A Dose of Reality: American Idol 4: Week 8 - Leiber & Stoller and Current Billboard Themes
by The Trades Staff
Published: May 4, 2005
Rock 'n' roll pioneers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote the songs performed in the first round. In the second half, the contestants did songs from this week's Billboard charts. The usual gang (Dan, Molly, Brian, and Mary) separates the men and women from the boys and girls.
Dan writes: Wow America, you surprised me. I thought for sure Constantine was your pick to win it all. Oh well. I was right about Scott, at least. He was so good he wasn't even in the bottom three.
Molly writes: Ha! America, all is forgiven! You've finally gotten rid of Constantine!
Brian writes: I can't really say I'm sad to see Constantine go, but I'm very surprised. Neither Anthony nor Scott deserve to be in the Final Three.
Mary writes: I am thrilled to pieces that I do not have to listen to Constantine this week. I think Scott deserved to go before Constantine but Constantine was my least favorite contestant so it's all good.
Anthony Federov - "Poison Ivy"
Dan writes: His smooth vocal did not work at all with this song. It sounded like something you would hear when walking around Disney World. Simon was right: amateurish.
Molly writes: This was a lackluster performance from Anthony. He chose it because it was "fun", but it didn't really look like he was having fun. There's a reason everyone kept looking forward to Anthony's second performance--because this one did him no favors.
Brian writes: Predictably, Anthony sounded wimpy. He concentrated a lot on getting the words right... maybe too much. He should work on staying in tune and connecting the song with the performance he's doing.
Mary writes: Well, he showed more energy than in some of his previous performances but he did not hit all the notes in that song. I rate this as just mediocre. I agree with Simon that it was amateurish.
Scott Savol - "On Broadway"
Dan writes: I just don't get what America DOESN'T see in Scotty the Body. That performance was perfect. And the dig at Simon--nice.
Molly writes: Scott did a pretty good performance with this song. He was undoubtedly aided by following Anthony's weak performance, but I have to agree with Randy--he came out with just enough vocals to stay in the competition.
Brian writes: Surprisingly, Scott was on key. It was his best performance yet. However, he still should have been voted out months ago.
Mary writes: I really love this song so I was anxious about Scott singing it. Scott sang it better than I expected. He didn't hit all the notes early on, but he did a decent job with the song. I think he sang better than Anthony. He might hang in there one more week.
Vonzell Solomon - "Treat Me Nice"
Dan writes: Vocally, Vonzell was decent, but I thought the arrangement was terrible. It's hard to follow in the footsteps of Elvis, but that didn't even come close. I don't know what Randy was smoking, that wasn't very good.
Molly writes: Vonzell has more personality than anyone else in the competition now, but sometimes it's a bit much. This was just a fun pop song, not musical theater. She sounded fine, but with a lighter touch she would have sounded better.
Brian writes: Vonzell's voice didn't really mesh well with the band. Maybe the arrangement could have been transposed to a slightly lower key. That said, the performance was very good and she's still in the upper ranks.
Mary writes: I have never heard this song before (at least I don't recognize the song based on that arrangement). She seemed to do okay with the vocals, but I felt she was a bit off-tune at times. I think Simon was way too harsh on her. She wasn't 100%, but she wasn't anywhere near as bad as Anthony who really was a "mess" with his performance.
Bo Bice - "Stand by Me"
Dan writes: I thought the performance was a little dull, but vocally, Coke Bice did all right. To me, the song didnít have any heart and soul like the original. At least we didn't have to see him swing around a microphone stand.
Molly writes: "Stand by Me" is a classic song. It almost seems like Bo should have left it for someone else to sing, because the others need the advantage of a great song more than he does. But sing it he did, and he sang it well.
Brian writes: Bo did a tremendous job with "Stand by Me" tonight. Wonderful. I'd buy that single in a heartbeat.
Mary writes: He did a very nice job with "Stand By Me." Definitely the best of this group of performances. Bo really swung that one out of the park. He had good vocal control, he sang it well.
Carrie Underwood - "Trouble"
Dan writes: A better attempt at Elvis than Vonzell, but to me, it sounded karaoke or like a Vegas performance. The judges say Carrie knows who she is and gave her fans just what they wanted, yet all she has ever performed is either country or 80's. How could they know they wanted this? You can totally tell the judges are pushing for Carrie and Bo in the finals.
Molly writes: This was Carrie's best song. She finally managed to dredge up some personality to inject into the song, and her vocals were very strong. She seemed to have control of the song, rather than playing catch-up with it.
Brian writes: Very, very nice. That could be my favorite of Carrie's songs. She's starting to become a little more personable in her performance, but she could come a long way. If she does in the next week or two, the competition could be virtually over.
