|Aug 15th, 2002
Paula and Deborah Rate the 'Idols'
August 15, 2002
The countdown to the final night of "American Idol" continues with only four contenders left!
ET asked special correspondent PAULA ABDUL and former teen crooner DEBORAH GIBSON (Electric Youth, 1989) to rank Tuesday night's performances, during which the contestants sang songs by composer
Read on to see if Paula and Debbie were in-synch with America's choices.
Filed under: American Idol
("Walk on By")
DEBORAH: Kelly's voice is so natural and effortless, you are never afraid she is not going to hit her notes. You can sit back and relax and put yourself in her hands. That is an amazing quality to have for a performer. She is definitely in my top three picks. I think she has what it takes to be a pop star.
PAULA: We all look forward to Kelly. She's always amazing and surprising us every week. Talk about raising the bar. When she went and performed... of course, she surprised us. The song she was going to choose was "Anyone Who Had a Heart," so "Walk on By" was her second choice. She is amazing.
("Best That You Can Do")
DEBORAH: I don't know that he embodies what this particular contest is all about. I think he is a little bit more theatrical. If I were a casting director watching this at home, I would place RJ in theater. I hear that he is a Christian. I would also place him in inspirational music, because I don't know that he has the edge for pop music.
PAULA: I think that people are getting used to seeing the type of performer that he is. He doesn't take risks. He has a real nice voice and the theme from 'Arthur' was a great choice for him, but it wasn't the greatest song. There are levels of greatness now.
("A House is Not a Home")
DEBORAH: This was like a WHITNEY HOUSTON performance. You could put this performance on the Grammys and it would stack up. She feels her lyrics, and there is no way she could have experienced this yet, so she is way beyond her years. Tamyra is just one of those people who is undeniably talented. I would venture to say this is the performance of the week.
PAULA: To me, Tamyra even amazed herself with this performance. The look on her face, her sincerity, her commitment to "A House is Not a Home" was so pure it moved me to tears. I was quite taken by it. The moment Tamyra steps on that stage, she commits. And she's been consistent. I think last night everything in the universe worked. She had that unbelievable connection. She is just an amazing singer/performer.
("The Look of Love")
DEBORAH: His performance fell a little flat for me. I have been a Justin fan all along, but I love Justin when he is keeping it simple and intimate, not riffing. The performance Justin gave in the early stages that made Paula cry was intimate. He has gotten away from that as the competition has gone along. He has been trying to belt it and out sing everybody. Justin is definitely the heartthrob of the competition. He has a future, whether he wins or not.
PAULA: I understand where people are getting that Justin is too slick, but if you look back, the purity is there. He's up against two female vocalists right now that have an amazing set of pipes. Justin has that rare quality of people wanting to embrace him. Every artist has his or her strengths.
("[There's] Always Something There To Remind Me")
DEBORAH: I think Nikki will get voted off this week. I definitely think hers was the weakest performance. I always thought Nikki was a great song stylist, but she doesn't have the real vocal prowess of the others. It really came out this week, because you can't sing a Burt Bacharach song without a voice. I don't think Nikki has enough range to be an American Idol.
PAULA: I felt this was Nikki's weakest performance. It was a little bit pitchy, a little bit flat in certain areas. It wasn't her shining moment.
Both Paula and Deborah agree that based on Tuesday night's performances that Nikki should be voted off next. They also agreed that the three finalists will be Kelly, Justin and Tamyra.