AI5 - Top 9, Country-fried

Boy, did I call that one wrong! Not realising that last night was "country song" night on American Idol, I mistakenly said that Kellie would be on the block. Guess again! The judges and TheMikeStand didn't always see eye to eye (I was going to say, "didn't always hear ear to ear", but who'd get that?), but that's nothing new.

On with the admittedly brief recap*:

Taylor Hicks ("some john denver song Take Me Home Country Road") - Honestly, the name of the song is buried in the back of my pea-sized brain at the moment. (Somebody give me the heads up so I can change this.) Taylor actually disappointed me a little last night. Sure, he showed a softer side of his voice with this one, but maybe it was the song choice that didn't allow enough personality to come through. Maybe the judges and TheMikeStand heard ear to ear a little, after all.

Mandisa ("Any man of mine") - Being Canadian, I'm obliged to say that this song cannot be done such that it sounds as good as Shania Twain (despite this song being all Mutt Lang). Vocally, I thought it was okay, but as Kenny Rogers pointed out, there are a hell of a lot of words in that song, and it's not going to be easy to get them all out and still sing like only Mandisa can sing. I give this performance a 6/10.

Elliott Yamin ("If Tomorrow Never Comes ") - Elliott is wayyyy out of his element here, and choosing one of the most recognizeable country performers in the world is a good way to invite comparison. I shouldn't complain. At least I knew the song. And, I think I've figured out Elliott's problem (or, rather, my problem with his singing) -- he's trying too damn hard. Yeah, he's got the power, the pipes, and the "soul" (I'm told), but when a song calls to be sung simply and with feeling, cut the vibratto and sing the damn song. A five out of ten for Elliott tonight.

Paris Bennett ("How Do I Live") - Lookin' good, soundin' good... This was a good night for Paris. I thought, however, that she was singing a little too low to really get the lyrics across, but then decided it was deliberate, as she was about to hit the higher parts of her register near the end of the song. Not bad, but she was never in any danger anyway, was she? Clearly one of the "crossover" success stories of the evening.

Ace Young (" I Wanna Cry") - Just when I'd all but given up on Ace, he sings well, chooses a song that's right for him, and generally performs. Granted, this boy cannot power-sing, and that may cost him a spot in the final five (prediction!), but he was entertaining last night. Based on performance alone, he should be safe for another round.

Kellie Pickler ("Fancy") - Kellie is thanking her lucky stars it was country night. But hey, she did a fine job on Fancy and, quite frankly, she looked pretty good. Gotta say, though, I'm growing very weary of the country bumpkin image she's propogating. Tell me, why does Bucky not adhere to the same image? He's every bit as backwoods (-sounding) as you, darlin'. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'ma git me some Reba off'n ahhTunes.

Chris Daughtry ("Making Memories of Us") - Heh. Chris comes through. Again. Who'da thunk it? Another crossover success story, in my mind. I honestly didn't think he could survive country night, but he found the right song and he hit it out of the park. He should be safe for another week.

Katharine McPhee ("Bringing out the Elvis"?) - I just cannot WAIT to see her every week. I get all nervous that she'll pick something obscure (see also: Stevie Scott), or that she'll personlize it in a way that betrays the original version. I can't say I knew the song, (but did we get enough Faith last night? Sheesh) but I didn't care. Nice job, and holy-moley are you ever my poster girl for American Idol stardom. She should be safe, barring a repeat of last week's bottom three catastrophe.

Bucky Covington ("Best I ever had") - Kenny tells me this is a Gary Allan song, which makes it much older than the Vertical Horizon version that I love. I should have known that VH would never be able to write that song. Flash in the veritable pan, I say. OK, anyway...back to Bucky. Bucky chooses a song that's already made the crossover, and attempts to cross it back over. Kenny's roasters (pre-roast) would be proud, no doubt. A passable performance, one that possibly taxed his real, non-country voice a little. Bucky fans probably aren't disappointed. Fans of good singers still are.

My Top 3 Performances:
-Kellie (eek!)
-Chris (possibly a tie with Ace)

My Bottom 3 Performances:
-Taylor (I'm sorry. Really.)

* thanks to this AI5 blog for the song titles I missed

Posted bythemikestand at 9:13 AM  

2 stepped up to the mike:

Brianna said... 11:58 AM, April 05, 2006  

I can't believe they let a girl sing "Fancy" when it is clearly a song meant for a drag queen.

Sassy said... 1:35 PM, April 05, 2006  

You and I didn't agree as much this week... :) Maybe I was just pissed because every time I checked the Red Sox score during commercials they were still losing.

Oh well, at least Katharine is still number one for each of us!

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