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American Idol 3, January 28: Say Aloha To Hollywoodby Sting7 -- 01/29/2004
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The great American Idol searchlight lands upon beautiful Honolulu, HI! Surfing Ryan Seacrest tells us that there are 99 finalists so far, and room for plenty more! The judges are greeted with by singing children with leis, even for Simon. Simon asks who they voted for, they say Ruben. “That’s why he won,” he says with a smug self-satisfaction.
The people of Honolulu are thrilled to have shot at auditioning, including...
Sonny Kapu - who chooses a horrible song to audition with, Usher’s “Nice and Slow.” Nothing wrong with the song, but it’s not one that will allow you to display your range. But Sonny has a certain charm, a winning smile, it’s kinda hard not to like the guy! Randy says he was at least entertained, and Paula, of course, loved him. Simon registers his no for the record, but he’s going to Hollywood.
Keefelynne Aipia - delivers an unidentifiable “A Moment Like This” (rule violation, she didn’t sound anything like Kelly, so she was doomed from the song selection!). “Horrible.” Agreed. Out.
Ryan Farror - has spirit, that’s for sure! He tried to pump up the waiting area, but they only looked annoyed. Ryan delivers an equally spirited “Straight Up” in tribute to Paula. Simon says to Paula, “I never thought I’d say this, but I loved your version!” Good for Paula, bad for Ryan. “An absolute 100% categorical no!”
Jon Peter Lewis - seemingly drowsy Jon Peter says he dressed to impress, which meant dressing for church – short-sleeves, fat tie, yeechh! But, then, he sings “Crazy Love” in a sweet tenor that rivaled Aaron Neville’s! (Already, some folks around RNO are anointing him the guy Clay Nation will adopt.) Simon says he “looks like a pen salesman” but likes his voice. Randy and Paula heartily agree, Jon Peter is going to Hollywood! Then, Jon Peter makes a bid for confession with wild booty-shaking and shameless mugging! The kid has personality, so he must be A Pick To Click!
Paula Fuga - wants you to know that Big Girls Rock! She sings on the beach with her ukulele, her own song about being the American Idol. It’s sweet, but not Idol material. Now, for her audition, Paula tries hard on “Son of a Preacher Man.” Again, sweet, but not good enough. Randy tells her gently that they need “hot hot hot, not cool.”
William Lau - dressed in a Winnie the Pooh outfit (see picture at the top of this article), sings the strangest song I’ve ever seen auditioned. Kenny Loggins’ “Return to Pooh Corner!” How do I know that song? I scare myself sometimes. William is horrible in a freakish sort of way, and Randy cuts him off at the pass. No.
Mary Taua - sings Lee Ann Rimes’ “Honestly” and she is honestly bad. Simon crowns her as “one of the worst auditions we’ve heard in Hawaii.”
Isaac Taudinger - is convinced he is the next American Idol, “how could you not want this?” he challenges. Isaac sings a grossly affected “Lately,” so many affectations that the song was almost unrecognizable. Simon justifiably tells him he can’t sing, but Isaac doesn’t buy it for a second. Simon bets Isaac can’t find five people on the beach who like his singing. Well guess what? He does! While he was down there, he slowed down, he breathed better, and nailed a killer run for two bikini-clad beauties! The jury of five march in to an astonished Simon. One of the jurists says he’s tone deaf anyway, and that killed whatever chance Isaac had of going on. Simon says they’ll have to agree to disagree and sends Isaac away to sunbathe with beauties. Guess that’s the last time Simon will bet!
We then find out that the mainland has brought a few auditioners as well. Getting to Hawaii is not cheap, hats off to those folks for traveling for a shot!
Crystal Akuna - this one will be controversial. Crystal, wearing a Hawaii Loves Simon t-shirt, sings “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” (by Beyonce? Hang on, Crystal, there’s only been about 2,000 people who have had recorded versions before B!). Crystal sings with a nice range, a soulful delivery, I was with it! Yet Randy says, “not good enough.” Paula is also voting no. What? Simon liked her. What the hell? But, two “no”s equals no Hollywood, and Crystal is swinging low at home. Wow.
Randy says he’s getting some heat for not letting Crystal through, but he stands by his decision. Appeal denied.
Camile Velasco - is a pancake waitress by day, who arrives to sing The Fugees’ “Ready or Not,” (points for the unique song choice, and Lauryn Hill’s singing voice is similar to Camile’s! Well thought!). She has a unique smoky, breathy, dark delivery and the judges watch her a bit slack-jawed. Very impressed. Paula says she is “amazing,” Randy says he likes the “unique dark tone,” Simon says she’s “very good” but her nerves showed. Nonetheless, she’s going to Hollywood! (You know, it seems the Hawaiians brought the last three generations of family with them for the auditions!)1 2 Next-->
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