American Idol 4: Episode 12
Men's Round | Women's Round | Results
Standing alone on the podium of the Event Horizon, in a world of oh-so-blue, Ryan Sleazebag announces that the ladies will be competing tonight. America get prepared, he says, because the power is in the hands of the audience. Yesterday, the Stupid Little Girls get to decide who they want to be their first boyfriend. Today, they get to decide who they think they want to be the most when they grow up. This show is better than a Barbie doll when it comes to shaping up a little girl's delusions. In the future, every woman will have written in her personal List Of Things I Am Ashamed To Admit I Did In My Stoopid Teenaged Girl Years, right above "I write The OC fanfiction", "I voted six million times for Cattle Underwood because I wanted to be blonde and hot like her". Think about that while the credit rolls.
Ryan "I'm The Power Of Love" Sleazebag walks out from the back of the stage to the dais of Event Horizon. He is wearing the same T-shirt as the one he wore in the previous night, only this time he wears an unbuttoned black suit over it. I hope he has, at least, changed his underwear. Sleazebag announces that tonight is "ladies' night" (come on, you know he will say that) and this is the opportunity for America to discover some of the "best undiscovered talents" in the country. I think the emphasis is on "undiscovered". Or maybe that should be "should've remained undiscovered"? When it comes to Meloonda Loonda shrieking through The Power Of Love, perhaps that should be "should've remained buried deep, deep underground for the love of humanity". Without further ado, here are the ladies coming out in that quirky, dancey way of theirs that reminds me of wind-up toys gone berserk. By the way, is it just me or does Vonzell Solomon look a lot like a younger Omarosa?
Sleazebag makes fun of Randy Randy by saying that by tomorrow, two young ladies will "go out quicker than"... oh, never mind. Saying that the judges are back from "anger management" classes, he introduces these people. Meet Randy "Personal Hygiene Management" Randy, Miss "No Management, Just Plain Detoxification" Paula, and King "Who Needs Management When I Have Viagra?" Tut. By the way, King Tut is very frisky tonight. Rumor has it that he has, after watching Sleazebag and Jug Harris go at it the night before, decided to pop six Viagra down his throat just before the show in hope of impressing Sleazebag when he gets to lift the table just by moving his bum just an inch off the seat of his chair. This makes him really fuzzy in the head to the point that he starts mistaking the female contestants for Ryan Sleazebag in a variety of wigs and dresses. It is humiliating for everyone involved and hilarious for everyone watching, but thankfully, the powers of editing make sure that viewers at home get to watch the George W Bush approved "the Heart of Christian Values" version of the fiasco that ensued.
First to go on stage is Vonzell Solomon. Like yesterday, each contestant has a judge telling her why she is good enough to make it this far in the introductory flashback clip. Because I'm not in the mood to type down canned compliments of the three judges, just imagine that before each contestant sings, there is a clip of some judge or the other telling her, "Well, we have to put in a woman somehow so whatever, you're through." Woo, Vonzell is wearing red and the screen at the back has the same Burger King grill flame scenes that the Burger Queen will surely remember. She will also remember Vonzell's song, the Martha Reeves and the Vandellas song that just won't die, Heatwave. While the Burger Queen version is like an extra-beef patty version of a Whopper, Vonzell the Burger Princess is like the grilled and lean version. Hmm, maybe Burger King should start making their waitresses dress up like Vonzell and sing to the customers. "Would you like/Whopper with that?/Shakes and Coke/Eat them and choke!/HEATWAVE!" She starts out strong but after pretty much shouting her way through the song, loses breath and starts becoming hoarse by the later portions of the performance. Still, it's a more commanding performance than Burger Queen's performance of the same song. If she starts hooking up with Trachea Boi later into the season, I'll keep you posted.
Randy Randy likes the performance despite finding some pitch problems in it. He asks the Dawg Pound (the guys from yesterday watching in the audience) to show their appreciation and the Dawg Pound goes "hoo-hoo" obligingly. Miss Paula of course likes it. It's still early and her meds haven't kicked in yet. King Tut thinks that Vonzell was off on a good start and despite him finding that she oversang at some parts of the performance, he thinks she will do well in this competition.
