March 2/3 -
Well, we had the second coming of Martha Krabill on
yesterday's show. Now we move onto some reasonably more
talented fare, as we welcome Group Four. Now as you
know, Donnie Williams had a little episode of his own
involving some hooch and a V6, so he's been thrown out
of this competition. Enter alternate George Huff, who is
determined to make the most of this second chance.
Well, wouldn't you be?
First up, a name you have to practice. Suzy Vulaca
(pronounced VOO-la-tha), who won her ticket to audition
by virtue of being crowned "Arizona Idol". Luckily you
don't have to sing in Fijian, so Suzy's performance of "Unbreak
My Heart" should be something to watch. And it is,
showcasing a perfect blend of innocence and powerful.
This is selling. You can tell she believes in this
Randy: "That was actually really good for your voice,
because I don't remember you having this huge range
Paula: "Perfect. You've shown so much growth."
Simon: "No question of doubt that was a good vocal
performance, but did you see anything original in that
performance, other than a sound-alike Toni Braxton?
Because the trouble with you is that you're going to be
Well, we have a good singer, but not a standout star. I
think she can grow and break out. May be top 3. Wish I
could say the same for John Preator, but only because we
haven't had any good males in a while to balance out the
females. Can one of the Bleach Boys come through with
"That's What Love Is All About." You know, we preach
charisma like crazy around here, but dude... have some
rhythm and pitch to back it up! The schmoozing, in this
case, was what we call compensation. That won't get you
Randy: "I'm glad that's over, man. That was painful for
Paula: "Your pitch was off."
Simon: "If ever we do American Idol as an ice-dancing
musical, you would be perfect."
Meanwhile, we want what Simon's smoking. And speaking of
smoking, remember Kim Caldwell lookalike Heather
Piccinini? Well, after meeting the real deal, she went
into wardrobe and hair to be "officially de-Caldwelled".
Too bad they took her vocals with her, because her
performance of "New Attitude" was all flash and no meat.
Talk about your sensory overload. It was just one
meaningless cheesy wail after another, trying to make up
for a lackluster arrangement and a really bad song
Randy: "I feel like I've just checked into a hotel, and
I glance at the lounge, and there's a band playing. And
you're the singer."
Paula: "It was, for me, not the right song to choose."
Simon: "I wouldn't want to be at that hotel. Your
problem was that you try too hard. That was a desperate
Moral of the story, want it, but don't look like you
want it. Idols don't beg. Next up, the dapper John
Stevens, who first wowed us with his admiration for
Frankie. But can he keep the magic in a pop performance?
Song of choice: "She's Always a Woman to Me." Not a bad
performance... but, and again, I have to say it, WRONG
SONG! But I dig the charisma. Too bad it's not enough to
save what is otherwise an average performance.
Randy: "I was almost falling asleep."
Paula: "I miss the throwback to the Rat Pack."
Simon: "I hope you do well tonight, because to me,
Well, people listen to the judges, so this one's a mixed
bag. So is Jasmine Trias, who wants to bring Hawaii to
the rest of the world via hula. This contest is via
singing. Since her audition, Jasmine lost the braces and
upped the positivity, which can be evident in her
performance of "Run to You." Dead on all around.
Favorite to win tonight's vote and maybe the whole
shebang, but I wish she wouldn't cook some notes that
don't need to be cooked.
Randy: "You really do have potential. Choose better
Paula: "I think she handled it like a pro. I think she
took twists and turns on a song you're familiar with and
you made it your own."
Simon: "You're gonna get a lot of votes, because you're
17, you've got a nice smile, and you've got a flower in
your hair. Good enough for me."
Good enough for me, too. Can George Huff follow suit? He
has the permanent smile, at least. Last time we saw him,
he was too old, getting younger, and then out. Now he's
back. We see his instrument in action with "Always and
Forever". Good when Clay did it. Started out awkward.
But once he hit the chorus, he owned it. Nice pitch,
great tone, love the presence. He may get a lot of votes
if he tones down the "shouting with tone."
Randy: "You're probably the best male singer in this
Paula: "You fell into it and I love your tone."
Simon: "You have a good voice. I don't think you have
the charisma to be a star."
