"Round of 6: 2000s" -
We're halfway home in the search for America's next pop
star. Six singers left... you have the guy with the
hair, the blonde, the other guy with the hair, the other
blonde, the Vonzell, and the other blonde.
Now we separate the good
from the outstanding in this last month, and we start
with... songs from the 2000s... so far. That's from
January 1, 2000 to tonight, April 26, 2005. That's about
five years and change of music to choose from, and if
you're anything like me, it can easily be whittled to
about 30 or 40 good songs.
Regrettably, you'll only
hear two of them. And it's from the people who did the
best job in my opinion.
First off, we have
Carrie Underwood. After two weeks of God knows what, she
returns to her country roots, singing "When God Fearin'
Women Get the Blues" by Martina McBride. This round, we
get the bio pieces, as Carrie illustrates the simple
life of a farm girl in Checotah, OK.... which really
explains a lot, if you think about it.
What they say: Randy is
glad for the return to her country roots, but in the
end, she never matched pitches with the band and the
singers. "It was just under the whole song. It was kinda
there, but it slipped back." Paula just says that it was
good that she had so many fans, BUT... "you need to pick
songs that show off your proud vocals and your
personality, the fact that you love singing country
music." Simon credits Carrie for proper song choice, but
still says she is a credit to her target demographic.
Although he doesn't understand country music, being
What we say: Well, I'm
not English, and I don't understand this new-age country
(^_^) either, so that argument... REFUTED!
Performancewise, at least if you pronounce the words so
we can't understand them, then we can't accuse you of
mangling them, but overall, if we're being kind, we
would say that beginning, middle, and end... umm, D,
what's a stronger word for horrible?
What D says: Deplorable.
Thank you. Pitch, off.
Arrangement, off. Carrie, slowly getting annoying.
Carrie finally admits to having a word problem.
Personally, she has more word problems than a
grade-school math book. Let's keep it real here.
Ryan's in the audience
with... Clay Aiken! He looks like he's just quietly
enjoying the show while resigned to the fact that he
needs another hit like a... oh, he's recording another
album? Well, now... Anyway, we move onto Helena, AL,
hometown of one Bogart "Bo" Bice, who has a doting
father, a loving mother who wanted Bo to do gospel, and
a girlfriend who just puts up with everything. He sings
one of the two songs I like, "I Don't Want to Be" from
Fine, the One Tree Hill
What they say: Randy....
What the crowd says:
Back to what they say:
Randy loves that the song choice was appropriate and
that Bo is honest. Paula calls him consistent and true
to himself. Simon likes him, too. "Strongest contestant
so far", but he needs to lose the Lenny Kravitz
What we say: Great great
great, and very apropos, because Bo's been himself this
entire time. But please lose the dashiki.
The audience tour
continues with some guy Ryan uses as a chair. Next up,
though, we go to Ft. Myers, FL, hometown of Vonzell
Solomon... the mail carrier... the ass kicker...
youngest of the family, therefore the nickname of Baby
V. She sings "I Turn To You" by Christina Aguilera. Bit
of trivia: it was actually written in 1996 for the Space
Jam soundtrack. All-4-One recorded that original
What they say: Randy
calls the song difficult, but welcomes her to the Dawg
Pound. "I'm proud of that performance, because you sang
that." Paula was a little nervous, but calls on
Vonzell's innate ability to connect with her audience.
Simon seems to think that the performance wasn't as good
as the other two made it out to be.
What we say: Okay, she
messed up two lyrics, but she did it so seamlessly where
you really can't noticed. It happens. Boyz II Men did it
on their cover of "Yesterday". Aside from that, it's
typical Vonzell. She sings. I smile. Except for that one
mess at the beginning. That (^_^)'s gotta go.
The audience tour
continues with Heather Locklear, who has a) no show on
Fox and b) a cancelled show on NBC. So that begs the
question... Why are you here again? From there we go to
Trevose, PA, home of one Anatoly Fedorov, who wisely
changed his name to Anthony. And from there, we go back
to the Ukraine, where Anthony was born. Their parents
call him a dreammaker. His dad recorded him singing as a
kid, and he was a little pitchy back then, too. He sings
the Celine Dion "no, really, she sung that?" song "I
What they say: Randy
think he's good with the high notes, but not so good
with the low notes. Paula harkens back to season 1 when
Kelly Clarkson sang it (BTW, happy birthday!). "I think
it's the first performance where you really grew with
the song. I think it's one of your best performances."
Simon calls Anthony a really brave man. "I personally
hated it, but you sing the kind of songs that appeal to
the people who vote for you."
What we say: That
performance has "Pop Idol" (the show, not the ultimate
goal) written all over it. It's Anthony at his best,
which still had a bit of pitchiness. That's sad, really.
But way to channel that inner diva, Anthony. Now if you
did that at the beginning of the competition, you
wouldn't consistently be in danger of leaving the show.
And there's Heather Locklear again...
He says the song just
does something to him. Well he better head to the
lavatory. Now let's go to New York City. Born in the
home of our own Block is a "very nice Greek boy"
Constantine Maroulis. Coming from a traditionalist Greek
family, they were kinda weirded out when he turned to
the dark side. Well, not really. More trivia:
Constantine is actually a popular Greek name. Not in
America, though. He sings Nickelback's "How You Remind
What they say: Randy
imagines himself at a bar. "High on performing, low on
vocals. This is a singing competition. The singing for
me is like a five." Paula: "This was not my favorite
song", but he gets to every genre flawlessly. Simon
notes that once he quit the band to go on Idol, he
crossed into the dark side of the force, calling the
performance "a bad imitation of the original."
What we say: That was a
Clay Aiken's Butt performance... those who remember the
spiky git who lost Idol two years ago performing that
song know why I call it that. But I'll stop there
because he looks like he can and will kick my ass.
And finally, we hear
Scott Savol's life story from Shaker Heights, OH. Note
they left out the chapter that the Smoking Gun provided.
See, that was a sacrifice made to the god of ecumenical
politics so that he could stay on the show. See? Makes
so much sense now! He performs Luther Vandross'
neo-classic, "Dance With My Father."
What they say: Randy
thought it was Scott's weakest. Paula blames the song.
Simon: "I'd pack your suitcase tonight."
What we say: So we've
come full circle. We started with a deplorable
performance. We end with full-on crap. Just admit it,
you sang flat enough and emotionless enough to be in the
bottom two because you like to be
there. It feels like home. It's a safety blanket.
All in all, after last
week, I was expecting something to arise, someone to
take the forefront by storm. Instead... an earful of
suck. That said, and keep in mind that what follows is
only a comparative guide...
Fly-2K!: Bo, Vonzell, Anthony
Why-2K?: Carrie, Constantine
Scott Savol: Scott
They won't let me vote for them: Clay, Heather, Chair
Guy, Constantine's Mom, Rachel & Michelle from the
It will do a great injustice to America if Scott is not
on the next plane back to Ohio. But then again, I have a
trick ear and 20 years experience in choral performance
with a concentration in a cappella arrangement under my
belt, so what the hell do I know? Let's go to a body of
my peers for an honest assessment of America's pulse...
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