American Idol: Season 5 Prognostication

I’ve seen enough. Give it to Taylor Hicks.

Since I am so very cool, I just need to say that I hate American Idol. I rarely like the music they sing and I can’t stand the judges. But I do like to analyze and judge the singing and performance skills. That’s why American Idol rocks!

This is really a sorry lot of contestants. Only two, Taylor and Mandisa, have both charisma and undeniable talent. Two others, Paris and Katharine, have something resembling charisma and something resembling talent. The rest of the bunch includes some good singers but they are all blah personified.

Here are the contestants that I’m ready to dismiss without further discussion: Bucky (goofy, blonde ‘stache), Lisa (painful last night), Kellie (Earth to Pickler!), and Ace (see my real scar!).

Chris and Elliott have an outside chance at making the top three, but neither has any chance of winning. Chris, the Authentic Rawkerâ„¢, is too post-grunge to have any lasting appeal (some oddsmakers disagree) and I don’t think he can credibly do much else. Plus, he has no personality. Elliott can sing, but he is forgettable in every way.

Katharine, Paris, and Mandisa each have a pretty good shot at the top three. Although Katharine has a pretty, well-controlled voice, she is not very powerful or versatile (last night’s Aguilera impersonation was paper thin). Her Katie Holmes good looks will take her far, but she’ll go down in a blaze of vanilla balladry sometime before the finale. Paris is a firecracker and she seems to be comfortable doing a lot of different things. She has some of the Diana DeGarmo appeal (incidentally, like DeGarmo her face also resembles those little troll dolls with the crazy hair). Mandisa has the best pipes of the bunch but she’s exclusively a belter–she only sounds good when she’s singing loudly–and big, Gospel-singing belters haven’t fared too well in the past. But she does have an appealing face, bright eyes, and a lot of energy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in the finale.

I really like Taylor. I think he’s a shoe-in for the top three. His Michael McDonald-brand white bread soul isn’t really my thing, but what he does he does really well. And nobody exudes more joy or has a more captivating stage presence. You just gotta love him.

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127 thoughts on “American Idol: Season 5 Prognostication

  1. I never watched American Idol, on principle, before. I hate that the music industry seems dominated by manufactured pop stars. But at least the contestants on the show have talent. I got sucked into watching this year somehow–I think because the audition weeks are just so funny.

    Taylor’s my favorite–I was actually clapping and cheering last night when I heard him say he was doing “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne. I LOVE that song.

    I love the whitebread soul.

    I think you’re dismissing Katharine too easily though. I didn’t think she was that great last night, but she easily has the best voice of any of them. I want Taylor to win, but I think Katharine should.

    I was surpised to find out Ace Young is his real name. Everytime I hear it I think “Frehley Angus.”

  2. I watch American Idol through the televisionwithoutpity.com filter of snark.

    It’s the only way I can watch it without cringing every three seconds.

    Taylor was really getting on my nerves the last few weeks with all the Woo!s and hugging himself, lurch to the side moves. He is a huge camera whore. He was subdued by comparison last night. Sang beautifully, which reminded me why I liked him in the first place.

    I am rooting for Elliott, too. He is a great singer.

  3. Yeah, I think Taylor’s stage mannerisms are spot-on. I can’t help but smile when he’s performing, even when it’s not much of a song like last week.

    My dismissal of Katharine is overstated. I do think she has a legitimate shot of winning. It’s just that she’s so static and joyless on stage. She’s not the worst performer of the lot by any means, but next to Taylor, Mandisa, and Paris, she’s not a lot of fun to watch. Her voice is very pretty, but I’m not sure pretty is enough. Down tempo ballads will only carry her so far. If she busts out a really dynamic performance or two, everything could change, but until she does I’m predicting she goes down third or fourth to last.

  4. I don’t mind the spazzing when he sings – I actually love that – It’s like his body can’t contain the music.

    It’s the posing and mugging and vociferous commenting to pull the camera to him when he’s not singing that ticks me off, in a Constantine way.

    He wasn’t doing any of that last night, though.

  5. Oh crap. That sucked. Worse than last week.

    Taylor’s performance was, like, bottom three. What a terrible song for American Idol.

    The only one that did anything to advance her cause was Katharine. She showed some pizzaz. She’s still really awkward with her body movements but her facial expressions were enthusiastic and her vocal was solid.

    Chris finally did something different but he was oh so boring.

  6. Yeah last night wasn’t very good. Taylor was just dialing it in. Katharine was good, but she’s hands down got the best chops.

    I hope it’s Bucky going home.

  7. It’s rumored that Taylor is really sick with strep – if so, then that would totally explain his unusual suckiness…

  8. Oh, wow, strep is nasty. Good thing about it is once you’re on antibiotics, it goes away fast.

    What’d you think about the elimination? Could you tell which group was the bottom three?

  9. Yes, but only because I read spoilers! We turn the tv off at 8 pm, so I don’t get to see it until the next day, so I cheat and read the spoilers and the dial idol results (which have been right on lately).

    I think Mandisa may have lost some people with her overly gospel song the previous week…I’m afraid that may have been her downfall. I’m thinking people don’t want to be ministered to while watching mind numbing pop culture shows…

  10. I didn’t watch the elimination. It overlaps with that infernal Lost.

    I’m pretty surprised that Mandisa’s going. Three or four people sucked way worse. I was sure she’d make it at least top five. I think you may be right, gabby, that the Gospel thing did her in.

