American Idol 4, April 13: Say It Isnít Soby Sting7 -- 04/14/2005
Ryan welcomes us, wearing a traditional pin-stripe suit! Whatís going on here? Ryan warns us it will be an hour show, which means he will be stretching more than "Kirstie Alleyís cycling shorts." Foul. Intro the judges, how ya doiní? Ryan tells us there were more the 34 million votes cast!
Ryan asks a pony-tailed Constantine what was the inspiration for the Constantine Tongue Move. Constantine says it just kinda happened! Ryan asks Anthony if heís feeling good after last night. Anthony makes some noise like heís speaking Klingon. Ryan asks if heís okay, he looks like he may puke! (He truly does! Heís absolutely green!) Anthony says heís just nervous. After the way some eliminations have gone this season, someone is bound to have a stroke before our eyes!
Ryan asks The Vonz, we call her Vonzell, asks what itís like working with Desmond Child. She says itís grrrr-eat! We get a recap of how "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" was chosen as the charity song that will be released to benefit the American Red Cross (and you can help by ordering it at the top of the righthand column!). Ryan says the entire Top 12 was reunited to record the song, so we get to visit with Lindsey, Mikalah, Nikko, and Jessica again. We get some footage of the whole gang in the studio, being put through the paces. Desmond Child is truly a super-producer Ė if I were to name all of the artists heís worked with (especially in the Ď80s), this recap would probably go to five pages. Suffice it to say... heís for real.
The other two songs, "He Ainít Heavy, Heís My Brother" and "Everything Is Beautiful," are also on the CD, Ryan says. Then he kills all that kumbaya spirit by reminding them that one of them is going home tonight.
Speaking of that, I expected some reaction to my bottom three (Bo, Carrie, Nadia), but I did not expect so many people to be convinced that Scott would be going home after "insulting" America by saying that a lot of people wouldnít have the nerve to do what heís doing. Maybe Iím just strange, but I wasnít insulted by that at all. Heís right! Plenty of people have plenty to say, donít we know, but couldnít handle the pressure heís under. But, I get the impression that the folks who felt compelled to tell me that didnít like him anyway. I still donít think heís going. I may have a size 12 Nike in my mouth by the time this is done, but Iím standing by it.
I think Iím stretching too!
Ryan tells us all of the bottom three will be singing their favorite songs from throughout the season. Hmm. Now, we get the Top 8 singing "When You Tell Me That You Love Me." It is a clearly polished version. That time in the studio has made them very familiar with the song, and that familiarity has made it a far better performance than we first heard! Carrie and Vonzell are the stars of this performance, easily.
Then, we get a week in the life of the Idols. Itís a grueling schedule. Of note, they only seem to get a day or two to work on their songs! This is not easy, folks. They all seem to agree that Wednesday is the worst day of the week Ė Results Day. Ryan echoes that no one wants to go home... and he adds, "you wonít believe whoís in our bottom three!"
I think I would. Iím telling you! Bo! Carrie! Nadia!
This weekís pre-requisite Ford commercial features "One Nation Under A Groove." Yes, the commercials are vastly improved over last year. Not a craving for a cracker all season! Now, the recap of last nightís show!
Ryan says Carrie wasnít feeling well before the show, what was wrong? Carrie says she doesnít know what that bug was, but she did her best. Ryan asks Nadia how she deals with the pressure of being on American Idol. Nadia says she decided when she first auditioned that she wants to do whatever Godís will is for her. Ryan notes Anwar was very strong last night, what was different? Anwar says he stopped thinking about his performance so much and just goes with it. Ryan reminds us that the bottom three are going to sing their favorite song of the season tonight. He asks Scott what he would choose. Scott says he has two songs in mind, but heíd probably choose "Against All Odds."
Ryan tells him to go sing it. Heís in the bottom three. Scott is clearly nervous, and pitchy as hell, but who can blame him? Not a performance heíd want to be remembered for.
More results. Ryan goes over Carrieís critique. She is safe!
Anwar Ė is safe!
Bo Ė in the bottom three.
Ryan asks Bo what has been different in the last two weeks? Bo seems utterly unaffected, he says this "whole thing started as a bet between me and my Mom." Bo says the worst thing that could happen is he goes home and lives the life heís been enjoying living. Randy says he thinks Bo has lost some confidence, but heís still a fan. Paula says she still believes heíll be in the finale. Bo gives us a spirited "Remedy," in which he gives Scott a man-hug. Heís a good guy. I hope he stays.
