Bald Ambition: The Horrid Artistry of AI‘s Chris DaughtryBy Administrator / Wednesday, March 29th, 2006
If you had any doubt that last night’s American Idol was the absolute worst in the show’s history, I’m here to remind you of those 15 seconds of bellowing badness from bald “rocker” Chris Daughtry during his all-too-faithful performance of Creed‘s What If.
To fully appreciate these very special 15 seconds, I want you to remember the band Creed and how much you loathe them. (Forgive me for making you do this.) Now, bring to mind the strained, droning sounds of the band’s lead vocalist Scott Stapp. Got it? OK, meld that horrible memory into the contorted visage of Chris Daughtry that appeared on your TV last night.
Take a breath. Think back to Daughtry’s demon-screeching assault on the lyrics “what if, what if, what if.” How he drilled those words — during that 15 second close-up — over and over again into your cranium while Idol‘s camera man — complicit in the act of damaging your brain — struggled to maintain his crouched posture on the stage, angling his lens upward towards Doughtery’s yowling pie hole.
Yes music lovers, television has not offered us such a horror show since the man’s head exploded in Scanners.
This synthetic Creed moment was a real nadir for the entire franchise. It will be talked about in years to come as that particular evening when the barbarians stormed the Theme Park that is American Idol.
Speaking of themes. Last night’s was songs of the 21st century, but it sounded more like colossal trainwrecks of the Paris Hilton years. Everyone except Elliott Yamin and Taylor Hicks rode in on the Karaoke Express and smashed up right before our eyes.
Let’s pick through some of the wreckage.
Kellie Pickler blathered out a song about suds and tube tops and country cousins fuckin’ — at least that’s what it sounded like to me. Watching her drag her ass across the stage and mumble-sing the lyrics blew a short in my brain and I think I lost the lobe that helps me recall insignificant things like, oh, that Reuben Stoddard once won the contest.
Ace Young looked old and greasy and was visibly shaking. He was having a bad hair day and when all you are is Boy Band material you can not afford a bad hair day. It was a genuinely sad moment. I had to turn away from the set, drop my head and moan: “It is finished.”
Taylor Hicks, dressed in a peculiar fem version of a Hell’s Angel ensemble, did a great Ray Lamontagne tune — but only in a sort of good way. I dislike it when performers make me long to hear the original version of a song and then I can’t find the artist’s CD the next morning because it’s buried somewhere in my office under old DVD porn samplers.
Mandisa went all Church on our ass by storming in from the wings testifying about addictions and “lifestyles that may be big — but God is bigger!” And we all know what she meant by lifestyles — that’s what gay people have in place of a life. She then demolished Shackles (Praise You) a huge gay club hit by Mary Mary. The producers vented their wrath by displaying Taylor Hicksâ€™ phone number during Mandisa’s re-cap thingy. Gotta love that Gay TV Mafia.
Bucky Covington looked hot. I can’t remember what he sang but I do know that he reminded me of something out of a twinky countryboy porn film, one that involves nasty stuff between identical twin brothers. Luckily Bucky does have an identical twin — in case the singing thing doesn’t pan out … and trust me, it won’t.
Paris Bennett seemed to be doing a fashion tribute to Lena Lovich. But she sang a hundred times better than Ms. Lovich, re-hashing Beyonce‘s Work It Out. Unfortunately I won’t abide that song, so it went in one ear and out — my asshole.
And then there’s Elliott Yamin.
Babe, there’s a reason they gave you the showcase spot last night. No one else was able to top you. Elliott was the only redeeming bit of excitement amid a dishwater-dull hour of karaoke posturing and praying.
Yamen managed to take Gavin DeGraw‘s I Don’t Want To Be, a sloggish, mediocre pop rock song, and, in the words of dear Paula: make it his own. He retooled the arrangement with a nice funky shimmer, laid on some of his rich, controlled vocals — and took the song out for a short goofy ride. Elliott may have been dressed like some homeless person, but he was King of the Idol world last night.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled train wrecks.
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