The Actually Good: Patrick sings "Come To My Window," by noted Popular actress Tammy Lynn Michaels and originally performed by k.d. lang at FARM AID back in '85. Elliott sings "If You Really Love Me," by Stevie Wonder, and I have to say that I do hate to look at him. But he has one of the best voices in the competition, and I think the other stuff can be helped. Chris sings "Wanted Dead Or Alive" and sets your ass on fire and does an excellent, excellent job, with some bonus emotions and thoughts in his upside-down head. Oh, and the judges firing off anti-Constantine bitchery at an unbelievable rate was actually, really, very good for the soul.
The Good For Dumb Reasons: Gedeon sings "Shout," while doing creepy stripper moves. This is like a Paula Abdul favorite: "Shout! Yeah!" I love his voice, but he himself is deeply upsetting. Will Makar is very energetic and has a sweet, lovely tone with "I Want You Back," originally performed by Taye Diggs when he first split from 98 Degrees. Ace sings "Father Figure," which is horrific at first, to think about, but he works it out. I couldn't actually look at the screen because I was too embarrassed for him, but he has a great boy-band-ready voice. And all that that implies. I think I will have a lot of questions about this performance in the next couple of days.
Over It: L'il David Radford sings "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," by original Stray Cats member David Setzer. It's a David retro-hipster thing, and I said it would be okay, but it's really, really not. It's smirky and insecure and even his beautiful smile seems pasted on. Sway sings "Reasons" (Yet More Sounds Of Blackness Reunion Tour DVD) like a pretty lady. With bad pitch. Where is my wonderful Sway voice? And I'm so fucking over Taylor Hicks. He sings "Levon" by noted songwriting duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and does it really well, but I cannot stand him. Physically, how do you kiss your own ass? Plus, he looks and acts like a combination of an Adam Sandler character and Benny Hinn. I am so totally over it. Brenna is not the Mikalah. Taylor is the Mikalah. Simmer the fuck down! However, he does a great job.
What the Fuck: Is Bucky Covington even doing? It's not music. It's not singing, it's like the growling of an insane homeless mumbler. "Mmmshwangon gongongimmeadolrmaaan?" He is disgusting. I can't do this. Joe?
The Pointless: Kevin sings "One Last Cry," by Brian McKnight, but he does the Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem version. He's the strangest little thing. He sings like a Muppet and he has mushmouth. It sounds incredibly nervous and weird. Bobby sings "Copacabana" while looking like a total pervert toucher. It is a joke. What a weird night! Turns out I like Ace all right, hate this Bobby person, and kind of really want Kevin to stick around for a while.
When I hear that song? That American Idol song? My fingers go to the home row. Even when there is no keyboard nearby. I want you to really, honestly think about that for a second. So Ryan's suit is so intensely tailored that he looks like a sewing form, all shoulders and hips and girlish waist. Maybe it's just because he's standing at an odd angle, looking down at us from the balcony. It's weird either way. In the audience, in the first swooping shot in on the stage, there is a woman wearing a floor-length poncho/robe that looks like she might be a Heaven's Gate survivor. However, I cannot see her shoes, so I don't know for sure. Last night, the women sang, Mandisa and my girls Ayla and Katharine rocked out, and Stevie disappointed me so harshly that I can't even look her in the eye tonight.
The men file up the balcony stairs and across the screen, one after the other. There's friendly, intelligent Patrick, who waves and points slightly, like even he has forgotten who he is already. The camera pushes past him to get to David, who rubs his hands together like a gymnast and then waves sheepishly, all dimples and discomfort. Bucky points at the camera and winks or has a boss eye or maybe late-stage syphilitic dementia or maybe all of the above. Will Makar blows a self-consciously smirky kiss, but forgets to look into the camera. Sway is dressed like a pimp, not in the good way, and gives a double-thumbs up. The focus pulls back so you can see all of Chris, who makes a silly face and throws two sets of rock horns. Kevin walks stiffly, like he's had a hip injury. You know how the older people get, the more they look like babies? Maybe he's actually really, really old. Gedeon has but one thing to say as he winks and wriggles toward the camera, double-points, and winks again. Elliot's teeth are due to diabetes and not crystal meth as previously stated, and I am a jerk, but really, he should exfoliate anyway. Bobby makes a really bizarre face and points to the camera weirdly and has a sick moustache. The camera pulls further back so that Ace can make his grand entrance into your living room, hunkered down and longing for your gentle touch and whatever. Taylor has a fucking spasmodic fit like he's having a heart attack, this charmless blind Ray Charles smile, and then out of nowhere pitches left with the top half of his body, almost bonking his head on the doorway. No reason. No suddenly-appearing bees or wasps to avoid, no balcony-related mishap causing him to lose his balance. Just a sudden twist, to the side, like an idiot, because somewhere a camera was turned on. Have you noticed how utterly without affectation Taylor is? How really, really real and unique he is? Not yet? Don't worry, there's still time. Could you cut me a single break, Hicks?