''American Idol'': Even cowboys get the boot
Buh-bye, Bucky. It was fun while it lasted (or at least it was unpretentious), but as EW.com TV Watch viewers have been pointing out for several weeks now, it wasn't like you ever had a chance of becoming the next American Idol. Funny thing is, though, most Idol fans (myself included) thought your adequate rendition this week of Queen's ''Fat Bottomed Girls'' should've been enough to buy you an additional seven days in the competition. Surely, every viewer with a minimum of 50 percent hearing capacity realized you outperformed ghastly Ace Young during Tuesday night's performance show, didn't they?
But then again, maybe that was the problem. Ace's rendition of ''We Will Rock You'' was so unconvincing (Enya herself could've rocked harder) that it surely motivated his tween-girl fanbase into a text-messaging frenzy. Idols-02! Idols-02! Idols-02! And breathe. Repeat.
Meanwhile, Bucky's comparably kind reviews from Paula and Randy may have lulled his supporters into a false sense of security. Or maybe the Southern-fried rocker simply didn't have enough supporters left. ''Bucky [has a] genuine smile. Unfortunately he's not star quality. He is the weakest link,'' wrote Missmargaretmary.
And as Trevenarj pointed out, likability can (or should) only get a singer so far in the competition. ''The fact that Bucky is still on this show demonstrates that most Americans don't have a clue when it comes to quality of singing,'' he contended.
Then again, seeing how Bucky and Ace comprised two-thirds of the bottom three, Idol viewers clearly have at least a modicum of good taste. Message-board dweller Justin, who's certainly not one to hold back in the critique department, claimed he'd rather ''listen to a dying coyote in a trash compactor'' than have to endure the sound of Ace covering Queen again. Alrighty then!
Dean, meanwhile, declared that Ace's performance ''flat-out stunk. It was really the only the bad performance of the night.'' Given EW.com readers' near-unanimous drubbing of the silky-tressed crooner (who'd majorly benefit from a buzz cut in this reviewer's humble opinion), perhaps he needs a new career path. Reader CindiMcD presented one suggestion that made me chuckle: ''Ace has a nice smile,'' she allowed, ''but that is where it ends. Perhaps he should do a Crest commercial.''
While host Ryan Seacrest never revealed which singer had the second-lowest number of votes, I'm hoping it was Ace. Otherwise, that means the dubious distinction belongs to his fellow bottom-three dweller, Elliott Yamin, whose rendition of ''Somebody to Love'' was, by most of your accounts, one of the best performances of Tuesday night. Still, many EW.com readers theorized that superficial voters might shun Elliott because he's not as traditionally good-looking as many pop stars. (That said, the guy looked downright dashing in his black-and-white pinstripe shirt tonight, no?)
One anonymous reader surmised that ''The only reason people are picking on Elliott's teeth is because there is nothing else to dog him on. He is the most talented, sweet, and humble person on the show. He doesn't scream like a sick lamb, nor is he a diva/divo. He entertains us every week and he deserves to win.''
I'm not gonna argue too hard with that opinion. In fact, I'll let another reader join the love-fest for the Rodney Dangerfield of season 5. How about you, Michele? Yes, go right ahead, you're on the air: ''Elliot has the most powerful, beautiful voice. I look forward to him every week. Could not believe he was in the bottom three last week! Maybe because he's not a gimmick like some of the others: 'the ditzy one,' 'the hot one,' 'the white Stevie Wonder,' 'the rocker.' How about 'the talented one' for Elliott!''
And for those of you not feeling the love for DJ E-Double, listen to the sage advice of a reader named Lauren: ''I, too, am beginning to put Elliott on top of my list. I like closing my eyes and listening to him as I would listen to the radio. He has been in my top three favorites all along.''
Okay, okay, I'll end the shameless shilling on behalf of Mr. Yamin. Just please promise me he won't be eliminated before Ace, and maybe the vocally underwhelming Kellie Pickler, either, okay? As Jonna noted, ''If this is a singing competition, Ace, Bucky and Kellie are the least talented singers left. Even if you do not like the looks of the remaining contestants, they are all very talented singers. All one of them needs is a breakout performance.''
Who do you think is poised to rise to the top next week when Rod Stewart helps the seven remaining singers navigate the American songbook? Who do you think will be most at risk? And finally, have you already chosen your personal Idol for this season, or could a few fantastic or subpar performances still sway you in another direction?