11, 2003 - Gordon Pepper
We are up to the second
round. Will we be getting better performances this week,
or will we be seeing 'Fireworks', according to Simon? We
start out with fireworks, as the tabloid The Sun shows
us some early pictures of Simon - shirtless and with a
big mullet. Oh yeah, that will get Simon nice and ornery
for these 8 people that will be performing tonight.
The first person to go is Clay Aiken. He is singing
'Open Arms' (which I remember from the Heavy Metal
Soundtrack - and I enjoy the song - or I used to enjoy
the song). He can not hit the high notes and this is
genuinely painful to listen to. He is coming off flat
like Kimberly did on the first show. The judges are
shocked that the voice that's coming out tone-wise is
different than the guy who's singing. I agree with the
judges in terms of the tone - but all of the tone in the
world doesn't do you any good if you are not on pitch.
Paula and Randy are surprised that such a beautiful
voice (beautiful in their opinion) Simon agrees - but
'That's why we've opened up this contest to the general
public...I don't see you as the American Idol. Maybe the
Candace Coleman is out next - and during the rehearsals,
she was in tears with the vocal instructor. She sounded
better now than in rehearsals - but she wasn't
adventurous enough - and the song wasn't as daring as I
would have liked. Randy agrees with me, Paula liked her
voice (but then again she likes everything) and Simon
says that she needs to perform better. I'd agree with
that. She was good, but not 'blow you out of the water'
Now Rebecca Bond, on the other hand, picked out a more
challenging song - 'Caught up in the Rapture' by Anita
Baker. Unfortunately, she mangled the top notes of it,
but she was more adventurous than Candace and I'd give
her bonus points for that. 'I think you have a very
smoky bluesy, cabaret type of voice. I don't think
you're right for this competition.' says Simon. Rebecca
and Paula disagree with Simon, but Randy agrees, which
gives us your traditional men vs. women argument.
Jacob John Smalley is next - and this one should be
unanimous - he is off tune - and really badly. Not a
good performance on any level. For whatever weird
reason, Paula liked it. Randy brings him down to Earth.
'I did not enjoy the performance - you've been much much
better many other times.' Simon? 'The good news, I liked
your voice...you are very cute, girls will love
you...the performances are not good enough...All of you
are capable enough...raise your game. Forget about me -
you're performing for America. Americans are thinking -
we have some great artists here, we want great
performances. If you walked into my record company and
sung like that, I'd throw you out within 30 seconds.'
Jacob, who says 'God bless you all', is playing to
America. It did not come off well and I don't think it's
going to work.
Our fifth singer for the evening is Hadas. She may not
have the best voice, but she by far has had the best
performance so far. She sings 'You Light Up My Life'.
Paula loves it, and Randy likes it, but he's not being
blown away. 'Give me vocal fireworks...something...'
Simon goes half-way. 'It's half a compliment'. She's my
favorite female performer so far.
Now I'm expecting something from Mr. Ruben Studdard,
based on what I saw from him in the earlier rounds. I
was a bit concerned, because he was a little shaky at
the start, but he got stronger as the song progressed
and he banged it out near the end. Randy clapped and
gives Ruben a standing ovation, Paula gets a hug and
even Simon was impressed. 'You are what this competition
is all about - We're looking for a star. You are a star.
Everything about that performance was sensational. You
set the standard for this competition. Congratulations.'
Ruben bounds back to the Red Room - and he and his
equally large (300+ pounds brother) squish Ryan on the
Kimberley Locke is the 7th singer - and she would be my
other favorite to make it, because I think that she
could be as powerful as Ruben was. She was very good -
but I think she could have done better with a better
song - but she was great with what she had. Randy gives
her another standing ovation. 'I feel like the
competition has just started.' Paul was blown away as
well. 'I don't have the same buzz that I got from Ruben,
but I thought that she was fantastic and was the best
technical singer so far.'
