The Top 10 Guys – Recap
Watch out girls…you were pwned…
Did ya all see Bo Bice in the audience? He appeared right after Taylor finished singing, and again at the very end of the program…
Taylor Hicks – “Easy” by the Commodores – I thought Taylor’s version was smooth and soulful, and I don’t like the original version of this song at all. I don’t understand the judges indifference to his performance. Simon’s comments were especially off the wall. He said, “It didn’t work for me…it was the wrong choice of song.” Well, why Simon? He never explains, but just goes on to say it was an average performance. Was the judges lack of enthusiasm a ploy to tone down his popularity? Luckily, Taylor’s fan base is strong enough to carry him through, despite the judges lukewarm reception.
Elliott Yamin – “Moody’s Mood for Love” by James Moody – Performing a jazz tune that many in the audience may not be familiar with was a really big risk, especially at this stage of the game. But, it paid off for Elliott, because his performance of this song proved that he’s an incredibly gifted singer who can navigate tricky jazz rhythms with ease. I thought he was dazzling tonight, and so did the judges. I can’t wait to hear what Elliott does next. He came into the Top 24 with virtually no fan base, I hope that he’s gaining enough momentum to make it into the Top 12. Hopefully the judges will keep up with the big time PIMPING. In this case, I don’t mind at all.
Ace Young – “If You’re Not the One” by Daniel Bedingfield – That story about Ace and how he picks out a different “beanies” (knit caps) to wear each day, like a security blanket cracked me up. No wonder he has bed head! As far as his performance–he gets props for picking a beautiful and difficult song to sing. But unfortunately, I’m not sure what happened, but he completely lost his way during the song–singing off pitch through most of the tune. Paula and Randy didn’t seem to notice at all. But, Simon hit the nail on the head when he said “I think you struggled with that song tonight and you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear your vocal back on that.” Simon added that Ace needed to find songs that fit his vocal style. Ace also needs to find a way to relax. He really looked nervous up there tonight. Nevertheless, Ace will sail right into the Top 12.
Gedeon McKinney – “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke – It just recently sunk in that Gedeon is only 17 years old. Even though I must have known that–’cause I wrote up a short bio for him when I profiled the Top 24 just last week. On one hand, Gedeon comes across as a very eccentric and strange young man. On the other hand, he’s a gifted singer with a knack for interpreting soul classics like the song he performed tonight, as if he came straight out of that era. Definitely one of the best of the night. I didn’t like him at all when I heard him in Hollywood, but I’ve come around. And so have the judges. I think he’s a dark horse to make it into the Top 12.
Kevin Covais – “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye – Kevin is a spunky kid with a great sense of humor. But, I’ll never understand how this kid got into the Top 24 based on his goatie, lispy singing. This soul classic was a particularly ill advised choice for Kevin. There was nothing pleasant about this shrill, tuneless, soulless performance. And the judges gave him a great, big pass. Simon tried to inject a bit of reality into the proceedings, but his attempt was half-hearted. Yeah, so Kevin has got the “likability factor” like his female counterpart Kellie–doesn’t mean he should advance. I’ll tell ya, if the judges pimping propels this kid into the Top 12 at the expense of a more vocally worthy contestant, I will be irked.
SWAY – “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder – Wow. Total and complete de-pimping of Sway tonight by the judges! I thought this performance was actually better than last week’s, which was not only horribly screechy and off key, but way over the top. I preferred this week’s more subdued performance, even though Sway still had pitch problems and, as Simon said, was very “karaoke.” It was practically a carbon-copy of Stevie’s version. The negative remarks across the board make Sway vulnerable against this tough field of male competitors. By the way, I think his parents, who were out in the audience, were really cute.
Will Makar – “Lady” by Kenny Rodgers (written by Lionel Richie) – When I heard Will would be singing this song, I had my doubts. And just as I feared, this was not a very good song choice. Will’s rich, pretty vocals really shine on the upbeat Motown and R&B numbers–which also showcase his teen-aged charm. And the theme of this song is way beyond the life experiences of a 16 year old. I like Will a lot. Between David Radford’s dimples and the Pimping of Kevin (his main competitors), he could be in big trouble this week–the judges were pretty uniformly negative. I hope not–he’s a much better singer than either Kevin or David. By the way–HOLY COW, what was up with Ryan telling Will to loosen up and yanking out his shirt-tale? Simon told Will to “get off the stage quick, ” and then Will started cracking up. Hey Ryan…Will’s underage…mmmkay? Hee.
Bucky Covington – “When the Thunder Rolls” by Garth Brooks. Ha, Bucky’s little film clip portrayed him as quite the hayseed, eh? He and Kellie should have a hick-off. Except, I buy Bucky’s backwater routine–maybe because it’s not being rammed down my throat. As far as his performance–huge improvement over last week. For the first time, I heard that nice tone Paula was talking about. He should have kicked it up a notch on the chorus, but I think he’s improved enough to stay competitive. Bucky is another dark horse contender for the Top 12.
David Radford – “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra, and many others – I can hear the makings of a good voice underneath the crooner “act”. But unfortunately, an act it is at this point. What David needs is a few more years to train his voice and develop his own style. David was just all over the place with his vocals tonight. If he wasn’t such a cutie, he’d be a goner. Dang, he looked like he was going to cry again tonight when the judges criticized him.
Chris Daughtry – “Hemorrhage” by Fuel – Chris isn’t the best of the male vocalists, but he’s definitely one of the more memorable. He manages to inject emotion into every song he sings, no matter what it is. His song choice was a radio friendly rock song that had never been performed on Idol before, so it sounded both familiar and fresh. And it showed off Chris’s commercial potential, which is why the judges are so taken with him. Simon basically told him that he was the only contestant who’s ready to make hit records. Chris is a shoe-in for the Top 12.
While the Women’s Top 6 seems obvious, the men’s field appears more competitive and unpredictable. The only shoe-ins are Ace, Chris and Taylor. The other three spots are up for grabs. Elliott has a very good chance if he turns in another great performance next week. Bucky and Gedeon can also win themselves a spot, depending on what they do next week. If there is a next week for them. Bucky, Gedeon, Sway, Will, David and Kevin are all vulnerable this week. For the guys, it should be a nail-biter tomorrow night.