Oh, lord, how will I survive this? Country week, and worse, the guest star is Kenny Rogers (who is bizarrely unrecognizable). We see the "kids" acting like they're having a fine old time singing "The Gambler." You've got to know when this is bullshit.
First, Taylor Hicks. He sounds awful trying to do John Denver, Take me home, country road. They speed it up a lot. This is one of those versions that makes me discover a respect for the original artist that I never had. Simon: "Safe, boring, lazy..."
Mandisa. The song has a lot of words, which amazes Kenny. I don't know the song. Any man of mine? Eh? It's boring. Simon: "The song was horrible."
Elliott Yamin watches someone sleeping and somehow shows her she's his only one or whatever. Dreary song. Solid vocals!
Paris Bennett sings another song I don't know. How do I live without you? I don't even understand what makes this a country song. This is the kind of song that makes me feel that I hate music and I wish everyone would stop singing forever. Sorry. That's just how it made me feel. Power ballads. Ugh!
"Ace is a very passionate kid," says Kenny about Ace Young, and Kenny thinks this is the best song choice of the night. Ace is watching TV with the sound turned down.... Hmmmm.... Don't give me ideas.... He's sitting on a stool -- always a bad omen on "AI." And he's singing through his nose. That's not allowed, is it? But he sings a high melisma at the end, and I'm inclined to forgive him.
Kellie Pickler. Ryan: "Okay, let's clear this up. Some people have said that this naivete you've shown on the show is a bit of an act. What is the truth, Kellie?" She says, "Oh, Ryan, you've caught me. I am a big faker." Unfortunately, not. She lays it on thick with the calamari and the salmon... Ick! "Here's you one chance, Fancy, don't let me down." I don't like her, as you can see, but I think she did a great job on this song.
Chris Daughtry. Kenny acts like it's hard for a rocker to find a way to sing country, but is it? Lots of these country songs rock. Just pick one. Pretty nice. And he looked adorable, with his intense brown eyes and his bald head. Simon calls the song boring. Yeah, that's true.
Katharine McPhee. She needs to rescue herself tonight, after last week, falling in the bottom two. Bringing out the Elvis in me. She looks very pretty and gets out some great notes (but swallows most of the song).
Ooh, Bucky goes last. Interesting! Bucky Covington. But it's really weak. I think he's the one that needs to slip away... or no, it ends well, as songs so often do on "American Idol."
Now, this is a difficult week. Who should leave? The only one who is truly safe is Kellie. Taylor was rather bad, but he's got fans, we know. Bucky's in danger. So is Katharine. I wouldn't be surprised if Paris was in the bottom three. I think Ace is safe, and so are Mandisa, Elliott, and (my favorite) Chris.