Then we go into personality. 'I'd give Ruben a 10 on
personality - I'd give you a 4.5.' growls Simon. After
Kim gives him a zero and continues to insult him. 'I
used to think you were sexy, but now I think that you
suck.' Simon raises the rating up to a 6. After Kim
cools off in the Red Room, we get to see the Idolers
work out - with punching bags that have a picture of
Simon attached to them. The idolers act the way that you
expect them to, and we have shredded pictures of Simon
on the floor.
The last singer is Jennifer Fuentes. She decides to go
with an upbeat tune - and she sounded dreadful in her
pre-interview rehearsal. Not much better here. She is
not hitting the high notes, and like Clay, this is
absolutely painful to listen to. The judges agree. Randy
'I thought you were better when I saw you in Miami.'
Paula was wondering about the selection of the song, and
Simon breaks it down. 'I thought that they were being
very polite. I think the sensible thing would have been
after Kimberly and Ruben was to have stayed in that
room.' That gets a smack from Paula, but she did say
that 'You chose the wrong song.' Kimberly's response?
'You want ballads, I'll give you ballads.' But you can't
have that option when you only get one song, and the
poor choice of song selection will likely knock her out
of the competition.
So who do I think will advance in the competition? If it
was just based on talent, then Ruben and Kimberley are
(pardon the pun) locks to continue. But it's not and
charisma plays a part in the selection process (See
Grigsby, Charles). I think Ruben still gets in, but I
think the second spot could be open between Kimberley
and Clay (who I thought was lousy, but Chico's sister
forced him to vote for him. How depressing.) with
Rebecca as a Dark Horse.
12, 2003 - Gordon Pepper
Ryan will be your host
for the next 30 minutes - and last weeks 8 million votes
were upped by 3 million - 11 million people voted this
past week. The judges predicted who would be the 2
finalists - and if you remember, none of the judges
picks from last week were correct. Will they all stay
'imperfect', or will the judges actually get their
finger on the pulse of America?
Simon is not there in person (he's in New York), but we
do see him on a 'Squawk Box' - and we do see a quick
recap of the singers. We also saw their viewing party -
and they got American Idol goodies, including a poster
of SImon. What's the door prize?
We have an AT and T poll on Simon - is he sexy or does
he suck? (This of course, was from Kim's quote from last
night - 'I used to think you were sexy, but now I think
that you suck.'
Jennifer is going first - and America didn't like her.
She starts bawling and Candace holds her. Candace is
next - and she also doesn't gets picked. They can now
cry in each others arms. But they don't.
Ruben is up next - and America agrees with the judges.
He is one of the Top 3. Rebecca is next, but she is not
joining Ruben. Clay is up next and he is joining Ruben
up on the stools.
Jacob John, who was blessing everybody, did not get
blessed by the audience. He does not get on, and he can
start cursing everyone once the cameras stop rolling.
That leaves us down to Kimberley and Hadas. After the
commercial, we find out that Clay needs to pee (do we
really need to know that?). We also find out that
Kimberley has made it to the group of three. I am 3 for
3 this week (yeah, baby) and now 5 for 6 for the show.
And the Judges? Randy says Ruben and Kimberley, Paula
says Ruben and Kimberly and Simon says Ruben and
Kimberly. They all also say that Ruben is the top
vote-getter and his 300+ pound brother comes in to hug
Ruben - and mug Ryan in the process. Ryan goes to clean
up his bloody lip while Ruben sings his reprise.
So we will be now hearing the results....of the AT&T
Poll. 58% of Americans say that Simon SUCKS (while 42%
of you people are misguided). 'American once again has
gotten it wrong, I demand a recount.' says Simon, before
Paula pulls the plug, literally, on him.
And now the second place winner is...Kimberley! She
edges out Clay as the second finalist. She sings her
final song, and this time around, instead of hearing
Clay, Ryan ends it by reminding everyone to tune in for
And speaking of which, Week 3 has the following - Ricky
Smith, Equoia Coleman, George Trice, Vanessa Olivares,
Jordan Segundo, Kimberly Kelsey, Ashley Hartman and
February 18, 2003
- Gordon Pepper
The question that Chico
Alexander posed to me was will this be an image vs.
talent war? If the answer is yes, then so far, the
talent is destroying the image. Kimberly Locke and Ruben
Stoddard, arguably 2 of the least image-like in the
whole competition, made it out of week 2. We will now
see who we get to vote for in Round 3.