    And Paris in the bottom three? She wasn’t so bad this week. Her performance didn’t give any reason to vote for her but I expected that she might gain some votes this week just for being so cute.

    If any more talented people go, Bucky, Ace, or Pickler will be in the top 5. That’s just wrong. Although, I doubt that Elliott can hang on for another four weeks, even if he is talented.

    That Taylor avoided the bottom three after that garbage tells me that he’s got a lot of affection votes. He’ll be a top contender again if he doesn’t suck next week.

  11. Next week’s theme is Queen?!

    OMG!!! How can **any** of them be expected to pull off Queen?

    The humor factor is bound to be off the charts, though.

    I hope Ace does Bohemian. Guaranteed to go down in flames with that one.

    Who do you think will attempt “We Will Rock You/Champions”?

    Since a lot of people think Chris is TCO (the chosen one), I would die giggling if he did a Highlander track.

  12. You are missing the fact that Taylor has a HUGE following. If Dial Idol is correct, he had (far & above) the most votes this week – after a less than stellar performance. If Chris is the chosen one as is speculated, Taylor’s popularity must be killing the ones with the strings. I’m sure they don’t know what they’ll do with him if he were to win.

    I don’t think Paris is all that cute. I think she’s annoying and I wouldn’t be sad if she were to leave soon. Well, not as soon as Bucky, but seriously. Bucky. Yikes…And I’m afraid Kellie’s “I’m dumb” act is only working in her favor. Dang it.

    And though Elliot is a great singer, he is forgettable, unfortunately. That isn’t a good thing.

    And yeah, Queen week? I smell trainwreck factor galore. If only to watch Ace and Kellie crash….

  13. I don’t know how much longer the dumb act is going to work, though, if Ryan keeps making comments like last night.

    “That’s probably how Kellie thinks cars are made.” (paraphase)

    When Ryan is catty, you know it’s time to dump the schtick.

  14. I think she’s sincerely dumb. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t getting old. What’s getting even older is her stone face. This week her eyebrows moved but they didn’t convey anything. It was really weird, as if they were acting independently of the rest of her face.

  15. I actually like Kelly. She’s got spunk. And remember, blonds are trained from birth to act like ditzes. They’re generously rewarded for it. Just look at Jessica Simpson.

    And I think it’s awesome, how big of a fan base Taylor has.

  16. Unfortunately, from things I have read, I don’t think she’s naturally that dumb. I believe it’s all an act to further her ‘career’. There are way too many rumors of her being demanding and bossy and calculated to just pass off.

    I personally don’t understand how she’s still on. She can’t sing nor convey emotion. But, well, I thought the same of Carrie last year. She was, at least, less annoying…

  17. Overall, that didn’t suck as bad as it could’ve.

    Katharine is treading on dangerous ground. She had an opportunity to bring some energy, and in her preview video it looked like she might, but she couldn’t resist the urge to do a vanilla ballad. A couple of weeks from now a performance like that could easily get her booted.

    Taylor was kind of back. He was good again, but not great.

    Ace has got to go.

    Chris’s vocal was really good. But what a terrible song. That dude has no ear for melody. People like melody.

    Elliott was great. But he chickened out at the end. Oh well, I suppose it’s better to aim for a reachable note and hit it than to aim for a high note and miss.

  18. My wife asked why on earth they would do a Queen night. I answered, “Simple. Marketing.”

    Then today I get an email from iTunes about a new Queen video album or something. I knew it.

    I didn’t even know there was still a group around calling itself Queen. Now I know. So I guess the marketing ploy accomplished something.

  19. One word. Kellie. Why did anyone let her do that and dress like that and do a pelvic thrust at me and then WINK for crying out loud at the end? Why?????? That was bad on levels I only dreamed about. And then they all praised her? Thought she was a true rocker? My brain exploded a little…

    Taylor was good, but I like Taylor. Elliot did well. Ace’s pants were too big and I will not be sad to see him go tonight. I liked Chris, but I’m a sucker for boys in eyeliner. And Paris. Could not control the new hair. And the outfit. Yikes.

  20. Why does this show have a way of sucking when you don’t want it to and not sucking when you are just aching for it to?

    I hope they don’t let Taylor kick the mic stand again.

    Poor mic stand. Bo wouldn’t let him go all last season and now this.

    I want the Easter Bunny to bring me Kellie Pickler on the seal of doom. That would be tons better than Cadbury creme eggs.

  21. I agree wholeheartedly with Simon that Chris could have had a true moment with the right song. This category seemed to fit him perfectly.

    I actually liked Katharine’s performance, though I could have just liked the song I suppose. I’m a sucker for “Highlander”.

    Taylor just makes me smile when he performs. Not the best singer, but the best performer. It’ll be between he and Chris in the finals. And it’s about time we have a white male win. 🙂

    If you had a choice, what bands/artists would you have the contestants cover? BTW, I’m sure they’ve asked lots of bands and artists to appear (which seems to be necessary this year), but have been turned down. Any suggestions?

  22. It needs to be a pop artist. Rod Stewart is a good choice for next week. I might like to see a Burt Bacharach week. Maybe Harry Connick, Jr. Elvis Costello. Cat Stevens (seems like he might be coming back to pop music).

