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Round of 6: Love Songs - April 25

One of our favorite catch phrases at the ‘net is “Spread the love.” And that’s what the six finalists are doing, as we are one month, give or take a day, away from crowning your next American Idol.

Tonight’s class: classic love songs. Tonight’s all-star tutor, set to perform tomorrow night: classical music artist Andrea Bocelli.

I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself, as you are no doubt in bated glee over the news.

Joining Bocelli, who resembles God if he had a singing voice, is uberproducer David Foster, who produced his latest opus, “Amore.” I own the CD, and I love it to pieces.

As for David Foster, well, I think 14 Grammys speak for themselves.

The six Idols meet Andrea and David, and get right to work, warming up and such, as if this were glee club class. And already, David Foster is my hero. “If you can’t cut it in my studio, you’re gone. Period. If you can’t bring something new to the table, you’re gonna die in the
real world.

Words of wisdom from Andrea: “You become great only if it’s your destiny.”

We start with a Kat. Katharine McPhee starts the show with “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. Playing from the book of David Foster. Sounds like another move of sheer bravado. A round of Russian roulette if you will... Watch your step. “I think Katharine has a great... GREAT future.” That parlays into a bit of an operetta duet with Andrea.

What they say: Randy was a bit worried. He liked the song choice, but complains that this song is too big for her and that it didn’t come close. Paula said that there were pitch problems and that she should know what her money is (her intimate vocal). Simon: “By choosing that
song, you are saying that I am as good as Whitney Houston. You’re not. That was the problem.”

What we say: The lower register seems to pose a challenger for our favorite female here. But the meal ticket is the power note. And while she may not realize it, she’s showing a lot of bereavement... This whole performance, we come to realize while we should rename her “Katharine McPh34r.” Because everyone has reason to ph34r her. Not necessarily because that was good... but because she’s playing Russian roulette every week.

Yaminions unite, Elliott Yamin is next. He sings “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway. It was the first song he sang to get his foot in the door during the first audition. He wanted to honor Donny Hathaway’s music as well.

What they say: Randy hated the arrangement... but he loved Elliott. Paula was moved to tears... literally. And Simon is laughing. But he calls it a vocal masterclass.

What we say: David was trying like hell to make Elliott come out of the song and bring himself forward... It worked... but just that well. Will it be too little too late for our Elliott? Time will only tell. But still, his best performance.

Next up, time to see what Kellie Pickler picked. She’s dedicating her performance of the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” to “a future boyfriend.” I don’t personally give a flip about “future boyfriends”, but this song is an Idol mainstay. It’s made and/or broken some
contestants. Keeping it strictly on the real. If she messes this up, it’ll be over so bad, she’ll have to dig up to come down from the amount of suckage.

What they say: Randy: “You think you butchered this one too, huh?” Kellie: “I don’t know. I’m just really scared.” There were pitch problems from a poor song choice. Paula doesn’t see her raising her game at all. Simon: “I think that deserved tears but for a very different reason. I thought it was like the neverending song. It was so monotonous and so bland. There was no warmth from your vocal.”

What we say: Kinda boring, flat, and robotic, actually. I defer to my twin brother D’angelo...

What D’angelo says: Alright. I’ve heard this song defaced enough.

Next up, Paris Bennett meets David & Andrea to train on Barbra’s “The Way We Were”. She said that she has to choose this song wisely. “She has volume like me.” That’s good, Andrea. “I would sing the first eight bars softer,” David notes. Let’s see if she takes the less-is-more approach.

What they say: Randy thought it was pretty good. Paula thought she oversang it. Simon thought she was impersonating an older artist.

What we say: Sounds like the softer side of Paris is taking its toll on her instrument, because she’s not tapping into ranges that she knows that he can perform in. She’s not used to going down into the mezzo piano, and it’s going to cost her.

Next, it’s the General of the Soul Patrol, Taylor Hicks. He sings “Just Once” by James Ingram. David says that this could be the big score of the night. He has the most charisma, but how will it play tonight?

What they say: Randy thought it was the wrong song, calling it “weird karaoke.” Paula thought it was perfect. Simon compared it to hotel lounges.

What we say: Not Taylor’s best moment. Lots of pitch problems.

One more on deck, it’s Chris Daughtry. He sings Bryan Adams’ “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman.” He tries laying down singing it... Actually came out better, as Chris is forced to use his diaphragm.

What they say: Randy says amazing. Paula loved it. Simon said good song choice.

What we say: Wait for it...

Wait for it...

The diaphragm is money. Performance of the night.

And that’s the performance as watched by two eclectic music fans... to the sumup...

Spreading the love: Elliott, Chris
Holding back the love: Katharine, Taylor
Spreading ... well, something else: Paris, Kellie

Now we hear from two more eclectic music fans, one of which has a grandmother who is ALSO an eclectic music fan.

Eclectic music fans are cool, aren’t they?

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