April 25, 2006

"American Idol" -- the final 6.

ADDED: If you're looking for the results of the latest show, click on the banner -- "Althouse" -- at the top of the page and scroll down to the newest "American Idol" post.

Katharine McPhee belts "I Have Nothing," and fortunately her yellow ball gown is tight enough to show a very visible panty line -- or we'd be super-slow-mo-ing the TiVo all night to try to figure out if we saw what we thought we saw when the dress flaps open in the end. Hey, even Paula's being mean to her. Everyone says: You're not Whitney. Only Ryan refers to the "great moves with that dress."

As they say on "Project Runway": too much tootie.

Elliott Yamin, "A Song for You." (The theme is love songs.) He wants to bring Donny Hathaway "back to the forefront" (and Hathaway's beautiful daughter, Kenya, is one of the background singers). Randy's right that the arrangement was confusing. Paula is weeping. "You move me." Hilarious. "You are a handsome, evolved performer." Simon's sniggering. At Paula. For Elliott: "Superb."

Kellie Pickler does "Unchained Melody." She seems almost afraid of the song. Simon: "So monotonous and so bland. No warmth."

Paris Bennett sings "The Way We Were." She is strong, but often weirdly phoney.

Taylor Hicks is doing a song I don't know, "Just Once." He's bellowing tonight. Too formal and un-fun. Not what we've come to expect from Hicksy.

And they saved my boy Chris for last.

Chris Daughtry. "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman." In the practice session, they get him to sing lying on the floor, apparently to activate the diaphragm. After his performance, they barely have enough time to fit the judges comments in, and I think Paula's going out of turn when she jumps up and does a "Love you love you love you" dance, but that turned out to be her chance. Strange! But my Chrissy was great! Wasn't he the only one who seemed to really be singing about love? Tell me have you ever really sung a love song?

Best: Chris! Second: Elliott. Last: all those others.

I forgot the most important question: Who will leave? The bottom three should be Katharine, Kellie, and Taylor. But that's quite unlikely. I think Elliott is in danger. Paris too. Just leave my Chris alone, America.


Jennifer said...

Wow, I just saw a screen shot (from the waist up only). And it may only be us ladies who notice anything as low as a pantyline.

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Icepick said...

Paula has been embarassing so far. She is really stinkin' drunk tonight. (Through Kelly at the time of comment.)

jinnmabe said...

You'd think in this day and age "you're not Whitney" would be a compliment. But seriously, are the singers supposed to stay away from all songs by famous singers because they're not them? You're not Freddy Mercury, you're not Frank Sinatra, you're not Whitney. It's just an odd critique.

Singer: How was my song?
Judge: I like Whitney.
Singer:Ok, that's great, how did I do?
Judge: Whitney was an amazing singer.

Jennifer said...

jinnmabe: I hear what you're saying. But, I just listened to the mp3 of Katharine's performance and I could hear Whitney in my head the whole time. Which, of course, detracts from Katharine. So, I think the judges have a point.

tiggeril said...

My theme for the night was: SHUT UP, PAULA.

My god, she's off the rails.

I still love Katharine and Chris.

jinnmabe said...

Explain to me why it detracts from Katharine (I know I sound like a homer here. I've made my peace with it). Did she sing well or not? If she sang it well, is it a strike against her that the judges (or you) feel nostalgia for Whitney? I guess I just don't get it. Was Katherine trying to do a Whitney impression? It didn't sound like it to me.

And yes, as a man, I was able to look away from the top of the dress for a few milliseconds. So there.

Ann Althouse said...

Jennifer said..."Wow, I just saw a screen shot (from the waist up only). And it may only be us ladies who notice anything as low as a pantyline."

Note the added italics. I'm not commenting on the pantyline, but on the fact that the dress came open at one point and revealed what should not have been revealed.

katiebakes said...


Fair point, although I think that when you choose a song that is so fully owned by another, you run the risk of being compared note-by-note. I think that's what happened to Katherine tonight.


Ann Althouse said...

Katharine sang in a harsh, ugly way. She "oversang" -- to use the judges' word. They say she was off-key. I can't say that myself. I just notice an ugly edge to it, but I assume I'm picking up the bad pitch.

Jennifer said...

Ohhhhhhhhh...thanks for the clarification. She often seems a heartbeat away from a wardrobe malfunction and I guess she closed the gap tonight!

I just listened to Chris and that dragged me back! I swear I felt like a teenager! And aside from that general sexiness, he did seem to be the only one singing about love.

Jennifer said...

jinnmabe: When my mind is playing back someone else singing instead of the current performer, how good can the current performer be, currently? Boy that sounds like a tongue twister.