    A Taylor vs. Chris final is looking more possible, although Chris’s inability to pick a good tune could easily do him in. Katharine could still do it. I would say the only ones with no chance at the final are Elliott and Kellie.

  23. Ah – but it’s standards, not the Rod Stewart catalog (hot legs, et al.)

    I hope Elliott does Night & Day. I will melt into a puddle.

    I would love to hear “Everytime We Say Goodbye” but I suspect that song would be a vote killer.

    I also think last night had a “Save Elliott” feel to it, but that may be wishful thinking on my part.

    p.s. The boy’s blood sugar level was in the 700’s when diagnosed!! 700’s!! Mine was 425 and the medical staff freaked.

  24. No, it was definitely a Save Elliot night. All that was missing was a big neon sign! (a neon sign that also says, please for the love of everything holy get rid of Ace already!!)

    I’m so interested to know what Taylor has picked. I’ll be scouring spoilers all weekend.

  25. 700’s is bad. But now I like Elliot even more. Us diabetics stick together. 🙂

    I think Elliot and Katharine are the best singers in the competition, voice-wise, but they both suffer from a lack of engaging personality. Kellie may make it to the top 3 because she’s just so darn perky.

  26. I got the giggles contemplating Cat Stevens as a guest artist on Idol.

    But even better was Elvis Costello! (Can you imagine — “Don’t SMILE! You are supposed to be ANGRY!!”)

    I nearly peed my pants.

  27. i didn’t get to watch the results part this week .. i was wondering who the bottom three were. :]

  28. Ok. I’m pretty sure I would die of either laughter or horrification at Kellie singing Under the Bridge. Or even better – Give it Away. Heh.

  29. Oh man. If the Peppers ever consented to appear on American Idol, every last ounce of respect I ever had for them would dry up into tiny bits of lint and blow away.

  30. I haven’t.

    This week’s performances were head and shoulders above the last couple weeks’. Kellie did butcher her song, but I thought it was refreshing that she knew it and admitted it, rather than some of the contestants who refuse to acknowledge when they suck. And did you see Rod Stewart telling her not to worry about it, and that she was marvelous? I thought that was sweet of him.

    I think Elliott will be the next to be voted off, even though he has one of the best voices in the competition. He just doesn’t have a sparkling personality.

    And making Taylor guess which of the two groups were in the bottom three was interesting. Have they done that on previous seasons of the show? We all knew whichever group Taylor was in would be the safe group. That was a good ploy.

  31. I don’t know, I’ve heard someone somewhere say that a performer should never apologize to the audience. It drives me crazy that she apologizes every week. I can’t believe she was safe this week. Her performance was horrendous. Worse than Ace’s, although his was bad too. She must be getting the Southerner vote or something. That or the voting public doesn’t have ears.

    Actually, that would explain why Paris was in the bottom three. Her performance was excellent. Better, I thought, than Katharine’s both in vocal quality and in interpretation and acting. Plus she chose a song that hasn’t been done a million times. I think Simon wants Katharine to win. Saying that she made the others look like good amatueurs was ridiculous. Her performance was on par with the first three, and I could see why some might call her performance the best, but it was close. Maybe Simon’s deafened by her beauty.

    I agree that Elliott’s probably next to go, no matter how well he does. But I’m rooting for Pickler to go.

    I haven’t seen them make a contestant pick which group was safe. I thought it was kind of cruel. I wouldn’t want to be put in that position.

  32. They’ve done that at least the past 2 seasons. Last year Bo flat out refused to pick and just made them gone on with the show. I had enormous respect for him after that.

    Kellie comes across as manipulative and annoying. Her “I’m sorry” is so ridiculous and I don’t believe it for a second as anything other than a ploy to keep her annoying self in the spotlight just that much longer (“I know I suck, but look at my shoes! Shiny!” And people fell for it????). I don’t understand how anyone can find her charming or sweet or cute or talented. I’m annoyed she is STILL on my TV. I have hope that she will go away soon. But a gut feeling that she’s there for a couple more weeks (past Elliot and Paris). Thank goodness for TiVo fast forward!

  33. I think Kellie’s cute and sweet. I don’t find her annoying at all. She’s got the pop country vote, is what she has. No one else in the competition fits in that category.

    I do think Katharine is way better than the other contestants. She makes it seem effortless, what she does, and I think that may be throwing you off a bit Tom. My husband said she makes it seem *too* effortless.

    I thought it was mean, the choosing between the two groups, but I thought Taylor handled it ok. It was really a toss up last night between the two groups, anyway–either guess could’ve easily been right.

  34. OK. I just found a blog that has this week’s performances posted as mp3’s and listened to them all. Simon’s right. Katharine is the only one who sounds like a pro. Well, except for Elliott. Paris is really good, and she does best in this type of genre (I love to hear her doing Billie), but she doesn’t always clearly enunciate, or something–some of her words seem to cut out? It’s kinda like she’s losing her breath or something.

  35. Think about this – Is there at least one artist in your recollection that doesn’t have a “sparkling personality” but sells records anyway based on the fact that they have the technical chops (or something like technical chops)?

    I can. Linda Ronstadt. Carrie Underwood.

    If Simon keeps saying, especially to Paula, that this is a singing competition, then why isn’t he criticizing the singing?!

    If this is how he was with Clay (I didn’t start watching until last year) then I can see why people were upset.

