American Idol 4, March 1: It’s Ladies Night and the Feelin’ Ain’t Rightby Donna Reynolds -- 03/02/2005
Ryan welcomes us and reminds us, once again, that only six guys and six girls are going through. He congratulates the guys for a job well done last night, and then introduces the ladies. Our “guidance counselors” (i.e. the judges) are introduced. Ryan asks Randy if the girls can “bring it.” Randy thinks they are up on their game. Let’s boogie.
Aloha Mischeaux – “You Don’t Know My Name”
Randy – “That wasn’t your best performance for me… it was very below par, very pitchy all over the place. Not good for me.”
Paula – “I have to agree with Randy. It’s tough when you pick a song by an artist like Alicia Keys, who’s at the top of her game. That’s why she’s so unique. Just really difficult.”
Simon – “Problem with the song was that it didn’t give you a chance to show your originality… performance was affected… wasn’t as good as last week.”
Donna - Aloha has the range for this one, and some of the notes really flowed nicely. But it seems almost as though she is emulating Alicia and doesn’t “make it her own.” Not a knockout for me.
Lindsey Cardinale – “I Try to Think About Elvis”
Randy – “You know, listen, it was good, it was better than last week… you gave a really good performance, still want to see you stretch a little bit vocally range wise.”
Paula – “Me too, I really want to hear you go places with your voice. I fell in love with your voice. I enjoyed the fact that you sang something uptempo.
Simon – “I don’t know what to say, really. I didn’t like the song (audience boos). I think you need to do something better than that. Otherwise, I think you’re going to go within two weeks.
Donna - Nice upbeat tune, but her vocals seemed to disappear behind the band. She finally came out of her shell, though, but it was too much show and not enough substance. I finally figured out who she reminds me of, though – Julia DeMato from AI2.
Jessica Sierra – “Broken Wing”
Randy – (Laughing) “You’ve returned! That was good man, really good.”
Paula – “You did your own version and infused yourself. You took a very familiar song and made it all your own. You did a great job, congratulations.”
Simon – “Without question the best female vocal we’ve had so far. That was amazing.”
Donna - I love the tone of her voice, and have since the beginning. It’s a real “country voice,” deep and full. I love the way she interpreted this song and made it literally take flight. Very good job, best so far for me.
Mikalah Gordon – “God Bless the Child”
Randy – “You know, listen. I love you because you’re fearless. You’ve got ambition to attack a song like that. I give you mad props.” (Looks to the “Dawg Pound,” who whoop wildly.)
Paula – “You were very subdued and you nailed it. You showed versatility. Very nice.”
Simon – “That was just a joy to watch and listen to. I am proud of you that you just took a risk, you showed your talent… you weren’t annoying in the slightest because you’re not talking.”
Donna - Wow! Where did that come from? Talk about an old soul! She sang this with the kind of depth that belies her age. She felt that song down to her toes. Amazing.
Celena Rae – “When the Lights Go Down”
Randy – “That was just okay for me. You didn’t take any risk. It was a nice performance of a nice song. Why should she be the next American Idol?”
Paula – “I didn’t click in with the song that you picked. I don’t know, I haven’t clicked with you yet.”
Simon – “It’s difficult for us to communicate with you… the truth is there is a very thin line between being a pop star and singing in a hotel. I think you are going to end up in the latter.”
Donna – There was nothing wrong with this, just that it was sort of boring. Vocally, she didn’t show us anything terribly original, and she tried to cover up by shouting a bit too much. All I can think of is that she should be on Nashville Star, not American Idol.
Nadia Turner – “My Love”
Randy – “The great thing about you is you know how to use what you got. I like that about you. It wasn’t your best performance, but it was good.”
Paula – “It was all about that last note. You don’t have to convince us because we are believers. We believe in you.”
Simon – “Very strange song to choose. It did make you sound older than you are and a little bit cabaret. You sang the last part very well.”
Donna – Nadia took a risk, and it really doesn’t work for her. She did nail that last note, but overall, it was sloppy. I am a bit disappointed. I was looking for another standout performance from her, but she didn’t bring it.
Amanda Avila – “Turn the Beat Around”
Randy – “I gotta say it was definitely better than last week. You’re not just a beautiful face. That was good, right, Dawg Pound?” (They woof.)
Paula – “Definitely better, you raised your game, you picked the right song. I wasn’t sure about the song that you picked. Once you started singing it, it was the perfect song. You did a great job.”
