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AI Live - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
AI Live
With spoilers, obviously. Writing as I watch.

Elliott's first number... meh. Well done enough.

Katherine--really took a risk with changing up "I Believe I Can Fly," but it came out all right. I like the original better, though, and don't honestly like the original all that much.

Taylor--dances like he's constipated and really trying to pinch a loaf in the dark. Otherwise, meh.

The second round is the judges' choice.

Elliott--the mayor of Richmond reads a fax from Paula, telling them that he'll be singing "What You Won't Do For Love," by Bobby Caldwell. Simon acts like a child, and Paula gives something like a reason for her choice, involving two repetitions of the phrase "funky white boy." Elliott looks embarrassed when he comes out. His voice is smooth, the band is smooth, and the song is smooth, and it's all sliding right off my brain before it has a chance to stop and sink in. And I'm watching it! Elliott, man. Randy says he's sharp, Paula says "NO WAI." Paula praises her own song-choosing ability. Simon disagrees, but thinks Elliott sang it well. My verdict: Elliott is consistent in his ability to make me sleepy.

Kat gets her news from the mayor of Los Angeles, and Simon is having her sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," claiming that he's always considered it her perfect song. Let's see... She starts a capella with words I don't know for that song. It's pretty, though. Now she's getting into the song, with simple piano accompaniment. Simon chose this song well for her--it's right up her alley, which is musical theater. She needs to make her appearance more interestng, but her voice is carrying. Oops, missed a "like" where she should have breathed earlier. "Find" is flat. Kind of a weird little take on the end. That's another weird arrangement choice. Very weird musical decoration on "If happy little bluebirds fly/ beyond the rainbow..." Randy is floored. Paula gives her a standing ovation and praises her for not going overboard (which I question, given the extra decoration). Simon says it's the best performance of the competition to date. It was good. I've liked other performances better, but I did like this. Certainly the best of the night so far.

Taylor is with the governor of Alabama when he gets his news. Randy faxes an invitation to the dawg pound, and tells Taylor that he'll be singing "You Are So Beautiful," by Joe Cocker, because Taylor's an "old soul." Taylor is standing still on the stage, kind of squatting. He's on key, but he looks like he's not quite sure what he's singing. It's a better performance than usual from him, and he's avoiding the tics. It's a good song for his voice. But why doesn't he straighten his legs? Can't they raise the mic stand so he can stand up straight? I mean, are they that cheap on AI? He doesn't look like he likes this particular song. Audience is wild about it, though. Randy yo-baby's, says he did it proud. Paula says he's a star, shockingly. Simon says it's his best performance, far and away. Taylor claps for himself like an idiot. It was a good performance. He still annoys me.

Round three is the contestants' own choice, bringing us full circle, back to the beginning. I predict that Elliott will choose something jazzy that I've never heard, Katherine will pick a power ballad, and Taylor will pick something he can jive to.

Elliott does Ray Charles, via Johnny Hathaway, and I didn't catch the name of it. (I wish they'd put the song info on the screen.) Oh, it's "I Believe to My Soul." And it's a jazzy number that I don't know. Elliott definitely sounds funky on it. It's bouncy and cool... and boring. But bouncy. I don't know how you can be bouncy and boring, but Elliott is nothing if not a master of this paradox. He's enunciating pretty well, but the song is still not making all that much sense. He needs to be more exciting. Randy doesn't think it was a perfect song, but Elliott sang it well. Paula thinks it was a weird choice, but Elliott is still a "funky white boy." Simon says his songs aren't going to carry him through, but he's a great singer and will make his mum proud. (SIMON?)

Kat is singing "I Ain't Got Nothing But the Blues," because she doesn't want be compared to anyone today. Not quite a power ballad! She surprised me. She's catting it up on the stage. Kind of interesting choice. She looks good. She sounds good. Not enunciating. Very decorated, but it works with this style. I like it. Randy says it's okay and doesn't want her comparing herself to Ella (oops, that no-comparison thing backfired). Paula says "Rainbow" was her element, but "Blues" was still a great job. Simon says "Five steps forward, one step back," (is he going to put on a cartoon cat suit and start dancing with Paula?) but he'd rather remember "Rainbow." I liked this one better than "Rainbow," truth to tell.

Taylor can't sit down. He chooses, "Try a Little Tenderness," for the Soul Patrol. Not very jivey, so he surprised me, too. And he's squatting again! Is he feeling sick to his stomach? Oh, wait. Here comes the jivey part. He's kind of phoning it in, though. Now he's jittering around the stage and hugging himself, and not sounding like he's going for "tenderness." Odd choice. Randy says his new name is "Have A Good Time Funky Taylor." Paula apparently wanted him to sing this for the judges' round. Simon says it was a hideous ending, but he'll see him next week, and I'm terribly afraid that he's right. Taylor spazzes us out as Randy cuts to the numbers.
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Comments
From: arclevel Date: May 17th, 2006 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I just wasn't that impressed, overall, tonight. I only knew a few of the songs -- Open Arms, Dancing in the Dark, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and You Are So Beautiful -- and none of them terribly impressed me. I really didn't think Rainbow was all that great, so I was a little startled that all three judges were fawning over it so much, but I tend to like my music with comparatively little vocal embellishment, and you're right, this definitely had it (though not quite as badly as Love Me Tender or whichever it was last week). I also thought that it sounded like she's picked too low a key in a couple spots. Taylor's rendition of Beautiful was nice enough, but it was kind of weak in spots, in a literal sense. I liked his emoting in the first couple lines, but it went OTT immediately thereafter.

Elliott is consistent in his ability to make me sleepy.

I agree completely. I don't understand how he's made it this far.
stella_nova From: stella_nova Date: May 17th, 2006 02:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you Fern for writing this all up. It was so convenient, because this happened to be the one night when I couldn't catch the show. So your entry was perfect. Personally, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Taylor and Elliot - hahah...I know we have differing opinions. I'm not much of Kat fan (nor was I of Carey last season), but there you are. Lets see what happens tomorrow!

Have a good evening.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 17th, 2006 02:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't really have any horse in the race any more, just an anti-horse. As long as it's not Taylor, I won't be unhappy.

I couldn't stand Carrie, either. Blech.
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