God bless Inside TV magazine! Since my colleagues and I were off loving each other not that way at the launch party for the Guide's splashy new weekly (on stands now, FYI), I had to tape this one. Which mercifully allowed me to fast-forward through the blahblahblah of the pre-filmed visits to the gang's hometowns. Don't get me wrong, crying siblings and proud girlfriends are a beautiful thing, and I so need to meet Mama Maroulis, but let's not forget what we're here for, OK? It's all about the performances. And I gotta say, the kids did aiiight picking tunes from the last five years. As did their parents. So let's send out some props to the moms and pops of our final six. Y'all should be proud.
Carrie Underwood: I don't get it. Country girl is totally in her Grand Ole element with this Martina McBride number, but I'm more into figuring out if that's Liv Tyler's hateful sister in the audience. Great vocals, sure. Just super safe.
Bo Bice: Hot: Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be" gave Bogart one of his best nights so far. The applause alone proved that. Not: It's also the killer theme song of the unacceptably underappreciated One Tree Hill, and I completely flaked on recording tonight's "fresh" episode. Gotta get me one of them there TiVo doohickeys. Damn.
Vonzell Solomon: Even if a few of the low notes were rough, I'm with Randawg on Baby V's rendition of Christina Aguilera's "I Turn To You." Girlfriend sang it. Now is it weird that I want to hug her?
Anthony Fedorov: How odd that Clay Aiken is in the hizzy for blondie's strongest performance in weeks? And on Celine Dion's "I Surrender," no less! Hmm. While I ponder this convergence of adult-oriented pop mojo, you can all work on why Heather "Heavy Metal Husbands" Locklear was there rooting for my Keystone State comrade.
Constantine Maroulis: Poor guy. Not only does he get those underwhelming reactions from Simon and Randy, he's also got to keep that smile plastered on while Paula yammers on about him being the one Idol who can do something, or be someone or go somewhere. I don't know. She lost me after her eyes started rolling back. Anyway, I hope that teaches him never to do Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" again. It's just not worth the aggravation. Plus, the song pretty much sucks anyway.
The last guy: I told you, I won't say his name until it's followed by "...is outta here!" Though based on Simon's "pack your bags" assessment of his bloodless take on the Luther Vandross snoozer, "Dance with My Father," I may be screaming it from the rafters in a few hours. And then later on, as I perform a tribal Idol happy dance in front of Karen, my physical therapist's Savol-ating secretary.