Simon is back - and everyone wishes that he was back in
his box. Simon has his own video - he reminds us all
about Ryan getting squished by Ruben and his brother.
'You looked pathetic. You showed in front of 25 million
people that you are a woman.' Ryan - 'I've been doing
that for a year now.' No comment.
But let's start out the singing portion of this show
with a real woman, shall we? Kimberly Kelsey is hoping
to step up her game (as she remembers Simon's warning
from a few weeks ago). She sang 'It's all coming back to
me now' - and once again, the first singer for the third
straight time was flat. Not bad, but not mind-blowing,
and the judges agree. 'What we are all saying is that
you are capable of doing better than this.' says Simon,
who added that it was just 'Alright'.
Jordan Segundo is next up. He is representing Hawaii -
and I didn't realize that Hawaiian singers were that
flat. He picks it up at the end to make it up to OK, but
the beginning was pretty atrocious. He has love for
Paula - and Paula gives her love back to him. Does Simon
agree? 'There was no spark in your eyes - you looked
dead - like a fish on the slab...I would try a couple of
cartwheels on the way back.' said Simon. Jordan panders
to America? Note to Jordan; Yes, it was a decent
performance, but pandering to the camera never works.
What does work is dynamite singing - and Vanessa
Olivares is looking to do just that. Vanessa blows
Kimberly out of the water in terms of energy, but I
wasn't thrilled by her choice of song (though she did do
it incredibly well). Randy liked her conviction and
Paula likes her personality. Simon? 'Great Personality,
brilliant choice of song...I think you need to lose some
pounds.' Vanessa - 'I know I have a big butt, but it
worked for J-Lo.'
Mr. Cowell is trying to say that as a compliment, but
Vanessa is not buying what Simon is selling. Vanessa
does an impression of Keith (the male who butchered the
Madonna songs - see the January 28 episode for details)
and that turned me off. It's never good karma to make
fun of bad singers - even if they were brutally
The 4th performer is Rickey Smith - and he does a
Hercules satire in the form of 'Vote for me! Vote for
me!' He was very shaky throughout the song with his
voice - he did not hit all of the notes, but like Ruben,
he got his act together at the end and he had a sweet
exit part. Randy - 'I was waiting for you at the end to
do something, and you did something, so I'm good - I'm
all good' Paula 'You did your thing - and you did it
really well.' Here comes Mr. Simon 'It was good - I'm
not jumping out of my chair, but it was good...better
than being bad.' Rickey - that's the best that Simon has
said about someone, take it and run with it. Mom agrees
'You did great...If the worst he had to say was good,
then be good with that.'
Samantha Cohen is singer number 5. She goes the bluesy
route, with 'Giving them something they can feel', which
is very nice - but the bluesy rout has not gotten anyone
very far this year. Simon 'I'm seeing polished good
singers - but I'm not excited'. Randy - 'I just haven't
been blown away - it was good, but I wasn't feeling Oh
my G-d.' I have to agree with that - nowhere near as
strong as the second group - but better than the first
The next one up is Lou Gazzara. He does 'How Am I
Supposed to Live Without You' and he definitely supplies
the energy - but not the pitches. I also question the
choice of song. Simon - 'I think that Lou is the RJ of
this competition from last year...nice looking boy,
should be in a boy band, not a star...a bit 'so
what'...sometimes you walk away saying from these shows
and thinking 'G-d that was amazing', and sometimes you
walk away saying 'so what'?' Paula disagrees - until the
judges press her and ask if she's going to remember this
performance. Then she cops out with 'I remember
everything that they do.'
Will 7 be Equoia (Coleman)'s lucky number? It could be
as she sings a sweet rendition of 'The Way We Were' -
but she did not pick out a good song for her, I thought.
She sings the heck out of it, but she needed a better
showcase tune. 'It was a very interesting choice of song
for me...there were a little pitch problems at the
beginning and at the end, but I thought that you brought
something to it and it was the most passionate
performance that I saw out of it.' Paula agrees, but
Simon agrees with me - 'I think it was quite a cabaret
performance...she's capable of better than this.'