Ryan continues with the results, and Constantineís critique. Ryan asks for a clarification of Simonís "astonishing." Simon says that everything about it was astonishing, he wouldnít have recommended doing that song, but more importantly, it worked! Constantine is safe!
Vonzell gets her critique, she says she would be singing "I Have Nothing." Anthony gets his critique, Anthony says he would be singing "Every Time You Go Away." Nadia doesnít get her critique, sheís just told she is in the bottom three. She will be singing, "You Donít Have To Say You Love Me" (itís almost like an accusation, isnít it?). And she does. Try as she might, those nerves are showing, her voice is not following all of the orders from the brain. But, a shaken Nadia is better than most!
So, there you have them. Scott, Bo, and Nadia in the bottom three. Count two out of three for me. My job... is safe! Ryan asks Randy what people should be looking for every week. Randy says itís about consistency, you have to be great every time. Randy reminds them that Ruben and Fantasia have both been in the bottom three (Ruben once, Fantasia a few times), and they both went on to win the whole dang shooting match, "So build up your confidence, you gotta put it out there, you gotta want it!" he scolds them, slightly. The trio seem to get the message.
Paula says weíve seen crazy things like this happen, and she reminds them to remember the passion that brought them there, and perform like itís the last time. Simon says picking the right song is so important, just like in the real world. He singles out Nadia and says if she had picked "You Donít Have To Say You Love Me" the previous night, she wouldnít be standing there in the bottom three (she wasnít born in 1966, but we get the point). Simon adds, humbly (cough!), that when he critiques, heís smarter than them because heís being doing this for 30 years, so if they donít believe him, look at the playback (meanwhile, Paula and Randy are making swollen head gestures next to him!) and understand why they are standing there.
Ryan asks Nadia if she regrets the choice. Nadia says she doesnít because she wanted to do songs that were a little bit offbeat... but.... maybe thatís just not working out! Nothing like self-effacing humor in a time of crisis. Ryan is about to send someone back to the couch. Itís Scott! Scott canít hide his relief. (I told you he wasnít going! Yeah, I didnít put him in the bottom three, but I knew he wasnít going home for shiz-zure!)
The bad news is that Nadia or Bo is leaving. Ryan points out that Randy looks a bit disgusted. Randy says Ryan is right, if viewers really donít want Nadia or Bo to go, they have to vote, "I also think there is a little confusion going on..." He doesnít elaborate, but he does remind them again that Ruben and Fantasia were also in the bottom at some point, so this does not have to be the end. Ryan asks Paula if she still thinks Bo will make it to the finale. Paula poses a question to Bo, does he think he has what it takes? Bo says he thinks he has what it takes to do what he does (which doesnít exactly answer the question, does it? Maybe heís saying he doesnít believe a rocker can win. Or his rocking can win. Either way, itís the wrong attitude. Does Tyra Banks have to come out there and scream at him too? What did that mean? Check out Phil Kuralís recap of Americaís Next Top Model!) Paula says she believes in him, and everyone there does too.
Ryan announces that Bo is safe, and Nadia is going home tonight. Nadia gives a gracious thank you, her voice breaking at the end. Sheís such a lady. Time for the funeral video. Nadiaís tears start to flow. Nadia gives another thank you to American Idol and promises her journey has just begun.
I fully believe that. You have not heard the last of Nadia Turner. She had the best stage presence of anyone on the show, and star quality that is undeniable. She hit a slump at the worst possible time Ė when the viewership was increasing. The new people donít know how good she is, and how worthy she was of a top five finish.
One day, American Idol will serve as only a footnote in her career Ė you can bet on that. As for Scott, many of you are pining for his demise. Youíre in for a long wait. Scott is the underdog of this competition. Heís the square peg. There are people who will get behind him just because he would have no chance in the real world of getting this close to his dreams coming true. Is that wrong? No more wrong than people who tell me they wonít vote for him because he "looks like a serial killer," or "he has chip on his shoulder." Iím not saying youíre wrong, Iím just saying people vote the way they vote for their own reasons. If you can have it your way, they can have it theirs.
What a story it would be if Scott actually won this thing. I think all of the Idols got something of a wake up call tonight. Letís see what they do with it!
Sting7 has been a respected published writer for many years, as a music editor, entertainment critic, columnist, and interviewer. He also has a curious love for pro-wrestling! You can email Stinger at email@example.com.
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