A Dose of Reality: American Idol 2
by The Trades Staff
Published: March 19, 2003
Mary speaks: Okay, again (like last week) I am already irritated because it is
another two-hour episode! I wish the producers would streamline this show
a little bit. Even 90 minutes would be acceptable at this point, but two hours is just
too much. Did we really need to see embarrassing pictures of Simon and Randy?
Molly speaks:For some reason, I thought that this week's two-hour episode
went faster than last week's. Maybe the contestants sang for longer, or maybe it was
because of the time spent with Kelly? What amazes me is that they are doing a one- hour results show! That's going to be hard to take.
Corey Clark - "Against All Odds"
I was in high school when this song came out and (despite the fact that the song is
not good) I have a special place in my heart for the song. Until, Corey sang it. I don't
think he really hit the notes early in song, but he ended okay. This definitely was not
his best performance. The night began badly.
I really liked this song before Corey started singing it. Now I think I am scarred
forever. He was off-beat, off-pitch, and his voice seemed to be swaying as much as
he was. I was almost rendered physically ill, and would warn Mr. Clark that Phil
Collins may well sue. I wholly disagree with the judges that he made the song his
own; rather, I feel, to quote a friend, that he “made it crap.”
Well, he made it his own crap. Corey sounded flat in the beginning, and ended
screechy. I had to agree with Simon that it "sounded quite painful in the end." He
also looked quite uncomfortable on stage, which was surprising to me since usually
he seems pretty comfortable there. I noticed that he insulted Ryan Seacrest during
their little post-performance discussion, so I'll hope that this will curse him as it might
have Vanessa last week.
Ruben Studdard - “A Whole New World”
Wow, he really pulled off this song tonight. I had been a little ambivalent about the
man until now. He sang the heck out of that song. I'm impressed. He really did a
great job. Okay Ruben, go on with your bad self.
This song was great for Ruben. He had nice control throughout. Little more can be
said; he was simply fantastic.
I agree, he did a nice job, and is putting together a string of consistent performances.
I wondered if he might have needed more prep time to learn the song, since he
seemed a little off to me at times, but overall it was a really strong performance.
Trenyce - "I Have Nothing"
She did a very nice job with this song, but she seemed a little nervous to me. She
has a nice quality to her voice and her talent is evident. I am still rooting for her. She
also wore the heck out of that dress. Good for her and I hope she makes it past a
few more rounds.
Well, okay. She’s not Whitney Houston, but she didn’t shame Whitney like I feared
she might. She was good, but not great. She’s safe for now, let’s put it that way.
She gave a strong, diva-like performance, which I enjoyed. I was also glad that we
could see more of her face this performance, and I liked the dress as well (although I
think with her figure it would have been better if it hadn't gone down quite so low in
Clay Aiken - "Somewhere Out There"
Admittedly, this song drives me up a tree. I cannot stand this song at all. However,
Clay sang this song very well. He is very consistent and sings very well. I'm not sure
he hit the final notes, but no matter he did so well with the rest of the song. So far,
Ruben, Trenyce, and Clay are the top 3 in this competition.
We all know that Clay is capable and competent. While tonight did not show a
departure from his competence, it was not by far the best Clay performance I have
seen. I did not care for this performance very much at all. I sort of feel like Clay’s sold
out some, and I can’t quite place why.
Y'know, I am all about the Clay love ... but I didn't think this was his best performance
by any means either. The pacing was slow, he seemed back to some of the vocal
mannerisms that I think worked against him in his first round-of-32 competition, and
he didn't quite hit that end note. That said -- he's still Clay, he still did a good job,
and even based on a subpar performance he deserves to go on. (And I really liked
that shirt on him tonight!)
Kimberly Caldwell - "Shoop Shoop Song"
I think she did an okay job with the song, but I feel like she yells more than she really
sings. She did better this week than last week, in my opinion, but I didn't think she
was fantastic. I do agree with Simon. It wasn't really special. She was better than
Kimberly was pretty good, but there aren’t enough primary lyrics to the song, I don’t
think. Too much backup singing, and the backups on AI are not as good as Cher’s
backups. Kimberly didn’t have to try here, and why should she be lauded for that? I
agreed with Simon that she was very average and not much more.
I think Kimberly did a competent job. The amount of background vocals she had
surprised me, but they were so awful that I can't complain she had an unfair
advantage, and I might even say she was working under a handicap. She really
does need to raise her game if she's going to stay in the competition, though. She's
coasted through with decent vocals and marketable looks, but that combination is
starting to wear thin.
Performing right after Clay as she did, I wondered how Clay would do with this song -
- and I think it would have been a better choice for him than "Somewhere Out There."
Joshua Gracin - "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing"
Mary writes: Man, this was not his best performance. I think he did a bit too much talking in
places and not enough singing. Furthermore, I'm irritated that he turned this
Aerosmith song into a country/western song. He really could have done a better job.
Josh needs to just admit that all he can sing is country. He country-fies everything -
but man, he does it well. He didn’t have to go quite so country, but he was fine and
he’ll make it through. This was a great arrangement for his voice. For those of you
following along at home, yes, I still have a crush on Josh.
I absolutely disagree with Mary -- I thought this was Josh's best performance yet
(and I mean that in a nice way!). Yes, he country-fied the song, but I think it
absolutely worked. I'd put Josh as having the standout performance of the night.
