American Idol Recap: Elvis Night

Welcome to American Idol‘s Elvis night, where The King (or at least his music) comes back to haunt us for a brief night. Here’s a recap of the music that transpired under the “master hand” of producer, and Superblessed’s thoughts on who’s coming back to haunt us for another night of American Idol.

TAYLOR HICKS
Taylor Hicks’ Song Choices: Jailhouse Rock and In the Ghetto

Jailhouse Rock

Taylor opened the show with his version of Elvis’ rock stomper, and unfortunately for Hicks, Jailhouse Rock is one of those iconic songs that no one is ever going to bring anything real to, in this day and age. Hicks does nothing for the song, and as Simon would put it, it’s one of those wedding karaoke songs. You’re never going to win critical acclaim for taking on Jailhouse Rock. However, Jailhouse Rock is one of the crowd pleasers that will undoubtedly win Hicks millions of votes. Judges and critics may scoff, but hey, Hicks is doing something right, right? Right.
Song Choice: D
Vocal: B

In the Ghetto
Hicks delivers well on his version of In the Ghetto. Going back to the soul for which he is known, Hicks delivers a heartfelt turn on In the Ghetto, showing a touch of emotion otherwise unseen in previous performances. Props for this song choice.
Song Choice: B+
Vocal: B+

Overall Performance: C+

ELLIOT YAMIN
Elliot Yamin’ Song Choices: If I Can Dream and Trouble

If I Can Dream

Elliot’s choice of If I Can Dream, a somewhat mediocre chestnut from the Presley catalog that dreams of peace and happy let’s-get-along’s, is a perplexing selection. While certainly a vocally challenging track that allows Yamin to show off his trademark vibrato and his emotion-driven delivery, If I Can Dream also highlights Yamin’s weaknesses, which are a shaky high register and a pitchy low one. Ultimately, a somewhat unforgettable version of a forgettable song.
Song Choice: C+
Vocal: B+

Trouble
If Elliot Yamin were looking for trouble, he certainly wasn’t courting it with this version of Trouble. Markedly different from versions of both Presley’s and earlier Idol champion Carrie Underwood, Elliot delivers a spunky, if somewhat desperate, turn on this rock and roll pleaser. Yamin’s Trouble is both gutsy and indignant, with several vocal turns to please even the most discriminating Elvis critic. Sizzling.
Song Choice: B+
Vocal: A

Overall Performance: B+

CHRIS DAUGHTRY
Chris Daughtry’s Song Choices: Suspicious Minds and A Little Less Conversation

Suspicious Minds

Chris Daughtry brings it on Suspicious Minds, putting his odd vibrato and rock-solid baritone to best use with Presley’s #1 track. I’m actually pleased by this version, and the selection of Suspicious Minds shows that Daughtry’s willing to go out on a limb every so often, and this is definitely not in his comfort zone. Brave, and he wins points for that.
Song Choice: A
Vocal: B

A Little Less Conversation
I’m sorry, but whenever I hear A Little Less Conversation, I think Jon Peter Lewis. LOL Seriously, not a bad version, but Daughtry brings nothing new to A Little Less Conversation. It’s actually how eerie Daughtry sounds like The King, save for the last part of A Little Less Conversation where he screams twice, inexplicably, adding his own muddled, messed-up signature to A Little Less Conversation. In the world of American Idol, that amounts to one thing: karaoke. Ick.
Song Choice: C+
Vocal: C+

Overall Performance: B

KATHARINE MCPHEE
Hound Dog/All Shook Up
When selecting from the Presley catalog, here’s rule #2, Katharrine: don’t pick Hound Dog. Whoops, too late. Katherine McPhee’s version of Hound Dog/All Shook Up , while clever for its recall amongst voters, is simply too much for her, and it shows. McPhee runs out of steam halfway through the steam, and Katherine’s vocal becomes pitchy and screechy. It’s like McPhee pants perennially (kinda like a hound dog), and while it was pleasant watching her, she came across as a performer on some beauty pageant. Tsk.
Song Choice: C+
Vocal: C+

Can’t Help Falling in Love
I was telling Cathy this morning, “please, Caths, don’t tell me someone will pick this one.” Why? Rule #1? Don’t do Can’t Help Falling in Love. It’s overdone, overused, and overrated. Unfortunately, McPhee’s version of Can’t Help Falling in Love does absolutely nothing for the song, except drag it down to the annals of mediocrity. McPhee may be hot, but she’s no diva, and she flubs this one. Bad. I can’t help feeling bad for her.
Song Choice: D
Vocal: C

Overall Performance: C

Ganns’ Rankings: Elliot, Chris, Taylor, and Katharine, with McPhee getting the boot
Ganns’ Prediction: Look to a bottom two between McPhee and Daughtry, with McPhee the most likely to get voted off

SPOILER
Who got voted off American Idol? Chris Daughtry! Gosh!

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