Update- In the aftermath of Wednesday night's guy performances...I have to alter my position on the favorites a bit. The two best performances by the guys came from Chris Daughtry and Elliott Yamin... hands down. Ace Young was just OK. He was not nearly as good as last week. He won't be voted off...but he may not be the front runner any more either. It's funny how your opinion can change from week to week though. I remember Bo Bice having a few shaky weeks last year too...but, eventually his superior talent came through. So, who goes off the show Thursday night? Because Bucky Covington stepped up...and because David Radford and Sway Penala stumbled...I think Radford and Penala (above) go buh-bye... saving Wil Makar and Bucky for another week. (Mousy Kevin Covais stays because he's got all the "buzz" going...Chicken Little, sex symbol, etc.)
-As anyone who read some of my stuff around this time last year knows, I'm a huge fan of American Idol. I try my best not to miss it. But, of course, that puts me in the company of some 50 million or so other Americans.
Last year I tried to predict what would happen in the competition...and did pretty well....up until the final night. I didn't expect Carrie Underwood to take the top prize. I had that pinned on Bo Bice...from pretty early on. I think I underestimated the "likeability" factor of Carrie...and didn't heed my own observation that Idol is more of a people-with-talent popularity contest, than it is a singing competition....because of the phone-in voting system. Many of the folks who vote don't know the difference between a well-sung song and screeching brakes on their car.
Having said that, let me give you my credentials for picking who's hot...and who's not. Uh...well.. I sang a little in high school and college. I like the Beatles....uh...ummm...I met Ricky Scaggs once. OK...so I'm no expert. But, I'm going to give you my best shot anyway.
My impressions so far this Idol season. The girls are OK... The guys are really good...but, not great like last year.
As to the girl's show last night... My early pick to be the girl finalist...Katharine McPhee had one of those dreaded "bad choice of song" nights. I don't think that will keep her from moving on...there are several other candidates more ripe for elimination. So, I'm still picking Katharine...with an outside shot to Lisa Tucker...the little 16-year-old who's been on stage since she was 10. Both have...in my humble opinion...way more singing talent than the rest of the field. And, they are also likeable. But, there's always a chance that someone's "super likeability factor"...(i.e. Kellie Pickler..the little blonde from North Carolina with the Dolly Parton personality) could throw a wrench into the obvious like Carrie did last year.
Who will be voted off Thursday night? If it's not Brenna Gethers (bad performer and unlikeable) and Heather Cox (good looks but weak performer)...with Paris Bennett(young, scared, and off key) also a possibility, America will have made another mistake.
The guys will sing tonight... My early pick here is Ace Young. He has the whole package. Everybody else has a liability of some kind. We'll see if Ace is on again tonight. But, if he continues to perform at the same level as last week, I think there's no way he doesn't make it to the final show. There are 4 or 5 other very strong singers...Chris Daughtry, Elliott Yamin, Jose "Sway" Penala, Taylor "Grey Hair" Hicks...but, they all lack something.. either looks, likeability, or comfort-of-performance.
The "X factor" among the guys? Little, mousy, 16-year-old Kevin Covais. He's just good enough to continue to get the "sympathy votes" of the pre-and-early-teen girl voting block. That's been big in the past with Clay Aiken, last year's John Stevens, and a few others.
Expectations this week for the guys.... We say good bye to long, stringy, blonde hair, Southern boy Bucky Covington and 16-year-old Wil Makar of Texas. Only out-of-nowhere performances should be able to save them. Although... Gedeon McKinney, whose smile, of all things, annoys Simon...had better step it up too.
I'll probably do one post a week on Idol through the finals in June... Should be fun.