American Idol 4, April 5: A Bit too Broadway?by Donna Reynolds -- 04/06/2005
The show is live tonight, and Ryan has on some kind of bizzaro sweater. He comments on the massive amounts of signage, introduces himself, and then discusses the voting. We are reminded that no guys have gone home yet. Thanks, Ryan, I wasn’t aware of that. When he introduces the judges, Simon actually smiles.
As is becoming our custom, we see the final nine after last week’s elimination preparing to hear this week’s theme. Ryan offers up some lame-o hints, and Constantine quickly figures it out. But Ryan wants to prolong the agony, and allows the others a chance to figure it out for themselves. Carrie finally gets it – tonight’s theme is Broadway musicals. Not surprisingly, most of the contestants have never seen a musical or even heard these songs before. This should be interesting.
Scott Savol – “The Impossible Dream” (Man of La Mancha)
Randy – Tough song to sing. Started a little shaky… ended it with a bang. Just alright.
Paula - I think this is one of the most heartfelt performances so far in this competition.
Simon – I honestly thought from your presentation to the vocals, I thought it was ordinary… ordinarily extraordinary.
Donna – He seems to wobble a bit at the beginning, but corrects himself early on. As he progresses through this song, it is clear he is really feeling it, as am I. The song suits his voice, and he definitely puts his own spin on it. Scott is wearing a suit tonight and looks a bit more put together. Great finish. I think he nailed it.
Constantine Maroulis – “My Funny Valentine” (Babes in Arms)
Randy – Keeping it most real for me. This, dude, is the best you’ve ever sang anything. This is what you should be doing. I didn’t know you sang that good. I was like… “what?”
Paula – I lost it in the first verse – I admit I am falling in love with you. What you did was remarkable. You’re a perfect role model for guys to get into musicals. You’re the coolest of cool. I wish I could come up and hug you.
Simon – I will give your vocals a 7, but I’m gonna give your pouting a 9-1/2.
Donna – This is definitely a big step away from Constantine the “rocker.” In the beginning, it is kind of hard to hear him over the orchestra, and his vocals seem a bit thin, but he pulls it off with a big finish. I’m still not feeling him, though, but am carefully avoiding making eye contact when he performs!
Ryan wants to know who is the real Constantine. He tries to bring lots of different flavors. We go through a strange interlude of watching Constantine watch the camera.
Carrie Underwood – “Hello Young Lovers” (The King and I)
Randy – That song, really boring, starting to fall asleep… you sung it, you sung it well… you sang it brilliantly even though it was not a good song for me.
Paula – You look simply stunning tonight. Your performance was elegant. Towards the end of the song… the audience was swelling… you’re a well-oiled machine with your vocals. Bravo.
Simon – You sang it very well. The song was mind-numbingly boring. There was a moment while I was watching your performance it was rather like watching a washing powder commercial in 1965. It was so old-fashioned… I think too old fashioned.
Donna - Carrie could have stepped right off the set of the musical. All that’s missing is the costume. It starts out a bit sing-songy – I suppose that’s the arrangement. But her vocals are stellar – crisp, clean, and heartfelt. And that finish… gave me the chills. It’s strange. I am not a real Carrie fan, but I really respect her talent and appreciate when she hits a homer, which she did tonight.
Vonzell Solomon - “People” (Funny Girl)
Randy – Wow, man you keep getting better every week. That was brilliant.
Paula – That was such a bold choice… you did something more amazing, and hit that high E flat that Barbra doesn’t even go for. You’re unbelievable. (Paula stands and applauds.)
Simon – It was good. It wasn’t great. For you it was great. It left me a little bit cold. It was very clinical, very controlled.
Donna – I start smiling as soon as she starts to sing. Vonzell has a knack for picking the right song for her voice and carrying it all the way. She oversings it just a tad, but it’s that kind of song. Barbra would be proud. Wonderful.
Anthony Fedorov – “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” (The Sound of Music)
Randy – I did not like that… it was like sharp and flat all over the place.
Paula – I liked what you did with it… I really enjoyed it. You made me listen to the lyrics. I think you did a good job.
Simon – Hideous. Everything about it was horrible.
Donna - The stylists have had their way with Anthony again this week. I guess the glasses are gone for good. He starts out a bit breathy, and doesn’t seem to know where he is going with this performance. He builds momentum, but misses some notes, and goes in and out of tune. He manages to put a good bit of oomph into the finish, but overall, this was not a good choice for him.
Nikko Smith – “One Hand, One Heart” (West Side Story)
Randy – You keep it contemporary. You’re always trying to keep the thing alive. Good job, not your best.
Paula – You’re the comeback kid, Nikko. This is one of my favorite songs. You are the real, true epitome of R&B to American Idol.
Simon – All you guys are doing these performances with these big notes at the end believing that we’re not going to hear the first part of the song. Honestly, the first part of the song sounded out of tune.
Donna – I like the arrangement, starting off with the acoustic guitar. Nikko does something that is often talked about, but seldom really accomplished. He has taken this old song and made it 100 percent his own. The performance was not perfect, but it was remarkable in its originality. I say you rock, Nikko.
As we cut to commercial, we get a shot of celebrity Idolhead Neil Sedaka in the audience. Is he ever hooked!
Anwar Robinson – “If Ever I Would Leave You” (Camelot)
Randy – Welcome back, baby. You are one of the best singers here…
Paula – The second you smile, it melts America’s heart. Technically you are the best singer on the stage. Congratulations, you were brilliant.
Simon – You seemed very comfortable.
Donna – Anwar took the judges advice from last week, and keeps it up a little higher. The performance is a bit choppy, and feels a bit forced, but Anwar may just have bought himself another week with this one. He really does have a fabulous voice and he’s so much fun to watch.
Bo Bice – “Corner of the Sky” (Pippin)
Randy – Yo man… once again consistently great, dude. You are one of the dawgs.
Paula – You are in this competition. You deserve to be on the stage. You are a winner.
Simon – I personally think you’ve had two bad weeks. I thought that was a mess. I think you are going the wrong direction. You’d better pick yourself up next week.
Donna – I love Bo, but this song was really, really bad. Not his performance, mind you, but the song itself. He wasn’t feeling it, that’s for sure, and that’s the kiss of death for a performer like Bo. This time, I have to say I agree with Simon. But I don’t think this is a permanent condition!
Nadia Turner – “As Long as He Needs Me” (Oliver)
Randy – Great performance.
Paula – Absolutely beautiful.
Simon – I would say this is the strongest you’ve been in three weeks, but I am going to ask Ryan not to choose the musical themes anymore.
Donna – Wow. This has to be Nadia’s breakout performance. She does everything right, from the dress, to the controlled vocals, to the powerful finish. The song is absolutely perfect for her voice. I think this is the best she’s done so far. Now if she could work on the faces!
Now I know that my cohorts may disagree, but I thought this was an exceptionally good show. So good, in fact, that I had to go through and listen to most of them again just to sort it all out. I am normally not stumped when it comes to picking the best (and worst) but this week, it was tough. This is how I see it.
This week, the bottom three should be Anwar, Constantine, and Anthony, but I expect Scott will take Constantine’s place. But clearly, it is Anthony’s week to go home. I thought so last week, and I can’t believe that he made it through over Jessica. I hope that people will vote this week based on performance, not on perception. That would be too bad.
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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.