* American Idol Top 9 Recap

Country music night is mostly boring.

This was a disappointing evening of American Idol. On country music night, most of the singers (5 of 9) sang ballads, which were mostly boring and forgettable. Kenny Rogers was there because, you know, he’s a country singer (and was apparently available).

Singing order was Taylor Hicks, Mandisa Hundley, Elliott Yamin, Paris Bennett, Ace Young, Kellie Pickler, Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee, Bucky Covington. Here’s how I ranked them, from best to worst.

1. Kellie Pickler (23/25). Kelly sang an upbeat song (“Fancy”?). She struggled with a couple of low notes but nailed the rest of it. It was a powerful upbeat song and performance. Simon said he hated the song, which says nothing about the performance (and is consistent with what I predicted earlier today).

2. Katharine McPhee (19/25). Katharine sang an upbeat song (“Elvis In Me”?) and looked like she was having fun. It was a strong performance. When Simon started to complain (again presumably about the song, not the performance), Katherine (smartly) jumped in and said, “It’s OK, you just don’t like country music.” It doesn’t matter who likes what kind of music. American votes based on the quality of the vocal performance, and this was a good performance.

3. Bucky Covington (18/25). Bucky sang a boring ballad decently. And he sounded comfortable doing it. The guitar sounded out of tune at the beginning of the song.

4. Ace Young (17/25). Ace sang the whole song sitting on a chair. It was another boring ballad but he sang it quite well.

5. Chris Daughtry (17/25). Chris, for the first time, sang a ballad, and you could actually hear his voice, which was quite nice. The song was boring, but nice.

6. Taylor Hicks (16/25). Taylor sang a ballad (“Take Me Home”?) and just stood there. The band seemed much too loud and it was hard to hear his voice. He was on key but it just was not too fun.

7. Elliott Yamin (15/25). Elliott sang a Garth Brooks ballad. He was off key at the opening and put a little too much of his warbly vibrato into this boring ballad.

8. Mandisa Hundley (15/25). Mandisa sang a song with lots of words and apparently no name. The song seemed too low for her in parts. She looked and sounded uncomfortable. An uninteresting performance.

9. Paris Bennett (13/25). Paris sang a ballad (“How Do I Live Without You”) which I didn’t think was a country song. The song was too low for her at the beginning, and she was off key during the chorus. Simon said it was “very good” and seemed to enjoy contradicting Randy and Paula. I think when he watches it again, he’ll hear that he was wrong. Just like he was wrong last week about Katherine. But this was the only one he misjudged tonight, IMHO.

In my house, there was one vote for Taylor (mine – I want him to win it all and already bought his CD), two for Kellie, two for Chris. I only had trouble getting through to vote for Taylor.

Kellie and Katherine were clearly the top two.

There’s a big clump of just OK performances in the middle: Bucky, Ace, Chris, Taylor.

The bottom three were Elliott, Mandisa, and Paris. I predict that Paris will be going home tomorrow. Paris is not the worst singer in this group, but she was the worst tonight. And American doesn’t care about what happened during the previous 25 shows. America only cares about your last performance.

Erik out.

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