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God Save the Audience

How smart is Queen? They're gonna sell thousands of copies of their various Greatest Hits albums this week, thanks to American Idol. Brilliant.

Here's your guide to last night's American Idol, aided by the quick-hit ratings system known as sucks-bites-blows-eats.

Bucky Covington, "Fat Bottomed Girls": Sucks. Which for Mr. Bucky is actually quite an accomplishment, because as a singer, he blows.

Ace Young, "We Will Rock You": Eats. "We Will Rock You" is not even a song. It's a chant. It's non-melodic. It's also iconic, and yet Mr. Young apparently wanted the surviving members of Queen to turn it into a Backstreet Boys song. Those David Cassidy looks will only get you so far, "Ace" -- if that is your real name.

Kellie Pickler, "Bohemian Rhapsody": Much, much better than I thought. It helps that she slimmed the song down from its original 20-minute running time to about 1:30, thereby eliminating all the hard parts. But still, this was supposed to be a disaster and it was just... ehh.

Chris Daughtry, "Innuendo": Pretty good, except for the fact that every song he sings sounds the same, and (as usual) Simon Cowell is absolutely right -- if he's so talented, why didn't he actually try to take on a song someone other than Freddie Mercury's heirs have actually heard?

Katharine McPhee, "Who Wants to Live Forever": Sucks. Should have been much better, but I was just bored. I don't get her appeal. No, wait, that's not true: I am a red-blooded heterosexual male. I don't get her appeal as a singer.

Elliot Yamin, "Somebody to Love": Good. Not perfect, but pretty darn good. He's probably the best singer in the group.

Taylor Hicks, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love": Best of the night, regardless of what the beaten-down Simon Cowell said. Hicks is settling down and his stagecraft is a little less insane, which helps.

Paris Bennett, "The Show Must Go On": Again I feel like Paris is playing a part rather than actually showing her personality. If she doesn't have a personality, someone should just invent one for her. As it is, she's a chameleon. On one level that's refreshing -- rather than being the bitchy one or the fat one or the crazy one or the soul-music one or the country-bumpkin one, she's the One Who Can Actually Sing. But you get the feeling that it's all an act and there's no substance behind the voice. But it's a really good voice.

Who should go: Ace!

Web linkage: You can't escape it. Aaron Barnhart is now blogging Idol, and Alan Sepinwall's comments are always trenchant.

(Update: And the loser is... Bucky! Well, it's a shame to go on a night when you're doing better than usual, but... Bucky sucked. He really deserved to be gone two or three weeks ago. He has uttered his last unintelligible comment. Yee-haw!)


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