Where's my trainwreck, "American Idol"? I wanted a glorious, disastrous, tell my daughter about it over a campfire when she's 10 kinda trainwreck on Queen Night and instead I got... the same range of mediocre-to-pretty-good we've been getting every damn week this year. Aside from Ace, nobody sucked. Aside from maybe Elliot and/or Paris, nobody was great. Come on, "Idol," either dazzle me or appall me already. Please.
Let's take 'em in order:
Bucky Covington, "Fat Bottomed Girls": My favorite Queen song, and I'm really irked Mandisa wasn't around to sing it, because she could have belted the shit out of it. Bucky did just fine with it, to the level that if I heard it at a bar, I might wave my lighter around. Nothing special, but competent and fun.
Ace Young, "We Will Rock You": Dude, when the guys from Queen are basically telling you to go fuck yourself, you may want to rethink your plan to rearrange one of the most iconic songs of the 20th century. Who do you think you are, J.D. Fortune? A mess in pretty much every way; he couldn't make up his mind about whether he was going to sing the chorus or leave it to the back-up singers, and his embellishments added absolutely nothing to the song. This hopefully will be his exit, but under the old "It's better to suck than to be mediocre" theory of "Idol" voting, he may be just safe enough that somebody like Bucky could go home in his place.
Kellie Pickler, "Bohemian Rhapsody": Damn you, Pickler, for denying me the fiasco I had been gleefully anticipating all day. This wasn't especially good, but the Pickle played to her skanked-out, scratchy-throated strengths with the arrangement. She looked like a corpse under that spotlight, but the vocal was passable. Damn you! On the other hand, she doesn't frikking know what "on paper" means? Whether she's really this dumb or just playing this dumb, I hate her and I hate that the stupidity is what's going to carry her far on this show.
Chris Daughtry, "Innuendo": I have never heard the Mercury version, other than a 30-second iTunes sample, but as Chris sang it, it was repetitive, shouty and completely boring in every way. He's still probably going to win, but Chris needs to lighten the hell up every now and then; he could have had a lot of fun tonight if he hadn't been intent on picking the darkest, angriest Queen song he knew.
Katharine McPhee, "Who Wants to Live Forever": One of my favorite performers was on the verge of singing my second-favorite Queen song and she changed her mind at the last minute? D'oh! Though for all I would've enjoyed her fanny-wiggling on "Don't Stop Me Now," she probably made the right choice. She's been doing the giggly sex-kitten routine for most of the finals, and as I've said before, guys don't vote for this show. Sooner or later she just needed to stand still and just dazzle people with her voice. This wasn't quite there, unfortunately. Like Randy said, she was very sharp in spots, and it sounded too close to what I imagine the Barbra or Celine versions sound like.
Elliot Yamin, "Somebody to Love": As usual, he picks the highest degree of difficulty, and he sort of grazed the target. He was way too smiley for such an anguished song, and I didn't love the scatting at the very end, which is where he should have been hitting the motherfucking big note to end all motherfucking big notes, but he was still so far ahead of the crowd tonight that it didn't matter. If this were a singing-only contest, Elliot would win in a walk.
Taylor Hicks, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love": If Elliot picked the hardest song, Taylor picked the easiest. I could sing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and I would be one of those people even Paula can't find something nice to say about in the audition round. I know Randy wants Taylor to stay in his funny dancing box, but what I love about this guy is his voice, not the Pee-Wee spaztics, and this was ordinary at best. He's capable of so much better, and Paula and Randy (not to mention a fan base so big I don't think he'll sniff final two for weeks, if ever) are just going to inspire him to coast for the rest of the season.
Paris Bennett, "The Show Must Go On": Once again, she picks a song that's way too old for her, and yet she almost pulled off the world-weary sentiment needed. (The only real screw up was when she barked "Come on!" and started laughing midway through.) Paris also has a sensational voice, but even more than Pickler's condensed "Bohemian Rhapsody," the arrangement felt like it was trying to stuff 12 pounds of music into a 5-pound bag.
Should go home: Ace. He and Pickler are the two worst contestants remaining; she was okay tonight, he was awful.
Will go home: Bucky? Katharine? Or maybe the public gets it right.
What did everybody else think?