The last singer for this group is George Trice - and I'm
glad that he is the last one. He absolutely butchers
'Unchained Melody' and it may have been Simon's favorite
before - but it may not be now. Another one of those
painful to listen to performances - WAY too much vibrato
- it was like he was playing to the public instead of
singing the song, and it did not come out well. Paula
says it was a seamless beautiful performance (wha?)
while Randy liked it. Simon, please help us here. 'It
kind of reminded me of being in an Italian restaurant
where one of the waiters had a few drinks and he belted
out Unchained Melody.' Thank you Simon.
Once again I am forced to agree with Mr. Cowell on his
general sum-up speech too. 'This show tonight is very
interesting, because we said all along that we were
going to raise the bar. I think what I have seen tonight
is that I've seen some professional performances, but a
lot of bad song choices, no sparks, a lot of nerves, and
I will say 2 things to you. #1 - The show next week will
blow this group apart. And something else that's going
to be surprising - you know what I think will be the
best group of them all? The wild card group, I guarantee
you that this will be the best group of this
That ends this group. My take? interesting. If I was
just going to take the top 2, just based on this one
performance, then I would have to take Samantha Cohen
and Equoia Coleman. But neither of them will be going
on, and here's why - the voting public has always picked
one man and one woman, the people that they've picked
have traditionally been the minorities if they sound
reasonably well (See Charles Grigsby) and the ones that
have gotten the air time have been given the benefit of
the doubt even if their performance has been shaky (See
Julia DeMato). Do I sound stereotypical? Yes, but part
of my gig is to detect the trends and to predict, so
there you go.
Based on that analysis, my prediction is that Rickey
'Hercules' Smith (who my family would have voted for
even if he pranced to the stage in a Scottish Kilt and
sang the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner in Greek) and
Vanessa 'Wild Colored Hair' Olivares get the nod in,
with probably Equoia (or Samantha) as the one on the
outside looking in. But I agree with Simon on this two -
none of them brought their A Game, and whoever advances
will have to do better or they will quickly be advancing
out of the competition.
February 19, 2003
- Gordon Pepper
So how do we know that
this is live? When Ryan Seacrest has no sound when he
starts the show. We then chat about Joe Millionaire -
and Simon thinks that Joe made the wrong choice and
should have picked Sarah.
Ryan gets another microphone - and we talk to Vanessa -
who wore vertical stripes to elongate her butt. OK. We
also get to see Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson, who
plug their new movie and will show you a piece of their
new movie - and ask Ryan if he's still wearing his
girlie shirts ('Yes, I am' he replies). Their new movie
is called 'Timeless' and we see pieces of the duet -
which honestly looks ghastly as they are singing in the
same boat and are not looking at each other - except in
a split screen - and even then it looks contrived. What
sort of chemistry is that? Awful, awful, awful. AND the
Here's the poll question - Which judge do you most agree
with? A. Simon, B. Paula, C. Randy. If I was voting
(which I am) I would say I mostly agree with SIMON.
We get a quick recap of last night (but if you want a
detailed recap, you can read up there). We start with
Samantha - and she does not make the top three. Vanessa
does and she is the first person up.
Jordan did not get in, and he and the family start
tearing up. Lou gets to join Jordan in the suck pond.
Rickey does not join them - he is also one of the people
who advance to the final three.
George, who's the warbling waiter, does not get in - so
that leaves us Equoia and Kimberly. Equoia gets in, and
I am now perfect for the second straight week. (And 8
out of 9 for the season - I am just soooo studly).
And the judges? Randy - Vanessa and Kimberly, Paula -
Vanessa and George, Simon - Vanessa and Kimberly. The
judges continue their imperfect record. Is it talent of
style, or is it personality over talent? Simon says -
'Maybe things are being takes a bit too seriously here .
Randy 'It's talent over weight' Simon 'Paula, how many
fat dancers do you work with?' Paula - 'I think (Simon)
needs to see a doctor. I think he needs some help.'
