Let's throw the cares of the world aside and fall into the arms of Ryan Seacrest, who will guide us through our national folly.
The theme tonight is songs from the year you were born.
Elliott Yamin was born in 1978, so he's singing "On Broadway." That's from '78? I remember hearing it in the 60s. Am I losing it? Key lyric: "And I won't quit 'til I'm a star." Elliott keeps winking.
Paris Bennett, born in 1988, is singing "Kiss"! I can't overstate how much I love this song choice. "You don't have to be cool to rule my world." Simon: "Screetchy and annoying." Paris: "I thank him." Ryan: whaaa? Paris: "I love all the opinions." Stay positive. You don't have to make sense to rule my world.
Chris Daughtry, born in 1979, sings "Renegade." Simon: "A million times better than the first two performances."
Katharine McPhee -- sorry I missed the year -- "Against All Odds." It sounds thin and -- well -- screetchy. But she looks lovely.
Taylor Hicks, born in 1976, sings the perfect song for him, "Play That Funky Music, White Boy." He's wearing a paisley shirt and doing a weird dance. He ends singing flat on his back on the stage.
For the second song, there's a new theme: current hits.
Elliott, "Home." Rich and sensitive, but kind of dull.
Paris, "Be Without You." Simon's right: "You did rather well with that."
Chris, "I Dare You." The band is putrid! The backdrop is licking red flames. But despite all that, Chris is good. The judges don't like it much though and keep saying his voice was giving out. Talking to Ryan, he's all short of breath. Poor Chrissy! Vote for him!
Katharine, "Black Horse in the Cherry Tree"? That can't be the title. She's crawling on the floor next to two guys playing (and sitting on) box drums. I'm simply not comprehending anything about this song or this performance.
Taylor, "Something." Ah! A song I can relate to! He's giving it the Joe Cocker treatment. How is this a current hit? Someone must have a record out. Whatever. Nice!
Everyone did a creditable job tonight. It's hard to rank them, but I'm going to go with: Chris, Taylor, Elliott, Paris, Katharine. The only person I think is safe is Taylor.
UPDATE: In the comments, there's some talk about what songs we would pick if we had to pick a song from the year we were born. I'm not commenting on that myself, because I already talked about it last year, here, when the same theme came up on the previous season of the show. Also, what exactly did Paris say about the song "Kiss"? "The song is not really a song that people can make a song, but I think I can." That quote is not really a quote that people can make a quote, but I think I can.