Before we get into Tuesday night's top four "American Idol" performances and who will most likely get the boot Wednesday night...
Last week I received several e-mails about a discrepancy in Taylor Hicks' recap clip that appears at the end of each show, right before the phone lines open for voting.
In the recap, the silver-haired crooner ends his version of the Beatles' "Something" by placing his left hand on his chest. But in the live performance, he ended the song with his left hand outstretched on the final note.
I verified this by going back to my DVR and watching the live performance and the recap a few times.
Before you can say "Idol Conspiracy," I checked with a FOX spokesperson who informed me that the recap video for Hicks was taken from a taping of his rehearsal earlier in the day.
If you recall, Hicks' "Something" was the last performance, and it's just seconds before Ryan Seacrest tosses to the recaps. Therefore the pretape is necessary for the recap.
Back to the performances...
Hicks started this very Elvis episode of "American Idol" with "Jailhouse Rock," and I just didn't get it. I don't really see a pop star in this guy.
"In the real world, that was a terrible impersonation of Elvis Presley ... it was Karaoke with a capital K."
Simon Cowell's words, not mine. But I agree. Hicks' rendition of "Jailhouse Rock" was everything Cowell said it was.
I know there are millions of "Soul Patrol" fans out there, but you all might as well be cheese heads, because Taylor Hicks, with his burgundy pin-striped tux, might as well be selling Breakstone's Cottage Cheese.
Rocker Chris Daughtry lost the "CHiPs" shades a bit too late in his "Suspicious Minds" performance. Randy Jackson had it right when he said "it was kind of nice."
It's hard to believe this is the final four from the show that produced Kelly Clarkson. If anyone out there ever doubted Clarkson's talent, they need to listen to every "AI" finalist since season one, and then just check the Billboard charts. She's killing them out there.
But hey, 40 million people per week can't be wrong, can they?
My boy Elliott Yamin sang "If I Can Dream" for his first performance, and he pretty much could have sung "Sloop John B." by the Beach Boys.
"I wanna go home, please let me go home ... oh I feel so broke up, I wanna go home."
See ya, Elliott. It's been a nice season with you, but Taylor Hicks has cast a spell over millions of people and has rendered their sense of talent limp, and certainly with that lame performance, Elliott my boy, you didn't break them out of that spell.
And like I said last week, I am a big fan.
"I think this is the best vocal performance you've done this entire season," said judge Paula Abdul. Cowell thought it was "the best performance so far." I was not impressed, and America won't be either.
America's sweetheart Katharine McPhee did a whitebread version of "Hound Dog," but hey, Tommy Mottola liked her, and he should know about hot singers, right? (think Mariah Carey, Thalia). Hey Daddy McPhee ... better keep an eye on Mottola.
I'm beginning to think the problem with "AI" in these genre categories is that the singers are stuck singing old, outdated and if you get right down to it, bad songs.
If the producers were paying attention, "All Shook Up" on Broadway was a major flop, and if an Elvis-themed musical can't last on the Great Cheese Way, it's definitely not going to work on the most popular talent show of all time.
But in case anybody was doubting McPhee's attraction, she appealed to her "McFans," not once, but twice.
"McFans," she said as Seacrest rattled off her voting number. "McFans."
Umm, no. Can anyone say McCruise Ship? "Poseidon" opens this weekend, perhaps McPhee can book passage as the Elvis impersonator, where her McFans can gather in the grand ballroom ... right before the rogue wave takes them all out.
Taylor Hicks saved the night, however, with "In the Ghetto."
He sang this song in his own casual and inviting style, bringing it into the 21st century, and as Cowell said, "You have just sung yourself into the semi-final, young man." Hicks could release this song and have a hit tomorrow.
But Hicks joined "McFans," however, by screaming "Soul Patrol, Soul Patrol." Ugggh. That sound is my head banging against the wall. Talk about ruining a good moment.
Daughtry will join Yamin in the bottom two Wednesday night after "A Little Less Conversation."
Out of all of the great Elvis songs, he sang one of the least known of the King of Rock's canon, and on top of that, he didn't do the song any favors with his flat delivery.
Luckily for Daughtry, Elliott Yamin also performed, and he will be the sacrificial lamb.
Katharine is a beauty, and she picked a beautiful song to end the night with. "Can't Help Falling In Love" also happens to be one of most popular wedding songs of all time. At least McPhee knows what she's doing, if she isn't singing all that great.
"It was just too much," said Cowell.
It doesn't matter, though. Even if I think she deserves to be in the bottom two, there are too many McFans and too many Soul Patrol out there for anybody else to be in the finals...
Look, Yamin has a lot of heartfelt soul, and he is a real gem of a person. I hope "American Idol" will bring him happiness, and I hope he learned a lot from this very fortunate run.
Elliott will play a Broadway show very soon, and he's a perfect lead singer if boy bands happen to make an unlikely comeback.
But he won't be back on "AI" next week.
Bye, Elliott. I was rooting for you, but in the end, you ain't nothing but a hound dog.
"American Idol" airs on FOX, which is owned by the parent company of FOXNews.com.
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