Daughtry, Daughtry, Daughtry. As the pressure mounted on "American Idol" last night, it was all Chris. Over and over, the AI judges tell us it's about song choice and performance, and Chris took two great Elvis songs and showed the other contestants how you win this thing. There's a reason why "Suspicious Minds" has been covered by everyone from Dwight Yoakam to the Fine Young Cannibals, and "A Little Less Conversation," one of the King's most underrated hits, has also aged well. By contrast, Katharine botched a "Hound Dog/All Shook Up" medley and seemed to be in the wrong key for "Can't Help Falling in Love." The low notes were too low and the high notes sounded flat. And her second outfit revealed her belly, at least I think it was her belly, I mean I was hoping it wasn't her belly, but, yep, that's her belly. Not a good look for her, but a good metaphor as her AI run goes belly up tonight (or maybe she exposed her soft underbelly).
Either way, it looks like it's going to be a stag affair for the final two weeks, but my surprising choice for second place right now would be Elliott. Taylor should have done much better on Elvis night. "Jailhouse Rock" was fine, but "In the Ghetto?" Come on, Taylor, that's not the song that's going to bring it home. I mean, good idea to choose a ballad as your second song for contrast, but again, with all the possible choices, I had higher expectations. "Heartbreak Hotel" or "Viva Las Vegas" for your opener and "Love Me Tender" or "It's Now or Never" second would have done it for me. Elliott took a chance and went away from Elvis songs everybody knows with "If I Can Dream" and "Trouble," which Taylor had already performed this season, and I think that risk will pay off. His talent has ever been an issue and, if his confidence carries over for another week, he could be onstage next to Chris in the finals.