Simon - 'Back to them...Vanessa, you did great, Rickey,
I think you're here because of your personality, because
I thought you sang flat last night, and Equoia, you're
capable of doing better, honestly.'
Ryan reads off first place - and it's Vanessa! Vanessa
shakes her butt for America and for the judges. She
doesn't sing (we don't have time), but we have time for
some more commercials before seeing the second winner.
But before we get that - here come the results, and 49%
of America agree with - SIMON!!!! Paula is in the middle
with 30%, and Randy has 21%. 'I love America' says
Simon, while everyone else boos him.
And the second person to make it is....Rickey!! And he
is crying now too. It's a cry fest on American Idol. I
am 2 for 2 for the second straight week (and I would
have been perfect if I was smart enough to realize that
they would be going 1 man and 1 woman for each round.)
That makes me 5 for 6 in terms of selections. I am just
The last set of 8 will be the following - Corey Clark,
Ashley Hartman, Chip Days, Nasheka, Joshua Gracin,
Sylvia Chibiliti, Patrick Lake, and Juanita Barber. Only
2 of them got any serious airtime - and they are both
guys, so those are my early picks - but I'll save that
for next Tuesday when we actually get to hear them sing.
That's it for this week in terms of the competition. But
we are up to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly - the best
of the rest of American Idol. We will be showing the
best of the singers that didn't get to the 32 - and some
of the really rotten singers.
We start with Carrie from Los Angeles (who I recapped
earlier on in the series) - but Carrie was just ok in
round 2 - and ok didn't cut it. 'Carrie, you lost
something, and I don't know what it is...it's a shame.'
We also relive the butchering of the National Anthems.
(All of the stuff that I recapped, by the way I will
just touch on - and you can see it in the recaps)
Randy's un-favorites was Dino in Los Angeles, Monica the
sheep woman in Miani and Michael the car starter in
Next up is Paula - her favorite was Antorey, who did
some Stevie Wonder - Paula, you officially have no taste
- he was awful. And he continued to be awful in the
second round. And unfortunately for him, Paula didn't
judge him - Simon did. 'That was like a musical
nightmare. If ever I want to put a hotel out of
business, I'm booking you to be the cabaret.'
He was from Mo-town - and we hear a melody of awful
singers trying to do Motown. 'Shmotown Gold - only
$234.99. Call 1-800-TRASH - From A Idol Records (And no,
do not dial the number, it's obviously a satire).
Randy - 'Sometimes we have to sit there and hear these
people all day...I feel so bad for the songwriters...
these people just destroy all these songs beyond all
recognition...the lyrics are all torn up...for any
contestants coming in next year, please does the
songwriters justice - do not butcher these songs.'
We bring in Edwin McCain, the songwriter for 'I'll Be'
as he makes fun of the singers. 'If any of you are out
there are thinking of singing my songs, please, please
be gentle.' This PSA was brought to you be American Idol
and the American Songwriter Society (A.S.S).
Next up - twins. We saw the New Jersey Morgans do well,
And Paula likes the Gomez twins as well but not the
shepherds (Unfortunately, you doubled the pain moaned
Simon) or the Shepherds (See the L.A. Episode) or the
Mariah Carey look-alike (from Miami) - and unfortunately
the return of Edgar (also from Miami).
Edgar came back to Los Angeles and tried to get in there
- and spoke to Kristin and tried to get into the
auditions for a second time - and this time he sang in
Spanish with a sort of new look - his hair was combed
forward. Either way, it was awful. Simon? 'Number 1, you
can't sing, Number 2, the faces of Paula of horror is
what an audience is projecting when they are listening
to your voice, because you can't sing. Edgar 'I was
thinking that Paula was about to cry.' Simon 'She was
going to cry out of pain... it was painful... this is
supposed to be about joy, not misery... you're not going
to Hollywood, you're never going to Hollywood.' Bye-bye
Paula is griping about Simon's griping 'There are points
where Simon goes a little too far with her comments.'
Here are some of the ones that we didn't hear previously
- 'This is the bad news - this is a singing audition...
