A Dose of Reality: American Idol 4: Week 10 - Clive Davis's, Contestants', and Judges' Choices
by The Trades Staff
Published: May 18, 2005
The contestants each sing three songs: one chosen by music legend Clive Davis, one of their own choosing, and one determined by the judges. Our gang of Brian, Mary, Dan, and Molly take you through each of the nine performances.
Brian writes: From way back in the auditions rounds, I chose A-Fed to win the season. After losing all potential in the subsequent weeks, I'm surprised he lasted long enough to be fourth.
Mary writes: Goodbye Anthony. I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did.
Dan writes: Anthony's dismissal was long overdue.
Molly writes: At this point, I'm looking at who's left, not who's leaving. There's no doubt that each of the three left deserves to be there more than Anthony, so it all worked out.
Vonzell Solomon - "I'll Never Love This Way Again"
Brian writes: A few weeks ago, I would've expected Vonzell to knock this out of the park after back-to-back solid power performances. However, she continued her downward slide with a fairly wimpy performance of the Whitney song.
Mary writes: Her first song started off a tad shaky, but when she got to the chorus, she did a nice job. I think Clive Davis was spot on with his criticism that her smiling didn't fit the lyrics of the song. I think Bo is the only one left who can interpret lyrics well and Vonzell didn't seem to know what the song was about that she was singing.
Dan writes: Vonzell has never impressed me with her ballads; maybe it's because her personality doesn't always get to shine through. This song was a decent performance, but it also seemed kind of rough and choppy. Maybe it was her pitch problems that prevented it from being smooth all the way through.
Molly writes: Vonzell did a nice job with this song, giving it a large, dramatic performance. This isn't one of my favorites songs, so it's hard for me to really warm to her on this one, but she still did well.
Bo Bice - "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
Brian writes: I like this song choice for Bo. I didn't like some of the things he tried to do with his voice to "make it his own", and there were a lot of notes he didn't hit right on the nose, but it was still a great performance.
Mary writes: I am not sure why Clive selected this song for Bo. Bo did a good job with it, but it wouldn't be the first song I'd choose for Bo. I liked his performance though I'm not sure why he was wearing sunglasses. He was unexpectedly good.
Dan writes: Good singing, laughable facial expressions.
Molly writes: Good heavens, what was Clive thinking? This is Clay, not Bo! (And I mean no disrespect to either of them.) But Bo pulled it off. I thought he struggled some in the opening verse, but really pulled it out in the chorus.
Carrie Underwood - "Crying"
Brian writes: Wow! What a great performance by Carrie! I can't imagine a more perfect job. This has to be the best performance of the season so far.
Mary writes: I wasn't sure Carrie could pull off "Crying." I think it is interesting that Carrie's face was in shadow for a good bit of her performance. Was this to mask her lack of facial expressions? I think she was better than Vonzell (she has a stronger voice), but her interpretation was just okay.
Dan writes: Clive Davis proves once again why he's a genius. Perfect song choice for Carrie and she gave it great passion. Her best performance of the competition.
Molly writes: Wow. Carrie nailed this. What a showstopper! (But no, it's not on the new
CD.) Just a lovely, lovely performance.
Vonzell Solomon - "Chain of Fools"
Brian writes: If ever there were a song for Vonzell, this is it. No wonder she chose it for her audition piece. This was much better than her first performance.
Mary writes: I love "Chain of Fools." I think it is very risky for AI contestants to sing Aretha. I think she did surprisingly well with this song. This was definitely better than her first performance of the night.
Dan writes: With the upbeat tempo comes the better performance. Vonzell sang well and with attitude.
Molly writes: This was a great song choice for Vonzell. However, I would have liked to have heard her be a little smoother, instead of having such defined gaps.
Bo Bice - "Within a Dream"
Brian writes: A capella? Risky move for Bo. He totally rocked out though, showing his true vocal talents. This was by far my favorite of his performances.
Mary writes: No band for him. I don't recall hearing this song before. It was interesting hearing him sing without music accompaniment. I realized three things: 1) he really and truly has a good voice; 2) I would love to hear him sing the national anthem; 3) I really want him to be the next American Idol.
Dan writes: Bo takes an a capella risk--if he pulls it off, he probably wins the competition; if he fails, he possibly goes home tonight. Guess I don't need to watch the finale next week.
