And now, into the depths we go. This is it, the opening of public voting, as the 30 who were put through from Hollywood-Pasadena Week are narrowed down to however many we end up with. I can’t be sure, but I suspect that this may have been when I started caring deeply about the voting results.
1:21 Explanation time! It’s 10 singers to elimination, 9 from voting and the judge’s wildcard. This would be much less fun if my memory was better.
1:30 It looks like they’re holding this in the lobby of a Ramada Inn conference center.
2:59 Paula seems to have had a new face installed here. I don’t think it took.
3:55 Reminder that calls are toll-free “unless you use a cell phone” and no number for texting votes. Was 2002 really that long ago?
4:17 Eventual favorite Tamyra Gray is up first. Does a solid version of “And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going)” that falls into the common trap of being more “look at me, I’m singing!” than tragic desperation. Still, probably the best singer we’re going to hear this episode.
8:06 Jim Verraros sings “When I Fall In Love,” which I believe was just sung by one of the non-threatening heartthrobs of the current season, with slightly higher production values.
9:53 Simon deploys a prepared zinger, to the expected response.
11:06 I have no recollection of Adriel Herrera, which is surprising, since I wouldn’t think I could ever forget a shirt that ugly.
11:39 Oh, god, I hadn’t even seen the pants.
12:06 American Idol rendition of “I’ll Be,” number 2 of infinity.
14:08 I have no information as to how this young African-American woman came to be named Rodesia; I will only say that if you are a new parent (or a teenager choosing a stage name), Google is your friend.
14:43 On the other hand, she’s singing a Monkee’s song, so maybe she was raised by white supremacists.
17:29 Just in case you forgot what year this was, here’s Brian Dunkleman explaining websites.
18:10 The recipient of this week’s random contestant googling is Natalie Burge. Not much about her out there, actually, unless she’s gone into graphic design. Maybe this is what happens to you if you sing Patsy Cline wearing fingerless gloves. Let this be a lesson.
20:15 “Jim’s getting hugs from every girl here.” Oh, guys, no. Nice try, but no.
20:50 Brad (didn’t bother learning his last name) has the logo from a Pontiac Firebird tattooed on his shoulder. He calls it a phoenix. Nice meeting you, Brad.
24:52 The age of the songs they’re getting really betrays how low the budget was for this season. I don’t think anyone in the current season has been stuck singing about “frim-fram sauce.”
27:19 Justin Waddell has noticed that he didn’t get much exposure in the audition episodes, and he’s making up for lost time by exposing as much of himself as Standards & Practices will allow. On the other hand, maybe he just got a look at the shirts they were handing out and decided to pass.
30:57 Kelli Glover: midriff & Whitney. You can guess the song.
32:48 Substantive musical comment from Randy! I forgot that that was something that could happen.
34:36 Kelli appears to have no idea that Whitney’s version was a cover. This does not bode well.
35:58 Maybe it’s just the terrible image quality on this definitely-totally-legit Chinese site which was the only place I could find this episode, but Christopher Aaron’s pants appear to be made out of some sort of high-gloss rubber.
36:25 So, Tamyra help him pick them out? I smell sabotage.
37:20 That’s a lot of falsetto. Maybe it’s just the pants squeaking?
And that’s it. Up next, the announcement of three names stretched out over half an hour. See you there.