A Dose of Reality: American Idol 4: Audition Week 2, Episode 4
by The Trades Staff
Published: January 27, 2005
It's week 2, episode 4 and I'm Dan Weltin, your 4th columnist for this 4th season of American Idol. Tonight we'll sample the talent from Sin City -- Las Vegas. And along for the ride is guest judge Kenny Loggins, the man behind "Footloose" and that Caddyshack song.
First up is Mikalah Gordon singing "Lullaby in Birdland." She's only 16 so she just squeaks by the cut. But the judges like her, especially Randy who once again sings the praises of the 16 year olds. She answers with a dawg. I thought she was a bit nasally and didn't really sing, more of a rap thing. Plus she laughs like Fran Dresher.
Of course, good is followed by bad. Jeffrey Gray with his bug eyes and Neil Diamond worshipping will be singingwhat else, "America" by Neil himself. He does a poor Neil Diamond impersonation that's neither singing or impersonating. It's just bad.
This is followed by a montage of bad singing, so good must be on the horizon. Will it be Amanda Avila? She's a real Vegas showgirl. Actually she works for that new Treasure Island siren show. She's hot, so that's a good start. And she got a backstory segment; she must be onto the next round. Her rendition of "I Wanna Love You Forever" is pretty good. Simon asks if she goes to Hollywood, will her fellow showgirls come and visit her? That's a good question and her yes is an even better answer. But seriously, she can sing. She's just hot is all. Hot.
Stereotypical nerd alert! And that's coming from a geek. Christopher Tamura sings "Heartbreak Hotel" to give us a true Vegas feel. Kenny Loggins tries to stop him, but he keeps going. That's never a good sign. Of course, he's bad.
Ooo, flashback to last night. Richard Molfetta is back. He's here for solo night. He's singing "I Have Nothing." His only chance will be if Kenny likes him. Uh oh, Randy is wavering. Paula is still supportive (no surprise there), Simon is still against. Randy gives a yes and Simon concedes without getting Kenny's opinion (I guess Loggins isn't as important as last night's guest Gene Simmons). I gotta agree with Simon (and Gene) that this guy is an act, he's not good. He's trying to be sweeter than Splenda.
We've now passed into day 2. Only 10 contestants have made it on to Hollywood. Let's see if Emily Neves can do better. She has energy, I'll give her that. Kenny says she reminds him of Cyndi Lauper (oh no, don't encourage her). So of course she breaks into "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Simon doesn't like it, but Paula let's her sing another song. Emily chooses that "Beat of a Different Drum" song. She can't sing all that well, but the judges think she has that "IT" quality. Sometimes that's all it takes.
Joseph Land is up next. He's obviously an older man, but he's claiming to be only 28. He knows who Kenny Loggins is -- that should be a dead giveaway right there that he's older than 28. He can't sing and in the end he admits he's 44. Good try ol' boy.
Dino Yazzie's brother Desi is here to be just as bad as he was. Choosing to sing a Whitney Houston song is always a risky gambit, even when you can sing.
Yay, it's another montage of bad singers. The judges are breaking down -- especially Paula.
Sarah Woodall is going to try to change all that with her version of "Viva Las Vegas." Simon calls it a waste of time. So do I. How come they couldn't show one of the winners? Aren't there any?
How about cocktail waitress Sharon Galvez singing "Saving All My Love for You?" She was OK, I thought she was a little off key. She does have power though. The judges liked her enough to send her through at least.
Next up is Matthew Falber, a John Stevens look-alike. He sings "I Just Can't Wait to be King." He can sing, but the judges think he's too gimmicky. Hey, John Stevens was all gimmick at first with his Dean Martin impersonation during the first round. Give this kid another go!
Psychic Bobbie May predicts she'll be going on to the next round, but not with that voice. Ouch. I can't believe the judges let her get through almost all of "Can't Help Falling in Love" before they told her no.
Jennifer Todd is self-conscious about her weight, but not her voice. She sings "If I Ain't Got You." Kenny brings up a personality issue (basically calling her fat in so many words), but they all want her to go on. There's large women out there -- critics just say they have soul. She was good, that's all you needed to say Kenny. Is there a no fat chicks rule on American Idol? Don't think so Loggins.
Finally, we have Mario Vazquez singing "Whatever Happens." He's also a good singer and onto round 2. I guess they needed to show some winners before the end of the episode.
Well, that's all for me tonight. Next week it's on to the home of rock n' roll -- Cleveland - with rap artist LL Cool J. Huh?
Earlier Recaps: Episode 1 I Episode 2 I Episode 3
Other sites: American Idol I Sirlinksalot.net