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American Idol 2, March 18: Grooving to the Moviesby David Bloomberg -- 03/19/2003
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We begin this second episode of the finals of American Idol 2 with the announcer telling us, "The screw twists ever tighter." Ooookay, a little overdramatic perhaps, but we'll move on. This episode will feature music from movies. And what a coincidence - last year's American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson is on hand to sing a song from her movie (with Justin Guarini) that is due out next month!
But first, we are reintroduced to the final 11 and the judges. Ryan tries to encourage the audience to boo Simon, but he gets applause from pretty much everyone, except Randy Jackson. But wait, revenge is at hand. Just as they dragged out old embarrassing photos of Simon during the semis, they have some of Randy now. He was much thinner then. But, well, he's wearing the styles of the time, and it isn't pretty. First we see him with Sammy Hagar, then on stage playing bass, then in a photo with Journey where he has a square haircut. No, I don't mean "square" as in out of style, I mean square as in the shape!
With that behind us, we meet this week's celebrity judge, Gladys Knight! How does she fit into movie themes? She sang the theme for the James Bond movie, License to Kill. We get a photo/music history of Ms. Knight and then she joins the judges - Ryan refers to them as "Gladys Knight and the Drips." That Ryan, he's so clever. I almost didn't see that coming a mile away.
We begin with Corey Clark. In his segment, he says he's been spending a long time working on his music, bouncing around the country, etc. His favorite thing right now is sleeping, but he doesn't have much time to do it. But he's doing what he wants to do. He is singing "Against All Odds," originally by Phil Collins from the film of the same name. I'm going to follow the format used by Sting7, who usually does these recaps (it's a long story, but we kind of switched this week; I'm here and he's doing my usual Foxes On Idol article) - remember, the statements from judges are quoted to the best of my ability taking notes, they might not be exact though:
Randy: "good… made it your own… like the high register."
Paula: "took some risks doing ad libs… nice that you take advantage of the stage."
Gladys: "great looking… wonderful with the high register."
Simon: "not as enthusiastic as these three.. the song's a 9… didn't think you pulled it off at the end… painful… maybe I'll watch later and it'll be good."
Corey responds to Simon (uh oh) that he's glad he changed his shirt. Um. What? See, this is what I mean when I say that one reason not to argue with Simon is that you just aren't all that witty, people! I mean, come on - the best he could do was comment on Simon's shirt?
Next up is Ruuuuuuuuben Studdard! In his clip he says that no matter what happens or how famous he gets, he'll always represent 205. They've been getting the star treatment, but that means working hard too, getting up at 6 am and going to bed at 11 pm. It's what he asked for, though. He says they were out on the street one day and he looked up to see his own head on a billboard. He doesn't think people really want to look at him all that much. He is singing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin.
Randy: "you consistently bring it .. this guy's dope!"
Paula: "seamless… America is having a love affair with Ruuuuben."
Gladys: "you are and will probably be the world's velvet teddy bear… your voice strokes the spirit."
Simon: (First asks what the hell Randy meant with "this guy's dope") "sensational… fantastic recording voice."
Me: Wow. Right from the beginning he had screams coming from the audience. This was the perfect song for him.
Following him is Trenyce. She says the other day she was in customer service, now she's getting photos taken of her and the like. It's fun and she loves the interaction with the audience from on-stage. She sings "I Have Nothing" from The Bodyguard, originally by Whitney Houston.
Randy: "another great classic performance" (he gives a standing ovation).
Paula: (stands with Randy) "you have the most amazing stage presence… you know how to work the stage."
Gladys: "sometimes we call it selling the song.. very very very good at doing that… your pipes are over the top… the fact that you chose a Whitney Houston song - amazing… like the way you dressed up for the audience."
Simon: "slightly disagree about the clothes - young kids are looking old… amazing singer, sensational… comes back to me that compared to some of the clowns last year, this year's group is much better."
Me: She continues to show off her strong voice. Well done.
We get a time-filler about how the kids met the press at the Academy for Television Arts and Sciences and were made honorary members. We see Julia saying she saw Kelly last year and it inspired her to compete this time. Ricky says his mother inspired him with song. Speaking of moms, we get to briefly meet Simon's, who is in the audience today. Okay, that was exciting, let's move on.1 2 3 Next-->
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