American Idol 4, May 10 - The Game and How To Change Itby Sting7 -- 05/11/2005
Ryan welcomes us with a teasing, "How was your week? Lots of shock and outrage... Thatís happens when you lose a guy like Scott Savol!" Oh, tricky Ryan! Oh my sides.
Intro the judges, thundering applause for the judges (especially for Paula, one presumes). Ryan tells the Idols via flashback (and us) the new themes will be a little city, and little country. Motown and Country week.
The families of the Idols send videos of support, and they are very sweet and not noteworthy. The Idols also do videos thanking their families and talking about what they miss from home. You can guess the answers. On to what you really want to know about!
First, country songs:
Carrie Underwood, "Sin Wagon"
Randy - "What I love about you, I know who you are... you are ready for the record charts today!"
Paula - "Randy said it all, we had fun, itís a great record, Randy said it all."
Simon - "It would have been a shock if you hadnít got this one right, wouldnít it?... it was the equivalent of you singing in the shower, you do it effortlessly. Very, very good indeed. And, we saw personality!"
Sting7 - Judges are a little hyper tonight. Carrieís twang was in full effect tonight! Performance was more about attitude, but I wasnít a little concerned about the pitch in some places. Maybe itís just me. Amy Adams did this last year, and so help me, Amyís was better I think. Hmm.
Bo Bice, "Itís Great Day To Be Alive"
Randy - "You know youíre already in the dogpound, I did not love the song... youíre doing your thing man."
Paula - "We always say we love you, and we do... itís time for you to pick songs that make you feel like even you rose to the challenge."
Simon - "It was very boring, lazy, uninspired performance, it looked like you were some sort of jam in a private club. It wasnít very good." (Boís Grandma was behind Simon, and she looked like she wanted a pound of flesh!)
Sting7 - Okay, is something wrong with me? Bo sounded a little off-key, and the band was drowning him out. I think Simon was there, it was kind of a lazy, phoned in performance. Song too mellow? Not Boís first choice? I wasnít feeling it. Just not.
Vonzell Solomon, "How Do I Live Without You?"
Randy - "It started a little rough... for once it felt a little slow, a little too slow... the thing I love about you, you always pick the most difficult song... you still did your thing in the end?"
Paula - "Youíre beautiful performer, you wear your heart on you sleeve, and your grace and your dignity shows every night."
Simon - "You looked and sounded incredibly nervous tonight, and youíre very emotional. So, I think Iíll leave it there."
Sting7 - What in the world is wrong with Vonzell? Paula asked how sheís feeling, and Vonzell broke into tears! Performance wise, like Randy I thought it felt a little too slow and it was distracting to the ears, but like Randy, I think she brought it home. That last "ever survive" was amazing! Letís hope she can pull it together later.
Anthony Fedorov, "Iím Already There"
Randy - "You know what, I gotta give you props, it was good dawg!"
Paula - "Good performance, start raising the stakes and pick songs that challenge you. It was a good performance, but I want you to stretch for it."
Simon - "On a positive note, it was good performance. But, tonight with all the film clips, it feels like Miss Universe! It felt a bit cynical that song Ė gooey. Syrupy."
Sting7 - Oh, NOW Paula gets critical. I always hate that critique in this part of the competition because it makes no sense. Anthony doing what heís been doing has gotten him this far. He should stretch now so she can say "a little pitchy?" Ridiculous. I thought Anthony sounded great. In fact, I think he was the best of the night so far. Call me crazy. Even Simonís "Miss Universe" comment didnít have much to do with Anthony as it did the song choices tonight. Good for you, Anthony! Ignore Paula. Keep doing what got you here!
Before we start the next group of songs, we get a video clip of Gamble and Huff and their contribution to the music industry Ė the Sound of Philadelphia. And, they are there! Ryan asks who they have worked with? Oh, names like Patti Labelle, the Ojays, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Phyllis Hyman. Thatís all. They say they are excited that their music will be reaching a whole new generation.
Carrie Underwood, "If You Donít Me By Now"
Randy - "It just didnít work. I was waiting for you to get on track, and you never did."
Paula - "You have been right on with everything, but that performance didnít work."
Simon - "That was an appalling arrangement... it was boring and lethargic and a complete and utter mess in my opinion."
Sting7 - Okay, I feel a little better. I thought it was just me! I just didnít feel Carrie tonight. What is going on? It was oddly soulless. I think maybe this song was just not Carrie, not in her scope of things she can make shine. Shake it off, Carrie.
Bo Bice, "For The Love of Money"
Randy - "When your record comes out, I hope thatís on your record. That was a good version!"
Paula - "I think itís your best performance, loved loved loved it!"
Simon - "Fantastic performance, terrible image, fantastic performance."
Sting7 - Bo sings the theme from The Apprentice? This felt like a dedication to Corey Clark! Paula sure acted like it! Bo tore that thing up! He started a little slow, but he was feeling it. He was sending it to somebody!
Vonzell Solomon, "Donít Leave Me This Way"
Randy - "Excellent, excellent job... one thing America knows now is you definitely can sing!"
Paula - "You do take risks ... you do achieve your own personal bests, and tonight you just did that."
Simon - "You pulled out all the stops on that one. It was a manic performance, I was almost glad it ended. It was much, much better than the first performance."
Sting7 - This is more like it! That is Vonzell! Whatever she is going through, she turned it up.
Thereís Angela Peele in the Coke commercial again. She was robbed in season one. Hang in there, Angela!
Anthony Fedorov, "If You Donít Me By Now"
Randy - "You know what, this is a much better version of the song... that was good man, you worked it out!"
Paula - "You came out here with conviction... you nailed it."
Simon - "That was a much better arrangement... itís like Woody Allen trying to play the lead in Shaft!"
Sting7 - Hey! Anthony taking on Carrie, head-to-head?! And, he blew her away! Away! What the hell is going on? Holy cow! Carrieís sounded like a funeral dirge, Anthony (sorry Simon) was actually soulful. Sometimes, soul can come from those pure voices, ask Eddie Kendrick. All told, Anthony had the kind of night he needed to have. He may slip into the top three yet!
What an odd night. One Idol steps it up! Another slips a couple of notches. I donít think that Top three is as certain as we might think.
Hereís how I think the voting should go for song one:
Hereís how I think the voting should go for song two:
Hereís how I think the voting will go:
Yes, I am saying Carrie is going home tomorrow! I canít believe Iím saying it, but Carrie didnít give many reasons to vote for her Ė there was that risky "losing is not the end of the world" comment. I wish I could just tell them. You are right, but even if you feel it, donít say that! If you donít care, we donít care.
There was her "what she misses from home" video. Her friends? Do you not have parents? And, Anthony flat outsang her. She lost the battle of "If You Donít Know Me!"
Letís see if Iím right. Join me tomorrow?
Sting7 has been a respected published writer for 16 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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