Amoola Ovula is next. She launches into How Am I Supposed To Live Without You in a version that makes Joseph Murena's sound so good in comparison. She starts out in a key that is too low and makes up for that by becoming flatter and flatter until it's more of a question of how I am supposed to live with her singing like that than how she is going to live without her boyfriend. Oh, here comes the part where she has to shriek at the top of her lungs the notes that are out of her range. How am I supposed to live, indeed.
Randy Randy finds the performance "alright" and says that she "hung in there" despite the song being a "very good song with very demanding vocals". Can a song demand some vocals? Hmm. The meds are kicking in: Miss Paula looks bitterly at Amoola Ovula and says that Amoola is so beautiful. She cattily says that the performance is not her best. Miss Paula is still the prettiest, so there! In a brief moment of lucidity, King Tut says that Amoola's performance is too ordinary to be considered good on this show. Then the wooziness kicks in. King Tut looks adoringly at what he believes to be Sleazebag in a tacky white-piece that makes Sleazebag look ten pounds heavier than he actually is (not that King Tut will tell Sleazebag that... until later, at least) and sighs dreamily that he wants to be born again as the microphone in Amoola's hand. In a fit of jealousy, Sleazebag marches right beside Amoola and demands an explanation from King Tut. Momentarily confused because he is seeing two Sleazebags now, King Tut chooses not to answer Sleazebag. Sleazebag apologizes to Amoola, saying that King Tut is just being "British".
Before he introduces Janay Castine, Sleazebag says that "FYI", people, the official website at mesingyoucryallnightlong.com is where everyone should go to for all the details about the show, such as how Conty Bint loves to dress up in the ladies' clothes until the ladies in the contestant house have to take turns keeping watch before the heavily barricaded wardrobes in their rooms.
Oh, Janay. She's a sweet young lady and she chooses a song that I, despite my distaste of the Newlyweds-era Jessica Simpson, love to bits to perform tonight. Her I Wanna Love You Forever has the high notes lowered to suit her register but poor Janay is either at the brink of an epileptic seizure or she is truly terrified of being on stage. She starts out really nicely but her voice starts to fall apart by the time she moves into the first chorus. This is one performance that is not good but it is also one where the performer's talent is evident under the blanket of nerves that is suffocating her slowly throughout the performance. Janay has a sweet, rich vibrato. I hope she gets a chance to control her stagefright so that she can prove to me what she can really do.
Randy Randy says that Janay looked scared during the performance. She weakly agrees with Randy Randy's assessment about her being overcome by nerves during her performance. He tells her that she could have chosen a better song to sing. Miss Paula thinks that Janay is fun to watch on stage but "got shaky" later on. She tells Janay that she still thinks Janay a "dynamo". Yay, that is so reassuring. Janay must be feeling better now. King Tut says that his problem with the performance is that Janay is a young girl trying to pretend to be a grown-up. The song is too old for her, he says, adding that Janay is "not fifty". As usual, Randy Randy and Miss Paula interrupt him before King Tut can even finish what he is trying to say. King Tut's attempt at expressing what he thinks of the performance completely derailed by the two idiots, Sleazebag walks in to cover up the awkward confusion by telling Janay that everyone has stage fright when performing so it is "okay". Yes, when she gets voted out tomorrow, it will still be "okay". Is it "okay" when they cancelled your talk show, Sleazebag?
Cattle Underwood is next. Being the simple farm girl that she is, she decides to wear the shower curtain she has stolen from her room and keep things decent with her bedsheet tied around her body. Because the radio station near her farm is so backwards that Debbie Gibson is still number one at the weekend charts, Cattle decides to sing the hot current superstar Tiffany's big hit Could've Been. All I can say is... ouch. She is sharp at the high notes and a bit off at the lower notes. A boring song, a performance that comes off like a typical overshouted American Idol performance only when Cattle is glory noting, and with way too much glory notes at the expense of the tune, this performance just doesn't cut it for me. I agree that she can sing but she isn't singing good enough for me in this performance.
