A Dose of Reality: American Idol 4: Women's Auditions Week 1
by The Trades Staff
Published: February 23, 2005
The men had their turn on Monday, but Tuesday night is ladies' night on American Idol. America gets their first crack at the crowded field of talented female performers. Here to give you their take on how it all went down are Brian and Dan.
Vonzell Solomon - "Heat Wave"
Brian writes: Vonzell really brought the heat in performing this classic. She surely knows how to behave on a stage. She's very good as she is, but there is some room for improvement. She's a lock to make it to the overall Top 12, especially if she cleans up some of her lower register singing.
Dan writes: Thank god, an upbeat start. I was almost sleeping by the end of the guys last night. Vonzell was good, but her version of the song was pretty much spot on to the original. A solid performance, yes, but nothing special.
Amanda Avila - "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
Brian writes: I thought Amanda did very well. I question her song choice... I mean, Michael Bolton? She was a bit swoopy into and out of some of her notes. She did slip on one of the power notes, but with practice she could be very good.
Dan writes: And right to a ballad. When the judges can only talk about how pretty you are, that means your performance was only so-so. Not bad enough to criticize and not good enough to praise. They won't care if you're back next week or not. And I have to agree.
Janay Castine - "I Wanna Love You Forever"
Brian writes: Seeing Janay sing freaks me out for two reasons. First, she looks just like a friend I had growing up, but more importantly, she looks awkward performing this slow love ballad. It's definitely much too old a song for her, something that Diana DeGarmo had a lot of trouble with last year. She should be safe tonight, but I'd suggest that she come on strong next week.
Dan writes: I think she was nervous... or cold in that skimpy dress. She was shaking the entire time. I couldn't tell if she meant for the words to have that extra vibrato or if her body was causing it. I've never heard her sing before and being the first time, I wasn't impressed at all.
Carrie Underwood - "Could've Been"
Brian writes: Carrie was one of my favorites coming into this phase of the show, and nothing changed my mind tonight. I'm not that familiar with this song, so I don't know how much they "country-ed" it for her. In any case, definitely the best performance so far.
Dan writes: I thought her performance was great. She has a very pretty voice and tonight it had just a hint of country twang. And I agree whole-heartedly with Simon: She could win this competition (or at least be the top girl, the guys are going to be tough to beat this year).
Sarah Mather - "Get Ready"
Brian writes: Not only has this song been done to death on American Idol, but Sarah did a horrible job of it. Her voice just took all of the energy out of it. Her choreography was over-staged, and she looked like a plastic doll not only during the song but while staring into the camera as Ryan read out her digits. All that plus an extremely affected voice puts Sarah at the bottom of tonight's heap.
Dan writes: I ask for an upbeat song and when I get one, it stinks. Sarah may be hot, but that's not going to carry her anymore. The whole song to me was cheesy. What Simon would usually call karaoke or a cruise ship performance.
Melinda Lira - "The Power of Love"
Brian writes: Whoo! Melinda started off shaky, but picked up a little as she went on. As the judges said, her biggest mistake was choosing a Celine Dion power ballad. She also needs to work on how she looks while singing. She had her legs spread throughout and did a couple of George Huff dips. At least she was on tone at the end when it mattered.
Dan writes: Randy and Paula liked her, but I disagree. I didn't think she's one of the best at all. Randy called her a Kelly Clarkson in the making, but why would they want that? I thought they want someone new and original. I agree with Simon, she's a plain Jane.
Nadia Turner - "Power of Love"
Brian writes: I knew Nadia was good, but she totally rocked out tonight. She held court on stage and completely engaged the audience. Her vocal work was good, but she could be a little stronger in places and could clean up some of the notes. Definitely the best performance of the night.
Dan writes: The girls aren't as somber as the guys tonight. Nadia went for the "rocker" approach and I was a little disappointed in the song choice. All it showcased was that she has a strong voice, but I already knew that. The judges said her performance defined who she is, but keep this up and it'll get old in my opinion. It'll be interesting to see what she does next week. And I hope she stays because I do like her.
Celina Rae - "I Will Love Again"
Brian writes: Celina had no trouble performing on a stage, so I don't think that's an area she needs to improve. She did falter a bit in some of the notes, and she could have been a bit stronger in the beginning. Nothing special so far.
Dan writes: It was a good performance and I like her, but I donít think the audience will connect with her. Even though she's a good singer, I wouldn't be surprised if she was forgotten about and ended up in the final two. Thanks for backing me up, Simon.
Mikalah Gordon - "Young Hearts Run Free"
Brian writes: This song again? Ugh, this performance was bad. She was more interested in mugging for the camera than, like, tempo. And tone. If she'd leave out the accent, and manage not to let her "personality" get in the way of her singing, I might like her. At this point, even based just on her "personality", I would not buy one of her albums.
Dan writes: Of course she sings an uptempo song. She really is going for the Fran Drescher look with the straightened hair. And her call out to Randy? Too stagy for me. How can the judges like her? So what if she has personality? She doesn't have a voice. Last year I enjoyed John Stevens, now I know how the rest of American felt. Where's Jaclyn Crum when you need her...
Lindsay Cardinale - "Standing Right Next to Me"
Brian writes: Lindsay rounds out my Big Three coming into tonight. (The other two were Carrie and Nadia.) Her performance was pretty... enh. She really is much better than the boring song we heard tonight. I'm confident that with a better song she can knock it out of the park. Let's hope America gives her the chance.
Dan writes: From the perky Mikalah to the drowsy Lindsey. This girl puts me to sleep every time she sings. Looking at her expressions, it looks like she's about to nod off herself. I like her deep voice, but half the time I can't hear it over my snoring. She's too dull and boring to make it very far.
Jessica Sierra - "Against All Odds"
Brian writes: Jessica had a lot of pitch issues, which surprised me. I thought she was a lot stronger than this. Basically, Carrie's doing the same thing, and Carrie is much better at it. Jessica will have to do a lot to impress me in the coming weeks.
Dan writes: She was good, but I think the song choice was boring. I want an off-the-wall choice like last night's "Moon River." If your singing won't help you stand out, then pick a song that will. I agree with the judges, though, she has potential.
Aloha Mischeaux - "Work It Out"
Brian writes: Where did Aloha come from? She equalled Nadia in stage presence tonight, although her vocals were not as good. I didn't really get much from the song, as it didn't showcase a variety of skills. I look forward to her future performances.
Dan writes: What was I just saying. Aloha can't sing the best, but I'll definitely remember her now. I don't care how average the singing was. She got a little funky tonight. Good enough for me.
Brian writes: Nadia cemented her spot as my favorite of the women. I'd like to see Sarah and Mikalah be eliminated.
Dan writes: My favorite tonight was definitely Carrie Underwood. I say Sarah and Mikalah should go, but it'll probably be Sarah and Janay.
The results come Wednesday, and Mary and Molly will be back on Monday with reactions to the eliminations and a recap of the guys' performances, and Dan and I will do the same with the ladies on Tuesday.
Earlier Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Hollywood 1 | Hollywood 2 | Hollywood 3 | Top 24
| Men's Week 1
Other sites: American Idol | Sirlinksalot.net