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American Idol 3, March 2: The Push and the Pullby Sting7 -- 03/03/2004
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Ryan welcomes us, saying he is giddy after last week (I thought he was gonna say after William Hung’s performance last night!)
Intro the judges with lots of bad movie jokes. I’ll spare you.
Intro the contestants, a bit nervous looking. Could be a bad sign.
Suzy Vulaca, who’s last name is unpronounceable (it's like Fred Flintstone's alter-ego, Mr. Blahlalalalala), is Fijian. She is also the reigning Arizona Idol, so no long line wait for her. The learned a lot from vocal coaches and spent three hours teaching them her last name. Just kidding. She loves her some clothes, and she will not take this opportunity for granted.
Suzy Vulaca, “Unbreak My Heart”
Randy - “That was a good song choice for you… don’t remember that range… really good.”
Paula - “You shown such growth since (your audition)… good job.”
Simon - “Do either of you (referring to Paula & Randy) see anything special? You’re going to be forgotten… to me you are just a good singer.”
Sting7 - Call me crazy, but I liked her. I take notes as the performers sing, and the word that kept coming up was “savvy.” She knows what she’s doing up there. I wish she would have sang a different song because it is so easy to compare her to Toni Braxton, and it doesn’t match well. I liked her, I’m behind her.
John Preator from Provo, UT, thinks he comes off as quiet but can be zany. He’s one of the cursed Bleach Boys but wants to show the passion for singing and that he is a real person.
John Preator, “That’s What Love Is All About”
Randy - “I’m glad that’s over… that was painful for me… I don’t think there was one note you hit, maybe the last one… mmm-mmm mmm-mmm mmm-mmm.”
Paula - “(stuttering) Your pitch… you started off off-pitch… you were focused, but it was your pitch.”
Simon - “If we were to do American Idol as an ice dancing musical, you’d be perfect.”
(The camera settles on a slack-jawed John Stevens, he can’t seem to believe his ears.)
Sting7 - This was the problem. First, he changed the pitch of the song. It took me to the chorus to figure out what he was saying, and the change he made was not flattering. Musically alone it said, ‘Wrong! Wrong!’ Then, he couldn’t find the key to sing in it. Disaster. He was on the key even into the chord change. There was power in his voice, but the pitch wasn’t pleasing, the arrangement was ill-advised. What a shame.
Heather Piccinini says there was a lot of discussion about her resemblance to Season 2 finalist Kimberly Caldwell. The stylist says she has been de-Caldwelled. She says her rehearsals went great.
Heather Piccinini, “New Attitude”
Randy - “You remind me of a hotel lounge singer… you hit a lot of the notes, but not all of them.”
Paula - “That was not the right song to choose… vocals were a little cheesy.”
Simon - “I wouldn’t want to be in that hotel… you tried too hard, verging on a desperate performance… you make ugly faces when you sing.”
(This leads to a mild dust-up from Randy and Paula and later Ryan, who react that Simon said Heather is ugly. She clearly isn’t and he clearly said she, “makes ugly faces when she sings.” Not much value in that critique, because sometimes you gotta tear your face up to hit some of those notes!)
(The contestants look at each other in dazed astonishment. It‘s that kinda night!)
Sting7 - I agree with Simon, she tried too hard. There is a really nice melodic quality to her voice that didn’t escape me. I think she did de-Caldwell, which is a good thing, and I thought she showed a nice voice. The song is doomed in anyone else’s hands besides Patti LaBelle, though.
John Stevens is a mere 16 years old, and he started singing with Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits at five. He plans to gradually move to more pop material. But he wore the magic suit in Hollywood, and he’s gonna keep wearing it.
John Stevens, “She’s Always A Woman”
Randy - “I do love that song but I didn’t love your rendition… I liked the Dean-Frank guy!… I was almost falling asleep.”
Paula - “I missed the throwback… it was so refreshing, I missed that.”
Simon - “We can’t do Dean Martin Week every week can we?… That is the dilemma with you, when you do a contemporary song, we miss the Rat Pack… you’re a terrible performer, but I put that on your age… I hope you do well because you are different.”
Ryan asks Simon why they advanced John if he’s such a terrible performer. Simon says a performer could grow within the competition like Clay Aiken did. Simon then asks Ryan if he thinks John could grow within the competition. Ryan, predictably, says yes. Simon then asks if Ryan thinks all of the Group of 8 tonight could grow. Ryan says sure, but less convincingly. He’s being set-up. Simon says if Ryan can find 32 stars in a competition, then he would be a millionaire instead of a “thousandaire." Zing!
Sting7 - It was pleasant and nice. Period. Crooning John wanted to show that he is versatile enough to handle material besides the basic Vegas lounge stuff. What he did was appear woefully inexperienced and overmatched. Big things are in store for John; if he stays with what he does best, he’s gonna sell millions of albums. He’s got the Rat Pack thing down to a science. I mean, does Josh Groban have to sing Metallica?
Jasmine Trias is a 17-year-old spitfire who wants to teach the world to hula. Simon wondered how she would handle the pressure at such a young age, and she is determined to prove him wrong.1 2 Next-->
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