'American Idol' Recap: Katharine Scorches The Stage, Elliott Isn't A Star

McPhee's take on current track heats up competition; Yamin has improved, but his songs were average.

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:

May 2 - Theme: Songs from the year each singer was born/ Songs from a current Billboard Top 10

Surprise performance: Katharine McPhee, continuing a scorching hot streak, gave her sexiest and perhaps best performance yet, slithering through the little-known "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree." KT Tunstall better send her an expensive fruitcake next week after album sales soar.

Fashion hits and misses: It was no yellow dress, but Katharine shined again. Elliott Yamin is suddenly hip, Paris Bennett is as cute as ever, Chris Daughtry is back and bad again in black and Taylor Hicks is, well, Taylor Hicks and that's how we like him. Yo, listen, these stylists had a hot one tonight.

Judging the judges: If it was a strange night, as they kept saying, it was because of their weird critiques, which rarely addressed the actual performances. The judges were too hard too often and offered nothing constructive. Paula was back to repeating Randy and rarely made much sense. Simon gave himself a 9 and a half. I would give him a 7, Randy a 5 and Paula a 1.

Best audience sign: So many choices. "Bald Is Beautiful." "Ryan, We'll Be Your Desperate Housewives." Or, for the "What the hell?" factor, "Taylor A Change Is Gonna Come." What change?

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Who will go: Elliott, you've come a long way and you were good, but Simon's right, your songs were average. And with five left, you're the only one who's not a star.

Who needs to step it up: Watching the replay in the end it was hard to differentiate Chris' two songs. He makes everything he sings sound the same and it's an uninteresting genre. He's a great singer, but if he wants to make the finals, he needs to shine with something different, like Bo's a capella number a year ago.

Who is the one to beat: It's looking more and more like Katharine and Taylor in the finale, and what a close race that would be. Katharine's on a roll at the moment, but Taylor is coming back strong, even if his beautiful Beatles number was a little cheap for the current chart theme.

You told us:

You play up Katharine's second performance and how beautiful she is but completely gloss over the crap that was "Against All Odds." She was a mess. Don't get out of hand with the compliments. She isn't all that talented.

Dee, 20

Fort Washington, MD

I'm glad to see that not everyone is mesmerized by Chris. He can only sing one way, and if he steps out of that genre, he looks and sounds like a fish out of water. I'm not sure what the attraction to Katharine is either. If you don't look at her, she's terrible. Elliott and Taylor are the best when it comes to entertainment and versatility.

Pat, 26

Dothan, AL

Taylor has the raw talent and maturity to go all the way. He sounds like no other, and we need a change. Katharine has a good voice, but she sounds like every other young singer now recording.

Mary, 26

Lake Havasu City, AZ

Corey Moss said that Chris needs to do something to shine, like Bo Bice did last year. Well, that's not being very different at all! Let him just be him. Chris will win this competition with his voice, not by being unoriginally "original."

MC, 22

Rockland, NY

Elliott may not look the part, but he is the real American Idol.

Tracey, 21

Baltimore, MD

Taylor is the most unique and all-around best performer "American Idol" has ever had. He knows what fans want and he delivers. I think America is ready for something different than the usual cookie-cutter performer Hollywood cranks out.


West Pittston, PA

The judges could be a little nicer. Chris is the only one who acts like a star. He has the look and the voice, and he'll be the winner to me no matter what the judges or voters say. I think Chris and Taylor will be the last two contestants.

Melinda, 25

Tupelo, MS

Katharine should go home, Paris sounds like Michel'le and Elliott and Chris have the most vocal talent. 2006's winner will be Chris Daughtry.

Keith, 31

Marysville, WA

Taylor Hicks smoked this week's two-song competition.

Yeats, 17

Las Vegas, NV

I know that everyone loves Paris' voice, and I agree that she has what it takes, but what impresses me most is how polite she is. Even when she's getting bad critiques from Simon, she is respectful and always thanks him. It blows my mind that Ryan asked why she does that. It's because she was raised right! One more reason for her to be the American Idol.

Patrice, 25

San Diego, CA

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