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Hooray for Hollywood! American Idol 4 – 2/8/05

By Annie

Hooray for Hollywood! And hooray the terrible auditions are over! Or are they???

This week, 193 contestants arrived in Hollywood from all over America. They bring their dreams, hopes, smiles, tears and emotions with them. The contestants are broken down into two groups. One group went on a tour of Southern California. The other group heads straight to the theatre for their auditions. After a limited amount of time with a vocal coach, the contestants each get their shot. Their choice of song is made from a list of 12 that was given to them the previous week.

They are then broken down further into groups of ten. The men and women audition separately. Each group of ten learn their fate in a round of “sudden death”. They either get a “yes” or a “no”. No reasons or explanations. No crass remarks from Simon. No arguing with Paula. This is a big element to be missing from this show.

Carrie Underwood was one of the first contestants and, not surprisingly, made it through. Her innocent yet stunningly beautiful looks match her heavenly voice. She is one of my favorites. Sarah Mathers also makes it through. Therese and Tamisha aren’t so lucky.

The next group of ten put their best foot forward. Anthony Vederoff really wowed me with his Grobin style singing and I’ll be first in line to buy his CD. The judges give him a yes. Michael Luis sings “Unforgettable” and it was quite forgettable.

Meanwhile, the other bus load of contestants is frolicking in the sun at the beach. Clearly we see how touched many of them are to be in the Hollywood area. To stand before the roar of the Pacific Ocean can truly be daunting. Their excitement and awe are infectious. I may have to play hooky from work tomorrow and head down to Santa Monica!

However, Shanta is concerned. She got on the wrong bus and is out shopping and touring the town when she should be at the auditions. She isn’t quite sure what to do and asks the others for advice. They scold her and tell her to call a cab. She starts to dial…

Back at the auditions we learn that Rashita woke up with a cold. Her speaking voice is crackly and rough. She is fighting tears as she waits back stage. Then she stands before the judges and takes my breath away! She sounded terrific and is on to the next round.

Meanwhile, Shanta still needs a cab. The cab arrives but she can’t find it. Will she make it back in time?

Amanda Avila was one of the Vegas showgirls that Simon was so taken with. She sings Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. She makes it through. It’s always good to have Simon on your side.

After several more contestants get the nod, up comes Richard Malfetta of the famous (infamous?) Malfetta brothers. He really didn’t do very well. He even admitted to it. He’s heading home.

Shanta finally finds her cab and is on her way to the auditions. Will she make it in time? This is the land of traffic jams…

In my last recap, I mentioned it will be interesting to see what versatility the crooners, Ross Williams and Sean McNeal have. Their wonderful voices adapted well, their talent shining through. They both get nods from the judges. These boys will go far.

Yeaaa! Here comes Shanta with few minutes to spare! Considering her harried start to the day, she belts out a pretty good tune. She was far from my favorite but she gets a yes from all judges, which wraps up day one. I think Shanta is very lucky!

The second day brings a tour bus for those that have made it through. It’s their turn to frolic and play in the sun while a new group of contestants begin their auditions. Emotions are high as Regina Brooks sings “This Thing Called Love”. Regina is the contestant who pawned her wedding rings so she could try out for the show. Now that she is in Hollywood, she has changed her hair and lost 40 pounds. She looks great. But she didn’t sound so great, and is sent home.

Be still, my heart! It’s my own American Idol – Mario – singing just for me. I know the judges will put him through – and they do. I’m not sure what he sang or what he said but he looked good! Yes indeedy! (Special note to Mario: I’m in the book and only a 20 minute drive from you now!) :heart:

Also getting the thumbs up this day is Melissa Figueroa and Vonzell Soloman. Patrick Norman sang in his best shower voice and received a resounding no. Francisco Torres didn’t put on a very good show with his version of “Broken Heart”, but one had to love his enthusiasm and spirit.

Marlia turns out to be the character of the night. What kind of character – I’m not so sure. In between contestants we see her stressing. She misses her kids. She’s on a roller coaster. When she sang, her voice was good (and the judges put her through) but she looked as excited as a four year old trying to finish up his bowl of spinach. As far as I was concerned, she was behaving like a four year old in bad need of a nap. So, she quits. After all this, she quits. She says it’s not worth the emotional roller coaster ride. Someone should have told her to go take a nap and spared us the drama.

The three “rockers” sing and all make it through. Constantine, Arron and Bo have the rocker look and style. Will they be as versatile as the crooners? My bet is on Constantine.

Blue haired Brianna sounded awful. Her opera type of singing didn’t translate well to the choice of songs before her. Sixteen year old Mikalah Gordon threatens to make Simon take her to her prom if they send her home. Maybe threats work – she made it through.

Out of the 193 contestants, 97 remain. Although this episode was extremely fast moving and left many things to the imagination, it did get me thinking. Perhaps we all have one good song in us that might get us to Hollywood. You know, that song you sing in the shower and in the car when no one is listening. And you just know you sound so good. And you probably do, on that one song. Personally I’m not laying any claim to even one song of worth. The only way I can get to Hollywood is in my ’99 Camry. But this must have been the case for many of the contestants. Some sounded so bad, it really made one wonder how they got through to tonight’s elimination. It had to have been that one shower song that did it!

Until next time….

annie@realityshack.com (Come on, Mario – drop me a line.) :whoohoo:

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