American Idol

Season 5 Episode 34

Top 5 Perform

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 02, 2006 on FOX
out of 10
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40 votes

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Episode Summary

Top 5 Perform
Tonight the Top 5 finalists will perform live for the nation, vying for the American Idol crown. The contestants will sing their hearts out in hopes of winning America’s vote and surviving another week in the competition. This Week's Theme is: songs from the year they were born & any song from this week’s Top 10 Billboard Charts. Performing Tonight: Katharine McPhee, Paris Bennett, Chris Daughtry, Elliott Yamin, Taylor Hicks.moreless

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  • This is where finalists start to perform two songs each night. The first song tonite is from birth year, where the second song is from Billboard chart. Most have one average and one good performance.moreless

    OK let's just get straight to the point, since most people would have watched this already (gosh I hate to be the only one left behind):

    Birth song

    First is Elliot, singing "On Broadway". He's just OK, sounding nervous. But that may be his vibrato. I notice that Paula has been offering constructive criticisms since the top 6. She's quite calm today.

    Second is Paris, singing Prince's "Kiss". Is it just me or did Paris talk about her song choice as if she didn't pick it herself? She was rather unsure why she chose it, apart from the fact that Prince was from her hometown (and she said that as an afterthought). Contrary to what most people say, I enjoy this performance better than the second. Maybe because of her superb mastery of the stage (which is a million times better than Kellie Pickler's tiresome walkaround routine), her great interaction with the audience and the energetic song itself. Glad she got the last chance to get everyone on their feet before she left. I admit that the song doesn't allow her to show off her powerful vocal, but it's still a very entertaining performance. Reminds me a lot of her energetic performances early in the show. My second favorite of the night. I think Simon was not being honest when he said it's "screechy and annoying". We'll know why in an instant.

    Third is Chris (i forgot his song...something by Styx). Good performance, true to his rocker style but not too screamy. He really shows his vocal ability here. However, I don't think it's as smashing as the judges said. Yeah yeah he can sing, but it's not like he hasn't done anything like this before. They clearly put him on the pimp spot tonight. I hate the way Simon gushes at him at the expense of the first two performers: "A million times better than the first two performances." God Simon, I know you want Chris to win, but do you have to distort reality and hurt other people's feelings?? 'Cos Chris isn't leaps and bounds better than Elliott and Paris. This is similar to the night of the American standard when Simon praises Katharine as "returning pro [who] makes others look like amateurs." It's sad that he has exchanged honesty for rating and sensationality.

    Next is Katharine with Phil Collins' "against all odds". She got all giggly and nervous when Ryan asked her about the yellow dress she wore last week. I hate the tight brown doesn't flatter her figure at all. Then she messed up her performance, although it's not yet a total destruction. She started too low and for the rest of the song sounds like she's struggling for breath. She's slightly out of tune when she belts out the high note in the middle, but the closing was OK. Have to agree with the judges this round. Again Kat, please don't look so restless when you're not doing as well as expected, OK??

    The last is Taylor, who Taylor. Good stage work, average vocal. I wonder if I'm the only one who gets increasingly bored with his antics. It's like he only counts on it to get him advanced in the show. But the man is a great guy...he accepts criticims in the most graceful way possible.

    Now on to the Billboard songs.

    Elliot has second chance. This time he's better and less shaky, but still forgettable. Agree with Simon this time, not enough 'wow' factor there. He's lacking the unique personality of others. Interestingly, he made some scene after he finished singing. He almost followed Ryan to the side of the stage before the judges said anything, and when Simon said something about the lyric he was eager to cut him off. Wow what's with you tonight Elliott? I don't really understand what happened, but I still like the guy.

    Paris is next with Mary J. Blige's Be without you. Whoever chose the clothes for her must be fired. She has been dressed in clothes that made her look much older in the past three weeks, making me wonder whether the stylists deliberately unflattered her. The song's not as energetic as the first one and doesn't give her the chance to show great vocal range either, so it's just OK for me. No flaws, but not smashing either. But the judges love it this time round, especially Simon. Randy, on the other hand, surprises me by saying it's out of tune in some notes. Huh??

    Next is Chris again. I really, really don't like this round...he started OK but then screamed the song instead of singing it. Agree with Randy that he sounded pitchy. Paula and SImon agreed with him but Simon tried to pimp him again by saying that the 1st song is good. OK Simon, we don't need reminding, u just said that half an hour ago. Chris took criticisms very well, admitting that he indeed had been straining his vocal.

