I can't remember when I've dreaded a night of Idol as much as this one. Queen was all about angst and doubt and all the complexities of life. They recorded the two most popular rock songs in the world, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions”. Admittedly most was recorded under heavy influence of cocaine and other high powered drugs of the Seventies. The musical precision, intensity, and complexity is not easily reproduced. Ryan says it's going to be awesome tonight. All the judges have their Coke cups and the devil only knows what is in them. We get a glimpse of Queen today without Freddie Mercury
, and sadly without Freddie there is not much left of Queen. They may be back on tour, but Freddie's dead; that's what I said. They all rehearsed with what's left of Queen this week .
Bucky is up first with “Fat Bottomed Girls”. His husky voice sounds huskier than ever. It's a typical Bucky performance, kind of like stopping at your favorite diner to grab a quick bite. It's never great, and still never too bad. It was the most mediocre version of “Fat Bottomed Girls” that I've ever heard. If you are going to sing it, sound like you mean it. It's called Conviction. That was Queen goes Country Boring. You have to rock “Fat Bottomed Girls”. After all, they make the rocking world go round.
Next up is Ace. He says it is out of his comfort zone. No kidding. His speaking voice is as passive as his singing voice. The rehearsals with Queen are nearly embarrassing. He wants boyband arrangements which Queen refuses. “We Will Rock You” is one of the most aggressive songs ever written. Ace looks more like he is playing rock singer for the day. He worked on the outfit, but the performance is milquetoast. The best part was the camera did not focus on his face long enough for him make those icky faces. Randy called it karaoke, Paula called it pitchy. Simon says it was a complete and utter mess. Hee hee. Simon says it was We Will Rock You Gently. Elevator Rock in other words. Bottom three please!
Kellie Pickler's prison daddy listened to Queen so she is familiar with the music. It's a little harder to spell than calamari, but a lot harder to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Kelly's world is so far from Queen it is like the day the missionaries broke through and invaded the interior of Africa. She hasn't a clue what they were singing about because her angst is all country involving bad daddies and life as a poor girl in the south instead of a boy liking boys, makeup, and ever stronger drug combinations. Kelly looks like she is singing in the high school talent show, all dressed in black with edgy black makeup. “Nothing really matters to me” is the perfect line for her to sing. She sings it all on key and with energy, but as usual it lacked conviction of meaning. Everyone kind of liked it, and if the girl wasn't so damn irritating, I might have too. She is the best so far in yet another dreadful evening of live “entertainment”.
Chris is singing the most obscure Queen song possible. Queen loved him at rehearsal. “Innuendo” is a rocker's song, full of the angst Chris relies on. It suits his yelling, rocker style. His one and only rocker style. Queen never performed this song live. Just as well. Chris is good, but he needs to be on American Rocker Idol. Paula wants him bad. What a blabbering idiot. Simon says he has the best vocal, but picked the most boring indulgent song available. I agree. Chris picks what he can yell in his non-melodic style and never strays too far from there. It's a style that gets boring after the second or third song.
Katharine is performing “Who Wants to Live Forever?” after changing her song choice. It's poignant in light of Freddie's untimely early passing. It's one of those movie ballads that builds slowly and shows a different side of Queen than some might expect. It's not arena anthem rock, but a nice pretty song that Katharine sings with her full voice. It was a nice change of pace and Katharine looks great and sings great tonight. It wasn't a big Queen moment, but it worked great for Katharine.
Elliott has trimmed his beard into a goatee and they've reworked his hair into a more modern styling. “Somebody to Love” is a big bite of Queen. He is singing better than anyone else tonight. There are so many words and he remembers them all. It's a song that requires some soul and spirit and Elliott dips down and finds more energy than he's shown so far. Elliott sings with more of the spirit of Queen than anyone else tonight. Not perfect, but better than most.
Taylor changed his song too. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” should be right up Taylor's alley. It's homage rock n' roll. Just act and sing as much like Elvis as you can. It's typical Taylor performance, rough in some spots and excellent in others. He will never be a dancer, but he is entertaining in his own way. Simon asks Taylor if he is drunk when what he means is that Taylor might have been better if everyone had a few beforehand. It's OK, but it ain't Idol stuff.
“The Show Must Go On” is Paris Bennett's song tonight. Her makeover is finally a more adult one tonight. This might be the best Paris performance of the series. She transforms to a rocker chick a lot easier than expected. It's a great song for her, lots of drama and a big notes at the end. She hits every one of them and wins the prize for best of the night. Simon found it all a little weird and when she reverts to her baby doll voice, it is. It's all an act, but the direction this show has taken required that and several other things that haven't been too entertaining.
All in all this show was a prime example of the difference between professional rock and an amateurish pop talent show. Weirdly, Paris played the rocker best, but Elliott sang the best for me. The whole thing seems like poor management. Would you want whoever is picking these themes to be in charge of your career? Anyhow, Bucky or Ace could go home. They were the most boring in a big group of boring performances. What will next week's theme be? Obscure B-side recordings from the forties? Ozzie Osborn love songs? Songs with the word Dog in the title? I got a million of 'em, all at least as boring as these have been. How about songs by the Beatles? What comes to mind is “HELP!”