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American Idol Season 4 (2005)


May 3 - Current Top 40 + Leiber & Stoller


Tonight the contestants sing two songs each.  Joy.  One is a top 40 song from this week (any Billboard chart), one is a song by Leiber & Stoller, who wrote a bunch of songs in the 1950s and 60s that no one listens to anymore (unless they're fans of Smokey Joe's Café).  I guess A.I. wants to cover all the demographics in one show, but since I wasn't listening to the radio in either time frame, I guess they don't care about me.  Ppphtt.

The contestants alternated songs throughout the show (everyone sang a Leiber & Stoller song, then everyone came back and sang their top 40 song), but for the sake of space I'm going to put both songs by each contestant together under his or her name.  I've now taken up as much space to explain that as I would have just putting the songs in order, but whatever.

First, can I kick whoever is doing the sound for this show?  The band is too frickin' loud.  Turn them down.  This is American Idol, not American Cover Band.

Anthony Fedorov (sings the Coasters' "Poison Ivy" and the Backstreet Boys' "Incomplete"): I want to shake this boy.  He was so good last week, and this week he just didn't come close.  Darn you, I want Scott to GO and you're flubbing everything up!  His pitch is atrocious on the first song because he's having so much "fun" with it, and he's just so-so on his second song because, well, he can't be all the Backstreet Boys at once.  Simon calls the first performance insipid, and I want to remind America right now that insipid is a compliment.  Remember?

Scott Savol (sings George Benson's "On Broadway" and Brian McKnight's "Every Time You Go Away"): I was going to cut Scott some slack this time.  Really.  I had to close my eyes to keep from being stabbed by those serial killer fingers, but he sounded really good on the first song.  The last song wasn't so hot, but it was passable (even with the lyric "I don't give a d*mn what my homies say" coming from that white boy's mouth), and I was all ready to say that he did a better job than Anthony.  But then he has to cop this attitude: "I'm not going anywhere. Simon thought I was going home last week, and I didn't, so obviously I'm going to stick around and win this thing."  Simon mentions pitch problems, and Scott shrugs and says, "So what?"  So what?  So what??  ARGH!!!!  Mike has to pull me away from TV before I pick it up and chuck it over the balcony.  America, is this what you want?  Is this what you REALLY want?  This is what you dumped Constantine, Anwar, and Nadia for?  I'm...I'm...I'm having a Paula moment.  I'm speechless.  I'm incoherent.  I'm incoherently speechless.


Vonzell Solomon (sings Elvis Presley's "Treat Me Nice" and the American Idols' current number 1 single, "When You Tell Me That You Love Me"): First, bwahaha! at choosing the Idols' song, although I guess that means she cheated a little.  No matter.  She proved that she's not the Karaoke Kid with these songs.  She had fun without letting it affect her performance (well, not too much, anyway), and her vocals were every bit as powerful as Carrie's.  Simon isn't very enamored of her performances, and I'm wondering if he's trying a bit of reverse psychology here - saying that she's bad so that her fans won't think she's safe and will vote like crazy for her so he won't have to see that other contestant-who-shall-be-nameless come back next week.  Man, I hope that works.  She could really give Carrie a run for her money.  If she goes before...no...wait...don't go there...  Can someone get me a Paula painkiller now?

Bo Bice (sings Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" and Los Lonely Boys' "Heaven"): I predicted that "Stand By Me" would be the perfect song for Bo this week in light of his prior drug arrest "scandal," so I giggled a little when he began to sing it.  He did well with both of his songs, but he seemed a little tired.  I guess I would be, too, in his position.  Still, while I liked these performances better than last week, he didn't quite bring the energy I was looking for.  There was one note near the end of "Stand By Me" that was sufficiently flat to make me cringe, which Mike referred to as the "Alabama on-pitch note."  Snort.  Oh, wait, Bo did that already.  But he's clean now, folks.  I mean that.  I want Bo to go as far as he can with this competition because he has a far better attitude than some people I won't mention.

Carrie Underwood (sings Elvis Presley's "Trouble" and Rascall Flats' "God Bless the Broken Road"): She did the first song very well, although I was laughing through most of it.  I mean, the innocent little farm girl sings, "If you're looking for trouble, look at my face," and "I'm evil, so don't mess around with me"?  Although that would explain why she's the one carrying around the microphone stand for her first song, and Bo held only a microphone for his, in a total role reversal.  She's evil, folks!  She switched places with Bo and sucked out all his energy!  The second song garnered a collective shrug in our household, even from our cat.  I mean, it's country, she performed it about as well as we expected, and she wins the award for the most on-pitch notes of the evening, as well as the longest note.  But we're back to robotic Carrie - even Simon noticed it this week - and that dress!  It's like Diana DeGarmo reincarnated.  Shudder.

My personal ranking this week would be as follows:

1) Vonzell (because she had the most fun and proved she's not just a Whitney wannabe)
2) Carrie (because she was good and made me laugh, but she didn't dress as well as Vonzell)
3) Bo (because the energy was lacking)
4) Anthony (because his performances were weak, but he had a better attitude than...)
5) He Whose Name Will Not Be Spoken (because he's coming off as a jerk)

But I wouldn't be surprised if either Anthony or Vonzell go, just because some people will not be moved.  Ever.

Next week, they'd better feature the 1980s. I really want to hear the Nameless Terror tackle George Michael's "Father Figure" and go down in flames.

Eliminated on May 4 Results Show:  Scott Savol.  And there was much rejoicing (YAY!).

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

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