Don't get me wrong, I really like Katharine. And I think she's gorgeous.

Doug said...

You and I haven't been on the same page most weeks. But for this week:

Best: Chris! Second: Elliott.

Unquestionably correct. Minor correction for:

Last: all those others

The last was unquestionably The Pickler. There was quite a stratification this week from Chris/Elliot to Katharine/Taylor/Paris to The Pickler. Goes without saying, The Pickler will stay regardless.

Dawn said...

I missed tonight (chick golf with the daughter), but from what the spouse said about Chris is what everyone here said as well. What's the URL of that site where you can watch the performances.

I was a little worried about Chris tonight, but apparently I didn't need to be.

Think this moves him closer to the Big Enchilada, Ann?

Jennifer said...

Bunkergurl: http://www.rickey.org/

He has the mp3s up already. The videos will probably be up by tomorrow.


It takes them a little longer. But, once they get the videos up, they include the pre-performance interview, the performance and the judges comments.

Tim Sisk said...

The Katherine criticism is just confusing to me. I'm not familiar with Whitney nor the song, so perhaps that's why. But I thought she did a really good job. And I was watching with my wife so I wasn't too entranced with the visual.

But Chris really wasn't that good to me for the same reason that everybody is heaping on Katherine. All I could hear was how unfavorably he compared to Bryan Adams with the bonus detraction of it being a pretty easy song to sing!

Word verification oyoczk!

Ann Althouse said...

Bryan Adams really is pretty good, isn't he? I saw him in concert once, back in the 80s. He was one of the great 80s artists. "Run to You" -- that's a powerful, dangerous song.

Tim Sisk said...

Yeah, Bryan Adams is what the 80's were about for me (though I don't believe I ever owned an album of his).

After ragging on Chris, though I should observe of few things about him:

1) He isn't the best singer IMO, but his voice is clearly the most "recordable" of the final six: meaning I think he performs like a CD will sound...I'm always disappointed when an artist's live show isn't nearly as good as their studio work. Chris definitely won't have that problem.

2) He is an absolute genius about picking the best songs of the genre assigned to them for him, his voice, and his image. He hasn't had to stretch himself (which has been a criticism) but then again, the afore mentioned Bryan Adams never did either and as Ann says, "really is pretty good".

Jennifer said...

Tim: You're right on, so far. But you forgot:

3) Sexy as hell.

reader_iam said...


Hecla Ma said...

Chris and Elliot definately took the night. I've never been a Bryan Adams fan and I cringed when I heard what song Chris has chosen, but damn, the boy sang it well, and made me SEE what was good in the song...also, he very clearly LISTENED to the advice he was given, and applied it. He really SANG, as opposed to just performing, and yes, Ann nailed it - he's the only one who seemed to know what he was singing about.

Elliot, on the other hand - maybe not as communicative as Chris, but he's got the pipes, and he is comfortable with difficult music. I was immensely impressed with both of them, tonight.

Katharine was gorgeous, but the song was too much for her. Taylor Hicks surprised me, I thought he'd play it safe and sing Joe Cocker's "You are so beautiful" which would have been his genre...instead he chose "Just Once," and he was as rotten as he always is when he moves away from his "soul patrol" schtick. He looked apprehensive and just plain uncomfortable with the song.

Which, oddly enough, made me almost like him, for the very first time. I can respect someone who knows they're stinking up the joint.


Hecla Ma said...

Whoops, misspelled 'definitely', sorry.

Must be the vapors from Chris...

Ruth Anne Adams said...

RIA: Rhymes with "prissy" and "sissy"....just the way Simon was acting tonight

vnjagvet said...

Charisma, Charisma, Charisma. Isn't that the eventual indispensable quality?

Chris has had it. That is for sure.

And then in Charisma order for me are Kelly (which is why a lousy performance tonight will not cause elimination), Paris, Taylor, Elliot (despite a great performance tonight and wonderful musicianship overall) and Katherine (who is very attractive and has a fine voice, but is Charisma challenged for me).

Hecla Ma said...

btw, my DH and I both thought Paris sounded pretty Gladys Knightish tonight.

Which is a good thing, because we like Gladys Knight!

jinnmabe said...

She "oversang"

Well, if that's true, then I can see why she'd be compared to Whitney Houston. I mean, come on, Whitney's whole schtick was "oversinging" as it is defined by American Idol judges. I think the song required it, but I guess I see where you're coming from.

Yes, Katharine's dress came open for a brief second, showing clearly that she is no commando.

Katherine (who is very attractive and has a fine voice, but is Charisma challenged for me).

