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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Four Kings

elliot2.jpgIt was difficult to commandeer the TV tonight with the Yankees/Red Sox game going, but hey -- you gotta pay respect to the King.

To kick off Elvis night, I spilled an entire beverage. That meant that I missed most of the Graceland tour, but I did notice how it looked like Priscilla and Tommy Mottola are just hanging out there on a regular basis. Not sure why they didn't get Lisa Marie to appear. She's no King, but she does have music to promote.

No surprise that Taylor Hicks started the show with "Jailhouse Rock." I thought he was fun and energetic and agreed that this was "his element." I also find it funny that Simon always bashes Taylor. Do you think that's driving his votes or what? I mean he had been scoring big with the audience way before VotefortheWorst.com picked up on him -- and he is the only contestant that has yet to be in the bottom.

Taylor really showed off his vocal abilities with "In the Ghetto." I never like seeing contestants sit during a performance, but I figured it was to keep Taylor's legs under control. He managed to make it across the stage without getting jiggy, and for once I didn't miss the shtick. He was excellent all on his own.

Chris Daughtry did "Suspicious Minds." He was excellent, but the Elvis shades were not working for me.

His second song, "A Little Less Conversation," wasn't disappointing, but I think he spent the first half of the song a bit monotone. The second half more than saved it, however. I was pleasantly surprised that he could keep up with the pace. It worked, but I agree with Simon that his first song was a little better.

Elliot Yamin did not get a good intro from Tommy Mottola for his version of "If I Could Dream." That's how I knew he was going to more than pull it off. After a performance like that, I expected to see underpants thrown on the stage. Instead, because he isn't the most charismatic contestant left, I am guessing he is going home tomorrow.

Everyone had dance moves for "Trouble" -- the band, the backup singers. Elliot? Not so much. It didn't matter though. He pulled out the serious power voice. I am dumbfounded when I read people saying that this kid can't sing. Unfortunately, I still feel like he will be the one going home tomorrow. I hope I am wrong.

The night's best line belonged to Seacrest: "Did you see the moves that Paula was pulling off? I feel like I am obligated to give her a dollar after that."

For a second I was wondering if Katharine McPhee would be the next Mrs. Mottola. There is no doubt in my mind that Katharine is an excellent singer, but I thought her "Hound Dog"/"All Shook Up" medley was a horrible choice for her. She sounded a little too Broadway -- and it didn't help that she screwed up the words to boot.

I called "Can't Help Falling in Love" for her next song. She was good, but I thought she was howling a bit too much. Simon hit it on the head that it was a bit over the top.

The competition is getting too tough to call for me. Going by tonight's performances, I would say that Katharine should go home, but even after a great night, I think my man Elliot might be packing it up. -- Rachel Cericola

Mac's Rambling Thoughts from this Episode

• Does Priscilla Presley still live at Graceland? There's just no way ... right? Right?

• Mariah Carey's name was noticeably absent during Tommy Mottola's introduction (they were married back when Mariah was a diva in training). I believe this is the first time a Mariah Carey shout-out has ever gone unshouted on "Idol." Randy must have been straining under the pressure.

• I no longer have the ability to critically analyze Taylor's performances. I love everything this guy does. His "Jailhouse Rock" was fantastic, his maroon suit was fantastic, even his crab dance was fantastic.

• I'm convinced Simon is doing everything he can to get Taylor booted because Simon has been completely wrong about Taylor's success on the show. (I'm also convinced I can find a conspiracy in absolutely anything.)

Chris worked the Elvis shades like a champ. He's the only contestant who can get away with that kind of thing because you know, just below the surface, he understands the comedic value of oversized Elvis sunglasses.

• There needs to be a rule against contestants singing from the second stage. It sucks. Katharine tried to pull it off with "Hound Dog" and it didn't work at all (screwing up the words didn't help, either).

• When Taylor goes on to fame and fortune (he will, I guarantee it), he should always be backed by a horn section. The combination of horns and soul patrol is perfect.

• Taylor's version of "In the Ghetto" was fantastic, but it doesn't rank as the greatest "In the Ghetto" ever. That distinction goes to Eric Cartman.

• "A Little Less Conversation" was a great song for Chris: upbeat, edgy and right in his wheelhouse. Even better, he built the song to a crescendo, which speaks volumes about his skill as a performer. Lesser singers would have gone for the money note early on, but he let it linger before unleashing a killer conclusion.

Elliott and the blues ... DAMN. His second performance was phenomenal. He could front a blues band right this second and make a billion dollars.

• Another Elliott note: He's bringing it like a man possessed. Oftentimes contestants will wilt under the pressure, but Elliott is getting better.

• Whoever did the arrangement on Katharine's version of "Can't Help Falling In Love" needs to be shot. The first few bars were great -- her vocals were beautiful -- but then the electric guitar kicked in. ELECTRIC GUITAR?! Simon had it right: "What I wanted was apple pie on its own, but what I got was apple pie with a gallon of cream on top." -- Mac Slocum


Posted by Rachel Cericola on May 9, 2006 8:11 PM
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It's time they voited Catherine off. I'm sorry but the world does not need another Mandy Moore... Boring! Thye guys who are left are true originals each with a unique sound.

-- 1. Posted by: DePretendah at May 9, 2006 10:32 PM

Woh. I used to be a fan split between Taylor and Elliot but damn. I am alllllll about Elliot now. Taylor, I love ya and want you to be #2 but c'mon. Elliot = goosebumps all the time.

But - was anyone else worried by Elliot's hair in the Tommy Mottola montages? He looked like a werewolf. But phew. He stepped onstage and the spikester hair was baaack.

-- 2. Posted by: Amy at May 10, 2006 1:41 AM

I'm all about Chris! Taylor is wearing thin on me for some reason...but I'll be happy if both make it to the finale and I'm ok with either winning.
Elliot? Not so much.

-- 3. Posted by: Dave at May 10, 2006 11:59 AM

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