'American Idol' Recap: Elliott Comes Out Swinging, Katharine Fails To Connect

Underdog Yamin fights hard; McPhee may have lost her lead.

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 9 - Theme: Elvis Presley songs

Surprise performance: It was a night of surprises, but biggest of all is that Elliott Yamin is no longer an obvious choice for elimination, thanks to two solid performances of the lesser-known Elvis songs "I Can Dream" and "Trouble." Also surprising is that Katharine McPhee, although daring with her live mash-up of "Hound Dog" and "All Shook Up," might have lost her lead after failing to connect with her choices, including what is perhaps the King's best song, "Can't Help Falling In Love."

Fashion hits and misses: Again, no misses, but it's getting a little predictable. There's something to be said for developing a look, but give us something to remember.

Judging the judges: When Simon Cowell has a chance to say what he wants to say, as was the case on Tuesday, he's the voice of the average American television viewer. He was right-on all night, especially with his apple-pie analogy of Katharine's over-the-top show closer. It was good to hear Randy Jackson giving the finalists the credit they deserve. And Paula Abdul ... see Randy comment (as usual).

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Best audience sign: "Taylor Is My Name Too." And we care why?

Who will go: It's a tough call. Elliott fought hard and America loves an underdog, especially one who's improved week after week — although that was Vonzell Solomon last season, and she went out number three. It was Katharine's worst week in a while, but she clearly has the most superstar potential of the final four. Neither Chris Daughtry nor Taylor Hicks were perfect, but their fanbases should love their performances. In the end, Elliott should still be worried.

Who needs to step it up: Katharine might have to bring the yellow dress back, or at least find some songs that show her honest, less polished side.

Who is the one to beat: With his understated, chilling rendition of "In the Ghetto" (paired with the party that was "Jailhouse Rock"), Taylor moved back on top, although it's not a big lead.


You told us:

I agree with most of this recap this week. I'm not a big fan of Elliott, but I do think he came out on top. I still think he lacks the stage presence to be an "American Idol" winner, but his voice was on Tuesday night. The one thing we still don't agree on is Taylor. Once again, he came off as a karaoke singer in a smoky bar. Once again, I just don't see his appeal as a singer. He is a great personality, but not a real talent.

JD, 25

Washington, DC


Katharine McPhee is really talented, and has a great chance of winning this competition. Aside from her very pure singing voice, her beauty shines through onstage. Taylor has a great vibe, but not the right voice for the competition. Chris takes his rock music way too far sometimes. And Elliott has a good voice, but he just doesn't have the appeal of the other contestants.

Katrina, 24



Katharine tries too hard too often to create a "moment" when the moment would be made if she would just stop trying to make it.

Monee, 18

Lenexa, KS


I have no idea who will be kicked off of "Idol" tonight. Taylor did so well. Katharine is "the great," though she wasn't as great as usual last night. Chris is a little too vain for me. And then there's Elliott. He won my heart from the start with his flawless pitch and consistency. I think I will actually cry if he ever gets the boot.

Lu Ann, 51

Fountain Valley, CA


Elliott, Taylor and Chris will make the final three. Chris will probably win, but Elliott and Taylor are great singers.

Sheena, 20

Sabattus, ME


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