Just like last night with the girls, the guys on American Idol seem to realize the importance tonight. It’s D-Day. If you want to be part of that top 12 people, the ones more likely to be remembered next year and the year after, the ones to go on the summer tour, etc., they knew they had to show up and show why the deserve to be part of it all.
Gedeon wasn’t very likable in the Green Mile episode, but he’s still there. He’s been nothing but likeable since, and he shows up to perform every week. He tells us tonight that when he’s not singing (and this word he pronounces every letter in it) he’s painting. His favorite is a painting that combines a record with the world. When the world spins, it shows how much music makes the world go ’round. He sings When A Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge, and I have to say I always enjoy his performances. I don’t think he has hit one clinker of a note.
Randy says he liked the record thing, and calls the song “aw-ight” and a little shaky. Randy refers to Gedeon as an old soul, and says the big note at the end saved it. Paula calls Gedeon a unique sort and a throwback. She says he is amazing, and she enjoys his showmanship all the time, like how he flips his jacket back. He is needed in this competition. Last week Simon called Gedeon a funny little thing, and this time he says Gedeon is quite odd. He wonders what the painting and record was supposed to signify. Gedons says it’s his overall impression of the variety and what he can do. As for the performance, Simon says it was a bit cabaret, but says what he likes about Gedeon is that he’s interesting, and that he’s growing on him. Gedeon tells Randy he did this song because he has lots of women in his life, and he knows how to love his mom, grandmother and the rest of his women. Ryan cracks that next week we should tune in for an all new Fox Special – Gedeon and His Women.
Chris Daughtry says something we don’t know about him is that he used to style his hair like Ryan Seacrest, but he then began losin’ more than he was growing, and had always said if that happened, he would shave it all off. He stuck to his word, and now doesn’t think he’ll ever go back. Tonight he sings Broken by Seether. He does great as always, but I prefer last week’s performance. While I’m watching him, I notice how much he looks like Leif Garrett in the face.
Randy tells Chris that he knows he’s a fan. He loves when people know who they are, and what their voice is. Randy continues, telling Chris he loves it and to rock on, calling it another good song and another good performance. Paula says whatever happens, she is sure he’ll be selling out stadiums. He’s an amazing artist, and she likes that he stays true to who he is. She can already hear him on the radio. But Simon says he wasn’t so impressed, and found the the performance a little indulgent. He found the song boring and believes Chris still has a long way to go. A warning is given by Simon for Chris to show who he is. When Chris says he’s been doing it says he was 17, he says he wants to show America what he can do. Ryan asks if he’s now over customer service.
Kevin Covais has quite the ommission where the two things don’t compute. He says although he and Ryan were joking around last week about him being gangsta, he really does enjoy that type of music, with his favorite being Kanye West. Yet, he chooses to sing Vincent by Don McLean. Quite the difference. Clay Aiken chose this song out of a hat as part of the final three and then was panned by the judges for it being a horrible song choice. No one seemed to be able to connect to it, although I could remember my mom playing it on the guitar while growing up. Just as Randy says you can’t sing a stylized song done so well by a performer unless you can do it differently or better, the same thing can be said for songs that are connected to other American Idols, especially the biggies like Clay. Okay, he is my son’s favorite on the show, but I really don’t see Kevin lasting past this week.
Randy loved the clip about Kevin liking gangsta, and knew Kevin was hip hop like him. He calls this a interesting weird song choice, and says he didn’t enjoy it. Paula says she has nothing but love for Kevin and that he makes people pay attention. She believes ballads are his ticket, and notes that again this week everyone has a smile on their face. Simon says in some ways it’s like watching puppies play. He believes Kevin got the Granny note again. He says the performance was juvenile, and when reminded that Kevin is 16, Simon says he means it’s more like 11. Ryan says he had a dream about Simon last night, that he gave some constructive criticism. He asks Simon if he could attempt just a little bit for Kevin, because he wants to be part of that top 12. Simon just makes a comment about not being able to help it if Ryan is having fantasy dreams about him.
Something we didn’t know about Bucky Covington is that he has an identical twin brother, Rocky. He says Rocky is a good singer and is almost as pretty as him, but there’s only room for one of them at American Idol. Tonight he sings Wave on Wave by Pat Green. I’ve never heard this before, but it’s another great country tune with a hint of rock that’s perfect for Bucky. It makes you head bop in your seat. Listening to him tonight, after I heard Bryan Adams on the radio, I think he’d be perfect for something like that as well. That raspy voice is very unique. Bucky also happens to be my nine-year-old daughter’s favorite in the competition. She has even voted for him.
Randy mentions here that what he likes about the boys is that they all have a sense of who they are as a performer. He liked this song, but didn’t think it was the best for showing Bucky’s vocal chops. It was keeping with who he is, though, a little more Rocky, country, Rocky Bucky country, Rocky Bucky brother country thing. Paula says she likes that Bucky is so unpretentious, and that he comes out and sings, and is like a raw, untapped talent sort of thing. Simon believes once again he could hear this in a million bars. He says it wasn’t bad, but wasn’t exceptional. He doesn’t believe Bucky is good enough. Ryan brings Rocky onstage and says in rehearsals he thought Rocky was Bucky. When Ryan is telling everyone to vote for Bucky, Rocky stands in front of him to confuse everyone.
