I get why people don't like to see American Idol contestants trying Stevie Wonder songs. It can be a problem for them, and it does suck to see the panic-stricken look on a contestant's face when he or she realizes the song is too big to manage. But I love Stevie Wonder songs, and on the off chance one of these monkeys can pull one off I'm willing to suffer.
Here we go: Everyone meets Stevie and some, including my boy Elliot, start weeping. Stevie says what I've always thought: that anything that brings this many people "together in song" is a good thing, no matter how cheesy it can be at times. Everyone practices their song with Stevie and they show some of that before each performance.
Ace: Horrible. Butchers "Do I Do" in a way that makes us long for Mario Vazguez. Where's your frickin' album, Mario? Ace will not be going home, unfortunately.
Pickler: Doesn't know any Stevie songs (weird that she started crying when he came in, yes?) so she picks "Blame it on the Sun," a lovely but complicated song she kind of pulls off. She's turned from cute to cute and sexy and is working that. I'm still not sure if I trust her schtick, but she's not going anywhere this week.
Elliot: picks a fantastic song, "Knocks me Off my Feet," and does a decent job with it. Flubs a note for the first time, not a big deal. I'll be voting for him furiously after the show.
Mandisa: A serviceable "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" but not great. Everyone seems to be taken aback by the new stage. She's fun, though, and not going anywhere.
Bucky: I don't really dig this guy, he does an OK "Superstition" although the really raspy thing is wearing me out. His hair does indeed look like Jessica Simpson's, or as Ann Althouse says, Austin Scarlett.
Melissa: Struggles with "Lately." And forgets the words in front of Stevie and then all of us. Death knell, I hear you loud and clear. She does look a lot better, though. Thanks, stylist!
Lisa: does OK with "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" although once again her voice underwhelms. She doesn't have the power of any of the former winners. Looks great, though.
Chicken Little (Kevin): Butchers "Part-Time Lover" and still fails to make me hate him. What's that about? I can't see him staying around but he's already avoided the hangman more than once. I hope that streak ends Wednesday night.
Katharine: Love this girl. LOVE her. She's beautiful and she looks just crazy enough to be really famous one day. And she's got an amazing instrument. Today she shows some more of it with "Until You Come Back to Me" and the judges love her, although I hoped for a tiny bit more power on the highest bits. But I'm voting for her, and not just because she bent over in a low cut dress.
Taylor: It's funny, but nary a "Woo!" escapes when he's working with Stevie. It's like he can control them or something. But WOW does he kill "Living for the City." He's got that throaty growl down. Best of the night so far, and I'm not a Taylor guy.
Paris: I love this girl, and I don't mind the apparent sense of entitlement some others seem to despise, but I've never been as excited about her as when she did Gladys Knight. She was so fun and good that night, and hasn't really done it since. Tonight she takes on "All I Do" and has some fun with it, although I would much prefer it if she didn't try to Billie Holiday it up so much. She's safe.
Chris: When he says he's relieved to know Stevie wrote "Higher Ground" I cringe because the Chili Peppers version never did it justice, but when he performs he sings it Stevie's way and just does the arragement a la Peppers. Good for him, because Anthony Keidis has a voice like three asses in a dumpster. he does pretty well although I disagree with the judges that it's the best of the night.
Not too shabby.
PS: This sure sucks. I wish I had known, or rather that we all had. I loved Gedeon and was disgusted that Chicken Little bumped him off the show, and I'm sure that more people would have voted for him if they had known what a nightmare his life has been lately. Sorry Gedeon. I'll buy your CD.