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American Idol
Season 4
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In the world's ultimate talent search - where the eyes of a nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country, where the audience has the power to make or break you, and where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line, there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.

Recaps by Chico Alexander & Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson
Creator: Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP: Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Simon Fuller
Packager: 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America
Airs: Tuesdays at 8pm ET and Wednesdays at 9pm ET on Fox


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No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. No challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

"New Orleans" - January 25

"New Orleans! Home or pirates, drunks and whores,
New Orleans! Tacky, overpriced souvenir stores,
If you want to go to Hell, you should take a trip,
To the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Mississip',
New Orleans!"

Ah, Mardi Gras, Bourbon St., the French Quarter, singing pancake chefs... welcome to N'awlins, as we begin the next phase of the audition trail with Randy, Paula, Simon, and guest Judge Gene Simmons. Yep. This ep's for the viewers in the Kiss Army! But does he know about more than just glam metal? We'll see...

First up, David Brown, who is joked about having his heart here on Idol by Gene. But "A Change is Gonna Come", as David can blow. He's a bit bombastic, but he has the voice there.

Randy: The best I've heard since we've done this. This was really really REALLY good!
Simon: 100 percent yeah.
Paula: You're a star.

He's real... and he gets the first sweep of the night, and the first real threat of the night as well. This guy I see, top 24 easy. We'll check up on him later. Meanwhile, we have Bobby Barfoot of... oh dear, Fayetteville, NC... He's a hardcore AI fanboy, but can he sing? No... but he can yodel. Simon calls it a cross between rodeo and "La Cage aux Folles". The judges ask him to sing behind the screen, and he does. He sings Stevie's "Lately"... and it isn't that much better. Very nasal, very gaggy... and Gene's mocking him.

Randy: Truth, that was OK.
Paula: Too much vibrato. The background, you blew it.
Gene: I couldn't stand the country stuff. That stuff's gotta go. I don't buy it.

So back to Fayetteville for him. After a visit to the Old Absinthe House (wasn't that shrunken head in Harry Potter?), we get to Johnny Depp... err, Darren Beck of Denton, TX. He believes that pop music is too disposable, and is out to change that. He tries "Delilah" by Tom Jones... and here's a tip. If you're going to sing someone's tune, don't try to sound like him. Very operatic... and not in a good way. His "I Put A Spell On You" is better, but again, isn't saying much. Aw, who am I kidding....

Gene: No, no, no, no, no.
Simon: You'd be very good in a very obscure cabaret club.

Joke's on Simon... he DOES sing in a very obscure cabaret club! Ha! Okay, onto good singing courtesy of Lindsey Cardinale of Ponchatoula, LA. She sings "Standing Right Next To Me", and I envision her standing right next to David Brown on the bus to Hollywood. She's very pure, and she knew when to project at just the right time, and it really showed. Give her a stage and watch her go, I say.

Gene: I like her a lot. You give a very positive attitude.
Paula: It's very unique. It's very hypnotic.
Simon: Without question one of the best we've had today.

Another sweep. But what about projectionist Robert Solomon of Macon, GA? He's "Dancin' in the Streets"... and we're dancing right to the mute button. Simon says he looks like a gymnast. Maybe he's good at that. Oh, and pauses... not a good thing.

Randy's home state has been varied in the talent. Let's see... Reggie Brown... nasal. Daniel Durham... choppy. Larenda Garrett... shouty. Algua Isaac... showboat. Bad showboat. Accountant Sundeep Achreja? Well, his co-workers seem to think highly of him, and like Adam Mesh, he gets a high from Rocky. Co-workers believe that he sound good... but then again, they don't know musical talent. He boxes his way through "Eye of the Tiger"... and he's on the business end of the judges' right cross.

Paula: Do you watch the show?
Simon: Did you have the volume up? You got the words right. Sundeep, the calculator beckons; it's a no.

I think he needs to take a few more blows... you know... Yeah, that fixes monotones. Anywho, we learn a little local history courtesy Michael Liuzza. His mother was a singer at the 601. His father was a pianist at the 544. Is talent genetic? "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" is the song, with arrangement by Louis Armstrong. He's got the pitch down, but his tone control's a tad off. The voice overall is also pretty draggy.

Simon: I don't know what to say.
Gene: Reminds me of the Rosemary Clooneys. It's a great kind of music that isn't happening.
Randy: We all talk about different and unique. This is different and unique.

So Randy says yes, Gene says no, Paula... eventually says yes, and Simon is with Gene... but he's going to give Michael one more shot. And we're this close to a another judge fight.

This next act... well, there are no words, just watch... I can't explain it any better anyway. But first, a grammar lesson: "crunk"... adjective, combination of "crazy" and "drunk". Originated by Conan O'Brien. Enter Leroy Wells, who sings "Got Your Money" by the late ODB and "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown. Rather bad... but you gotta love the dude.

From the crunk of Leroy to the... well, let's just say that Jeffrey Johnson from Dallas is about as non-crunk as it gets. He's the resident clean-living pastor. He sings "In the Still of the Night". And we have this year's Josh Gracin. Even sounds like him. Right down to the twang.

Gene: I think you're a country artist. If you sing pop lyrics you're going to have a problem with your ministry, because rock'n'roll by definition is about sexuality and demons...
Paula: And long tongues.
Gene: The rules are different for country music.

But he needs to find direction. As for Cowell...

Simon: Public will love this guy.

He says yes. Gene says no... but what does he know, he's only a guest judge. The three regs send him to Hollywood. He could go a bit more further than he actually would under regular circumstances if the public embraces him. We'll see.

Meanwhile, we continue a run on golden tickets as Ryan visits David Brown at his church, where he breaks the good news! Cheers around!

Now to the twins/triplets montage, which raises the question, do you stand half the chance if you're a twin? We'll see as we look in on Lamar and Jamar Jefferson. They "Got Nothin' But Love"... and some crunk. Heh. But not like Leroy. Simon thinks he'd remember them. Gene breaks out the money glasses. Both of them are on their way to the Wood, while now we hear from the Molfetta twins, JP and Rich. They haven't dressed identically since they were four. They're going for the whole twins' pique loner game. We hear more of Rich, but they sound the same. Not that that's a good thing. They both sound a bit off-put (not like pitchy or off-key, but doing something that they shouldn't) and both have the type of voices that only get worse when they trill. Kelly didn't have that voice, if you remember...

Randy: It's just funny that you sung Boyz II Men songs (they sang "I'll Make Love To You").
Gene: You're getting to that age where you're getting too old to sing that kind of material.
Paula: Melodically it's in your range and it shows off your talents.
Simon: If the guys came in individually, we wouldn't be that interested.

Randy says yes, Gene says no, Paula says yes, Simon says... no. "I don't think individually you're good enough." Then they resort to picking just one. First Rich... Randy says yes, Gene says no, Paula says no, Simon says... no. Then JP. Randy says yes, Gene says no, Paula says yes, Simon says... no. No clear majority... and I'm confused. I guess they get the hook... but not for long. Trust us.

Oh, and they have choice words at the confessional and on the way thereto. Meanwhile, only 16 people get golden tickets as we head to Vegas. We try to pull Gordon away from the blackjack tables long enough to give his two cents on the Molfetta scenario... among others.

And then we're gonna get crunk some more. Can you dig it!!!!! We out!

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