    In my opinion, if they want Elliott to act like Rod Stewart did last night (the cheesy gesturing and little twee dances) I hope that he is voted off for lack of personality. because, no. Just no.

  36. Susan, I agree she has the pop country vote, but I’m amazed she’s in there at all. She CANNOT sing. And her dumb act is grating. But, well, it all goes back to my Pink discussion earlier.

    It’s totally how he was with Clay. He just didn’t like him even though he had the better of the voices. It was maddening and how I feel about Taylor right now. It’s all very damned it you do. (not that Taylor has the best voice, but is still good and cannot do anything right by Simon).

    I have a lot of albums of people who don’t ‘sparkle’ but can sing. However, none of them were paraded around on national TV and had to grovel for the tween vote. I think that’s the difference. Kat’s good, but she won’t hold the attention of the teenagers. And the older people who buy music may write her off simply because they don’t like AI. Just a thought.

  37. I thought the judges last night were really harsh on Katharine. I actually thought she did really well last night. Taylor’s was only so-so. Kelly was a robot. Paris was good but I think the song choice was kind lame. But I think by this point everyone knows who they want to win. It’s more about whoever gets voted off and who their fan base will bump over to. What do you guys think? Especially those who’ve seen previous episodes.

    And man I’ve got to get me some Andre Bocelli (or however you spell his name).

  38. I thought the same thing about the judges. I thought Katharine’s performance was very good. I wish she would show some taste in music. I groaned when I heard that she was singing Whitney Houston. Whatever.

    Everybody’s song choice was lame. That was one boring hour.

    Paris’s mannerisms really bugged me last night. The smiling and nodding thing–the stuff that you do to get a baby to smile–I hated that. Her singing was good, but yeah, dumb song.

    I think you’re right, Susan, that a lot of people have already made up their minds. How else to explain Pickler still being around? She has been really bad for weeks. This week she didn’t have Ace around to make her sound less sucky. If she doesn’t go I might just do something drastic.

    Where fans will jump to when their favorite leaves is an interesting question. If Pickler goes tonight (please!), will they jump to the other Southerner (Taylor) or to the other pretty, boring girl (Katharine). If Paris goes (very possible), where would her fans go? That one I don’t know.

  39. I completely agree with you guys about Kat. I thought she was great and the crowd seemed to enjoy it more than usual–especially for the first performance. I though t she had really grabbed hold of the competition, but the judges didn’t seem to agree.

    It seems, though, that the judges of declared (as they have done in the past) that any song by Whitney, Mariah, etc. is virtually off-limits, no matter how well it’s performed.

    I find it interesting that neither of you mentioned Elliott. I wasn’t all that moved by his performance, and certainly not as much as Paula was. It does seem like the producers/judges want him to win.

    A couple weeks ago, I was fairly certain it was going to come down to Taylor and Chris. But now after Kellie leaves, I think it’s anyone’s game.

  40. I tend to forget about Elliott, even though he’s by far got the best voice (except for Katharine). He just doesn’t have enough charisma, like Taylor does.

  41. I guess we’re illustrating the point that I made in my original post: “Elliott is forgettable in every way.”

    He does have a good voice. But last night as he was performing I found it very easy to be distracted by the computer. I was surprised when Simon and Paula were so enthusiastic about it.

  42. I agree about Elliot – I always forget about him moments after it’s over. Which is sad considering that he’s really good!

    Hubby & I both thought the judges were way too harsh on Katherine. For a Whitney song, I thought she knew her limitations and did it well. And shouldn’t the songwriter’s (who loved it) opinion count a little more?

    I thought Chris did the best last night (not hard) and really used what they taught him to make it better. I’m still fully in a Taylor / Chris final two state of mind! My love of Taylor is still strong – I can forgive him for an off night!

    I’m thinking an all girl final 3 tonight with any of them going (but most likely either Kellie or Paris). Kellie may have finally (finally!) killed her last chance.

  43. Oh man.

    I bet she heard about that. Which explains the flatness and lack of schtick last night.

    Elliott’s rendition of “Song for You” was flawless.

    His stage presence is getting better too , I only twinged once last night.

    He hoped Donny Hathaway would get some recogition out of it, and I think his hope was heard, because Hathaway’s CD was ranked #196 on Amazon yesterday and it’s #29 now.

    Nice for something besides “Bad Day” (urgh.) to get some heat.

  44. Simon was right, last night was erratic. Taylor’s rendition of “Play That Funky Music” was hilarious. I love it just because I thought it was so goofy/funny.

    I think I was at a disadvantage since I wasn’t familiar with any of the current hit songs they did for their second performaces. (Except for Taylor’s Beatles song, which I thought was very well done.) Katharine was really off with her Phil Collins song but I really enjoyed the second song she did. I thought Paris was bad doing Prince (as my husband said, that song is all style, and she just didn’t have any) but really good doing Mary J, but again–I’m not familiar with the original. “On Broadway” was a horrible choice for Elliot but his second song was really good.

    Chris I’m just not into, he sounds too much like all the Eddie Vedder-wannabes that drive me crazy. But “Renegade” is an awesome song.

  45. We LOVE the original of Kat’s 2nd song and both of us thought she sucked the life and soul right out of it. It wasn’t gritty enough – it was way too polished.

    Paris singing Prince was 3000 sorts of wrong, speaking of sucking. Sucked all the sex right on out of it.

