I was unable to complete my video capture of last night's "American Idol," owing to technical and time constraints. Unless faithful Robbie pulls my bacon out of the fire today, I might give it another go this evening.
But for now, I do have this:
It says so much.
I mean, really, now. Just when I think Ace Young has reached a cheesy new nadir, he somehow manages to plumb heretofore uncharted, cheddary depths. He chose "standards" night to come out looking like Gordon Gecko, a strangely macho choice when contrasted with his puny falsetto. Sorry, Randy, it might be Ace's bread and butter, but that's only because he can't sing in a normal register. He should be gone tonight, but won't be, for at least two reasons.
The first is Kellie Pickler. Wooo-WEE, did she stink up the joint last night! She could have had another hour looking around the studio, and she still wouldn't have found the pitch. But maybe that's because she was too busy searching for the accompaniment, which she was about two beats ahead of near the end of her song. I'm trying to remember the last time a finalist blew a performance so badly this late in the game. For this back-stretch swoon alone, she should be sent walking. But I doubt she will be.
That's all because of Elliott Yamin. Poor Elliott. Poor, powerful-voiced yet tragically vanilla Elliott. His performance was better than most (i.e., Kellie, Ace, Paris, and possibly Taylor), but it was subpar for him. With that mug and his charisma deficit, he will probably get the boot tonight. It will be unfair, of course, but I think that Kellie's stunning outfit and Idol "look" will be enough to get her ditzy ass through to next week.
Is Kellie's country bumpkin routine really a ruse, though, as even Ryan suspects? She seemed genuinely perplexed whether "words" and "lyrics" were synonyms. UPDATE: I was just reminded of when Kellie told Rod Stewart that he had "taken a load off [her] chest," followed by Stewart's dumb-founded expression, and Kellie's complete lack of comphrension at the double-entendre she had just stumbled into.
Ironically, even though I generally enjoyed the performances last night as a group more than any out of the final 12, it has revealed this season's Achilles' heel. The fact that the contestants were able to excel in a genre that dates back some 60 years shows just how weak they have been at the kind of modern music that will ultimately be demanded of the winner.
My final three: The only two I believe genuinely deserve to win are Chris Daughtry (who looked extremely hot in a bad-boy way that was somewhat blunted by a goofy ascot) and Katharine McPhee (who gave me goosebumps). I would prefer the former but would be happy with the latter. However, I think voters will place Taylor Hicks ahead of at least Daughtry, if not McPhee as well. That Simon Cowell is finally saying nice things about Taylor suggests that the haughty Brit knows which way the wind is blowing.
UPDATE: Robbie very kindly cut and uploaded some video highlights. So I guess now I can call this post "A Malcontent Joint."
[Watch video – 9:00, WMV format, high bandwidth]
[Watch video – 9:00, WMV format, low bandwidth]