A Dose of Reality: American Idol 4: Hollywood Week 2 - Episode 3
by The Trades Staff
Published: February 16, 2005
Dan Weltin here to finish out the Hollywood leg of the competition. Tonight is the contestant's final performance here (don't worry, you didn't miss an episode, Idol is still on tomorrow). The 75 boys and girls will pick a song of their choice, but have to perform without any accompaniment. They won't receive feedback or critique -- only be shipped off to one of four rooms. And as in past seasons, entire rooms will be cut.
Let's see who's in room one:
For starters, there's Las Vegas cocktail waitress Sharon Galvez. She sings a Whitney Houston song which is never a smart move, especially when there is no backing band. I thought she came on a little strong, like she tried to make up for lack of accompaniment with volume.
On the other hand, Shunta Warthen (the girl who missed her bus) was more subtle, and therefore a little more pleasant.
Angel Higgs is the music teacher whose student didn't make it to Hollywood. She did all right (or as Randy would say a'aight), but I think she looks too old.
Cold-plagued Rashida Johnson is up next. I like how she sounded when she was sick, but she must be getting better because her performance tonight wasn't as good.
Last up from Room 1 is smiling youth pastor Sean McNeill. His personality is still stronger than his voice. Tonight was not his best.
And the verdict: Room 1 is cut. Thank god, because if they were winners, I'd hate to hear what losers sounded like.
On to Room 2:
Lone twin Jamar Jefferson took a gamble by singing an original song called Shake (which is pretty much the only word in the entire song). He wasn't impressive, but also in this room is teen heartthrob Mario Vasquez. Today Mario goes against the grain and performs Queens' Bohemian Rhapsody and fails on the high notes.
Things don't look much better for Room 2 when Matthew Kester misses his high notes as well. But there's hope with Carrie Underwood. She's the girl who takes pictures of trees and tonight she sticks with her country roots. (HA! I didn't even see that pun coming). Her song choice is a smart one. She does very well.
Also in Room 2 is rocker Constantine, that Milli Vanilli look alike and the church going David Brown. We don't get to see any of their performances though. But we do see Judd Harris. He sings Mustang Sally, though to be fair, the audience sings a fair share of it too. He did good though. Nice deep voice.
Vonzell Soloman finishes up Room 2 with a solid performance.
Despite some rough performances, Room 2 is through to the next round. There is much rejoicing.
Dezmond Meeks, that guy Paula almost quit over is up first. I can't believe he's still around after only receiving support from one judge. He's still got a lot of shtick in his act. To me, that's what it is, an act. He sings Heard It Through The Grapevine and he's trying to be James Brown again, with a little Marvin Gaye thrown in for good measure. It's not working.
Jennifer Todd sounded a little hoarse and Carrie Zaruba sounded closer to Derek Braxton (remember him from the early rounds?) than an American Idol.
Aa'shia Jackson is up next. She's another one that I can't believe is still here. When I first saw her I thought she was a 10-year-old boy. Aaah! She's still irritating with that helium voice. And I don't mean helium as in Macy Gray, I mean closer to the Chipmunks, but even that would be too complimentary. I like the Chipmunks. I can't stand her.
OK people, stay away from the high notes! Larry Ellis is performing One Last Cry (the only song last year's Camile Velasco did well) and is butchering those high notes. Camile had at least one good Idol moment. Larry, however, does not.
Crooner Ross Williams will round out Room 3 with some scatting. Don't get me wrong, the scatting was fine, but you need to sing in this competition. No one sells records on how well they can scat.
We'll have to wait on the verdict of Room 3. Fox is going to show us Room 4 first in order to build suspense.
Room 4 starts with Anthony Fedorov, the kid who makes all the girls swoon. Remember, he's the one who couldn't talk as a kid. He sings the same song as his first audition, but there's no rule against that. Hey, stick with what works. And he does. He's still good.
Jaclyn Crum is the youngest contestant in the competition, but that's not going to stop me from saying how CUTE she is. She's my personal fave on the women's side, so I may be a little biased when I say her performance was great.
Tammy Nash said earlier she wanted to be in the same room as Larry Ellis. No you didn't girl. You were good, he sucked.
Loner Scott Savol, is my man pick this year. Tonight's performance wasn't as good as his earlier rounds, but still good enough to make it through.
Annoying Mikalah Gordon is up next. Even though I already received some hate mail for bad mouthing her, I'm going to continue. I can't stand her. She may be from Las Vegas, but her accent sounds straight out of Long Island (or at least stolen from Fran Drescher) and it doesn't translate well to song.
Lindsey Cardinale follows and she sings well enough, but she's just a bit boring. There's no personality there. And yes, I'm aware that Mikalah has a LOT of personality, but I still don't like her. And I'm not impressed with Lindsey either.
The last performer of the night is birthday girl Jessica Sierra and she entertains. Her performance is half rock, half spunk. Very nice.
And now for the judgment: Predictably, Room 3 is out, Room 4 is in!
As for tomorrow night, the contestants were given three weeks off before they were brought back for one more decision from the judges. 20 contestants will be cut tomorrow to make way for the final 24: 12 boys, 12 girls.
Earlier Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Hollywood 1 | Hollywood 2
Other sites: American Idol | Sirlinksalot.net