Tonight on American Idol, we're "treated" to songs from the 21st century. So, theoretically, we're going to get a chance to see how these singers will stack up to their contemporaries in the "real world". In this case, though, it's more like how they WON'T stack up.
After this set of performances, it seems as if only one person has the chops to record a Top 40 hit, and that's Paris Bennett. She sang Beyonce's "Work It Out" and, simply, worked it out. She not only has the vocal prowess but the stage presence as well. Girlfriend can dance! (Although it kind of creeped me out when she said "thank you" to Paula's suggestion that she could join the Pussycat Dolls right now).
Chris Daughtry can have a hit in the music world - if this were still the 90's, when Kurt Cobain was still alive and Scott Stapp was successful and not getting arrested or being a total bitch. Chris sang "What If" by Creed, and I think he took things just a little too far. The screaming and especially the scary looks into the camera probably lost him a good chunk of votes. He may as well have sung Marilyn Manson the way he was scaring the old folks at home. Yikes.
Ace Young is another one who could have had a hit back in the late 90's. He is boy band material all the way with that wispy voice of his. When he walked out on stage, I snickered because he so did not look the part of hearthrob. The ugly shirt half tucked in and the flat hair ... it was akin to Justin walking out in those ugly-ass clown pants on 70's night in season 1. Funny thing is, as bad as Ace looked tonight, I thought he sounded much better than usual. But it's crazy how nervous the boy is. He doesn't have the Camile Velasco deer in the headlights look, but he shakes!
Other than Paris, the ones I thought fared best tonight were Taylor Hicks and Mandisa. Taylor is so much more tolerable when he isn't spazzing, and he was wise to pick a song that people couldn't make comparisons to. Mandisa joined Paris in the great stage presence department, and while her vocals weren't perfect, they were still one of the best.
In danger of elimination are Lisa Tucker, who foolishly picked Kelly Clarkson's most emotionally personal song and then chopped it up to weird and misfit pieces, and Bucky Covington, who went for straight-up mumbling country. Kellie Pickler was really boring with her "gimmicky" (tm Simon) country song, but she has a huge fanbase, so I don't think she's even close to being in any danger. Lisa went first, so unless the kids voted for her just because she sang a really popular Kelly song, she's most likely gone.