Aw, I love all the kids that made it to the top 12. I have a feeling the next few weeks will eliminate Kevin, Melissa, and Bucky. It seems obvious. Too predictable. But maybe something surprising will happen.
Tonight, they are all singing Stevie Wonder songs, and we begin with a quick biographical montage. I remember when the only Stevie Wonder record was "Fingertips," and "Little" Stevie Wonder first appeared on "American Bandstand." It was his thirteenth birthday. Yeah, Stevie Wonder is overplayed on "American Idol," to the point where the judges have criticized some contestants for "playing it safe" by singing his songs. But here they are devoting a whole 2-hour show to him. Well, why not? His songs really are great. They're our standards. Do you have a favorite? I'm going to say: "For Once in My Life." We see the 12 finalists practicing "My Cherie Amour," and, suprising them, Stevie Wonder is ushered in. Extra points to Kellie Pickler and Elliott Yamin for crying genuine tears.
Ace Young ("Do I Do") is awful. He's overwhelmed by the bigger band and bigger stage. He's imitating that breath-holding thing that Wonder does.
Kellie Pickler ("Blame It on the Sun") is very dull. Randy: "It was kind like a nonevent, like it didn't even really happen."
Elliott ("Knocks Me Off My Feet") bores me at first but then gets good in the end when it's challenging.
Mandisa ("Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing") sings the high notes well but doesn't thrill.
Bucky Covington ("Superstition"). For once, his hair looks clean. Not just clean, but all fluffy and curled, like something Austin Scarlett would concoct. Wait, the hair was so distracting... How about the song? It was okay.
Melissa McGhee ("Lately") blows her voice out, straining all the way through.
Lisa Tucker ("Signed, Sealed, Delivered") misses the spirit of the song.
Kevin Covais ("Part-Time Lover"). Ooh, he's too young for this song! And he makes a point of saying how sexy he's going to make it. Nooooo!
Katharine McPhee ("Until You Come Back to Me"). Screetchy. Empty. They love her though.
Taylor Hicks has my favorite song choice: "Living for the City." Nice singing and dancing. He brings joy... to a song of pain.
Paris Bennett ("All I Do") wails somewhat appealingly.
Chris Daughtry -- he's my favorite. He's not too familiar with Stevie Wonder: he expressed relief at finding out that "Higher Ground" is a Stevie Wonder song. He knew it as a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. I love this song choice too. Bo-like, he brings out a mike stand to interact with. This is by far the best of the night. Simon agrees, saying, "Best tonight, by a mile."
Come on, Chris is going to win the season -- don't we all know that?