April 14/15 -
Finals Round 5
It's Movie Night on Idol,
albeit one night late. I was waiting the last week for
this not only because this is usually where the
competition gets a little one-sided, but tonight as
guest judge, we have one of my favorite contemporary
directors as guest judge. The director of "Kill Bill
Volume 1" (on DVD now) and "Kill Bill Volume 2" (in
theatres Friday), Quentin Tarantino's in the house. What
he knows about pop music, I don't know, but expect some
heated discussion, if only because he likes the way his
voice sounds. Oh, wait, he's a huge fan! Now I get it.
First up, we have George Huff, whose favorite movie was
"The Wiz." He better not follow up on that, because the
last person who sand something from that movie on movie
night got the axe the next episode. Lucky for him (and
us), it's all about "Against All Odds". I seriously
would've picked a better song and/or a better
arrangement, and as much as he tries to make it work,
it's increasingly hard to grow into it. Maybe he needs
to bounce some more. Basically put: George didn't do too
good. Weakest performance thus far.
Randy: That was the wrong choice. It started really
rough. I did not love it.
Paula: This week, I thought, would've been like, for you
singers, kids in a candy store. Why would you pick this
song out of all the movie choices? (George says it
relates to him as a person)
Quentin: You made me forget that I hate that song. I
think more than any of the contestants, you're the one
that I see start owning the space every week.
Simon: I think it was your weakest performance. Bad
choice of song. I thought you were great last week. It
was almost flat tonight, George.
Agree. Next up, the singing Jennifer Hudson, whose
favorite singing movie is the singing nuns in "Sister
Act 2". But she's really partial to Whitney in "The
Bodyguard" singing "I Have Nothing". Sure doesn't look
or sound like nothing. Excellent follow-up to last week,
going from form to form, strength to strength. Perfect
choice. Perfect tone. Flawless! Well, almost. Couple of
notes I would've dodged, but that's it. You can hardly
Randy: You worked it out. You got into the modulations,
got a little pitchy, overshouted it a bit, but corrected
it late in the end. Good performance!
Paula: You're really coming into your own. You look
beautiful tonight. The only thing I felt was wrong was
that I didn't hear you sing more of the song.
Quentin: Hudson takes on Houston and wins! You've gotten
to this place this episode and the last. You can't ever
go back. I expect this from you every week. Anything
less than this is a D.
Simon: Jennifer, I think last week you proved to us why
you should be in this competition. I think you've put
yourself in the position where you could be a front
runner. I wouldn't be surprised if two of the girls have
a little doll of you sticking a pin in it at the moment.
I'm not mentioning any names!
Hey, Cowell, Mad Mad House is tomorrow. Next is Jon
Peter Lewis, whose favorite movie is "Dead Poets
Society." Nice film there. Carpe diem. Nice message.
"Jailhouse Rock". Not a nice choice. Perfect for him,
really, but doesn't do Elvis justice. Especially with
the shouting. Oh, the shouting. And with the dancing,
he's about as white boy as they come. And he flubbed the
lyrics. Yes, JPL is back, but do we really want him
Randy: All I can say is JPL is back. I was worried about
Paula: This is who you are. This is what America loves,
yeah yeah yeah.
Quentin: JPL, you are the geekiest rock singer since
Freddy and the Dreamers, alright? But when you get into
your geek mode, there's no one quite like you.
Simon: I thought it was terrible. If that was presented
to me as an audition, I would have let it last two
Yes, I thought it was horrible. But will America cozy up
to him for a third week running? Diana DeGarmo hopes so.
Her fave flick is "Bowfinger", and I have to wonder what
on earth is she taking orally to think so. Apparently
she won the backstage draw and gets to perform "My Heart
Will Go On" from "Titanic". And yes, it's about as
saccharine as I remember it. And Diana singing it does
nothing for the cause. Pitch problems near the strata
and really flavorless, but the best we've heard her. But
again, it's a "so what" from here. I think she knew she
was going tonight without a power play, and this was her
Randy: You chose a very very tough song. It wasn't your
best, but it was a-ight.
Paula: Your voice stands the test to do it. Nice job,
again, not the most moving performance from Diana
Quentin: You pulled off the song, but so what? Couldn't
be a song that we're more sick of hearing and you pulled
off the notes, but I don't care!
