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American Idol Season 4 (2005)


February 22 (Semi-Finals: Women)


Tonight it was the women's turn.  Thankfully, there were no Whitney Houston songs, although there was one Celine Dion song, which is just as bad.  And will the camera please quit showing Constantine brooding in the background?  He looks like he's pondering how to suck the blood out of every woman on stage.  Ugh!

Vonzell Solomon (sings "Heatwave") - She really got into the song and got the audience going.  A strong opener, but something about her dancing bugged me. I t was all over the place. I t didn't help that the outfit she was wearing highlighted her too-skinny legs.  Eat something, girl!

Amanda Avila (sings "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You") - They shouldn't have let her sing this when someone else sang it last night.  Where Joseph was creepy, Amanda is just so-so.  There are a few significant pitch problems.  Simon obviously wanted this Vegas showgirl here for reasons other than her singing - he says that in his next life, he wants to come back as her microphone.  Gross.

Janay Castine (sings "I Wanna Love You Forever") - This contestant is young and quite nervous, which affects her vibrato and her stage presence.  The whole performance is painful to watch.  Reminds me of Camille Velasco from last year, but I doubt that Janay has an entire U.S. territory and/or ethnic group ready to vote for her, so she'll probably be out soon.

Carrie Underwood (sings "Could've Been") - The farm girl takes a Tiffany tune and makes it a great country song.  She could use some polishing, but she's the strongest contestant I've heard so far.  That says a lot, considering I detest country music.  Maybe so much mediocrity has made me grasp at those who can manage to stay on pitch for two seconds.

Sarah Maher (sings "Get Ready") - Someone who looks like Michelle Pfeiffer's daughter imitates a backup singer imitating a lead singer, and ends up with a performance that's about as memorable as Michelle Pfeiffer's last movie.  This is not a good song choice.  No change in dynamics, no opportunity to show any range.  She stays on pitch and prances around the stage as if trying to say that she owns it, but you have to own the song, too, and she just doesn't do that.  Next.

Melinda Lira (sings "Power of Love" by Celine Dion) - No one other than Celine Dion should do Celine Dion songs.  Someone always does one every year, and they always stink.  In this case, it was set to a key that was much too low for this singer, and she sounds like Celine underwater.  Randy really likes her, and I think he's on drugs.  I'm also starting to fall asleep.

Nadia Turner (sings "Power of Love" by Ashley Cleveland) - It's wake up time!  I don't recognize this song, but boy!  This girl does rock better than either of the "rockers" last night.  She takes control of the song and whups you with it.  Mike commented that it was nice to see an African American sing something other than soul or R&B on this show.  Indeed.  You go, girl!

Celena Rae (sings "I Will Love Again") - Nadia was a tough act to follow, and Celena is a little too tentative in her performance to rise to the challenge.  Plus I know nothing about her, thanks to AI not showing her back story at all during the auditions.  She's got a pretty face, though, and has the best-looking clothes of anyone there.  She may make it through this round on looks alone.

Mikalah Gordon (sings "Young Hearts Run Free") - She is the annoying singer of the night.  Her voice was sultry in the auditions, but now the nasal tone she usually reserves for speaking gets in the way of making this song likeable.  Plus she has to talk during the song, and every time she speaks she sounds just like Fran Drescher.  The "bubbly personality" that would otherwise make me like her just grates with that voice.  Shut up, already.

Lindsey Cardinale (sings "Standing Right Next To Me") - Why does Lindsey insist on singing every song in her underwear?  That lacy camisole only looks good in the bedroom, dear.  The song is low and doesn't show her range.  Very boring, very safe.  She tries to compensate by over-performing the piece, which just seems pathetic.  Zzzzzzz. ( And is it "Cardinale" or "Cardinelli"?  The web site says one, the name they flashed on the screen last night says the other.  I'm sure she appreciates that.)

Jessica Sierra (sings "Against All Odds") - Another song that's been overdone on AI and should be permanently banned.  It fits Phil Collins' blandness (he did the original, not Mariah Carey, folks), but it just makes everyone else look bad because - again - there's no range to show off.  To Jessica's credit, she injected some emotion into it, and she has a nice tone.  I'd like to hear her do something else, but I doubt she'll last long.

Aloha Mischeaux (sings "Work It Out") - A contestant we know absolutely nothing about completely surprises me.  After recovering from the shock that squeaky clean AI let someone sing a song with lyrics about "doing it on the floor," I found that I enjoyed the performance.  I don't know the song, so I don't know if the judges' comments about it sounding a little too much like Beyoncé were true, but this girl definitely knows how to sing and perform.  Please let her come back.

Our top three picks of the evening were Aloha, Nadia, and Carrie, in that order.  Our bottom three were Mikalah (too annoying), Janay (too nervous), and Melinda (really bad song choice).  Based solely on what we've heard so far, I'd say the top three girls could easily beat out the top three guys from the previous night.  Results for the two shows are tomorrow night, but we won't be watching - too long and drawn out, and I hate the way AI humiliates the losers.  "So-and-so will now go back to her pathetic, obscure life selling hot dogs on the ghetto corner."  Just ax the contestants and be done with it, okay?

Eliminated on February 24 Results Show:  Melinda Lira and Sarah Maher


Review © 2005 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail tricia@lowhorn.org.


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