Oh, yeah, I am here, ready to blog the guys. Sorry, I had to talk on the telephone. Now, to the TiVo.
Patrick Hall. "Come to My Window." Relaxed and elegant, I think. But Randy accuses him of being nervous, and he concedes it. Paula says something incoherent. Then we see a shot of a man and a woman in the audience. I assume these are his parents. But, oh my lord, the woman has the largest artificially inflated lips I have ever seen! I rewind and pause. I'm looking at them now. I'm shocked and appalled.... and yet, I cannot look away!
David Radford. He's trying to be Frank Sinatra. And he's 17. "A Crazy Little Thing Called Love." He's a kid, acting the role of an adult. Is there something wrong with that? It's a crazy little thing. But I'm sympathetic. Is there some other way to become a man? Randy thinks it's phony and terrible: "This is like some kind of act." Paula feels the womanly feeling. We like him! Simon sees it as "a bit of a joke," but he thinks "the audience at home" -- my translation: women! -- will like him.
Woozy and southern, it's Bucky Covington. We here in Wisconsin kinda like your first name. Ooh! He's the new Bo! He sings Skynyrd. But it's so cheesy and gutteral. I don't see how a guy can do this out in the bright lights, without a band all around him. Randy: "Cool." Paula: "You're growing. It's like a whole journey for you." Simon: "I like the fact that you're just very raw... Having said that..." Ryan: "This is a real guy right here."
Will Makar. He's 16. I love this boy. Don't hurt him! He's singing a Jackson 5 song, "I Want You Back." Great song! Very karaoke. You feel the intense voice of Michael Jackson that is missing here. Randy: "I was like, yeah, all right." Paula: "You remind me of Bobby Brady. It was Bobby Brady." Simon: "Okay. The reality check.... Unfortunately, vocally, it was completely and utterly average."
Can we accept a bald contestant? It's Sway (Jose Penala). He's singing the Earth, Wind and Fire song that his parents fell in love to. We see his parents grooving. It's all falsetto, horrifyingly so, then mellow, and I almost want to like him. Randy: "Dude!" Paula: "Amazing!" They like the falsetto. Simon: "We're really on a different page tonight. I thought it was a really pimpy..." Paula screams.
Chris Daughtrey. He's bald too. They use the fire background for him, which is always bad luck. "Wanted, Dead or Alive." He belts it with a nice raspiness. Paula gives him a standing O. Randy: "Great recording voice." Paula: "I've been wowed by you from day one." Simon: "Now, I'm hearing somebody with potential." Ryan: "Simon's starting to go to the happy place."
Kevin Corvais. He's 16. And nerdy. Really, really nerdy. Maybe this is what Karl Maulden looked like when he was a boy. Singing, he looks 5. We see his mother. I know exactly how she feels: an intense, deep joy. "I guess I'm down to my last cry." Randy: "You're such an honest, real kid." Paula: "You know how I feel about you: squish." His response: a Gomer smile and a readjustment of his glasses. Simon: "I apologize America. Kevin, I like you, but..."
Gedeon McKinney. He announces the song, "Shout," in a weirdly theatrical way. "Come on now. Don't forget to say you will." Hey, he's great, with great pop feeling. "You've been good, better than I've been to myself." The way he sings that, I interpret the lyric in a way that I never did before. Randy: "Good.... I was absolutely entertained." Paula: "I totally was thrown for a loop." Simon: "It was as if I was watching the warm-up for the Chippendales."
Elliot Yamin. I'm sorry. Beard without a mustache? No, no, no, no, no. Is that belt buckle an audio cassette? He admits he's karaoke, doing the Stevie Wonder song that the karaoke kids back home request. But he's clean and good. Still, he's the least attractive of the guys. And that's including Kevin! Randy: "Another hot one." Paula: "Effortless. You just have fun." Simon: "Potentially, you are the best male voalist we've ever had."
Bobby Bennett. He's singing "Copa Cabana." No, it's not possible. No. Look away!
Ace Young. He's singing "Father Figure." He likes George Michael. Apparently, this man sees something sacred in my eyes! I will be your father figure ≈ I will be your Constantine. Randy: "Star. And can sing." Paula: "All of the girls, and a lot of my guy friends too..." Simon: "Really, really good."
And for last, they've saved Taylor Hicks. He's singing "Levon." Beautiful! "He calls his child Jesus, because he likes the name." Paula: "Everything just exudes from you." Paula's all passionate, professing her love. Randy chimes in: "There's never been anyone on the show in five years like you." Simon: "I said in the beginning.. that I didn't think you should make the finals. I was wrong." Can I go back to the lyrics? "Alvin Tostig has a son today." What's with that name? Tostig? My grandmother's maiden name was Tausig, so I always heard Tausig. But Tausig/Tostig -- it's such a specific name, in a song where Jesus is highlighted as a good name. What's with that? I've been wondering for decades!
But back to generalities: The guys!