I know you are ill, but if you sang like that, the
audience would be screaming for the wrong reason... It
says here that you worked as a wedding singer? How many
did you end in divorced... If I were you, I'd phone up
the war department, because you just invented a new form
of torture... I'll give you a future tip for singing
auditions - don't."
Then we get to the weight issue - and Simon and Paula
get over her weight - her voice was beautiful, but she
had some poundage - this ends up in Paula yelling at
Simon. What does Simon have to say for himself? 'Yes I
am criticized for being tough on the contestants, but
first of all, you have to preserve the integrity of the
competition. I have to invest millions of dollars into
the winner of this competition, and we get an awful lot
of people who are useless.
Adam - 'If there was a woman judge, I think I'd flirt
with her...' Simon - 'Adam, they'd have to be deaf.'
Adam gets convicted of murdering a good song.
You have other people making excuses of being sick or
having nothing - but Simon isn't buying what any of them
are selling. We get to see the pleading contestants -
one of which does get in and the other one doesn't.
Aliceyn is another singer that has a nice voice but did
get past the second round, but mysteriously got cut.
Explain this one, Simon. 'The difficulty when you judge
a competition of the size of American Idol 2...is that
you can't remember certain people afterwards... Aliceyn,
we loved her when we first saw her...for whatever
reason, we were having a bad day, she slipped through
the net, Unlike Adam, who should be trapped under a
Adam did a rap of Baby's Got Back and it was dreadful.
'You have a disease called Cantsingitis, it will be a
medical term in at least 2 or 3 years - it is people
with zero talent who believe they are fantastic.'
We get to see people with Cantsingitis. We also see
people who are fashion disasters - and then we get to
Nathan from New York (see the top for the full
Lindsay is a witch - but she gets through to the second
round after enrapturing Simon. 'She went to round 2 -
she lost the magic' says Simon. And we finish it off
with the 'Worst' singer in the competition - Keith. My
vote for worst singer is Edgar - but Keith would be in
the top 5. But the reaction from Randy in the whole bit
was priceless. We end with some bad dancing and we fade
On Tuesday, I hope we get to see some better examples of
singing as the last 8 first-timers grace the stage.
February 25, 2003
- Gordon Pepper
We have seen 24 of the
32 American Idol Semi-Finalists. We get to see the final
8 tonight. They are the following people - Corey Clark,
Ashley Hartman, Chip Days, Nasheka, Joshua Gracin,
Sylvia Chibiliti, Patrick Lake, and Juanita Barber. No
Frenchie Davis, so I guess she is stuck shilling for
Entertainment Tonight as they thumb their nose at the
Idolers. According to Simon, this groups will 'Knock
(the last group) out of the water.'
So will they? Or will they be drowning in the ocean of
One way to find out...
Ryan checks out his microphone to see if it works -
Simon is hoping that it isn't, as Ryan covers his mouth.
'Can you keep your hand there the whole time? asks
Paula. Meanwhile, Ryan and Simon bet Randy $100 that he
didn't say Dude, Dawg or Man. He agrees - and blows it
within the first 60 seconds. Randy says a 4 letter word
that is not dude and he gets bleeped out.
We will start the round with Sylvia - and she is acting
like a diva. Is it just me, or does she have a large
mouth? She sings 'Didn't we almost have it all', and she
sings it decently, but once again, a poor choice of
song. Now what is a poor choice of song? Something that
does not give you the vocal range to shine so it sounds
average. The tone is off too. Randy thinks that her tone
is off, while Paula, who actually criticizes someone
(for once), thinks that she oversang the song.
And, of course, Simon adds his 2 cents worth - 'You sing
like a ventriloquist puppet...When you look back at the
tape, it seems like your mouth is doing some strange
things.' She disagrees and admits to Ryan that she
doesn't know what Simon's talking about. This girl just
does not get it, and her acting defiant over her
technical problems makes her look more like a reject
than a rebel.
