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American Idol, February 20th – Only One Stevie


Randy doesn’t know if it was Brandon’s best, as it was definitely a little pitchy, and he knows Brandon knows what he means, having sung background. It was a little weird for Randy here and there, and he thinks Brandon needs to know he doesn’t always need to do so much in the song. Just doing the melody is cool and he doesn’t need all the runs. Paula thinks he did a great job, but feels the same as Randy, that there should be less background runs now that he’s singing lead. Simon points out that Brandon is a very good singer, and he’s always said that about him, but this was very safe and predictable. he doesn’t feel it will make that much of an impact, as it’s very difficult to do with that song. Simon agrees with me that when it started, he thought it was going to be great, but it stopped there, and he thinks Brandon is better than that.

Ryan asks Brandon if he calculated the risks and non-risks of doing that song, and Brandon says that with the nerves he knew he’d have that night, he wanted to pick a song he would be comfortable with no matter what. He wanted to be able to knock it out no matter how shaky he was. I get that, but he didn’t knock it out, so it becomes a moot point. He was a favorite of many going in to this, though, so he won’t go anywhere this week. Going from background to lead, he needs to find his own unique voice, and that’s what will be tough.

Sundance Head works in a machine shop, and knows part of the reason he’s still there is because he had a such a good audition. He figured he’d have no problems whatsoever in Hollywood, but to the contrary, he was scared to death after doing badly, and was waiting for someoone to pull him off the stage. He had a bit of an emotional breakdown, and figured he’d be going back home, but now that we’re all seeing him on TV, it’s a different story. With all the failures behind him, he plans on making it in a good way. He’s hopeful this won’t be the last time we see him. I hope so, too, as he was a favorite heading in to Hollywood.

Singing Nights in White Satin by Moody Blues, Sundance is a little pitchy at times, but I like it. It’s different and unlike anything we’d ever heard in this venue. Randy reminds Sundance he was one of his favorites in the auditions, as he had the bluesy thing going on, but he seems to have abandoned the whole thing. He doesn’t think Sundance was on pitch the whole song. Paula tells Sundance she thinks he picked the wrong song, and he’s a much better singer than he displayed. She agrees with Randy that his pitch was all over the place. He had wowed them earlier, and was one of the top singers going in.

Simon backs up what both of the other judges are saying, mentioning how right off the bat, since the they first saw Sundance, he was quite rough, but had a great voice, with a kind of bluesy feel. Tonight, however, Simon feels he was listening to a dad in wedding. Everything was wrong from the song choice to the way Sundance moved his arms. It was very old-fashioned and very uninspiring, and the whole thing was flat. Simon feels he has lost what they liked originally with him, and he wouldn’t have gotten to Hollywood on what he just sang.

I have to disagree with Simon here. I mean, was it the same excitement they heard from Sundance before? No. And sure, it was a little pitchy, but judging by the people they sent to Hollywood that didn’t make it, Sundance would have garnered at least an additional looksy from them. Ryan asks Sundance what he would have done differently with his arms, and Sundance says he doesn’t know. There’s just so many choices. Ryan suggests a little Simon Cowell self-massage of his chest. That is a weird thing. Why does he do that?

Paul Kim says he was getting old (wow, 25, what an old man. His life is practically over!), and wanted to know when he’d start doing music, so decided to audition. When the judges first saw him, they seemed shocked, and it looked like Simon didn’t like him, but he ended up giving Paul a yes to Hollywood. He mentions his “barefoot thing,” as it’s always been his thing, and he’s been doing it for a long time. He likes to be onstage without any shoes, as it makes him feel free to be himself. Whatever happens from this point, he could grow his hair and change his clothes, but he won’t change the bare feet. He wants people to be shocked, and hopefully his first song will grab people’s attention and votes.

For an odd choice of song, Paul starts off with Careless Whisperby Wham!. He has a bad start, way too breathy, but he really picks it up and starts to do well with it, then has a terrible falsetto. Why does everyone now think they can pull off the Ace Young falsetto? After, he addresses Randy as “Mr. Jackson,” and Randy really digs that. He thought throughout the auditions, that Paul had one of the nicest voices, but he really didn’t like the song on him tonight. In the middle he started to like it, but the falsetto wasn’t good. Yet, he still likes Paul, and thinks he has potential. Paula asks Paul if he is nervous, and he admits he is a little. She tells him he kind of oversang the song and didn’t find his center. He was pitchy, but she hopes people will get past that and remember his earlier auditions, because he’s worth pushing through.

Simon calls Paula a bit rude, yet it’s him suggesting Paul put his shoes back on next week, if he’s still there. He thinks that whole thing with the bare feet is a bit much, and Paula butts in they’re glad Simon’s wearing his shoes. Simon continues, saying he thought it was a very ordinary attempt to copy George Michael. He points out if you’re going to pick a song like that, and then do it exactly the same as the original, you have to be really, really good, and this was a third rate version. He needed to come out and wow, but he wasn’t wowing. No, he was Wham!ing.


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