American Idol Season 4

Finally, one of my all-time favorite shows has returned to Fox for season 4. Last night was night 1 of American Idol 2005. Round one is by far the most sensationalistic part of the show. For the first 2 to 3 weeks of the show we get to see incredible but unpolished raw talent, and people who make utter fools of themselves on camera.

Last night's auditions were in Washington D.C., and wow did it bring out the sob stories. Apparently no one who managed to get to the auditions in D.C. had any money. There was a singing, dancing janitor who we were treated to see both cleaning urinals and begging for money on the sidewalk. The worst sob story of the show, however, came from a woman (Regina Brooks) who pawned her wedding ring so she could afford to stay in town long enough to audition. While she was a fairly good singer, she was also the only one who cried on camera before she ever saw the judges. If she manages to make it through the next round (past the hollywood round to the top 24), and I suspect that she will not, I seriously hope she will leave the heart-wrenching stories and tears behind. If this turns into a sympathy vote competition instead of a talent competition the show is going to go downhill fast.

My favorite contestants from tonight were: Anwar Robinson, a school teacher from New Jersey who sang "You are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder. Anwar easily had the best voice, and most polished talent of the contestants we saw from D.C. His voice was deep, smooth, and he seemed to be the only male contestant of the whole show who could pull off a falsetto without sounding like an alien.

Next in my list of favorites is John Zisa also of New Jersey who sang "Baby, Come to me," an early 80's tune. John was definitely my most favorite contestant of the night. This is the first time in a first round audition that I have ever sincerely wished the contestant would keep on singing. Typically you hear a good audition and it's like "that was nice." John Zisa was singing a cheesy 80's soft rock hit and I was thinking: "sing the rest of that, record it, and I'll buy it."

Finally the only female to make my list out of the contestants shown tonight was Marlea Stroman. She sang a song by Bonnie Raitt called "All at Once." While I agreed with Simon's critique that she needs to inject a little more "life" into her performances, she had a very deep and bluesy style that was very much reminiscient of Fantasia Barrino's gospel-esque (for lack of a better term) style. I'm going to be very disappointed if she doesn't make it to the semi-finals. Meanwhile Randy managed to display his ignorance of all music that isn't pop-ish R&B by recommending that Marlea sing something "more contemporary" in the future. More contemporary than Bonnie Raitt?!? Perhaps the term he was looking for was more "trendy." In any case I think that Marlea sang "All at Once" very well and it would be unfortunate if she took Randy's advice on the subject.

So that leaves us with the worst of the night and the honorable mentions. I didn't write down all the names of the bad contestants because, to put it bluntly, the contest is already long over for them so they really are not that interesting beyond their short-term entertainment value.

Tonight we had a girl who heard voices, a guy who sang in about 5 different voices, a guy who looked like frakenstein and injected his song with so much vibrato he made Kenny G sound good, a girl who sang a BDS&M song -she even spanked herself while she sang (further proof that American Idol truly is a family oriented show :twisted: ), and finally the most annoying and pitiful guy of the night is also apparently a cousin of Tony Braxton (I'm guessing he's her 10th cousin twice removed).

Derek Braxton (the aforementioned cousin) managed to inspire one of the best lines of the whole show -this one from Ryan Seacrest: "so much for genetics." The best line however was from Simon who said in response to a girl who claimed that "God wanted her to sing" and that "God sent her here," that "God did not want her to win this competition."

So for the honorable mentions there was Travis Tucker who could dance as well as he could sing, and Constantine Maroulis a lead singer of a New York based band. Unfortunately Constantine while a good singer seemed like a real jerk who rightfully pissed off his fellow bandmates by demonstrating that he was far more interested in fame than in music.

As for the show this year they have added guest judges to the intial rounds which, suffice it to say, may well have saved this season from the bowels of mediocrity (who am I kidding this is Fox I'm talking about) by adding a little more dynamism and personality to the judges table. I certainly wouldn't mind looking at Mark Mcgrath (D.C.'s guest judge) for a few more episodes.

:smitten:

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The person who impressed me

The person who impressed me the most was Constantine. The other contestants who made the cut were run-of-the-mill idol types. Constantine had an original voice and singing style not seen in any of the prior seasons.

I suppose you can post

I suppose you can post whatever you want here, but it seems to me you could get a personal livejournal for TV commentary. I don't find every item on Catallarchy fascinating, but this is too far off-topic in my opinion.
(I'm not sure what is on-topic, but judging from past items this ain't it.)

All econ/philosophy and no

All econ/philosophy and no current events/play makes Catallarchy something-something....(mumbles)

Go crazy?

Don't mind if I do! :dizzy: :idea:

Since when is wanting fame

Since when is wanting fame more than music a bad thing? It's the American way.

The Braxton guy was by far one of the most annoying human beings I've ever encountered either in person or via a medium such as TV. Even when he laughed at his own jokes, he sounded like a motorboat. Weirdo.

Gavin, Hey if you don't like

Gavin,

Hey if you don't like the American Idol commentary feel free to not read the posts titled "American Idol Season 4." I mean its not like I snuck it up on you. As for TV commentary we do it all the time here. Check out the archives if you don't believe me or perhaps some of my posts from last week... There were two of them that discussed television including one on American Idol.

