How strange that the single best night of singing on "Idol" came with standards. Now we're back to modern pop songs and most of the singers are floundering again.
Guest Artists -- more Granny music, this time from David Foster and Andrea Bocelli. They appeared to be the most helpful and constructive since Barry Manilow, really working on the singing and giving specific pointers.
Katharine -- her breasts were lovely and her performance was typical "Idol," just trying to get through most of the lyrics so she can hit the big notes. Frankly, I was surprised the judges called her on it, but she was indeed pretty weak. But saying that her singing a Whitney Houston song was an act of hubris is silly -- was Paris saying she was better than Barbra Streisand by singing a Streisand number? Were they all saying they were better than Stevie Wonder or Freddie Mercury of Queen when they sang their work? Of course not. Katharine looked good enough to get through, but she should not be singing a soul number; gritty she ain't. Paris's "The Way We Were" would have been much wiser.
Elliott -- I'm simply not a fan of his voice and a second listen showed him a little more colorless and lost than I thought at first, especially at the end. But he was still pretty good for Elliott. About as good as he'll ever be. Paula breaking down in tears was the bizarro highlight of the show.
Kellie -- how many times can she keep apologizing adorably for sucking and get away with it? Besides, her clothing was way too modest for the fans who have been voting her through on her looks -- compared to Katharine she was dowdy. Her singing? Godawful. Maybe she could get through some modest ditty, but "Unchained Melody," one of the biggest most difficult songs in the world to sing? A train wreck. Even my brother wouldn't vote for her this week.
Paris -- again, a second listen showed her more lost than the first impression. Seemed to gain a little momentum moving into the first bridge (never sure how to refer to parts of the song when it's been chopped up and shortened) and her final note was a clever surprise (big rather than soft). Since she's very young, a young playful love song would have been better. Still seems too young, but her voice is so unique and has such great color and shading, I hope she loses and hits the jazz circuit and performs the standards for five or ten years before she records.
Taylor -- I thought "Just Once" would be a terrific choice; I could just hear him nailing it. But in fact he was dreadfully dull and lost and tepid and just bad. In many ways, almost as bad as Kellie. Now I picture Katharine in the final with Chris.
Chris -- head and shoulders above the others. The bridge -- when he launches into his hard rock voice to add some passion to the song -- was truly winning. I also happen to like the tune (I've got a Bryan Adams weakness) and thought he nailed it. A second listen showed it wasn't quite a complete triumph until that rocker moment, but very good and much much better than the others. He's been very savvy for two weeks in a row -- singing "What A Wonderful World" and now this. But is this what his fans want to hear and will they vote for him? He should be in first place of course and should win it all. But if he's in the bottom three again, it'll prove no matter how good he is that there simply may not be enough rockers voting to put him over the top.