Tuesday, May 23, 2006

American Idol: May 23 (Let the Mocking Begin)

Firstly, starting later this evening I’m going to start a new series of posts to act as a sort of cure for this American Idol-related sickness that I have. Be sure to look back in the morning because there are going to be some surprises. But that’s later; right now we have to grade the performances.

Round 1
Taylor beats Katharine in performance, in voice, and in personality. His high energy and charisma (combined with, I agree with Simon, one of the worst jackets ever) overshadowed Katharine’s forced retread.

Taylor-1 | Katharine-0

Round 2
Katharine is smart in bringing us back to “Over the Rainbow"--she sings it well because she restrains herself from oversinging. It lets the beauty of her voice come through without the feeling that the song is just too “big” for her. In the same way, “Levon” was a good choice for Taylor: warm, well within his comfortable vocal range, familiar, and heartfelt. Not as good as Katharine, though.

Taylor-1 | Katharine-1

Round 3
This is the part that I hate: the part where they sing manufactured songs where they have, at best, a tenuous emotional connection. If I were the artists--stuck singing other peoples’ songs throughout the competition--I would demand some kind of artistic control to demonstrate the kind of music I would actually want to make.

Katharine’s song (the one that will be her single) was a mess where vocally she sounded decent through the first half, hideous through the overwrought second, and was singing one of the most bland, Disney-soundtrack-esque songs that I’ve ever heard. It was horrid.

Taylor was a bit better. He hit the big bits far better than she did (although he suffers by comparison in the quieter moments). The song still didn’t win my over, but it was a decent performance of a boring tune.

Taylor-2 | Katharine-1

I’m calling this one for Taylor. But we’ve seen how accurate my predictions are…

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