Molly writes: Holy cow--we have never had an AI finalist dare to perform a capella! Amazing performance. He sounded incredible. Bo has consistently managed to keep a strong sense of self in a competition that leads to cookie-cutter performances. He participates in the AI shenanigans with a good heart, but he also keeps his perspective. Tonight, more than ever, Bo asserted his own vision into a highly scripted show. Bravo.
Carrie Underwood - "Making Love Out of Nothing at All"
Brian writes: Man, Carrie is putting on a clinic tonight. Two unbelievable performances back-to-back should give her a guaranteed spot in the finals. I can't wait for her final performance.
Mary writes: Who knew she liked Air Supply? She sang the song like she was singing the 80's Bonnie Tyler song "Total Eclipse of the Heart." I agree with Simon that she sang the first song better. I think she tried to blow the heck out of the song, but it isn't quite the song to do it.
Dan writes: I normally like Carrie's bombastic performances, but tonight I don't think she quite pulled it off. She hit her power note at the end, but she has definitely sung better.
Molly writes: It would be hard for anyone to follow that performance of Bo. For Carrie, it's particularly difficult, because she is so lacking in personality when she performs. This was okay. It wasn't her best, and it just wasn't special.
Vonzell Solomon - "On the Radio" (Simon's pick)
Brian writes: A strange choice, but it worked. This was probably my favorite performance of hers tonight.
Mary writes: What an interesting song choice for her. I wouldn't have thought she could have pulled it off, but she did a nice job. I want to say this was her best song of the night.
Dan writes: Great job, but as good as Vonzell is, there is clearly a gap between her and the other two contestants.
Molly writes: After two close-but-not-quite performances, Vonzell finally put out an unequivocal Idol-winning performance. She carried the reflective portion at the beginning and the enthusiastic bouncy portion with equal aplomb.
Bo Bice - "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (Paula's pick)
Brian writes: Another odd song choice by one of the judges. I didn't think he did an especially great job of it, but it's not like he had to do all that much to get into the finals anyway.
Mary writes: Well, "Satisfaction" was an interesting choice for him. I don't think that was his best performance tonight, but he did a decent job with the song. I didn't care for the arrangement at all. But man, his first two songs cancel out this last song.
Dan writes: How was that different from any bar band (or as Simon said, wedding band)? Nothing special about this performance.
Molly writes: I don't think Paula did as well for Bo as Simon did for Vonzell. Bo did okay, but this just isn't a song that showcases vocals well. And frankly, what little scope was there I don't think he utilized. This was one of his weaker performances.
Carrie Underwood - "Man I Feel Like a Woman" (Randy's pick)
Brian writes: Finally, a song choice that makes sense. She started off really shaky and never really settled down into a decent performance. It was disappointing vis-a-vis the other two songs.
Mary writes: The beginning of this song was shaky and made me uncomfortable. I think she did a good job the latter half of the song, but I didn't like this song choice either. Only Vonzell benefitted from the judge's choice in this round.
Dan writes: Two weeks in a row Carrie performs a song I despise by an artist I can't stand. An easy song for Carrie to knock out of the park. I'm surprised Randy didn't try to challenge her more.
Molly writes: Good pick, so-so performance. Her vocals sounded tight and constricted. And Carrie always has problems with songs that require "personality."
Brian writes: A superb night all around. Even the worst performance tonight was better than either Anthony's or Scott's best of the season. Carrie won the night with the two best performances. Vonzell will be the one sent home, but all three are very good.
Mary writes: Well, I think Bo is going through to the final. I also think that Simon has pimped Carrie so much this season that Vonzell will probably be out. I would love to see a Vonzell and Bo final because I find Carrie so dang stiff, but I do think it will be a Bo/Carrie final.
Dan writes: Next week it'll be the Bo/Carrie finale I've been predicting for weeks now.
Molly writes: Absolute winner of the night was Bo. Just no two ways around it. As for the loser... Vonzell's a sweetheart, but I think that Carrie outsang her tonight. So we'll be having the long-predicted Bo-Carrie showdown next week!
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: 2000's | Week 8: Leiber & Stoller/Current Billboard
Week 9: Country/Gamble & Huff
Other sites: American Idol | Sirlinksalot.net