    Taylor was perfect with both of his. I thought ‘Play that Funky Music’ was the perfect suck on this Simon moment. Loved it. And, as a Beatles hater (ducking…), he even made me love that 2nd song. Beautiful, with the little growl. Love Taylor.

    Paris, Elliot, Kat bottom 3. Paris & Elliot fighting over who’s leaving.

  46. I hate the way they edited Play That Funky Music. Too abrupt for me – one verse to chorus. Very choppy.

    My husband hates Styx with a passion so all I could hear was the rumbles of discontent issuing from the office.

    I really disliked Kat’s performances. (agree with Gabby).

    I really really really wish Elliott hadn’t done On Broadway. Not a good choice. I hope he’s still around after tonight. I also think he would have done a great job with “Brighter Than Sunshine”. Has that charted?

    Chris was Chris. meh, with side of goat on the second song.

    I think either Paris or Elliott will go home. I am resigned.

  47. I think Taylor’s pretty much got it all wrapped up at this point. It’s just a matter of who else will last the longest.

  48. I can derive some satisfaction from the fact that Taylor winning will drive the creator of “Il Divo” up a wall.

  49. Taylor has tons of fans but for some reason I thought Chris was the front runner. Maybe I just read that somewhere early on or something. I think Elliot is next to go, but it’s hard to say from there…

  50. Chris is very much rumored to be the front runner – but Taylor is the only one never to be in the bottom 3. I personally think the producers hope Taylor doesn’t win. They don’t know what to do with him! Everything else about Taylor is just conspiracy speculation, though a lot of it seems logical.

  51. What? You mean the rest of the nation isn’t as sick of the EddieVedderScottStappWhatsHisNameFromNickelback sound as I am? Man.

  52. Chris is the one annointed to win.

    But Taylor comes in at number one in the dialidol polls, for what that’s worth, every week. Every week.

    If I believed conspiracy theories, the group sing solo order would be very interesting indeed.

    Chris, Taylor, Katherine, Elliott, Paris.

    The producer’s hoped for reverse order of elimination?

    At least Elliott gets to sing Elvis.

  53. I very much think that’s how it’s going to play out (well, I think Kat may go before Elliot). But a Taylor / Chris finale with Chris winning is seeming more & more likely…

    And, no, Susan. A lot of people like Chris. A lot.

  54. I’ve seen enough. Give it to Taylor. He was awesome this week.

    I’m surprised that Chris is still considered the favorite. I was bored with him weeks ago. I would be surprised to see him beat Taylor. And I’d almost be surprised to see him beat Katharine.

    Elliott might have a chance next week if he kills and if Katharine opens the door by being boring (which she is good at).

  55. I didn’t say favorite of the people – just favorite. I still very much believe he’s the one “they” want to win and are trying to build him up while putting Taylor down. It’s a Clay / Ruben thing all over again…

  56. I like Chris and have from the start (though I can see why Susan and others find him somewhat pedestrian). But I sure hope there is no cheating by the show to make him win. Having the judges gush for him is enough of a leg up I think. But you can hardly say the judges bash Taylor either. Simon complimented Taylors voice again last night — he just hates the wedding singer antics Taylor pulls out.

  57. I don’t think they put him down (well…maybe a little bit – it’s never a straight compliment), but they certainly don’t gush the way they do for Chris and / or Kat. I’ve read too many things that make me think that all is not as it seems behind the scenes of AI that I take the results with a grain of salt.

    For the record? I love Chris. Always have. I think he’s purdy. A Chris / Taylor final 2 would rock, in my opinion and for once I wouldn’t really care who won…

  58. Wow, if Chris won, that’d really blow. I figured he’d be in the top few but not the winner. I like that he’s more of a rocker, and he’s obviously been pursuing music with an effort for a long time. But I guess I have a personal peeve against his style of singing.

  59. Of course, I think winning/F2 is definitely a “Be careful what you wish for” thing with this competition.

    I mean, look what they did to Bo, for cripe’s sake.

    Seriously! Gah!

  60. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL THE NAME OF THE ARTIST THAT SINGS THAT SONG WHEN CONTESTANTS ARE ELIMINATED????? ‘CAUSE YOU GOT TO FAITH… PLEASE IS URGENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. It’ll be interesting to see who goes home tonight. The obvious guess would be Elliott since he’s been dangling by a thread for a long time. But I think Katharine and Chris might’ve left the door open by not being great. They weren’t bad at all, but I just don’t think they did much to convince people to vote for them. I would be surprised if Katharine or Chris get sent home tonight, but I would only be shocked if it’s Taylor.

    I was wondering if Katharine being the only girl left would make her safe, but my boss*** pointed out that that might actually be to her disadvantage if most of the votes are being cast by girls (a safe assumption, I think). Think Jerry Rice beating that tall, incredibly good wrestler lady on Dancing with the Stars (I can’t remember her name). He said that that result was attributed to women being more likely to vote for guys. I don’t know how true that is, but I can’t think of any other way that Rice could have beat that wrestler lady.

    ***[Yeah, my boss, a scientist in his 50’s, watches Idol and we talk about it in the lab. And he doesn’t have kids so he can’t claim that he watches because they watch. Shameful.]

  62. Dial Idol results point to Chris & Katherine as the bottom 2 tonight (of course, I’m sure that’s hard to pin point now with only 4) but they also had Taylor safely on top again (yay!).

