‘Idol’ Worship: Culling the Herd

Week Four of ‘American Idol’ was a split week that brought us the last auditions in San Francisco and the beginning of Hollywood Week. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, but we’ll hit all the common themes. To start things off in San Francisco, the roving camera followed an auditioner as she tearfully said, “Just because someone farts, let them finish singing.”

First in front of the judges, we met Inessa. They didn’t come out and say it, but I believe she was a mail-order bride from the Ukraine. She sang “All Out of Love” by Air Supply. First rule of ‘Idol’: do not sing songs with words that predict the audience’s reaction.

A few go through. Then we meet Stephan, who barely survived a car accident and was in a wheelchair for four months. We don’t hear what caused accident, but I’m sure we’ll get details later. He can sing. Jennifer-Glitter-Eyes thinks he’s got star quality.

Three more fail to make the cut, including Kenneth with giant ear muffs and Weston who needs to learn how to enunciate. Then Drew the Transformer. Yes, he literally transformed into a car. We then got a montage of hot chicks set to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.” They got tickets, as did pretty girl Julie from Columbia. Jennifer loved her stripper shoes. She sang “Summertime” while Steven undressed her with his eyes.

A few more rejects: Dave who was straight out of ‘The Commitments’, Rick who’s listened to too much Phish, and Sabrina the cop, of whom Steven said, “You oughta be arrested for that voice. Did you bring cuffs?”

On to Emily Ann, who has an old-school voice. She’s pretty good, and could go a few rounds on uniqueness.

Lastly, there’s 22-year-old James, who was a hall-of-famer on backstories. His father was a bass player who OD’d when James was 9, he was diagnosed with Tourettte’s and Asperger’s, he met the girl of his dreams and they have a young baby, and he was laid off and can’t afford diapers. He sings like Adam Lambert, but might be a one-trick-pony.

Then we moved on to Hollywood Week. The judges take out half of the contestants in this episode. The format is the same as previous years. Contestants come on stage in groups of ten, then each sings a cappella individually without feedback. They’re then voted in or out. “One Shot” and that’s it. The show tried to build some suspense in the episode, but it had already hyped the favorites in the auditions, so we had a good idea who was getting through this round. I’m not going to go through the whole list, but here are the highlights of who we lost:

Victoria the precocious teen with personality blew her audition and headed back home to the pageant circuit and dreams of a remake of ‘Blossom’. Stormi (Miss Teen USA) didn’t have enough talent left to go through either. Steve the Accountant didn’t make it, even though he sounded good in the little clip shown. The Belly Dancer didn’t make it.

In couples news, the two couples had to room together. What a surprise. Rob and Chelsee the exes both made it through. Jacqueline and Nick were not so lucky. Nick didn’t make it, and wasn’t too proud to beg, but Randy denied him.

I know I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m enjoying the judges. They did a good job with the initial weed-outs. There are still a few weak ones in the herd, though. Speaking of judges, it just dawned on me this week that I’m really, really enjoying not having to hear or look at Kara Dioguardi. In Week Five, we get to see the group singing rounds of Hollywood Week, which is always good for some drama.


  1. Thanks for getting this out on Wednesday!

    There were some moments in Hollywood week that I wonder if it was pressured by the producers. Like Rob, Chelsee, and Jaqueline making it through and Nick not. Granted, Jackie was good, Nick wasn’t bad, but I think he was better than Rob and Chelsee. And then Nick’s speech. I don’t know, looks like a scripted reality show there. And this early in the game, they kind of have the option to do some of that. I’m willing to bet all three get cut later, but that they were put through at this round simply to create drama for the show.

    The transformer costume was cool, but, does anyone remember a SINGLE contestant who ever got through with some gimmicky costume? And if they did get through, did any of them ever make it past Hollywood week? I’ve only been watching the show for the past four years, but I can’t remember anyone in any of those shows who got through on a gimmick.

    • Junie Ray

      No doubt they were looking for drama with the couples. I think Jackie will be next to go. Not sure how long Rob and Chelsee will make it.

      As for gimmicks that got through. Early on there was the scooter girl who didn’t make it past hollywood week. The one that comes to mind was Nick ‘Norman Gentle’ Mitchell with his alter ego character in Season 8. He was a blast and had a very nice voice, but was waaay outside the Idol mold. He made it as far as the semi-finals, but came back for the Idol Awards on what might be my favorite Idol moment ever.

      • Forgot about Norman. He was actually good. I agree, he didn’t fit the Idol mold, but I sure hope he got picked up for some stage productions – he would be great for that. I was just waiting for him to burst out with something from Rent or Spamalot.

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