|by Darla Kitt
Okay, so let me preface this by reiterating the fact that I am not a big country fan. I have my favorites and enjoy most “old” country music, but I am totally unfamiliar with the “new” stuff, as I find most of it stupid and annoying.
After taking that into consideration, I still have to insist that this week’s AI was, overall, boring as hell. It was kinda neat to see the modern-day Kenny Rogers, looking all young with that hip haircut and all, but all I could think about was that Kenny Rogers character Will Sasso played on Mad TV and giggle. You haven’t seen it? Oh, it’s great, funny as f**k. Just go to www.youtube.com and type “Kenny Rogers Mad TV” into the search and you’ll find all the skits. My favorite is Kenny Rogers Jackass … the dairy challenge at the end is the best. “I was raised on the dairy, bitch!”
Anyway, aside from conjuring up fond memories of old Mad TV skits, I’m not sure if Kenny Rogers did much good, because most of the performances on “country night” sucked ass. Well, it’s not even so much that they sucked, but they were quite bland.
Even the two “country” contestants didn’t stand out. Bucky did an okay job with “Best I Ever Had,” but it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting from him. I was expecting to hear him rip out a good old-fashioned, Southern sh*t-kicker, and the ballad was a bit of a disappointment. I can’t even remember what it sounded like. However, he did look the part in his buckskin jacket and boots. And he gets another A+ for keeping the ponytail. Kellie baffled me once again by her song choice of “Fancy.” It took me a second to realize that Fancy was the chick’s name, and the words made it really sound like Fancy’s mom pimped her out in a spiffy dress for a few bucks. Okay, there are thousands upon thousands of songs to choose from each week, right? And our dear, sweet, dumb Kellie chooses first a song about an 18-year-old running off with some piece of sh*t in a pick-up truck, then this week it’s about a girl whose mom turned her into a hooker. Great picks there, Pickler.
Mandisa disappointed me this week, again (sigh), although I still love her to pieces. She was totally holding back her voice for “Any Man of Mine” and it sounded like she was just talking really really fast, instead of singing the damn song. She totally missed a golden opportunity to belt out a country power ballad. And the outfit lacked her usual elegance and glamour. Maybe she was going for the country-bumpkin thing in the spirit of the week’s theme, but that 70’s patterned top made her look like she was wearing Kitty Forman’s living room drapes.
Paris also sounded like she was holding back on that LeeAnn Rimes/Trisha Yearwood song, but she did an okay job. Her hair looked good, but like the song, it was kinda boring. It was a real bummer, because every week I look forward to Paris’ hair.
I found Elliott to be just as annoying as usual, although his outfit was pretty okay. Good shirt, bad goatee. Anything that calls attention to that boy’s face is just bad, but maybe he’s using it as camouflage, I don’t know. Anyway, his version of “If Tomorrow Never Comes” was just a mess. I guess he doesn’t understand that country songs aren’t supposed to be jam-packed with runs, because he was squeezing them in all over the place, and f***king it up royally, if you ask me.
Chris looked terrific and sounded great. It’s official, I love him again. I loved the softer, sweet side that he showed singing that Keith Urban song much, much better than the hard stuff. Come on, we all know that under his tough façade lies a sweetheart, and it was a treat to see it again. Ace also melted my heart with his version of “I Wanna Cry.” It was a sensitive, tender performance, and definitely not boring. I know there’s lots of offers already on the table via audience signs, but I just have to put it out there: Ace, I’d like to marry you, too. Well, maybe not marry you, but I’d sure like to have at ya, if you know what I mean.
I had never heard the song “Bringing Out the Elvis” before Katherine sang it last night, but I kinda liked it. I’m a huge Elvis fan, so any props for the King get double brownie points in my book. Her outfit was much better, she was doing a helluva job swinging those hips around, and she looked like she was having a blast onstage. Plus, her voice was powerful and sexy-hot.
Taylor tugged at my heartstrings, singing “Take Me Home Country Roads.” John Denver was one of my dad’s favorite singers (Dad was a weird guy who liked country music and did lots of drugs in the 60’s … don’t ask), so it made me think of him. Plus, I always got super excited as a kid when John Denver would come on The Muppet Show and sing songs with Kermit the Frog. And we all know that I‘m in love with Taylor, so bring the two together and needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. I’m also happy to note that the stylists took my advice and gave me back my goofy suit-jacket-wearing prince.
During “Results Night” I got another case of the uncontrollable giggles watching Kenny Rogers sing his new single (which sounds suspiciously like most other “new” country songs about getting dumped and feeling sh*tty and wanting them back), thinking about the above-mentioned Mad TV skits. Then we were subjected to yet another ridiculous Ford commercial, this time featuring Elliott in a bandanna as the Original Gangsta.
When the actual “results” part finally came, the group was divided into three’s. Taylor, Kellie and Chris were fairly obviously safe. But the two other groups threw me for a loop. There was Ace, Katherine and Bucky, who were all in the bottom three before, and Mandisa, Paris and Elliott, none of whom were ever in the bottom three. Hmm, tricky. If I was a betting woman (which I am, but no one was around to bet) I would’ve put my money on the AKB group to be the bottom three, although it would’ve saddened me. And if I would have bet, I would have lost my ass because they were safe.
So it was down to Mandisa, Paris and Elliott. Oh, I was wishing like hell that Elliott would get kicked, but no, no, no! It was Mandisa! My lovely, regal Mandisa was going home! I actually yelled at the television. I couldn’t believe it. I am mortified. Her grace, her style, her powerful voice … all gone! Gone, gone, gone! I wish I could give every person who voted for Elliott a giant “F**k you!” Okay, I’m calm now. But I will miss her like crazy.
As for next week, we all can look forward to (note sarcasm here) the contestants performing songs by Queen. Ace will do well, I’m not sure what the f**k Kellie is gonna do, but it’ll be interesting to watch, that’s for sure. Have mercy on the guy who came up with this idea, because if he’s able, Freddie Mercury is gonna come back from the grave and haunt the sh*t out of him for whoring out his music.