American Idol 5: Upside Down — And All Fucked UpBy David K. / Thursday, May 4th, 2006
Why am I not surprised? We are, after all, still living in the reign of George II, King of the Second-Rates. American Idol‘s two best vocalists — Elliott Yamin and Paris Bennett — hit the bottom two last night. So let’s see, that leaves the show’s next best vocalist Katharine McPhee lodged in the number three slot with the Monotone Maven (Chris Daughtery) and Gray Charles (Taylor Hicks) in the top two.
Let’s skip the psychics and decode Idol‘s new “official” photo (right) which was released this morning. The tableau tells us exactly how the next four weeks will play out. Photo’s often reveal more than we dare hope for, and this one … well, this one’s got me crying in my beer.
Elliott, smushed to the edge and with the lowest height, will be the next Idolette to follow little Paris down the chute.
Nerves did him in during Tuesday’s opener, a notoriously bad placement on the show. There’s a reason long-time viewers of Idol call it the Death Spot.
Elliott is this year’s Antony Fedorov, but instead of a tracheostomy scar, he’s got a deaf ear and wears an insulin pump. Unlike Fedorov, Elliott — to paraphrase Simon Cowell‘s initial feedback — is the best male vocalist that’s ever graced the Idol stage. Simon used the qualifer “potentially,” but I say fuck that — he is the greatest. Gifted with a rich, soulful voice, Elliott is a complete anomaly within the whiney, trembling style of contemporary male pop singers. Just hearing four or five seconds of a James Blunt record makes me want to commit hara-kiri.
My dream for Mr. Yamin is that someone at Bluenote Records is waiting to pounce — with a solid contract and a good vocal coach in tow, someone who can help Elliott smooth out his occasionally goaty vibratto. Yamin will do fine and join the small elite of Idol non-winners who have gone on to great, lucrative careers.
Katharine’s doomed, not because she can’t sing (though sometimes her vocals become piercingly shrill) but because the show’s producer wants a man-on-man finale. I’m basing this insight on our photo auguring process again, where the two tallest contestants are both penis people. You’ll note that Kat’s just a smidgen taller than Elliott in our prognosticative picture — thus she’ll follow Elliott’s exit.
This leaves us Daughtry and Hicks. I’ve tried to love both of these guys from the beginning. Early shots of Chris getting a chance to leave his dead-end customer service job and the fact that Taylor resembles the Old Man Down The Road made them charmers. But when it got down to biz, Elliott opened his tooth-snaggled mouth and all the other guys on the show blurred to fuzzy nuisances.
Chris especially. Honest to god, if I were held down on a rack and yanked until I was ready to rip, I could not come up with one reason why Daughtry remains so popular. Idol is a fucking singing competition and Daughtrey can’t sing.
He can however yell, bellow, shriek, drone, and glower. He’s got the face of an orphan who has struggled through a sad childhood. But I don’t need to see that on primetime television. (Save that for Oprah.) Nor do I wish to see his collection of wallet chains. Who in the hell wears a wallet chain nowadays? Oh, wait — he’s from the South, that’s right, the place where trends go to die. Anyway, being the person taller than Kat in our decoded photo, Daughtry will be the third Idol down.
Uh, oh. Wait a minute…
That leaves us with this year’s new American Idol, Taylor Hicks. Now Taylor’s not so bad — if I’m on a Carnival Cruise and want to hear someone doing Joe Cocker or Michael McDonald or Ray Charles. But when I get home I’m going to ransack my collection of CDs and listen to the real singers. America seems to have forgotten about real things. We like facsimiles. And Taylor Hicks is a Xerox copy of a pop idol, more suited to appear in Legends on Stage in Vegas impersonating someone else.
I doubt he has the spark to ever be a legend himself.
AOL blog Worth Repeating — I want to believe, I want to believe!
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