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


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

Copyright Statement

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. 

"I Left My Heart in San Francisco" - February 2

Idol thoughts from me (heh heh heh) -

For the first time in a while, the men outshine the women in the auditions. On the men's side, Anthony Fedorov has a VERY nice voice and could easily make the Top 24 if he stays on course. Scott Savol seems to be a Top 24, but not Top 12 (unless he works on the personality, then he can be dangerous). Patrick Norman doesn't do it for me and I don't see him getting to the Top 24 unless he can deliver a consistent pitch - because he didn't do that on the audition. Dezmond Meeks may be thanking Paula, but if he doesn't step it up, his stay in Hollywood will be VERY brief.

On the women's side, Vonzell Solomon showed promise, but it seems that she is concentrating more on entertaining and less on singing. I don't think that Jennifer Crumb or Brianna Davis will make the top 24, but you need the good people to separate the great people, don't you?

One of the things that I've noticed - you can tell the singers that know what that are they are doing from the singers that aren't - check the song selection. If you pick something that hasn't been sung 1,000 times, then they may have something. If I hear another Jessica Simpson or Whitney Houston song or a 'Star Spangled Banner', I'm going to puke.

And we can't have anything without a commentary - I can understand why you would bring in bad singers - but a Mime? Why are you going dedicate that much show time to a mime who has no shot of making it past the judges? That is coming dangerously close to turning people off - and it's a good thing that the talent this year warrants such silliness.

But does the talent warrant it this episode? The judges want to make sure that they don't leave any good talent in San Francisco, as thousands of people showed up at the Cow Palace. This is the last stop - and maybe the end of the line for returning singers. We'll get to that momentarily...

But after a rotten interviewing audition from Brian Cordell, we see the final guest judge - Brandy Norwood, who started at 15 with 'I Wanna Be Down' and who has concentrated more of her efforts on acting than singing.

We start with Albert Minero, who says he has a quadruple threat - singing, acting, dancing and personality. Unfortunately, he also left out his quintuple threat out there - his ego. He sings 'Wanna Be Starting Something', which isn't too bad - if he war at a Mariachi Bar. We see gyrations that could be banned at the next Super Bowl as the judges unanimously turn him down. He says it was the threat of too much personality. Well, it was too much... something.

Matthew Miller idolizes Kelly Clarkson, He sings a song from Kelly Clarkson. He even SOUNDS like Kelly Clarkson. There's one major problem here - he's a man. Matt admits that he does sound like a skinny black woman.

Simon: Matthew has more important issues to deal with. We're not sure whether he's Matthew or Martha.

Brandy is jealous of Matt - but she and everyone else says no. A tear-filled Matthew gets consoled by his friends.

We continue the auditioning with... crooners. We get Jamie Koeffler, who is dedicating his performance of 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco' to his late uncle. Wow. That is one sweet set of pipes, and if he can display some diversity, he is easily in the Top 24. Ross Williams is less impressive, but he will probably be good enough to get in. Both of them get in, and the judges like Ross better... except Simon, who agrees with me. The crooners are 2-0.

Could the fishnet-wearing hooker-looking singers be 1 for 1? Elizabeth Pha looks like a tramp, but she does a good Whitney Houston and she's very emotional. The judges are stunned by the type of voice coming out of the body, but she gets in. She has a LOT of work to do if she is going to get past the next round.

Next up - a mom montage on how good - or bad - the mom's sing and how they can affect their kids. Justin Clark brought his mom Debbie Clark to his audition. Justin has a nice voice, and he should easily get in, but mom is eavesdropping at the door - and she goes nuts when Simon says yes. You can even hear mom screaming outside the audition room when the judges applaud. We get a major rejoicing afterwards, complete with mom falling on the floor.

We go back to Michael Garcia, who auditioned in Season 3. He says that since that point, he had an image makeover, saying that it's trendier. Well, first of all, it's trendy if you like 70's leather bar, and second of all, the makeover should have included voice lessons. He was on pitch, but the tone was awful and that's what he needed to work on. He mangles Daniel Bedingfield and the song 'Lean on Me' before deciding to forget auditioning in the future. Yay.

