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American Idol Season 4 (2005)

 

May 17 - Clive's Choice, Their Choice, The Judge's Choice

 

Last week we said goodbye to Anthony, which was a shame since he gave probably his best performances of the season.  Then again, that sort of voting result seems to have happened a lot through the past four years, so I'm really not surprised.

This week the last three contestants sing three songs each - one that record executive Clive Davis picked, one of their own choice, and one that one of the judges chose for them.  Clive, whose record company will sign the winner of this contest, is sitting in as a guest judge.  And I am interrupting my own vacation to give you this review.  Aren't you lucky?  Aren't I insane?  And aren't you as sure as I am that Bo and Carrie will be in the final two?  We might as well skip to the finals already.

Vonzell Solomon

Clive's choice: Dionne Warwick's "I'll Never Love This Way Again."  Oh, yeah, of course, we don't want her to win, so we give her an incredibly difficult song someone else sang earlier in the season.  For the most part, she does pretty well, even though she sometimes just misses those octave jumps, and her smile doesn't quite fit the song.  Give this woman a bouncy song, huh?  Clive says she was good, and the other judges basically tell him he doesn't know what he's talking about.  Yeah, right.  Ppphhtt.

Her choice: Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools."  Vonzell is much livelier on this song than the first one, where she was out of her element.  I would have loved this performance if I hadn't remembered how Fantasia blew this out of the water last year.  Clive seems to agree with me when he says that Vonzell missed out on the "soul" of the song.  Once again, all the other judges think he doesn't know what he's talking about and proceed to tell Vonzell that it was her best song yet.  Paula goes so far as to say that she sang it better than any other Idol contestant ever, which I'm sure makes Fantasia happy, wherever she is.

Simon's choice: Donna Summer's "On the Radio."  Boy, Simon really doesn't want her to win, does he?  She has fun with the song, but it's such an obnoxious tune because the singer stays on the same frickin' note for practically the whole piece.  Ugh.  Plus every time she bounces on the chorus her vocals get wobbly.  She at least looks like she's having fun, though.  Eh.  This just wasn't her night.

Bo Bice

Clive's choice: Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me."  I'm thinking, "Clive, are you nuts?"  But to my amazement, it works.  I detected a couple of flat notes, but overall Bo does a decent job.  I think he's a better Southern rocker, though, regardless of what Simon says.  And I would have liked to have seen him without the sunglasses on this song, so I could see some expression in his eyes.  I mean, if the sun is going down, you don't need shades, right?  In any case, everyone loves him, and he's pretty much assured of going to the finals with this song.  But wait, because later we have...

His choice: Badlands' "In a Dream."  Wow.  Just wow.  An a cappella tune that's so beautiful, I had tears in my eyes.  I have nothing else to say except: [sniff] "You go, Bo."

Paula's choice: The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction."  Woah!  He runs back and forth across the stage!  He works the audience!  He channels Constantine!  He's the next...American...Idol!  The judges all drool over him except for Simon, who once again informs the nation that he's been going to some strange weddings where he hears songs like this.  Yeah, that's what I hear at weddings - "I can't get no satisfaction."  Anyway, Bo, we love ya!  Please bring this thing on home!

Carrie Underwood

Clive's choice: Roy Orbison's "Crying."  Another one where I think Clive's insane, but Carrie pulls out what I think is her best performance of the season.  There was genuine emotion in her voice and in her performance.  Clive's right, though - I was waiting for the falsetto.  Oh, well.  Can't have everything.  See you in the finals, honey.

Her choice: Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing At All."  Nice long glory note, a bit of pep, but I agree with Simon - her first song was better, and this one lost some of its impact by following Bo's brilliant "In a Dream" performance.  She also seemed a bit strident toward the end, like she was shouting.  And please, honey, don't dance.  Just because the song talks about looking for a rhythm, you don't have to demonstrate that you have none.

Randy's choice: Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like a Woman."  I just giggled with this one.  This is such a silly song about high heels and short skirts, and the only person who can get away with it is Shania.  Carrie looks like she's having fun, but I just can't take her seriously.  The judges tongue-bathe her, though, so what the heck do I know?

I would put the contestants in this order:

1. Bo Bice (each song is great, and he beats everyone by a landslide tonight)
2. Carrie (not her best night, but "Crying" was very good) and Vonzell (I'd prefer to see her next week instead of Carrie, but none of her songs really stood out to me).

As much as I'd rather see Vonzell in the finals, I predict that Carrie will join Bo instead.  And Bo...sigh.  If he gives as stellar a performance as he did tonight, he'll win. [small voice]  Please?

See you next week, when I finally get my life back.

Eliminated on May 18 Results Show:  Vonzell Solomon

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

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