Simon: It's always risky with that song, because you
hear Titanic and you feel the world sinking. You are
like an overgrown child. Somewhere in the middle. You're
not reflecting your age. It was just automatic and
Now that's what I call criticism from the Bastard
Brothers on the end. "Finding Nemo" is the favorite of
Fantasia Barrino, because she can relate to Nemo. She
hopes to find herself in "Summertime" from "Porgy and
Bess". This is consummate Fantasia version 2.0 here. You
have everything America likes about her, and then you
don't have as much whininess in the tone of her voice,
and that makes her more bearable. She's bringing a lot
to the table, and she's coming back with that much. One
of her better performances. But the old lady earrings
have got to go.
Randy: (standing O) That is the single best Idol
performance of any season I've ever heard.
Paula: Oscar-winnning performance!
Quentin: That was the bomb. You're the bomb. And you
know that. I have one thing to say though. You haven't
been funky in WEEKS! You're showing off the voice, and
you have it to show off, but I want to see you rock the
Simon: There was something magical about what you did. I
don't think you've ever put those lips to better use.
Dirty old man, Mr. Cowell. But, yeah, I feel her. Next
up, Jasmine Trias, whose favorite movie is "Lilo and
Stitch" (no surprise there), not because she's from
Hawaii, but because she likes little furry koala-type
aliens with ray guns. She chooses based on last week's
comment, going for "Sleepless in Seattle's" "When I Fall
in Love". I can hear every breath. Not really that good
to start. But then she grows into the performance and
shows off her vulnerability. Love the tone, but the
pitch still needs work. Yes, Jasmine's back. But then
again, she never left. She's just not maturing fast
enough to stand a real enough of a chance.
Randy: You ran out of gas at the end, but it was good.
Paula: At least you hit that note in the end. Real risky
one. You have such a real nice tone to your voice.
Quentin: In a show full of powerhouses, you're like this
delicate powerhouse. I don't think that was that great
of a performance this week, but I'm such a big fan of
yours that it almost don't matter to me.
Simon: (referring to her and Diana) You are children
trying to be adults, and it doesn't connect. I could go
to any Sheraton hotel or resort and hear someone singing
like you. We'd all have a nice dance, but so what?
After checking up with Neil Sedaka from last season,
John Stevens reminisces about animated movies. His
favorite being "Aladdin." He says it's his week. He's in
the element with "As Time Goes By" from "Casablanca".
Let me break this down here. John's still got a rocky
road ahead of him, but not a bad choice, and not a bad
play. He knew he needed to come up big. But not really
big enough to sway me. I still don't feel it, but he
saved himself today, even with somewhat questionable
tonalities. He's just all superficial charm, though.
Randy: Perfect song. Perfect rendition. Great jacket.
The best John Stevens I've seen yet this competition.
Paula: Perfect voice for this genre of music.
Quentin: I ain't one of your fans. But this was your
genre and you did the song very truly. Bravo.
Simon: You sang it very well. The problem, though, is
you have no charisma. It's your age. And you're starting
to look like Ryan Seacrest.
Ouch. Well, the Idols are getting ready for a night on
the town... and I don't care. A commercial's a
commercial and it gets the fast forward treatment. Last
but not least, La Toya London, who also likes "Finding
Nemo". Everyone likes "Finding Nemo". I like it for the
same reasons La Toya likes it, the animation itself. Of
course, she's not a graphic designer on the side, so
she'll just have to hope that one day, she'll voice an
animated flick. For now, though, she'll sing "Somewhere"
from "West Side Story." Odd choice, but she makes it
work. Then again, she always makes it work. She's as
good as Jennifer, but from a delivery standpoint, the
push factor goes to La Toya. Impressive range and nice
delivery on the note that shook the heavens at the end.
Randy: I'm really happy to see you playing for keeps
tonight. You're trying to win this. That was great!
Paula: This competition is getting exciting, and I just
love having you here.
Quentin: La Toya, I have two words for you. Power House!
Simon: La Toya, it was, yeah, one of your best
performances so far.
Okay, that's all for now. Best... episode... ever. QT's
prolly the best guest judge, because he's the voice of
the fan... like me and Gordon, who has the results
tomorrow. Anyway, Jasmine and Diana have every reason to
believe that they're going to be in the bottom three,
and while JPL may join them, the JPL-adoring public will
put him back on the couch, leaving Diana and Jasmine
fighting it out for "I've Got More Fans Than You"-ness.
My money's on Jasmine having more fans.
Oh yeah. And my favorite movie: a tie between "Selena"
and "The Princess Bride".