Probably one of the best tonight, but will a good voice
and a dead-on Randy impersonation get him through?
Might. Or it might be Lisa Wilson, the model who hung
out with Alan Ritchson in Hollywood and, as a result,
was nearly persona non grata in the competition. And
with a too-raspy-to-be-anything-but-in-tune "Come to My
Window", she may be persona non grata again. Too much
power and not much finesse translate into a
flat-as-all-get-out persona. She's not even shouting in
tune. If she gets voted through, it'll be on two assets.
And I don't mean her voice and her charisma.
Randy: "Kinda felt to me like it was out of your range."
Paula: "I did feel like you were screaming. And that
became a little grating."
Simon: "I've never seen anyone open her mouth so wide in
And yet you think someone loves you? Lisa, Randy hates
you. Paula hates you. Simon hates you. They're the ones
guiding the voting public. I don't think you want to be
the target of their ire. Getting back to something a
little better is Tiara Purifoy. She's grateful for the
opportunity to sing "I Wanna Dance with Somebody".
Someone sang this earlier in the competition. And they
did it better. It was pitchy at times and a little too
overblown for my taste. She offers a lot of energy,
though. Will that be enough? It's enough for two of the
Randy: "You started really good, but that modulation was
ridiculous. You almost had the best performance of the
Paula: "One of the strongest vocal performances tonight.
Top two. I wouldn't push as hard."
Simon: "I thought it was a complete and utter mess. You
are capable of an awful lot better than that."
And once again, Simon agrees with me. But then again,
I'm only one man with one phone. Two if you count my
cell. If I used my brother's, I'd put in votes for
Jasmine (obviously), George, and Suzy, with George
squeaking out the poll. But that's just what I think.
It's on you, America. RE-sult tomorrow.
And please for the love of God, don't vote through Lisa
This is a very hectic
evening - we get the results of group 4 - and the names
of the Wild Card people - and with a 90 minute show next
week, there's bound to be more than 9 people performing.
We get a quick hi to the judges, a quick hi to the
family of Group 4, and a quick hi to gruop 4 themselves.
We also get a recap of what happened - and even though
they weren't as bad as group 2, they weren't as good as
groups 1 and 3. My top 3 are George, Jasmine and Jon,
with George and Jasmine getting in.
Jasmine and George are the favorites of Paula and Randy
- while Simon likes Jasmine and Jon. By the way, you can
be a star in the American Idol music video competition!
Who will be whoopieing their way into the final 3? Not
John Preator or Lisa Wilson, but George Huff is in!
Heather Piccinini did not get in, and Tiara is joining
her on the outside, looking in. Jasmine, however gets to
join George. Either Suzy Vulaca or John Stevens will be
advancing, and that person is...John Stevens! The person
who has a nice voice but who can't remember any lyrics
is in the top 3.
Randy now says John and Jasmine will win - and Paula
agrees, while Simon, who brags that he was right
yesterday, will say that he will continue to be right.
The first person to go through, with 28%, is John
Stevens! Simon is as smug as the cat who ate the canary,
while Paula and Randy thinks that the cat should eat
Simon. Jon doesn't sing nearly as well as he did
yesterday, which is good because this is the throwaway
performance. Joining Jon will be = Jasmine Trias, and
George Huff, as the 33rd singer, will not be able to
take advantage of this voting.
Which people will have a chance to not throw away a
second opportunity? We get 12 people to audition for the
Wildcard Round - and the people who come back are
Jennifer Hudson, Leah Labelle, Elizabeth LeTendre, Lisa
Leuschner, John Peter Lewis, Matthew Metzger, Eric
Yoder, Marque Lynche, Katie Webber, Tiara Purifoy,
George Huff and Suzy Vulaca.
My take? Eh. I like a bunch of them, but they are all in
top 32 and it would have been nice to see the judges
take a chance and get some new people in there. Maybe
it's a chance at redemption, but this group is bordering
on Lackluster. They better be able to make the 12
finalists shine when we get to the final stage, because
there has just been 2 power singers and a lot of good
but not mindblowing efforts, unlike last year, where you
had at least 6 people who I thought put phenomenal
efforts in this section last year.
Maybe the Wild Card round will be different. We'll see