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American Idol 2, January 29: Four Days to 32by Sting7 -- 01/30/2003
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Wow. What an episode. Probably the best American Idol ever. But, to recap it is hell! A brief disclaimer. There was so much that happened in this episode, and a lot to people we haven't met yet, I am going to do my level best. If I leave someone out, or misname someone, or misspell a name, I will apologize in advance. If you have inside insight and you want to correct me, feel free. We will gladly make the corrections for the archives. These talented men and women at least deserve to have their names spelled correctly.
There are 234 winners from the local auditions, and all of them have been assembled in Los Angeles for a grueling (and I mean grueling) four days of auditions that will result in the final 32. Heroes and villains are born along the way. Some of our favorite faces left us, some surprised us, and others disappointed us.
All of the finalists are rounded up in groups of ten. They are to introduce themselves, explain why they are the next American Idol, and do their thang. Among them, Frenchie Davis (I may have called her Frenchie Smith once, my bad, Frenchie!), the clear breakout star so far, confidently says, "I'm not a size 2, but I'm fabulous!" Yes, she is.
Marcus Curtis takes the opportunity to propose to Paula. I already don't like him. Cara and Rhian Morgan say they are two times an American Idol. Okay, it is cute for a minute, but how is that going to work?
Ruben Studdard belts out a thunderous "Never Too Much." He likes the Luther songs.
Patrick Lake, adorned in studded wrist bands, proclaims, "I am rock 'n' roll!"
Cheryl Bak says she's the American Idol because she's "up for anything!" and quickly back-pedals from the Jerry Springer-esque images that implies.
Robert Jordan says, "I know how to treat the ladies." That will make him invaluable to the record label!
By the end of Day One, half of the finalists are sent home, including Cara and Rhian. It simply couldn't work. Also, Cheryl Bak won't have the chance to demonstrate how up she was.
The remaining finalists are given a choice of five generic lyrics that they have sing in a melody they create themselves. This is a clever idea. It gives an inkling to the contestants creativity, musicality, and ultimately, their ability to write their own material or interpret material in their own way. Brilliant idea, whoever came up with it. It claims many victims.
Joshua Gracin, USMC, does a great job with his (click here to find out the latest on what the Marines have said about Gracin). Daniel Rodriguez chooses to ham up some inspirational type lyrics with his lounge-lizard schtick. This is not the time for comedy. The transformed Clay Aiken (he had Chess Club chic going last time we saw him) sings in that booming voice to great effect. He looks much more like an idol, too. Equoia Coleman struggles a bit with hers. Stephen Franklin decides to spice his lyrics with a little striptease… and is told he was "ghastly" by Simon; he thinks it is a compliment. Simon fixes that quickly. Vanessa Oliveria and Krystal Coulen choose to take a few jabs at Simon with their saucy numbers. Simon can take it. And he took it.
Sadly, one of my Picks to Click, Coffey Anderson (that pronounced café), new daddy, sounds like a wounded animal with his lyrics and Simon quickly pounces, "Coffey, that was horrible. Terrible." Coffey and 39 others are cut that day.
The survivors are split into groups. They choose a song to perform as a group. Though they would still be judged individually, this is their chance to standout. Drama, drama, drama!
Let's think about this. You have overnight to learn a song that you may not know (consider their ages) with other people to deal with, choreograph, harmonize, yet find a way to promote yourself. Do you a) work into the wee hours of the morning to prepare yourself and your group? Or, b) go tear the bottom out of Hollywood? (Especially after seeing that the ones who partied last year didn't do very well.)
Mysteriously, Stephan Franklin (who advanced despite the "ghastly" from Simon) and Ryan Seacrest look-alike Alden Wynn choose Option B! They are looking for a third. Girl after guy after girl say no. But they are persistent. At one point, Stephen is seen at the bar drinking with Natalie Galan's (who we didn't see the whole show) mother (the hot mom!). Finally, Corey Clark (of the excellent Michael Jackson pitch), makes them a trio.
Julia DeMato (Pick to Click), who is in an outstanding group that include fellow Picks to Click Kimberly Caldwell and Stephanie Schultz, as well as Elizabeth Dickerson, discusses rehearsal time with her group. Stephanie and Kimberly have to eat. Julia says she'll meet them back here in hour. Ready? Break!1 2 3 Next-->
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