Chico's Idol Chart - Movies (or: "Popcorn Idol")
1 - La Toya
2 - Jennifer
3 - Fantasia
4 - George
5 - John
6 - Diana
7 - Jasmine
8 - Jon Peter
After five rounds:
1 - La Toya (56)
2 - George (54)
3 - Fantasia (47)
4 - Jennifer (46)
5 - Jasmine (35)
6 - Diana (33)
7 - Jon Peter (32)
8 - John (25)
Before we start, I have
to completely agree with Chico. Quentin Tarrantino, the
first judge that actually spoke his mind, is the best
American Idol guest judge EVER. Note to producers -
PLEASE keep bringing in opinionated people in to judge.
That was awesome. Also awesome - the performances last
night, but we have to rank them, and here's my ranking.
1 - La Toya
2 - Jennifer
3 - George (I don't care if he was flat, and I don't
care if Fantasia was much improved, there is NO way I am
ranking him ahead of Fantasia)
4 - Fantasia
5 - Jasmine
6 - Diana
7 - Jon Peter
8 - John Stevens (Sure he's in the genre that he's good
at - but if that's the only thing that makes him sound
good, then he's in trouble.)
With that out of the way, Ryan tells us that there are
more important things to worry about than taxes - like
who will be sweeping the sweat off of Randy Jackson's
treadmill (that is NOT a pleasant thought). We see the
judges, we see the idolers, and then we see last night's
recap, where we see Quentin at work.
We see Ryan at work hawking away. Look, it's Jason
Priestly - and don't forget to see him and Tamyra Gray
in Tru Calling - next on FOX! Chances are you'll be
seeing the Apprentice finale, so bye-Tamyra. Ryan also
says hi to R.J. Helton, who brushes him off, even though
he has a new release coming out soon.
Someone else who has a new release coming out is
Christina Christian (First season Finalist) - and she's
the guest singer for the week. I'm glad that AI is using
the stage as a showcase for all of their Idolers,
regardless of how they did in the finals. Her singing is
VASTLY improved over when she was on Idol, and her song
is actually pretty catchy. Christina's CD will be in
Europe (which is smart to get a fan base) and then she
will be coming to the states. It seems like she has been
doing her homework.
One of the singers will be doing their homework in time
to go to school - because one of them will be going
home. LaToya will not be going home, because she's safe.
Fantasia is...safe, George is...safe, Jasmine is...safe,
Jennifer is....safe. That leaves John Peter, Diana and
John Stevens in the bottom three - with JPL and Mr.
Stevens being at the bottom for the first time.
We will be seeing the singers with Barry Manilow, so
fortunately, we won't be seeing a tacky Ford commercial
with them in it. Instead, we'll be seeing a tacky Ford
commercial with paper cutouts of them driving in a car
and being chased by a policeman. HAVE WE NO SHAME???
Before we get to see who gets eliminated, we look to the
judges. Simon says that they are too young for the
competition, Randy says that they need more experience,
and Diana...will be joining the people back on the happy
So who is going home? I don't know, but I will guarantee
you this - with no other white males left, the white
male who survives this cut will be around for awhile.
We'll get to that - and my observances - at the end of
The person leaving American Idol is....John Peter Lewis.
John Stevens is shocked - though I'm not, as they both
pretty much stunk up the joint last night. We see the
pen salesman's closing bio and JPL sings the wretched
Jailhouse Rock as we leave.
So my thoughts? We have George, Fantasia, Latoya and
Jennifer as the powerhouses, which leaves Jasmine, John
Stevens and Diana as the obvious three to be in the
bottom next week, right? Wrong. This is where the Chaos
Theory Works the best - when everyone thinks that people
are safe and they won't vote for them. Next week is the
week where there will be a very nasty upset in the
making. I think Diana will be at the bottom - but I also
think that John Stevens, who will get John Peter Lewis's
white male vote, will not only not be in the bottom
three - but he will be around for a while. I also think
that Jasmine, with Hawaii carrying her, will also not be
in the bottom three. Diana may also be getting a little
of the JPL vote - which leaves two of the powerhouses
making their way to the bottom. I am sensing that the
two people with the lowest amount of votes on the top is
Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia Barrino, so I will say that
they will be there (pending on performances) and I will
tell the Jennifer Hudson voters that they better be
flooding the lines - because I think that she will be
the person getting caught in the Chaos Theory Trap and
right now is the target of elimination.
We'll find how next week how accurate I am.