I know Ace Young has a following, because I live with part of it. Getting home from my meeting late in ''Idol's'' telecast last night, I began telling her how things went. She cut me off. Ace was singing.
Weirdly enough, when I went through my recording of the men's performances this morning, Ace seemed to be the best of a not-great lot. Although there are a couple of other singers I like, you could see how Ace is well packaged for this show. In fact, I'm surprised he didn't open or close the telecast; that suggest that opener Patrick Hall and closer Taylor Hicks were a lot better in rehearsal than they were on the air.
Still, Ace ended up with a B on my card, since there was no one on the night who really wowed me, and a lot of the singers weren't interesting at all. I thought Hicks -- my personal favorite going into the round of 24 -- was all right but only gave him a B minus, since he doesn't seem to have figured out that an ''Idol'' contestant has to have at least one roof-shaking moment, especially at the end of the show. Also at B minus was rocker Chris Daughtry, who not only understands roof-shaking but knows exactly what kind of singer he is -- and is good at it.
Bucky Covington knows his area of expertise, too, but was only a C plus for me. Also at C plus: Gedeon McKinney and Jose ''Sway'' Penala. Then I gave C's to Kevin Covais and Elliott Yamin, followed by a C minus for Will Makar and Patrick Hall, then D's for Bobby Bennett and horrible crooner David Radford.
But in some cases, the difference between a C and D was almost a coin flip -- Sway, for one, started out as a D in my notes before getting better, and Yamin saved himself from a terrible start. And there seemed to be a lot less polish in the men's performances overall than in the women's -- Hall, Radford and Hicks were all remarkably lacking in choreography.
About ''Everwood'': The other day I posted some notes from my talk with Tom Amandes. You can find a full story for today's Beacon Journal, with quotes, at Tom Amandes.