  63. My guess is that Katherine is done tonight. Elvis and Katherine don’t mix and it showed last night. Plus people listen to Simon and he was unimpressed — that can’t be a good sign for her. I like her better than Elliot but at this point they are all solid and someone has to go. (I’m also coming around to the idea that Taylor is gonna win. He has gone from dark horse to favorite I think.)

  64. Dial Idol has been wrong before.

    I always thought Jerry beat out Stacy because a rabid football fan contingent was out there voting for him.

    Football has a bigger fan base than wrestling, right?

    Katherine has the looks, but consistancy is not her strong point.

    It isn’t Chris’, either.

    I know consistancy doesn’t count for poop with television, but it gets my vote. Every week.

  65. I think Paris has an amazing voice, too.

    In my opinion, better song choice (a 17 year old singing “The Way We Were”, really?!!) and a more stable “image” (not so many costume/hair changes) would have kept her around longer.

    It’s some comfort to me that she outlasted both Ace and Kellie, who were infinitely more image driven and not as talented singers.

  66. I also think Paris’ age and inexperience helped to do her in. She was just too raw and unrefined compared to the final 4. (Plus, she was getting annoying…)

  67. Jerry Rice has a HUGE fan base. He actually could have won the entire contest, and that would’ve been funny.

    Chris went home, and I actually thrust my arms in the air and applauded. He’s too Nickelback for me.

    Taylor’s got it wrapped up for sure.

    Did you see Simon’s expression when it was Chris? I think he has a better grasp than anyone over who will actually sell records. It’s different, seeing someone perform on a contest like this, and hearing their songs on the radio. I have the feeling he knows that Chris, with his Nickelback voice, would sell a lot. Taylor, personality and all notwithstanding, will probably not sell as well.

    Gotta love America.

  68. I totally agree, Susan. Simon was pissed! He has a huge financial stake in this and I think knowing that Taylor & Elliot were top 2 killed him.

    So much for the chosen one theory…I am sad the purdy will be off my TV, though!

  69. At least I got something right in my initial post. Chris was too post-grunge to have any lasting appeal. He didn’t make it to the top three! I win! (Let’s ignore the fact that I predicted that Mandisa would make it to the top three).

    I still think it’s possible that my prediction that Katharine would go down in a blaze of vanilla balladry sometime before the finale will come to pass. If she sticks to vanilla balladry and Elliott kills, she might not make it. It’s a long shot, but it’s possible. Elliott has pulled off the improbable for a while now.

  70. I would feel bad for Chris, but I hear Fuel is looking for a singer, so…

    When I saw Elliott standing next to Taylor, my heart swelled with giddiness & impaired my hearing capabilities, (He made Top 2!!!) because I didn’t understand that Katharine wasn’t going home until I saw her bend over in shock.

    I’m just so happy I get to hear Elliott sing again next week.

  71. I don’t think Elliott did enough. His last song was so very blah. He sang everything very well, though.

    I realized what’s been bugging me about Katharine (besides her taste in music). She wants to have a big, powerful voice but her strength is prettiness. When she sings big she loses her prettiness and she can’t quite pull off the bigness. Her “Over the Rainbow” was very pretty and not weak, but not too big. Just right. On “I Believe I Can Fly” (I groaned when he told her that’s the song she had to sing) she had one extremely pretty note, but the rest was too big. Her rendition was good, not great. Have I mentioned that she’s gorgeous? I mean A-list Hollywood gorgeous.

    Taylor was fun as usual. The song he chose for himself was just right. That made him safe. I don’t get why Simon loved his “You Are So Beautiful.” I thought it was so-so.

    So it looks like a Katharine vs. Taylor final. I think Katharine did plenty last night to beat Elliott, who didn’t do enough.

  72. I think Kat did horribly last night. I’m pretty sure she dropped lyrics on the pile of I believe this is the worst song ever. Over the Rainbow was ok, but still bad and that last thing was horrible. She has NO connection to singing. She’s so worried about being pretty and technically correct, she smiles inappropriately and appears without soul.

    Taylor, on the other hand, was leaps & bounds ahead. The first song, not the greatest, but still fun. You are so Beautiful (which I don’t love normally) was so heartfelt and sincere, it blew me away. He gets so taken over by the music, it’s intense. And Try A Little Tenderness??? Oh my. How great was that. Seriously. Otis. Perfect.

    Elliot. I have already forgotten what he sang, which is his problem. I like him, but he’s very forgettable. But I would still love to see him beat out McPhee tonight. Sadly, I don’t think that’ll happen.

  73. I thought Katharine was awesome. All night I kept saying, “She should win.” I thought the judges were way harsh on her. But we all know Elliot’s going home this week, and Taylor’s winning next week.

  74. That’s so funny, Susan. I didn’t think the judges were harsh enough on her! I thought they gave her way too much credit! It’s funny how everyone hears something different.

    I think you are right about the results, though…

  75. It is funny. And I know what you mean about her smiling at inappropriate times and I think I know what you mean about her not connecting emotionally with the music. But I guess that doesn’t matter to me. I love performers who really take joy in it, and she does that. It’s why I fell in love with Mariah Carey when I saw her Unplugged performance. Plus Katharine’s range and control are just so awesome. She makes it seem effortless, and I think that works against her. If she were to make the effort more visible I think it might make a difference for people who don’t like her.

