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American Idol 2, February 19: Whatever Worksby Sting7 -- 02/20/2003
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Last night the judges yawned, but tonight promises surprises. Surprising, because two of the third group of eight will advance to the Top Ten. Surprising because history will say this is the weakest of the four groups, but I disagree with that assessment. The problem was that the talent level was so even (and respectably good), it was hard to find anyone in particular to love.
Ryan welcomes us, I think - the first couple of minutes are plagued by mike problems. Ryan tells the judges he teared up watching Joe Millionaire (cross-promotion? Fox, I'm shocked! Please), Simon thinks Evan got it wrong too. He doesn't think we Americans can do anything right. Thank goodness for Tony Blair! Simon says Evan should have picked "the one with the hat!" (Mojo) He would think that.
Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini join us via satellite, they are still filming that atrocious From Justin To Kelly disaster. Ryan asks nothing earth-shaking and they give no earth-shaking answers. We now see a scene from the movie where Kelly and Justin are singing a song called, "Timeless." These are the top two from last year and we see why. "Timeless" is a sweeping love song that would devour weak talents and last year's champs sound very, very good. Justin shows some range we didn't know he had (he is magical, isn't he?), and Kelly... she's Kelly! Home runs on every note. I think this song may be easier to swallow than "A Moment Like This." The cheese factor is far lower.
Ryan announces this week's viewers poll, which judge do you most often agree with, Simon, Randy, or Paula? I say Randy, actually.
Now, time to recap last night's performances, which we covered here.
Ryan now goes to the couch and tells the contestants one by one if they were among the first three vote getters.
But, first, this is what I predicted:
Who I think should advance:
2. George Trice
And, who I think will advance:
1. George Trice
2. Samantha Cohen
Samantha Cohen - looked beautiful and hopeful, but not in the Top 3.
Vanessa Olivarez - bubbly and full of life as ever, in the Top 3!
Jordan Segundo - still looked steamed over Simon's "dead fish" comment, not in the Top 3.
Lou Gazzara - can I say pageant smile? Not in top 3.
Rickey Smith - looked like he couldn't stand another minute of waiting, he's in the Top 3!
George Trice - gracious smile, he really won me over somehow, not in the Top 3.
Poor Equoia and Kimberly Kelsey have to wait for the commercial break to hear their fate! But, we don't here! Equoia advances to the Top 3!
So, Vanessa Olivarez, Rickey Smith, and Equoia are in the Top 3!
I was 1 out of 3. How did the judges do with their predictions?
Randy predicted Vanessa Olivarez and Kimberly Kelsey
Paula predicted Vanessa Olivarez and George Trice
Simon predicted Vanessa Olivarez and Kimberly Kelsey
Now I don't feel so bad!
Ryan asks why the disparity, and defensive Simon barks that Vanessa sang great, Rickey got through on his personality, and Equoia was capable of better.
Ryan is ready to announce the second-highest vote getter, and the next member of the prestigious Top Ten. And it is... Vanessa Olivarez! Pink eye shadow and all! She shows the world and the judges her ass one more time. Thanks.
And now, who was the highest vote getter? Filling seat number six in the Top Ten is... Rickey Smith! Hercules, Hercules! Equoia disappears like smoke! Poor thing is sure to have a good cry. This was the best thing that could have happened to her, I'll explain that in a minute.
Rickey sings "One More Cry" in a performance that would have been death to him 24 hours ago! He is excited, we'll give him a break.
I can't say I am bothered by Vanessa and Rickey. I said yesterday that singing won't get the next through, it will be personality. Vanessa is a ball of energy (and she may be insane), Rickey is like your buddy who will never get a girl, but he's a really good guy. Oh, he'll get girls now!
As for Equoia, she auditioned on crutches and she sang with an obvious head cold last night (me, I would have been high on nose spray, sitting in a steamy bathroom until 30 seconds before I had to open my frigging mouth!). What Simon said was a key: 'you are capable of better.' That says he's already been won over by her talent, just not this performance. She definitely has a shot at the wildcard. As does Kimberly, and an outside shot for Samantha!
Next week, the last group of eight! They are Corey Clark (one of the partying trio! I bet he's home reading his Bible as we speak!), Ashley Hartman, Chip Days, Nasheka, Joshua Gracin (USMC), Sylvia Chibiliti, Patrick Lake, and the mysterious Frenchie replacement, Juanita Barber (who had swooning, keening, collapse when her room was told they didn't make the 32)! This week will be hot! The week after is the Wildcard show. Immediately before, I will complete handicapping the rejected and make my picks, as I bet you have yours. Let's see how we do!
Sting7 can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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