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American Idol Season 4 (2005)


March 1 (Semi-Finals: Women)

It was the women's turn on Tuesday.  They had a lot to live up to after the guys' performances.  Unfortunately, they didn't do a very good job overall.  They were trying much too hard.  It was as if they saw how the judges liked people who rocked the joint - or how much they liked Carrie's country style - and they decided they all had to ditch the ballads and do something with more of an edge.  For most of them, this didn't work.  (And couldn't we have saved all the country songs for country week?  Ugh.)

Aloha Mischeaux (sings Alicia Keyes' "You Don't Know My Name") - Believe me, Aloha, we know your name.  We also know that you're not Jasmine from last year, so lose the hokey flower in your hair.  Once again, the microphone volume needs to be raised.  The performance was fine but begs too many comparisons with a star who's incredibly popular right now.  It didn't work as well as last week's did for us, perhaps because there's no shock factor in the lyrics and Aloha just stood there and waved her hands around.

Lindsey Cardinale (sings Patty Loveless' "I Try to Think About Elvis") - No lingerie this week, just a double cotton camisole.  She's trying to rock with this song, and her voice sounds fine, but she looks like she doesn't quite know what to do on stage.  Here's a hint: don't remain tied to one spot.  I'm still not seeing her range, and this song makes her growl a little more than I want to hear from her.  It was aaiiight, as Randy would say.

Jessica Sierra (sings Martina McBride's "Broken Wing") - This was a big improvement over last week, although the country voice she uses for this song isn't quite as powerful as Carrie's.  It was nice but not up to par with the guys yet.  Did someone install a force field on the stage?  Is that the reason these women aren't walking beyond a two foot radius?  Maybe that's why Constantine is smiling in the background this week instead of brooding.  He's beginning to scare me.

Mikalah Gordon (sings Billie Holliday's "God Bless the Child") - Even though she looked and sounded like she was channeling Barbra Streisand instead of Billie Holliday, I will grudgingly admit that she was ten times better than last week.  She has a maturity in her performance style that made me forget she's only 17.  And thank goodness she didn't talk.  I wouldn't run out and buy a CD of her singing this song, but it's a definite improvement.

Celena Rae (sings Faith Hill's "When the Lights Go Down") - She still looks nice, but she's trying much too hard to outsing the others instead of just working with what she has.  Tapping the microphone with no discernible rhythm doesn't help - all it demonstrates is that she's nervous about what she's trying to do.  We finally figured out that she reminds us of Courtney Cox.  Maybe if she appears in a Bruce Springsteen music video, she'll go as far as Courtney did, but I doubt she'll last long here.

Nadia Turner (sings Paul McCartney's "My Love") - Why would anyone pick this song?  This should only be sung by Sir Paul sitting at a piano.  It doesn't showcase anything.  You can't really turn it into a rock tune.  Simon was right: it looked as though someone had forced her to sing this and she was doing the best she could with it.  We missed the rockin' Nadia from last week.  Big disappointment.

Amanda Avila (sings Vicki Sue Robinson's "Turn the Beat Around") - Surprise!  The Vegas showgirl can really sing!  She looks comfortable, she gets all the "rat-a-tat-tat" words out in the fast section.  Despite what Simon says (and he admits it's hard to hear where they are), she pretty much stays on pitch.  The performance won't turn me into a huge fan of hers, but it does make me sit up and go, "Hmm.  I didn't know she could do that."

Janay Castine (sings Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style") - The performance is fine, kind of funky in fact.  But there's a definite disconnect between this song and this girl's 17-year-old, Dominique Dawes face.  I mean, I keep expecting her to do cartwheels on a balance beam and get a pat on the cheek, not sing about sexy stuff. I don't know.  It just doesn't connect with me.

Carrie Underwood (sings Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart") - Ummm... wrong song choice.  She tries to make it into a cute country song, and it just doesn't work.  If you want to sing country, sing country.  Don't try to prove you can do rock music.  At least, don't try to prove it with that song.  And do something that shows me who you are, huh?  She's beginning to remind me of last year's LaToya London, who was an outstanding singer who never let anyone see her personality.  She also is the one person of the night who commits the cardinal sin of telling me to "Come on."  Nope.  I refuse.

Vonzell Solomon (sings Alicia Keyes' "If I Ain't Got You") - Who told these women that Alicia Keyes' songs were good choices?  I want to smack them.  This performance was oversung, and the diction was horrible.  "I ayn gaw yo!"  What?  Oh!  "I ain't got you!"  I get it.

The top three singers of the night were Bo, Anthony, and...oh.  Sorry.  I really don't know who to pick.  I feel like I'm just throwing darts at a dartboard.  No one really moved me.  In fact, no one really moved!  So I feel that I can only pick my top three based on who I thought improved the most over last week, and I'd have to give that to Amanda, Mikalah, and Jessica, in that order.  Bottom three?  Uh...let's see...everyone else?  Oh, heck, I guess it should be the people who were the biggest disappointments, and that would probably have to go to Nadia, Carrie, and Celena (who wasn't so much a disappointment as she was boring).  But I'm guessing that at least two of those will make it through to the next round.

If this keeps up, the women are going to find themselves eliminated first once we get to the top 12.  And that might not be such a bad thing - as long as Constantine can keep his jacket on.  Shudder.

Eliminated on March 3 Results Show:  Aloha Mischeaux and Celena Rae


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


February 28 Review | Season 4 Index | March 7 Review