  76. I cannot stand the mellisma.

    All the vocal gymnastics push me out of the song and make me wonder what she is hiding.

    Oh yes, she’s hiding forgotten lyrics and bad notes.

    I admit Elliott did not do his best last night (though I thought the third song was a winner) I can only hope that he actually gets a sing out. And equal coverage in the hometown visit segments.

    Far be it for this show to be fair.

  77. I don’t think she has the joy. I think she knows she’s pretty and talented and she feels as though she’ll smile through it and be the best, but she has no real passion for it. I would love to see her get lost in a performance (see Taylor / You Are So Beautiful). Be more than just a pagent singer – technically correct (well, most of the time) but devoid of feeling and soul. I think she is too busy making sure she is looking ‘sexy’ and pretty to make sure she is feeling her performance.

    But, then, I dislike Mariah and Brittany and Christina et al, so I may just be biased…

  78. I didn’t see. Wednesday Idol conflicts with Lost (which, incidentally, pissed me off yesterday). Was there not much spread from first to last or was it just close between the bottom two (Elliott and Katharine, I’m guessing)?

  79. Quite close!

    33.06
    33.26
    33.68

    Reminded me of the 2000 election.

    I demand a recount!!!

    not really 🙂

    Could it be that Katherine didn’t get much “hometown” support because they see a thousand like her every day in that town?

    **Disclaimer** That statement was not intended to sound bitter, but rather is a shallow reflection of the “been there, done that” attitude L.A. has about show business.

    Ok, it may have been a tiny bit bitter.

  80. I’ve wondered about that myself, Jennifer. I’m wondering how it’ll play out for the casual voter seeing she’s from LA. I think that might make a difference. Casual voters like the Southern / struggling / deserved thing more than the LA / NY I’ve had a lot of opportunities thing. Interesting.

  81. Who even knew she was from LA before last night? Sure they mentioned it, but it’s such a huge city, no one cares. Everyone’s from LA. It’s not like it is when you’re from a small town and suddenly one of your residents is all over TV. LA residents are constantly all over TV.

    I don’t think it’ll make a difference for the casual voter–if there is such a thing? Are people actually going to bother to call and vote if they’re casual?

    I’ve never voted, have any of you?

  82. I’ve never voted, but I wish I had voted for Chris… I would have been much happier with a Chris/Taylor finale. Oh well. Taylor will take it (as long as he shuts up on the annoying “SOUL PATROL!!” crap. Does that guy have Tourrete’s or something?)

  83. Yeah, there are. I have friends who base it on stuff like back story and weekly performances instead of solid fan base – so they are out there and I’ve heard from some of them that they hate that Kat is from LA. They deem that to equal she’s had lots of chances already. Valid? Maybe not, but it’s out there a little bit.

    I have voted in past seasons, not this one. I have to be pretty compelled to and I probably will next week.

  84. Wow. I can’t believe it was that close. I didn’t think Elliott had much of a chance. We were less than 0.5% away from a Katharine/Elliott finale.

    I’ve never voted. my wife sometimes does. She’s been a Katharine voter lately, for which I give her grief.

    Geoff, I’m with ya on the soul patrol thing. After the first song I was hoping so bad that he wasn’t going to do that throughout the whole show. No such luck.

  85. I don’t think Nickelback is the proper comparison, Susan. I like that fact that his was at least a powerful voice with some oomph behind it — I think his voice is as much Tom Jones as Mr. Nickelback (and no, I don’t like Nickelback). That power issue was my biggest beef with Elliot — he has a puny, anemic voice. Sure he has a nice tone and good pitch, but his lack of power and that awful vibratto ruined him for me. Katherine is an excellent singer but just not my style. Come on, when a stright up rendition of “Over the Rainbow” is lauded as your best performance of the show there is a problem in my mind…

    Taylor has the best combination of cheese and power and voice quality so he will win. I would have been happy with that anyway, I would have liked to have seen Chris with him in the finals though.

  86. Chris has the same singing style as Nickelback/Creed/all those post-grunge popular rock bands that I blame on Eddie Vedder. I liked him because he was more of a rocker, and he had a lot of personal integrity, but his singing drove me nuts.

    This week when my husband realized Taylor might win, he said it just might restore his faith in humanity. Only because Taylor is so not what you hear on the radio these days. Chris is. I think–haven’t listened to the radio for a couple years now, I guess. But I also was thinking (hoping) his style is going out of style.

  87. Yeah, Chris is what you hear on the radio. At least in my neck of the woods.

    I voted. But Tuesday night was the first night I voted the whole two hours.

    (wee little embarassed. My husband has been giving me lots of crap for it.)

    I do not think Elliott has a puny, anemic voice. I think bandzilla got the best of him.

    If Clive wanted to hear a “rocker” from Journey, he should have given EY “lovin’ touchin’ squeezin'” (with an arrangement that cuts most – all?- on the naa-naas)

    As for OTR, I’ll take Bruddah Iz’s version anyday.

  88. Lovin, touchin squeezin would have been great….

    I liked Chris & hoped for a Chris / Taylor finale. But I like Live, as well and would lump Chris in with them while frantically crying he’s not like Creed and Nickleback. That’s probably the answer. His voice reminds me of Ed’s (Live).

  89. I love Live. He is a big fan of theirs, isn’t he? I can’t remember now exactly what Chris sounded like, only that he reminded me too much of Eddie Vedder clones.

