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American Idol 4 - Episodes 35 & 36 Summary

'It's Not Over Til The Fat Guy Sings' By Devious Weasel
Original Airdate: May 4, 2005

Previously on American Idol: Rob and Amber take a chance on a flight to Frankfort without confirmed connecting tickets. Rob and Kelly follow them like sheep. No one has any luck driving a double-decker bus. Meredith and Gretchen finally hear the words “I’m sorry to say you’ve been eliminated.”

Sorry. That was previously on The Amazing Race. Actually, that’s following on The Amazing Race. But thanks to the wonder of digital video recording, I watched TAR first.

Previously on American Idol:

Constantine made perhaps the most atrocious song choice ever by an Idol, a choice that allowed Scott Savol to continue his Trias like rise to the top three. The Idols taped forgettable opening segments for their songs. Of course, that’s nothing new. And Anthony felt the urge to climb the clock tower after the role he was asked to play in the Ford commercial.

I’m altering my standard method of doing a summary. Rather than watching the show twice before starting to write, and then slowly watching and rewatching while writing, I’m going for more of a live blogging thing. Let’s hope it works.

Performance Night

We open with Seacrest babbling about there being only five contestants left and asking who will get our votes tonight. This, as always, is followed by the opening credits that Fox got at the CGI ‘r’Us dollar store. The credits end, the audience roars and raises the signs they were given shortly before the show began, and we are underway. I wonder if judges’ introductions will come first? Randy flashes a gang sign, Paula is looking exceptionally lucid, and Simon went with the gray t-shirt tonight. Seacrest next goes to the Coke room to bait the Idols into guessing what the next theme is. We have two themes – the songs of Lieber and Stoller (prompting the first of several dull expressions on Scott’s face) and songs from a current Billboard Top 40 chart. Bo, unsurprisingly, knows some Lieber and Stoller songs.

After the break, Seacrest has a brief introduction of the work of Lieber and Stoller. Anthony leads off with Poison Ivy. He chose it because it’s wacky and fun like he is. Right. It’s immediately apparent that Anthony is making a big plea for Constantine’s fan base. Considering how well they turned out for Constantine last week, this might not be the best decision. He’s wearing a red shirt and looking all the world like a Target cashier on break. He gives the camera some looks, gives the audience some moves, and goes for a big finish.

Randy says he is looking for a winning performance. He adds that Anthony was flat and the performance did nothing for him. Paula says the song is one of her favorite Lieber and Stoller tunes, but adds that she’s looking forward to Anthony’s second performance which is going to be a ballad. Simon correctly states that this means Paula didn’t like it. Simon says it was insipid and amateurish which, quite frankly, is an insult to insipid amateurs everywhere.

We go to break, and Seacrest says we’ll be back with Scotty the Body and the Vonz. Scotty the Body.


We’re back, and it’s Scott singing On Broadway. He says he chose On Broadway because it has meaning since last week Simon told him to pack his bags and he’s not leaving until he becomes a star on Broadway. Dood. You want a song that has meaning for you? Two words. Jailhouse Rock.

Unlike most Scott haters, I gladly acknowledge that he has some natural talent. Indeed, this performance of On Broadway might be the best thing he’s done in the competition. If this were the first time I had heard him, I would think he was the class of the group. But class and Scotty are words that do not go together. For one thing, he chose to sing the song directly to Simon. It cracked Simon up, but nonetheless it was such an egotistical, arrogant act that it lessened the quality of the performance for me. For another, he can’t take criticism at all. When Randy pointed out that there were some flat notes, Scott reacted with a look of disgust even though Randy was using that as a basis to launch his praise of the performance. His absolutely shameless manipulation of his life story to elicit sympathy votes is another thing that ticks me off.

And while I’m ranting, how can Paula both use the word “moxie”, channeling Eve Arden, and then say that she has never heard a version of On Broadway other than George Benson’s and that the song was made for him. Hello? The Drifters? HELLO!

Oh, and Simon said it was Scott’s best performance to date. (Scott dull look moments two and three – Paula using the word moxie and Simon saying Scott has had more escapes than Houdini.)

Vonzell sings Treat Me Nice. Eh. Eh. Eh. Let’s not speak of this performance again.

Randy says it was one of the best vocals out of a song he barely knows and that she was incredible. Paula (Palua?) says Vonzell is the consummate performer. Simon says he felt it was a bit of a mess.

Back from break. Bo is doing Stand By Me. Maybe Carrie will sing Jailhouse Rock. The song starts, and it truly feels magical. The version owes more to Sam Cooke than Ben E. King, and Bo is singing the carp out of the song. And…and…He’s singing it right to me. I know it! HE IS! It’s one of the best performances of the competition, right up there with Fantasia’s Summertime.

The judges will probably hate it.

Nope. Randy says Bo always picks the right song and he is definitely on his way. Paula says he colored the song up with Bo. I don’t know what that means either. Simon says he has nothing to add to what Paula and Randy said and that Bo picked the best song by far.

Carrie. Carrie Carrie Carrie. She’s singing Trouble, a real sassy song. Now I like Carrie’s singing, but her performances have left something to be desired. Not tonight. Tonight someone has turned the fembots movement knob to high (no, that’s not code), and Carrie is really working the song. Randy says her song choice was great and she sung the song. Paula said it was fun to see a different side of Carrie. Simon said that at this stage of the competition you have to give your fans what they want. Listening Constantine?

Another break. The second theme is hits from this week’s Billboard Top 40 charts. I can hardly wait. After all, songs from 2000-2005 produced such high quality work last week.

Anthony is singing some sensitive power ballad. I’m guessing the song is titled Incomplete. The performance is okay, but nothing special. Once again, it’s targeted at the fan base he used to share with Constantine. If that entire voting bloc goes Anthony’s way and does actually vote, he’s a contender for the top spot.

Randy says that the performance compared to the Backstreet Boys it was a 5 out of 10. Paula says that is the problem with singing group songs. Simon says Anthony made a great song choice.

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