The judges all love her though. Blonde, legal, and playing dumb, she's the Annointed One on the show, after all.
Sarah Mather is next. She is one of the female contestants that are lost among the overpimping of Mario, Cattle, and Conty Bint in the Boot Camp episodes, so she has plenty to lose if she puts on a performance that is anything but exceptional. Her song tonight is Get Ready. Rare Earth covered a rockier version of the original that was performed by the Temptations, but Sarah's version is one that Sarah McLachlan would sing. I like this performance, frankly, because it is something fast after a few ballads in a row and also because Sarah has a rich, silky quality to her voice that appeals to me. She also exudes the appropriately playful persona to sing the song.
Miss Paula nails the problem with the performance in her critique. Yes, I'm shocked but the meds must be kicking in, I say. That or she is a lucid person if she's giving a critique on someone she isn't desperately needy to sleep with. Miss Paula says that the song doesn't allow Sarah to show anything more than one octave of her vocal capabilities and Miss Paula has heard Sarah sing better than that. While I like the performance, this show isn't about singing as much as it is impressing the kiddies with glory notes and nuance-free vocal acrobatics. Sarah needs to do better than what she has done. Before that, Randy Randy just says that the performance is "alright" but it doesn't do much for him. He must be saving the rest of his vocabulary to interrupt King Tut ten seconds into King Tut's critique. Thankfully, King Tut's critique is short enough so Randy Randy doesn't have the opportunity to catch his breath and fire away. King Tut calls Sarah's performance "clumsy" and "forgettable". I think he must be seeing Sarah through the haze of Viagra and pained memories as Sleazebag when Sleazebag was at the door with the suitcases in his hands, ready to leave King Tut even when it was pouring heavily outside. "Is it me?" he wanted to ask. But his pride prevented those words from coming out, instead he heard himself accusing "Sleazebag" that is now standing before him of being cold, clumsy, and forgettable so it was a good thing for him that Sleazebag was leaving him.
Meloonda Loonda is another contestant who is virtually invisible until now. Unlike Sarah, she plays it safe by choosing Jennifer Rush's The Power Of Love to sing. But really, what is she wearing? Those clothes look unflattering on her. They make her look really dowdy. She comes off like the product of someone photoshopping the face of Kelly Cluckson over the body of a chubby Kelly fan. As for the performance, the first note is too low and Meloonda never recovers from that missed note. Too much vibrato, too many off-key portions of the song, and the glory note at the end is a cliché. All in all, a trainwreck.
Randy Randy and Miss Paula try really hard to praise Meloonda for her previous performances while quietly restricting their critique of the current performance to bad song choice. Why? Don't look at me. Oh, and Miss Paula, Jennifer Rush sang the song first, not Celine Dion. King Tut says that Meloonda comes off like some young kid performing on a talent time show, unoriginal and looking for a role model to emulate. Randy Randy asks Meloonda to use him as a role model. What, he wants her to eat as much as he? That is not a good idea. King Tut agrees. He quickly says, "Don't!"
Sleazebag says that because there are many more ladies waiting to perform, he has no time for talk and instead he must get straight into the action. Kinda like a weekend at King Tut's house when the girlfriend is away, he adds cattily. King Tut laughs while the audience goes, "Ooh!" I love it when Sleazebag tries so hard to pretend that he has moved on when he clearly can't, hasn't, and won't. Give 'em hell, Sleazie!
Ooh, Nadia Turner steps up for the stage and da-yum, she looks good. Simple, understated, but girlfriend looks bloody good. And when she sings, I think I have a new favorite to root for all season. The Power Of Love, the one by Ashley Cleveland instead of Jennifer Rush, and what can I say? Nadia got game. She rocks, fabulously, while sounding fine as she takes command of the stage and gets everyone standing and clapping along. The energy when she performs just sizzles. I love it when Nadia defies the typical belting diva stereotype by coming out with her big hair and just rip apart the hall with her no-nonsense rock-and-roll sass and brass. Wow, I love Nadia. Which means I must get ready for the bitterness that will result when she gets booted way before her time.