  90. have they put seasons 4 and 5 of Charlie’s Angles on DVD and how about Maude is that on a box-sex yet???

  91. Slate’s predicting Taylor.

    I’m predicting Taylor. Anyone think Katharine can pull it off?

    Katharine was only a fraction of a percent behind Taylor last week, but I’m betting that the majority of Elliott’s voters will shift to Taylor.

  92. My gut feels Taylor, but I’m a little nervous that Kat will pull off an upset somehow. I, of course, really, really hope not. I hope singing Over the Rainbow for a second week in a row will hurt, not help. But then, I love Taylor.

    I just read that his self produced, can only buy at one place, pre-idol TOTALLY indie CD just went gold. Sweet.

  93. Wow, really? That’s impressive. I had him pegged as the winner from the get go so I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t win. 🙂

  94. It’s a rumor that was largely broadcast on one of the Alabama radio shows – I don’t know that anything officail has come out, but it’s a nice thought regardless!

    Here’s hoping your gut is right, Susan!

  95. Wow. What crappy crappy crappy, trite, treacly final songs. Katharine did OK with the bad material. Taylor did great.

    I don’t think Katharine did anything to win people over tonight.

  96. The coronation songs are always awful. “Inside Your Heaven”, anyone?

    Yay for Taylor!!

  97. She should really try NOT to fidget and bite her lip when standing next to Ryan.

    too late for that advice.

    It was so nice to watch House without dialing a phone for once.

  98. I absolutely love ELLIOT YAMIN!! He is by far the best singer in the whole competition, even Simon said so. I love Elliot because, of course, his voice and because he is a type 1 diabetic just like me!! I LOVE HIM!!!!!!!!!

  99. ACE IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO UGLY! WHAT IS WRONG WITH EVERYONE WHO LOVES HIM? Has anyone noticed everytime he ends his songs, he reaches out his arm and shakily points to the camera?? Hey Ace, stop relying on your “good looks” to go far in the competition.

  100. Last night was so weird. Do they always have a bunch of surprise superstars on the finale?

    My mouth was agape when Prince came out. I forgot everything that had happened the previous hour. Prince! On American Idol! PRINCE.

  101. I only watched the season 2 finale and it wasn’t anything like last night (from what I could tell—we were watching Lost and only flipping to Idol during commercials). I’m amazed that Idol keeps getting bigger. I thought it would start to fade after a season or two. But big stars are lining up to get on. You’d be crazy not to take the opportunity to reach such a big audience of music buyers.

    Maybe it wasn’t so crazy for me to suggest an Elvis Costello or Red Hot Chilli Peppers appearance. Everyone else was on last night.

    What I did see was terrible. The Meat Loaf (Meat Loaf!!!) thing was ghastly. Dionne Warwick sucked it up big time. Elliott and Mary J. Blige couldn’t stop repeating and oversinging whatever they were repeating at the end of “One.” What I saw of “The Time of My Life” thing wasn’t too bad, though.

  102. I think it was only last year that they started the stars, but this year was out of control. I think since they knew Taylor winning was not a surprise, they had to do something!

    Meatloaf looked like he was about to attack Kat. It was scary and made me long for Celine – which, ewww.

    And Live. LIVE!!! I don’t care who knows. I love live and can’t decide if the appearance of Live & Prince are making idol cool or just the ultimate of selling out.

    I may never forgive a) Elliot & Mary for killing one of my favorite songs ever. I literally wept at the ghastliness of it all. And b) Toni Braxton trying to feel Taylor up. Ewww…..

  103. It leaked much earlier in the season that Idol’s staff was “in talks” with Prince’s people – the speculation was of him being a guest artist like Barry Manilow et al.

    Prince’s PR people immediately issued a statement saying that he hated Idol & would never appear on the show.

    Very clever, Prince.

    During the Tyler/Kat duet (Time of My Life), My husband turned to me and said:

    “At least paint doesn’t sing while it’s drying.”

    My complaint about the Mary J / Elliott thing was that Mary J overdid it a bit & Elliott didn’t sing that much.

    I would have been much happier with a Stevie Wonder/ Elliot duet of “For Once in My Life”. Actually, I would have been happier with a SW / EY duet of “I Just Called to Say I Love You”.

    I think Dionne has lost her upper register – too bad , the original Walk On By is one of the best things I’ve ever heard.

    I think Taylor was all “eewwwww”, too. 🙂

  104. Oh yeah, I forgot about Live, and all that other stuff. Because–Prince!!

    I actually loved the Meatloaf duet and thought Kat finally really seemed to be emoting in the song.

    Mary J Blige just does that (over sing/too loud) all the time. Did no one see her do “One” with U2 on the Grammy’s? That’s why she did it on Idol, she’d already done it with U2. I actually love how into it she gets, but her voice was up way to high in the mix, and Elliott’s was too low. Whereas Toni Braxton’s was too low in the mix. And did she sound horrible or what?

    The show was just all over the place–and way, way too cheesy with all the group numbers.

  105. No, I didn’t. I heard about it and assumed that’s why she was there w/ Elliot, but I didn’t want her spoiling it for me! Too late last night, though….ugh.

    And I’m hoping Taylor was Ew-ing as well. Seriously. Was she trying to give him a lapdance during “In the Ghetto”?

    Kat emoting? I’m not sure. She may have just been scared of the Loaf…

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