A Dose of Reality: American Idol 4: Week 4 - Broadway Theme
by The Trades Staff
Published: April 5, 2005
Jessica was voted out Wednesday, so she didn't get a chance to perform a song from her favorite Broadway show this week. Dan, Molly, Brian, and Mary tell you how the nine survivors did.
Dan writes: I am disappointed with last week's results. I really don't think Jessica deserved to go. She was Carrie's opposite and they played off of each other well.
Molly writes: Once again, America comes through for me! Jessica was my pick to leave, and she left.
Brian writes: Thanks to the attentive readers who pointed out that "Can We Talk" was written by Babyface but performed by Tevin Campbell. The elimination: a shame, but not surprising.
Mary writes: Jessica wasn't one of my favorites, but she also wasn't the worst last week. I was a little surprised to see her go.
Scott Savol - "The Impossible Dream" (Man of La Mancha)
Dan writes: Scott and the band didn't seem to be in sync with each other, both seemed to be going at their own tempo. They eventually evened it out, but it might have been too late to make a difference. If America starts gunning to eliminate some guys, I'm afraid Scott might be first to go.
Molly writes: Scott needed to hit this out of the park, but unfortunately, he didn't. He was off on the notes, particularly at the beginning, and overall his rendition was sort of an odd lounge-lizard performance. This weak performance came at the worst time for him--shortly after bad press for previous domestic abuse charges, and after obvious deadweights of Jessica, Mikalah and Lindsey were gone. He did have a nice suit, though.
Brian writes: Scott would have been better than usual if he hadn't been flat for most of the song. Plus, he sang with so little energy that the impossible dream must have been picking up the paper from the driveway. I'm starting to wonder how bad Scott has to be to get people not to vote for him.
Mary writes: Scott started off the song in a very weak fashion. His voice sounded a little shaky. I don't think he completely recovered from the bad start because there were points in the song that sounded really bad. He ended well, but the other 80% of the song was below average.
Constantine Maroulis - "My Funny Valentine" (Babes in Arms)
Dan writes: I expected Constantine to do well this week since he's been putting forth some good 70's-esque performances lately, but man, I never thought he'd be this
good! I think this was the best performance of season four. Outstanding.
Molly writes: Okay, Scott needs to send Constantine a valentine, because while Scott's performance wasn't good enough, Constantine's was actively bad. He was way off on his notes, and his attitude was downright skeevy. I have no idea what the judges heard that made them so enthusiastic.
Brian writes: Leave it to Constantine (who apparently is... an actor? No! Really?) to drown one of my favorite classics with his smoldery schmaltz. Apart from that, he did a really good job with the strange arrangement. The ending note was a little wimpy, but he does get better every week.
Mary writes: This was an interesting arrangement of the song. At first, you could barely hear Constantine singing then the middle and end parts of the song were decent. I am not nearly as enthusiastic about his performance as Randy and Paula. Simon gave his singing a "7" and I think a "6" or a "7" is about right. His delivery and facial expressions when he sings still drive me up a wall.
Carrie Underwood - "Hello, Young Lovers" (The King and I)
Dan writes: Every contestant is allowed one dud in the competition and tonight was Carrie's. This performance fell flat for me.
Molly writes: Carrie did a nice job with this song. She still gave it a country swing, but the notes sounded good. I probably would have ordinarily just judged this as "okay", but following Scott and Constantine, Carrie sounded great. Plus, I give her points for not choosing something from Oklahoma.
Brian writes: Carrie really showed talent with her command of the song, staying on key when it was easy to fall off. It could have used more strength in the beginning, but she finished very well. If she can kick up the non-vocal performance level a bit more, she can catapult into the top tier of this season's competition.
Mary writes: Wow. She did a very nice job with this song. I think she doesn't have a lot of energy in her performances and in some ways this was the perfect song for her. It is a slow song, not needing physical energy. She sang it with power. I think she did a nice job.
Vonzell Solomon - "People" (Funny Girl)
Dan writes: Side note: How come the people who make it into the Top 12 are always the ones who have the least exposure to music? First they didn't know songs from the 1960's, now they don't know any musicals. Pathetic. Alright, on to Vonzell. Eh, she sang it great, but I don't know, it didn't stand out. (Thanks for agreeing with me Simon).
Molly writes: I think it's funny that even with Mikalah gone, we still get some Barbra Streisand. I give Vonzell credit for attempting such a difficult song, but it was an awful choice. I like Vonzell, but she didn't sound on pitch at all. Again, I can't figure out what the judges are hearing, because their reaction is so wildly different from mine.
Brian writes: First Whitney, now Barbra? Whew! She could have won the contest if she did as well this week as she did last week. She didn't quite reach that level, but it was a decent performance. Vonzell is one of the contestants I really look forward to watching each week.
Mary writes: I think she did a good job overall, but the notes she didn't hit singing "children" a couple of times were pretty noticeable. This was not the best I've heard Vonzell. She did a passable job, but I would have preferred a different song choice.
Anthony Federov - "Climb Every Mountain" (The Sound of Music)
Dan writes: Oh yes, the moms' pick would have to choose a song from The Sound of Music. And predictably, he sang it perfect for the adult contemporary radio stations (awful for the rest of us). The boy is going to grow up to be the next Dennis DeYoung (and for those who are like the Idols and don't know their music history, he was the singer for the 70's rock band Styx).
