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American Idol 3, February 10: Let the Games Begin!by Sting7 -- 02/11/2004
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Ryan Seacrest says “after the toughest auditions in the history of this show,” we are down to the final 32. Ryan explains that for the next week, eight finalists will compete for America’s votes. The top two vote getters each week automatically advance to the Top 12. Then there will be a Wildcard show, where contestants can be invited back from any stage in the audition process so, “William Hung could be returning!” Ryan deadpans. Possible, but not likely.
Ryan talks up the new set (which looks like the transporter room on Star Trek), and introduces the judges. No Simon insult this week!
Ryan then marches into the red room, where eight anxious-looking young talents wait. Up first, the pink and black obsessed...
Diana Degarmo, “I Got The Music In Me”
Randy - “I was feeling that... You were really good... She bangs!”
Paula - “You have great range... really good.”
Simon - “You remind me of Christina Aguilera when she was good... superb.”
Sting7 - Cheesy song. Can’t hear that song without thinking of some trumped-up ‘70s variety show. That said, Diana has a strong voice, nice presence… she was good. The song choice may ultimately cost her.
Next, Ryan chats with Marque Lynche, a former musical theater major (just like Frenchie Davis) and classically trained dancer, who didn’t dance for Randy and Simon in his first audition because he didn’t want Simon to say, “This isn’t a dance competition!”
Marque Lynche, “Wind Beneath My Wings”
Randy - “You sang that really well... You’ve grown since we last saw you.”
Paula - “You sound so much better than I remembered.”
Simon - “This contest has turned into Miss World, hasn’t it?” (Marque commented he sang this song for his mother) “I hope you weren’t going ultra-safe. I think you sold out a little bit... I remember you being cool, this time you weren’t.”
Sting7 - Another crappy song choice sung exceptionally well. I definitely liked Marque. I liked his presence and his comfort with the cameras. He seems like someone who takes the competition seriously and worked hard on the off-time. I have no complaints.
Ryan chats briefly with Ashley Thomas, who says she wants to find a way to show she is a fun-lovin’ gal. She decides to show this by singing...
Ashley Thomas, “Crazy”
Randy - “That was just ‘alright’ for me... You were better the first time around.”
Paula - “Beautiful vocal ability... Competition is so good already, it’s gonna be tough for you.”
Simon - “It reminded me of a rodeo and you were just crowned queen, and it’s the song before you rope a bull or something... it’s just ‘sweet.’”
Sting7 - I see where the judges are coming from. Ashley has a unique voice, well controlled, and nicely sung, but it didn’t sparkle. Her attempts to set it on fire just didn’t work. I think we’ve seen the last of Ashley. By the way, she said she wanted to show us she is a fun person, and she sings the most maudlin song ever. Go figure.
Sitting prettily next to Ryan is Katie Webber, who says she wants to do something jazzy to show her range and more of her personality...
Katie Webber, “Orange Colored Sky”
Randy - “That was good... better than I remember you being.”
Paula - “You look great on camera... I wish you would have sung something younger.”
Simon - “There is a Bill Murray movie where he is in Japan and there is this girl singing in a lounge – that’s what it reminded me of.”
Sting7 - The movie Simon is referring to is Lost In Translation, if you were wondering. Song choice is so crucial. Katie sang better than I remembered in her audition, but what she sang was daring. The trouble with daring is sometimes it works, and sometimes it crashes with a big fat thud. Tonight? Thud.
Erskine Walcott relates that he cried in his rehearsals because he’s a family man and he has a sensitive side. He hopes he can sing well and keep his eyes dry...
Erskine Walcott, “Open Arms”
Randy - “What I like about you is you still represent!… You changed it up a little, but it was cool... There were a couple of bad notes, but you didn’t let that stop you... I give you props!”
Paula - “You’re so real... you infused who you were (in the song), the way you performed... was wonderful.”
Simon - “You are all choosing safe songs... You are like Chinese food, you love it at the time, but later you are hungry... you gave us Chinese food, we needed Spaghetti Bolognaise.”
Sting7 - Now I’m hungry! I thought Erskine gave a beautiful, pure rendition of a tough song to sing. I didn’t hear the bad notes Randy mentioned, and when he finished, a “Go boy!” came out of me! This is a tough, tough group!
Jennifer Hudson tells us that her first audition was great, and went downhill from there (clip of Simon cracking on her gray metallic outfit)...
Jennifer Hudson, “Imagine”
Randy - “It was good, spirited... not your best performance... didn’t blow me away.”
Paula - “A very, very nice performance.”
Simon - “I thought you were great... You were the only performer who excited and interested the audience.”
Sting7 - Disagreeing with Randy fully. She went for the emotional heartstrings, sang with this fantastic rich and powerful voice, and nailed it. Jennifer was a bit emotional herself. Before Simon spoke, she welled up. Then she explained to Ryan that her dream was to sing in front of the world just once, and she’s just overjoyed. She has plenty of reason to feel proud. I wanted to hear more, and I was sorry the song ended. I can’t think of higher praise than that.1 2 Next-->
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