Simon – “The problem sitting here is that it is like sitting in a night club. It was so loud. I’m not sure how much of that song was in tune. I don’t think the whole song was in tune. Overall, it was a great performance, it really was.”
Donna – Every time I hear this song now, I hear Diana DeGarmo. Doesn’t this break one of David Bloomberg’s rules? Amanda does a decent job with this and looks good doing it. Not great, but certainly better than last week. I’m glad. I am sort of rooting for her to make the top 12. I’m not sure why, exactly, but I like her.
Janay Castine – “Hit ‘Em Up Style”
Randy – “Wow, that wasn’t very good. A little rough.”
Paula – “It wasn’t bad. You were a little disconnected and not committed to the performance.”
Simon – “There are times when you sing that you look as though you are watching a horror movie! You’re like a little doll who’s been programmed to be a pop star. You just not experienced enough. I think in two or three year’s time, fantastic. I think you’re too young.”
Donna – I’m sorry, Janay, but Simon is right. You have the talent, but you need seasoning, and only time can give you that. I wanted you to do well tonight because I think you have a really unique voice. Why am I addressing her directly? Because I think that tomorrow she’s going to need all the positive vibes she can get.
Carrie Underwood – “Piece of My Heart”
Randy - “Listen, it’s really hard to do a Janis Joplin kind of joint. It was just okay for me. I still love you doing the kind of country-ish stuff.”
Paula – “Carrie, that wasn’t believable for me. I really enjoy you doing what you do. That wasn’t my favorite performance.”
Simon – “We loved you last week. The problem with this performance tonight was that it was reminiscent of what a local cover band would do. You looked stiff. You didn’t look comfortable up there. You lost some star quality tonight. It was very disappointing.”
Donna – Poor, perfect Carrie. She took a risk tonight and it fell flatter than a Kansas prairie. Countrified, this just did not work, at least not for her. Plus, I am sick to death of country tonight. Maybe this was just what she needed, though, a little reality check. You are not without fault, missy!
Vonzell Solomon – “If I Ain’t Got You”
Randy – “I’ll give you a ten for definite ambition because you tried a very tough, stylized song. You tried to take it somewhere and make it your own… didn’t quite make it most of the time for me, but at least you tried. I like you.
Paula – “Started off real good. You are a fun performer, very likable. I want you to focus on holding your pitch.”
Simon – “You are right, Paula. I think it was an overcooked performance. The whole thing was too much. I think you oversang it in the end and you went out of tune. Sometimes, less is more.”
Donna – Another Alicia Keys song? Is she becoming the Whitney of the 21st century? I sure hope not. Vonzell really did oversing this in an attempt to show us what she had. She certainly can sing, but she ain’t no Alicia, and shouldn’t try to be. This could have been her night, comparatively speaking, but she too fell short of the mark.
I am not pleased. Compared to the guys last night, the ladies were dull and uninspired. What happened? I think they misunderstood the judges’ advice, and in an attempt to be memorable, most of them overshot. It is understandable, I suppose, since we are only in week two of the semis. Maybe it is because I really did have high expectations coming off of last night.
As far as I’m concerned, tonight belonged to Mikalah Gordon. She was the only real standout. Jessica Sierra would be second, and Amanda third. Nadia only finished fourth for me tonight with Carrie fifth. Vonzell rounds out my top six for the evening. The rest of them are a jumbled mess, but clearly, the two who should be sent packing are Janay and Celena. I can’t see it happening any other way.
But there is some good news. It seems that the “suits” at Fox really were listening to us after all, and Wednesday’s results show is only going to be a half-hour. No long, drawn out, hideous, humiliating dismissals this week, it would seem. This is rather remarkable, actually, in that the producers of this show have never really paid a lot of attention to viewers’ complaints. Cutting it back seems to be an acknowledgement at least. I mean, really, they have to eliminate four people. When you take into consideration the commercials, that doesn’t leave a lot of time.
The show starts at 9:00 p.m. EST. Be there… you won’t want to miss it.
Donna Reynolds is an Assistant Editor for the RealityNewsOnline family of websites and a freelance writer based in Syracuse, NY. She is also the creator of “That’s Entertainment,” a weblog on syracuse.com. Whether you agree or disagree, Donna welcomes your comments, and you can email her at email@example.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find out about some other popular shows at our The Amazing Race 5 page and our Survivor: Vanuatu page; and don't miss The Reality TV Hall of Shame. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about reality TV, be sure to check out SirLinksALot: American Idol