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American Idol 2, April 22: Big Hits and Bigger Missesby David Bloomberg -- 04/23/2003
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It’s time for another night of American Idol. Oh, sure, we already had one night this week – on Monday night. But this is the real thing.
(In case you’re wondering where Sting7 is, his computer is having a disagreement with him and he’ll be back as soon as he can. For now, you’ll just have to deal with me.)
We start with Ryan Seacrest telling us how great the show is. I have to admit that I’m surprised to hear that the AI2 performers’ “God Bless the U.S.A.” is the #1 single now. For one thing, is it competing with Kelly Clarkson’s “Miss Independent”? (Although that hasn’t actually been released as a single you can purchase, as far as I can tell, and I’m not sure how that affects things.) But perhaps I shouldn’t be too surprised after all. And I’m definitely not surprised that Kelly’s Thankful album is the #1 overall. In fact, if you haven’t already, you can check out my full review here.
From there we go to a joke where Ryan says they are taking the night off and 24 is starting early. Usually I just groan at his antics, but I have to admit that did give me a chuckle because of the way it was choreographed with the director – music kicking in, camera pulling back, etc. So I’m easy to get a laugh out of. Sue me.
It’s Diane Warren night! This is great, according to Ryan – except that I kind of slammed her in my review of Kelly’s CD, mentioned above. In case you haven’t read it yet (and why haven’t you – it’s linked right there!), I feel that the song Ms. Warren wrote for Kelly’s CD is the weakest track on it. In fact, I routinely now skip it to get to the songs I like. I know she’s had lots of hits, but this ain’t one of ‘em.
When Ryan asks her about judging, she says, “I can be honest.” Well, maybe she can, but I’ll give you a little preview and tell you that she shows no sign of it today. But really, how can she be? She wrote the songs and helped the performers choose them and prepare. Not exactly a great situation to prepare somebody to be objective.
Hmmm, it wasn’t my intent to take up two paragraphs slamming Ms. Warren – it just turned out that way. She a pretty good songwriter generally, if you like that type of music.
With that out of the way, we get to the performances!
Kimberley Locke, “If You Ask Me To”
Randy says Kim was the best last week (an opinion shared by many) and also says she might be the best tonight. I think he may be a bit premature in declaring that she might be the best tonight, considering she’s only the first one to sing! Paula says she’s brilliant. Diane says she’s awesome. Simon says that she got better as soon as she got rid of the weird hair. She looks cute and her voice is totally there. She is a frontrunner. As for my thoughts – Wow!. She holds some notes quite well several times and kicks some serious butt. I’m not yet ready to proclaim her the best, like Randy did.
Clay Aiken, “I Could Not Ask for More”
Randy says Clay is one of the best singers in America (so much for saying Kim was going to be the best tonight). Paula says he’s wonderful, but then actually chooses now to offer what she calls constructive criticism. Wait a minute! She says only good things about the singers who aren’t up to par, but then she criticizes Clay?! Anyway, she says that he should be true to himself as an artist. Er. What? I mean, if she’s going to offer constructive criticism, can she at least explain what the hell she’s talking about?! Sigh. Moving on, Diane says he’s great. And then comes Simon…
Simon says he thinks Clay could make a fortune in Broadway. If he were auditioning for Phantom of the Opera, Simon would hire him in an instant. (This brings out jokes about masks and, of course, Mr. Personality, from Randy.) But Simon just doesn’t see him as a great recording artist.
As for me, I am practically screaming “Hallelujah, Oh Glory” like JoAnna from Survivor when I find out that even though he had a ton of standard type ballads to choose from, he picked a different song. And he shows again that he could do it, no matter what the song type. Randy is right in saying Clay is one of the best in America (and to think he wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the Wildcard show!). Simon’s Broadway kick is getting old. I think Clay has shown he can sing anything. If he wants to do Broadway, fine. If he wants to do a pop album, that will work just fine as well. Get over it, Simon.
Trenyce, “Have You Ever”
Unlike Clay, Trenyce does not have as good a performance as she could have. I’m just not digging it. She doesn’t seem to fit with the song somehow. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s like a puzzle with two mismatched pieces – Trenyce and the rest of the song. Randy says she was a little pitchy – was that it? I dunno. Paula says she looks great, her voice is in control, and she has passion. Whatever. Diane says she’s amazing. And Simon tells her that we haven’t really seen her personality like we have with the others. An interesting point, and one I hadn’t really thought of. Even Trenyce admits she knows where he’s coming from. And for this reason – among others I’ll discuss in a bit – I don’t think she will make it much farther. (I’ll tell you just how much farther I think she’ll go near the end of the article. I’m sure you can’t wait!)1 2 Next-->
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