five of their songs. Enough about that. Kellie actually kicked butt on this song last night. She was fortunate enough to pick a song that sounds different enough with a feminine touch, and she managed to stave off the bumpkin dialect until her post-song interview, which I of course appreciated. One of the better performances of the night. She's probably safe, much to the dismay of two women I know.

Chris Daughtry ("Innuendo") - Chris was the only one straying from the pack, choosing a song that potentially nobody in the audience knew. But it never really matters with Chris, does it? He's virtually untouchable, as long as he does a fair job of singing whatever he's chosen. Not much to say here, except that I hope his five o'clock shadow was a Freddie Mercury tribute. Looks good on ya, Chris.

Katharine McPhee ("Who Wants to Live Forever") - Can I just say "wow"? Yeah, I know... I say that all the time. She sang a well-known song very well, with the potential downfall being that the song lacked a little unity when broken up that way. She mentioned in her intro tape that she wanted to make it more upbeat, or something, which I didn't really get the full impact of in her performance. The song's supposed to be sad, girly. Be sad and smouldering and wonderful. It's you. I hope you're safe, but who the hell knows.

Elliott Yamin ("Somebody to Love") - Good lord, this guy just wants to be belting everything out Southern Baptist style. Fortunately, that works for him this week. Good power, good enunciation, and he didn't get behind on the lyrics. I would say this was one of his better peformances, but I like the song and he didn't murder it, so I'm possibly just pleased because of that fact. This DJ should be safe this week.

Taylor Hicks ("Crazy Little Thing Called Love") - Taylor has a way of picking songs which, when sung in a rock-y voice, don't appear to demand much in the way of talent. That said, I think he did a good job, notwithstanding his flub on the lyrics. I was amused by the irony in his reasoning to choose this song: "he wanted something he could dance to." Oh, Taylor. You never cease to make us smile, do you? Simon thought you were drunk, but we all know there's only one drunk celebrity on American Idol.

Paris Bennett ("The Show Must Go On") - Whoa. Wig, or hair extensions? Cute, nonetheless. I had something witty to say in my mind last night, but I slept on it, and it must have disappeared. This performance was another example of the importance of choosing and arranging your selection well. When they give you two minutes to sing, you've got to make ti flow. You can't just pick a few power-parts and a few soft parts and hope it all meshes together. This is a fantastic song, but she didn't give it the consistent performance-theme it deserves. She's no killer queen, but I'm betting she won't bite the dust this week.

Best Performances this week:
-Katharine
-Elliott
-Kellie/Taylor (no, not Kelly Taylor, you 90210 freaks)

Weakest Performance this week:
-Bucky

As a post-script, I'd just like to draw attention to the difficulty faced by these performers in trying to sing something that the world can only hear one voice singing. It's a little bit like trying to sing David Bowie, or Bono -- at best, you'll sound like a faded copy. At worst, you'll come across as arrogant. Is it safer to sound like somebody trying to reproduce, or reap the rewards in straying from the established in an entertaining manner?

Posted bythemikestand at 2:06 PM  

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