As hard as it is for the "Idol" Top 10 to whistle a happy tune in Kevin Covais' absence, they just have to soldier on, as Tuesday (March 28) night's show delivers an insurmountable challenge -- the music of the 21st Century.
Singer: LISA TUCKER
Song: "Because of You"
My Take: A Kelly Clarkson song? Really? Must we? Lisa warbles her way through a losing battle with the surprisingly prominent brass section of the "Idol" orchestra. She's taking this song much too seriously -- note her "This song is very important" eyes-clenched scowl -- which makes it even more annoying when her voice struggles in and out of a pleasant range. Already in some jeopardy, this wasn't what Lisa needed.
Simon and the Chipmunks Say: Randy begins by calling it a'ight before admitting it wasn't that good. Paula starts with compliments, heads off in the direction of constructive criticism and then, abruptly, stops. Simon says that the song was too big for Lisa's voice and actually painful at times.
Singer: KELLIE PICKLER
Song: ""Suds in the Bucket"
My Take: First, Kellie explains to us that the song is like a funny fairy tale. Why, then, does she deliver the ridiculous lyrics so earnestly? She's trapped in a restrictive, clingy top and her jeans are so tight that they somehow make my butt feel uncomfortable. She goes through the whole song in a flat country twang, but her last note is remarkable. It starts off out of tune, finds the note, loses the note, finds the note again, wanders someplace totally different for a couple seconds and then, exhausted, limps across the finish line. This is going to be a very bad evening.
Simon and the Chipmunks Say: Randy's puzzled by the song choice. Paula thinks that all of America deserves better. Simon also blames the song. Kelly stands with her face contorted into an unreadable rictus.
Singer: ACE YOUNG
Song: "Drops of Jupiter"
My Take: Ace is feeling this one. He can see those pesky drops of Jupiter everywhere and he keeps reaching out into the air, grasping at invisible symbolic images. At random intervals, he stops plucking things from in front of him and uses his hand to mimic a shooting star. Is Ace miming tonight for the hearing impaired? If so, that's very altruistic of him. Those of us with the gift of hearing have to deal with notes which come right from Ace's nose. He sounds like a muppet. But he's a pretty muppet, so the gals in the crowd approve.
Simon and the Chipmunks Say: Randy is wincing in pain. Hey Randy, you have it easy, dawg. I started my night at a screening of "Basic Instinct 2" and this show is already making me nostalgic for Sharon Stone's heavily made-up breasts. Paula thinks Ace was refreshing and then suggests that she and Ace can get together in private so he can explain the scar on his chest ("Mary Ellen Moffat. She broke my heart."). Simon and Randy are wishing they'd slipped saltpeter into her Coke.
BUT WHAT DID I THINK OF TAYLOR AND KATHARINE AND PARIS AND BUCKY AND THE REST?!?!?
CHECK OUT MY FULL ZAP2IT RECAP HERE.