Wednesday, March 22, 2006

'American Idol' 50s Night Quick Thoughts

Last night was 50s night on American Idol and I think it redeemed last week's rather poor showing with the Stevie Wonder songs. Not anything against Stevie Wonder, of course. I would have loved to see Kevin Covais singing, "When I was a nappy-headed boy, hangin' out with those hoodlum friends of mine..." ;-) And, though I have the utmost respect for Stevie's music on the whole, his own performance on the boot night show came across to me as a Boz Scaggs imitation. The song didn't hold to the high level of his works from the 70s. Sigh.

But, to last night -- a quick take on the songs and singers:

Mandisa sang "I Don't Hurt Any More" with such natural talent that it's sure that if she doesn't make it to the end (which I don't think she will), she will be able to hold onto a singing career. While I'd like to see their fashion folks do a bit better with her outfits -- they're way too tight -- she looked much better this week. Her hair and make-up were perfect, highlighting her beautiful face.

Bucky Covington sang "Oh Boy." Oh, boy ... get him gone this week. He should have never made it this far. He's not horrible or anything, but when they talk about having "it" he thought they said something else and told them he already went. What the heck is going on with his hair? Someone put on net on that!

Paris Bennett sang "Fever." I thought she sang the song very well; she had the notes, the moves, the act down pat. She looked cute, she sang cute. Ho-hum. I like her and I think she'll keep on going, but in the long run she (like many previous and present AI contestants) isn't going to be anyone whose music I'd run out and buy or whose performance I'd feel I have to watch. Sweet kid and talented, but...!

Chris Daughtry sang "I Walk the Line." Now, here's where AI is growing on a musical level. While it was the song Johnny Cash sang, it wasn't that song at all. Chris changed it around and interpreted it on an entirely different level. No, it wasn't his own personal best vocal, but it was one of the most intriguing things ever done with a song on the show. If this guy wins it all, he's someone who I'd be interested in watching perform or perhaps even buying his music. This is what happens when AI goes beyond the teenybopper kiddie show contestants.

Katharine McPhee sang Ella Fitzgerald's hit "Come Rain or Come Shine" and it was a striking performance. Like Mandisa, she's a natural talent. No schoolgirl cutesy ways about her, although she's very attractive. Watching her perform is like watching a seasoned pro. Kudos to her!

Taylor Hicks sang "Not Fade Away." Knock his dancing all you want, Simon Cowell! With Taylor, his personality and showmanship are as much a part of it all as his singing. I liked Barry Manilow's description of his voice -- a whiskey tenor. Even more than Chris, Taylor's the guy I have to stop and watch. He looked so handsome and dapper and he's got IT (that Bucky hasn't a clue about). I liked the dancing. I liked the show. I liked the singing. I can't get enough of Taylor's performances! He's a joy to watch!

Lisa Tucker sang "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" next. I think she's talented, but all in all it reminded me of a scene out of Grease or something. She looked adorable in the little outfit and played the cameras/crowd well. But, the whole thing came across as out of a show called American Idol: The Musical. Yes, I think she's probably a lot more talented than lots of pop stars currently on the charts, but I don't buy their music either.

Kevin Covais sang "When I Fall In Love." Yes, he has a nice voice and he looked like such a lovable innocent little twerp singing the song. But he's against actual men in the contest. Unless that site which promotes voting for the worst singers keeps him in, his days are numbered. And, yes ... they're pushing him these days. That site is responsible for John Stevens staying in the show as long as he did last year. Or was that the year before?

Elliott Yamin was up next singing "Teach Me Tonight." You can tell the AI people are working on his looks -- he's sporting a goatee now and other changes seem to be being made each week. His voice is stunning. I personally think he has one of the best voices week after week for the guys on the show. Alas, he looks more like someone who'd play a mobster in a Mafia movie. I think we'll see this guy go on to having a career in music. He's got the talent. Will he be the American Idol? Probably not.

Kellie Pickler sang Patsy Cline's "Walking After Midnight." I'm not a Kellie fan, per se. The ditzy country bumpkin persona makes me laugh, but usually her singing just isn't my cuppa. That said, I think she performed magnificently last night with the song. If she keeps that up each week, I may just have to start liking her. ;-)

Ace Young sang "In the Still of the Night." Okay, he does the falsetto well, but so did Frankie Valle and a Beach Boy or two. Yeah, he has those cute boy band looks and tries to put girls (and perhaps guys) in his Ace Trance. But I'm growing a bit weary of him in the long run. In my opinion, he's a One Trick Pony. He should outlast Kevin, but he shouldn't win.

My predictions for the bottom three tonight?

Bucky, Kevin and Lisa. Buh-bye, Bucky.


A Christian Prophet said...

The Holy Spirit's message on the Christian Prophecy blog is that miracles are possible and Kevin is specifically mentioned.

Famyates(Sharon) said...

I agree with alot of what you think,Jackie. I,too,thought,who the Hell picked out that dress for you,girl,when watching Mandisa sing.But what a beauty she is.And the song was great. I also don't think she will be the winner.Hated the remaking of the Johnny Cash song,but he DID do it so well. I'm coming to like Taylor more and more,but so wish he would stand still JUST A LITTLE more. He has a great voice and doesn't need all the gyrations.I have thought Bucky had a horrible voice from the beginning and would not be sorry to see him go. He could not handle the lower register in that song......weak,weak weak.He doesn't really have a personality either. Now,I thought Kelly did a lousy job on that Patsy song. When her "country" pronunciations start overshadowing the song itself,that's too much,IMHO.Now to my pet peeves,I want Paris gone,she's too much of a baby,no stage presence and her voice,while loud,is not a mature voice.Kevin has got to go!!!!! Just like Shane on Survivor,he has to be removed. I cannot stand to WATCH him sing. Have you seen the faces that BOY makes when he sings??UGH!! How can he or Paris or even Lisa,for that matter,sing about love won or lost or anything. They haven't lived it and it shows in the passion of their voice(or lack of it,I should say). I agree if the "Granny vote is still in effect,it may be Bucky tonight or maybe even Lisa. But I like Lisa,so BYE-BYE Buckeroo!!Next..........please God,it HAS to be Kevin. My favorite Katherine was just great last night!!

Anonymous said... promoted John Stevens in 2004, it was Scott Savol in 2005. I absolutely love hearing and seeing Chris, Taylor, and Mandisa. I hope they are the final three in that exact order.