Then there's Chris Noll... but if he looks familiar, it's because his stage name is Chris Wylde, and he has hosted shows on both Comedy Central and Spike TV. The one he did on Spike TV is called Taboo, and I am very familiar with it because I did the daily recaps for it on this site in 2002. He does another show called 'FilmFakers', which has people acting to fool people to think they are on a real movie set. He is a ...ahem... actor, and apparently, he has come to audition as a rapping nanny. Once I heard him say that, here are my quick thoughts.

1. Life hasn't been too good to Chris Noll after Taboo.
2. FilmFakers isn't exactly drawing ratings - or drawing a paycheck.
3. It could be that he actually IS a nanny, as he is waiting for all of those big money acting jobs to roll in.
4. He can't host.
5. He can't act.
6. And we NOW know he can't rap.

He can't even keep a straight face and Simon catches him almost instantly. The judges did like the rap though, and Randy almost sits on the fence before saying no. Paula says yes (WHA?) but Simon brings sanity back to AI and says no. Chris unleashes a string of obscenities as he leaves, and I can only shudder to wonder what would have happened if he got in.

Let's find something more positive in the audition. Nadia Turner says that she doesn't want to assume anything, and sings an Aretha Franklin song, "Til You Come Back to Me". Now this is what I'm talking about in terms of singers - the good ones do their homework and sing stuff that people haven't heard. She has the chops and the judges unanimously pass her.

Victor Mercado is back for his second year of singing - and he comes in with shades. He sings 'Build Me Up Buttercup' and changes the lyrics to match the Idol judges. For the second straight year, he mangles his song and the judges give him a unanimous 'No'. Vincent says that he has better charisma than the Idol winners, which sparks the judges going after him. Simon even makes a bet with him that should he get a #1 record in the next 6 months, Simon will pay him $50,000. Randy adds $100,000 to it and Victor accepts it. Paula warns them that William Hung did it, but the difference is that William Hung had a nice personality and didn't trash any of the Idol champions - unlike Victor, who right after the audition, laces a tirade on how he is better than Ruben and Clay and Kelly. I think Simon's $50,000 is pretty safe. He says that he will be heard from again, and he may... when is Superstar USA 2 coming back?

(C-Note: If there is a God in heaven, NEVER!)

Can Jessica Murphy bring us back to the land of good singing? No, as we hear 'I Have Nothing' for the 89,000th time. (Again, see the column up - BE ORIGINAL!). Simon says that she has potential, but she needs work. Randy says that she can be good - if she improves. Jessica embellishes the fact that Simon says that she has the most talent. Well, he SORT of said that... I guess.

Chris Compfi decides to sing 'Chain of Fools' from Aretha Franklin. Me + Women's Songs = BAD. Compfi has a good tone - but sings a really bad choice of songs. He was on a cruise ship and sang. Simon? 'There must have been a lot of lifeboats being filled.' Ouch.

Next up is Ivan Ganchev, who sings Freddie Mercury's 'We Are the Champions'. In this case, he does sound like Freddie, and even though Simon calls him a karaoke singer, they will let him in. Ivan admits that he is a Karaoke singer to the camera. This doesn't bode well to his chances of getting further.

We go to where they found William Hung - and we hear many other singers who, although aren't as bad as him, are still bad. JP Molfetta, of the infamous Molfetta twins, decide to go to San Francisco to audition. Simon notates that he heard the response that he gave after his original audition, and that's already one strike against him. JP better hope that Simon isn't the swing vote. Strike 2 is his audition, as he doesn't sing that well and the other Molfetta was better. I may have passed him if there wasn't the background history. Paula says that his brother was better in Vegas. Brandy and Paula say yes, but Randy says no, which leaves it to Simon, and that is strike 3. He begs but it's not good enough and his past comments may have come back to haunt him.

And with that, we leave San Francisco. The auditions are over. The cutting begins. Chico takes us to the first round of the bloodbath next week.

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