(Commercial - Matt, the first contestant on Married by
America, needs a wife - what he really needs is a good
plastic surgeon who does tummy tucks on faces)
Next up is Chip Days. He says that he is anything but
corny. He is anything but on tune or pitch in the
beginning of his song. He recovers and is decent - but
once again, there is no soul to his song. It seems like
they are trying to make love to the camera and not to
the song that he's singing. Simon hates the clothes and
thinks that he looks like he is in pain 'You sang better
like Rickey last week, but you don't have Rickey's
personality.' Paula likes his voice but Randy agrees
with me - no emotion in that song whatsoever. Listen
PLEASE PEOPLE SING THE FRIGGING SONG AND MAKE LOVE TO
THE SWEET TUNES OF NECTAR INSTEAD OF STARING AT THE
CAMERA AND MAKING GOOGLY EYES AT US AUDIENCE MEMBERS!!!
I DON'T CARE IF YOU STARE AT ME - I WILL NOT VOTE FOR
YOU IF YOU STARE AT ME AND SUCK!!! ARGGHHH!!!!
Juanita Barber is the third singer for the evening.
FINALLY we get some soul and energy - and it's about
time. No, she is not perfect, but at least she is
pouring herself in the song, and that's more than most
people have done. The judges, however, decide to bye
hypocritical and decide to go against her. Paula - 'I'm
seeing a lot of oversinging' Simon - 'That was not
good...you really chose the wrong song.' Juanita - 'I
think America picked the wrong judge.'
Juanita and Simon continue yapping at each other with
nothing in terms of substantial argument. Then Juanita
and Randy get into it by arguing that each person
doesn't know who the other one is (yes, it's as dopey as
it sounds) and she finally leaves the stage. Ok, she
does look like an idiot by picking on Randy (Simon I can
understand, but Randy?), but this is a VERY interesting
point (assuming that we don't have singers who do both)
- do you vote for the person who hits the notes and who
has the soul of a dead fish? Or do you vote for the one
who may not be accurate but who brings energy to the
Patrick Lake is ready to rock. He is the only rocker in
the field - and the only male in this group that is
painted in a positive light. Barring a musical disaster,
he should make the final 2. There were some shaky parts,
but he does do ok - and he does put some soul into it.
Again, the judges disagree as Randy thought that he was
better in Atlanta 'It was like you were almost
shouting...it didn't quite work. 'Paula thinks that he's
refreshing.' 'Honestly Patrick, I think that we made a
mistake putting you here...I see s sheep in wolf's
clothing.' 'It's not Rock and Roll Idol, it's American
Idol. Rock and Roll is American.' Simon is just liking
anyone today. Maybe he's wearing saggy diapers that
(Another married by America contestant - he wants a
woman to look just like his mom. No comment.)
Nasheka starts the second half of the singers. She
really hasn't been seen, but the field is wide open for
her with a great performance. She is good technically,
but she doesn't excite me either. No one has excited me.
Yawwwn. 'My biggest complaint from you is that I didn't
feel anything from you, performance-wise.' says Randy.
Paula thinks that she needs to improve her showmanship,
while Simon says - 'You look the part, you could sound
the part, but the song is not for you.' and Simon adds
that she has taken a page out of Tamyra Gray's book -
but Tamyra sounded better. She did sound the best of the
three women singers so far, but it still hasn't really
set herself off.
Joshua Gracin is singer #6. He already has a problem
with Simon, 'who's not only not a singer, but is also a
Brit'. Joshua has the same problem as Juanita the energy
was there, and he makes love to the song - but his pitch
is off and it's bordering on brutal. 'Finally a good
singer who's singing a song that's good for him.' Joshua
says that if his unit is called, then he will go to
duty. 'It just looks right that your standing there
where it says American Idol.' says Simon. Paula - 'I
think Edwin McCain would be proud.' AwwwwwwwBarf.
