‘American Idol’ Recap: Chris Takes Taylor’s Place, Paris Faces An Early Exit

Chris emerges as the frontrunner; Paris may be out of the game.

It seems everyone has something to say about “American Idol” and MTVNews.com is no different. Here’s the latest edition of our weekly performance-night roundup:

April 25 – Theme: Love songs

Surprise performance: The judges, and how hard they were on the finalists, were the real surprise this week. The singers were all better than they were given credit for. As for the performances, the surprise was once again Chris Daughtry, who showed yet another side to his rocker voice.

Fashion hits and misses: As with their singing, at this point in the game, the contestants have got it going on when it comes to style. There were no real misses and a lot of hits, the biggest being Katharine McPhee. Ryan Seacrest got all awkward on us, but the truth is, he was right: She was smokin’.

Judging the judges: Apparently it’s either love ’em or hate ’em, and this Tuesday was a hate ’em night. Even Paula Abdul was hard on the singers, with the exception of Chris — and Elliott Yamin, for whom she cried so awkwardly that it almost seemed phony. And although we appreciate the honesty, stop cutting off our man Simon Cowell! As Randy Jackson said, it was a weird night … for the judges.

Best audience sign: Sadly, nothing stood out, although having Kevin Nealon in the house made up for it all.

 ’Idol’ Season Five Performances

  Photos Of The 12 Finalists

Who will go: This is the toughest week yet, by far. Kellie Pickler and Taylor Hicks are struggling vocally, but their fanbases are so strong at this point that it’s tough to imagine them leaving. That leaves Elliott and Paris Bennett, and with the judges so strongly praising the former, it looks like our lovely youngster will be leaving early.

Who needs to step it up: Taylor, what happened? The voice, the personality, the excitement — it’s fading. Chris is picking better songs and showing more versatility and now you’re no longer the frontrunner.

Who is the one to beat: Chris is nearly guaranteed to be among the final two standing. Sure, he was in the bottom two last week, but that should only encourage his fans to vote more. He’s proving himself each week and picking up more fans as he goes. The other spot is up in the air.

You told us:

Since the very first episode of the season, Paris Bennett has been my favorite. For some reason, most people don’t think she deserves to win, and I just don’t see why. If she doesn’t get it, I’d like to see Elliott or Chris take the title.

Sara, 19
Fort Lauderdale, FL

I believe you are short-changing Elliott. With his smoother-than-silk vocals, he was truly the man of the night. Chris may have great rock vocals, but they did not work to his advantage Tuesday. Taylor Hicks will be leaving this week.

Bayside, NY

If America votes correctly, we’ll see Elliott in final two. I think you’re a little biased when it comes to Chris. I just don’t think he is all that great. In fact, I find him annoying. His song choices will hopefully lead people to believe he’s selling out. And as for Kellie, I love the girl, but she’s just not as good as she was in the beginning.

Jamie, 20
Orlando, FL

Chris Daughtry is boring. Bring on the “Idol” title — for Taylor!

Milwaukee, WI

Taylor Hicks needs to pack up and head home.

Stephanie, 15
Ronceverte, WV

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