Will Makar recently started studying Japanese. In light of Simon saying eleven-year-old girls will love him, in Japanese Will says, “eleven-year-old girls of the world UNITE!” No wonder he’s not my daughter’s favorite yet. She’s only nine. He’s singing some James Taylor, How Sweet It Is. He sounds cool, but he just isn’t into it. I don’t know what it is, but Will sounds good, but there’s something about an empty shell singing it or something. It’s weird. Plus, He’s no James Taylor.
Randy asks if Will’s chillin’. He is, of course. Randy admits it wasn’t good enough for him, and uses Simon’s line calling it bad karaoke. He stresses the point they’re looking for the best undiscovered talent, and thinks Will is way below average. Paula totally disagrees. She says to forget the eleven-year-olds, she’s a fan. She likes that all the guys are stepping up tonight and believes he raised his game. Simon tells Paula she must have been starved for entertainment as a child, as he agrees with Randy. he calls it completely utterly average. He tells Will at least he picked up the middle aged vote, pointing at Paula. Ryan asks Paula why she thinks Will might make it to final twelve, and she says he has a distinct voice, and tells Simon he does too, but she wishes she could forget it.
Taylor Hicks got to meet one of his inspirations lately, Christopher Cross, inspiring Ryan to ask if they were Sailing when they met. Taylor, at 29, has been trying to make it in the music business for awhile apparently, and one of the jobs he had to make ends meet was as the mall Easter Bunny. He wears a bunny costume during the film clip even. Taylor needed something to remind us of why we liked him so much after last week, and many does this guy deliver. He sings some Doobie Brothers for us – Takin’ It To The Streets. I don’t even have the words to explain it here. He is skilled in his spastic body movements as they go along with this song, if that makes sense. He makes us want to stand up and groove along with him, he’s having so much fun. And the look on his face is of total focus. He wants it.
Randy gives Taylor the score – great song, great choice, perfect with the whole Michael McDonald thing. He says Taylor did a good job singing, but it wasn’t his best vocal. The dancing, though, he feels was representing the Dawg Pound. Paula, giving him a standing O, wants to start incorporating his moves into her dance stuff. This is her favorite performance of his, and she was blown away. She loves that he has so much fun. Simon believes Taylor will single-handedly kill the video industry. More seriously, Simon says he loved the song, and that that’s what it’s all about – having fun and standing out. Taylor gets Simon’s stamp as the best performance so far. Taylor shows Ryan his signature move, and then the two of them do it together with Taylor catching Ryan so he doesn’t fall over.
For someone that has such a stunning voice, it’s surprising that Elliott Yamin has ninety percent hearing loss in his right ear because of having too many ear infections when he was growing up. He says listening to people is something like playing telephone, and that’s why he sticks to singing. He’s singing Heaven by … Bryan Adams. There’s what I was looking for earlier, but it’s on the wrong performer. It just doesn’t sound right to me on Elliott, plus there is way too much vibrato, giving me nightmare memories of Carmen Rasmussen.
Randy, though, looks forward to hearing what Elliott is going to sing, as he always makes the right choices. He feels he could make a record tonight with that, and then proclaims, “Man got hearing loss in his ear and STILL singing! Hot one here tonight!” Paula calls it phenomenal and amazing, and says it’s like hearing a blueprint with all the obstacles Elliott has had to overcome, as it makes for a richer story. She gets so excited here she flips the straw out of her Coke cup, and says it’s because she is beside herself. Simon mocks Paula for her “beautiful words,” and offers up his blueprint. He believes this song was a copout, and it’s the first time he has felt a disconnect between Elliott and a song, and the first time he appeared uncomfortable. He adds in there that in all the weeks before, he loved Elliott and his voice, but tonight wasn’t his best.
Ace Young says when he first came to Hollywood he had a lot of odd jobs, and became quite the handyman. He was doing all sorts of things he didn’t know he knew how to do. It makes me wonder if he was a bunny too. He sings Michael Jackson’s Butterfly. You have to love this guy’s falsetto. I’ve never heard anyone do it that skillfully, and believe Sway should take some lessons from him. It’s a great performance, although this song isn’t exactly my cup of tea.
Randy says when he first heard that Ade was going to do this song, he thought, “Oh no,” but Ace actually pulled it off. Paula likes Ace’s version better than the original artist, and says he has a great falsetto, as it’s quite a talent to be able to stay in it in the song like that. Simon thinks Ace made it work, as parts of the vocal weren’t great, but Ace made the song work, and made it good. Backhanded compliment?
I think they are great kids, but it just seems time for the two younger guys here to go. Again, Gedeon is somehow excluded because he seems older. The other two, Will and Kevin, they just don’t seem to be on par with the other guys. They don’t have life experiences to put the kind of grit into a song like Taylor or Bucky or Chris. Although my son will be completely broken-hearted. Will might have that eleven-year-old vote saving him, and if it’s not him, it will probably either be Bucky or Gedeon, which I feel would be a shame, as I think they have more talent at this point.
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