Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Idol" Viewers Toss Pickler Into the Brine

Don't look now, but the "Idol" voters have now gotten it right three consecutive weeks. I know. It's weird. But we've now eliminated Bucky, Ace and Kellie Pickler in something resembling the order in which they deserved to be booted. The only change I'd make would have involved moving that trio's demise up a few weeks so that last night could have been Mandisa's night to go. But after seven weeks of Finals voting, the "Idol" process has yielded a Top Five that's probably representative of the five most talented people in this year's competition. It's funny how that happens, but just as each of the first four seasons probably rewarded either the best or second best person in the field, it seems inevitable that the same thing will occur come May.

I'd actually been entirely prepared for Paris to be eliminated and for Kellie to live to fight another day. After all, Kellie propositioned the entire male portion of the "Idol" audience on Tuesday night and while I don't know that I'd have any interest in listening to Kellie sing anymore, I might not mind doing some, um, pottery with her. Then again, I don't vote. There's no mystery or huge explanation for why Kellie finally ran out of steam, no conspiracy or smoking gun. She was the worst person remaining and she'd probably been the worst person for a few weeks. If she'd been great last week or great this week, there's no telling how far she could have gone, coasting on her Trashier Carrie Underwood appearance and her bland, occasionally tone-deaf vocals. All she needed was one good performance to get her fans remobilized. However, much as they like to tout their own value, the VoteForTheWorst gang has only the slightest power, if that much. With 48 million votes being cast, people who loved to hate Kellie were making up only the tiniest portion of her tally, I'd wager.

But who's going to be next to go? Certainly if recent voting is any indication, Paris is hanging on by a thread. She may be the most vocally talented contestant left, but when she sings standards -- and blows them out of the water -- the judges tell her she's being too old-fashion. When she sings newer songs, the judges tell her she's trying to sing too old. She can't do anything right, which is too bad. Of the "Idol" Final Five, I bet Paris is the one Clive Davis could have in the studio fastest. She could turn around an album of subpar R&B tunes in no time. You just know that Clive is sweating bullets about how to handle both Taylor and, to a lesser degree, Chris.

It almost might benefit Chris and Taylor to go out in the next too weeks. That would less Chris surround himself with a decent band and have a chance to record something better than what Bo Bice turned out last year. Poor Bo Bice. And as for Taylor? Well, he's just what he is. He's vocally out of his depth at this point and he's been encouraged by the "Idol" producers to try to look professional, rather than goofy and fun, which is what would happen in a studio as well.

Oh and I hear that Simon apologized to Katharine last night for the negativity of his comments this week. It's rare to hear all three judges as clueless as they were on Tuesday. Katharine wasn't spectacular. She wasn't great. But if you compare the harshness of their critiques of Katharine to the way they let Kellie coast for week after week, it seems out of line.

I have nothing else to say about Katharine (particularly since I somehow missed her wardrobe malfunction on Tuesday), but she looked so beautiful that I wanted to make sure I could fit in another McPhee picture this week.

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