Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Last evening was the night of love songs featuring guest vocal coach Andrea Bocelli and super producer David Foster. One would think that the six remaining contestents would have taken something from the time gained with one of the truly great vocal talents on the planet today and a producer who has made hits with quite a number of performers (with 14 Grammy awards and 41 nominations to his credit).

The show began with Katharine McPhee, who did a credible job with Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing", but got slammed by the judges. Not a great way to start, and singing in the first spot has been traditionally not a good thing. But I'll say she was one of the three best among the six that weren't at their overall best last night.

A young man who should also be safe is Elliott Yamin, who had one of his best performances with Donnie Hathaway's classic "A Song For You". It moved judge Paula Abdul to tears (either that, or she was crying over having to sit beside Simon again), and actually had Simon saying "Tonight, in parts, it was like a master class. It was superb." I have to agree, and he deserves to be safe this week. Whether that happens is questionable, as the viewers don't seem to be giving him a chance.

Make it two weeks in a row for Kellie Pickler, who deserved to be cut last week and deserves it again after her rendition of the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody". She was saved from all of Simon's wrath by the theme music coming up and host Ryan Seacrest closing the segment, interrupting the harsh diatribe. Viewers seem to have connected with her "young country girl in the big city" personality, vocal talent notwithstanding.

I've been singing the praises of Georgia teenager Paris Bennett all season long, and am still hoping she takes her talent all the way. Only 17, she can make you forget her young age singing material that is considerably more mature. But last night was not her best performance, and I'm afraid she'll be in the bottom three once again tonight. Doing Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" was a good choice, but her vocals were a bit too breathy and the arrangement wasn't quite right for her.

David Foster said that the senior citizen of the bunch, 29-year-old Taylor Hicks, "potentially had the most charisma, which is a very, very important part of being a star." He could have dropped the "potentially", as he has shown much of this season. Although he made a good choice in song with James Ingram's "Just Once", he was a bit weak at the beginning...and while he got better as the song went along, it was still not among his best moments. He should be in the bottom three tonight.

To say the show saved the best for last would be an understatement. Rocker Chris Daughtry was expected by many to fall hard this week as he went into unfamiliar territory. He selected Canadian rocker Bryan Adams' sweet piece "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman", about as close to a rock song as one could possibly get considering the theme of the show. Although he was somewhat uncomfortable with the material (was it possibly because members of his rock band from back home were in the studio audience?), it was the best performance of the night. He should be safe.

I'd love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, let me remind you: If you want to hear a truly magical vocal talent, tune into the results show tonight when Andrea Bocelli performs. He has a remarkable voice that will make your heart melt. One song on a 30-minute show is not enough to experience his gift.

UPDATE: I hit it on the head with Pickler and Paris being at the bottom, except there was only a bottom two instead of three...and that Kellie was the one voted off. But then, my five year old granddaughter could have predicted that. Don't cry for Miss Pickler, though. My guess is that once the finalists finish their tour, someone will sign and work with her.

And I hope you tuned in last evening, if for no other reason than to hear the magic of Bocelli. Yeah, I'm a fan.


Blogger aikane said...

I didn't see your comments Wednesday, but based on your superb description, you could have voted for me (I watch but don't vote).

Coming up: Taylor's style doesn't appeal much to me, even though he's had a couple of decent performances. To me, it would be a shame if he survives another week and someone with more talent goes home. But at this point they're all winners and deserve to be the top five.

2:48 PM  

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