Maybe charisma is a male/female sexual thing, because I think Katherine's drowning in it, while the Pickler leaves me a few penguins short of the South Pole (North Pole? I always forget). And Chris, I don't sense any particular charisma from him.

SteveR said...

Katharine took a chance that she did not need to take.

Elliott sounded good but I thought it was boring. Ok he can sing..

Kellie- she has peaked and is now fading, Unchained Melody is way better than that.

Paris just doesn't fit the song, she should have been criticized (like Katharine) for the "you're not Barbra" only times 10.

Taylor doesn't do serious very well

Chris, yes picked a good song, unlike anyone else.

Paula get a grip!

Bye Kellie, it has to be.

jinnmabe said...

Let me clarify something: I did not enjoy Katherine's singing, not because it wasn't well done, but because I hate, hate, hate that song. I really hope that isn't the kind of music she chooses to do. I also hope she loses so that she doesn't have a crap career (Kelly notwithstanding).

Uncle Mikey said...

Apparently Paris did the Glady version of TWWW. I had no idea but enjoyed it. Enjoyed Katharine who was quite good IMO, and my wife was the one who insisted I go back and slomo to confirm her belief that panties made an appearance, I swear.

Hans Gruber said...

Pickler should be out but who knows with voters.

Katherine was actually the best of the night; but I guess you just can't win when you pick a song like that.

Safe: Katherine, Chris, Elliot

Off: Pickler (or should be).

LoafingOaf said...

Bryan Adams really is pretty good, isn't he? I saw him in concert once, back in the 80s. He was one of the great 80s artists. "Run to You" -- that's a powerful, dangerous song.

One of the great artists of the 80s?? A dangerous song??? I'm drunk so maybe some facetiousness is going over my head? You're joking, right?????

PatCA said...

I became a fan of Chris tonight. He really was the best, completely in control and in love, while the others were struggling. Even Elliot jazzed up a great torch song too much. Listen to Leon Russell's version!

Paris and Katherine were technically okay but again out of sync. And I think it's Kellie's time to go. She's just out of her league now, but she'll have a great career somewhere.

Michael Farris said...

Just listened to the mp3s.

Katherine: Bad, bad, bad. She really doesn't know how to make material her own and relies on a bunch of poorly executed tricks. But, she's got a great rack and for most guys that's gonna be enough (I have no idea if AI has much of a gay following, but she's the closest to thing to a diva left, so she probably gets support from that quarter too). And Ann, for most guys, there's no such thing as 'too much tootie'. As awful as it was, I'd say she's safe.

Elliot: Musically the best of the night. Wasn't this the song he used in the open audition? But not his best. There was far too much soulifyin' (this song works best as deadpan as possible, it's about the impossibility of sincere performance after all). But in terms of musicanship he's head and shoulders above the rest.
Unfortunately, he's not attractive to most women and not studly enough for most men to be able to identify with him. Danger, danger, danger.

Paris: Wrong song, wrong song, wrong song. A 17 year old has no business singing this. She's just plain not ready yet for the big leagues. She needs to sing in small venues for a few years first. Amazing potential, but not there yet. I foresee her exit, soon.

Kelli: Not as awful as I'd feared, but bad. Still, she got about ten seconds of good stuff in toward the end before chickening out or losing focus or whatever. She's outlived her talent level on the show, but is probably safe.

Taylor: As they say in Mexico, triste. I'm sure you can go into any karaoke bar and find 12 people who can do that about as well as he did. Very poor choice of material that shows up his greatest weakness: he's a performer, not a singer.

Chris: Pprn for women, this was the musical equivalent of a steamy romance novel. Shrewd choice of material and done about as well as it could be, with just the right amount of testosterone charge in the voice. He is so safe (if enough women vote that is, I can't imagine this getting many votes from guys at. all.)

1 - vacant
2 (ex aqueo) Elliot, Chris
3 - vacant
4 - Paris
5 - Kelli, Taylor
6 - Katherine

jinnmabe said...

Katherine does have a great rack. But to say she's the worst singer of the group, that's just dumb.

word verification:furcat. I kid you not.

Troy said...

I think Paula is stepping up to the Vike -- Vicodin for dancer's pain does not mix with the bottle of Merlot she had with dinner.

Pickler has to go. She used "robotic" correctly in a sentence tonight -- she's playing the Hee-Haw Honey schtick too much. Fake sincerity and litle talent. The minx must go. If not her, then Paris. Kat will stay for now, the crotch shot will be Tivo'd endlessly in a sort of Tom Cruise (speaking of Cruise's "Kat") in All the Right Moves (for women of a certain vintage) "was it or wasn't it?" quest.

