Season 4 Index | February 22 Review


American Idol Season 4 (2005)


February 21 (Semi-Finals: Men)


Okay, I admit it.  Mike and I have been watching American Idol since season 2.  This year we decided to watch all the shows from the very beginning, which was not necessarily a great thing to do.  Now we're in the voting stage of the competition, though, and I thought I'd jot down my thoughts on tonight's contestants.  (For the record, we're not voting. We're just going to watch for the amusement factor this year.)

On Monday, the show featured the twelve male semi-finalists singing one-minute snippets of mostly boring songs.  While the talent is much better than last year, so far there seems to be no single breakout singer that makes you sit up and go, "Wow!"

Nikko Smith (sings "Part Time Lover") - Nikko sounds so much like Stevie Wonder in this song that I'm thinking Stevie is offstage supplying the voice.  Very good karaoke, but I know nothing about what Nikko's voice really sounds like, which is frustrating.  Mike hates the performance for the same reason.

Scott Savol (sings "You Are My Lady") - Mike loves this song, and Scott does a pretty good job with it.  In fact, it's amazing that this voice comes out of someone who looks and acts so anti-Idol (read: weight challenged but without the charm of Ruben Studdard).  It's not a mind-blowing performance, though, and he fails to pull the audience in with him.  I don't think people like him - on earlier shows, his personality was rather stand-offish.  He probably won't last long.

Bo Bice (sings "Drift Away") - Our first "rocker" of the evening.  A few pitch problems in the beginning, but he got into the groove as the song progressed and he had the audience clapping with him.  He has fun, we have fun.  One of the better performances of the evening.

Anthony Federov (sings "Hold On To the Nights") - Anthony is very reminiscent of Clay Aiken, but without the consistency.  He's got pitch problems with this song, and it doesn't really do much to showcase his Clayness - although that might be a good thing.  I like Clay, but we only need one in the market right now.

At this point, I can't remember the order of singers as well (except for the last two) because we started being inundated with forgettable performances (i.e., Mike was more interested in what type of bass the bassist was playing than in most of the singers).

Travis Tucker (sings "My Cherie Amour") - Okay, I'm now officially sick of Stevie Wonder songs.  They were sung all through the early auditions.  There should be a moratorium on them.  Travis is okay, but nothing to write home about.

Constantine Maroulis (sings "Kiss From a Rose") - Andy Serkis meets Michael Hutchence and performs Seal.  This is not pretty.  Constantine does so many fake rock poses during this I want to puke, and then he bats his bedroom eyes at Paula during the judging and I want to throw things at the screen.  He's not on pitch for two-thirds of the song, but if the screams in the audience are any indication, he's got a strong female following.  Ugh.

David Brown (sings "Never Can Say Goodbye") - Methinks he's going to have to learn to say goodbye, because that was an awfully dull rendition of that song.  Snore.

Jared Yates (sings "How Could I") - How could you, indeed?  I don't know this song.  No one else in the audience acts like they know it, either.  It's a slow song with kind of a Latin feel to it, and Jared does a decent rendition (he actually injects some emotion into his singing, which is more than some contestants do).  Ultimately, though, it's another forgettable performance.

Anwar Robinson (sings "Moon River") - An odd choice for an Idol song, but he makes it work by making it his own.  He has a unique voice among the male African American contestants - it's brighter than the typical R&B/gospel voice.  He has a maturity that a lot of the other performers lack, too.  We like him, the judges like him.  Hopefully, he'll make it through.

Judd Harris (sings "Travelin' Band") - Last year, there was John Peter Lewis, who couldn't sing and had a weird style of dancing but was so cute you just wanted to pat his head and take him home.  Judd is this year's JPL, only he can sing.  He'll rip his throat to shreds if he keeps growling like that, though, and he doesn't have quite the stage presence of some of the more mature singers like Anwar.

Joseph Murena (sings "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You") - This guy creeps me out.  He sings decently, but he looks like he should be in a Vegas nightclub, and he keeps singing to the camera instead of the live audience.  It's kind of like Wayne Newton constantly staring you down.  Eeuw.

Mario Vasquez (sings "Do I Do") - The final song of the night is, once again, a Stevie Wonder song.  It's an upbeat one, though, and Mario has fun with it and draws the audience into the performance.  Kudos to him for remembering all those words in the "candy kisses" section.  The judges and the audience love him.  I applaud him for waking me up.  He'll be back.

Our top three picks of the evening would be Anwar, Mario, and Bo, in any order.  Our bottom three would be Constantine (rock poser), Nikko (sounds too much like Stevie), and Anthony (too many pitch problems).  I suspect those last three will make it through to the next round, though.  We'll find out on Wednesday, when the two contestants with the lowest number of votes get booted off the show.  Tomorrow night, though, it's the women's turn.  How many Whitney Houston covers will we be subjected to?  Stay tuned...

Eliminated on February 24 Results Show:  Judd Harris and Jared Yates


Review 2005 by Patricia Lowhorn..For comments, e-mail


Season 4 Index | February 22 Review