Mary writes: I think she was probably the #2 performance of this group. She still is a little bland to me, but she hit the notes. I actually think this was a poor song choice. I know the judges were wowed, but I thought she was pretty good--not "wow."
Anthony Federov - "Incomplete"
Dan writes: Pack your bags, Anthony, good-bye.
Molly writes: Holy cow, Anthony is singing the new Backstreet Boys single! He doesn't sound as good as they do, but he sounds way better than he did in the first song. Plus, I have to give bonus points 'cause I dig the Backstreet Boys.
Brian writes: Still very off-key. I hope that America can see the gaping difference between the top three contestants and the bottom two.
Mary writes: He started the song off-key. He didn't get a whole lot better after the beginning. This is not Anthony's night. I was surprised that Simon liked his performance. I think he wants Anthony forwarded instead of Scott this week.
Scott Savol - "Every Time You Go Away"
Dan writes: To quote Han Solo, "That's great kid, but don't get cocky." Two outstanding performances from Scotty tonight and some high self-esteem (bordering on an out-of-control ego) to boot. But most importantly, Scott has some hot friends. Wow!
Molly writes: I thought Scott started out strong but got a little tripped up in the fast chorus. With Anthony's strong performance, I thought he might have closed the gap, but Scott still might have done well enough to stay.
Brian writes: Scott, fire your fashion coordinator. Oh, and pack your bags.
Mary writes: He was off-tune several times during this performance. It nearly wiped out the good feeling I had from his previous performance. This was not a good song choice for Scott.
Vonzell Solomon - "When You Tell Me that You Love Me"
Dan writes: Vonzell needs to stick with uptempo songs. She sang well, but it wasn't memorable. I think she's very vulnerable tonight.
Molly writes: This was a much better performance for Vonzell than her first one. Still a little sappy, but hey, it's a sappy song. It wasn't a revelation, but it sounded good.
Brian writes: Even though Vonzell did quite well with her performance, I think it's a bit of a cop-out to choose a song that you helped put on the charts. I very much agree with Simon that she is vulnerable. It would be a travesty if she were voted off.
Mary writes: I liked this performance much better than her previous song. I think she did a very nice job with this. I wasn't blown away, but I think she did great. If all these songs are on the Billboard Chart and I listen to the radio every day, how is it I have never heard these songs? Something is up with Simon. He is trashing Vonzell and for no good reason. I don't get it.
Bo Bice - "Heaven"
Dan writes: Oh no, he's got the microphone stand back. But seriously, good song choice from Coke Bice--it fit his vocal perfectly. This is the first time I actually enjoyed a performance by him.
Molly writes: This was a strange song choice for Bo. I wasn't familiar with the song (goes to show how often I listen to, as Ryan called it, "the AC chart"). I don't think it was a great choice for him, although he sang it well. It's not going to rally the troops to vote.
Brian writes: Bo chose another song that really suits his voice. Although I think this is his weaker performance of the night, it was still great. I'm starting to think that he deserves to win the competition.
Mary writes: Finally a song I recognize. I hate this song. Bo actually made me want to listen to it though. Again, he did a very nice job with the song and with his performance.
Carrie Underwood - "God Bless the Broken Road"
Dan writes: A much better song choice this round. It did have a couple of off notes, but enough passion to cover them up.
Molly writes: Okay, that was lovely. Frankly, that's ready to be a single.
Brian writes: I think Carrie does a lot better performance-wise when she sings ballads and she really doesn't have to interact with the audience.
Mary writes: Another song I don't recognize. She did a much better job with this song than her previous performance. She seemed like she missed a note toward the end, but I think she did a good job. I'm glad Simon acknowledged that she comes off as "robotic."
Dan writes: Bottom three will be Anthony, Vonzell and Scott, though Carrie should be as deserving. Anyone else notice that even though the judges called her safe or robotic, they still complemented her? They want America to vote for her (and America probably will) even though she wasn't perfect. But I guess it doesn't really matter because Anthony will be going home.
Molly writes: I think it's going to be Anthony, Scott and Vonzell in the bottom, unless Simon's prodding of Vonzell's fans pushes her total over Bo's. Either way, though, this is Anthony's week to leave. (Anthony, do me a favor and sing "Incomplete" for your final song?)
Brian writes: Bo turned in what may be his two best performances of the competition tonight, easily winning the night. Vonzell didn't quite live up to expectations, but Anthony and Scott continue to fight for the bottom of the barrel. I don't even want to make a prediction about who's going home, because I know I'll be wrong.
Mary writes: I think Anthony was the worst tonight. Scott is second, but Anthony is the one who needs to go. I hope the final three include Bo and Vonzell.
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 | Week 4: Show Tunes
Week 5: Birth Year | Week 6: Seventies Dance
Week 7: Last Five Years
Other sites: American Idol | Sirlinksalot.net