American Idol, Season II was full of surprises. It was an exciting time for the performers and the audience, but the season made some interesting changes in their schedule.
The third elimination night was one of those surprising times. Just as everyone had settled down to hear Disco Music, the theme for the night was changed. “Country-Rock”……..what is Country-Rock? Wearing a cowboy hat, Ryan Seacrest said, “The theme for tonight is the intricate fusion between country and rock.”
The guest judge for this night was Olivia Newton-John. She has had some experience in the country-rock field and was a pleasant judge and she supported all the contestants.
The show started off with country singer, Josh Gracin. Singing “Ain’t Goin’ Down Til the Sun Comes Up” by Garth Brooks, he got great reviews by the judges. Of course, Simon had to say that he knew nothing about this kind of music, but loved his hat!!
Trenyce sang the ballad “I Need You”, made famous by Lee Ann Rhimes. Again, all the judges thought she did well except for Simon who said it was her weakest performance of the season.
The judges must have been in a good mood that night because they were in complete agreement that Kim Locke and Corey Clark sang beautifully and thought they were in good voice.
Martina McBride’s song. “Wild Angels” was the choice for Carmen Rasmussen. Although she did not receive any negative remarks, she only received a tepid response.
Ricky Smith and Kimberly Caldwell both received good responses from the judges and there were large smiles on their faces.
According to David Bloomberg, a music reporter, Ruben Studdard actually sang a song in the genre. Singing “Sweet Home Alabama”, he showed that he could rock it.
After Julia DeMato performed “Breathe”, the last performer of the night entered the stage.
Singing Brian White’s hit, “Someone Else’s Star”, Clay Aiken was the highlight of the evening. Randy, Paula, and Olivia gave Clay a short standing ovation. Simon thought it was sweet, but just like his last performance.
David Bloomberg said; “I have already heard from people who know the song that he sang the hell out of it – perhaps better than the original. Indeed, when I heard him I was thinking, just give him a contract now.”
Before the show was over, the audience saw a clip of a surprise party for Carmen Rasmussen. The youngest contestant seemed excited to celebrate her birthday with the group.
The next night, the result show was 1 hour long. The group performance was “Where The Blacktop Ends.”
After the commercial break, the audience learned of a special project that the idols did during the week. Burt Bacharach asked the 10 contestants to help record a new version of his song, “What The World Need Now Is Love.” The audience followed a tape of the various stages of the practice and recording of the song with a live orchestra. Some of the singers were interviewed about the experience. Clay talked about getting his copy of the music signed by Burt and how much it meant to him. The single for this song was released and the proceeds benefited the Red Cross.
The busy Idols had another group performance for the week. To show the unity of the country, they sang “God Bless the U.S.A.” The group performance was touching and well-sung.
Finally, it was time for the elimination of one of the Idols. The bottom three idols were Kimberly Caldwell, Rickey Smith and Julia DeMato. Julia is voted out.
Because there was so much going on for the Idols that week, it is amazing that all the performances were such high-quality.
What happens next week? Will there be more surprises? Well, it is American Idol and that means anything goes!
The first video shows Clay’s performance of Someone Else’s Star.
The second one has all three group performances for the night. Enjoy!!