The final woman to sing was Ashley Hartman. Same problem
as the other females - lots of energy, no pitch and no
pitch quality. It didn't work for Randy, while Paula
thought there was a vibe. Simon? 'The good news is that
you're beautiful...when I first heard your voice, I can
imagine you as a singer on a cruise ship. In the second
half of the song, I can imagine the ship
sinking...certain people deserve to be here based on
what they did before - based on that performance, I'm
afraid you don't.' Ouch. She comes sit to Ryan - and she
already has accepted the fact that she is not advancing
The final singer for the night is Corey Clark - now he
got a lot of camera time - and most of it was negative,
as it showed him going out at night and somehow getting
to this round despite the fact that he was horrible. He
wasn't much better when he sang - he could not hit the
high notes and this was also painful to listen to. If he
thinks that he can skate on the looks and personality,
that will be the only thing that gets him in, because it
won't be on the vocals this time around. The judges give
them standing ovations - they must be whipped on the
guy, because they apparently were listening to a
different performance than I was. 'You put me in a good
mood'. said Simon. Corey says that he redeemed himself -
'I haven't been out since that night.'
This one is a tough call - because no one really set
themselves up for greatness. The audience usually picks
a man and a woman, but that violates the TV rule - the
people with the good airtime get picked. I will lean
more towards that, since I don't think that the women
proved themselves, and I will say that Patrick 'Rock
Power' and Joshua 'Mr. Marine' get in, with Corey coming
in third (for a 3 man final 3). If there is a woman who
gets picked, then it should be Nasheka. This is the
group where there could be a surprise coming out - we'll
February 26, 2003
- Gordon Pepper
We are back with group
4. Ryan brings us back to yesterday, where the judges
and singers are sniping at each other. Juanita now loves
Simon, but doesn't like his opinion. Simon, on the other
hand, loves being abused by women. Meanwhile, Patrick
wants to spike Simon's tires, and Corey (guy with the
hat) wants to slit them with him. Can you just feel the
But we are not here for love - we are here to see who
advances to the final 10. Ryan will start us off - but
before we do that, we will get to pick the favorite
poster of the movie. BLAH.
Nasheka is the first person up - and she is the first
person that gets rejected for the week. Joshua is next -
and he did make the top three. He smiles and walks over
Ashley is third, and to no one's surprise, she does not
get in either. Corey is fourth up - and America voted
him in the top three as well.
Sylvia is up next - and she did not get into the top
three. Juanita is next - and between the bickering
singer and the bickering judges, the bickering singer
loses. She does not get in.
So it comes down to Chip and Patrick. Ryan lets Chip
read the card - and it says 'We'll find out right after
the break.' Chip nods his head down in agony, while
Patrick just exhales a huge sigh of relief. That was
meaner than most of Simon's barbs, gang.
But we are now back after the break - and your final
person up is... PATRICK. I am once again three for
three. Yeah baby. That makes me three for three for the
past 3 weeks and 11 out of 12 for the series. If Patrick
and Joshua get in, then I will by 7 for 8 in picking the
finalists - not a bad record, if I do say so myself.
The judges? Josh and Corey all around in a unanimous
decision. That's impressive for the judges. The number
one winner is JOSHUA as the Marine takes first place. He
sings his reprise song while Patrick and Corey are both
visibly twisting in the wind.
And without further ado, the SECOND place winner is -
COREY CLARK. Nothing like the audience to make me a
little humble. But I am still 6 out of 8 total for the
finalists, and that's not half bad. He sings his reprise
to end the show.
Unfortunately, this is also a disturbing trend - because
if you've been following my columns, you know that the
people who got in did not necessarily sing the best -
but they did get the most camera time. This is the hint
for all of you singers for next year - MAKE SURE THAT
YOU ARE SILLY AND GOOFY AND PLAY FOR THE CAMERA -
because the more face time you get, the better chance
you have to make it into the finals. It's not about
talent, or even personality - it's about mugging for the
So how do we decide who comes back? They will pick the
best people that they saw - which means that some of
those people will be ones who DIDN'T make the 32, Hmmmm
- interesting. In addition to that, there is a twist.
'There is something coming - and it's good.' says Simon.
We will see...
And those 8? The first four are those who did not make
the final 32 - Aliceyn Cooner, Janine Falsone, Olivia
Mojica, and Carmen Rassmusen. The final people are
Kimberly Caldwell, Trenyce, Clay Aiken and the judges
decide that Chip from this show will be coming back -
and they also pick Nasheka as well. So we have now 9
people in the 8 person semifinals.
I'm guessing that the twist is more than that. Come back
next week to see what it is - and who the final 2 people