Y'all, I'm going to confess that I don't like Barry Manilow's music. In the eighth grade, the Chorus teacher taught us "I Write the Songs", and I just did not like it. Bored me to pieces and probably steered me away from Barry forever. The only time I've ever enjoyed Barry Manilow was during Season Two of Angel, when David Boreanaz sang "Mandy" for the psychic karaoke bar owner, and of course, when Rachel Green sang "Copacabana" on Friends. That being said, I have nothing against the man personally. The first time he came around on American Idol, it was Season Three, and he seemed to really enjoy working with all the contestants, and seems here in Season Five that he hasn't changed. Now, the reason they have Barry on this week is because it's 50s week, and Mr. Manilow has a CD of 50s standards coming out, so he's going to work with our kids and help them sing their best. I love the way he talks to the contestants, really trying to help them and offering constructive criticism, like their American Idol dad.
On with the singing!
Mandisa sang first, a Dinah Washington tune called "I Don't Hurt Anymore". She really opened up the show with a bang. She looked absolutely fabulous. The hair, the dress, the song, the voice--everything was perfect. She even got a job offer from Manilow himself. If I liked his music, I would be incredibly flattered. When she finished, the judges were practically frothing at the mouth for her, and I can hardly blame her. One of my favorites of the night.
Next is Bucky, singing "Oh Boy" by Buddy Holly. I don't understand why the Buckster is so nervous--this song was practically written for him, but he looks like he's never been on stage before. The performance (and the hair) is lank and lackluster. Bottom Three.
Paris sang "Fever" by Peggy Lee. I love this song. It's got to be one of my favorites ever, and when Madonna remade it for the Erotica CD, I practically lost my mind, because Madonna singing Peggy Lee? Absolute perfection. Anyway, I think this song is too old for Paris, and really wanted Katharine McPhee to sing it--I think her vocals could have really done something with this song. That aside, I am so into the dress that Paris wore. I would look amazing in that dress--I wonder where I can get one? Parts of the song were very good, and she got stronger at the end. I love the way she works the stage, I just wish that she wouldn't grate on me so when she talks with the judges and with Ryan
Ooh! Constantine was in the audience!
Wow...can we please just name Chris the American Idol this year? He sang Johnny Cash's "Walk The Line", and I may have been hypnotized by those mesmerizing eyes of his. And that voice! Beautiful. He is so magnetic. Oh, and he's wearing all black in honor of Johnny. Oh, God Bless Chris Daughtry. He dresses like Johnny and sings like Eddie Vedder. I've been wanting to hear him sing a ballad, and I am so not disappointed. Ryan introduces Chris to Constantine, and Chris looks utterly bored with Constantine, like he knows that he can both outsing, outperform and physically beat Constantine to a pulp if they ever tangled in a barfight. And y'all, as much as I loved Constantine, I am so enjoying the visual imagery of Chris kicking Constantine's behind. Hee!
Katharine sings "Come Rain or Come Shine" by the great Ella Fitzgerald. I have to agree with Simon, she really became a star tonight, taking over the stage with confidence, The vocal is very sexy, and I think Ella would be proud of Katharine. I love the idea of this dress, and it is an improvement over last week's sartorial disaster, but the bottom half of this dress is a mess. There's no waist, and I guess it's supposed to compensate for the fact that she's had to use the double-sided tape for the top of the dress. But Katharine rocked this song. Maybe rocked is the wrong adjective, but I don't think that "sultried" is a word. The McPheever grows!
Taylor is next, singing Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away". I've been wanting to hear this song ever since I found out that Joss Whedon took it as the title for the very last episode of Angel, which was prematurely cancelled and my favorite character dies. Taylor's suit is sharp, and I find myself consistently pleased with the way he dresses. The performance is good, and I love his voice, but that pose at the end was a little contrived. And then the stupid fight between Simon and Paula about this being a singing competition versus a dancing competition and Simon didn't like the performance because he can't dance and Paula's all blah blah blahbitty blah. Abdul has got to go.
Lisa's desperately trying to break out of the box she's painted herself in my singing " Why Do Fools Fall in Love". Y'all, she's failing. The song starts of rocky and stays that way. It seems really out of tune, and I literally cringed through the performance. But I did kind of feel sorry for her because I thought she was going to cry when the judges weren't crazy about her performance. Sorry, Tuck--Bottom Three.
And now is the squirrel on crack, Kevin Covais. We've had a lot of discussion this week about what Kev was going to sing because he had the chutzpah last week to song "Part Time Lover". This week, he goes for the sincere and sings "When I Fall in Love". Aww...it's such a sweet performance. It's like little Kevy is back from the Hollywood rounds. I was seriously conflicted about whether or not to vote for him, and in the end decided to give my extra vote to Taylor instead.
Hey--there's Jasmine Trias from Season Three! I remember how much I liked her voice, but found all her performances boring. Ah, well--that's enough living in the past. Let's talk about Elliott!
Mr. Yasmin has on the world's ugliest tie, but I forgive him when he starts to sing. The song is "Teach Me Tonight" by Al Jayroe, and I'm really surprised at the raciness of this song. Seems so...adult for the 1950s. His performance was soulful and perfect, and I'm really convinced that he has decided to make this a man's competition between himself, Chris, and Taylor. Very good.
Next is Kellie, and I was right. I had read that she wanted to sing Patsy Cline sometime in the competition, and my skin crawled at the thought. How can someone who we're to believe is so naive sing a song about pain and heartbreak. She's an innocent hick, remember? She hasn't lived enough! Ugh, I'm disgusted as I think about it. Seriously, her vocals are not rich enough to take on Patsy, and I find her to be growling and shouting this song. Has Pickler never heard of subtlety? Oh, that's right. She's from Albemarle, North Carolina and they don't have dictionaries with which to look it up! I find it absolutely preposterous, much like this performance with the fake walking and the extra-thick hick accent and the pointing at the camera, that she didn't know that this song was from the 50s or that Barry Manilow has never heard of this song. I really hope that Pickler's stupidity is not contagious, because I may have to stop watching the show if her disease is transmitted over the airwaves. I wish I could say bottom three, but remember, Kellie is "likeable" and will stay around for another week with which she can pound us over the head with how likeable and naive and country she is. Off my screen, Pickler!
And it just gets worse, because Ace is singing the Jazz version of "In The Still of The Night". I have to give him props that he realized that he need to convert the song from a group act to a solo, but it is so boy-band and boring. An improvement over last week, but I still think Bottom Three for him tomorrow. Of course, by the time they get around to the judging, Paula's already got her top off, telling him how sexy it was and that no one will know if they just sneak backstage for a little while. I think Paula's going to cry when Ace gets voted off.
So, once again, half of them were great, and the other half just so-so. Feel free to throw tomatoes, money, or flowers and tell me how you feel. My opinion is not the only one that matters!