Telecomedian said...

re: Hans Gruber

Excellent name - how many people get the reference?

re: the performances

Poor lil' Pickler looked as comfortable singing that song as Anne Coulter at a NOW rally.

Matt Brown said...

What are all you people doing watching "American Idol"? Don't you know it's TV-Turnoff Week? Turn off your TVs!

Matt Brown said...

What are all you people doing watching "American Idol"? Don't you know it's TV-Turnoff Week? Turn off your TVs!

Icepick said...

Telecomedian, I got the Hans Gruber reference, and I also think it's a great handle. Yippee-ki-yay....

Tristram said...

re: Hans Gruber

Excellent name - how many people get the reference?

Hmmm, that was in FMC last night, uncensored. That is a fine, fine movie. Not a film, but as entertaining to watch as anything I have ever seen.

But I hear his brother is a jackass, too.

Anyway, I am a guy, and I noticed the panty lines before my wife. Though, embarassing, I just thought she was oddly shaped. (I said almost those exact words, and something along of line of she has some weird bumps around her hips...but then my wife wears clothes that fit [and a bra], so I don't see people dressed like that much...)

Anyway, Chris was very good. Him singing a Bryan Adams song is kinda chicken -- under normal circumestances. This genre did not give him or his style a lot of choices (Seriously, how many of these songs could he have sung?) So, this and "What a Wonderful World" have been pleasantly, sruprisingly, better than I hoped from him.

I on most nights, I really do think he is the only one who sings with passion, like singing means something to him. Most of the others have better 'instruments', but look at their eyes when they sing. They are worried/dead/concentrating on the mechanics of singing, not on communicating the song. Katharine and Taylor are the next best, but even then it seems more like show person's tricks rather than honestly, truly, passionately singing the song.

As for who should go:
Kellie. Please. Pretty please. If she doesn't go after the last 2 weeks, I think there should be an investigation.

SteveR said...

Ann: Please clarify. You said regarding Chris' song choice

"Bryan Adams really is pretty good, isn't he? I saw him in concert once, back in the 80s. He was one of the great 80s artists."

Yet last month you slammed Elliott for singing "Heaven" by Bryan Adams ("ACK"). Just the song right?

Ann Althouse said...

stever: Good catch. I realized after I wrote that that I'd said that other thing. Here's my explanation. Transported back to the 80s, I liked Bryan Adams. In the present, I have more distance on him. He's very 80s, if I'm in the mood for 80s nostalgia. Plus, I don't think "Heaven" is great. I never liked that "Loved a Woman" song either. I liked "Run to You." An inadequate explanation, I admit.

SteveR said...

Well I can understand, I generally like hearing his music, but some is better than others. When I saw the comment last night, I had remembered something from before that I actually took the time to find.

My wife and I always get a kick out of "Diana" (whatcha doing with a guy like him?) supposedly about Di and Charles.

Glenn Howes said...

From South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut:

"This is not the first troublesome thing to come out of Canada, let us not forget Bryan Adams"

"Now, Now, The Canadian government has apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions"


Actually, Have You Ever Loved a Woman is one of my favorite songs. I love the line about seeing your unborn children in her eyes.

Dawn said...

Just watched the performances on rickey, and was so impressed with Chris' performance. One of the earlier posters mentioned that he sang like he meant the lyrics, which was how I saw it was well.

Too bad about Kellie, I like the Pickler, but how think she won't make the top three.

And what is up with Paula? Something ain't right, and I'm thinking somebody might have a CD problem going on.

Ann Althouse said...

"And what is up with Paula?"

I think she's being a character. She'd be boring if she behaved herself. I love the interplay between her and Simon. It's hilarious.

Leland said...

I hope people are knowledgable about "Vote For the Worst". I think last season, they were an impact throught the top 5. Kellie is their choice.

I hate the concept, but in some ways, it puts pressure on #1 to be that much better to overcome the starting deficit created by VFTW.

Nathan said...

Paula is either drunk or high -- or both. I'm convinced.

Ginna said...

Regardless of how they performed last night, did anyone else notice that David Foster seemed to be already planning out the recordings he will make with Katherine and Chris?

It seemed pretty clear that he thought they were the most saleable of the group. I'm not a huge fan of the music he makes in general, but the guy unquestionably knows what will sell.

Harkonnendog said...

Donny Hathaway- How in the hell have I never heard of this guy!??!!?


Wow... is it possible that this guy will stand alongside Boz Scaggs, Al Green, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Elton John - on the top rung?

Or even a step below alongside Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Billy Joel, and so on?

Maybe a bit lower, with Sting... We'll see, but it is very exciting to have found a new great singer with an entire library to discover and enjoy.