Sundance knows that America will be surprised to learn that he’s actually thin in real life, and just wears a fat suit on TV when not on American Idol. People can’t recognize him, and he can live a normal life as the super sexy thin guy that he really is. He has no pictures of himself, but American Idol helps out, providing one. A photoshopped version of how he looks tonight. This was actually pretty funny, and shows why I continue to like him. He has a sense of humor about himself, yet you can tell after last week he has emotions that run deep. He sings Pearl Jam’s Jeremy, and like Blake, also has a shaky beginning. I like it, but I’m not sure how good of a choice the song is for a competition. I like that he took a risk with it.
Randy starts out by saying he’s going to say first what he liked about Sundance’s performance, yet then says he had a couple of problems, as far as being pitchy and losing the melody. Finally getting to what he likes about it, Randy says he liked Sundance putting his Southern rock feel into Pearl Jam. That made it “kind of hot,” and he liked it. Paula says midway through he really kicked into his “Sundance groove,” that unique quality he has. He really pulled it out on this one, and she thinks he did really well. Simon didn’t like it as much as last week’s, and feels Sundance lost his charm, going from really good last week to a generic bar singer this week. He calls this very indulgent, and Randy butts in calling it a good song. I’m not sure what happens here, but Simon warns Paula to be careful what she says, then winds it up saying it sounded like he was shouting the whole time. They switch into weird Larry King imitations, and I don’t know where any of that came from.
Travis Tritt is in the audience and says Randy is producing an upcoming album for him called “Storm.” Randy tells us it’s hot, and Ryan asks Travis why he chose Randy. Travis explains that he’s been known to be a pretty good producer for a long time. I didn’t realize Randy produced country music, and it seems a very odd fit for me, but interesting.
Chris Richardson admits that he used to play football in college, and says he was heavier then, a little chunky. His family was always trying to be nice, saying he was just big-boned, but he he knew the truth. He became more health-conscious, eating healthier, and today he’s forty pounds lighter. I really like that as a goodlooking guy with young fans, he admits to this. I think it’s a great thing for younger kids with their own image and weight problems to see. He sings Keith Urban’s Tonight I Wanna Cry, a song Ace Young did much better with last year. I understand his talent, but like with Corey Clark in season two, I don’t necessarily enjoy it. And tonight, I think he’s incredibly pitchy.
Randy says what he loves about Chris is that every week he comes out and puts the other guys on blast. He liked the Keith Urban song with Chris’ own twist and runs. He liked him switching it up, and tells Paula “this kid’s in it to win.” I just don’t see that. Paula also likes it, saying there’s an intonation to Chris’ voice that lends itself to this pop country feel. He adapted it well, and she thinks he picked a great song. Simon isn’t jumping out of his chair again, and I think he needs to stop saying that. It’s not the best vocal they’ve heard, and it’s too cutesy. He thought it was a bit nasally, and doesn’t think they’ve heard yet what Chris is capable of, calling this timid and safe, yet, he thinks Chris sold it, and for anyone else, it would have been a problem.
I just don’t get any of that, but again, I do understand he has great talent. Ryan calls attention to the words Simon should no longer say this season, and I think he’s going to talk about “jumping out of my chair,” but instead mentions “cutesy.” Chris says the song was for his grandma. Ryan, having admitted years ago that he, too, was heavier when he was younger, asks Chris how he lost the weight, and as he says he just ate healthier, Simon tells him to be careful and stick to the singing. Ryan explains people at home with their own weight concerns might want to hear about it, and Simon tells him to leave the poor boy alone. There’s a joke that goes by really quickly here, but the camera doesn’t switch to Ryan, so it’s hard to follow it. Whatever it is, Chris looks very uncomfortable, and so does Ryan.
Ryan talks to Jared Cotter next, and says people are buzzing about his “face mask” from last week, and he says he did it for the ladies. Well, that’s one way to put it. Ryan goes into the waiting room with the other guys, and Chris Sligh, Blake, and Brandon Rogers all do the face mask thing together. Ryan tells them he can’t believe they actually did that. Jared thinks we’ll all be surprised to know he played Division 2 basketball. Nope, really not all that surprised. He was pretty good, but realized one day he wasn’t going to make it to the NBA, so he quite and became a singer. He hasn’t been listening, as he does a Stevie Wonder song, If You Really Love Me, something all the guys get harped on not to do. Maybe it’s just me, but Jared only sounds really good when he blasts into a chorus or bridge. To me, the questions surrounding if there’s more to Sanjaya are better than what we know we have with Jared. He’s too surface, and doesn’t seem inclined to change.
Randy says he was worried when Jared came out, but heard it was a Stevie tune, but he thought he gave a solid performance and was actually good. Paula says it’s only her opinion, but she thinks Jared need to color up the way he sings, as it’s great to have energy and fun, but she’d like to see some tender moments when he could be going into his falsetto. Sometimes she feels he’s shouting the entire song. Singing on key is great, but she’d love to see something different. Did she switch brains with Randy and Simon or something?
Simon adds he sort of knows what Paula is trying to say, and that was that it wasn’t very original. They’ve heard a lot of performances like Jared’s, and this gets lost in the mix. And while Jared is popular, Simon is slightly disappointed overall tonight, as he’s not hearing the wow factor. Ryan asks Paula if she thinks Jared belongs in the top 12, and she seems to not know w hat to say, but then says, “So far, yes.” Meaning he’s the fifth person to perform, and out of those people, they haven’t run out of spots yet in the top 6 guys. Randy say definitely, proving he didn’t hear what everyone else did. Paula advises Jared to really pull it up and try different things. He promises to, if he’s there next week. I think it’s questionable at best for him.