Top 5 Results show Recap
Paris Bennett Eliminated
I thought Nigel’s remarks about Paris in his weekly post-performance interview with TVWeek.com sounded like a nice, sweet goodbye. But then his remarks regarding Elliott were pretty dismissive. Nigel claims not to know who the bootee is ahead of time, only the Bottom 2/3. I’m not sure if I believe that, but at any rate, I think he tipped his hand in his interview this week. That’s why I love his post-performance interview. Clues, baby.
I was thrilled that tonight’s show was only a half hour. I love the quick eliminations. And no crappy musical guests either. Which meant the Top 5 performed a group sing. YAY! Except that song–holy crap, what was that song? It was called “We Are One” and was written for something called the British Commonwealth Games. Ewww. This was yer typical Idol puppies-flowerz-there’s-a-pot-of-gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow-if-you-only-dare-reach-for-the-starz-and-OMG-we-r-one cliched cornball crud-fest. Actually, this song is exactly the kind of tune the winner will have to sing at the finale. So, get practicing kids!
Unfortunately, this song was merely bad-bad, not so-bad-it’s-good-bad. Am I making sense? I don’t mean the singing was terrible, either. The singing was good. Except when that choir joined them on stage. Like Bandzilla? (The AI House band is LOUD) How about Choirzilla? (Ditto) At that point, the entire number turned into a big, goopy bowl of schlock. The song was just really, really banal. And no pointy pose either. Not even a giggle. That was not fun.
Another cute one. I mostly really like the commercials this year. In this one, the kids tour Hollywood in a Ford, to the tune of “Hollywood Swingers”. And then at the end, they inexplicably get out of the car dressed in weird outfits. Pretty random.
Simon cites a poll that he claims says 78% of viewers value his opinion. This recent poll said 58%. Reading comprehension problem, Simon?
After the break, Ryan tells the audience that there’s a private jet waiting to “whisk” the remaining contestants to Graceland, home of Elvis! There, they will participate in a special “Elvis Workshop”. Strangely, this “workshop” will be run by skeery music mogul, Tommy Mottola, who I’m pretty sure had nothing to do with Elvis. Priscilla Presley will be on hand to take the kids on a tour of the house. Then, next Tuesday, each contestant will sing TWO Elvis tunes.
Ryan starts with Taylor Hicks. Who, of course, is safe. Next up, is Chris Daughtry. I am sitting at the edge of my seat! PSYCH! No I’m not. He, of course, is also safe. Next is the little princess, Paris Bennett, who, of course, is NOT safe.
Paris smiles and takes her place on the seal. Ryan asks her to sing “Kiss” and then Paris hands him her gum. The fact that she is chewing gum cracks me up. She performs the song competently, just like the night before. At the end of the number, Ryan runs up behind her to grab her mic pack, which has fallen off. Ryan running around behind Paris is pretty amusing.
After the break, it’s down to Elliott Yamin and Katharine McPhee for the next spot in the Bottom 2. They sit nervously together. Ryan tells Katharine she’s safe and she looks very surprised. Elliott takes his place on the seal. Ryan hands him the microphone, and Elliott proceeds to sing “On Broadway” as if it were the very last song he’ll ever sing on Idol. In other words, he sings the hell out of it. As it so often happens, this second performance, with the pressure off, is looser–more intense and compelling than the first. During his singout, Katharine is tearful. The camera keeps cutting to her.
After his song, Paris rejoins Elliott on the seal. They hug. They are both very gracious. Ryan says, “America voted, and Elliott…” Ok, here? I AM at the edge of my seat. Ryan puts his hand on Elliott’s shoulder. With a very concerned look on his face, he says, “You may sit down.”
You can breath now, Yaminions.
There are loud screams from the audience. Elliott smiles and nods, then hugs a smiling Paris. These kids are UNBELEIVABLY gracious. Everybody back on the couch looks extremely sad. After her goodbye clip rolls, Paris sings the show out.
Goodbye Princess P
I’m going to give the stock spiel I give every time one of the younguns is eliminated. Personally, I think the bottom age limit should be raised to 18. Each one of the young teenagers in the Top 24 could have benefited from a few more years of experience before auditioning for the show.
While Paris is an amazing talent, her performances were inconsistent. Although she has an incredible gift–on the show–she wasn’t always sure how to use it. When she was on, she was jaw-droppingly, stunningly, amazingly ON. But just as often as she was on, she would miss.
Bad song choices were often at the root of her less-than-stellar performances. And I think her problems all boiled down to her age. Paris had to pick her own songs. But at 17, she didn’t seem to know herself–or her talents–well enough to choose the right songs. She was lauded for her ability to change it up. But, instead of versatility, it seemed like she had yet to really nail down her own style.
At times, she sang songs that seemed too old for her. At one point, Simon said she was like a “wind up doll”–a girl playing grownup. But in Paris’s case, there was something more than superficial play-acting in her performances. Her best ones seemed to come from this completely other-worldly place. When at the top of her game, the little girl with the squeaky voice would take the stage, and out came the voice of an old soul. If Paris had waited a few years to audition, she could have killed. But as it is, she’ll finish school and then, if she wants it, go on to a very successful career.
Frankly, I was happy that Elliott made the cut tonight. Besides the fact that the Boy Can Sang–the dude’s a real-life Cinderella story. From karaoke bars to performing in front of millions–watching him evolve on this show has been one of this season’s pleasures.
I’m looking forward to the Elvis theme next week. The guys are all very diverse talents, and each one will bring something different to the table. And a female singing Elvis introduces a whole ‘nother twist. It should be a good week.