The judges love her. Love her! And King Tut compliments her for being an "antidote to karaoke hell" that the previous performances had all been in his estimation. Love her!
Celena Rae, more than any woman on this show, needs to put on a splendid performance because nobody has seen or heard of her until only in the final episode of the Boot Camp season. Cattle Underwood can come on stage and shriek in pain while giving birth to a lamb, for example, and stupid little girls will still vote for her because Cattle has been pushed down everyone's throat. Celena, on the other hand, must score a homerun to even move on to the next week. She chooses Lara Fabian's I Will Love Again to perform. I like it, I really do. Her voice lacks the range and power to go all out like Lara Fabian did in the original version but this performance shows clearly that she has a decent, listenable voice. She is not exceptional but she is not horrible either. But at the end of the day, her performance is just pleasant instead of exceptional. Her coming on after Nadia is the nail in the coffin where her chance of moving on is concerned. I like it, I would have loved to see and hear more of her, but I have a feeling that I won't be doing so.
By the way, when the song is over, Trachea Boi stands up and gives her a standing ovation. That is so sweet of him, if a little embarrassing because nobody else is standing up to clap.
Randy Randy and Miss Paula have nothing but indifference for the performance. King Tut thinks that the song shows nothing of Celena. Hmm, what did Could've Been show of Cattle Underwood again, King Tut? He is so full of it sometimes. He tells Celena that he thinks that she can be good. She assures him that she can. He asks her to prove it. Sleazebag comes to her side and asks America to give her a chance to prove to King Tut that she can be good.
Sleazebag now moves into the Red Room to talk to Aloha Mischeaux. He asks her how she prepares to become an unique performer. She tells him that her ritual involves chanting her name to herself before she goes crazy and jump around the stage like a howler monkey in the middle of a painful childbirth. Sleazebag says that Aloha's ritual is like his when he stands before the mirror every morning. "Ryan, Ryan, Ryan!" he would go, although at the end of day, he confesses that he still doesn't know who he is. Which is why, ten years from now, he, King Tut, and Randy Randy will stand on a Vegas stage in full beautiful drag regalia to perform a heartbreaking rendition of Charlene's I've Never Been To Me.
"Sometimes I've been crying for unregurgited burgers that might might have made me so slim!" Randy Randy would sing, his right hand stretched to the audience.
"But I, I took this sweet face and never knew what Botox could have done to me," Sleazebag follows up with his tearful alto.
"I've spent my life exploring the subtle whoring that costs too much to be free," all three sing together. "I've been to paradise! But I've never been to me!" And then the three men would start bawling loudly and collapse in a group huddle as the tears flow.
Back to Mikalah Gordon, she's now coming on stage to perform Candi Stanton's Young Hearts Run Free. Hey, someone tell that silly cow that the song is now officially Shunta's, so hands off, biatch! Mikalah's performance is a trainwreck. She shouts, goes off-key, and has no control over her breathing. If she puts as much energy into her singing as she does in flirting with Randy Randy and running all around the stage trying to get people to love her, she may have pulled this one off. As it is, people will most likely think that she pulled off the performance out of her ass instead.
The usual idiotic twosome loves her though, taking care to praise her for her "personality" as opposed to her actual performance. I think we should create a special award for Mikalah because I think she actually talked more than the three judges combined in the critique segment, all the time in that rushed, nearly incoherent babbling way of hers that makes her look more and more like an underaged crazed homeless bag lady who may or may not be related to Minnie Driver by the way of Fran Drescher. She reminds King Tut of their prom date before the man gets to speak. A prom date with Mikalah will most likely involve King Tut getting invasively intimate with ear plugs at the backseat of the car while Mikalah talks her way into an orgasm for one. King Tut starts to say that half the audience will most likely find Mikalah fun while the other half will find her annoying. He is going to say more but as usual, Randy Randy pounces. "Like I find you?" he asks King Tut. Distracted, King Tut can only say yes as the audience starts to clap, Sleazebag steps out onto the stage, and King Tut doesn't have a chance to say anything more. Funny, I didn't find Randy Randy this irritating in previous seasons.
