Tonight’s the night for the four remaining men to convince the judges they’re Mr. Right, er, Danny Zuko. As of now, not many of us watching from the comforts of home are convinced we’ve seen him yet. It’s getting down to the wire, and I have to admit, I’m a little concerned. I could care less about David Ian’s wallet suffering a blow if they can’t cast a talented Danny (after all I’ve got my own money concerns since I’ve grown rather fond of eating and would like to continue), but simply from an entertainment standpoint, I hope someone wows me tonight. That’s not asking too much is it? Is it?
I Got Chills, They’re Multiplying (but cockroaches multiply too)
The show opens with a handsome devil center stage. No, not one of the guys, but an old
Chevy Ford Cadillaccar. Austin, Chad, Derek and Max pop up from behind it with not only their hair greased up into pompadours, but their bodies are greasy as well. Although greasy bodies aren’t high on my list, I do like the various bulges they’re sporting -- hey, I’m talking about the muscles in their arms, people. *wags a finger* They perform the song, Greased Lightnin' shimmying and swiveling in and around the car, and I’m thinking that’s one lucky automobile. This performance is an energetic way to open the show and the young girls in the audience are whipped into a screaming frenzy.
Danny Boys or Showgirl Boys
Denise and Billy try to convince us that last week’s show was an emotional rollercoaster but I’m willing to bet it didn’t cause much of a blip in your life. They also remind us one Sandy will be going home tonight bringing us one step closer to what is sure to be The. Most. Shocking. Finale. Ever.
Bring It On
There seems to be some derision going on between the guys that’s being directed at Chad. Austin makes sure we noticed he smiled last week when Chad was in the bottom two, and one of the girls tells us the guys talk about Chad behind his back. I’ve been guessing the glimpses of sniping that we’ve seen here and there were a second-rate attempt to create drama where none exists, but apparently not. The best quote of the night comes from Max who thinks Austin is “show-girlish.” Ooh, snap! Chad says Max needs to step up and show he’s a man not a
mouseboy, and Derek doesn’t think Chad will pan out because he doesn’t have the stage experience needed for Broadway. Wow, people say women are two-faced gossips…maybe this is a by-product of the show-girlish community.
Austin Miller, 30 - Hot Danny
Hometown: Alvin, TX
Apparently the way into Judge David’s heart is through laughter. He sizes Austin up as having a fabulous voice, look, and abs but he wants Austin to make him laugh. Because Austin aims to please, he shows up at the Groundlings improv in Los Angeles hoping to follow in the footsteps of funny men like Jon Lovitz or Conan O’Brien (yeah, good luck with that). A comic coach encourages him to be silly, but one of the other Danny’s must have paid her some big bucks because he has far surpassed funny and is deeply entrenched into the depths of ridiculousness. Poor Austin, he’s got to be cringing as he watches himself on television tonight, and I hope he doesn’t have access to any weapons.
Singing Fun, Fun, Fun, Austin cavorts on stage barefoot surrounded by Allie, Ashley and Kathleen who shake and shimmy. With any luck, the ladies’ movements will distract the judges from catching his cheesy performance and pitchy voice. I vote for Austin simply dancing shirtless from now on, keeping his mouth shut and his shoes on. Again, I hope he’s got loved ones keeping him on a 24-hour suicide watch.
The Judges’ Remarks:
Jim - Austin has a lot of gifts, but his performances still seem somewhat forced (somewhat?).
Kathleen - she loves his energy and thinks he did great.
David - he had a lot of fun watching the girls (see, it worked), but feels Austin is out of his comfort zone (weren’t we all?). He wants to see a twinkle in Austin’s eyes.
Derek Keeling, 26 - Wholesome Danny
Hometown: Charleston, WV
Because Derek has had problems with his voice cracking while singing, he is sent to a vocal therapist who points out not only does he have a lot of tension in his jaw, but he makes odd facial expression when singing. Ack, is that supposed to put him at ease? I’d think that would exacerbate the facial problems. The coach suggests Derek swim and practice yoga for relaxation, and Derek does as he’s told because he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get this role. Just before he sings Heaven, however, Perplexing Judge Kathleen says Derek needs to forget about technique and concentrate on what he’s conveying in the song. Thanks again, Kathleen, for those confusing words of wisdom. He’s as cute as can be as he sings the love ballad to Laura, and for a while I’m convinced he’s conquered his problems. Toward the end of the song, however, on a particularly high note, his voice cracks again, although not as badly as previously.
