Wednesday, April 05, 2006

American Idol-Country Week

No one can ever say country music is easy, and our nine American Idol finalists realized that this week!

There were several surprises, but not all of them were positive surprises.

Taylor started out singing, "Take Me Home, Country Roads." It was Taylor's WORST performance. Enough to possibly land him in the bottom three if callers look at this single performance with their vote. I'm not sure what Taylor was thinking. He seemed to just call it in. He comes from the South and has a southern accent, and country singing, especially if he picked a bluesy-type ballad, should have worked for him. This song didn't help his chances. Let's hope folks don't just call in votes based on this week alone, or Taylor should rightly be out of here. I would miss him if he left the performance this early. I told my husband last night, as much as Taylor called in his performance, perhaps he just wants to go home. Maybe he misses the gigs he was doing before the AI contest, or thinks he doesn't like where things are going. Who knows? Just very un-Taylor like of him.

Mandisa's outfit choice was not the best thing, especially with the camera angles. I love Mandisa, and want her to shine every time so she can come down to the finals! Her song, "Every Man of Mine" was believable and definitely not "boring." (Simon mentioned almost every song was boring, but not this one!) There were a few pitch problems, but she "worked it out" to use Randy's phrase. She should be safe this week.

Paris struggled with singing "How Do I Live Without You" in the low end of her range. She had some pitch problems in the beginning and end. The middle of the song was much better because it was in the comfort zone part of her range. Simon told her she did well, but I think when he watches the show ever he will see she wasn't as spot-on as he thought. If people vote JUST on this performance, she might be in the bottom three.

Chris was out of his element, but STILL put on a good show, and convinced me he meant what he was singing in "Making Memories of Us." I couldn't help but wonder if he had dedicated the song to his wife, and his heart was singing out to her. His eyes are soooo intense when he sings. He confessed that he dug down into his country roots to get the inspiration for this song, since he is more comfortable singing rock.

Elliott sang "If Tomorrow Never Comes" with so much heart that I believed he meant every word. He was smart to pick a soft ballad to show off his vibrato. But he changed it up enough to make it his own. I loved his version of the song. Elliott should be safe from the bottom 3 this week.

Bucky-I thought should have been #2 best this week, in the country category, but after hearing him, I won't go that far with my brags. He was told by the judges last week to work on his enuncication. I understood his words last week. But this week, it sounded like he had marbles in his mouth. Kenny Rogers even warned him to over enunciate, because people aren't familiar with the song. He also has trouble singing the ends of his song phrases, partly due to range problems, but mostly due to running out of air. He did a good job interpreting the song ("The Best I Ever Had"), and he seemed much more comfortable with this type of song. I'm just not sure it was good enough to keep him out of the bottom three.

Ace was one of the positive surprises tonight. He has been in the bottom three, but should not be there this week. He completely expressed the emotions (emoted) in the song "I Wanna Cry." He was convincing and tender. He was smart to show his ability to go into his falsetto. And his vibratto shined.

Kellie was no surprise. She was back on track with her vocals as well as her stage presence. And her outfit was perfect for her. She just got it all right this week! She struggled a little on the low notes, but I think they sometimes have to start lower than their best range so that they can reach to those high notes later in the song and be comfortable. If they start out higher, the high notes would be in the ionosphere. I have a feeling Kellie had personal experience living the life of the song, "Fancy."

Katharine was gorgeous as always, but more important, she is the one who totally convinced me she was having FUN on stage, as she sang "Bringing Out The Elvis." This should NOT have been her category, since she has a trained voice and typically they train you NOT to sing with the nasal intonation and twang of a country song. But she picked a soulful, bluesy country song and made it her own (this is what Taylor should have done). Katharine's performance was another pleasant surprise for me. She didn't like being in the bottom 3 last week, and she made sure she gave 100% this week.

I have a feeling we might lose the wrong person this week, if people vote solely on this week's performance.

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