American Idol: Soul Patrol vs. McFever

Last night’s “American Idol” results show was painfully a full hour long, before the climax of sending home Elliott Yamin. And in the end the thing that surprised us all was that the voting was so close. Mere percentage points separated Elliott from the second-place vote-getter…in fact, each contestant garnered 33 % of the vote but then the last per cent determined the outcome. Wow. Elliott really brought his A-game the last few weeks and made a serious run at becoming the next Idol, but was beaten out by the hugely popular Taylor Hicks and girl-next-door Katharine McPhee.

The show started with Ryan Seacrest telling us that on Tuesday night, 50 million people voted, another record. As annoying as Seacrest is, that number really is astounding and proof of just how popular this show has become. Then there was a recap of Tuesday’s performances, followed by footage of each contestant going back to their hometown last week to mingle with fans, meet with Governors, and be interviewed on radio and TV. Elliott even got to throw out the first pitch at a Richmond Braves game, and dude threw a strike!

After the footage, each contestant got to perform the song they recorded for the upcoming “American Idol 5” CD. Taylor did the Doobie Brothers’ “Takin’ It To The Streets,” Katharine sang Aretha Franklin’s “Think” and Elliott did “Blue is the Mood For Love.” After watching them all perform, I concluded that Katharine’s version of “Think” was her best performance yet, even better than “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from Tuesday night. Mrs. Marley even agreed, while muttering under her breath that Chris Daughtry still should be in the finals. Anyway, maybe it’s because there was no pressure, but holy shit…..Katharine can belt it out and in many ways really does deserve to be in the finals.

Then Clive Davis came out and accepted an award for his role in making the show what it is. When you look back, and realize that Kelly Clarkson alone has sold 10 million records and won two Grammys, and then at the success of Clay Aiken, Fantasia, and Carrie Underwood…’s clear that “American Idol” has had quite an impact on pop music since its inception in 2002. Fox Network, please make that check out to “Spike M-A-R-L-E-Y.” But anyway…..

Seacrest showed the results a little differently this week….he put up on a big screen the final percentages of the votes: 33.68, 33.26, and 33.06. Then said “Let’s put a name to the lowest percentage,” and it was Elliott. That wasn’t a surprise, but the closeness of the voting sure was.

So next week, the gray-haired wonder slugs it out with the California girl for the right to be named the next American Idol. I’m still banking on Taylor, but then again, I thought Bo Bice should have won last season. Hang on, it’s sure to be an exciting (read: painfully long) two episodes next week.
Till then,

Marley, OUT.


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