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American Idol 4, January 25: Crunk and Loathing In New Orleansby Sting7 -- 01/26/2005
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Coming to you from New Orleans, LA, American Idol just keeps chugging along. Tonight, special guest judge Gene Simmons of KISS is here to add his own wicked sense of humor to the already prickly trio. (Is there anything Simmons won’t promote? Is there a level too low for him?)
David Brown enters with an enthusiastic smile and says the music is "just in him." He releases a gorgeous "A Change Is Gonna Come" that, for the first time this season, leaves the hairs on my arms standing up. Randy says he was really, really, really good. In fact, it’s an enthusiastic unanimous yes to Hollywood! David, understandably, is jumping up and down with excitement.
Bobby Barfoot is an Idol enthusiast, you might say. He has all of the Idol trading cards. Bobby says he takes them with him everywhere. Hmmm. Bobby sings a yodeling country tune... not entirely bad. Paula thinks he has a good voice. "Where?" Simon challenges. Paula thinks that was rude and says so. To prove a point, Simon asks Bobby to go behind the screen and sing something else. Bobby sings a credible, but nasally, "Lately." He even loses Paula, and it’s a no. Bobby does have a decent voice, but he’d have to unlearn his entire technique. Too much trouble?
Daron Beck says he wants to make music "less disposable" and I’m all for that. Daron is dressed like this audition is a pit stop along the way to a Rocky Horror party. Then Daron sings Tom Jones’ "Delilah" (a very interesting choice), and it is anguished. The judges suggest another song, and Daron delivers "I Put A Spell on You" which might be the only really good choice for Daron’s, er, voice. Despite the fact that he sounds like the soundtrack to a hostage torture session, the judges seem to appreciate the entertaining quality of it, but it’s totally wrong for American Idol.
Lindsay Cardinale – pretty, shy and understated – delivers a pretty, shy, and understated "Standing Right Next To Me." Lindsay is definitely a trained singer, taking breaths at exactly the right moments, using her full instrument. Nice. Paula says she has a hypnotic quality to her voice. The others are just nodding yes. She’s going to Hollywood.
Robert Solomon, an odd creature in a t-shirt and gabardine slacks, is a projectionist at the local multi-plex. His "Dancing In The Streets" has the unique ability to be shrill and nasally all at the same time. Not easy to do. Not good either. No vote, Simon just directs him to the door.
Sadly, it appears to be more Roberts than Davids in Randy Jackson’s hometown. We get a montage of bad singers, and increasingly discouraged judges.
Sundeep Achreja, dressed like he’s going to a Wall Street interview more than an American Idol audition, lunges into "Eye of the Tiger" showing not one scintilla of singing ability. "The calculator beckons," Simon rules. It’s a no.
Michael Luizza tells us that his parents were both performers and met when they worked in catty-corner clubs on Bourbon Street. They gave up their careers to raise him, so he feels like he owes it to them to try out. He sings "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans" that manages Billie Holliday with Louis Armstrong in a subtle way. Randy is smiling all the way through, he’s a definite yes. Paula is giving a rather long verdict and Simon picks on her, making her whip her head at him and tell him he’s taking the joy out of her giving love! Houston, we have a problem. Ultimately, Randy says yes. Gene says no. Paula says yes. Simon says he’s leaning toward Gene’s way, but he’ll give Michael another shot, let’s see what happens. Michael is going to Hollywood! The building isn’t big enough to contain his joy as he runs into the street whooping and jumping. I’m reminded of that scene in Meet Joe Black when Brad Pitt gets hit by the car – let’s not go there.1 2 Next-->
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