Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"American Idol" 04/11/06 -- Final Eight Perform Badly

God Save the Queen Songs from 'Idol'

The reputation of England's ruling matriarchs has survived the reigns of Bloody Mary and that funny guy in the kilt who was dating Judi Dench in "Mrs. Brown," but can the legendary rock band Queen survive Bucky Covington? Tuesday (April 11) night's "American Idol" tribute provides some answers...

Singer: BUCKY COVINGTON
Song: "Fat Bottomed Girls
My Take: It's tough to sing like Freddie Mercury, but Bucky at least has the sense to try one of Queen's least challenging songs. In fact, for the verses, it's pretty much the same note repeated over and over again, at least the way Bucky does it. He has a decent amount of control, trusting his hips in a lewd manner that probably would have amused Mercury. But why can't Bucky sing the notes on the chorus? It's the only time the melody changes and yet he misses every note flat. Bucky looks like he washed his hair this week. That's bound to be good for a few votes.
Queen Elizabeth II, Mary Queen of Scots and Simon Say: Randy applauds the energy and is totally OK with the absence of notes. Paula's impressed he made the song country-rock, which it kinda always was. Simon suggests that the song was bigger than Bucky and calls it "mediocre."

Singer: ACE YOUNG
Song: "We Will Rock You"
My Take: Borrowing a shirt from "America's Next Top Model" judge Nigel Barker's striped shirt collection, Ace is attempting to "rock out." Everybody's third or fourth favorite piece of anthem rock has been given a typically bland Ace spin. Like Bucky, he mostly chooses to shout the verses without any tonal variation and then he lets the background singers do the chorus before going into his falsetto squeal at the end. What, exactly, did Ace contribute as a performance here? He basically did what thousands of fans do at sporting arenas whenever this song comes on -- he yelled along.
Queen Elizabeth II, Mary Queen of Scots and Simon Say: Randy gives it a five or a six and admits he didn't get it. Paula works really really really really hard to find something nice to say about it. I don't know what she concludes. Simon dubs it a "complete, utter mess." "It was 'We Will Rock You Gently,'" Simon says. Ace responds, "I think I rocked."

Singer: KELLIE PICKLER
Song: "Bohemian Rhapsody"
My Take: How sad and embarrassed do the surviving Queen members look? Is this their revenge on Mercury in the afterlife? I'm a bit scared by Zombie Goth Kellie, with her tight leather jacket, dark eye shadow and blown-out hair. She's decided to make the song angry and violent rather than operatic and cheesy. Does Kellie really think she can be Lita Ford or Debbie Harry? Because if she thinks that she's wrong. It's more like at the end of "Grease" when Olivia Newton-John suddenly becomes a bad girl and everybody in the audience is like, "Yeah, she's hot, but seriously?" The rendition is particularly disappointing giving the rehearsal footage where it looked like Kellie had a sultry and flirty take on the material, making the song into a cute come-on.
Queen Elizabeth II, Mary Queen of Scots and Simon Say: Randy likes the jacket and raves that she worked it out. Paula invokes the memory of Constantine, before saying that she showed the rocker chick she is. Simon tries explaining the meaning of the phrase "on paper" to Kellie, but gives up and praises her. Sigh.

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6 comments:

  1. I agree with your top three and bottom three.

    Chris might have had the best vocals, but I agree with the judges' sentiment that that song was a mess. There was no real vocal hook. I couldn't feel any progression in the song.

    This was another week where I thought Elliot did a good job of adapting a song to his own vocal stylings. He did his thing, and worked it out.

    I thought Taylor's performance was great tonight. "Let Taylor be Taylor," I say. My only concern is that he's not JUST "Drunken Uncle." He's also "Soulful Throaty Twitchy Guy." Those are his best performances.

    Ace, Bucky, and Kellie were clearly the worst. Katherine wasn't great, but I think her general popularity will get here through.

    Paris did a good enough job that she should be safe from the final three.

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  2. I am a big Taylor Hicks fan but I wouldn't call last night his best performance. I honestly think his best performances came during his audition process.

    The last few weeks he's really been disappointing me.

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  3. Last night definitely wasn't Taylor's best performance. As Andrew notes, though, he at least was back to HALF of his proper persona last night. He was an appealing goofball, even if he didn't remind anybody that he could sing. Last week, he both couldn't sing and wasn't the least bit interesting or goofy. Half of Taylor is better than no Taylor.

    I'll be telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt tonight during the results show. I'm not really confident I'd be able to guess who's going home. What's worse is that I'm also not *really* sure I'll care. I'd feel a tiny bit disappointed if it were somehow Katharine, Chris, Paris, Taylor or Elliott, but that disappointment would still probably fade when I realized that nobody this season has been particularly consistantly good.

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  4. My money's on one of Bucky, Katharine or Ace, the latter because he's been awful for weeks and was the worst of the night, the other two because they were just okay, and that's usually the kiss of death here.

    Still waiting for someone, anyone, to give me a goosebumps performance.

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  5. If the good folks at DialIdol are on target again, it's a tight race between Bucky and Ace for elimination. Interestingly, though, the site also seems to be predicting that Chris will be the other member of the Bottom Three. Dunno.

    And in any case, I continue to insist, Alan, that you're not exactly getting Katharine. It's not just guys who think she's hot voting for her. If that were all it was, she would have been eliminated weeks ago. That being said, she wasn't particularly good last night. She continues not to understand what her strengths are and the judges don't seem to get it either.

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  6. You're right; obviously, she has more than the horny guy lobby going for her. But I still think she has a smaller margin of error than most of the remaining contestants. The up-tempo songs work for her not just because they're hot, but because they're fun, and she would've stood out more with "Don't Stop Me Now" (the rehearsal footage looked and sounded great) than she was with the ballad. And as the Mandisa boot showed last week, we're in the portion of the finals where the middle-of-the-pack contestants start falling before the sucky ones do.

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