The Judges’ Remarks:
Jim - he thinks it was a solid performance, and Derek reminds him of Buddy Holly.
Kathleen - she acknowledges he had one stumble, but it was a much stronger vocal performance. She’d like to see a less-managed style from him, though.
David - he adamantly states Derek’s voice cracked again, and he needs to watch it. (I think David’s worrying about his wallet again).
Max Crumm, 21 - Slacker Danny
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Max assures us he’s a fighter not a slacker, and he’s ready to be considered the leader of the pack. In order to prepare for this new machismo attitude, Max has been boxing in a ring with a partner who must not be too concerned about Max connecting with his jaw because the guy isn't even wearing a face guard. Macho Max performs Hard to Handle, which is a fast-paced song that requires a quick succession of words. Our new Max handles it beautifully and certainly appears to be relaxed and enjoying his moment. Kathleen and Ashley (I think it was Ashley - I swear I still get confused between Allie and Ashley) do what they can to make sure he has a good time by rubbing up and down his body like a cat begging to be fed. The audience goes crazy, and I’ve got to hand it to him…it was the first performance tonight that I didn’t watch with my hands over my eyes.
Billy’s not satisfied thinking the act is hot and proceeds to put Max himself in the hot seat by asking if there’s something going on between he and Allie. Max has learned more than dancing from Baffling Judge Kathleen because his evasive answer is, “Whatever is happening is happening, Allie and I are very professional, I like her, she’s cute, but back to the show…”
The Judges’ Remarks:
Jim - talent-wise that was a brilliant performance.
Kathleen - it’s fun to watch Max strut and sneer like a rock star; every week he becomes more like Danny Zuko.
David - what a transformation -- because of pure talent he convinces you he could be Danny.
Chad Doreck, 27 - Ambitious Danny
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
In order to prove his stage acting chops, Chad is off to get acting lessons from a UCLA professor. He puts Chad through drills of reciting Shakespeare at the top of his lungs to reach the back row of the theater. Judge Kathleen says he needs to dial up the charisma and energy.
Chad sings the dynamic Queen classic Don’t Stop Me Now, and although he looks like he’s having a great time, his voice doesn’t quite seem powerful enough to carry it off. Laura and Allie (Ashley, Allie?) join him onstage as props, and he gets quite the workout.
The Judges’ Remarks:
Jim - he’s the blue-eyed soul of the show. Chad is a “pretty” looking guy -- maybe they should cut his face or something (I think Jim is sipping on Paula’s ‘diet coke’).
Kathleen - vocally he went in and out and she’d like to see him make it more of his own (um, what?).
David - not the best vocal performance but he thinks Chad could sell millions of tickets (and that‘s the bottom line, isn’t it, David).
Billy Bursts A Bubble
Billy shatters millions of dreams tonight when he lets us in a little secret: Broadway is not all glitz and glamour. *gasp* He says with eight shows/week, success entails a lot of hard work and requires a big commitment on the part of the actors. Our contestants tell us they’re up at 7:00am to work with acting, dance, and vocal coaches, eventually finding time to be fitted for the costumes they’ll be wearing on the show. We also learn their songs are chosen for them.
The two ladies who are safe tonight are Laura and Ashley which means Allie and Kathleen will be competing in the sing-off. Allie actually had the least number of public votes, but as we all know by now, the judges get the final word. She and Kathleen sing, It’s Raining on Prom Night, and they both do a terrific job. But someone has to go, and in this case it’s Kathleen.
Pick Of The Litter
Tonight I’ve chosen Max as my overall favorite performer. Wait, what? You don’t care about my choice? Well then you should probably know all three judges also pick Max as best of the night and things are certainly looking a little brighter for Macho Max.
Who’s Going Home
Allie is reduced to tears backstage as she waits to discover if her lights will be dimmed. Kathleen says she’s fought twice already to stay, and she’s not giving up. Judge David, taking the sissy way out, says Judges Kathleen and Jim have made the decision, and it’s two against one. The person they will save is Allie, meaning Kathleen will be going home.
She’s grateful for the experience and has loved the opportunity to perform. She’s a little choked up, and as Host Denise hugs her, she (Denise) is obviously distraught to see Kathleen go. It’s at times like this I realize that NBC has done a lousy job of letting us get to know the contestants. After all, it’s difficult to care one way or another about them when you don’t know who they are. Kathleen sings the usuall send-off song of Look at me I’m Sandra Dee, and the lights fade to black bringing the show once again to a close (thank goodness). Who's your Danny? Send me a pm here.