Molly writes: Wow. I'm not sure I've heard any American Idol performance that has been more Muzak than this one. It's not a real exciting song to begin with, and Anthony brought nothing to it but a "pitchy" glory note at the end.
Brian writes: Anthony sang most of the song with the mic down his throat. Other than that, the worst part of the performance was the cheesy arrangement. Running a close second was Anthony's stage presence and body movement. Vocally, he was okay. Nothing spectacular.
Mary writes: I did not care for his performance at all. I love The Sound of Music and I think this is one of the best songs in the musical and I hated the arrangement (adult contemporary type of arrangement) and he didn't hit the notes at the beginning of the song. Ugh. Anthony needs to go. Two poor performances in a row.
Nikko Smith - "One Hand, One Heart" (West Side Story)
Dan writes: Ugh, hopefully America will finally wake up and vote this kid off... again. That was terrible.
Molly writes: Nikko made me smile simply by choosing a song from West Side Story. He then wowed me with his performance. Admittedly, this has been the worst American Idol episode of the season, but this was Nikko as I like seeing him best--really interpreting the song and bringing something new to it. Plus, he sang the opening with a lovely sweetness. This was my favorite of Nikko's performances.
Brian writes: Nikko's performance wins the "Best Arrangement" award for this week, turning the classic showtune into an R&B song. He did a good job, but it was pretty steady and unremarkable throughout. He needs to keep doing great performances like last week in order to keep from being forgotten.
Mary writes: I'm not sure why he decided to sing a duet. Does that make any sense? I didn't think he did a good job with the song. He did better than Anthony, but that's about all I can say. It was mediocre.
Anwar Robinson - "If Ever I Would Leave You" (Camelot)
Dan writes: Would someone please turn down the band?! They've been overpowering all the performances tonight, but at no point as regrettable a time as Anwar's. His vocals were spot on, but unfortunately they didn't come across as awesome as they could have because of that band! Thankfully, Anwar was at least able to show why he was such an early favorite again.
Molly writes: This week's theme was a gift to Anwar. He takes advantage of it by choosing a song that fits his style, and then proceeds to stomp on it by jazzing it up and skittering all around the melody. He would have been better served by a straight rendition. Still, it's a reasonable performance and will get him through for another week.
Brian writes: I love this song, and Anwar did it justice. He started off a little too soft but crescendoed at just the right pace to finish strong. I fear that he'll suffer the same fate as Jessica, though... good, but forgettable.
Mary writes: I think it was an average performance. He did not wow me. I thought he was about on par with Constantine in terms of quality and that is all I can say.
Bo Bice - "Corner of the Sky" (Pippen)
Dan writes: I'm speechless and not in a good way.
Molly writes: Bo selected this song at a random, and it's not one that I've heard before so maybe I'm not a good judge. But I thought he did a good job. He seemed less comfortable than he has in previous performances, but he still gave it that magnetic Bo touch.
Brian writes: I think Bo phoned it in this week. I mean, he only went so far as one step off the stage! Seriously, just a so-so performance. I think he (rightly) figured that he has enough momentum to propel him a few more weeks without putting forth 100% effort.
Mary writes: I have never seen nor heard Pippin so I have no idea what this song is supposed to sound like. Bo hit the notes (seemingly) so that already gives him bonus points. It could be the theme this week, but I wasn't wowed by him either.
Nadia Turner - "As Long as He Needs Me" (Oliver!)
Dan writes: All that was missing was for Nadia to be sitting atop a piano. That was fantastic. Sexy vocals, great composure... a perfect ending to the musical theme
Molly writes: Once again, Nadia redeems the evening. She gave a lovely, torchy performance of this song.
Brian writes: Constantine, take note: this is how you do "sultry". Although it wasn't one of her better performances, it was one of the best tonight. I seriously can't imagine this competition without Nadia.
Mary writes: I think hers was the best performance of the night. She just sang that song so well. Excellent job.
Dan writes: The men are dragging behind the women (and it was bound to happen sooner or later). Nikko, Scott and Anthony are all bottom three material. Thanks to Constantine, however, not all the men are bottom feeders.
Molly writes: It's a lot easier for my to name my top three (Nadia, Bo and Nikko) than to name my bottom three this week. I think for America, the bottom three will be Anthony, Scott and Vonzell, with Scott going home. (I think Constantine deserves to be in the bottom three instead of Vonzell, but I'm resigned to the fact that someone out there is voting for him. A lot.)
Brian writes: No real stand-out performances, but it was nice to see Anwar come back. Scott and Anthony came in the back of the pack again this week, and I think Scott's recent negative publicity will earn him the boot. If not one of them, Anwar or Nikko will fall victim to what got Jessica last week.
Mary writes: I thought Carrie and Nadia were the standouts. Anyone else could be eliminated and I'm not sure I would be too surprised. I do think Scott or Anthony need to go. We will see.
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3
Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6
Hollywood 1 | Hollywood 2 | Hollywood 3
Men's Week 1 | Women's Week 1
Men's Week 2 | Women's Week 2
Men's Week 3 | Women's Week 3
Week 1: Sixties | Week 2: Billboard Number Ones
Week 3: Nineties
Other sites: American Idol | Sirlinksalot.net