Wednesday, March 8

Top 8 Guys (3/8/06)

Gedeon starts things off, and again we're learning something new & surprising from everyone in the video clips. Gedeon paints, and shows a picture of a globe combined with a record, because "Music makes the world go 'round." Gedeon sings "When a Man Loves a Woman." It's very good, not overdone but does show his vocal talent. I'm just not sure about the rest of his 'package,' with the strange enunciation & over-the-top ("OTT" - I have a feeling I'll be using that a lot tonight) personality. He said he chose the song because of "all the women" in his life and he "knows how to love them," though he mentioned his mom & grandma so it wasn't quite the direction Ryan was trying to take it. Randy likes how he's an "old soul" and while the song had weak spots, the "end note saved it." Simon said it was too cabaret/OTT, but he's interesting & growing on him.

Chris talked about his old hairstyle ("like Ryan") & we got to see 2 photos. He said when his hairline started receding he shaved it all off, & likes it & plans to keep it that way. He sings Seether's "Broken," which (the original) for me is made by Amy Lee's vocals & how the two blend & contrast. Chris obviously doesn't have that. His background singers are too loud, to start with, but they sing the wrong type of harmony for this song, more traditional instead of the current angsty-rock minor-sounding style, for lack of better words. Chris was also flat in parts toward the end; overall I don't think it was a good song choice & probably his worst performance. However, Randy & Paula loved it. Simon called it "boring" and too "indulgent," said he shouldn't take himself/everything so seriously & should do more variety; I agree!

Kevin's disclosure is that he likes & is inspired by Kanye West, and has been known to rap along with his album. And now for something completely different, he sings Don McLean's "Vincent"! Now, I have to preface this by saying that I adore this song. I think it's beautiful both musically and lyrically. While Kevin doesn't have the greatest vocals in the world, I though he did this song justice. He really conveyed the emotion & message of the song, which is powerful. Especially for a 16-year old who likes rap, lol! He has a great future - he's so smart, self-assured, has a great sense of humor... I think he'll be a successful performer of some sort a few years down the road. But of course I totally expect him to get voted off tomorrow. Randy said it was a weird choice but he "can sing" & it was a "good performance." Paula linked his sincerity. Simon however said it was "juvenile" (by which I'm assuming he meant amateurish, because he was very serious during the song).

Heh. Just like last night, we now have extra screen time for one of the favored contestants, happening right before the performance of someone they (TPTB) would like to see go home this week. Poor Bucky. Anyway Ryan talks to Taylor in the Red Room about how his life has changed already. Taylor said he got to meet Christopher Cross and really enjoyed that. Ryan also mentions how "at home" Taylor performs almost every night, & asks if it's been hard not doing that. Taylor responds that he just takes the energy from 6 nights of shows & condenses it into 5 minutes - so now we understand his spastic movements, lol!!

Ok, back to Bucky - Yay, we finally get to hear about Rocky, his twin brother! He says Rocky also sings and "is almost as pretty as me (hee!), but there's only room for one of us in this competition." Rocky sings a country song I don't know, called "Wave on Wave." Just as last week, I prefer the soft verse to the shoutier, rougher chorus, but he seems on key and more confident. His stage presence overall is improving; I think he's getting used to not having his guitar in his hands. It wasn't outstanding, but I think it was good enough for any country fans to want to keep him around. (I hope!) Randy & Paula liked it; Simon was meh, said it was average bar music. Ryan had Rocky come up on stage at the end which was cute.

Will tells us that he's learning Japanese! And in reference to Simon's previous comment, proceeds to say what we're told in subtitles is, "11-year old girls of the world, unite!" Hee. Will sings "How Sweet It Is," and while Ryan introduced it & it's widely known as a James Taylor song, he did a jazzier version, similar to one I'm told Michael Buble does. I loved it (though at this point I admit I'm beyond being able to form objective opinions on this one!) and the audience seemed into it. He had a good 'glory note,' and crooned a bit more than I'd like but I'm sure he'll pick up some of David's fans' votes. Overall a great performance IMO. Randy, however, said it was "below average," & Simon agreed. Paula loved it & said she thought all the guys were "stepping it up tonight." She said he has a distinctive voice & is a good performer, as reasons why he should make the Top 12 (when asked by Ryan). Which is cool, because she wasn't a fan in the beginning & said no to Hollywood, but he's won her over, as I think he is doing & could do to many, many viewers should he stay on & make wise song choices.

Taylor is wearing an Easter Bunny costume in his video clip & tells us that was his first job, in a mall. He has the audience clap as he starts to sing "Takin' It to the Streets," and he sounds almost exactly like Michael McDonald! So it's a pretty good song choice. I'm impressed that he actually stands still at the mic & sings the verse... but he let loose at the chorus and literally looked like a wind-up toy that had just been let go! Especially at the end it was way OTT; I know he was really into the song, but for me it went past "entertaining" to almost scary, with his angry face & the way he was pulling the mic stand & jumping around.... Paula & much of the rest of the audience loved it. Simon said he could "singlehandedly kill the music video industry," but he liked that he had fun and said he's a good performer, and that's what this is about.

Elliott reveals that he has 90% hearing loss in his right ear. I have to comment on this because I don't think we've heard Elliott sing even one syllable off key, and that shows incredible skill. He sings Bryan Adams' "Heaven" and is, of course, great! I like that he did a different style of song, to show his versatility, and he nailed all the vocals. Added a bit of his own r&b stylings toward the end, which was nice. Seriously I think this guy is easily the best vocalist of the group. Randy & Paula loved it, and they both mentioned the hearing loss backstory. Simon said it was a "cop-out," a bad song choice, and that he looked uncomfortable. I'd actually agree w/that a little bit for the verse, but he was very strong/confident for the chorus.

Ace is last & has the least interesting clip - he did odd jobs when he first came to Hollywood (because "it was hard"- maybe that surprised him?) and has become somewhat of a handyman. He sings a Michael Jackson song called "Butterflies" that I don't know. He does a lot of singing in falsetto, very high, & stays on key, & transitions well back to full voice (which Paula mentions later). I think it was a good performance for the type of song that it is, but I'm just not into that style of music. Oh well, I can always "watch it back" muted. ;-) He also seemed more confident than he has in the past for most of it, but then toward the end looked a bit shaky to me. Probably over-perfomed it a bit IMO, but was definitely good enough to advance him. Randy loved it; Paula said it was better than the original (!) & that he has great vocal talent. Simon said the middle was weak, but he "made it work."

I also noticed at the end, like last week, two of the three contestants I think TPTB would most like to go home are flanking Ryan in the line-up as the show closes (Bucky & Will). I didn't pay attention last night which girls had that position but will rewatch & see. I think Kevin should definitely go, but the next one's tricky, like w/the girls; I think it could be Gedeon, Will, or Bucky. I hope it's Gedeon because I really like Will & Bucky (in case you couldn't tell!). Which... probably means at least one of them will be going home. :-(


mozz said...

Hi, just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your Idol posts. Keep up the good work!

Kat said...

Thanks, glad you like it!