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'American Idol' Does the Boogie-Woogie

May 5th, 2004

May 5, 2004

"American Idol" flashed back to the 1930s with Big Band Week on last night's performance show. Each of the remaining hopefuls -- FANTASIA BARRINO, DIANA DeGARMO, GEORGE HUFF, LA TOYA LONDON and JASMINE TRIAS -- performed two songs, one for fun, and one that meant something to them, backed by an 18-piece band.

On tonight's ET, "Idol" judge and ET special correspondent PAULA ABDUL gives us her reactions to Big Band Week and weighs in on SIMON COWELL's comment that Fantasia and La Toya are in a league by themselves.

Diana led off the night with "Someone to Watch Over Me," followed by "Get Happy," which was made famous by the legendary JUDY GARLAND. RANDY JACKSON commented, "This girl is da bomb and a seasoned talent already."

Paula agreed, but SIMON COWELL said, "I sort of agree with Randy and
Paula. This is your style of music." Still, he had reservations about a 16-year-old who sounds like a 50- year-old in a contemporary competition, adding, "It has no relevance to what is going on today. You are an old soul."

Next up was George, who first performed "Dancing Cheek to Cheek" from the 1935 film 'Top Hat,' starring FRED ASTAIRE, and segued to LOUIS ARMSTRONG's "Wonderful World." Randy told George that he had picked two great songs, but that the only remaining male Idol was "a little off vocally.

It was really good but safe. I didn't feel George in these songs." Simon agreed with Randy, adding, "I love this kind of music and tonight is about being cool. You can go on any cruise liner and you will hear what we heard tonight."

Up third was La Toya, who got in the Big Band groove with "Too Close for Comfort," previously sung by ELLA FITZGERALD and NATALIE COLE, and "Don't Rain On My Parade," which BARBRA STEISAND fans remember from 'Funny Girl.' Randy raved, "I've loved every one of your performances, but this is the music you were meant to sing. All the personality we were waiting to see [came out]. This is your groove." Paula added, "This is like the Olympics and you just won your gold." Simon said, "I will give you 10 out of 10 for a very good Broadway performance." And even though Simon said that it was a compliment, it felt like he had an unvoiced "but."

Then came Jasmine, who sang "The Way You Look Tonight" and "It's Almost Like Being In Love," from Brigadoon, the musical by FREDERICK LOEWE and ALAN JAY LERNER, but with a jazz twist. Paula said, "I enjoyed the second performance because I have seen tremendous growth in you." But Simon disagreed, saying, "I don't think Jasmine has grown. She has been consistent. She needed to pull something out of the hat tonight and she didn't. It was very pleasant, and very pleasant isn't good enough at this point in the competition."

Fantasia wrapped up the evening with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," which she dedicated to her little brother, who drives her crazy, followed by the Barbara Streisand song "What Are You Doing?" Fantasia's performance brought Paula to tears, so she couldn't even critique her! But Randy said, "You just sang one of my favorite songs of all time. You were brilliant." And the Brit Wit concluded, "Honestly, Fantasia, you and La Toya are in a different league."

Before going to the phones, "American Idol" and "On-Air" host RYAN SEACREST asked Randy and Paula to comment on what Simon said. Randy agreed, saying "It's La Toya, Fantasia and Diana." But Paula reserved judgment, saying she had a great time watching them all.

Courtesy of ETOnline.

Filed under: American Idol


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