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 RawkerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢, 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.