* American Idol Top 8 Recap

Night of Queen music is much more entertaining than the last two weeks.

This was a much better night of singing, with no crash-and-burn performances and no season-defining performances.

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

1. Taylor Hicks (23.5/25). Taylor sang Crazy Little Thing Called Love. It was a fun, relaxed, upbeat, rockin’, memorable, soulful performance. It was, in short, everything an American Idol performance should be. And the crowd loved it. Simon called it “ridiculous,” but he got this one wrong, one of two he got wrong for the night. I’m beginning to think he does not like soul singers.

2. Ace Young (22/25). Ace sang We Will Rock You, a high-risk song. And it was surprisingly great. Surprising because we had not heard this sort of singing from Ace before. It was relaxed and rocking, even though Queen (obnoxiously, IMHO) didn’t want to modify the style of the song to fit Ace’s desired arrangement. Simon got this one wrong too, calling it a “mess,” so I gave Ace the second spot, since Kellie actually tied his score.

3. Kellie Pickler (22/25). Kellie sang Bohemian Rhapsody, which is perhaps the highest risk Queen song (as I ranked them in yesterday’s post). Pickler can sing! She was relaxed on stage. Only one or two small hiccups. A nice country rock twist to the song. Plus Kellie revealed that the has no accent!

4. Katharine McPhee (18.5/25). Katharine sang Who Wants to Live Forever?, which was the only real ballad of the night. (I don’t think you can call Bohemian Rhapsody a ballad.) It was a good song to show off her vocal range, and she wore non-maternity-looking clothes for a change. But Katharine seemed tentative on some of the big notes and did not have the best stage presence.

5. Chris Daughtry (18.5/25). Chris sang Innuendo, a very loud dark song. Where is the melody to this song? There was too much vibrato yelling and not enough singing in this performance.

6. Elliott Yamin (18/25). Elliot sang Somebody to Love. Elliott hadn’t heard this song before? And he was a DJ? Again the band was too loud. Elliott is a good singer but it’s hard to hear his voice. He had a big strong ending.

7. Bucky Covington (18/25). Bucky sang Fat Bottomed Girls. I used to think it was his country style, but I’m beginning to think that Bucky is always singing a bit flat, which he was definitely doing on the chorus for this song. It was, however, quite entertaining.

8. Paris Bennet (17/25). Paris sang The Show Must Go On. I thought the outfit and the hair were odd. It was off pitch in several places. Where is the melody to this song? If you have to say “Come on!” to the audience, they probably won’t.

This week, the top three (Taylor, Ace, Kellie) were easier to pick than the bottom three (Elliot, Bucky, Paris). I would not be surprised to see any of my bottom five end up in the actual bottom three and go home. There is a clear difference between the top three and the rest.

Paris is my pick to go home. Her song was lesser known, and she did not sing it particularly well, or look particularly comfortable doing it.

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