    Kath with "Black horse and the cheery three" surprises everyone by kneeling on the floor beside two African drummers. But when she started she blew me away. It was my favorite performance of the night...the beats were great and the vocal was wonderful, especially in the fast bits. I always thought she's only good at ballads, but she really enjoyed herself in this song. Way much better than her first song.

    Taylor finally closed the night with Beatles' "Something". The song was nice and suitable for his vocal, but again, I never considered Taylor as great singer. His vocal's OK, but pales in comparison with others. I think he would win AI for "Best Personality" though...he has good sense of humour and takes criticisms very positively.

    Overall, a mixed performance from everyone. I have a feeling that the producers put Paris in disadvantage by giving her song choices that didn't show off her vocal, while as regular visitor to the bottom 3 she needs to deliver a smashing performance. But maybe it's just me.moreless
  • O.K. I didnt really care that Paris went home, BUT WHAT ON EARTH IS TAYLOR STILL DOING HERE?

    Why is Taylor still doing here? He is an awful singer, and i dont like the stuff he sings! He is phycotic! I thought that by this point the people who vote would be able to tell a good singer from a bad singer, but come on! "Taylor Hicks in the Top 4"! Just the sound of it sends a chill down my back. Katherine is the best in my opinion. She has good taste and actually sings well! Voters need to start thinking before they vote, or the winner will stink! Just because you like his personality doesnt mean he deserves to come this far...moreless
  • Where has are voting our system gone??

    I still can't believe that Catherine is still on! Paris had a very good performance last night, Catherine has a mediocre night. She knew that she had a miracle on her side tonight-when they called Elliot's name she had a look that came over her. Shock I guess. And she had every reason to be, Simon was right. This was by far her worst performance. I had never heard Chris's Billboard song on the radio until today and I thought his version sounded pretty good. Overall-it was a good show but if I had my way Paris would do a return performance.moreless
  • Idol has to really work on their sound quality

    So what I have noticed a lot with the show, is the mike sound is way off. I don't think it gives the tv audience a true outlook on the the performance. Its not fair to the contestants at all. On a new note, I think Ryan is doing a great job. He has great improv skills and really keeps things going, with no help from anyone. This year really has some great singers. I love that America is not voting mostly on looks, they are voting on the performance as a whole. Good job America. If I could pick the winner right vote would be for Taylor..however, I think Chris is going to win.moreless
  • American Idol is an amazing show, with amazing talent!

    I thought this was a great episode because we get to see a different side of everyone. I definately think that they all have an amazing talent, but I think that Katharine McPhee is going to win because she is in a different class then everyone else. I enjoyed all of the performanced except for one. Taylor Hicks. His first song was too BLAH! Although his second song was good even though I have no clue how he could get a Beatles song in there due to the fact that it was the Billboard Top 10 week. BUT... I think that they all have a great chance of becoming a star.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • For the Year of Birth round, all the video clips were about the contestants lives growing up. There were no video clips for the second song. Ryan just announced them and they sang.

    • After Elliott's second performance, he started to head over to the stools before he hear his critique. He knew he was suppose to go sit next to Ryan but got confused as to when.

    • When giving out Taylor's numbers after the first performance, Ryan and Taylor were laying on the ground.

    • When Simon was critiquing Katharine's first performance he accidentally said "it was one of your best" when he really meant it was one of her worst. There was even a debate between a producer and everyone else (Ryan, judges and even Katharine) as to what he said. They all heard what he meant.

    • This episode reveals that Paris is the youngest contestant in the Top 5 (1988), followed by Kat (1984), then Chris (1979), then Elliot (1978), and Taylor is the oldest (1976).

  • QUOTES (6)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Katharine mentioned that she lost a button on her dress during the last week's performance.

    • In the Eastern Timezone viewing Paris was censored during her first song, because the lyrics have the "S" word, however she never actually sang it. In the other airings of the episode she was not censored.

    • Season four contestant Anthony Fedorov was in the audience.

    • Katharine peformed her second song, Black Horse and Cherry Tree, while kneeling on the stage throughout the entire performance.

    • Birth Year and Current Billboard Song Choices were as follows:

      Elliott Yamin -- "On Broadway" by George Benson and "Home" by Micheal Buble

      Paris Bennett -- "Kiss" by Prince (Tom Jones in 1988) and "Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige.

      Katharine McPhee -- "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins and "Black Horse and Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall

      Chris Daughtry -- "Renegade" by Styx and "I Dare You" by Shinedown

      Taylor Hicks -- "Play that Funky Music" by Wild Cherry and "Something" by the Beatles