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American Idol 5, 02-15-06 – Final 24!


by LauraBelle

My twelve-year-old son suggested I title this review “Young Guys; Hot Chicks,” but I think I”ll refrain. My thought had been that there seemed to be a lot of young guys, and he followed that thought with, “and hot chicks!” Not only that, my favorites all made it through, so I’m happy, and my son is happy, because all of his eye candy made it through. About the only ones not happy are the Brittenums.

Just like last year, forty-four singers wait downstairs in the Pasadena Civic Center. They wait together in chairs, and then one by one they go up in an elevator, and sit and wait on a long bench by themselves. Eventually they make it in to face the three judges, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell, while sitting in a solitary chair. (My son wants me to mention the chair is different than last year … why it matters, I do not know) :shrug:

Right off the bat, the first seven all receive a “thanks, but no thanks.” Jessica Santos hears her no, and says it’s okay as she knows something good is coming her way, explaining that as one door closes, God opens another. Brian Bullard, Brooke Barrettsmith, Nick Whitten and Stephanie White also get nos. Crystal Stark feels her best performance was singing a capella the last day in Hollywood. The judges tell her it wasn’t unanimous, and that she is going home. At least she knew someone wanted her! Bobby Dillard is asked if he is confident, and says no, he’s nervous. With good reason. He also receives a no.

Katharine McPhee is already upset before even getting in the elevator. She can’t believe Crystal didn’t make it, as she loved her, and thought she was really talented. She is told by the judges they loved her first audition in Hollywood, but her time in Hollywood was a little harrowing. Before she sweats it too much, Katharine is told she is through. She kisses Paula on the lips, then gushes, not believing she just kissed Paula Abdul on the lips. She then kisses Simon the same, and also Randy, saying he has the most luscious lips. Walking out, she sounds like she spent too much time in the valley. “This is the most amazing thing. It’s like so cool.” As she gets back downstairs with her good news, she tells everyone about kissing the judges, and Brett “Ace” Young asks who was the best. Katharine repeats again that Randy has the most luscious lips. I never desired to kiss Randy before, but now I’m thinking twice about it.

Ace doesn’t have too much time to think about it, as it’s his turn. On his time on the show so far, he has heard comments that he was hot, he was great, and that he had the chops. He says the last night before singing a capella, he was up until 3:00 AM trying to figure out what song to sing. He settled on She’s Out Of My Life. Randy tells Ace he is through to the next round, prompting him to say, “Hell yeah.” As he walks out, Paula fans herself (as do I! … okay son, you have your many hot chicks, I have my Ace in the hole.)

Antonio Bridges receives a no, as does Eugenia Littlejohn. She is beside herself thinking her life is now over at twenty-six. The judges try to explain that it’s not over at twenty-six as some artists get their big break at thirty. Nevertheless, she breaks down, and Paula consoles her with a hug. Once downstairs, Eugenia says she knows some will do awesome, but others won’t, and she will not be voting for them.

Robert Bennett, Jr. gets through and yells a, “Wooh!” in the elevator. He also says that with the yes, his mom is going to be real happy. He was told he had a likability factor, and that he needed to work on his singing. Getting back downstairs to Ryan Seacrest, Robert says this competition isn’t for fat people. He’s out of breath after his celebration, and thinks he needs to get in shape.

Simon had hurled many a bad comment after Mandisa Hurley’s initial audition got her through to Hollywood. He asked if there was going to be a bigger stage this year, and when Paula reminded him of Frenchie Davis, he said forget Frenchie, we’ll need all of France. Today, facing Simon, Mandisa says she didn’t need the bigger stage, but they could have gotten her a bigger chair. She also says that yes, Simon hurt her. She cried, and it was painful, yet she has forgiven him. She doesn’t need his apology to do that. If Jesus could die so all her wrongs could be forgiven, she can extend the same grace to Simon. Randy says Amen. Simon says he is humbled, and asks for a kiss from her. He also tells her she is moving on. Amen. As she walks out of the room, she asks if they are all looking at her “bottom.”

Melissa McGhee, someone previously unseen, makes it through, while Mark Adam Locklear does not. Lisa Tucker doesn’t know what to think, feeling her a capella version of A House Is Not A Home was not as good as it could have been. They played a clip of that, and I don’t know what she referring to. It was absolutely stunning. Simon explains that they are concerned if she will be able to cope with everything at the age of sixteen, yet she makes it.

David Radford, from fifteen minutes away from my home here in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, sang Dream A Little Dream of Me a capella the last day in Hollywood. Today he sings in the elevator. After he is told he is moving on, he falls down in supposed joy in the elevator.

Cristina Galonga tells us it’s the twenty-eighth birthday of her son, Jose “Sway” Penala. He also sang House Is Not A Home, although I have to say not as well as Lisa, and facing the judges Randy tells him, “You made it, Dude.” Elliott Yamin makes it as well.

