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American Idol 4, February 2: Udderly Ridiculous in San FranciscoPage 2
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The judges are more than ready for someone with talent to walk through the door, and Nadia Turner does not disappoint. She is very pretty, and is wearing a nice orange halter-top. She also has "big hair." She sings "Until You Come Back to Me" and totally nails it. She has a deep, powerful, clean voice, and a strong presence. I like her, and so does Simon, who tells her that she stands out in a crowd. Brandy and Randy like her hair, and Paula is onboard. Nadia gets a unanimous "Yes." She says she thinks she is going to faint. Watch out for this one.
Ryan reminds us that San Francisco is known as the spiritual home of peace, love, and harmony. But apparently, no one told this to Victor Mercado, another returnee from last season. Victor sings "Build me up Buttercup," and although he tosses in a shout-out to Paula and Brandy, he receives the evening's first "No" in unison. He doesn't react well at all, and lashes out.
Simon tells him that America would hate him and Victor warns them all that he will be back. Simon throws down the gauntlet and tells Victor that if he can go out and make a hit record in the next six months, Simon will give him $50,000. Randy wants to up the ante, but Victor and Simon shake on it. Even though he tells the judges that he appreciates their honesty, he lets loose a string of expletives once he leaves the chamber! He totally loses it and bashes Ruben and Clay and says he will take Simon's money. Look out, child, you just said evil things about Clay Aiken. You thought you had problems before!
Jessica Murphy is next. She is supported by three family members all wearing sweatshirts with her picture and audition number on them. She is pretty confident as she starts out with the song, "I Have Nothing." She sort of slurs it or something, but she isn't that bad. Simon stops her short and says that her upper notes are terrible. He reminds her that the public is even less forgiving than he is. He thinks that she has potential but needs a lot of work. Randy agrees, and says if she works at it, she can do it.
Jessica emerges from the audition room with the bad news. This is the end of the road for the sweatshirts. The thing is, Jessica heard things a little differently than what we did. She seems to remember Simon saying that she had the most talent of anyone out there. He did not.
Day Two brings Chris Ciompi, a pleasant looking young man who studied opera and sang on a cruise ship. What did you say Chris? Did you say you sang on a cruise ship? Well, we all know that he is doomed. Of course, he doesn't know this, and jumps right into "Chain of Fools." Talk about vibrato! Yikes. He leaves the judges speechless for a moment. Simon collects himself enough to ask Chris how he was able to get employment on a ship. Chris misses this entirely. Simon brings home the point by saying that there must have been a lot of lifeboats being filled. It's a "No."
Ivan Ganchev is next, and is singing Queen's "We are the Champions." To me, he sounds very nasal, and very, very loud. Paula thinks he sounds just like Freddy Mercury. Simon calls him a professional karaoke singer. Randy and Brandy like him, though. Despite Simon's "No," Ivan is going to Hollywood on Paula's good graces. On the way out, he admits to being a karaoke singer!
Ryan reminds us that SF is the first place we met William Hung, as if we could forget, and we see a string of Hung wannabes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The segment is pretty standard "bad" stuff, until the last contestant, a girl in a cow suit. The girl actually sings pretty well, but the stupid suit and her grabbing the udders to make a point in the song was a very bad idea. Simon jokes that she'll get slaughtered. The girl doesn't really understand why she is being rejected, and asks them what they are looking for. No one can agree where she might belong. Randy says she should consider, "Best in Show," and they all crack up. The thing is, she could sing. Why would you wear a cow suit to an American Idol audition? Does this have to be added to David Bloomberg's list of "What Every Idol Contestant Should Know?"
Ryan has some more camera time in front of the bridge, and then it is time for the last auditioner, J.P. Molfetta. In case you've forgotten, J.P. and his twin brother auditioned together in DC, and neither made it through. Then the brother showed up in Vegas and made the cut. Now it's J.P's turn.
His audition gets off to a rather inauspicious start when Simon slyly lets him know that they all know about the twins' rather X-rated on-camera comments after the DC auditions. J.P. looks appropriately humble, and then begins his song, Babyface's "Never Keeping Secrets." He can sing, but he is still too "boy-band" for me. Apparently the judges agree. Paula says he is not as good as his brother and Randy tells him he was a little out of tune. Simon says he senses a hint of desperation. Randy says no, but Brandy says yes. Even though Paula says he was a little hesitant, she votes yes. It's up to Simon. J.P. Molfetta will not be joining his brother in Hollywood. He is very, very disappointed but vows that he will not jump out of any windows.
And, with J.P's sad departure, we end the audition rounds of American Idol 4. 32 people made it from San Francisco, and next week, we are going to Hollywood. That's right, 193 people are on their way to the next round, but from the previews, it looks as though this is going to be brutal. Who will survive American Idol boot camp, and who will go home? Did I really see Dezmond doing a back flip at the end of his number? I don't know about you, but there is no way I am going to miss next week's shows!
Donna Reynolds is a self-proclaimed entertainment junkie and writes That's Entertainment, a daily column for syracuse.com highlighting events of local interest as well as her take on all things reality! She is also doing a weekly spot on a Syracuse radio station, commenting on the latest entertainment buzz. In addition, Donna does technical writing for a medical equipment company and is a part-time aquatic dance instructor. Whether you agree or disagree, Donna welcomes your comments and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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