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American Idol 2, April 8: No, Really, What Did You Think?by Sting7 -- 04/09/2003
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It's for real. You could feel the tension among the contestants. They all seemed to have a little extra gusto, a little more brio in their performances. This week, more so than any other week this season, the judges, (including the special guest) had definite, decisive opinions of our hopefuls' performance. Not an 'eh' to be found! It was a night of demonstrative performances... and uncanny song choices.
Ryan Seacrest welcomes us to "a little show we like to call American Idol!" You will forgive me if I just learned that American Idol has consistently been the number one show in the country! Per the Nielsen's, It is flat-out outperforming last season's numbers. The winner of this show is guaranteed to be bigger than Kelly Clarkson! How can Fox resist the urge to do AI3 in the fall, despite Simon's very public objections? We'll worry about that later.
Ryan reminds us that anything can happen in this hour, and probably will. He introduces the eight remaining contestants, tentative waves from all... they know someone will be going home, unlike last week when Corey's expulsion eliminated the need.
Ryan says this week, the contestants will be serving up Number Ones, as decreed by Billboard Magazine. Frankly, in the music business , you are not number one until Billboard says you are. Period. The contestants visit the headquarters of Billboard Magazine and speak with "Chart Beat's" Fred Bronson. Josh asks, "What song was number one longest?" (Not a damn thing canned about that question!) "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. Even that couldn't make Glitter watchable.
Clay mumbles that they released a single, how do you think it will do? Bronson says he is expecting a very high debut and he is sure it will be a number one. My dead pet rabbit, Josie, could have told them that!
That was fun. Ryan intros the judges, Randy Jackson (produced eight number one songs), Paula Abdul (had six number one singles), and Simon Cowell who does a number one everyday. In the bathroom. And, I, Sting7, get plenty of emails that say I'm number one! Usually with a rendering of a middle finger.
Tonight's guest judge is the amazing Lionel Richie! They paid me to say that, Lionel grated my nerves as a teenager, but there is no arguing with success, I suppose. (Lionel turned out to be the best celebrity judge they've had this season! I wouldn't mind him being there every week, frankly!) Of course, Lionel comes with the obligatory video package explaining to the three people in America who didn't know, who he is and what he's done. Lionel says he is a fan of the show, and babbled something about wanting to be 'the artist's judge.' It's nice that he did his homework, and he will know who it is that he is critiquing!
Number one's, songs we know, three performers (Kimberley, Carmen, and Trenyce) on the bubble, since they were the bottom three of last week's results show and the scores will be added to this week's. It should be an exceptional night! On with the performances!
Clay Aiken, "At This Moment"
Randy - "you've proven you can sing... song didn't slay me... shows less of your voice"
Paula - "it was good, but it's a gut-wrenching song... not enough heartache"
Simon - "that song was perfect for you... absolutely on-the-money!"
Lionel - "still in awe that all of that is coming from that body!... would have chose different song but you sang it with power and conviction"
Sting7- Clay is at a critical point in this show. He has clearly proven that he can sing, and he can be a star. However, I feel like he is coasting. Good news is that he was not as Broadway as he can be tonight and he sang as well as he always does. Disco week was too much for me, this week was too little. The song choice was horrible. Like someone over-qualified for a job, this song was beneath him and it held him down.
Kimberley Locke "My Heart Will Go On"
Randy - "didn't blow me away... very nice"
Paula - "out of 40 years of songs not sure why you chose the most recognizable song from the most popular movie ever... because you can! Well done!"
Simon - "I must congratulate you... faultless!"
Lionel - "if you don't have to push song, just come out and do the rendition you can do... you didn't push it... excellent"
Sting7- This was a brilliant performance in my opinion. First, you all know how I feel about Celine Dion songs. Ugh. Kimberley did a controlled, understated version of the song, kept to the verses that suited her, avoided the over-the-top parts, it was smart, measured, and perfectly executed. Very, very, well done. And the fact that I can say that about a Celine song means tons!1 2 3 Next-->
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