Brenna Gethers had faced her first audition in Hollywood, making excuses, saying she had spent the whole previous day on the top of the double decker tour bus, and that is why her voice sounded the way it did. When Simon challenged her she had said, “Simon, comedy is not for you.” Today he tells her he thinks she is talented, but she could be a nightmare, difficult and precocious. Therefore, they are welcoming her to the final twenty-four. He also says he likes Brenna, although he has no idea why. Brenna’s groupmate and arch nemesis, Marcy Smith, doesn’t make it, and neither do Nicole Ortiz, David Avram, William McCoy or Brian Taylor.

Gedeon McKinney had sung Let’s Stay Together a capella, and today he tells the judges that he is ready for America to see what God has done with him. He has got to have it. He is told he made it, and on his way out, Simon tells him to get some confidence. He also says had he heard that speech before, he would have not let him through.

Stevie Scott says she loves opera, but likes jazz and blues as well. She had sung I Believe In You and Me in her first audition in Hollywood. As she walks in to face the judges today, Paula notes how loud Stevie’s shoes are. She makes it through, and clomping out, Randy says he hadn’t noticed how tall she was before.

Ayla Brown, the basketball player with the famous parents sounded much better in Hollwyood than she did at the auditions. She makes it through, and Simon jokes this is why this competition is different; they give the underdogs a shot. Meanwhile downstairs, Ayla’s father, Scott, a senator, waits to hear the good news.

Chris Daughtry is on his way up to see the judges and gets stuck in the elevator. For something that is already making your heart pound, getting stuck in the elevator must make you feel what is next. While waiting, we are treated to Chris’s group audition with Ace and Bobby, singing Emotion. Once upstairs, it turns to good news for him, as he hears that he is moving on.

Paris Bennett sits downstairs writing a list of who makes it and who doesn’t. Ryan figures out what she is doing. She is keeping tabs on how many have made it through, knowing there are only spots for twelve girls and twelve guys. Rebecca O’Donohue is doing the same, but stops for her own turn upstairs. Paris can write down another filled spot. In a split decision, Rebecca moves on.

Heather Cox and April Walsh had both sung Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Listening to the comparison, I have to give it to Heather for sounding slightly better on it. Apparently the judges agree, as Simon tells April things didn’t go her way, and as Heather hears she makes it she blows kisses to the judges.

William “Bucky” Covington gets through to the next round. Patrick Hall says he’s not as pretty as Ace, but who is (that’s not my comment; that’s his. But I do happen to agree). Patrick makes it. Kevin Corvais goes up in the elevator while his mom is being held by Ryan. Simon tells Kevin he doesn’t think for any moment he is the best singer there, but nevertheless, he makes it as well.

Paris Bennett’s tally tells her there are three girl spots left, and four girls left to go upstairs still. She sang Fever a capella, and feels she lost a little of her charisma in Hollywood. Randy tells her she made it, and before even checking off her tally, Paris says, “I gotta go tell my mommy!”.

We have all been waiting to find out how the Brittenums were erased from the show. As clips are shown of them professing to being angels, and saying their behavior has been flawless, Ryan introduces us to their arrest record in Georgia for forgery, theft and identity fraud. They will not be returning. We don’t find out exactly at what point they left or how, but I’m so glad to not have them clouding up my TV screen tonight, I don’t care.

Kelly Pickler sang Bridge Over Troubled Water in Hollywood, and upstairs with the judges now, Paula tells her they’ll be seeing a lot more of her. As Kelly walks out, she says after she made it in Greensboro, her mascara ran all down her face after she cried. Today she switched to waterproof, and she wants to make sure she’s still safe. She is assured she is. She comes off the elevator and looks dejected, saying, “I’m going home … ” then finishes with, “When America votes me off!”

At Taylor Hicks’ original audition, Simon told Randy and Paula they would never put him through to the final twenty-four. Walking in to see the judges today, he is playing the harmonica, and quite well. The son questions if this is Harmonica Idol. Randy loves the entrance, and Taylor asks, “How we all doin’?” After Randy informs him he is moving on, he plays the harmonica again, singing, “I’m gonna be in Hollywood!” ala Ray Charles. Randy and Paula ask Simon what is wrong with him for not liking Taylor.

There are two girls left for the final girls’ spot – Kinnik Sky and Megan Bobo. Kinnik makes it, while Megan doesn’t. Kinnik offers a condolence hug to Megan. There are also two guys left for the final guys’ spot – Syd Harcourt and William Makar. It’s the end for Syd, but William makes it through.

Our final twenty-four set, next week the show goes live for the first time. Tuesday night is Ladies’ Night, and Wednesday is for the guys. Thursday will be results, when two girls and two guys will be voted out by us. The son is hoping the hot chicks will stay, and I’m just still happy all my favorites made it.

Read more about American Idol here: LauraBelle’s Blog.

Comments on American Idol? You can email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com


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