Tonight we’re on to the second heat of five more extreme karaoke contestants vying to get into the finals to compete for the $200,000. Elton John, Britney Spears, Jon Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, and Barbara Streisand will be performing for us tonight.
Todd Newton is dressed a little less anally this evening with a brown leather jacket and dark pants. He still has no personality, but, luckily, he doesn’t say much and goes straight to our first contestant.
For some reason our first contestant has only one name. Ferras has been a big fan of Elton John since he was little. He remembers snuggling under woolen blankets with his mom listening to Elton John, and he has been a fan ever since. He has never taken voice lessons and tells us he just woke up one day and was able to play the piano and sing. Now being a music teacher myself, miraculous acquisition of talents overnight is not something I want to advocate to my students, so hopefully none of them are reading this.
For his performance, the stage is set with many candles, and Ferras is sitting at a white piano in the middle. He is dressed in a black and white striped suit with a pink boa. He also has on big sunglasses and a slightly wacked out wig. I do not think he looks much like Elton John, especially with an obvious gap in his front teeth. He looks just like a guy in a crazy outfit. He sings pretty well, but misses some of the notes in his high register. Throughout the whole performance I keep wondering if he is actually playing the piano. At the very end, I realize he is when he is doing a small improvisation on his ending. I found this quite impressive considering he’s an amateur and is trying to act like someone else.
Ferras receives an 8.76 for his Performance technique/Vocal ability score. I myself am a little surprised since I felt this was much better than most performances last week, and he was also actually playing the piano. We’ll see how the rest of the show goes.
After the break, we are reintroduced to the judges. They are the same as last week, and lucky for us, they still do not talk. On to our second contestant.
Kyah grew up as a minister’s daughter and feels a kinship with Britney Spears since she is a churchgoing kid too. Maybe as a kid, but she ain’t one now. Anyway, Kyah is also a rocker and likes to headbang, so it is going to be interesting seeing her try to imitate Britney. The clip shows her having trouble singing and dancing; with the coaches saying Kyah has a lot of work to do. Kyah is a perfectionist though and says she is going to be just as good, if not better, than Britney.
For her performance, she is singing the very memorable “Oops, I Did It Again”. I believe she is imitating the VMA performance where Britney came out looking like a man, and then turned into a stripper. Kyah has on a black men’s suit and is chained up in a half sphere while dancers are moving around her. Basically her outfit is somewhat like Britney’s and her hair is blonde. Other than that, I’m not sure she looks much like her. She does sing like Britney, though, with poor breath support and closes off the back of her throat to get that strained kind of sound Britney calls singing. There is something that seems off with the background music, though. I don’t know if it’s a poor arrangement or if Kyah is off with the lyrics, but it doesn’t seem to match up. She takes off the top of the suit to reveal a black bustier. Now if I recall correctly, and believe me I do, Britney wore a tight, nude colored, spandex outfit during that performance. To me, this ended up looking like Madonna in “Express Yourself”. This was not the best performance.
Amazingly, though, Kyah receives an 8.70, which is .04 points behind Ferras. I’m obviously not seeing something.
Jason was once a PA for Jon Bon Jovi, and Jon even played Jason’s acoustic guitar in a video once. Jason is a big fan of Jon’s and admits he is very nice. Jason wears dreadlocks in his hair and likes to jump from his balcony into a pool. He found the vocal lessons to be an annoyance, and the teacher admitted Jason had a good rock star quality, but he needed to tone down the attitude and he was often too dramatic.
Jason decides to perform “You Give Love a Bad Name”. He comes out in a red vest, red shirt underneath, black jeans, and a guitar he doesn’t play. He’s also wearing sunglasses that resemble Bono from U2 more than Jon Bon Jovi. I do not see any resemblance to Bon Jovi at all. He runs around with a microphone and has a big screen behind him as if he’s in a concert. There are dancers that flank either side of him in his performance as well. He sings well, although he doesn’t sound much like Bon Jovi, and I definitely see his overdramatic side in his performance. For example, he ends the song by falling on the stage in a sort of faint.
Jason receives an 8.64, which currently ranks him in third place.
Jasmine is a very shy, introverted girl who admires Cyndi Lauper. She heard her when she was young. She finds Cyndi is so full of joy, and she knows she has a little Cyndi Lauper waiting inside of her to come out. Jasmine’s mom believes this will be good for her and help her come out of her shell. Both the vocal and dance coaches feel Jasmine needs to losen up and just let go.
Jasmine picks the slow song “True Colors” to sing. She comes out with a similar outfit to the “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun” video with a big black puffy skirt, lots of bracelets, and pink gloves. Her hair is also teased very high and has a red piece stuck in it. Her face does not look like Cyndi’s though. Admittedly, it is hard to do since Cyndi has such a petite face and interesting characteristics. Jasmine does manage to sing somewhat like Cyndi though. It might have seemed her voice cracked, but anyone familiar with that song knows Cyndi does have a crackly sound in her voice. For a shy person, I believe Jasmine did a good job.
Jasmine unfortunately receives an 8.23, which puts her in fourth place. We’ll see if she’s able to come from far behind.
Sharon is a huge fan of Barbra Streisand. She owns all of her cds, tapes, videos, books, concert tickets, you name it. Her husband is not so keen on her obsession though. Sharon admits she sings Barbra’s songs so much even her boys know all of the words. The vocal coach says she has a great voice but has a hard time pronouncing the “d” sound. Somehow I don’t believe that is a huge fault in this competition. Sharon says she had a very close relationship with her father, and he used to like to hide behind corners and listen to her sing. He died when she was in her 20s and she is singing this for him tonight.
Sharon chose to sing “The Way We Were”. My first thought is, if she is going to imitate Barbra Streisand then she needs to have a big case of stage fright right now and not show up. She doesn’t, though, and she comes out in a black gown with dazzling jewels around her neck. Her makeup does Barbra justice, and since Jasmine has the big nose, it helps a lot with her look. This is also one of the first wigs I’ve seen that actually looks like the artist. Home videos of Sharon and her father play in the background. She sings very well and sounds a lot like Barbra, but there is something that scared the heck out of me when watching her. I cannot really place it, but I believe it was in the way she shook her head sometimes. I just found it very disconcerting, and even burst out laughing once because it was so horrifying.
The judges obviously did not agree with me and awarded Sharon a whopping 9.74 for her performance. There is no way Ferras or any one else is going to come back and win this thing tonight.
When we come back from the break, Todd announces the averages of the Performance technique/Vocal quality scores and the Star Quality scores.
5th place with an average of 8.26 is Jasmine Chadwick (Cyndi Lauper)
4th place with an average of 8.61 is Kyah Combs (Britney Spears)
3rd place with an average of 8.66 is Jason Ebs (Jon Bon Jovi)
2nd place with an average of 8.75 is Ferras (Elton John)
and surprise, surprise. . . (although there is a drum roll that tries to make it somewhat suspenseful)
1st place with an average of 9.75 is Sharon Owens (Barbra Streisand)
Todd lets Sharon sing us out to commercial after she wins. And this concludes our second round towards the finals. We can look forward to a Madonna performance and a Toni Braxton performance as well as others next week.
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