Lindsey Cardinale steps up to perform Karla Bonoff's Standing Right Next To Me. Her performance is decent, safe, and totally forgettable. As I've said in the previous recap, these contestants need to stand out instead of blending in with other decent and competent performers. Then again, her bizarre performance gestures where she comes off like rubbing her own kittens may help her stand out in the wrong way. From trashy clothes to apparent self-molestation, Lindsey may be the lit match to the haystack where this show's good standing with the FCC is concerned. Still, she has a following so she'll do alright for now. She has a good voice but she needs to do something with it other than using it to churn out predictable ballads.
The judges agree, saying that she has a good voice but the song does nothing for her.
Jessica Sierra, another droopy disposable blondie with decent voice but unimaginative performance skills, comes up and sings the worst kind of treacly ballad imaginable: Phil Collins' Against All Odds. Her voice is more suited to songs that highlight her sultry timbre but instead she chooses to follow the lemmings and sings a song that forces her to shriek for the high notes until her voice nearly cracks from the effort. Seriously, dear, there is more to music outside of schmaltzy power ballads.
The judges again carefully take care to praise her previous performances instead of her current one. Going only as far as blaming the song choice when it comes to discussing Jessica's performance, King Tut even openly declares that the audience should keep her in the contest so that he can see how far her potential will go. All the way to his dressing room, perhaps? Let's hope not.
Finally, Aloha Mischeaux is ready to close the show. Like Celina Rae, she is practically invisible until last week so she needs a breakthrough performance to survive the cut. However, she is also from Hawaii and I'm sure everyone still remembers Princess Jasmelisma's shining moment of glory when she makes Hawaii glow in the eyes of the rest of America. She will probably go through even if she comes out naked and covered with chicken blood before she starts chanting in the Klingon language. So she really doesn't need to slay the competition - okay, almost, because Aloha isn't coming close to touching Nadia in terms of great performances - with her slinky, sultry, and oh-so naughty version of Beyoncé's Austin Powers song Work It Out. No one will mistake the flaming strawberry that is Aloha as Beyoncé by any stretch of imagination but Aloha gives it good when it comes to delivering a sassy performance that brings the house down. The song, by the way, is a great number that even Beyoncé cannot pull off successfully thanks to her limited vocal range. However, much of the song's charm that comes from the catchy riffs of the instruments is stripped away. It is to Aloha's credit that she takes an awfully arranged truncated version of a great song that is backed by a lousy minus one track and pulls it off very well.
Randy Randy calls the performance a "bomb" before declaring that Beyoncé is the "most talented person on the planet". I think Randy Randy's brain is infected by prions. Miss Paula and King Tut deliver effusive gushes and with that, Aloha's place is secured on the train to next week. She delivers a breakthrough "look at me, vote for me" performance where Celena Rae, Jessica Sierra, and Sarah Mather fail to do so.
Sleazebag stands on the dais with the Twelve Ladies and thanks the judges for wasting everyone's time and the audience for watching this episode even when they don't have to because this show wants a male winner by hook or by crook. He then asks the Twelve Ladies for a group hug and makes a comical "Eee, the girls like me, they really do! I'm pretty now!" face when they humor him. As the Twelve Ladies just stand around looking lost while Sleazebag preens for the camera, the credits roll. Like the guys, the ladies aren't too good but when they are good, they are miles better than the guys. Here's hoping that Nadia, Aloha, or Vonzell can wreck the show's dreams of having a male winner, heh!
Men's Round | Women's Round | Results
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