I was surprised that Simon seemed to have a problem with Josh sounding one way
one week and another way another week, and that he wanted Josh to "commit" to
being a country singer. Didn't we earlier hear him nail contestants for not having a
wide range of vocal stylings?
It amazes me that I'm still bitter about Rocker Patrick not making it through, but I am.
And when I hear Josh countrify everything -- which I have no problem with him doing
-- then I wish Patrick had been given a chance to rock out on everything.
Carmen Rasmussen - "Hopelessly Devoted To You"
Mary writes: I still do not like Carmen at all. I think her voice is really flat on some notes. And that
vocal trill she does is just awful. I vote that Carmen needs the boot as soon as
What I will say about Carmen is that she could have been worse. I hate the movie
“Grease” and everything related to it (what, so I had a traumatic childhood), so the
song annoyed me and Carmen was flat in parts. She wins the “most overlipsticked”
award again this week, but Paula calling the makeup artists on it this week may leave
that spot open for someone else next week. We’ll have to see. While I think Carmen
was not that good at all, I don’t think she’ll get the boot because boys like her. She’s
safe for now, I think.
My Rocker Patrick bitterness is not abated at all when I see that Carmen is still in
the competition. "Hopeless" is a good term for her singing, at least in terms of this
competition. I think this is her week.
Charles Grigsby - "You Can't Win"
First of all, the song title is pretty prophetic. He did okay, but there is no way he will
win this competition. I don't think he will remain on stage in 3 weeks. Please let this
guy be voted off this week, or Carmen. Either one just has to go.
Amanda writes: This song was boring on him. He sort of sounded like he was just flip-flopping back
and forth between just two notes, and while it did appear that he had fun and I think
he’s a great performer, I think he did little justice to the song.
I have this image of "The Wiz" being Charles's favorite movie, and his having sung
this song a thousand times at home. I'd give his singing a 5, but his energy and
performance a 9. It was an improvement from last week, and while he's not long for
the competition he did a decent job this week. Since he seems like a good guy, I'm
glad of that for him.
Rickey Smith - "It Might Be You"
I like this song, but I thought Rickey was just okay. Decent, but not quite up to the
standard of the top 3. I think he should make it through to next week, but it was not a
It should be noted that I may be more critical than most because I don’t like Rickey
and his Hercules gag. It annoys the heck out of me. As did, frankly, his voice tonight.
Rickey needs an adenoid operation, I think, before I’ll even think about supporting
him. Nasal city! Who are these judges??
I've never been a fan of Rickey's, but I found him . . . very bearable tonight. I would
have liked it better if he'd sung the song a little straighter, without so many vocal trills,
but overall it wasn't bad. It was the most that I've liked him thus far in the
Julia DeMato - "What a Feeling"
I really like the song, but I think Julia did not do the song justice. It was an okay
performance, and about as bad as Corey. She was not the worst, but I wouldn't be
shocked if she was voted out this week.
Julia took the 80s look one step too far. She’s a hairdresser; I would have expected
more from her hair than the crimped hellishness that it was. She’s very much a dull
performer. My friend said that “suddenly, this song seems much more boring than it
used to be.” She just looks like she’s working so hard. She seems so old, somehow,
there on the stage. She may go this week, and I wouldn’t be sad.
Last week, I really wanted Julia to go. This week, I'm hoping she sticks around for
another week. Not because I thought her performance was that great, but because I
think that she really did listen to the comments the judges (and viewers?) made and
work to improve on those aspects. She was called out for being too lackluster in her
performance, and I think she deliberately tried to do a high-energy song to work on
that aspect. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for her -- the energy that song requires
was beyond her grasp, and it would have been hard for anyone to have done
a great job with the instrumentation she was given. But she was no worse than
Charles, Corey, or Carmen, and she gets points from me for trying to improve her
performance instead of just doing the same-old same-old.
Kimberley Locke - "Home"
Wow. She started off a little rough, but she ended great. I was pretty impressed.
She sang the heck out of that song. Okay, I'm back in your court, Kimberley! She
redeemed herself from last week. Yay!
Kimberley has a nice full voice that did this song justice. I was appropriately
impressed and think she’ll be safe this week.
I thought she did an okay job. I thought her vocals were good, but they didn't really
blow me away. I was also distracted by her look, which I thought was terrible! I was
surprised that the judges liked it, because I thought she looked better with the curlier
hair. I think she's good for another week, but she still needs to do a bit more to get
back in my personal top tier.
Okay, I think that the bottom of the group was Carmen, Charles (big surprise), Corey,
and Julia. Any of them could be voted out this week and I wouldn't be surprised. I
think that it will be Charles' time to go this week.
My bottom three are Corey, Julia, and Rickey. I think Corey will go this week, and I’ll
be more than okay if that happens.
My bottom three are Carmen, Charles, and Corey. I'm thinking that Carmen is going
to go this week.
American Idol roundtables at The Trades: 1st
Quarterfinal | 2nd
Quarterfinal | 3rd
Quarterfinal | 4th
Quarterfinal | Wild Card Quarterfinal | First
Elimination | Second
Elimination Round | Third Elimination Round | Fourth Elimination
American Idol on the net: American
Idol's Official site | Sirlinksalot.net