Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Something Old, Something New

Or in Taylor Hicks' case, Something Old and Something Older.

This week's Idol was supposed to have two themes - Songs From The Year You Were Born and Songs From Today's Billboard Charts. It's supposed to be an old song and a new song. Except that Taylor decided to do an old song and an older song, using the Chris Daughtry method of getting around theme nights. His song from his birth year was "Play That Funky Music", and his "today" song was "Something" by The Beatles, which is on some obscure chart for older music. Actually, for all we know, "Something" WAS from the year he was born because he IS a 42-year old man, after all!

Anyway, Taylor brought back his inner Elaine for "Play That Funky Music", and his "Something" really wasn't vocally impressive to me. The tone of his voice on that song sounded strange. I think Taylor had a big misstep tonight by not doing a current song because he reminded the producers and 19E that he doesn't have much (or any) relevance in today's music scene. If they were trying to sabotage him before, they'll surely do it again in the near future so they don't get "stuck" with him as the winner.

The sabotage may come sooner rather than later, though, because their Chosen One, Chris Daughtry, may be fading. The affects of all those weeks of screaming his songs (with maybe two or three exceptions) are starting to take its toll on his voice. After a good version of Styx's "Renegade", Chris followed up with a scream-fest on "I Dare You", which started out as a song that might have a nice melody but unwisely turned into "What If, Part Deux". Chris' voice just died on him on this song, with off-key screaming and cracking.

Speaking of off-key, Katharine McPhee was REALLY off-key on her first song "Against All Odds", but then she tore up the stage on her finale, singing KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" on her knees and barefoot in jeans. I didn't think Kat had it in her to do this song, but she was terrific and most likely saved herself.

The bottom two will probably be Elliott Yamin and Paris Bennett, the two best singers in the competition. But, as we all know, this isn't exclusively a singing competition. Elliott did a bland "On Broadway" for his first song and then "Home" by Michael Buble for his second. I LOVE "Home" and I love Elliott's voice, but I don't exactly love Elliott's voice on "Home", although it was nicely done. Elliott's voice is not quite soft and wistful enough for the song, and none of his performances were quite memorable enough, good or bad, to bring in the big votes. Same with Paris. She did Prince's "Kiss", which I thought was going to be a trainwreck but ended up being sassy and cute, then finished with "Be Without You" by Mary J Blige, which she tore up vocally. While her contemporary song was really great, I think she would have been better off singing "SOS" to get those tween votes that Pickler used to get.

Paris is most likely going to be outta here tomorrow. Especially if the Idol curse holds up. Every contestant who has performed second in the Top 5 show since the second season has been eliminated. But then again, Elliott made the unfortunate choice of singing two songs with negative lyrics - "they say I won't last too long on Broadway" and "let me go home ... I wanna come home".


Lisa said...

You make some good points here, Liza. Last night was a night that had ups and downs-I found that no two performers had back to back awesome songs at all. Then again, there never seems to be that case on any of the Idol shows-I remember Bo had that same problem as well. I agree with you entirely about Taylor-he did not market himself as anything than an entertainer last night, but with other peoples OLD music. He is totally worn off on me because he is the famous one trick pony.

Your point about Elliot singing songs with cursive lyrics is also true..then again, if Scotty Savol could make it alive with On Broadway and hit another week, Elliot is SURE to go. I am just worried that Fox will want another man out this week because last week we had a female go..this keeping with an equal amount of boys to girls. Taylor should be the one to go, but don't be surprised if poor Elliot gets hit hard.

This has been a tough year so far...everyone is good but nobody is completely the BOMB on every single song they sing!

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