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Tuesday April 25, 2006 11:40 pm

American Idol 5: The Finals - Week 7

So now we’re down to the Final Six and about to witness a side of the contestants that we may not have wanted to see—their romantic, mushy sides.  Were the finalists up to delivering the Greatest Love Songs of All Time? Or would they simply end up performing their swan songs?  Read on!

KATHARINE MCPHEE
SONG: “I Have Nothing”/ Whitney Houston
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  Is she so full of herself that she thinks she can go straight for Whitney?  I’m not liking this arrangement at all.  The song is somehow way too glamourized and sexed up for me.  I think she’s trying too hard to work the drama (did you see that little step move she did?) and wasting little energy on the song. 
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy said that the song was way too big for her.  I’m not entirely sure what Paula said, but I believe she told Katharine that she was trying too hard.  Simon thought her problem was thinking that she could sing as good as Whitney.  Thank you, Simon!!

ELLIOTT YAMIN
SONG: “A Song for You”/ Donny Hathaway
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION: First off, Elliott is looking quite smooth in his suit tonight… and thankfully his voice is nicely complimenting his look.  Damn!  I just keep liking this boy more and more every week.  I think I actually stopped typing there for a second to actually listen to him.  I may not know my Donny, but I was thoroughly impressed.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy did not like the arrangement but thought his vocals were ‘dope’.  Paula is bawling (and Simon’s laughing at her).  Simon thought he belonged to the vocal master class.

KELLIE PICKLER
SONG:  “Unchained Melody”/ The Righteous Brothers
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION: Uh-oh.  This just happens to be one of Simon Cowell’s all-time favorite songs (I read that in EW once, I think).  She’s bound for trouble.  Heck, forget Simon—I’m already hating it.  What is up with this horrific countrified arrangement??  Please tell me that this is her week to go…
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy said that there were horrible pitch problems throughout the song.  Paula just doesn’t think that she’s raising her game.  Simon thought that song deserved tears, but for an entirely different reason.  There was no heart or warmth to the song.

PARIS BENNETT
SONG: “Memories”/ Barbra Streisand
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  Those first few notes came off quite nasally to me.  Why is it that I’ve never noticed until now how much she resembles Gladys Knight? Maybe it’s because her short hair is finally back.  The arrangement at the end of the song was kind of weird to me, but she did well enough overall.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy didn’t love it, but he liked it.  Paula thought she oversang it a bit.  Simon thought it was a very good vocal though the song was a bit old-fashioned for his taste.

TAYLOR HICKS
SONG: “Just Once”/ James Ingram
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION: Oh - I luv this song.. I hope he serves it well.  He started off a bit weak, but I’m hoping he will pull it out.  Well if nothing else, he definitely knows how to put emotion into his vocals.  It seemed a bit flat tonight compared to some of his other performances, but I think he did well enough to hang in there.
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy thought it was completely the wrong song for him.  Paula said it wasn’t one of her favorites.  Simon thought he seemed a bit uptight tonight.

CHRIS DAUGHTRY
SONG: “Have You Really Ever Loved A Woman”/ Bryan Adams
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION:  Definitely an interesting song choice for him.  I know he’s supposed to be making the song his own, but I think he takes away from the ‘romance’ of the song by adding the rock inflection at the end.  And why does he get the advantage of having acoustic guitars flank for him effect?
JUDGES NOTES:  Randy thought it was amazing.  Paula couldn’t stop loving him.  Simon thought it was a very good choice of song for him.


EDITOR’S NOTE:  If Kellie isn’t the one to go, I don’t know what is right with this world.

(You can find all the American Idol 5 posts here.)

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