The Guys Top 8 – Recap
The Dudes Go Live…
Gedeon McKinney – “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge – Young Gedeon certainly has a feel for these classic soul tunes. He’s consistently good–amazingly good and comfortable–when he sings them. I hope he makes it to the Top 12, I think he deserves to be there. There might be a problem later when he’s asked to step out of his box on theme nights. Randy and Paula were mostly positive, but Simon said it was “a bit cabaret.” Huh? A little old fashioned maybe. But what does Simon mean exactly by “cabaret”? In the end, Simon said that Gedeon was “growing” on him. With that remark, I think Gedeon may have been eased gently into the Top 12.
Chris Daughtry – “Broken” by Seether – Another great song choice from Chris. I’ve said this before–he doesn’t have the best voice, but he sings with emotion and he commands the stage when he performs. He’s definitely radio-ready right now, but I think he’d do best with a band rather than a solo act. And I shudder to think what the Idol team would come up with for him if he won this thing. Nevertheless, he will go deep, and could win. Biggest risk for Chris will be to step out of his box and mix it up a little. He’s consistently good, but could become boring. Simon irritates me when he critiques rock acts–because he clearly doesn’t like nor understand rock music. Simon said it was “indulgent” (?) and “boring” (??). I think those may have been code words for “I don’t get it.”
Kevin Covais – “Vincent” by Don McLean – Little Kevin has the you-know-whats of steel to do this song. Clay Aiken sang this after he picked it out of a fish bowl season 2, and let’s just say it wasn’t one of his stellar moments (yes, ‘mates, I realize it wasn’t entirely his fault–please be kind to my poor little inbox). Randy said at the time that the song didn’t belong in the competition. With such a notorious past, I’m surprised anyone would choose to sing it. A friend of mine made the excellent point that Kevin is like an old-fashioned Irish Tenor–the kind that makes the little old Irish ladies weep. At any moment, I expected Kevin to bust out with “Oh Danny Boy”. Nevertheless, despite the lisping and the goatie vibrato, I did appreciate the passion he brought to the tune. I could feel that he really loved the song, and that’s probably why he chose to sing it despite its Idol history. Randy and Paula were their usual fawning selves. And then Simon steps in with some common sense, “In the same way you like watching puppies play, people would enjoy it…” And really, the kudos he gets from the other judges is downright patronizing. Kevin is an average singer getting by on his personality. Sorta like Kellie, except that he’s genuine. And based on the kid-glove treatment by the judges and his likability, he could make it into the Top 12.
Bucky Covington – “Wave on Wave” by Pat Green – Bucky has been wisely seeking out his own niche by singing country these past few weeks. Unfortunately, his performances have been good, but not stellar. And for Bucky, who had very little screen time prior to the Top 24, he needed to be fabulous to stay in the game. Bucky is good-looking and affable, but I don’t see him as a contestant who can shine brightly in this competition. His personality is too laid-back. His gravelly vocals aren’t dynamic–and in the big AI arena they just get swallowed up. The judges critiques, especially Simon’s were lukewarm, and that does not bode well for Bucky. But even if he makes the Top 12–and he could, because he has amassed a loyal fan base–I don’t see him going very deep. However, Bucky may be one of those guys who, although not Idol material, can make great records post Idol. The exposure can only help him.
Will Makar – “How Sweet It Is” by Marvin Gaye (James Taylor, Michael Buble) – I like this kid. I just do. As a pure singer, he is one of the best in the competition. He’s young, and he’s got some growing to do, but he’s got a ton of potential. I enjoy watching him sing. He’s got charisma and stage presence. I think his performance tonight was his best yet. He totally did not deserve the drubbing he got from Randy and Simon. I can’t understand Randy praising Kevin, but dissing Will–Will pwns Kevin in the vocal department. Simon called him “utterly average, ” which is a nicer way of saying “pack your bags.” The producers have obviously decided that Will doesn’t belong in their master plan. But why? One theory I heard is that Will could take votes away from Ace, who has teen idol potential, and is obviously one of the favored. I think the teen-idol types scare them a little, because the fandom can be fickle and a bit irrational. At any rate–Will is in danger. He could be cut tomorrow.
Taylor Hicks – “Taking It To the Streets” by Michael McDonald – This was awesome. I was a little skeptical of the song choice, but the minute Taylor opened his mouth, I knew he was gonna bring it. And indeed, he brought the house down with his joyful and electrifying performance of this Doobie Brothers classic. And what’s wrong with a little spazz dancing? Taylor moves with the beat. Personally, I dig it. When he finished, he glanced upward for just a second, like he was thanking his maker. I think this performance was really important to him. 100% positive critiques from the judges. But it doesn’t matter–Taylor is a lock for the Top 24. See ya next week, bunny. Hee.
Elliott Yamin – “Heaven” by Bryan Adams – Speaking of song choices, “Heaven” was not a good one. Elliott is so much better than the bad 80’s pop he sang here. The song did nothing to show off his awesome vocal chops. Dare I say it–the song sounded very karaoke. Lucky for Elliott, the judges like him. Randy and Paula were positive. But, Simon was a little harsh, calling the song choice a “cop out” and Elliott “disconnected.” But, based on past performances and judges comments, he won’t have any trouble making it to the Top 12. And he belongs there–I just hope he chooses his songs a little more strategically. Elliott has a really unique, compelling voice. He doesn’t need to get by on personality. If he picks perfect songs–classic, well-written songs–his vocals will just follow. ‘Cause this boy can sang.
Ace Young – “Butterflies” by Michael Jackson – Ace picks really hard songs to sing. I get the feeling that he picks songs that he likes rather than songs he can sing. “Butterflies” was another tough song, and again, like last week, he had pitch problems especially in his falsetto. I think song choice is really important for Ace, and he needs to take a tip from Ayla Brown, who understands what her voice can do and chooses accordingly. He’s an attractive guy and knows how to get an audience to sit up and pay attention. His performance of “Father Figure” proved that with the right song, he can be compelling. Randy and Paula complimented him on his falsetto. But again, Simon hit the nail on the head when he said that parts of the vocal were not good. But, If Ace can continue to pick unusual songs–but choose songs that match his vocal abilities–he could be an interesting contestant. His vocal problems won’t hurt his chances for the Top 12 though. Ace got the pimp spot tonight–it’s obvious that he is one of the golden boys right now. He’s a lock.
Far as I’m concerned the Boys out-shined the Girls this week.
Who’s in danger of leaving — Will, Bucky, Kevin–maybe Gedeon. I think Will will go. Bucky’s fan base may save him. Kevin has the judges on his side, and the “aww” factor–he may slide in. Gedeon doesn’t seem to have a large fan base, but he’s got the chops and the judges approval. If I had to pick — Kevin and sorry bucky fans Bucky would go. I want to see Will in the competition. But, maybe it’s best for the teens to go. The Top 12 can be a rough ride for a youngin–maybe they’d be better off at home going to the prom and starring in the school musical. There’s plenty of time later for that showbiz stuff.