JDM,

Actually what I was trying to say was that he valued fame over being a good musician. Personally I think fame of the type he is seeking (pop-stardom) is overated and I would take being a great musician any day over being famous.

The problem I have with being more interested in fame or notoriety than in actual skill and talent is that it is valuing what others think over self improvement. I think that if you were a poor musician that everyone loved simply because you were well marketed you would on some level feel as if you were a fraud, appreciated for superficial and short-sighted reasons that will ultimately disappear with time. Once again I would personally rather be an underappreciated artist than an overappreciated pretty face any day.

Of course thats a value judgement on my part and I do not expect everyone to agree with me.

Hi... I accidentally came

Hi... I accidentally came upon your blog, pretty interesting stuff & I love American Idol too. As for Constantine, I don't believe for one second that he will actually leave his band- that was completely staged. I imagine the AI camera crew asking if it was okay to have him telling his band on camera.. travelling to NY, getting them all together, and having them practice looking enraged about him leaving the band until it was good enough for Prime Time TV. Also of note- Constantine played Roger in the Broadway traveling production of RENT - and his band followed him & played shows in whatever cities RENT was playing in... so they'll be together for the long haul.

"I think that if you were a

"I think that if you were a poor musician that everyone loved simply because you well marketed you would on some level feel as if you were a fraud"

Maybe. Swap "musician" for "expert," and I would guess the best person to ask about this is Ann Coulter.

I didn't actually get to see

I didn't actually get to see Constantine audition, but I have seen him in Rent which led to meeting him which led to a friend and I going to see his band perform in CT. And let me tell you if he actually makes it he will probably leave his band. Although I don't know him extremely well and only hung out with him a couple times he gave the impression of being completely full of himself. He is the kind of guy who loves attention, craves attention, and will boast about how wonderful he is. As far as a great musician, his band was ok, but his perfomrance in Rent was fantastic. I'm not saying he is a bad person but he is definately not the kind of person who would stick around for his small time band if a greater opportunity was out there.

A friend of mine "dated"

A friend of mine "dated" Constantine and whoever said he was full of himself is right. Talk about pompous jerk.

I saw Constantine perform in

I saw Constantine perform in Rent and met him after the show. I thought he was an amazing performer and a very nice guy. Nothing about him seemed arrogent...

I'd have to say that I

I'd have to say that I enjoyed Constantine's performance. I met him at a show that he did with my boyfriend's band. He put on a pretty decent performance with his band, and was really nice after the show. I didn't get the impression that he was full of himself at all. Ehh, just my impression, but if he gets to the top ten then he'll definately get my vote!! :smile:

chantalesque

I think, and I don't know

I think, and I don't know Constantine, but it is about the music. I think so many musicians try to get to the next level of performing, that they will go through any doors that are opened for them. A good exmaple of this is the music teacher, who is also in the finals. I am sure it is very hard for someone like Constantine to see a Rueben or a Clay, get all these opporatunties while he has been in the profession for who knows how long. A guy has to pay his rent...ha ha!! Anyway for what it is worth that is what I think.

Constantine was NOT a good

Constantine was NOT a good Roger in RENT...so I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say his performance was good. He also LEFT the tour abruptly...he is just full of himself and will do whatever he needs to do to be "famous."

:end:

:end:

constantine was the best of

constantine was the best of all of them!!!!
he has a unique style, he can sing, and hes soooooooo cool:smitten:

okay,i really like

okay,i really like constintines (or however you spell it)voice...but i dont like him because he left his band without letting them know and thats just not cool! i like bo better:grin:

i dont know much about

i dont know much about constantine but i found his blog. it's constantineidol.blogspot.com

i posted a comment for him cuz hes so cute and talented

I'd have to say that Mario

I'd have to say that Mario is amazinggggg. His performance last night wasn't as good as he could've done, but I really think he's good. I love Constantine too. I don't like the girls as much as I like the guys this year. My fav. girl would prolly have to be Carrie underwood. So who do u think will get voted off tomorrow night?

i dont think constantine is

i dont think constantine is the next american idol...but i do think he's got the charisma to be a rock star, if he tries hard enough.

he's cute and attractive, and really does stand out from the crowd with his long locks and boyish charm.

wow, i cant believe im still capable of having schoolgirl crushes (:P!)...but constantine really has that 'x-factor' that turns me on. of course, i'll know if he's worth it only after i see more of him on TV. i dont think its fair to make judgements based on a few episodes of AI.

:wall: i hate all the people

:wall: i hate all the people that vote for scotty the body:wall: haha and how is it humanly possible that constantine gets kicked off of american idol:end::bigcry: plus i hate that lots of prople say nasty stuff about him:furious: i love him so much:smitten::smitten: bye

Hi, Compliment of the

Hi,
Compliment of the season. please don't be so angry with me because i'm only looking for survive.
my name is chudi okafor and a boy of 17 years old looking for some one to train me be a musician.
i like music more anything and i can travel outside my country if ican get a helper that can train me to be .
thanx and God bless you as you help.
or any organization that can help also a personel.