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Wednesday March 22, 2006 8:19 pm

American Idol 5: Final 12 - Week 2

Taylor HicksTonight the contestants had to become familiar with tunes from way before they were born.  Songs from the 50’s.  Luckily, they were helped through their journey by a great vocal coach—the one and only Barry Manilow.  Bobby Bennett’s grandmother must be kicking herself right now.  Was he able to get a show-stopping performance out of them? Check out our thoughts, after the jump.



MANDISA
SONG: “I Don’t Hurt Anymore”/ Dinah Washington
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION: Very fun song to start with.  Very impressed with Mandisa’s appearance tonight… she definitely looks the part.  The tune definitely gets to showcase her vocal chops.
JUDGES NOTES: Randy says he’s speechless… says that it was a classy, great way to start the night.  Paula says that Mandisa took her right back to the 50’s.  Simon says that Mandisa is blossoming.  He was impressed by her ‘very sexy’ performance.

BUCKY COVINGTON
SONG: “Oh Boy”/ Buddy Holly
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION: I don’t know what it is.. but I just love him!  He has such a raspy voice, but he’s such a doll for attempting such a ‘cute’ song.  The judges may not appreciate what may be deemed as a safe choice, but I hope they notice that he’s stepping out of his box.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy and Paula both thought it was a great song choice.. a perfect tune for him.  Simon thought it was nothing more than a pointless karaoke choice.  Simon - I’ve heard pointless karaoke choices (many performed by me).. and that wasn’t it.

PARIS BENNETT
SONG: “Fever”/ Peggy Lee
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION: The voice coming out right now just doesn’t sound like Paris.  It sounds 10x older than her.  I’ve never been a huge Paris fan, but I think this is her best performance thus far.  And on a side note—the bright yellow dress looks great on her!  Omigawd—I just saw Constantine standing next to Ryan Cabrera.  I’m having a hard time deciding whose hair I hate more.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy thought she ‘blew it out the box’.  Paula thought she was impeccable.  Simon thought she did what she does best.

CHRIS DAUGHTRY
SONG: “Walk the Line”/ Johnny Cash
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION: It just occurred to me that Chris looks like a cross between Joey Lawrence and Ricky Martin sans the hair.. and it’s freaking me out.  He definitely did an interesting twist to the song.  But I must say that I’m still bitter about this Red Hot Chili Peppers rip off from last week… so I’m little nervous about saying he made it his own.  If it truly was an original, then I give him props.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy didn’t think it was the best vocally, but he appreciated him changing the song up.  Paula adores him for staying true to who he is.  Simon thinks he is the first artist on the show who has refused to compromise.  Gag me.

KATHARINE MCPHEE
SONG:  “Come Rain or Come Shine”/ Ella Fitzgerald
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  What is up with her super-dramatic opening?  If she wants to be a torch-song singer, then fine.  But this is American Idol, honey.  Take your drama somewhere else.  Her fake cutesiness is really getting on my nerves.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy didn’t think it was her best performance, but thought it was really strong.  Paula thought that she will sail through the competition.  Simon thinks that she turned into a star tonight.  He thought she turned out a real seasoned performance.

TAYLOR HICKS
SONG:  “Not Fade Away”/ Buddy Holly
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  Yes, his dancing sucks and his suit is a little too flashy.. but damn it all, he’s a performer!  This song didn’t give him a lot of opportunity to show off his range—it was pretty monotonous—but he still sounded great.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy didn’t think the song was very challenging, but he was pleased by his performance.  Paula thought he was fantastic.  Simon thought it was a hideous party performance.

LISA TUCKER
SONG: “Why Do Fools Fall In Love”/ The Supremes
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  She started off very weak and off-tune.  She also didn’t seem to have any breath control.  I think she actually lost her voice at several points during the song.  Definitely the biggest disappointment of the evening.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy thought it was a good song choice, but he wasn’t very impressed.  Paula appreciated the youthfulness that Lisa brought to the evening.  Simon thought it was okay, but he was reminded of high school musical.

KEVIN COVAIS
SONG: “When I Fall In Love”/ Nat King Cole
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  First off—I hate it when people sit down on the stage.  Secondly, his arms need long-sleeved shirts.  Thirdly—take your hand out of your pocket!!!!  As for his singing?  Simon’s right. There are a lot of high school performances out there tonight.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy just can’t help but like him.  Paula thinks he’s got a lot of moxie… enough to carry him through the competition.  Simon thinks his ‘audience’ is going to love that song.  Not that that’s a good thing.

ELLIOTT YAMIN
SONG:  “Teach Me Tonight”/ Al Jarreau
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  I can’t stand the way he says ‘learn’.  Luuhrn.  The song overall was quite uneventful, but I thought he did well despite the arrangement. 
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy thought there were some rough spots, but thought he tackled the level of difficulty.  Elliott ‘moved’ Paula. Quite an accomplishment.  Simon thought his singing was fantastic.

KELLIE PICKLER
SONG: “Walking After Midnight”/ Patsy Cline
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  Let’s face it, this song was made for her.  But what is up with her weird facial expressions?  Let’s just hope that she manages to find a song in every genre that’s just right for her.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy thought she was great.  Paula thought she was a ‘tigress’.  Simon thought she got it absolutely right.

ACE YOUNG
SONG:  “In The Still of the Night”/ The Five Satins
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  This breathy, jazzy rendition of the song reminds me of the Al B. Sure!s of the 80’s… and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.  Does anyone know where Al B. Sure! is now??
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy thought that Ace ‘was back’.  Paula thought it was his sexiest performance of the season.  Simon thought it was a hell of a lot better than last week.


EDITOR’S NOTE:  Although I still don’t think that Kevin should be here… I have a feeling that Lisa Tucker will be the one to go.

(You can find all the American Idol 5 posts here.)

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